January 11, 2013

"The Charmin corporate Twitter account got in on it with a surprisingly trenchant commentary on the disposability of American currency."

That's the way Slate — displaying the winners of its design-a-$1-trillion-coin contest — refers to the symbolism here:



"Surprisingly trenchant commentary." Come on! I like delicate toilet paper, but why the delicacy talking about toilet paper? What, exactly, is the commentary? I assumed it was: American currency is something you may as well wipe your ass with. But then I thought the idea was: Uh, oh, we just pooped ourselves.

Maybe you're wracking your brain for a way to use the old "Don't Squeeze the Charmin" slogan, but that was the 1960s. The current slogans — if I am to believe the Charmin Wikipedia page — are: "Enjoy the Charmin experience" and "Enjoy The Go." Enjoy the go?! Put that on the coin. Hell, make that the national motto. "In God We Trust" is getting old. It's divisive. And, frankly, it's unfair to God.

"Enjoy the Go"... I looked it up to see how they were playing this slogan in the commercials:



The relief. The calm. The clean. The comfort.

See? That's the way you'll feel after that $1-trillion is deposited in the toilet bank. This image evokes Sigmund Freud:
Freud suggested that children in the anal stage of development regard the release of their feces as a gift to the parent — a gift that can be given or withheld. Children will release the feces if given sufficient love and withhold them if not. In Freudian thought, fecal matter becomes a type of currency in the parent-child relationship, which can be withheld or dispensed, thus giving the child a sense of control. The word currency is appropriate in this context; Freud assumed that the human unconscious makes a symbolic equation between feces and money. In a 1911 paper on dreams in folklore, he noted that according to ancient Eastern mythology, “gold is the excrement of hell” (Freud & Oppenheim, 1911/1958, p. 157).
Hell!

(I'm riffing on the toilet paper topic topic Meade introduced late last night. That was Meade — did you notice? — not me.)

36 comments:

betamax3000 said...

Evidently not today's Gatsby sentence.

pm317 said...

That's the way you'll feel after that $1-trillion is deposited in the toilet bank.

Sure, Obama will feel relief.

Palladian said...

I never understood why Charmin used bears as an advertising mascot for their toilet paper. My first thought upon seeing them was to think that it had something to do with the phrase "does a bear shit in the woods?". I've always assumed that the unspoken advertisement is: "Yes! Bears do shit in the woods— and they wipe their asses with Charmin!"

Palladian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Palladian said...

Freud suggested that children in the anal stage of development regard the release of their feces as a gift to the parent — a gift that can be given or withheld.

"Gift" means poison in German.

traditionalguy said...

I for one encourage the Treasury to soften and perfume the greenback dollars giving them real usefulness beyond the promise to repay us with some more just like that. It would make sense to add a shrinkage factor in water. And also they must be made bio-degradable if kept in secret places.

Cash Free Commerce this way cometh. Oh yeah, that's the real "Mark of the Beast."

I blame Amazon.

Eddie said...

Enjoy the go?! Put that on the coin. Hell, make that the national motto. "In God We Trust" is getting old. It's divisive. And, frankly, it's unfair to God.

Beautifully written, Ann.

Shouting Thomas said...

The bears poop in my backyard, but no evidence is left behind to suggest that they use Charmin.

Bear poop is some of the most dense, stinky stuff you've ever seen. Bears, I'm sorry to inform you, stink to high heaven. I've got a sow who sits on my front porch and scratches her back on one of the corner posts.

I received a one buck bill as change this morning that had been inscribed with the message You are the 99% -- Fight the Plutocracy! Yesterday, I heard a great song by Ry Cooder with the punchline... No banker left behind!

I drink a lot of coffee in the morning, so the morning visit to the bathroom is indeed a blessed event. But, I don't use Charmin. Generic Sam's Club.

Erika said...

"Enjoy the go" reminds me of our friend whoresoftheinternet's continual exhortation to "Enjoy the decline, shitheads!"

And that is seriously Charmin's current tagline!? (I don't watch TV other than Netflix and don't listen to radio, so I see surprisingly little advertising.) The idea is to tell you that by using Charmin you will come to savor your trip to the john?! Hilarious!

David said...

Scott's. Any toilet paper around here has got to be Scott's. "So we bleat on, boats against the current, borne back cesslessly into the past."

pm317 said...

It was a silly question raised by a commenter on an on-line blog (this trillion dollar coin thing, BTW) and picked up by college drop-outs like Chuck Todd (surprise!) and geniuses like E Klein/Igglesias and now even Obama is considering using it.

We are all so screwed.

lemondog said...

What is the big deal.....couple of years ago I bot a Zimbabwe $100 trillion dollar bill for about $4.50 or so...including shipping.

Excellent book mark.

A coin is useless, unless donating it to a pols campaign fund.

Palladian said...

Henry VIII built a lavish public toilet at Hampton Court, referred to as "the great house of easement".

It gives new meaning to quantitative easing...

Mogget said...

I heard that the idea was first proposed by one of David Duke's running mates. So its intellectual catchet remains intact.

Shouting Thomas said...

Sirius Radio's Outlaw channel afternoon show is hosted by Mojo Nixon, who is advertised as a "booger eating moron."

He ran an entire segment yesterday on "hating the thieving bankers."

Some good tunes. Inspirational.

rhhardin said...

Kenneth Burke had lots of lit crit equating gold and feces, starting I guess with Timon of Athens in Language as Symbolic Action.

Both high and low equally well illustrate a principle of order, he said somewhere.

Bob Ellison said...

"Please don't squeeze the Charmin" was 70s.

AllenS said...

Sixteen trillion plus in debt, and this is what it's come down to.

I can hardly contain my laughter.

Pogo said...

Obama would prefer to wipe his ass with the flag.

Mitchell the Bat said...

"What you call [fiscal responsibility] was invented by guys like me to sell [toilet paper.]"

-- Don Draper

Patrick said...

That was Meade — did you notice? — not me.

I noticed that Meade got the keys several days ago. Was it earlier than that? I'm sure his contributions will be great.

Tim said...

Oh shit. Really?

Seeing Red said...

If people actually realized how badly we're in debt, there'd be a run on Charmin.

edutcher said...

And you, a law professor.

Such language.

But the platinum coin will bring the low-intelligence voters to their homie Barack's door faster than anything, once the effect hits.

And then he will give them Bonaparte's whiff.

PS We noticed all the way back to the weekend.

Levi Starks said...

"Kenneth Burke had lots of lit crit equating gold and feces, starting I guess with Timon of Athens in Language as Symbolic Action"

When God commanded the destruction of the Golden calf, It was ground to a powder and put in the drinking water, and the Israelites were then forced to drink it.
I suppose this made the figurative literal.
Clearly the intent was to make the gold non-recoverable.

Eustace Chilke said...

I could go for a very long time before missing the hare brained analysis of that old coke sniffer, Freud. Has there ever been a pile of utter crap that lasted so far past its sell by date? I could think of a couple I suppose but not many.

Clyde said...

@ ST

My favorite Mojo Nixon song is "She's Vibrator Dependent,", although I'm also fond of "Don't Want No Foo-Foo Haircut On My Head."

Classic!

Clyde said...

Also, just FYI, Mojo is probably NSFW in all 57 states.

GT said...

This is probably prompted by a Stephen Colbert bit the other day in which he proposed putting the Charmin bear on the $1 Trillion coin because whoever pulled that idea out of his ass will need the comfort.

http://hotair.com/archives/2013/01/08/bad-news-trillion-dollar-platinum-coin-idea-now-officially-ridiculous/

Richard Dolan said...

Great ad for Charmin, proving once again where to find the most creative stuff on TV. Note that it is targeted at women -- the voice, the emphasis on coffee and its effects (for which men won't need the Charmin), "the clean, the comfort".

The mercantile reason to target women is obvious enough (they make those purchases, mostly), but that's hardly the only reason. Clean and comfort = dainty and delicate, the perfect little homemaker. The perky, modern-woman voice -- hello, Julia, feeling all clean and comfortable after the go? -- is an odd fit for a lady just looking for Mr. Clean. The dissonance of the snarky, jokey text and visuals set against the Ozzie and Harriet image holding it all together is really terrific.

The Charmin $$$trillion$$$ coin doesn't have any of that dissonance -- just kind of flat, in a blah surely-you-get-the-joke way.

elkh1 said...

Freud is a fraud.

glenn said...

My son thought his stool was part of his body and cried bitterly when it was flushed away. Donno what to make of that.

tmitsss said...

Not even the folks at Charmin dared to show the reverse or tails of that coin.

Stephen A. Meigs said...

Well, like I said the other day, I don't think a trillion dollar coin is something elitists have pulled "out of their ass" (notwithstanding people crazy clueless about the importance of distinguishing sodomy from sex are always looking for simple answers about things vaguely like sodomy because what constitutes sodomy is simple, a matter of one hole versus another). True, because elites tend to think it's lack of the niceties afforded by wealth that causes people to get screwed up, they are mostly clueless about sodomy, which can make them rather crazy. However, actually not much about monetary policy is reminiscent of sodomy, so in fact the sophistication of elites probably causes them to underestimate the possibilities of simple monetary and economic solutions. They probably figure issuing a coin would be like stripping a valuable antique of an authentic ratchet finish to fix it's damaged finish, which simple solution they may well feel like doing because the finish is ratchet (like sodomy), but which from sophistication they don't do because they know it's foolish (and diminishes the value of the furniture).

Evil is another matter. If one believes that fundamentally the cause of the financial crisis is that rich people are being evil, well, evil has much to do with sodomy, and so that's the sort of simple idea that elitists would tend to pull out of their asses. That would tend to be more an academic-elite position than a wealthy-elite position, because wealthy people having had all the advantages money can afford--which extend well beyond education to "advantages" like going to operas often and consorting with the "right" sorts at the exclusive clubs--it is hard for wealthy elitists to imagine rich people as evil. Not that greed among the elites isn't a significant cause of our economic problems, just like selfishness is a cause of problems everywhere, I just think that their crazy cluelessness is probably a greater problem.

I've never much cared for the Charmin bear. It reminds me too much of the "Bear in the Big Blue House" bear, which has always struck me emotionally as sinister and pro-sodomy somehow (I suppose partly because it's long forward neck is somewhat penis-resembling).

Crunchy Frog said...

Don't buy Charmin, or any other super soft & absorbent toilet paper. Expands in water. Clogs my government-mandated, 1.6gpf shit receptacle.

Never got those lame bear commercials. Is there a human alive that uses one lousy square of TP? (No, Sheryl Crow doesn't count.)

ricpic said...

Freud may be a fraud but "Release the feces!" is a helluva rallying cry.