Posts Tagged ‘Irving Wallace’


May 19, 2009

Recently the trees in Lalbagh Bangalore were shivering  under the fear that they were going to be axed for giving way to  the Metro Rail Project coming up in Bangalore. Neither the Forest Department nor the Pollution control Departments cared a dime.The tree lovers did not give up and approached the Honourable High court ,which came to the rescue of the trees,which would have otherwise ended up as  firewood or  furniture. Now the trees are breathing a sigh of relief and the very same people who wanted to cut the trees are now inhaling   the oxygen ex haled by the trees. The media called it the Axe effect. This news item  made me write about the ill effects of the Axe effect advertisement which was produced to promote the Axe brand Body spray..This is an ADULTS ONLY ADEVERTISEMENT  viewing of which should be  restricted to adults. But what happens really is totally  contrary. The advertisement by the manufacturers of the body spray  has been repeatedly telecast by the TV Channels with scant regard to the effect it has on the children and the adolescent. In an advertisement a  man  who  is supposed to have used the spray turns into a chocolate man and  it is shown  that he becomes  much sought after by women  who forget their age, attire, position and run after him. In another advertisement  a man in a bath room is shown  wearing a bath towel and two legs  of a lady  are  shown wrapped  around his  waist . In another advertisement  a sexy looking Pitza girl writes her cell number on the pitza  indicating to the young customer to call her at the number. Similarly one girl who is driving a sedan ,being unable to control herself  after ‘sniffing ’ the body odour of another young man (who used Axe) writes  the same “cell number” (used by the Pitza girl) on her car window inviting him to call that girl(pitza girl ?). In the same advertisement , a score of nude women painted white are shown as if they are running after the guy who  applied Axe spray and a subtitle   is shown  “enjoy them all”.Hopefully the ad means here, the various products. Lord Parashuram  who always wielded  his axe to vent out his anger ,would have thrown his axe at the ad producers  if  he had come to know about the effect of this spray. The Axe effect would have really seen the reverse axe effect after all. Incidentally “parashu” means Axe. Again it is a MAYA and you cannot stop people from falling for it. The gullible young folks  fall a prey to this evil effect.  The ad film makers have demonstrated their boldness and the official  inadequacy of our Censor authorities.   These seductive advertisements show women  in bad light and creates bad impression that  the such women will shed their morality to the winds at the sight of a person sprayed with AXE .Hence after much hue and cry the  Government  Information and Broadcasting ministry  found the advertisement, too vulgar and bordering on obscenity and indecent and banned it for some time. Surprisingly however the advertisements managed to stage a come back and continue to be aired.  I feel that  there was not enough  strength in the blow  instigated by the axe of the Government.

During the French revolution the persons who  faced  execution  under a guillotine would have felt what is  an  “axe effect” but their severed heads  could not reveal the experience to any body. for obvious reasons. In the  fable  of a poor  wood cutter ,whose axe with a wooden handle  accidently  falls into a river and who was helped by the  river God  would have known what is an ‘axe effect’ because he would have lost his livelihood in the absence of his axe. This  AXE EFFECT IS AN ILLUSION. In this story, the River God created an illusion but the wood cutter did not fall for it. He was honest and got awarded the  axes with golden and silver handles along with his original  axe with wooden handle. In this context I remember a comedy story in which  a person is  offered help a similar way  by  a river God. In this story, one person is  crying near the bank of a river. The River God appears before him and asks him why he is crying.,He reveals that his wife fell in to the river. Immediately the kind  River God takes a  plunge and comes out with a famous Hollywood actress and asks him whether she is his wife. The man immediately nodded ‘yes’. The surprised  River God asks him  why he lied.In reply, the man explains,’Oh God.if I say ‘no’ you will again come out with another Bollywood actress and ask me. I may say ‘ No’. Finally you will come up with my wife and I will have to say YES and you will give me all the three women to me as a reward..How  can I  manage them. That is why I said YES.”  The River God  appreciated his honesty and restored his wife back to him and relieved him from impending  troubles. Is it a reward or punishment ? Each man will leave it to his judgement according to his  experience.

The  axe effect is felt most , by  techies in software industry affected by  financial meltdown, and they  come to know that they are no longer  in employment  when their swipe- card refuses entry and advises them  to contact  Accounts  Branch to get their terminal settlement. The management chooses to  sack them without giving them the statutory  notice. They justify their action by giving  compensation  with   full  salary for the notice period.  They do not give time to the employee to look  elsewhere for alternate employment . The  Management axe  detaches the employee.

Coming to Axe effect , I wonder  how the advertisements escaped the censors who are supposed to be the watch dogs to prevent the society from viewing obscene substances that will affect the morale of the society at large.  The Ad producers may claim that little obscenity cannot be avoided if you want to drive home the point.  It is hard to convince them that even ‘little Obscenity’ in advertisements is like getting  “little pregnant.” when chastity is the order of the day.(quoted by  Irving  Wallace when referring to press  censorship in his Novel The Seven Minutes).

One wonders ‘Should the advertisements be allowed to pollute the minds of young generations’  Is there any limit ?  The axe effect affects the society. If people are  wise enough  to see through  this  illusion they will steer clear of such ill effects. The body spray axes the common sense and sense of understanding and makes the user believe that there is some magic in it. The advertisement appeals  only to animal sense in the BODY.  Those who have the weakness to ‘stray’ gladly  falls for this advertisement and product.