an introduction to the three articles that follow on the ethics of advertising, video vixens and grunting in women's tennis

By Edward Tor

The Death of Ideas
The three articles that follow are different in scope and critical interests, but they all share one startling similarity. They take a common belief--art is superior to advertising, or there's a cultural difference between video vixens and runway models, or there's too much grunting in women's tennis--and apply critical pressure to it. What Tazetta, Jasmine Stewart and Brittney Galloway all challenge is how lazily we think about these ideas. We accept thinking that is essentially circular: the world is the way it is because it is. Art is more ethical than advertising because advertising is about selling and art isn't. Video Vixens are ridiculously curvaceous and runway models are stick thin because black and white people have different tastes. Grunting is essentially an affront to the spirit of women's tennis, although curiously enough not men's. When Tazetta, Stewart and Galloway lay these ideas out in front of us it becomes clear how flimsy they are. But what's more important than the taking on of these ideas is how they show us why such dubious notions have taken hold in our culture and what interests they support. These three articles asks us to think about what we commonly accept as critical analysis, cultural interpretation or common sense and to question if any of it is really thinking at all. The answer seems to be no.

©The CCA Arts Review and Edward Tor

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