Comedian, John Peel impressionist and workaholic Robin Ince called his latest Edinburgh show Pointless Anger, Righteous Ire. During the show Ince, and his co-curmudgeon Michael Legge, ranted and raved about all manner of minutiae, with the uneasy undertone that really, they weren’t angry about the right things after all.
This week, as the Comprehensive Spending Review provokes mass Twitter appeals for rioting in the street (because we all know that successful revolutions are led from the laptop), I shared a similar shame.
While the tax-cancelling, poor-crushing, benefit-swindling government throw me in to the sort of depressive tailspin that sent Florence Nightingale to her bed for fifty years, the thing that made me really shout at the TV was a pasta advert:
Yes, that advert. ‘I’m Tim Lovejoy from Soccer AM. I’m a lad so have burned my dinner. You’re a woman, which means you must automatically perform domestic duties for me. And guess what? Now you’ve cooked for me I’m going to tell you it’s a date, which means I have instantly transfered you from mother figure to sex object. Now loosen those knickers and smile!’ Giovanni Rana stuffed pasta, hang your head in shame you lazy, sexist turds.
As I say, it made me howl like a banshee. So too did this Dulux advert:
‘I basically always wanted a son. Unfortunately I’m having a daughter, so I’d better paint the room pink and cover it in butterflies. Better get rid of all this sports-related stuff too, because girls are decorative and boys are active. Oh well, at least she’ll still have a man’s name. You see, I really only ever wanted a son because women are inferior.’ Dulux Paint Pods, you had me wailing like a Fury.
From the pole-dancing Virgin air stewardesses to Specsavers’ island of bouncing bikini-clad women, to pretty much every WKD or Lynx ad ever to slide across the surface of the earth, sexist adverts have my blood boiling and spit flying.
So, what does it say about the modern mind that cuts to the money spent on public services make us feel frustrated and impotent, while an unpleasant encouragement to spend our money makes us want to storm the barricades?
It’s righteous ire, alright, but I fear we’ve missed the point.