Western Standard

The Shotgun Blog

« Indulge a vice and ease your conscience | Main | Can Man’s Best Friend Also Clothe Him? »

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Ontario's environment minister parodies vulgar behaviour

Broten_flickoff When I first saw this photograph I thought it was just poor advance work by a staffer -- letting Ontario's environment minister be photographed in front of what looks like profanity.

Turns out that the situation was much worse than that.  This was no accident.  It was quite deliberate.

Ontario's government is part of a new coalition that parodies vulgarity in an effort to "reach" young people.

They chose FLICK OFF to sound like you know what, with the artwork deliberately designed so that LI looks like U.  The website encourages people to "FLICK OFF" and "GO FLICK YOURSELF!" and asks rhetorically, "ARE WE FLICKED?"
 
This is a conscious effort to be "relevant" to young people.  Apparently the only way that Ontario Liberals can think of to be relevant is to crawl into the linguistic gutter.
 
So in trying to be hip and au courant in an effort to model good behaviour (energy conservation), Broten has chosen to parody bad behaviour -- in fact, vulgar behaviour.  Nice.
 
It's important to be relevant to young people in order to reach them, but most adults recognize that being relevant is no excuse to forget the difference between right and wrong.
   
Parents trying to raise our own kids understand that.

Posted by Guy Giorno on April 26, 2007 | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d834515b5d69e200d83494b4c053ef

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Ontario's environment minister parodies vulgar behaviour:

» Y2Kyoto: The Moron Is The Message from small dead animals
Ontario’s Environment Minister. Via DMB... [Read More]

Tracked on 2007-04-27 10:01:55 AM

Comments

this is weird but well, it is the liberals'

Posted by: Winston | 2007-04-26 1:53:07 PM


I'm guess'n you don't let yer kids wear French Connection United Kingdom clothes

Posted by: Nbob | 2007-04-26 2:42:10 PM


Well all good taste/good manners aside, the staffer should probably be fired 'cause the picture makes Ontario's environment minister look like a muppet... I wonder who's hand is in there...

Posted by: Daniel | 2007-04-26 2:46:56 PM


It's a smart campaign. It gets the message accross and gets all the "church ladies'" panties in a bunch. That's called "win-win".

Posted by: Mark Logan | 2007-04-26 2:55:21 PM


This Ontarian is gonna tell these assholes to "Flick Off" in the next election.
Effing disgusting.

Posted by: Gerry Atric | 2007-04-26 2:56:06 PM


Wah wah. Jealous?

This outrage wouldn't have anything to do with the new campaign already having gone viral in the MSM and the blogsphere in under 24 hours? BTW it's not "the Liberals", it's six staffers at Key Gordon, an ad agency in Toronto.

http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=&q=%22flick+off%22&btnG=Search+News

http://blogsearch.google.com/blogsearch?hl=en&ned=&q=%22flick+off%22&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=nb

Posted by: Observer | 2007-04-26 2:57:40 PM


Typical puerile behaviour.

Posted by: obc | 2007-04-26 2:57:54 PM


There seems to be a need to see who can be the most vulgar these days and it is not limited to Ontario. The language used on daily television and entertainment continues to spiral downwards which is why I stopped watching them.

There is nothing cool about such vulgarity, but it does indicate a lack of vocabulary.

Posted by: Alain | 2007-04-26 2:58:50 PM


OBSERVER WROTE: BTW it's not "the Liberals", it's six staffers at Key Gordon, an ad agency in Toronto.

* * *

Fair enough, but it's still Ontario taxpayers' money. From the news release: "Virgin Mobile, MuchMusic, Roots, Environmental Defence and the Province of Ontario have joined forces to create a dynamic coalition to communicate a simple message: it's no longer enough to worry about global warming, it's time to take action and encourage everyone to join in."

Posted by: Guy Giorno | 2007-04-26 3:03:43 PM


Gerry,

"This Ontarian is gonna tell these assholes to "Flick Off" in the next election. Effing disgusting."

You know, it's downright funny to see people up in arms over the use of the word 'flick' go on to use the word a**hole.

Posted by: Observer | 2007-04-26 3:05:28 PM


The Liberals at all levels can go f**k themselves.
That's about the level of their mentality. Brains in their nether regions.

Posted by: LizJ | 2007-04-26 3:11:16 PM


Observer,

"You know, it's downright funny to see people up in arms over the use of the word 'flick' go on to use the word a**hole."

While I agree with you on this point, I note the equally ironic fact that you don't appear offended by the obvious insinuations of the "flick off" campaign yet you censor yourself from writing the word asshole without asterisks.

Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2007-04-26 3:43:16 PM


This is a serious social issue and anything people can do to get attention on it is just fine by me.

10 years from now I hope that we have all 'Flicked Off' rather than just debated semantics. Otherwise words just won't mattter anymore regardless of what they are.

Posted by: Joel | 2007-04-26 3:50:44 PM


If I were to be offended by anything it'd be the double standard around insinuation. Where's the outrage when one or another party insinuates that one or another ethnic group is inherently unintelligent? Where's the outrage when it's insinuated that environmentalism equals Marxist Leninism? There are probably thousands of active campaigns out there laced with sexual innuendo, implied profanity, humorous use of extreme violence, and all sorts of other provocative gimmickry. But along comes one campaign that pokes at a pet issue here at the WS comment boards and suddenly it's the second coming of Oscar Wilde.

Posted by: Observer | 2007-04-26 4:00:32 PM


"Where's the outrage when it's insinuated that environmentalism equals Marxist Leninism?"

I never insinuated any such thing. I stated it as categorically so.

Posted by: obc | 2007-04-26 4:11:17 PM


Observer,

"If I were to be offended by anything it'd be the double standard around insinuation. Where's the outrage when one or another party insinuates that one or another ethnic group is inherently unintelligent? Where's the outrage when it's insinuated that environmentalism equals Marxist Leninism? There are probably thousands of active campaigns out there laced with sexual innuendo, implied profanity, humorous use of extreme violence, and all sorts of other provocative gimmickry. But along comes one campaign that pokes at a pet issue here at the WS comment boards and suddenly it's the second coming of Oscar Wilde."

I believe this is known as changing the subject.

I'm guessing that you didn't find being hoisted on your own petard very amusing.

Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2007-04-26 4:12:59 PM


I understood the discussion to be about the "vulgar" message insunuated in flick. My comments have been on the absurd 'outrage' over a harmless word (flick), firstly because there's plenty of profanity in the comments on this site, and secondly because it's such selective and thinly-veiled political outrage.

Posted by: Observer | 2007-04-26 4:21:44 PM


Observer,
Yep, the discussion is about the outrage over "flick...", then your outrage over their outrage, then my humourous observation of your ironic self-censorship despite your outrage over their outrage over "flick".

I live for recursive arguments.

Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2007-04-26 4:26:20 PM


So I'll say touché and ask if you believe this campaign qualifies as objectively vulgar?

Posted by: Observer | 2007-04-26 4:28:31 PM


Not only is the Environmental Hysteria Movement a child of the Marxist/Leninist USSR, the New Left Movement and the Filthy Speech Movement of the 1960s are also the bastard children of the USSR.

It's all designed to tear down the western values that our society was founded on and weaken our will to fight Communism.

Posted by: Speller | 2007-04-26 4:29:41 PM


A "serious social issue," Joel? This crap is all just a big joke to me. Except that in this joke, we normal tax-paying Canadians all get screwed by the environ-Mental-ists, which is actually not funny at all.

Posted by: Pablo | 2007-04-26 4:29:49 PM


Observer.
Atta boy. I like it when we can laugh at ourselves.

I would say it's obvious they were trying to shock. I would say it's probably unnecessary to do this. I would say, however, that this is also the world we live in...people try to shock...like Don Imus...for example, for attention. Eventually, they get burned.

I generally avoid people and organizations who need to generate this kind of attention.

Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2007-04-26 4:34:55 PM


Speller. How is a marketing firm selling t-shirts on Roots' website (a privately held company), practicing capitalism (buying blank shirts, increasing valuse, and selling for a prodit) for a conservation cause, Communism?

Posted by: Observer | 2007-04-26 4:36:17 PM


For me, the issue is not the language used on this site, but the message being sent to young people, who are obviously the target audience for the marketing campaign.

I get that the campaign is catchy, provocative, controversial -- all of the elements that supposedly make for good marketing campaigns.

But does that fact eliminate the need for the exercise of judgment when the target audience is youth?

"They use this language anyway," some might reply. Fair enough. Yet I don't think their use of vulgarity should be validated by government endorsement of, and partnership in, a major marketing campaign that is based on allusions to vulgarity.

Posted by: Guy Giorno | 2007-04-26 4:36:55 PM


Guy,

The world would be a much better place if many more people were far less offended by so many things that don't fucking matter. If people could get over tabboo words like "fuck" we could actually worry about more important things. Like, you know, the environment? That is, after all, what the campaign is about.

I'd advise that you tell your kids with a straight face that "fuck" is just another word like the rest that when not being yelled at someone is not a big deal, but because there are a lot of tight-asses out there (and yes, you should use that term as well) you should be careful who you say it around.

But you probably won't do that. You'll probably keep up the pretense that some words are only for potty mouths. And your kids will think you are a douche bag for it. Ah well....

Posted by: Mark Logan | 2007-04-26 4:47:24 PM


Yes, next time I see the Queen I'll use language like that to her face, explaining that it's just a word and not to get t.a. like Logan recommends.

m.l. - that's the difference between civilized folks and the riffraff. The latter seems to make you just as comfortable as the former. Not me.

Posted by: obc | 2007-04-26 4:50:49 PM


Mark,
Why stop at fuck and tightass? Why don't we include nigger, cunt, dyke, kyke, fag and on and on while we're at it?

Surely, you would teach your children those as well.

Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2007-04-26 4:50:54 PM


Mark,
How about "nappy-headed ho'"?
Words. Just words. Right?

Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2007-04-26 5:08:27 PM


"Speller. How is a marketing firm selling t-shirts on Roots' website (a privately held company), practicing capitalism (buying blank shirts, increasing values, and selling for a profit) for a conservation cause, Communism?"
Posted by: Observer | 26-Apr-07 4:36:17 PM

Well, Observer, to read your thoughts you think that Communist China or the USSR or Cuba never built anything, sold anything, never had an advertising campaign on radio or TV, or used currency.

Do you think, maybe, that the Bolsheviks were private individuals who owned private property before they fomented the October Revolution?

Do you think that capitalist methods can't be used to promote the Communist agenda by creating conditions for conquest or revolution through anarchy or the destruction of the western economy?

These people are promoting rationing where rationing is unnecessary.

They are with a movement that says, "We need to pass legislation that will force rationing of: paper, water, energy, transportation, illumination, food.

Creating artificial shortages is the bread and butter of Communism.

Unemployment and shortages create conditions for anarchy and revolution.
Eventually people either overthrow the government or totalitarians assume power and rule with an iron fist.

The Credo of the October Revolution was "Bread and Peace".


Posted by: Speller | 2007-04-26 5:09:16 PM


Excellent post, Alain.

Posted by: Brent Weston | 2007-04-26 5:12:26 PM


Observer-Atric here.
There's a world of difference in using the word "Flicking" in reference to "Fucking" by a Provincial Government Minister and using the word "Asshole" by an outraged constituent.
It's patently obvious that you don't live in this Flicked Up Province or you would understand.

Posted by: Gerry Atric | 2007-04-26 5:15:59 PM


"This Ontarian is gonna tell these assholes to "Flick Off" in the next election."

This one too.

Posted by: Joanne (TB) | 2007-04-26 5:30:56 PM


It's nice to see Ontarians suffer. Your own incompetence and stupidity has made you people totally irrelevant in the modern world.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2007-04-26 5:38:19 PM


Zebulon: A group of voters that large is not irrelevant. They have the ability to seriously flick up the lives of the rest of us ......

Posted by: Doug | 2007-04-26 5:55:38 PM


. . . which is why Alberta needs to secede!

LONG LIVE THE REPUBLIC OF ALBERTA!

Posted by: obc | 2007-04-26 6:00:53 PM


Mark,
Is this something that would offend a tight-ass?

"Mohammad was a goat fucking pedophile"

Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2007-04-26 6:06:43 PM


How about just drawing a cartoon of Mohammed behind a goat with his cloak pulled up to his neck?

Posted by: obc | 2007-04-26 6:18:40 PM


obc,
Careful!
We don't want to offend any real tight-asses out there.

Let's let Mark poke fun at them instead since he knows where to draw the line.

Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2007-04-26 6:22:07 PM


Doug: agreed, which is why Alberta should secede if the Ontarians do any more damage. Right now, they're looking mighty stupid - even stupider than usual, which is pretty damn dumb.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2007-04-26 6:27:54 PM


h2o273kk9 -

Righto!

Posted by: obc | 2007-04-26 6:31:35 PM


Nbob,
"I'm guess'n you don't let yer kids wear French Connection United Kingdom clothes"

I'd buy them if they said something like

"Lefties hate fags but like to be butt fucked by homo muslims rapists"

Would you let your kids wear this?

Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2007-04-26 7:20:43 PM


This just in ... the Ontario geniuses who came up with this had intended actually to use the word
"Frick" but didn't want to offend the Chinese community.

Posted by: Yanni | 2007-04-26 7:48:39 PM


Yanni,
Thanks for that. I'm sure that Mark and Nbob will soon be decrying the suppression of free speech by the Chinks.

Come on guys. We're waiting for your politically correct guidance on speech codes.

Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2007-04-26 7:53:09 PM


I think it's great that Ezra lets everyone express themselves as they wish. This is one right of center blog that doesn't censor it's commenters. That is rare.

However, when some of you use the kind of language that is on this thread you drive away those who have enough class to make witty, entertaining and meaningful comment. If this continues, all that will be left here are pigs grunting at each other.

I direct this primarily at h2o273kk9

You make the rest of look bad, stupid, vulgar and not deserving of any respect whatsoever.

Smarten up. You can contribute without being to be a complete idiot.

The most respected Canadian right of center blog I visit is SDA and Kate has the good sense to deleted to spews that come from the lowest common denominator. That is what makes her number one and thereby giving voice to those us who want our messages read by thoughtful and even influential people.

I am all for wide berth on freedom of speech, and it takes only a bit of intelligence to know where to draw the line. h2o273kk9 apparently lacks that bit of intellect.

Posted by: Yanni | 2007-04-26 8:00:29 PM


Is that what you were waiting for h2o273kk9 ?

Posted by: Yanni | 2007-04-26 8:01:37 PM


I know it's logan who is the instigator in this thread, but he is getting what he wants from some of us. Don't drop that fool's level. He is a troll and is feasting here.

Posted by: Yanni | 2007-04-26 8:04:46 PM


I'm going to wear the t-shirt with pride in front of all those church ladies... even if they see me as being offensive at least they thought about global warming a bit longer than they would have otherwise!

Posted by: jc | 2007-04-26 8:08:40 PM


"I direct this primarily at h2o273kk9

You make the rest of look bad, stupid, vulgar and not deserving of any respect whatsoever."

I respectfully disagree. h2o was making a strong case with the examples that he chose. I don't find him to have used this kind of language pall-mall in his other postings.

And while I might choose not follow his example, I see him making his point forcefully by his choice of vulgarities for the purpose of making his point in this case.

Posted by: obc | 2007-04-26 8:11:50 PM


Yanni,
I will respectfully admit that you are right. I do this to highlight the hypocrisies of Mark, Nbob and others.

I'm, on the other hand, am not a lefty or righty hypocrite.

My apologies to those that have taken offense, it wasn't personal. If you don't accept it...grow up.

Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2007-04-26 8:13:11 PM


obc,
You got the point. I am forever in your debt.

Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2007-04-26 8:15:25 PM



The comments to this entry are closed.