The Greasy Pole

This is a fun article from the Daily Mail, a British Newspaper. Apparently Tesco, a department store in the UK, was selling the Peekaboo Pole Dancer Kit in the children's toys section of their website. Outrage ensued. In fact, according to Dr. Adrian Rogers of the Family Focus campaign, doing this will "destroy children's lives".

The story's written for shock value, so I have a tough time figuring out what really went on here from Tesco's side. It seems as though the Peekabook Pole Dancer Kit might be a sex toy or some sort of off-beat workout gear, as the Tesco spokesperson claims. At the same time, it does look very child-oriented. The kit consists of a telescoping 8 1/2 foot pole, a CD of stripping music, a garter, and play money to stuff into said garter. The play money makes me suspicious that this might actually be marketed at a younger audience; if it's a work-out kit, why bother with money at all? If it's a sex toy, can't you just get your partner to use real money? It just seems a little goofy to set everything up, put on stripper money, then run over and say, "Here's some play money to stuff in my garter when I come over to give you a lap dance!"

More on Dr. Rogers, the Family Focus campaigner. He helpfully informs us that poles are "interpreted in the adult world as a phallic symbol." I don't want to give Michel Foucault short shrift, but I'd have to argue that, among the veritable plethora, the virtual cornucopia of arguments available to Dr. Rogers about why marketing pole dancer kits to children is a bad idea, the phallic symbolism involved is quite possibly the weakest. After all, you can find phallic symbols everywhere. For instance, horseraddish:

My favorite Rogersism of the article, though, comes half-way through, when he says "It ought to be stopped, it really requires the intervention of members of Parliament. This should only be available to the most depraved people who want to corrupt their children." I completely agree, if only for the comedic potential. I feel Parliament absolutely should require a Depravity License, Ministry of the Interior form ZZ-9-Plural-Z-Alpha. You should have to fill out a lengthy application and wait six months while government depravity experts certify that you are, indeed, depraved enough to purchase this toy for your children. In fact, I'm not certain this level of depravity can probably be assessed without a timed multiple-choice examination.

And the second part of his statement is equally vital: that it should only be made available to parents "who want to corrupt their children." There should be an airport check-in style question when you buy this kit.

"Sir, do you have any children for whom you are purchasing this kit?"


"Do you intend to use this kit in order to corrupt said children?"

"Yes, I do."

"Very well. Cash or charge?"

I am also a fan of the photo of the Gallimore family. "Alright, everyone, we're condemning Tesco, so everyone put on your grimmest condemnation faces!"

As for the substantive issue involved here, um... Here, let met get a coin. I think the fact that Tesco sold this product is... a good thing, morally virtuous, they're champions of... I dunno, free market capitalism and empowerment and stuff.

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This page contains a single entry by Zach published on October 28, 2006 2:24 AM.

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