The Axe Contraindication
First published: May, 1991. First posted online: September 22, 2005.
Halfling Control: The potion that made Milwaukee kinky.
Or, specifically, made Lake Geneva, Wisconsin (53147– still remember the zip code by heart–) …kinky. But more on that later.
First, about these men’s colognes. And their advertising. And the whole slant to creating/pleasing a ‘laddish’ demographic.
We already know from Axe. And anyone with the right Bod can get all the physical attention they want, by standing out in the open. The products are perfume and soap. They won’t make your flesh any more attractive than using any other soap. Nor will it turn your next-door neighbor into a pole dancer. You’re just going to do that inside your mind.
And don’t go pretending that irresistibility-to-women is being pushed because you’re already so confident of your capacities. It’s your male insecurities selling the unit. The min/maxer in you knows it’s true.
Meanwhile, female fantasies aren’t really portrayed well, or often, in ads. Partially because such fantasies are more subtle and complex, since sex alone can only sell so far to women. Men are gratified in thirty seconds. They’re a lot… simpler.
All contemporary ads intend to manipulate behavior, but in ads that target women there is a massive assault by nearly every industry to dominate them. Since there isn’t enough time in an advertisement shorter than half an hour to address what women actually desire, the drive to tell them what they want is stronger than for the (simpler to address) opposite sex. The walls of women’s magazines in stores are the plainest sign of this willful disdain and disconnect: Each rag on its own seems a pleasant little treat of fluff and celebrity, but gathered in clumps, they make their drab surroundings all the more plain– the underpaid working women, the dull shoppers, the children that scream and never smile. ScentStories and the color pink are never going to address the actual hopes, dreams and challenges of living women.
What do women really want? Well, setting a vast swath of universal human desires and individual interests and personalities aside, they do not want to be dominated. Put much too simply, they’d like to be and feel taken care of, which must include their keeping their say over their own decisions and destinies. The conflation of domination with caring is perhaps the most the frustrating mistake of our times.
So while you’re studying Ogrek’s insufferable charm for clues on how to take advantage of what we’re talking about, remember this:
Ogrek was invented by a woman.
Now back to “kinky”.
A couple months after this strip ran, Roger Moore felt it necessary to publish an editorial titled, “Now that’s kinky!” in which he explained that things that are quirky and surprising can be labelled “kinky” as equally as romantic experimentation. Uh huh. Well, we called him about it. What did we do now?
He explained that there had been some calls and letters, and discussions around the watercooler. We never got much more dirt on what must have been a minor dustup at the TSR offices. Roger just told us to keep on delivering the strip.
Note that this is one of those instances when Roger rejected our first submission, so in some ways, he only has himself to blame. But big thanks at him anyway. The world needs more good people to go to bat for one another.
The rough of the first submission is posted below (and in this Shockwave file, where it’s lurked since its premiere on scifi.com in 1997). As we posted there:
We thought Ogrek had had enough going his way, so we decided to see how his staff would react to the cramped quarters or something, and challenge him. Hence this episode.
Roger just didn’t see Ogrek as a character that had defeat.
And so, to date, Ogrek has never officially cracked a frown.
But the rewritten strip still afforded Yamara a chance to see Ogrek with an honest smile of her own.
Home Insurrection, rejected for May, 1991.
I didn’t get the raise. Sorry.
That’s okay. I’ll just take the usual 20%.
What’s all this about?
Hang on, Ogrek. Your retainers pay you?!
It’s for maintenance and upkeep.
I do all the housework. Where’s my cut?
Wait a minute. We do all the heavy labor and guard duty…
So… what does the money go to?
Well, you’re paying me a tithe…
HENCHMAN #3. (O.S.)
Tithe?! We have jobs and rooms in town–
HENCHMAN #3. (O.S.)
And we pay for [our] own food and everything– hey, why do we have to pay you at all?!
Humph/Grumble/Growl/Git Him/Yeh/Uh huh/Why you/Grr/Hey/That does it
But guys, it’s traditional.
–Boys! –Boys! Take your revolution outside and play nice.
Q. Do these “Lost” episodes count toward the total of the “Hundred Classic” episodes?
A. Nope. Only strips previously finished and published count toward the advertised total.