After the few very indirect references to Virginia Slims cigarettes in the season finale of Mad Men, I was inspired to search for the now famous 1969 “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby” TV commercial. After finding a number of Virginia Slims ads created for the Australian market in the late 60s on Archive.org, I came across this one:

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This particular cigarette commercial, this petty bit of TV ephemera that playfully yet insidiously co-opts and trivializes the feminist movement, is actually quite special to me and my family. The angry man at the gazebo in the first vignette in the ad is my late father-in-law, Jeremiah Morris, who had a long career in theater and television as both an actor and a director until his death in 2005. A framed still from the commercial showing Jeremiah in a bowler hat scolding the young woman for smoking hung proudly in my in-laws’ house for years and the ad was stuff of Morris family legend though neither Jennie nor I had ever seen it until now. Family lore also had it that Jerry’s Virginia Slims ad was the very last cigarette commercial to air on network television, on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show at 11:59pm on January 1, 1971, according to TV Party. I have not yet been able to confirm this.

Top 10 Business Plan Writers According to lots of sources, that last cigarette ad featured Hill Street Blues actress Veronica Hamel (crossword puzzle freaks will recognize that name from clues and answers) but the model in Jerry’s ad doesn’t really look like her. In fact, according to this site, it appears that the last cigarette ad to run was among those in the You’ve Come a Long Way Baby campaign, but not the one featuring Jerry.

Datamatics After I tweeted the link to the ad, my DS106 compadre, the great Scott Lockman, who teaches new media and radio broadcasting courses in Tokyo, went to work creating an animated GIF from the ad. Scott’s GIF is wearable in Second Life as a broach — this means that, for a small fee in in-game currency, you can purchase the broach from Scott and adorn your avatar with this piece of animated jewelry. You can listen to Scott discussing and demonstrating the Jerry broach here.

Can I Buy Essays Online Not to be outdone, I also created an animated GIF of the last bits of the gazebo sequence:

Order Law Essay And now Jerry runs out from behind the gazebo, chasing that poor woman ad infinitum, endlessly calling our attention to the cultural artifact that this commercial is and mesmerizing us all the while.

Will You Write My Research Paper For Me All that said, I am struck by on the just how easy it was to find this ad that basically vanished into the ether after that last airing in 1971, a few months before I was born. And now here it is. You can even download it and remix it or make animated GIFs or broaches or whatever. As Jim noted in this tweet, Jerry, who died when Jonah was just a year and a half old, is that much more real and present for my kids — in a very real sense, I’ve interacted with his legacy in a way that was unimaginable just a few years ago.

Theoretical Dissertation I’m also fascinated by how a simple activity of deriving something simple like an animated GIF of a few frames from an artifact of cultural history as Scott and I did can be, potentially, an act of critical cultural preservation. In taking that bit of the ad and engaging it in a new way, I created an opportunity to reflect on its historical context and cultural significance, not to mention the sentimental value it holds for me. There’s great potential here for us digital pedagogues. Consider this as a possible assignment: take a bit of classic nostalgia or a video that is somehow culturally and historically significant, create an animated GIF from it and reflect on the relationship of the GIF to the original and on the process of creating the GIF, particularly on the choices you’ve made in making it.

There’s more to be said about this and I am looking forward to thinking it through.

How Do We Write Essay Ultralow Price Viagra UPDATE (5/14): The video of Jerry’s commercial is no longer on YouTube on copyright grounds. It’s a good thing we made those GIFs. That’s some cultural preservation right there.

On this day..

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5 Responses to You’ve Come a Long Way, Jerry

  1. Alan LevineNo Gravatar says:

    You are spot on in this reflection Mikhail, how a small act of abstracting video to a few frames then expands by orders of magnitude with your digging in for more story. I love how this story wraps culture, history, and family lore- it becomes a new legacy now for your kids.

    Infinite Jerry!

    After Taking Viagra And maybe northern voice was a shark jump, but look at you doing more blogging, bring it on more, brother! 

  2. MikhailNo Gravatar says:

    Buy Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 MAC oem Thanks, Alan. I love the way you frame it in terms of story. And don’t let the whirlwind blogging disorient you. Also, for the record, I am agnostic on the shark jump. To wit: https://twitter.com/sleslie/status/215121760784359424

  3. scottloNo Gravatar says:

    The Assignment This is a great reflection. I had no idea there was such an interesting story in that cigarette ad. 

    Dissertation Summary And Conclusion I love the way you begin to dig in to the deeper significance of the simple animated GIF in your penultimate paragraph. This is something I’ve been struggling to express. You do it with such clarity. I only wish you’d riff on the idea a bit more. 

  4. Essay About Marijuana [...] one of many examples, see how Mikhail Gershovich starts with what might be an assignment of making an animated GIF about an old cigarette ad his father-in-law starred in, but goes deeper and more into story as he draws us into the connection to the culture of the 1970s [...]

  5. Felice SeltzerNo Gravatar says:

    http://fmindesign.in/will-you-write-my-paper/ Will You Write My Paper Thank you. I love it! I always thought there was never enough of Jerry in the ad. You were able to extend his screen time and it made me cry. My brother was one of the most special people in my life.

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