zerode – a sensibility


film, music, text, city, spectacle, pleasure

Pinch Me, I must be dreaming: Volkswagen’s sexist #fail

Still from Volkswagen "Pinch Me" video ad

Volkswagen’s “Stop Dreaming, Start Driving Event: Pinch Me” ad campaign is in heavy rotation on Hulu, so I’ve been seeing the same ads over and over again, and eventually it sunk in: there’s a pretty sexist difference between the two ads in this campaign.

The Jetta ad features a female driver and auto rep.  The driver is so excited by the Jetta’s performance she asks the auto rep to pinch her. The rep responds, “No, not while you’re driving.”

In the Passat ad, the male driver also asks to be pinched—the performance is just unbelievable. But this time, the (male) auto rep says “Okay” and pinches the driver.

It seems that, unlike men, women can’t be trusted to control a car while being pinched.

For more on sexism in advertising…Routledge Companion to Advertising and Promotional Culture

Can’t Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel – Jean Kilbourne

The Routledge Companion to Advertising and Promotional Culture – eds. Matthew P. McAllister and Emily West

Provocateur: Images of Women and Minorities in Advertising – Anthony Cortese

And of course there’s this…

Filed under: Advertising, Fail, ,


The DMV’s website brings you the same level of service you’ve come to expect from their brick and mortar branches:


Filed under: Fail, ,

Why We’re Losing in Afghanistan

No wonder the US is having so much trouble in Afghanistan – this is the Army’s military strategy:

via Enemy Lurks in Briefings on Afghan War – PowerPoint –

Filed under: Fail, Politics, ,

GM’s Electric Pod Car

“No one’s talking about taking away your SUV or sportscar. But Borroni-Bird says the little electric runabout addresses six issues facing urban mobility in increasingly dense cities: energy use, environmental concerns, safety, congestion, parking and affordability….”

via Get a Closer Look at GM’s Electric Pod Car | Autopia |

Uh… public transit?

Filed under: Fail, Tech, ,

The Five Grossest American Fast Food Ideas

“Call it the heart attack heard ’round the world. Yes, today KFC’s already-infamous Double Down–the bacon and cheese “sandwich” where the bun is comprised of two chunks of fried chicken–hits fast food chains and mall food courts across the nation…”

get fed – or fed up – at The Five Grossest American Fast Food Ideas | AlterNet.

Anyone fancy a burrito?

Filed under: Fail, ,

Spent Bullets Transformed into Jewelry

“Violence is never pretty, but the implements of destruction themselves can possess their own twisted allure. Much like the Gun Reclamation Project rehabilitates firearms into jewelry, Israeli designer Adi Zaffran Weisler refashions spent bullets into one-of-a-kind rings…”

via Spent Firing-Range Bullets Are Transformed into Bejeweled Rings | Ecouterre.

Uh… no thanks.

Filed under: Fail,



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zerode by nick chapman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Oh—and hello to Jason Isaacs.

Upcoming Bay Area Films of Interest

  • Audrey Hepburn Weekend at Vogue Theatre October 21, 2016 – October 23, 2016 Vogue Theatre, 3290 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA
  • One Eyed Jacks / The Missouri Breaks at Castro Theater October 23, 2016 Castro Theater
  • Roman Holiday at Vogue Theatre October 22, 2016 at 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm Vogue Theatre
  • Ugetsu at SFMOMA October 22, 2016 at 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm SFMOMA
  • Breakfast at Tiffany's at Vogue Theatre October 23, 2016 at 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Tiffany's at Vogue Theatre
  • Uncle Boonmee at SFMOMA October 23, 2016 at 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm SFMOMA
  • Two for the Road at Vogue Theatre October 23, 2016 at 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm Vogue Theatre
  • A Touch of Zen at SFMOMA October 23, 2016 at 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm SFMOMA
  • My Fair Lady at Vogue Theatre October 23, 2016 at 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm Vogue Theatre
  • Omen at Balboa Theater October 27, 2016 at 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm Balboa Theatre, 3630 Balboa St, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA
The 400 Blows


is an over-caffeinated and under-employed grad school dropout, aspiring leftwing intellectual and cultural studies academic, cinéaste, and former poet. Raised in San Francisco on classic film, radical politics, burritos and soul music, then set loose upon the world. He spends his time in coffee shops with his laptop and headphones, caffeinating and trying to construct a post-whatever life.


What's in a name... The handle "zerode" is a contraction of Zéro de Conduite, the title of Jean Vigo's 1933 movie masterpiece about schoolboy rebellion.



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