Thursday, September 17, 2009

Only in Denmark...

Continuing the Only In... series.

Denmark pulls 'promiscuous' video

A video promoting tourism in Denmark has been removed from YouTube after complaints it promoted promiscuity.

The three-minute clip shows a young blonde woman, trying to find a man whom she had a one night stand with, who fathered her child "August".

VisitDenmark's manager, Dorte Kiilerich said the film was supposed to be a "nice and sweet story of a woman".

But Denmark's Economy Minister, Lene Espersen, said it "was not a very well-thought-out picture of the country".

In the advert, the woman says - in English - that she was "trying to find August's father".

"We met one night a year and a half ago when you were on vacation here in Denmark.

"We met... and then decided to have a drink and, yeah, it's really embarrassing but it's more or less what I remember.

"I don't remember where you're from or even your name."

Critics says the video implied that along with traditional tourism, Denmark was a place to go to have unprotected sex with strangers.

One Danish newspaper, Ekstra Bladet, labelled it "grotesque" and a "waste of taxpayers' money".

The video also prompted a slew of angry comments, with one user saying it was a "tasteless, tactless way of attracting attention".

Ms Kiilerich said she regretted any offence the video may have caused, but the intent had been to tell "a nice and sweet story about a grown-up woman who lives in a free society and accepts the consequences of her actions".

Whatever the merits or demerits of this issue, I want to ask you: how much could this possibly have cost to make?? A thousand bucks maybe? And that would be literally everything associated with it, and including seriously paying everybody involved. I could have made it for fifty (cost of tapes and an hour's editing). Max.

Taxpayer's money wasted? Depends on what you compare it to? Politicians waste a thousand times as much in a single week in the state of Queensland alone, all for their own benefit. I'm sure it's not much different in Denmark or anywhere on Earth, democracies or not. So, if it's a matter of proportion, the 'waste' involved is surely minute.

My opinion is that for sex-education purposes the Twilight series is probably a better role model for young impressionable girls. However, tourism is a strange business, and one might ask onself why 'tourist' in Denmark, rather than somewhere else? After all, expending travel $ or € on this or that is a choice that people have to make. Where are they going and what for? What is considered worthwhile seeing or experiencing?

Depends of the people involved? Most certainly. Meaning, however, that such ads will indeed project certain images, and certain people will respond to such images.

I have sympathy for the declared intention of the clip ("a nice and sweet story about a grown-up woman who lives in a free society and accepts the consequences of her actions") and it is, by itself, very unobjectionable. But putting the video 'out there' assumes that the vast majority of those watching it—and being susceptible to it, and therefore possibly responding by making Denmark their next tourist destination—have the brains, emotional sensibility, intelligence and sensitivity to actually see it as having that intention.

That assumption is muddle-headed nonsense. The majority of men—yes, 'men', because that's whom it is directed at, which is another problem with the clip!—will see it as a hint that in Denmark you can find attractive girls, who are sweet and pretty, but don't have the brains not to get blind drunk with complete strangers from foreign lands, and are quite willing to let them have unprotected sex—and then with those cads leaving them again before they even get to know their names. Classic male wet dreams.

Hard to say if it's already too late now to stop them from coming into the country and trying to see if it works for them. But it's certain that clip can't be 'pulled' anymore, because it has already been duplicated and now it's out there like forever. Ahh, yes, the dangers of the internet.

For those wanting to make up their own minds, as they should, here's the clip (one of the duplicated ones):


They took if off YouTube. Well, for those really, really wanting to see it, it's still on the BBC site, linked to above.

† Sorry, guys, but you know I'm right. Those who fall into the indicated category will know it and not be ashamed of it either; and indeed some of them wouldn't even understand what 'the problem' is. The rest of you: well, I know we're not all like that, but you know that far too many are.

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