Thursday, January 16, 2014

Rated R for Strong Language And Implied Cannibalism

I like to browse through vintage ads -- it's a dirty habit, I admit it -- and even post some here on occasion (who can forget our old friend, the Form-Friendly, Fat-Fightin' Tapeworms, Conveniently Jar-Packed and Sanitized For Your Protection?)  But sometimes, even modern advertisements will turn my head, as I find that Glaring Cultural Differences can often produce the same effect as Amused Hindsight, but without all that annoying perspective.  To wit:

Now personally, I'm in favor of Brains.  We have too few of them in this country, and I'd be thrilled to see these maligned and neglected organs finally get the respect they deserve, but given the choice, I wouldn't eat one.  Similarly, I have a few friends and neighbors here on the edge of West Hollywood who will, when the mood is upon them, address each other as "Faggot,"* and while I enjoy getting together with them for drinks, or a terrible movie, I would not be tempted to eat them.  Admittedly, I have no clue what a Rich West Country Sauce is, but based on the photograph, this is also something I would never ever eat.  So the solution, obviously, is be to take these various unappetizing elements and combine them into a single product that even Don Draper would have a hard time sentimentalizing.

But I hear you ask: Never, Scott?  You'd never eat it?  Any of it?  Never is a long time, and such a declaration forecloses many potential opportunities you cannot, in the midst of your gran mal seizure of Morris the Cat-style finickiness, foresee.  What if, for instance, the chance arose for you and your family (i.e., Mary and the cats) to become the New Face of Mr. Brain's Faggots, with all the glory and riches that would entail?  What then, hmm?   Would you stop pursing your lips like a recalcitrant two-year old, and finally open the tunnel, and let the Faggot-laden choo-choo train inside?

For those who can't clearly make out the exciting ad copy, here are the highlights:
Who will be the new face of Mr Brain's Faggots? 10 years since the last faggots family was crowned, the search is on to find a fresh new family to represent one of the nation's favourite family dishes. 
All you have to do to enter is (in less than 100 words) tell us why you love Mr Brain's faggots, let us know why you should be the new Mr Brain's Faggot family and send us a recent family photo. 
The finalists will be whittled down to just four families, who will be filmed, photographed and questioned about their love for Mr Brain's Faggots.
Presumably the losing families will be further whittled down until they become Mr Brain's Faggots, and will be served to the winners in a Rich West Country Sauce.

UPDATE:  My friend John linked me a relevant video, because it's the 21st Century:

*I've noticed that amongst gay people -- at least those of my acquaintance -- proper usage requires the full two syllable word, and seldom its diminutive.  "Fag," on the other hand, seems to be reserved exclusively for use by straight-but-nervous adolescent boys, and the straight-but-stupid Duck Dynasty fans they eventually grow into.  Anyway, until spotting this ad, I always thought that "Faggot," in the mother tongue, meant "cigarette" or "bundle of sticks," but now I see it's also a synonym for 'Brobdingnagian British meatball," served in a sewage run-off sauce.  So there you go.


Fearguth said...

Whets my appetite for a can of potted meat!

Anonymous said...

I was hoping to see something about Russell Johnson on the blog-

Li'l Innocent said...

That website ad copy is a shining example of a basic principle summed up by the New York humorist Margaret Halsey upon visiting England in the late 1930s: "English advertising isn't designed to put ideas in anyone's head." Some of the key phrases, like "firm family favorite" have come down unchanged to us since that same era (cf "Murder Must Advertise", Dorothy Sayers' brilliant mystery set in a London ad agency in the 30s).

OTOH, the teevee ad is a good example of the inventive, allusive kind of visual narrative that they often do better than us. So go fig.

Weird Dave said...



grouchomarxist said...

"Are you thinking what I'm thinking, Pinky?"

"Right, Mr. Brain! But this time you get to put the runny brown gravy on the giant meatballs!"

(Somebody had to do it.)

Scott said...

Thanks for stepping once more into the breach, GM.

helen_s said...

A faggot has never been a cigarette - a fag is a cigarette. Cigarette ends therefore are called fag butts.