Friday, November 9, 2012

Presentation Outline

Assignment #15

Presentation Outline

I am going to present my project solo, as I declined to group up with other people. I intend to present my project using Powerpoint and a poster with all 100 advertisements on it, 20 advertisements per decade from the 1950's to today. If I am unable to create/procure such a poster, I will pass around print-outs with a range of ads not depicted in the Powerpoint presentation.


Introduction and Thesis- Will describe the purpose of the project and how it was organized; why is looking at 50 years of advertising important?

Advertisement Review- Will explain the traits and characteristics of each decade of advertising, from the 1950's to today. Will provide advertisements that demonstrate the decade's qualities, plus some of the factors that led to those qualities.

Recap- Will compare the new traits of advertising today to the methods used in older ads. Images help clarify the difference.

Relevant Course Material- Will connect the concepts and textual evidence of course texts (John Berger, Kalle Lasn) to the concepts illustrated by my project.

Q & A- Self explanatory.

The total time spent presenting should be close to 10 minutes, the time limit imposed.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Project Reflection #2

Assignment #14

Project Reflection #2

Over the period of the FYS course, our class has reviewed a number of texts with a variety of different concepts, from images in advertising to gender roles. While some of these texts don't have relevance to my project, there are a couple whose concepts can be applied to what I am researching. For example, take John Berger's "Ways of Seeing," a scholarly text concerning the presence of women in a predominantly male culture. Berger states that, "...and so she comes to consider the surveyor and the surveyed within her as the two constituent yet always distinct elements of her identity as a woman" (46). To paraphrase, Berger is saying that men are the surveyors: able to gaze upon the image of a woman freely, while women are only able to gaze upon themselves. This same concept can be applied to race in advertising. Before the 70's, there was little to no representation of other races in advertising, with a sparse amount of ads featuring black actors or models. One could make the connection that people of other races could only gaze upon the image of whites in advertising, while whites could look upon themselves with impunity, knowing that the culture at the time favored them.

Another text which has relevance to the material I'm researching is Susan Bordo's "Hunger as Ideology," which concerns gender roles and the idealization of food products. Bordo's main idea doesn't have relevance to my project, but a section in the text titled "Destabilizing Images" does have relevance to the material I'm covering. Bordo states that (in relation to ideological messages in ads that go against traditional norms of advertising), "Rather, they always display a complicated and bewitching tangle of new possibilities and old patterns of representation." In the 90's, the Benetton Group, a global fashion brand, decided to break traditional norms of advertising and feature ads with interracial models and provocative imagery. For example, one of the ads features a white male embracing and kissing a black female on the cheek, signifying interracial relationships. Whether it's a moral statement from the company or simply to be provocative, it breaks the standard "Patterns of Representation" mentioned by Bordo, and shows progressive, yet daring views of thinking on part of the company. As for why this project is important, I believe that taking a look at advertising throughout 50 years is a good way to see how much our perception has changed, and how we have come to accept differences in both race and nationality. It grants perspective, something that is needed in order to remain conscious of the nature of advertising.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Project Update

Assignment #13

Project Update

At this point in the project, I am starting to work on my Powerpoint presentation. I have collected all of the ads in my series, totaling 100 advertisements, from the 1950's to the 2000's. I was originally thinking of reducing the number of advertisements featured, but that would detract from the results, so I refrained from doing so. I have narrowed down my topic to the representation of race, removing gender from the focus, as many sub-topics would have to be considered if gender was factored in. If possible, I will create a poster with all 100 ads featured on it, while my powerpoint would focus on the ads which I felt best represented the decade they were made in.

By studying advertisements from the past, we can more accurately gauge how progressive we are, and where we can expect to be in the future. At the very least, it'll show who was marketed to the most, and how much that has changed over a period of 50 odd years. Thus far, I have learned that the focus of advertising was massively skewed towards whites during the 50's onward, with the inclusion of other races not present until the 70's... at least, that's what I have found in my selection of ads. In conclusion, I need to work on presenting my findings in an effective and meaningful way, while remaining relevant to the topics we have studied in class.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Project: First Reflection

Assignment #11

First Reflection

I have not yet started on my project for FYS, but I have a good idea of what I would like to accomplish. For my project, I would like to do a case study on the representation of different demographics in the field of advertising, and how much it as changed, from the 1950's to 2000's. A 50 year period of time, encompassing changes in both advertising methods and society, should be enough to illustrate how companies advertised their products, as well as who they targeted. The goal of my project is to see if companies have become more progressive in representing both race and gender.

This project brings up a number of questions, usually having to do with the standards of the advertisements of the time. Did the 50's advertisements cater to a predominantly white demographic due to society's prejudice at the time? Did that change after the Civil Rights movement? By analyzing the main subjects of the advertisements of the time, I can see what demographic the companies targeted, and compare it to other ads closer to the present. One aspect of this project that concerns me is that there are a LOT of advertisements from the 50's to now, so I will have to choose a suitable range of advertisements for each decade. A small range won't yield any results, a large range would be unmanageable and take too much time. Therefore, around 20 advertisements per decade would be opportune, with 100 advertisements analyzed in total. Looking ahead, I know that I will need to spend a good amount of time documenting the subjects of each advertisement, as I have many ads to look at and deconstruct... for the good of science!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Advertisement Analysis

Assignment #10

Watches, Wealth, and Masculinity

Many things can come to mind when you think of a fancy watch, such as wealth, power, and impeccable taste. Swiss watchmaker Zenith had the same ideas as well, and decided to implement that imagery into their ad for the "Grande Class Traveller" sports watch. This ad features muted hues of color and a handsome white male in a business suit, no doubt to play to masculine sensibilities. The advertisement is also skewed towards the higher echelons of society due to the private jet in the background, accompanied by the flashy watch in the foreground. Note the quote from Leonardo da Vinci juxtaposed over the male model; this is to give the advertisement intellectual depth as well as accentuate the intricacies of the expensive watch. The demographic of this advertisement is obvious: rich white businessmen and entrepreneurs. Zenith's advertisement also makes the connection between wealth and masculinity, as it implies that the consumer will be masculine and powerful if they buy the expensive bauble, glamorizing affluence and extravagant living that most people can't afford.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Deodorant Dissonance

Assignment #9

Deodorant Dissonance

Comparing these two ads for deodorant side by side, the first thing you'll notice is that they are both the same brand. They are both Speed Stick, the deodorant made by the company Mennen. What's important is the marketing slant of both ads, the left one advertising to men, the right one advertising to women. It is the same title for both variations of the brand, except the prefix "Lady" is added to the feminine deodorant for obvious reasons. One difference between the ads is the color scheme, obviously geared towards the sensibilities of each gender. The men's ad is a cool blue color, the same as the product, while the women's deodorant is the same way, except purple. Note the subjects in each advertisement: the men's advertisement has an adult male with half a mustache, no doubt caused by his ineptitude with a razor, and the women's advertisement has a closet of clothes, the sleeves of the lightly colored garments raised in the air as if to express their gratitude for not receiving armpit stains. The male advertisement carries a message of preparedness, that if you wear the deodorant in question, you'll be ready for anything. The female advertisement, in contrast, is about how the user's clothes are spotless and odorless, thanks to the deodorant.

The values implied by both ads differ, due to marketing to gender. The men's deodorant ad emphasizes confidence and utilitarianism, both male traits. The clean, straight lines and muted color scheme also appeal to masculine sensibilities, as well. The women's deodorant ad takes an opposite approach, instead emphasizing the female consumer's clothes. This focus on clothes is decidedly feminine, with an appeal to vanity. Note the lack of an actor/actress in the advertisement; the inclusion of a female subject would take away from the message that the clothes deliver. The stylized lines and bright color scheme are also designed to appeal to the female demographic. Overall, both ads do not break gender norms, as they have to remain firmly planted in gender roles in order to sell to their respective audiences.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Averting Berger's Gaze

Assignment #8

Averting Berger's Gaze

According to John Berger, images of men and women presented to us change the way that we perceive ourselves. One only needs to look at an advertisement to see how Berger is correct, as there is no shortage of unattainable goals brought forth by such a medium. Berger has another theory, however: men are only allowed to gaze upon others, while women can only gaze upon themselves. This is questionable; as a male, I know that I have had moments where I have doubted my attractiveness, and turned my gaze inward. I also know that women are not wholly self absorbed; they desire affection from the opposite (or same) sex, and are attracted to good looks as much as any guy is. This doesn't mean that Berger's theory doesn't carry weight, though.

Looking at the Calvin Klein ads, I find that they support Berger's ideas... somewhat. The need to improve oneself after seeing the perfectly sculpted and digitally altered models is almost maddening, regardless of gender. Due to the Herculean traits of the Calvin Klein models, both genders find they turn their gaze upon themselves, insecurities compounded by comparison. When presented with such a perfect representation of beauty, Berger's ideas fall away, as males aren't the only ones who "survey" and make judgments. Both genders desire attractiveness, and both are going to go to extreme measures to procure it.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Are We What We Eat?

Assignment #7

Are We What We Eat?

When it comes to the topic of food and gender, it is obvious that food is an asexual product; it can be consumed by both genders without incident. However, there is a definite stigma when it comes to certain foods being consumed by one gender or the other. One example that I can think of are particular alcoholic beverages, as those have gender connotations. I wouldn't think twice if a businesswoman was enjoying a Metropolitan after her day at work, but if a male construction worker had the same beverage, he would get some funny looks from the patrons. As for cuisine, I believe a majority of food lacks gender connotations. I wouldn't be embarrassed if I ordered a cob salad and my date ordered a medium-rare steak, although there are people out there who would think otherwise.

As for the marketing of the food itself, the product has to target a certain audience/demographic in order to sell more effectively. This means that there is going to be an appeal to a certain need or audience. For example, the ad for a Boca burger (a vegetarian burger) pictures a standard looking burger, presumably the Boca kind. Above it is a slogan that says, "Stop staring at me like I'm a piece of meat." This is an appeal to the female demographic, as the slogan is most likely what a woman would say if someone was eyeing her up. It is also meant to be humorous, as the Boca burger is vegetarian, putting it in an appropriate context. An interesting detail is the red background and white text; it boosts the aesthetic appeal of the ad, also drawing attention to the product itself. Therefore, the advertisement for the Boca burger is meant for the female consumer.

On the other end of the spectrum is the Wendy's Baconator television advertisement. It depicts a crowd of rabid fangirls with male faces crudely juxtaposed onto them, except their excited screaming is female. A male announcer states, "Obsessing over a celebrity; that's wrong, unless the celebrity is bacon!" It then segways into a generic shot of an airbrushed, perfect-looking bacon burger, as the announcer states that the beef patties are "Fresh, never frozen!" Cut to a slightly overweight man wearing a red twintails wig (which greatly contrasts with the black and white setting) eating a baconburger. With a triumphant shout of "BACON," all of the male fangirls surge past him, presumably towards the local Wendy's. This advertisement has an obvious male slant, with a touch of humor. It's supposed to show how men are excited to the point of paroxysms for a baconburger, instead of a celebrity. It is somewhat patronizing, however, to both men and women, as men won't scream and faint over a burger, while women might be offended at such a crude juxtaposition of a male face on a female body. It's an ad for males.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thesis and Introduction

Assignment #6

Thesis and Introduction


Concerning the issue of consumerism, some people believe that consumerism has a major influence over our sense of self, while others feel that consumerism has no control over our  individuality. According to Fight Club, a novel written by Chuck Palahniuk, it states that individualism breaks down in a controlled society.  Specifically, Palahniuk also argues that counter-culture, such as the cult following that Tyler Durden has, also takes away individuality. His views, thus, are that individuality is taken away, no matter the type of controlled society or system.  

I somewhat agree with Palahniuk's views.  In my view, individuality can be broken down if a person gets too indoctrinated into a system.  For instance, Tyler Durden's after-hours Fight Club breaks men down through violence, then builds them back up through the dogma fed to them by Tyler Durden.  Some might object, of course, on the grounds that those men have the free will to refuse to participate in Fight Club.  Yet, I would argue that those men are already broken by the society they live in, disillusioned and looking for release from their repetitive, materialistic lives. Overall, I believe that they are already prone to have their individualism taken away--an important point to make given that this parallels many different events and tragedies throughout the course of history.


In the modern society that we live in today, consumerism is the almighty, the Alpha and Omega. We purchase all of the things that we need through the money earned from our career/profession/job, completely oblivious that we are in a never-ending cycle that brings little joy. Even entertainment is centered around consumerism, with brand labels and advertising taking precedence over the content itself. Through the practice of consumerism, we start to lose the sense of who we are, as our worldly possessions start to take more precedence over our individualism. According to Chuck Palahniuk's novel Fight Club, individualism breaks down in light of a controlled system, such as modern society's consumer-driven system, or counter-culture's dogmatism.

Palahniuk makes a valid argument; near the start of the novel Fight Club, the protagonist makes the point of listing all of the furniture that he used to own, now blown to kingdom come due to a "gas leak" in his apartment. The destruction of all of his personal property is tragic, but liberating, as the protagonist admits it himself: "And I wasn't the only slave to my nesting instinct. The people I know who used to sit in the bathroom with pornography, now they sit in the bathroom with their IKEA furniture catalogue." (Palahniuk, 43) The destruction of his home is the catalyst to form Fight Club, which serves to liberate men, but to also break them down in order to serve Tyler Durden, the enigmatic creator of Fight Club. Sound familiar? Modern society and the counter-culture of Fight Club both destroy the individuality of the men who are indoctrinated into it, meaning that there is little difference between the two. Palahniuk's message is both critical and honest: Individuality is the first casualty of an ordered system.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Truman Show: Review

Assignment #5

Review of The Truman Show

At first glance, The Truman Show, starring Jim Carrey, seems to be a poignant take on the (then recent) surge of popularity of reality television. This is only helped by Jim Carrey's comedic acting, characterized by his trademark expressiveness and loud dialogue. However, there is much to be found within this seeming parody of poor television, most notably a single question: would you be content with a sheltered life if you knew that a more dangerous, but free life existed? I believe The Truman Show argues for freedom, despite the dangers that freedom brings. This theme can be observed in the near final scene of the movie, where Christof, the creator of the show, tries to talk Truman out of leaving the set, stating that the world outside of the set is cruel and unforgiving, while the world Truman's escaping is kind and fair. Truman leaves the set, never looking back once.

I feel, as a reviewer, that The Truman Show is completely correct. It is said that familiarity breeds contempt; that couldn't be more right in the case of Truman, who eventually succeeds in breaking out of his prison. The sheltered life simply doesn't offer enough excitement for me, and if I had the knowledge of a more fulfilling, yet dangerous life, I would take the opportunity without hesitation.

The Truman Show is about a seemingly ordinary man living an unremarkable life. Truman Burbank, played by Jim Carrey, has an attractive wife, a car, a mortgage, and a job as an insurance salesman. Truman lives in the neatly manicured and idyllic Seahaven, an amalgam of east-coast architecture and 50's era living. What Truman doesn't know, however, is that he's the unwitting star of a TV show watched by millions, and that the town he lives in is a movie set so large that it is visible from space. Everyone he knows is an actor, and has been since the day he was born. What's interesting about the plot of The Truman Show is the many ways the viewer can interpret it.

A notable quote from the movie is from the character Christof. "We accept the reality of the world with which we are presented." This is an interesting line, as it makes the inherent nature of the movie The Truman Show visible, and as a viewer, raises many questions. Should we accept things at face value without question? Is complacency really preferable to truth? This helps the movie stand out from various other comedy flicks, as it presents the viewer with a myriad of philosophical questions.

The Truman Show is a fine example of how a comedy movie can both make you laugh and think at the same time. The question it poses is also very thought provoking, and not easy to answer. As for me, I wouldn't willingly languish in a prison that I've lived in from birth, even if the prison is safer/less deceitful. What about you, gentle reader? Would you trade your freedom for complacency?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Alice Hoffman's Lecture

Assignment #4

Alice Hoffman's Lecture

Walking into the makeshift auditorium, a sea of faces greeted me, most of them FYS freshmen, some faculty. The side of the basketball court we were situated on was illuminated by harsh floodlights hanging from the ceiling, not succeeding at making me feel more welcome than I already was. The crowd seated on the bleachers was buzzing as I went up to take my seat, not all that enthusiastic to be there. After a couple of minutes of waiting, one of the faculty went up to the podium and introduced Alice Hoffman, the author of the book The River King, among the other books and screenplays she wrote. Another person by the name of Dr. Pagan then told us about Alice Hoffman's career as a writer. After some applause, Alice Hoffman then took the stage.

The first thing I noticed about Alice Hoffman was how generic she looked. She looked as if she just drove her kids to soccer practice, and came back. She was wearing a small black sweater over a laced purple shirt, with matching black leggings. Mrs. Hoffman looked nice enough to me, kind of like an elementary school teacher. She introduced herself, and then told us a bit about her life. She never really dreamed about going to college, being from a working-class neighborhood, so she took a generic job (the name escapes me) which she quit after working there for half a day. That got a few chortles out of the audience. She then immediately signed up for college, following up her four years there at grad school in Stanford. I gleaned off of this that she was a highly educated woman, even if I didn't like the book The River King.

One interesting fact about Alice Hoffman is that she penned The River King while receiving treatment for cancer, which influenced her greatly in her writing. She likened the metal table she lay on during her treatments to a raft, which seemed like interesting inspiration to the book. "Writing was my only escape," she stated, in a matter-of-fact way. It made sense, as undergoing treatment for cancer is a very painful process, which some people don't even live through. So, that need for escapism in times of strife made sense.

She then started a questionnaire after her introduction, of which I thought dragged out the lecture somewhat. There were several questions which seemed inane, but one of them stood out to me. One of them was from the left side of the bleachers. "Who is the main character of The River King?"

Alice Hoffman's answer was intriguing. She first asked us who we thought was the main character. I was among the group who answered August Pierce. "In truth," she said, "The main character is whoever you want it to be, as I decided to write about a community, not a single character in particular." I thought that was rare, as it went against what I considered was proper storytelling, i.e. fleshing out a main character with other secondary characters supporting the main one. It was an interesting way to write a book, albeit against the norm.

Alice Hoffman also talked about the theme of bullying in The River King, as Gus Pierce was the ultimate victim. She stated that her inspiration for this aspect of the book was from her son, who was a victim of hazing and bullying at a prep school. It made sense, as a lot of writers find inspiration from the people and places around them. "Remaining silent is just playing into the bully's hands," informed Mrs. Hoffman. It seemed that way, as Gus Pierce remained silent during the book, and ended up floating face-down in the Haddan River.

I believe the lecture that Alice Hoffman gave was informative, but failed to captivate me. It didn't help that I didn't enjoy The River King, either. So, with my posterior numb from sitting on a bleacher for an hour and thirty minutes, I left with the crowd after giving token applause to the woman who's book I would promptly forget about after I'm done needing to do assignments on it.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Consumerism in Different Flavors

Assignment #3

Consumerism in Different Flavors

In this modern era, it's harder than ever to express yourself in a unique way, mostly due to the fact that a multi-billion dollar corporation has already capitalized on your "unique" brand of style. A tour of the website only helps drive that point home, with it's snarky commentary and relatively accurate representation of the scenes that many people ascribe to. In all honesty, it's just selecting the scene that represents "you" the best, then running with it, hawking it's merchandise, music, and style of living. The boundaries between this self-expression and blatant consumerism is non-existent. You either open your wallet to the corporation which sells your brand of clothing, or you knit your own cardigan. This is what I believe my scene to be, done in the style of yourscenesucks.

The Post-Prep
Defining Traits:
Short hair/gelled hair
Superdry hoodie/t-shirt
Casual demeanor
Neutral-colored jeans
Name-brand shoes
Distinct lack of tattoos

This is what would happen if you left a prep with a platinum Visa in a generic department store for two hours. Opting to remain subdued in a world of bombastic expression, the Post-Prep has left the formal style of his khakis and overshirts for the more familiar and simple jeans and a t-shirt combo. The Post-Prep believes himself above the more extreme scenes around him, scoffing at the idea of gauges and piercings, instead favoring a look more likely to net him a job at the local Nordstrom or Superdry store. Really, the Post-Prep is just a prep who lost the cojones to stand out in a sport-coat.


Pretty Lights
Plump DJs
Simian Mobile Disco

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Urge to Buy and View

Assignment #2

Consumerism and Television

Living from day to day, we don't believe that we belong to any institution or cult, believing that we have free will. Kalle Lasn begs to differ. In the text "The Cult You're In," Kalle Lasn states that we are all part of a cult that we can't escape: consumerism. He is one-hundred percent correct in this statement, in my opinion. The average American consumer is exposed to thousands of brands per day. Consumerism has reached the point to where it defines you as a person, as you strive to obtain the newest pair of Nike's, or drive the fanciest car that you could afford. It is a cult, one that is very profitable to the people who run it: the corporations which sell the products that people buy.

Of course, one of the biggest mediums that influences the people indoctrinated in this cult is television. It serves as a conduit to which advertising and programming can both entertain the masses, and convince people to buy things that they do and don't need. In Harry Waters' "Life According to TV," Waters uses the research of George Gerbner to make the point that TV heavily influences the way people think and what people buy. The evidence speaks for itself: TV absolutely has an influence on the general population, in a myriad of ways.

For example, take the section of Crime from Waters' text. Critics are convinced that violence on TV has the effect of desensitizing viewers to violence, or helps make viewers more prone to commit violent acts. Gerbner's research states otherwise; it makes viewers believe that they will be victimized, or as Gerbner calls it, "mean-world syndrome." It causes heavy viewers of TV to grossly exaggerate the chances of a violent act occurring against them. In light of this evidence, I believe that Gerbner's research is right on the money. With consistent violent imagery, it causes people to become concerned for their own safety. This violent imagery is more common now than ever, due to an overzealous media, so there is very much reason to believe that TV can influence an audience to surprising effect. All it takes is a good ten minutes of television viewing, and it's easy to see what effect it can have on an impressionable audience.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Plato's Cave and The Matrix

Assignment #1

Plato and The Construct

Although the difference in time between Plato's Cave and the Wachowski brothers' movie The Matrix is staggering (almost 2500 years!), the ideas expressed in each are almost the same. The Matrix illustrates a computer simulation designed to trick the human mind into believing that the artificial construct it creates is reality. Plato's Cave is the same concept, except with a different medium. Plato illustrates that each human being is stuck in a "cave" of sorts, shackled to chairs, watching the shadows cast from marionettes manipulated by puppeteers. The human beings stuck in the cave have been there for so long that they are complacent to watch the shadows on the wall, rather than break their bindings and leave for the unpleasant, yet truthful and illuminating sunlight which streams in from behind them. While the Matrix and the Cave are separated by two millenia, both are remarkably similar, and share the same concepts.

The Wachowski Brothers' concept of The Matrix can be compared to Plato's Cave in spades. We have to start with the origin of the shadows cast on the wall in the Cave. A fire burns behind the puppeteers, casting the shadows in the first place. This is similar to the power source which keeps the Matrix running. The puppeteers in question are the Machines in the Matrix, and the puppets they manipulate are the programs which run the Matrix. The shadows on the wall, cast by the puppets, can be considered the reality that the Matrix's program projects. These shadows are observed by the people shackled to the chair, who also represent the people stuck in the Matrix. The diffused sunlight, let in by the mouth of the cave, represents the Construct of the Matrix, which serves as the staging point for those liberated from the control of the Machines. Finally, the ascent to sunlight is the exit from the Matrix into the real world. Even though the real world is harsh (read: post-apocalyptic), it is the truth, just waiting to be experienced by those bound to their chairs; the prison of the mind.

With both Plato's Cave and the Wachowski brothers' movie The Matrix suggesting that humanity is in binds and wanting to escape, one can infer that humanity is imprisoned as well. In a way, this is true. Humanity is in the binds of complacency. We go through our routines, happy with the meager experiences that we live with, not wanting to take a chance. We vote for crooked politicians, content with the injustices that they visit upon our fellow man. Instead of extending a helping hand to those who need it, we are apathetic of those less fortunate, telling ourselves that it is their fault alone that they are so unfortunate. One way to break these proverbial chains, in my opinion, is to help make the world around us better. Instead of cruelty, give kindness. Instead of apathy, care for others. By seeking fulfillment in bettering the human race, you are one step away from escaping those binds, stepping out of Plato’s Cave, into the light of those who are fulfilled.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Which pill would you take?

Prompt #1

Which pill would you take, the blue pill, or the red pill?

I would take the Red Pill. I couldn't live with not knowing the truth, no matter how painful it is. The curiosity would eat at me, drive me mad. I wouldn't be able to live with myself. So, like Alice in the proverbial Wonderland, I would take the red pill, and go down the rabbit hole.