28 August 2009

This is the best they've got at the Guardian?

As I've said before, I rarely bother with the Guardian anymore, and here's a prime example of why:

'Compare the Meerkat ad is racist'

Right, so to parody an accent is racist...

Even if Peter Jones' 'Ukranian girlfriend' is offended it doesn't matter - should we always listen when somebody is offended? Bollocks should we, we'd never be able to speak, let alone have media - and there's a pathetically flimsy argument being used here

Meanwhile he says TV would never use Indian or Caribbean accents in such a way - wouldn't they? There are lines to be drawn (such as drawing an Indian as smelly perhaps) but using an accent is not generally regarded as offensive is it? In what way is this accent being used - is it saying Russians are meerkats? Wear smoking jackets? It's a meerkat with a Russian accent, if it had a French accent would it be a problem...and would the French be offended? (He also says Meerkat is how 'Eastern Europeans' commonly mispronounce market - do they? The Russian Meerkat himself does a pretty good job of separating the two)

I don't particularly like the way British accents are portrayed abroad - either as toffs or cockney geezers and I would argue seeing an anthropomorphic animal with one of my nation's many accents would probably offend me less than the usual portrayal of stereotypical British behaviour, simply using an accent does not imply anything and therefore his whole case is based on mocking a dialect for not being able to pronounce a word, something I have yet to be shown is even remotely true - I hope he had a go at Team America's 'So Ronery' song, which actually did what he seems to take offence at

It's just a silly parody - and as for we don't allow accents to be mocked - I give you the Lilt advert and of course, Apu from the Simpsons - voiced by white guy Hank Azaria, which must surely be far worse than a bloody meerkat with an accent

And then there's this gem:

[The ASA] said it had not had any other complaints.

I asked my girlfriend why that might be. She told me that people from eastern Europe were brought up in a society where it was not normal to complain, especially to such sectors as the government and the media....they would not know of the existence of the ASA and the power to demand that an advert was taken off television. It is also the case that...they would not want to be seen to be causing trouble. It then dawned on me that this ad was targeting a sector of the population who would be unlikely to fight back.

Right, that's not at all specious reasoning - because no-one has complained those offended must be too scared to complain...this, based on two incidences of unverified anecdotal evidence - that in itself is enough to can this article for poor analysis

Just read the comments for what people thought of this bilge, I just hope his girlfriend was worth it...

Hat-tip: Guido

1 comment:

  1. The comments are better than the article! It beggars belief that when his silly girlfriend mentioned this that he thought it was WORTH writing an article about, and it beggars belief even more that the Grauniad editor published the bloody thing!
    Personally, I think the ads are rubbish and I don't find them at all funny....but RACIST?....no way!