My Old Kentucky Homesite

You Wash, I’ll Dry

Posted by Larry Wallberg on 05/02/2010

I know that many of my readers are unduly concerned about the huge oil slick spreading along the Gulf Coast. You homosexual, baby-killing, godless commies don’t know that we have a MIRACLE SOLUTION available for any minor environmental incovenience caused by all that goo.

That’s right! If every American family washed just one lovable animal with dishwashing liquid, we wouldn’t have to worry our pretty little “drill, baby, drill” heads any more about the nasty effects of that essentially harmless ooze. What do you think about that, you crazy water-huggers?

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13 Responses to “You Wash, I’ll Dry”

  1. Somebody at Dawn just got a huge bonus. Well played, Dawn. Well played.

  2. Philly:
    I’m expecting Crest to jump in with an ad showing how you can brush those critters’ teeth — or bills. All that sludge gives them some killer bad breath.

  3. srsny said

    I’m sorry to tell you this Larry – and perhaps I only remember this because I wrote news stories about it at the time – but Dawn actually was found to be the most effective solvent when they were rescuing the oily birds after the wreck of the Exxon Valdez. I guess it still is. If I recall, commercial solvents were too harsh, so they tried Dawn. I suppose Dawn could take the high road and not brag about it – but apparently they are putting some money behind it. (Yes, I know and using that money for an ad come-on. But – Hey!)

  4. Srsny:
    I’m not belittling the product’s amazing solvent qualities. I just think that the ad — although it purports to be about how your purchase of Dawn can help the environment financially — sends a not-so-subliminal message that’s both dangerous and stupid. Yes, the big bad oil eruption almost killed some huggable creatures, but the situation can be easily dealt with by giving all the adorable species a happy, frolicsome bath. Then, with our human consciences cleared by the awesome cleansing property of a goddamned dishwashing detergent, we can send those cuddly creatures on their merry way, back to their chipper Disney world, where they’ll sing “Circle of Life” and “Kumbaya” while we guiltless Americans drill, baby, drill.

  5. the chaplain said

    giving all the adorable species a happy, frolicsome bath.

    Who bathes the less-than-adorable species?

  6. Chappy:
    Who bathes the less-than-adorable species?
    Less-than-adorable people. Which, of course, means we’d have to look for those workers in places other than the United States. Obviously, we wouldn’t want them coming here and ruining our national adorability.

    Anyway, no commenters at My Old Kentucky Homesite need worry, because we’re all extremely snuggly.

  7. srsny said

    Here’s an informative article from the International Bird Rescue Research Center.

  8. Srsny:
    You’re still defending Dawn. I don’t doubt that everything in the article is true. I also wouldn’t be a bit surprised if the product got my dirty dishes more sparkly than any other brand.

    But that’s not my point here. What I’m saying is that the ad includes a subliminal message that goes beyond its apparent content. It gives the completely erroneous impression that ecological damage caused by an explosion like the one in the Gulf can be “fixed” by Proctor and Gamble.

    Essentially, the commercial presents a false sense of security: Don’t worry about your little friends in Nature, because our country’s product developers are hard at work. The cavalry is on its way with cleaning supplies (available on your grocer’s shelves)! By focusing on the potential happy ending for a select few individual critters that viewers can’t help but love, the half-minute spot greatly minimizes the myriad adverse effects of drilling offshore.

  9. Subliminal implies intent, and I don’t think their intent goes beyond selling more Dawn. Bottom line, Dawn saw a golden opportunity to:
    • increase sales
    • increase perceived power of the product
    • instill the idea in consumers that those people at Dawn are good people who love animals

    I haven’t watched much of this, but yesterday I was just floored by the lack of preparedness to deal with the problem. Most of the ideas to cap the flow or anything else are all weeks away from trying. That sounds ridiculous to me. How can that be? There should be everything needed to fix these things 24/7, ready to be airlifted in place. I mean, they have incomes which rival most nations, so I don’t want to hear about resources, plus if you’re going to ANYTHING which is potentially dangerous like this, you should be required to be so prepared, no? Christ, they should be providing all the Dawn at least. Why should I have to buy a bottle? I didn’t spill anything.

  10. Philly:
    I don’t think that the word “subliminal” necessarily implies intent, but to be clearer, I’ll call the message “inadvertent.” I’m certainly not claiming that the makers of Dawn intended to downplay the seriousness of the oil spill.

    However, it seems to me that someone responsible for airing the commercial might have said, “Hey, wait a minute. This ever-spreading oil slick has the potential — likelihood, really — of creating a serious biological catastrophe, one that could well have negative environmental results for years and years and years, if not forever. Perhaps we shouldn’t make it look as if it’s just a little bit of unsighty gunk that can simply be washed away.”

    For the record, I’d also like to mention that Procter and Gamble is notorious for testing products on animals. Of course, the cute creatures in the commercial don’t include any guinea pigs wearing eye irritants, or hamsters forced to inhale toxic nanoparticles, or mice being poisoned by skin care products.

  11. It sounds as if you’re arguing for censorship. What’s the difference between not airing a commercial because it might make people think the wrong thing and not airing Elvis shaking his hips because it might make people think the wrong thing?

  12. Philly:
    No, I’m not arguing for censorship. At least not by the government.

    I see where my writing was extremely unclear, though. When I said “someone responsible for airing the commercial,” I meant “some person or committee at Procter & Gamble, itself — the individual or group who decided to pull this old spot off the virtual shelves and re-run it now.” Re-reading what I wrote, I realize that you’d have had to be a mind-reader to get that. But I was merely trying to argue that it would have been best if someone with authority at Procter and Gamble had had the wisdom to suggest that the ad was not what it seemed.

    That was what I meant — originally. But your comment made me rethink that. Looking again at “someone responsible,” maybe I also should have been referring to the network’s execs and/or the producers of the specific program sponsored by that commercial. It wouldn’t have been out of line if one of those entities had said to P&G, “Don’t you see that your ad gives the wrong impression? We urge you to reconsider whether you really want to run it or not.” A recommendation of self-restraint is not censorship.

    But I’ll go a step farther. Although I’m strongly opposed to censorship by the government, I don’t feel that way about private citizens, organizations, or companies. Personally, I rarely choose to squelch anyone from saying whatever he or she wants to. (Why “rarely” and not “never”? Because I do delete spam from the comments here.) But others don’t have to adhere to that principle. For instance, if you don’t want to hear “fuck” or “religion is dumb,” or “screw Dawn” in your living-room, you do have the right to threaten to throw me out of your home if I say those things.

    I think that a corporation would have the right to say, “Nah. We’re not going to run that ad during our show.” I doubt that most creative companies have such power, but I’m sure there are certain commercials that would be rejected by, say, Fox or ABC. And it’s the network’s right to do that (except maybe in the case of public service announcements).

  13. the chaplain said

    P&G may not have intended to downplay the seriousness of the problem, but, even if someone had raised Larry’s point, I doubt that the company would have given up the opportunity to boost sales just because someone might take away the wrong message.

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