This full-page ad appeared in the New York Times Sunday Magazine this morning [May 11, 2014]. They’re kidding, right? They lifted this from The Onion, right? They can’t be serious! Who came up with the brilliant idea that a knife holder depicting a person being stabbed in the head, the heart, the stomach and the legs would make a lovely addition to one’s highly stylish kitchen as a way of making it “more interesting?”
And I’m not about to give it a pass because the product is made in oh-so-chic, design-savvy Italia, either.
Are we so inured to violence in the media that it’s okay–or actually effective–to market a product using such a violent image? I guess we are, because the manufacturer’s ricsb.com website features the same knife holder in a slew of designer colors–pink, orange, black, white, plus gold [sorry, sold out] and chrome [also sold out], for the low-low price of $159 [reduced from $169]. But wait, there’s more: You can also buy a pen holder depicting the same unfortunate stick man being similarly pierced by sharp-ended writing implements. That one costs only $99.
I get that whoever designed these things probably thought they were whimsical. But he or she was wrong. Call me a fuddy-duddy, but I fail to see the humor.
Somewhere along the line, someone needed to just say no. It’s just awful, and the New York Times Magazine should have used better judgment and refused to run it. But I suppose that, in an era of declining revenue and a much skinnier than ever publication–a full-page ad is a full-page ad. And it did, of course, catch my attention, driving me to write about it and even promote it by including the website address in my post. I can only hope that the whole thing is a hoax, and that my outrage is part of the joke.