POst's "Progress is Overrated" campaign

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POst's "Progress is Overrated" campaign

Post  cradlerc on Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:36 pm

OK, this probably shows how I have way too much time on my hands. But I came across the new ad for shredded whet, wherein the "progress is ovverrated" philosophy is touted:"Honestly, what do we owe progress? We're up to our necks in landfill, down to the wire on resources, and climate change is out to et us--or at best leave us with a really nasty sunburn."

So I had to look up the link, because I was intrigued by the way the ad was defining "progress" and how an "anti-progress"--as in anti-technology, really--agenda has now made it into the mass market. I was not disappointed. Mostly, it's a funny ad campaign, although it tries a bit too hard, it's clever. I was struck though, by the oddly embedded "joke" in the speech segment, where the president of the company asks "Who has more than two children?(beat) stop it!" How does being anti-technology jibe with population control, LOL?

I know, too much weight for a cereal ad to carry--but it's a small if interesting signof the times. Check it out:

http://www.thepalaceoflight.com/
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cradlerc

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Oh, and why the site is called

Post  cradlerc on Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:36 pm

The Palace of Light? Dunno. Little bit creepy.
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Pure marketing

Post  stihl on Fri Jun 12, 2009 9:03 am

Apparently they hired Ted Kazinski to run their new ad campaing.

The only reason it is still made the old fashion way is because people keep buying it.

I like the the indepth history lesson how progress ended the Egyptian and Roman civilizaitons.

Palace of light....is probably the room with all the windows they use to indoctrinate their employees into the cult of the shreaded wheat. Him, the Wheat, the Machine. What a Face
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Henry Perky, inventor of shredded wheat

Post  VicarJoe on Fri Jun 12, 2009 9:31 am

Sometime in the early 1890s, at a Nebraska hotel, Perky — who suffered from heartburn — encountered a man similarly afflicted, who was eating boiled wheat with cream. The idea cooked for a while in Perky’s mind, and in 1892, he took his idea of a product made of boiled wheat to his friend, William H. Ford, in Watertown, New York — a machinist by trade. Here they developed the machine for making what Perky called "little whole wheat mattresses," today known world-wide as shredded wheat. They presented the machine at the 1893 Columbian Exposition, probably while Perky was trying to drum up buyers for his cylindrical steel rail passenger car.

His original intention was to sell the machines, not the biscuits. He returned to Denver and began distributing the biscuits from a horse-drawn wagon in an attempt to popularize the idea. There he founded The Cereal Machine Company. In 1895, Perky received United States Patent Number 548,086, dated 15 October 1895.

The biscuits proved more popular than the machines, so Perky moved East and opened his first bakery in Boston, Massachusetts and then in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1895, retaining the name of The Cereal Machine Company, and adding the name of The Shredded Wheat Company.

Whether he developed his ideas on nutrition before the machine or after, Perky was a food faddist who believed the fundamental issue was how to nourish a man so that his condition will be natural. Although John Harvey Kellogg and Charles William Post are better known, Perky was a pioneer of the "cookless breakfast food" and it was he who first mass produced and nationally distributed ready-to-eat cereal.

---

I like that he both invented a machine to produce techno-cereal and wanted to get back to nature. I figured shredded wheat had some Victorian "cult of nature" background.
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Wow, Homer

Post  stihl on Fri Jun 12, 2009 11:51 am

You never cease to amaze me. Shocked So maybe the company is being true to the beliefs of their founder.

I heard a piece of nutritional advice that was, "if it wasn't food 100 years ago, don't eat it." That eliminates Little Debby and her ilk. That also means we could be drinking Coke that still contained cocaine.

One thing I find interesting about Cradle's post is that in the late 1800's there was an anti-technology movement that took place in response to Industrial Revolution. It was started in England by Robert Morris (designer of the Morris chair) and came to America as the Arts and Craft movement.

Gustav Stickely was one of the leaders of A&C movement in America. Part of the notion was to teach people how to be craftsmen and do things for themselves. Some his designs were published in Popular Science as "how to" articles for making furniture. Gustav ran his business with the idea that an artisan would build a piece of furniture from start to finish, as opposed to the assembly line technique of construction. The social movement had thought the assembly line was de-humanizing.

There was a artisian community in Auroua, NY. The name escapes me, but there furniture and flat ware is also A&C and is collectible.

Of course the said reality is that Gustav's company could not compete and his brothers, Leopol and George built the factory in Fayetteville, NY, took his designs and made lots of money (Gustav did eventually work for his brothers). The final irony, the modern company, Audi-Stickely uses Gustav's original trademark for the "Craftsman", which belies its original meaning. And in the meantime, Audi-Stickley has built a new furniture factory in Vietman.
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Roycroft Commue

Post  stihl on Fri Jun 12, 2009 12:05 pm

That is the name of the place in Aurroua, NY. A guy name Hubbard founded it, after he visisted William Morris (not Robert) in England. Hubbard was a soap manufactured form Buffalo, turned writer and philosopher.

They made all sorts of things, from books to lamps.

On site I looked at noted the presence of machinery at the old commune. Given that and the high rate of output, ol' Hubbard may have been cheating by using unskilled labor for mass production.

Anywho, if you are looking for a nice little Summer trip, I would recommend a visit to Aurora, NY. It is south of Bufflao, along Rt 20 or 20A.

Also, a historical note, there probably is a tie between this social movement and the beginnings of Socialism. Morris and Marx would have been contemporaries.
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Sorry to make the appearence of talking to myself

Post  stihl on Fri Jun 12, 2009 12:23 pm

William Morris of England, the founder of the Arts and Crafts Movement, was a Socialist and a Marxists, though not Marx's contemporary.

Also, Morris was not against technology per se, what he was really against was capitalism. Machinery was OK with Morris so long as it allowed the indiviual to express him/her self.

And, in the end, this doesn't have that much to do with the Palace of Light, especially since the man who invented Shreaded Wheat was actually trying to sell a machine to mass produce the cereal and wound up doing it himself. sorry.
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What's funny is that the Victorian era

Post  VicarJoe on Fri Jun 12, 2009 2:56 pm

was absolutely chock full of socialists and the fabian society and food faddists and communes and utopian experiments and the "free love" movement and philosophers like Marx and Nietzsche and radical economic and political changes and constant warfare and all kinds of new religion movements like theosophy and christian science and mormonism, etc., and darwinism and social darwinism and the movements like aestheticism and symbolism and the decadents, and we (historical know-nothings that we are) refer always to Victorians as if they were the most stodgy and rigidly orthodox people. They would find our "freethinkers" positively boring.


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Wow, those were interesting responses.

Post  cradlerc on Fri Jun 12, 2009 3:04 pm

I like the connection between the anti-industrialists then and now. It reminds me, as a contrast, of the Little House on the Prairie books, which I've reread with my daughter--what stikes me about them, every time, is just how much they really loved all the new machines in that Ingalls family. The wonder of "machine bought" items, in the books, is that they are so perfect and uniform. When they get a sewing machine? It's a huge boon. Suddenly clothesmaking becomes so much easier, the dresses can be more elaborate, etc..

I think what people are really talking about the parts of technology that they see as making life unpleasant, or not very pretty. Or that take away activities that we like to do. While many of us like to bake bread at home, I don't see anyone crying out to do wheat threshing or going without an oven (I guess some people like to build brick ovens, but that's faddish, not anti-technology).

And Joe, you make a good point--I think that's part of what I found odd and a little sad, that what was once a hotbed of ideas has become just another chink in the product-advertising-complex.

Obviously, the ads are tongue in cheek--I just thought it was bizarre to find a population control message embedded in a ceral commercial.
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Trust me, I was tempted

Post  VicarJoe on Fri Jun 12, 2009 3:08 pm

to write to the cereal company and say something like "I and my seven children used to eat your cereal, but no more, you genocidal madman."
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Did I miss something?

Post  stihl on Fri Jun 12, 2009 4:18 pm

I missed the thing about poputlation control, probably because I have dail up.

What was the message?

Cradle, a follow up to your Little House on the Parrie reference. Henry Ford help design the "n" series tractor (with Furgeson) mostly because he grew up walking behind a horse and plow. The horse and plow may seem quaint but, it was back breaking work that wore out the body in a hurry. That's why anit-industrial didn't mean anti-machine.
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