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DFS, dwarves and urban legends

What’s your favourite urban myth? I was reminded of my favourite on Popbitch today, in a post by “onthehushhush”:

i was told today that sofa firm DFS * uses dwarves** in their adverts to make their settees look bigger than they would normally. I don’t know why I found this so shocking/funny.

????????
Sadly it was immediately punctured by another poster, who pointed out that if DFS wanted to mislead the public it’d be a damn sight cheaper to make giant sofas for the ads than to pay the wages of people of restricted growth. So a favourite myth bites the dust.

What about you? Any favourite bits of bullshit you secretly wish were true?

19 replies on “DFS, dwarves and urban legends”

No, it wouldn’t be cheaper. Firstly, making giant sofas for the ads would be illegal, as they’d be deliberately misrepresenting their products and lying about prices, so they might want to avoid the resultant legal costs. Secondly, do dwarvish models really charge so much more than fashion models? I doubt it.

I think that particular urban myth is based on exaggeration rather than falsehood. It is true that sofa firms tend to use shorter models rather than the 6’2″ catwalk giants.

I like (or maybe hate) the one that claims that the right side of your brain handles logical things and the left side is more emotional and intuitive, and that therefore southpaws are more artistic people. Complete and utter bollocks, yet it’s one of those things that everyone knows.

Or how about that pervasive idea that we have five senses? Wrong, wrong, wrong, yet they still teach it to kids at school.

> Secondly, do dwarvish models really charge so much more than fashion models? I doubt it.

I’ve no idea. Surely supply and demand mean either the rates would be higher or the agency fees higher?

> Or how about that pervasive idea that we have five senses?

How many do we have?

>>> Secondly, do dwarvish models really charge so much more than fashion models? I doubt it.

Pound for pound they must do.

> Surely supply and demand mean either the rates would be higher or the agency fees higher?

Sure, supply’s fairly low, but demand is surely even lower.

Neurologists have yet to agree on how many senses we have, but it’s agreed that we have at least 9. Some say more than 20. In some cases, it depends what you count as a sense.

Here are some of the non-five:
balance;
the sense of heat or cold on your skin (which I think is called thermoception);
pain (not the same as touch, because you can feel pain when nothing’s touching you and you can feel pain internally);
your sense of where each bit of you is — if you shut your eyes, you still know where your hands are, even if you move them.
Not sure, but I think they’re the ones all the neurologists agree on. Then they start arguing. Some debatable senses:
hunger;
sense of self;
sense of meaning;
sense of danger.

>>Sure, supply’s fairly low, but demand is surely even lower.

That’s probably offensive. ;-)

I thought that senses were your perception of physical stimuli. I’m not sure that sense of self would count as an actual sense rather than just a clumsy way to express something that is intrinsically difficult to express.

> I thought that senses were your perception of physical stimuli.

If neurologists can’t agree on how many senses we have, I imagine they can’t agree on what they are, either.

Anyway, “physical stimuli” is harder to define than you might think. If consciousness is, as some scientists suspect, a function of the behaviour of particular molecular structures in the brain, then, well, that’s physical, isn’t it? Even if those scientists are wrong, until we know for sure what consciousness is, we can’t say that it’s not a response to physical stimuli, can we?

In response to your two shortarse jokes: Heh heh heh.

What about fashion-sense?

Just realised that the pound-for-pound comment is probably exactly the opposite when talking about fashion models.

It does somewhat make a mockery of commonly used phrases.

“My God, that was spooky! It’s almost like you’ve got a sixth sense!”
“What, comedic timing?”

I saw that episode of QI where Fry talked about the other senses as well. I agree it all comes down to how you define a sense.

“I’m not sure that sense of self would count as an actual sense rather than just a clumsy way to express something that is intrinsically difficult to express.”

I’d agree. AFAIK, in some aboriginal cultures, people never learned to see themselves as separate from their environment in the way that we do. I think it’s all to do with Lacan’s Mirror Stage, but I could never be arsed reading all that stuff ;-)

As for Urban Legends – I was disappointed to learn that Walt Disney *wasn’t* cryogenically frozen after he died.

I’m a big fan of QI, but, funnily enough, haven’t seen that episode.

> in some aboriginal cultures, people never learned to see themselves as separate from their environment in the way that we do.

That just means that they have a different sense of self, not that they don’t have one at all.

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