Extreme Advertising!?!




W


elcome
to Hotel Satire, a place where gals gather to learn how to be the
domestic appendages/sex objects they were born to be. 


These
are exciting times for gals. No, we don’t mean the so-called
abuse in Abu Ghraib and elsewhere where gals got to drag prisoners
around on leashes. Please. You can see worse abuse and humiliation
every night on reality TV where gals in bikini’s shake and
quiver before leaping into a tub of elephant snot. 


We’re
also not referring to the abuse in the military itself, where there
have been over 100 accusations of sexual assault and misconduct
within the U.S. Central Command area in the last 18 months—not
to mention the war itself, what with the bombing and the strafing
of civilians in mosques and hospitals, etc. Says Ellen Embrey, director
of the eight- member panel convened to produce a report on the sexual
assaults, “Sexual assaults are a challenge to our nation….” 


Good
grief. If a president waging a war on false pretenses doesn’t
result in impeachment; if bombing and strafing doesn’t raise
an eyebrow or two; and if sexual assaults are merely a “challenge
to our nation,” why get upset about Abu Ghraib and what Rush
Limbaugh describes as events similar to fraternity hazing? Torture
builds character, says Rush, “I think the reaction to the stupid
torture is an example of the feminization of this country.” 


So
true. The important lesson from Abu Ghraib is that gals should not
be in the military. War, as well as torture, is about men humiliating
other men. How do they do that? By calling them gals and various
gal-related epithets, followed by raping their women. Why can’t
people GET this? But we digress. 


So
what are the gals at Hotel Satire really excited about? Well, all
the many examples of how wonderful this country is, like that show
“Extreme Makeover.” Have you seen it? You can watch someone
(usually a gal) complain in intimate detail about specific parts
of her anatomy/face and then have these rearranged or “fixed”
so that, between surgery and makeup, she can look like someone else—or
in some cases, almost the same as she looked before. In the process,
there’s the drama of the bandages being removed while the husband/boyfriend
eagerly awaits the results. Will he love her now? Will he love her
more? Will he demand more cutting and pasting of body parts? 


Isn’t
this fantastic? It’s almost as exciting as watching a half-naked
gal get a mammogram on the “Six O’Clock News.” Wow. There
should be a show, "Extreme Mammography,” so we can see
more gals’ breasts on TV than we do already. 


We
gals have often felt a void in our lives—a void created, in
part, by the fact that, until now, we haven’t been able to view
the intimate details of someone’s rhinoplasty on TV. 


We
love "Extreme Makeover" and hope it becomes a dramatic
series like “ER” or “24.”  They could have
24 hours to do the makeover. Or a show where gals are so unattractive
to men that they have to be rushed to the emergency plastic surgery
room. Or it could be like the “Survivor,” where makeover
contestants compete to see who can survive cosmetic surgery or to
see who looks best after it’s over. Wait, there is a show like
that. It’s called “The Swan” where contestants have
makeovers and are then judged for who’s post-makeover face
looks the best. 


Another
exciting development is the news that jockeys may soon be able to
wear advertising on their “uniforms” while riding in the
Kentucky Derby and elsewhere. Thank goodness. When we gals are at
the track we often bemoan the fact that, for the minute or two when
the horses are pounding around the course, we aren’t being
reminded of a product we could/should know about. What a joy to
watch a race and see the logo for, say, Playtex Tampons, on a jockey’s
backside. 


But
why stop at the jockeys, why not ads on the horses? Then, as they
round the turn and we’re sipping’ mint juleps, screaming
for our favorites, a horse’s ass can remind us to purchase
a large bag of Puppy Chow on our way home. 


Why
stop at jockeys and horses, why not ads on the gals at the Derby—on
those big hats they wear? Because when you’re watching the
Derby, having bet your hard earned money on Lucky So and So, you
don’t want to go for ONE SECOND without being told to chat
with your doctor just for the hell of it about your possible fear
of crowds or your upcoming inability to sleep, which can be cured
by a drug of some kind, which hasn’t really been tested very
well and which has side effects that replicate the symptoms you
took the drug to cure in the first place. 


Come
to think of it, why not skip the horses/people altogether and have
the Kentucky Derby become the Palmolive Derby with bottles of green
soap on wheels racing around the track? Or packages of condoms?
Or bottles of Southern Comfort? Actually, why have a crowd in the
stands? Instead, just have various products. Why spend time looking
at actual people, when we can look at bottles of Smirnoff’s?







We
hope this concept spreads to other sports figures that don’t
already cover themselves with corporate logos, like, say, figure
skaters? As those gals glide across the ice, showing us their crotches
for the umpteenth time, there could be well placed ads right over
the vaginal area for Monistat 7 or Lemon Pledge. 


Also
exciting to us gals is Bob Dylan as spokesperson for Victoria’s
Secret. Nothing says sexy, flirty, underwear like Bob at his aging,
emaciated best. Nothing makes us want to make ourselves sexually
available to men 24/7 than to purchase a teddy at Victoria’s
Secret and get a deal on a Dylan

Lovesick

CD.


The
album features such songs as: “She Belongs To Me,” “Don’t
Think Twice, It’s All Right,” “To Ramona,” and
“Love Sick (Remix).” 


Even
though it doesn’t include some of Bob’s anti-commercial/corporate
songs,

w

hich would have been a nice touch, we gals rushed
out to make a purchase because nothing makes us want to make love
“just like a woman” more than Victoria Secret’s new
“very sexy convertible bra” that we can “wear many
sexy ways.” And nothing makes us want to “break just like
a little girl” more than Victoria Secret’s BabyDolls —“delicate,
feminine trims that add romance to sexy silhouettes.”

 


We
hope Bob does more commercials. “Maggie’s Farm” would
really make us want to purchase Purdue chickens, for instance. “Tombstone
Blues” could assist us in the purchase of a headstone for whomever
in our family croaks next. 


But,
again, why bother to write these kinds of songs at all? Listening
to them means we aren’t getting any marketing information about
the latest crotch ointment or diet pill. Dylan, et al, should stop
with songs like “Lay Lady Lay” and write songs like “Lays
Lady Lays,” all about spending the night cuddled up with a
bag of potato chips. 


These
excitements pale when compared with the possibilities unleashed
by Massport (Massachusetts Port Authority). They are planning to
offer advertising on EVERYTHING: bridges, water fountains, air traffic
control towers, baggage carousels, and virtually any other space
that will fit a corporate logo. Not only that, for the upcoming
Democratic Convention in Boston (roughly 35,000 out-of- towners
are expected), they are considering selling companies the rights
to parts of the airport where they can put up banners and give away
samples in lobbies and at the baggage claim area. 


Is
this a wonderful idea or what? When the Hotel Satire gals fly to
Florida or wherever, we’ve often remarked about the lack of
advertising en route. When we go out for a walk in the park, our
main topic of conversation is, “Why doesn’t this or that
park bench have an ad for Sweet and Low on it, for chissake?” 


Just
off the top of our heads, we gals could think of a gazillion places
for ads. The playground, for instance. What mother or grandmother
wants to take her kids to a playground with swings that don’t
promote Revlon beauty products or Depends? 


How
about selling ad space on city sidewalks? Or on street signs? Instead
of Broadway, it could be Hellmann’s Mayonnaise Way. Instead
of Wall Street, it could be Wellbutrin Street. Come to think of
it, why have street signs or sidewalks at all. Why not just giant
bottles of Valium as signage and boxes of Tide as sidewalks? 


There’s
no end to the possibilities. Getting back to TV, for instance, with
the already existing product placement on shows and the 20 minutes
of ads for every 60 minutes of programming, there’s still a
few SECONDS when we aren’t being made aware of a new makeup
we just have to have. So how about this: ads on people’s body
parts. For instance, on “Extreme Makeover,” as they are
zooming in to cut some flesh out of someone’s face, what do
we see?—a gal in a Victoria’s Secret pink bikini with
a soundtrack of Bob singing, “Don’t Think Twice, It’s
All Right.” 





Lydia Sargent
is co-founder of South End Press and  founder and staff member
of Z Magazine. She writes, acts, and directs plays in her spare time.