This Eurostar ad used to ‘lure’, as the Daily Mail headline put it, Belgians to London has kicked up more of a stink in the UK than a blocked urinal in a boozer at chucking out time. Apparently some wrinkly-nosed types over here think it’s ‘offensive’.
I happen not to find pissing skinheads as ‘alluring’ as the Daily Mail seems to: it’s not really my cup of peculiar – but I rather like this ad. Of course it’s meant to be slightly provocative, but it’s also funny and does manage to convey something of the eccentricity of the English with our pissed-up hooligans and our fey raised-pinky tea-drinking. (And perhaps hinting at how the two may come together in the form of the gay skinhead – pretty much the only kind of skin you see in the UK today.)
And as David, the gent who drew my attention to this ad, points out in his apt commentary, it’s of a piece with the Belgian tradition of surrealist art – and rather wittier than much of our own contemporary offerings.
Perhaps I’m paying too much attention, but it looks like our skinhead’s not been drinking enough beer, or else he has a bad case of Hepatitis: his piss is the colour of mahogany.
Or maybe the Belgians are just passing comment on our tea.