Thursday, October 5

Better red than believable


As you may or may not have realized, red seems to be the new black for this season’s ad campaigning. I didn’t think it could get much worse than Coke being the beverage of choice for Chè. Now we have Zapatista Liberation Movement being flouted to sell liqui-fruit. It seems life’s become an anarchic rush to freedom for the young and beautiful. And lord knows, we all get thirsty during a heady bout of couping. Though I can’t for the life of me understand what the hell they’d be rebelling against? Are they slaves to the fashion industry?

It would’ve been far more believable - and infinitely more amusing - had they all been wearing black masks. But instead, semi-naked girls and boys of handsome expression suck back the tangy delights of fresh fruit and pour litres of juice down their throats whilst brandishing non-descript flags and hurling themselves over piles of non-descript stuff (maybe the remnants of believability) in a frenzy of primal fever that’s not entirely unlike a Hollywood rendition of a Rio carnival.

It’s amazing what a combination of Hollywood chic, good weather and stereotyping can do to enhance ones image of a distant near-impoverished,third-world country.

So it’s no small wonder that only revolutionaries south of the equator have garnered any interest from the Olympian heights of the marketing gods. Lord knows there’s nothing more unattractive than the hairy legs and bent backs of the commies up north. Not to mention that nasty starved and deformed look their comrades further east have going for them. Yuck. And no matter how you try, you simply couldn’t put a hunky spin on Mao, or a handsome, devil-may-care twist on Pol Pot. Not too mention Stalin and all the other fat pasties that make history so twisted.

My question is, when does socialism become cool here? I don’t see anyone hailing Zuma as the next Chè. Certainly COSATU doesn’t conjure up images of hot Latino summers filled with sex and rebelling against the system. In fact, when COSATU tries to fight privatisation, we’re mostly too busy shaking our heads and whining about the crap service we’re getting from these self-same companies. WHERE’S MY MAIL / CLEAN WATER / JOB / PUBLIC TRANSPORT / ELECTRICITY!!

Anyway, back to our ad. When that bronzed lady - the liberation leader I assume (it’s such an egalitarian world this new age of liberation) - adjusts her cap bearing the trademark Zapatista red star, and its all I can do not to choke on my wine. Later, a young lad bounces up and down, attractive in a rough and not-so-chocolate-box kind of way (those smart agencies), hand outstretched, beckoning, one imagines, to follow the gang into the great wide yonder of - what? Sex? Fruit juice? Make mine apricot please!

It seems that we’ve post-moderned ourselves out in the woolly world of sometime philosophy. And when anarchy and revolution become the dribbled-down wet dream of fashion designers and advertisers, you just know there’s something wrong with the world.

That's my two-cents about it.

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