Recently, American tobacco companies managed to delay the process whereby US citizens will join others in having graphic pictures plastered over their cigarette packs. A victory for freedom (and corporate greed).
But ironically, America’s anti-smoking paranoia has already resulted in such images appearing on packs in several other countries – amongst them, the land of this writer’s domicilium, Thailand…
The top seven pictures are predictable – images of rotting bits of person and such-like, all caused (allegedly) by them having smoked cigarettes.
But the bottom three are bizarre. I have smoked for forty years – and if I smoked for another forty, I doubt I would ever have teeth like that.
Then there is the picture with the bowl – I think it relates to a Thai funeral ritual.
But the last one is the best – the lout blowing smoke over the baby. My first reaction (after I had stopped laughing) was that the reason it was obviously fake was to stop complaints being directed at the campaign’s organisers.
Although later, it occurred that I might simply have over-estimated the organisers’ intelligence – maybe it was just the best their FX department could manage.
Oh, and the 1600 is the number to ring if you want to listen to a message helping you to quit. Perhaps it is a Thai lady shouting abuse at you (although some people would pay good money for that).
Anyhoo, it got me thinking – why stop with cigarettes? Why not put pictures of morbidly obese children on fast-food containers? Or how about images of mangled pedestrians nailed to all new cars’ dashboards? The possibilities are endless.
But of one thing you can be sure; America will never put pictures of shattered corpses on gun and bullet boxes – that would be tasteless.
As my alter-ego has noted, we live in a World where the absurd is now commonplace.