Wednesday, September 24, 2008

October Grumpy Column

I read this story this morning and had lots of thoughts about it. My Grumpy column was due today so I thought I'd do a piece on it and incorporate my loathing of this advertising gem. Be warned if you haven't already seen the ad because it's pretty disgusting. One of the worst ad campaigns ever. Basically I'd say don't hit the link, but if you want to know what I'm on about, check it out.


Did you hear the one about the gun lobbyist, the lesbians and the bumper sticker? You know the one. True story. A Queensland guy had a sticker on his car that read “Gay Rights? The only rights gays have is the right to die.” A lesbian saw the sticker and has been awarded five grand because she was offended by it. One of her lesbian friends was also awarded five grand because she was also offended by the sticker in spite of not having actually read the sticker. She’d just been told about it. It’s comedy gold, really. The gun guy also copped a few grand in fines and that’s about the only bit I agree was right about the story. It is an offensive message. But then, have you ever seen a bumper sticker that isn’t offensive? I think everyone who has any kind of bumper sticker on their car should be fined for crimes against taste. Favourite one I saw recently was “Pig hunters stick it in deep.” Awesome. You can just imagine what kind of person drives that car. Relax, they’d say, it’s just a bit of a joke. Yeah well, a bit of a joke should be a bit funny.

In fact if I wasn’t so lazy, this would be my next get rich scheme: being offended. There are loads of things that offend me. Seen that offensive anti-smoking ad featuring the Leonard Cohen track Everybody Knows? Check it out on Youtube if you haven’t seen it. Totally offensive. How about you over-paid advertising monkeys target your audience a little better? I don’t smoke and yet I have clogged arteries, oozing tubes, manky feet, gangrene legs and cancerous teeth flashed across my TV screen with no prior warning whatsoever. All to an oh-so-clever soundtrack. I am deeply offended. I am offended by the images, by the fact that some faux genius probably thinks he’s created a piece of art and by the fact that governments pay for this kind of pornography while collecting taxes from the sale of cigarettes. If the offended lesbians scored five grand for one bumper sticker I reckon I must be owed at least 20 thousand.

In fact, how silly do we get about this? There’s this guy I work with who has that whistle thing through his nose hairs when he breathes, and I find that pretty gross. Ka-ching. Why wasn’t I onto this earlier? Getting rich couldn’t be easier.


Kathryn said...

Nice. God, I fucking hate those adverts.

Betty Boop said...

Yeah I agree so much!!! I think its each person's responsibility to ensure they behave in a reasonable manner towards others but I also think that includes not allowing yourself to be too easily offended. I don't think its possible to ensure u never offend anyone else in your life (and if it was what a boring world it would be) however it is possible in this world to control how you react to the things that bother you. I hate it that our culture rewards those with the thinnest skins coz that's as intolerant in my opinion as the deliberately offensive.

Lee said...

Me too, Kat, me too.

Boopy - the name Boopy Lakiita just came to mind. Has a nice little beat to it.

Yeah, there's a lot wrong with this story. I think there will be backlash directed at whatever court/judge made the decisions. And it ultimately brings into question that if you have the right to think or feel a certain way, where are the limits as far as actual expression.

A stupid case with tricky issues attached.