February 8, 2007

The gender politics of candy.

We were just talking about that Super Bowl Snickers commercial that pushed the envelope too far for contemporary Americans. It made Victoria -- our own "Cheers, Victoria" -- remember a to-do in Britain over a candy bar commercial back in 2001. Well, if the subject is sex and candy bars, let me show you what I have:

Devil Girl candy bars

Devil Girl candy bars

I bought these at the candy counter at the Majestic Theater, back in the days when the Majestic showed movies, and the movie was "Crumb" (that great, great documentary about Robert Crumb and his brothers). You know, for $25, you can buy the empty box they packed these bars in, over at Kitchen Sink, where they say:
Robert Crumb's Devil Girl bars were an instant success when they hit the market in 1994. The bars themselves are long gone and any surviving bars are probably not edible. But Kitchen Sink Press marketed the chocolate bars in a sturdy display box modeled after the heavy-duty cigar boxes of earlier days.
Not edible, but still, the very survival of the chocolate all these years is damned impressive, no? And, anyway, they were always "bad for you."

What's that cool looking book underneath, you're wondering? It's "My Most Secret Desire," by Julie Doucet, one of my favorite comics artists. You can buy the book -- here -- but it's a new edition with a different cover.

In short, it will be very difficult for you to recreate the still life you see in my photograph. But maybe it's a good day to photograph two objects on top of a book. The possibilities are endless.

For more Julie Doucet, check out "Leve Ta Jambe, Mon Poisson Est Mort!" -- don't worry, it's in English. There's a "search inside" function, so you can see more drawings (NSFW). No references to candy, unfortunately. No fish either, outside of the title. Actually, it's hard to do the "search inside" when the text is drawn. But try "cats" and click to the next two pages, to get a sense of it. Again, NSFW.

Is this post disturbing you? Let me return you to mainstream America:

Candy hearts


vbspurs said...

our own "Cheers, Victoria" -- remember

Aww, thanks for the link, Ann! 'Cheers, where everyone knows your name' -- I feel like Ted Danson now. :)

That Crumb bar I find very intriguing, and having remembered your frequent mention and love of the documentary on Robert Crumb (which BTW, I thought was creepily magnificent), wonder if you liked the winsome American Splendour, with Paul Giamatta?

My post on candy bars has, as you say, a related connotation since our Yorkie Bar (different from your Yorkie Peppermint Patty ones), had a recently pulled TV ad campaign which was aimed, humourously, to men only. Gotta love that tagline, though it couldn't run in a million years, here in the US. Anti-homophobe/gay maybe. Anti-women, ooh, dunno.

Having said that, do you remember a softcover book aimed to teenage girls, named, "Girls Only!" or "Just for Girls!", something like that?

Nothing is more calculated than to make the opposite sex want something, than when you start off anything with "Only" in the title.

As for the candy bars, as I mentioned recently to the bottom of in my blogpost on Sundries (Sundaes? Sunbeams? Sunnis? Oh, I dunno), is a really cool site, the Candy Wrapper Museum.

Any of you remember The Reggie Bar?

I mean Baby Ruth I can understand (though that was named for Grover Cleveland's little girl, not Babe Ruth as I had once thought)...but Reggie Frikkin Humungous Head Jackson?

The guy only hit .262 lifetime. Sheesh.

Where's my Canseco Bar?


Beth said...

I had one of those Crumb bars; it was among the things I lost in Katrina, when our storage unit's roof came off and everything in it was drenched. Ah well. It's just stuff.

vbspurs said...

Elizabeth, I searched eBay for one, but only found the:

Devil Girl Lunchbox

If you want it, I'll buy it for you.

I'm serious.

Just say the word.

People were very very kind to me and my parents, when we lost everything during Andrew (including all our photographs), and I've promised myself I'd give back, a little at a time.


Drew W said...

I now feel a little less like a screwball for having kept the wrapper from the Devil Girl Coco-Bar that I must have gotten more than a dozen years ago. (I ate the actual chocolate bar as soon as I got it. It tasted okay.) The wrapper is pinned to the bulletin board next to my desk, along with lots of other pop-cultural detritus that Prof Althouse will probably blog about someday.

Ruth Anne Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Althouse said...

Drew: You gave me a good idea for a horror movie. There's a guy with a room full of pop culture crap, he sits there reading blogs all day, and runs across a blog that featured some odd item in his collection, then every day he goes back and finds a post and it's about one of the other items. At first, it's a funny coincidence, but it gets unsettling then deeply disturbing. Etc., etc. ... he finds out the IP address is inside his house... etc.

Richard Fagin said...

Devil Girl choco-bar - exploits women and apparently made in Northampton, Mass., home of that bastion of the male-bashing brand feminism, Smith College. How appropriate. Remind me to put one of those choco-bars in the hand of the statue of Calvin Coolidge that scowls over the Smith campus. Scowls? Yes, indeed. The majority opinion in Bowers v. Hardwick was paraphrasing Cal's comment about the 1919 Boston Police strike, you know.

Beth said...

Victoria! What a sweet thing to offer. Sweeter still because of what you went through in Andrew.

I'm going to decline the lunchbox, but the gift of your kindness I accept wholeheartedly. I'm declining because part of how we've dealt with what happened is to divest ourselves of stuff--I think I'm afraid to be attached to stuff anymore.

We were very, very lucky in Katrina. We lost things, but not to the degree that others did. The irony was that in preparing to evacuate, we moved some important things, including mementos (pictures, letters, journals--the stuff that isn't just stuff), in our storage unit because we thought it would be sturdier than our house. But the house came through with lost shingles and wet plaster, while the storage place, an 1850s brick warehouse, lost its whole roof. Just bad luck.

It's not too early to start wishing us both a nice, quiet hurricane season.

Beth said...

Ruth Anne,

I notice now that I'm Beth on one computer, and Elizabeth still on some others. This is confusing me, too.

My middle name is Ruth. Let's just hope nothing happens with that, or you'll think you're talking to yourself (and a bit rudely, sometimes!)