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.