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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Unleash the Cougers!

Ladies and Gentlemen,................... I am distressed!

I have just read Stuff's take on Air New Zealand's fantastic viral campaign to Save the Cougar. With contributions from eminent and distinguished people such as Rosemary McLeod (Huh?), Victoria University associate professor Delores Janiewski (that is more like it) and, finally, the comedienne Penny Ashton (I thought I wrote eminent and distinguished?), this piece must surely be authoritative and informative.

Bollocks, bollocks, bollocks.

Firstly, Prof. Janiewski weighs in and says " the ad was funny and cheeky". Then the Professor moderates her comments a little and says:

but it was hard to tell whether the ad was encouraging or denigrating single women.

Mmmm. Thanks for that, Professor. She obviously have a funny bone however is too scared to admit it in public lest she have her job ripped away from her by being painted a "sexist cow" for making comments that might seem to offend 0.2% of the population.

If the Professor's comments couldn't help you formulate your opinion then have no fear. That towering intellectual heavyweight, Penny Ashton is here to set things right!

However, Auckland comedian and poet Penny Ashton said the ad was sexist, and painting women as predators and men as their feeble prey "incensed" her.
"Men are not helpless. Surely if you say no a couple of times it should work?"

Sexist, eh? Incensed, you say Penny. Poor woman! Someone who knows Penny please call 111 immediately!  No doubt the girl is a slobbering, catatonic mess on her kitchen floor and requires medical attention after this vicious assault on her senses. Oh, the horror.

Lastly, "Dame" Rosemary McLeod chimes in to ad her take. She said the ad was "lame" and that:

"I think older women should think very carefully before tackling young men in gay bars, as disappointment is bound to follow."

And this is why Rosemary McLeod should be knighted - or at least tapped on either shoulder with a large stainless steel spoon . She doesn't really care for the ad yet Rosemary doesn't let that get in the way of a bit of humour and more to the point doesn't let something she doesn't particularly like overwhelm her.

Personally, I thought the ad was extremely good, not only for the content but for the style and manner it was delivered. Well done Air New Zealand! Innovative advertising, eh? It's no wonder you were voted the worlds best airline. Really, this piece by Esther Hayward in the Sunday Star Times couldn't have played out better. I think I will fly with you all the time now and thumb my nose at the others. Job done!

I suspect, however, Penny may not be overly happy and unless someone else is making and paying for any travel arrangements (a performers preferred travel option), Air New Zealand could well be on her shit list. Poor Air New Zealand.

C'mon Penny - harden up!

Is your poor ego really that fragile as to let a viral campaign on the internet completely defrock you (or should that be unman)? This is a funny ad. I'm not really sorry that you don't like it - there are ads out there that make men out to be complete and utter, bumbling oafs (think any washing powder ad with a male in it) but I don't get "incensed". It's comedy - surely you must recognise that. Apparently, along with poetry, that's your profession.

And this, Ladies and Gentlemen, is what distresses me. Where has New Zealand's ability to laugh at itself gone? Gosh, we take ourselves so seriously. That "cougers" are out there, there is no doubt. With the emancipation of woman this was always going to happen - a woman was going to go out and get her some lovin! Fantastic. And it is a funny situation. If you've ever seen an older woman seduce a younger man (cue: Simon and Garfunkel music) you will chuckle all night long.

So, for Christ's sake, live a little NZ. Chuckle along instead of trying so hard not to offend the minority of one. Sunday Star times - please don't give Penny anymore airtime. Having been to one of her shows, she is perfectly capable of spreading her opinion with her voice alone. And Penny, in between poetry readings and your other funny stuff, please go see Dame Rosemary so she can instruct you how to harden up.

In the meantime, watch it all again and laugh. I did.

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