Saturday, June 04, 2005


offend-o-plex worthy pillow

It has seemed to us for some time that a new category of cultural poison needs to be identified and labelled-- the OFFENDOPLEX. Lives are at stake here, people!

What is the OFFENDOPLEX? This is the cultural artifact that combines streams of hateful signification running backwards and forwards, upwards and down. The truly sublime OFFENDOPLEX combines not only an MC Escher apparatus of untraceable networks delivering shock and disgust, but several distinct and discreet streams of nauseating awfulness.

Now, many of you are undoubtedly getting anxious for some examples. We recently saw a "hilarious" throw pillow intended for affluent dog fanciers. This delightful knicknack boasted the embroidered slogan "Dogs are children in fur coats." So, to unpack:

1) The slaughter of animals for luxury fur garments is made quaint and chuckleworthy by pretending that one's little Lhasa Apso is "wearing" their fur as a coat in the manner of a Palm Beach matron, even though it is their brethren in furry cuteness who are sacrificed to enable the whole fur industry's marketing of ghastly necrophiliac couture; 2) Human children are somehow inferior to the puppies blessed by Mother Nature with stylish stoles and wraps... One imagines that the sales of these pillows (and Louis Vuitton dog carriers and Wolfgang Puck snausages) correlates perfectly with the number of infants living in poverty or without proper health care.

Burrow with me, if you will, into the psyche of the purchaser of this throw pillow, as the punch-line travels from cerebral cortex to funny bone. As the impulse forms to reach for the Platinum card and the imaginative work begins: where to put the pillow? Will it displace the bust of Mussolini? Will it properly offset the cigar humidor and extra-flammable bags of money? Can it be incorporated into the rustic, country style Klan nook?

There is only one name for this ickiness gestalt: OFFENDOPLEX!

So-- the Fluffy Dollars Corporation announces its first contest: Provide us with the best example of an OFFENDOPLEX, and we will honor you as reader of the week!!! Bring the ecch!!!


Elka said...

Along the same lines is the offensive use by Berkeley woo-woo pet owners of the term "fur friends."

Ack. As Bill the Cat might say.

Jenny said...

How about "My naked child reminds me of that chinchilla I skinned to make the steering wheel cover for my BMW."

ren said...

I don't know if this would meet the offendoplex requirements, but have you seen the Axe men's body spray ad? A series of young and thin women's bare backs are shown with red imprints of common things, like no smoking signs, place settings, etc., with the ad culminating in a line something like, "you never know when it'll happen." As in sex. I have no problem with pretty people doing pretty things and sexy things together, but the imprints were on the women's backs! Women on top, people!!!! At least sometimes! So let's see that red imprint of a place setting on a man's back, thank you. Yep, I was offended.

chadrh1 said...

Again, not sure if this qualifies, but there's a really horrible bench ad at the Blue Line stop in Wicker Park, which I would argue is the worst ad ever. It features a waifish, overly thin woman in a black dress standing in front a graffiti-covered wall. She is holding a high-heeled shoe in front of her and lighting it like a crackpipe. There is some sort of surgeon's general-esque warning in the corner about addiction, apparently to buying this company's shoes. Frankly, I think it's a little sick.

zp said...

In defense of this pillow, I consider owning pets a kind of animal exploitation on par with fur wearing. I know that's probably not the message, but you could read it that way. It's as wrong to own a pet, over-feed, over-identify, under-walk it, and abandon it when it bores, annoys or threatens you as it is to dress small children in fur coats. Alive or dead, animals are being exploited for human desires.

I've got more thoughts on local pet ownership problems . . . but if you've been to my blog, you've seen them . . .