Saturday, October 11, 2008

Oaks Head Ham

Oaks Head Ham presents a knife-wielding pig on a platter, his livid core on full display.

Were the boo-hooing pundits right? Are we witnessing the coarsening of the culture? Or is this self-slicing pig merely an indication of just how entrenched suicidefoodism has become? Perhaps the Movement's tropes and signifiers are so familiar now that children happily dissect them with all the wisdom of seasoned postmodernists?

As it turns out, the Oaks Head Ham is presented by the KIDS unlimited television show as an ironic comment on generic consumer culture. (No, really, it is.) The ad is a parody, showing on their website alongside fake commercials for "Lower Back Tattoo Brandie" and "Cor-rectal" (for "chronic butt itch").

Still, the whole affair makes us uneasy. For one thing, we doubt children are savvy enough to register the insanity of fake suicidefood or see in it a commentary on the real thing. In our experience, adults are uninterested in the issues raised by the animals-dying-to-be-eaten phenomenon.

And the tone of KIDS unlimited humor leaves us skeptical that they were aiming for anything higher than a cheap laugh. Rather, we suspect that the audience isn't getting any message beyond the yuks.

(Thanks to Dr. Elaine for the referral.)








Addendum: Rest assured, if the ad weren't intended as parody—or even just gross-out humor—this would have received a 5-noose rating.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kids' entertainment (cartoons especially) have gotten a lot darker since I was a child.

Bea Elliott said...

OMG not another one of these self slicing pigs! I still have nightmares about the last one... How horrible that the creators (and consumers) cannot see that eating meat is is like eating ourselves. Ick!

goodfriendsam said...

I just found your website, I was wondering if you ever looked into pictures of restaurants in South Korea. I'm living here now--just about every meat restaurant (and there are tons of them) has cartoon pictures of cute and happy cows, pigs, ducks, chickens, etc. It's just completely normal here. They have restaurant names like The Happy Cow, which is right around the corner from me.

Check out these sites
http://koreananimation.blogspot.com/2007/12/fifteen-little-piggies.html

http://marcsala.blogspot.com/2007/03/intriguing-asian-signs.html

Ben said...

We have investigated a few Korean restaurants and packages.

(This one, for instance. And this one.)

But we're always happy for more examples to investigate.

Thanks!

Zena said...

ohhh uggggghhhh.... this self-eating pig is so scary! it's horror-movie stuff!!