Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Subliminal Ad-Ventures in Erotic Art

1992, revised edition of The Clam-Plate Orgy (1980)
Wilson Bryan Key
Subliminal Ad-Ventures in Erotic Art
Original price £10.50, purchase price 99p
Slightly worn paperback 
C+ for new material

I didn't read this cover to cover, but from skimming it, the only new aspects I could see were the covers, the Introduction, the Update, and the Foreword.  I found the Introduction, by an Auburn University professor, both weak and annoying, especially his assumption that the media's "sexualization" of "everything" is responsible for the spread of AIDS.  (I'd argue that ignorance had much more to do with it.)  The "Joe Camel" part in the Update is nice, and in fact the reason why I'm keeping this book rather than the original Clam-Plate is that the 1980 paperback has a shockingly bland cover (all text), while this has nice full-cover pictures, including of the "Smooth Character" Mr. Camel.  Besides, if I were including the original material, this would probably still get a B.

Key died in 2008, at 83.  Although his legacy is understandably still controversial, and I don't agree with him on all points, I appreciate his encouragement to look at art, advertising, and the world more closely.  (And yes, it is odd that I apparently bought this book in the U.K.)

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