Sunday, July 31, 2011
Autophagy is an old trope of advertising
Justin E. H. Smith in his eponymous blog:
Surely there must be a name, in advertising parlance, for the figure of the anthropomorphized food item that happily consumes a non-anthropomorphized version of itself? I first noticed Yocco years ago when driving through central Pennsylvania, and I admit he's haunted me ever since. What could he be thinking? What would existence as Yocco, the Hot Dog King, be like?
He is delighted, it is clear, but does his delight flow from the fact that human beings, the true anthropomorphs, enjoy eating his lesser brethren, the hot dogs that were destined to remain mere hot dogs? Or is he delighted because he himself is free to eat his lesser brethren? Do they constitute him, like the subjects of Hobbes's Leviathan? Is Yocco aware of this? Does Yocco not know what, exactly, he is? And, if he does, does it not horrify him?
Of course, autophagy is an old trope of advertising. We see it in abundance on the signs outside barbecue joints: the pig joyfully digging into a plate of pork, or, even more absurdly, the pig delighted to present itself as an already prepared pork product. Now the former possibility is not all that unverisimilar: pigs do resort to cannibalism regularly and without qualms.
Posted by S. Abbas Raza at 04:35 PM | Permalink