modems and sperm

Robert C. Colgrove robin at
Wed Dec 29 15:54:52 EST 1993

A few days ago, I first saw a new modem add displaying a striking
scanning electron micrograph of a herd of sperm in full charge; the
implication being that their modems were real fast just like the
little wiggler that managed to become half of you.  Cute, I thought,
but biologically a bit naive. I sent them the following letter (and
received today a totally deadpan "thankyou for your input blah blah"
response). I thought bionauts might better appreciate it...
Date: Mon, 20 Dec 1993 10:49:36 -0500
From: colgrove (Robin Colgrove)
Subject: The new Global Village ad

As a physician and biologist, I could not help but notice the striking new ad 
for Global Village modems featuring a field of madly swimming spermatazoa.
I hope it is not too (power)PC of me to note that the slogan, "It was a race to
be first that made you who you are" is in-ad-vertently sexist, implying that 
conception is a race for the most macho sperm to win. Clever and racy as it is,
the copy could just as easily have read, "It was the exquisitely discriminating
taste to pick just the right one out of the swarming masses that made you who 
are" (an ovocentric view). From a neutral standpoint, one could even have said,
"It was our capacity to make so many countless numbers of these that at least
one could get the job done right" but this is certainly not the impression the
company would prefer.  By all means keep up the sharp-witted ads, fellas, but 
maybe next time you should beta-test on the XX variety of H. sapiens as well. 

RC (robin) Colgrove
Boston, MA
colgrove at

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