Saturday, November 12, 2011

Demotivational Posters

Remember back in the 80's when people, mainly middle management, had posters on their walls that they'd constantly refer to as if those posters had somehow changed their lives? You kind of got the sense that you could do away with the manager and replace them with the poster.

They'd normally show scenes of something picturesque and have a single word underneath. And under that, in proportionally smaller text, there'd be some wanky quote.

They'd look quite good along the hallways of offices. A way to add a little colour.

Of course, it's incredibly hard, after seeing a lot of these, to take them terribly seriously.

Take the example here. What if the text were something along the lines of:

ACHIEVE
When you can't, fake it.

Suddenly, rather than a guy embracing the world around him, you see a guy trying to convince the world that the fish was "this big".

Taking something that someone found horribly motivating and turning it around is funny. It doesn't try to be anything that it's not. It's just not terribly motivational.

And thus, we have the demotivational poster. It's a response to something real. Something that people took seriously. It's not just a form factor. It meant something. It basically meant "Sod it, we're done with your manufactured sentiments".

But it's just a joke right? Well... no. It's a response to something. If you go looking for demotivational posters though, people seem to have completely missed the point. In a list of "the top 40" demotivational posters, I found around 7 odd that were actually demotivational posters.

Let's start acknowledging them for what they are...

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