Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chewing scum

I felt the need to write to you following my feelings at the advert for the 'Wrigleys Extra' product shown below:

First off I wanted to say that I'm no stickler or fuddy duddy, quite the opposite. In fact I am all for pushing boundaries; I admire the spirit of the impressionists and their impact on Fauvism and Cubism. I am in awe at the theatrical progression of the likes of Boal and Brecht. I've read from Douglas Adams to Ezra Pound and from Plato to Bukowski. I believe that Aphex Twin has done as much for music as Elvis and I even enjoy the occasional saucy joke. But there is a line, and last night as I watched the adverts in between Scorsese's 'The Departed' I feel that you crossed that line.

The line is of course that of decency. It is one of respect and courtesy. One which respects both the living and the dead. I shudder to imagine the depths of human depravity within your board rooms as your fat, bloated, money stained hands rubber stamped this abomination. I'm all for poking fun, I'll laugh at misfortune in the same way as anyone would but I know where to curb that and, as a national institution I had assumed that you would too. But,as they say 'to assume is to make an ass of u and me'...

In case this letter reaches someone lacking the level of political sensivity which I feel is required by a chewing gum company, permit me to spell out my frustration. The scene in your advert is one of a modern day city centre, there's hustle and bustle, attractive people going about their lives doing attractive things. This city 'could' be anywhere, but lets of the sake of argument say it's New York City? Judging by the lenses used and the brightness on screen I would put the time of year as mid-Autumn, would you agree? We follow a man dressed in an attire which would be appropriate for work, he innocently enough eyes up a pretty young lady before making his way into work in a tall building. The man is being haunted by various food stuffs, as are his colleagues. His colleagues are dressed smartly, smarter than him but perhaps he's working in a post room where a suit would not be the best choice of attire. It's difficult to ascertain what industry these workers are involved in, but it wouldn't be unreasonable to assume that the building is mixed purpose but with a strong, perhaps international core of finance.

But then our muddy story becomes much clearer, the fog lifts and we see the darkness, the innocent flower, but the serpent underneath if you will; but what we see next is something all to familiar. Sure, it has been softened by the use of innocent looking food stuffs but we all recognise the scene. A scene which in terms of social and cultural significance has been called ''the most powerful image of despair at the beginning of the twenty-first century is not found in art, or literature, or even popular music'' according to the Moore Theological College.

You will therefore understand why I find it so deeply offensive that the tragedy of 9/11 and the victims helplessly jumping from their office windows should be parodied quite so insensitively for the sale of chewing gum. Worse still, AMERICAN CHEWING GUM.

Too soon guys, too soon.

Yours sincerely,

Tiernan Welch