Branding and iconic people

The Bloggess sent me to this page where I first see Weird Al and Nathan Fillion on the same page and if that’s not mind-blowing enough, the page is really a screenshot of The_Real_Pope unhappy because Twitter objected to his behavior. I went on to his twitter feed and was vaguely amused and followed him on the chance that he goes on being funny.

Seeing those four iconic beings on one page reminded  me of an article I’d marked for rereading – this is a book review for Authentocracy in America by Sarah Banet-Weiser. Reviewer Paul Ford says “We live in a branded world doing branded things and thinking branded thoughts” and these four people have strong brands attached to their professional work and images. Never am I tricked into thinking that the brands are the people themselves.  Just like me, they are playing roles. Just like me, they are a mixture of brand and brand-loyalty; sometimes we ride the brand, sometimes the brand rides us. Banet-Weiser wrote her book to help us “find the halfway point between this so-called infantilizing commerce and the world of the authentic and real”, says Ford, and this is a point I need to readdress in myself. Not so much for the commercial branding but maybe for the stereotypical branding. Every so often I just need to shake myself all over and take a good look at what stereotypes I have fallen into.

One of them, frankly, is ‘afraid of big words and theories’ woman. Is that a real stereotype or is that just part of the infantile sliding? I read this article and then had to read parts of it again; Ford is not really using too many big words nor is he drawing us along into argumentative splits and seques. I should have no problem following his thoughts – I blame FaceBook and LOLCats and journalistic entertainment and deny any responsibility; nevertheless, I’ve already started changing my reading. It’s a place to start.

I am eager to take on the branding of ‘middle-aged woman going back for her master’s degree.’ And am bashfully proud of how my head is responding to the branding of “grandmother!”  Not sure if either are going to be useful branding for this website, though! That’s one of those annoying things hanging out in the back of my head…seriously I have not yet identified my blog’s brand, obviously a bit wobbly for my personal brand and so certainly I am vulnerable to following other brands, other stereotypes. So anyway, go read, that article explains things much better than I can…and that’s OK!


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