• [KB6NU] ARRL should rethink the Gil mug

    From KB6NU via rec.radio.amateur.moderat@21:1/5 to All on Mon Jul 18 17:37:27 2022
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    KB6NU's Ham Radio Blog

    ARRL should rethink the Gil mug

    Posted: 18 Jul 2022 12:37 PM PDT https://www.kb6nu.com/arrl-should-rethink-the-gil-mug/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email

    At Hamcation last January, I renewed my ARRL membership for three years.
    One of the reasons that I chose three years is that they were offering two premiums for doing so: the book Grounding and Bonding for the Radio Amateur and an ARRL coffee mug.  When neither the book nor the mug showed
    up in a couple of months, I emailed the ARRL. Shortly thereafter, the book appeared in my mailbox, but not he mug.
    One of the premiums for renewing your ARRL membership for three years is
    this Gil cartoon mug.

    It took three more emails and several more months to finally get the mug.
    It arrived on Saturday, six months after I renewed my membership.

    The mug features a cartoon by Philip Gil Gildersleeve, W1CJD, who
    contributed over 1500 cartoons and drawings to QST and the ARRL for almost
    40 years. This cartoon features a haggard ham in front of his radio. To the left is his attractive wife who comments, What a relaxing hobby, dear.

    Just by conincidence, I got a message from a new ham this morning, who

    I got my letter to renew my ARRL membership, and they advertise that if you
    get a 3-year membership you get a Gil Cartoon Coffee Mug. The mug is an
    image of a woman saying what a relaxing hobby, dear to a shlubby looking
    man operating a radio. Could someone explain the joke or context? Is this a famous ham cartoon series or an inside joke that Im unaware of?

    I need to understand the joke before I can use the mug!

    I replied:

    Gils cartoons used to appear regularly in QST. Some of them are still
    funny, but most of them have seen better days. I certainly think that they could have made a better choice for this particular giveaway. In fact, it probably would have been better to skip the cartoon and just put the ARRL
    logo on the mug.

    Having said that, the joke is similar to the joke that they used to make
    about computer programmers staying up through the night to use the
    computer. In this case, its the amateur radio operator staying up through
    the night to either take advantage of night-time propagation (shortwave
    signals on some frequencies propagate better at night) or to operate all 24 hours of a contest.

    To which, she replied:

    I think thats good feedback for them! You can tell them I like the retro cartoon idea, but the tone of the cartoon is a little off putting the joke
    is that the woman doesnt get it and then I literally didnt get it, so thats
    not so great from a marketing perspective for attracting newbies/women.

    Im all for tradition—when its appropriate. Heck, Im still a CW operator.
    But, as a friend of mine put it, It is important to remember the past, but
    not get stuck in it. I think it might be time to move on from Gil cartoons, especially for situations like this. Gil tells the story of a ham radio
    that used to be, but maybe not what we want it to be.

    The post ARRL should rethink the Gil mug appeared first on KB6NUs Ham Radio Blog.

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