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June 5, 2011 8:57 AM   Subscribe

Anti-comic Neil Hamburger used his column in Vice Magazine this week to call AXE body spray "a fetid, sugared-and-fermented-manure stench, which acts as a virtual mating call to the TV-addled, party-fried pig girls whom these dopes are trying to fill with their tainted seed." He's sponsoring an art contest in which Photoshoppers combine AXE with images from the Sex Offender Registry. AXE has threatened to boycott Vice.
posted by Apropos of Something (154 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
Huge success!
posted by Artw at 9:01 AM on June 5, 2011


What's that word for a conflict between two things you hate, where your only reaction is to hope that they somehow finish each other off?
posted by saturday_morning at 9:01 AM on June 5, 2011 [39 favorites]


I would feel less bad for thinking "Ken-doll misogynistic shithead" about AXE wearers if I hadn't been right every single time.
posted by dunkadunc at 9:03 AM on June 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


Huh. If somebody told me that there was an art contest involving combining images from the Sex Offender Registry and one of Vice's major advertisers, I would've guessed American Apparel.
posted by box at 9:04 AM on June 5, 2011 [61 favorites]




Successfully threatened, you mean.

Vice erased both the article and any mention of its existence from its website.

posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:06 AM on June 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


From the comments: Dear OSU-grad AXE Marketing and Branding Team: google "Barbra Streisand Effect".

So, basically. I enjoy Vice and they've filled a gap that Rolling Stone left by funneling any and all of their "actual journalism" money directly up Matt Taibbi's diatribes. So considering this was started by a third party and won't die even if Vice nukes it off their page, I'll cut them a break.

Plus, when I worked at the Punk Rock Store, new issues of Vice really broke up Sunday morning tediums. I'm pretty sure I memorized every issue between April '04 and August '06.
posted by griphus at 9:07 AM on June 5, 2011


I AM VERY ANGRY ABOUT YOUR DEODORANT CHOICES.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:08 AM on June 5, 2011 [29 favorites]


I would feel less bad for thinking "Ken-doll misogynistic shithead" about AXE wearers if I hadn't been right every single time.

Does that apply to the shower gel (Snake Peel FOREVER) also? Need to know what stereotype to live up to.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:10 AM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Not quite so successful, Mr. Rumpole: "The piece can be found in full here, and it looks like Neil Hamburger is still going to run the contest he laid out at the end of it: one that encourages people to create images combining sex offenders with AXE body spray." —Remember the Streisand Effect, and that it is kept, wholly.
posted by kipmanley at 9:12 AM on June 5, 2011


This description sounds like he thinks Axe "performs" as shown on tv.

Hamburger.
posted by ersatz at 9:14 AM on June 5, 2011


On preview, yeah yeah. —But Christ Vice shoulda nuked that piece for its use of "alright" alone.
posted by kipmanley at 9:14 AM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


He's sponsoring an art contest in which Photoshoppers combine AXE with images from the Sex Offender Registry.

The snark level with this is off the charts. Holding a Photoshopping contest using real sex offenders because you don't like a line of deodorant is pointless, stupid, and immature. In the best case scenario, a few Vice readers will get a half second chuckle using sex offenders as a punch line. In the worst case, it could possibly end up shoving a picture of an offender in front of one of his victims.

Is this the best Neil Hamburger can do? If so, why is Vice magazine paying him to do it?
posted by notion at 9:15 AM on June 5, 2011 [13 favorites]


The Photoshoppers link above goes to what appears to be the full original Vice column, but whether there was more content there is still unclear to me.
posted by Apropos of Something at 9:17 AM on June 5, 2011


It's weird to me that people can't separate the product from the marketing of the product. I have a good friend who uses the body wash and I guarantee he hasn't seen any of the ads. He bought it at first because it was on sale, and then because he liked the smell or cleansing properties or whatever. Yet that makes him a douchebag. Whatever. I stopped caring about which brand names are cool about 10 years ago.
posted by desjardins at 9:17 AM on June 5, 2011 [19 favorites]


Vice Magazine: Racism is A-OK, but don't you offend our advertisers!
posted by klangklangston at 9:19 AM on June 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


Neil Hamburger.

Neil. Hamburger.
posted by fire&wings at 9:23 AM on June 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


My wife teaches 8th grade English. She has nothing good to say of about the Axe stench of 14 year old males. Try being in an over-crowded classroom with the windows closed and a room full of Axe-drenched adolescents and you won't think this criticism is over the top at all.
posted by cccorlew at 9:24 AM on June 5, 2011 [12 favorites]


I quite like the body washes, and while I'm no fan of their marketing, usually, at least the people buying them are being hygienic at all.
posted by june made him a gemini at 9:24 AM on June 5, 2011


Brett McNugget
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:25 AM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have the distinct impression Mr. Hamburger's sparse knowledge of women / girls comes from TV and books.
posted by Dark Messiah at 9:26 AM on June 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


My wife teaches 8th grade English. She has nothing good to say of about the Axe stench of 14 year old males. Try being in an over-crowded classroom with the windows closed and a room full of Axe-drenched adolescents and you won't think this criticism is over the top at all.

Those are the same idiots that would wear half a bottle of the finest, cheapest cologne prior to the inception of AXE. Same problem, different stink.

The product isn't the problem, it's the user.
posted by Dark Messiah at 9:27 AM on June 5, 2011 [9 favorites]


Using Axe "body spray" to combat body odor is like using Febreze to clean your clothes.
posted by rh at 9:28 AM on June 5, 2011 [8 favorites]


It's weird to me that people can't separate the product from the marketing of the product.

It's weird to me that people think that products should live in some sort of bubble with no outside meaning attached to them.
posted by 23skidoo at 9:30 AM on June 5, 2011 [9 favorites]


I'd been wondering what that smell was on all the aging skater/snowboarders at the corner store. I had the impression it was an attempted substitute for personal hygiene. It's disturbing to hear that they'd smell the same if they did wash.
posted by warbaby at 9:31 AM on June 5, 2011


What's that word for a conflict between two things you hate, where your only reaction is to hope that they somehow finish each other off?

The phrase you're looking for is "playing both ends to the middle."
posted by phaedon at 9:31 AM on June 5, 2011


Does that apply to the shower gel (Snake Peel FOREVER) also?

I use it when I can't find my kind of Dove shower gel that I want. It's quite effective.

Are we against all body sprays, or just Axe? Old Spice is good, right? Or am I offending everyone's olfactory bulbs by wearing it?
posted by King Bee at 9:32 AM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


This might have mildly amusing three years ago. I have a sneaking suspicion that Gregg Turkington created the "Neil Hamburger" anti-comic character when he realized that despite his best efforts he wasn't funny as an actual comic.
posted by MikeMc at 9:33 AM on June 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Those are the same idiots that would wear half a bottle of the finest, cheapest cologne prior to the inception of AXE. Same problem, different stink.

When I taught middle school band, my top ensemble's 8th grade guys mostly had gym right before. One day, they gave every one of them a little free thing of Axe. I was used to the gallons of CK1 or whatever else they were bathing in, but for some reason, this was worse.

The other downside was that during lunch, the guys decided they would play a new game where they "maced" each other in the eyes with the Axe stuff. After a few too many folks in the nurse's office, they ended up confiscating them.
posted by SNWidget at 9:33 AM on June 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


Vice caved? I'm surprised, and then surprised that I'm surprised.
posted by mediareport at 9:35 AM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I do think it's funny that Dove ("Campaign for Real Beauty") and Axe ("Pussy Ain't Got a Face") are both owned by Unileaver. I guess it works though, 'cause here we are.
posted by mike_bling at 9:36 AM on June 5, 2011 [33 favorites]


It's weird to me that people can't separate the product from the marketing of the product.

As a user of AXE and thus a "Ken-doll misogynistic shithead", gonna have to ignore your opinion, little lady as I run hair gel through my nappy hair.

Sorry, it's the product, not me.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:38 AM on June 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


"Try being in an over-crowded classroom with the windows closed and a room full of Axe-drenched adolescents and you won't think this criticism is over the top at all."

Try being in a car full of teen boys you're driving to a concert after they've apparently fumigated themselves with the AXE from every Walgreen's in a five radius. My house and car literally smelled like AXE for days. Of course it might have been an improvement over the cigarette stench in my car...
posted by MikeMc at 9:39 AM on June 5, 2011


My theory is that AXE is just one of many products secretly designed for stoners. (Kind of like whoever designed the wings in cigarette packs and those handy rules cards in packs of Magic cards.)

Wrong or not, I like my version better.
posted by Dark Messiah at 9:41 AM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Try being in a car full of teen boys you're driving to a concert after they've apparently fumigated themselves with the AXE from every Walgreen's in a five radius.

OK, is it the Axe, or is it that teen boys don't know how to use any cologne/perfume effectively? Wouldn't they just douse themselves in Drakkar Noir or whatever if Axe didn't exist?
posted by King Bee at 9:41 AM on June 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Old Spice is good if you want to smell like someone's dad. As it happens, I actually do sorta want to smell like someone's dad, and I use the stuff religiously. But if teenagers aren't flocking to it, I can understand why.
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:41 AM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


My previously female bodied younger sibling was in late middle school / early high school when the whole Axe thing started and dived head first into using it, much to our chagrin and olfactory horror as a family. However, apparently their twist on the Axe ethos ended up genuinely working for attracting the laidez and, hell, even ended up turning out pretty cool.
posted by Blasdelb at 9:44 AM on June 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Even as someone with no particular love either for Axe or its advertising campaign, he lost me at "pig girls".
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:45 AM on June 5, 2011 [12 favorites]


I don't know if I have ever smelled Axe. Is it worse than Irish Spring, which always smelled to me like insecticide?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:45 AM on June 5, 2011


No, it's not general overuse of some scent, it's Axe. It must be made out of rat piss.
posted by sageleaf at 9:46 AM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ivory, or get the fuck out of my concert hall.
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:48 AM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


My previously female bodied younger sibling

Wait, are you saying Axe turned her into a boy?


What's that word for a conflict between two things you hate, where your only reaction is to hope that they somehow finish each other off?


Let's see if we can get the KKK and the Westboro Baptist Church to wear different flavors of AXE body spray, and have the whole encounter documented in Vice!
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:50 AM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Neil hamburger is an anti-person
posted by hellojed at 9:50 AM on June 5, 2011


Halloween Jack: "Even as someone with no particular love either for Axe or its advertising campaign, he lost me at "pig girls"."

I lived in an apartment complex full of Axe-wearers and the women who love them. After my experiences with both, I can safely say that I hate American broski culture with a white-hot fire and hope they all die in a freak kegstand accident.
posted by dunkadunc at 9:53 AM on June 5, 2011 [10 favorites]


Is AXE worse than Hai Karate or Polo or musk oil or any of the thousands of other mass market stuff that teen males have been using for decades? Fish, barrel, etc. Lather, rinse, don't repeat.
posted by Ideefixe at 9:54 AM on June 5, 2011


In the late 1970s, when I was 14, my odor of preference was Brut. Because I was the short, fat nerd, I tended to avoid the humiliation of the shower after gym class, and applied Brut liberally to my underarms (only tried it on my balls once and never made that mistake again). I cannot imagine it was one iota better or worse than today's AXE-wearing, hygienically-challenged teenaged boys.
posted by briank at 9:56 AM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Are we against all body sprays, or just Axe? Old Spice is good, right? Or am I offending everyone's olfactory bulbs by wearing it?
Yes, you are offending everyone's olfactory bulbs. A little cologne or aftershave, plus deoderant under the pits, is sufficient. Your sternum does not need to smell like my father.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:56 AM on June 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


"OK, is it the Axe, or is it that teen boys don't know how to use any cologne/perfume effectively? "

Both. AXE encourages overuse by the very nature of its delivery system and boys are only too happy to oblige. It's the way of young men, if a spritz is good then a fog must be better.
posted by MikeMc at 9:58 AM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


What's that word for a conflict between two things you hate, where your only reaction is to hope that they somehow finish each other off?

Operation Barbarossa.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:01 AM on June 5, 2011 [9 favorites]


You STOLE MY LINE Ironmouth!
posted by Meatbomb at 10:02 AM on June 5, 2011


I laugh, but then I remember my 8th grade buddies used "Jade East" by the gallon back in the mid 60s. My Dad said it smelled like deodorizer in a public restroom, which was enough to keep me away from it.

Same as it ever was.
posted by cccorlew at 10:02 AM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


The more scents change, the more they stay the same.

In the mid 80's Ralph Lauren's Polo cologne was the AXE of its time. I had a roommate who spilled one of those giant bottle of it on the carpet. The scent lasted for months.

If I ever happen to see the bottle, never mind smell it, I curl up into a fetal position and quiver.
posted by jeremias at 10:04 AM on June 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


Are we really so obsessed with consumerism that we can't separate people and their moronic behaviour from their accessories!?

Try riding the bus; I get stuck beside full-grown adults who stink like all sorts of things; perfumes, cologne, body spray, BO.

The fact is, there are droves of vain, inconsiderate people, and they're not defined by their brand-loyalty; they're defined by their existence as an offensive stench-cloud.
posted by Dark Messiah at 10:05 AM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Your sternum does not need to smell like my father.

Your father is Ray Lewis??
posted by King Bee at 10:08 AM on June 5, 2011


To be honest, I don't care what I smell like. However, everyone around me probably does. If someone can just tell me what the least offensive scent I should be applying is, then I will gladly switch to it.
posted by King Bee at 10:10 AM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


If someone can just tell me what the least offensive scent I should be applying is, then I will gladly switch to it.

Soap? Can we all agree on soap and water?
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 10:14 AM on June 5, 2011 [15 favorites]


To be honest, I don't care what I smell like. However, everyone around me probably does. If someone can just tell me what the least offensive scent I should be applying is, then I will gladly switch to it.


Basically anything, as long as *you* can't notice it after a couple of minutes.
posted by Dark Messiah at 10:15 AM on June 5, 2011


Soap? Can we all agree on soap and water?

Stop oppressing me, man.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:17 AM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Soap? Can we all agree on soap and water?

At the same time?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:18 AM on June 5, 2011


This comment about Polo reminded me of how much I can't stand it, because my teenage boyfriend wore it all the time. For many years after we broke up, the smell of it would give me a panic attack. Now it just makes me shudder.
posted by luckynerd at 10:18 AM on June 5, 2011


Basically anything, as long as *you* can't notice it after a couple of minutes.

QFT. This is what I was taught: If the wearer can smell it, it's too much.
posted by rhizome at 10:22 AM on June 5, 2011


Dark Messiah I think people in general just tend to be incredibly oblivious to the impact they have on those around them, whether it be their odor(s), sounds, awareness of body space etc., I can't tell you how many times my husband has nearly clocked someone with a piece of lumber at home depot because he's just not paying attention to whats around him while he's holding a 12 ft weapon (usually horizontally across his shoulder for maximal carnage....sigh)
posted by supermedusa at 10:22 AM on June 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


You know what soap is good for? It's the perfect hiding place for your money if you live with a bunch of hippies.
posted by Sailormom at 10:23 AM on June 5, 2011 [9 favorites]


Oh yeah, and I want to start a rumor that Vice has dropped Neil's column in response.
posted by rhizome at 10:23 AM on June 5, 2011


I have a deep love for Neil Hamburger. His twitter feed early on was pretty much the only reason I ever went to the site. He comes to Memphis something like 5 times a year every year it seems (like Jonathan Richman and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion) and I go every time. That's all I got.
posted by ifjuly at 10:24 AM on June 5, 2011


To be honest, I don't care what I smell like. However, everyone around me probably does. If someone can just tell me what the least offensive scent I should be applying is, then I will gladly switch to it.


I remember my grandmother telling me that a person 'should only be able to smell your cologne if they are hugging you'. I think that still stands as a good guideline.
posted by marimeko at 10:25 AM on June 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


Seeing Neil Hamburger live is great, but I'm not sure I get his Vice column. Is he writing it in character? Because it doesn't sound like his character to me.

Also, I knew that Vice had lost hipster cred in the past five years or so, but still Axe body spray seems really far off their demographic.
posted by Bookhouse at 10:29 AM on June 5, 2011


Is it worse than Irish Spring, which always smelled to me like insecticide?

Yeah, what. I don't know if it is Irish Spring, but there some kinds of cologne or something guys put on that smells exactly like bug spray to me. Is that some kind of cilantro-tastes-like-soap-to-some-people deal, or do they actually make cologne or body spray that smells like bug repellant?
posted by marxchivist at 10:35 AM on June 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


If someone can just tell me what the least offensive scent I should be applying is, then I will gladly switch to it.


Least offensive? None. As someone who gets dizzy and sick from fragrances, as well as having migraines triggered by them, I am grateful when people don't use any added fragrance on their bodies. Someone wearing perfume behind me in the line at the grocery store can leave me sick for a day; too many exposures can take days to fully get over. So, if you're really aiming for scent that will be most inoffensive, I'd say: no added fragrance, and fragance-free grooming products. Thanks!
posted by not that girl at 10:36 AM on June 5, 2011 [11 favorites]


I read an article in some scientific journal or other (can't remember if it was Scientific American or Nature?) that the only scent that has been proven to arouse 100% of females tested, sight unseen, is a strong scent of rancid milk. So if you're really intent on getting the upper hand in a chance encounter, pour milk over yourself the next time you shower, but then don't shower again for at least a week. You'll have to drive the ladies away with a swarm of Africanized honey bees. And even that might not be enough.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:39 AM on June 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


rhizome writes "This is what I was taught: If the wearer can smell it, it's too much."

Around here there is exactly one unscented solid antiperspirant still available (Mitchum Solid) (I blame walmart and their "innovate" or lower the price bargaining tactic). And for some reason even that availability is often lacking and I've been forced to buy some scented abomination (though I've gotten wiser and now buy a years supply at a time when I can). I can smell the ocean or whatever the stick is supposed to smell like for the rest of the day and it drives me crazy. Everyone using a scented antiperspirant should be able to smell themselves too but I guess they either get used to the emanations or they can't (which seems weird to me in a why bother kind of way).
posted by Mitheral at 10:41 AM on June 5, 2011


Expensive oud or GTFO.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 10:45 AM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I lived in an apartment complex full of Axe-wearers and the women who love them. After my experiences with both, I can safely say that I hate American broski culture with a white-hot fire and hope they all die in a freak kegstand accident.

Hey, I'm no fan of broskis myself, but "pig girl" just strikes me as something a broski would say; I wonder if that's something that Neil Hamburger has considered.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:49 AM on June 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


I have unfortunately inherited the scent sensitivity that my father's afflicted by — perfumes and colognes are the only things that give me the wanger headaches with the spots behind my eyes and the barely-dauntable urge to kill.

With that involuntary sensitivity, I was happy that it seemed like over the last decade, perfumes especially had gotten better — I used to have to avoid whole floors of department stores.

But men's cologne has gotten worse. My brother's ex-wife used to love the scent of the "designer impostors" CK1 that you could buy at gas stations and my brother would oblige her by slathering it on with a trowel. Whatever is in that is also in Axe, and if I can smell someone within about five feet, I know that it's strong enough to sometimes make me cry and retch involuntarily.

The absolute worst is the Abercrombie and Fitch store in Old Town Pasadena, which smells like a cross between a french whorehouse and someone covering up the stench of decaying meat with gallons of bear spray. I have to literally cross the street to avoid it setting off a migraine. I can't imagine the poor bastards who have to work there have any ability to form coherent thoughts, after being exposed to more brain-killing inhalants than most huffers gulp in a lifetime.

I am not sure what causes this reaction in me — it's strongest when the scents are either very sweet or very musky (both favored by tweens and teens of both genders, and can make a bus ride a living hell for me), but my guess is that it's some chemical analogue that I'm allergic to or something.

In any case, essential oils don't make me freak out like that, so if I can just implore people to remember that if you can smell your own cologne or perfume, you're wearing too much, and that something like a little sandalwood or orange essence or vanilla smells great and is very subtle and attractive and doesn't make me want to crush your skull with a paving stone.
posted by klangklangston at 10:57 AM on June 5, 2011 [18 favorites]


"pig girl" just strikes me as something a broski would say

I don't know Neil Hamburger or Vice Magazine from a hole in the ground, but isn't that the point? That "broskis" are horrible, and the female equivalent who are attracted to them are, by definition, equally horrible? Or am I missing something?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:59 AM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Anti-comic"? Is it like a goatee-wearing version of Dave Chappell? If an anti-comedian contacts a comedian, do they annihilate each other in a huge explosion?
posted by happyroach at 10:59 AM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


In this case, "anti-comic" seems to me like someone doing a rather bad impression of a comic writer doing a rather bad impression of Hunter S. Thomson writing about something that the real Hunter S. Thompson wouldn't have given a crap about. But maybe that's just me. This thread makes me feel very old. I hadn't realized anybody actually used these products.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:04 AM on June 5, 2011


What's that word for a conflict between two things you hate, where your only reaction is to hope that they somehow finish each other off?

In sports, it's called "rooting for the meteor".
posted by penduluum at 11:08 AM on June 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


> I would feel less bad for thinking "Ken-doll misogynistic shithead" about AXE wearers if I hadn't been right every single time.

Don't you mean you "would feel more bad(ly)"? I believe your statement is the opposite of what you intended.
posted by spock at 11:08 AM on June 5, 2011


I have unfortunately inherited the scent sensitivity that my father's afflicted by ...

Well, that explains the passive aggressive office memos.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:10 AM on June 5, 2011


AXE makes a pretty decent shampoo/conditioner combo.
I went through an AXE liquid soap phase a few years ago, because I had gotten sperled on liquid soap/"body wash", but then I rediscovered how incredibly cheap bar soap is by comparison. When the AXE shampoo is used up, I think I'll go back to the generic pharmacy stuff.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 11:10 AM on June 5, 2011


I can assure you I'm not a Ken-doll, unless the quality inspection team at the factory is asleep on the job.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:11 AM on June 5, 2011


People who douse themselves in the spray are obnoxious. But the shower gel is secretly great. The one I use has "glacier water, deep sea mint and menthol" and feels energizing after a sweaty workout, and the smell isn't overpowering. But because of the reputation, I don't use it when I plan on going out in public (which probably defeats the intended purpose of Axe, but whatever.)
posted by naju at 11:11 AM on June 5, 2011


I love the smell of fatty acids and badger pheromones in the morning. It smells like: desperation.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:11 AM on June 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


Also,
1)Spray
2)Delay
3)Walk away.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 11:12 AM on June 5, 2011


What's that word for a conflict between two things you hate, where your only reaction is to hope that they somehow finish each other off?

I like to call it red on red violence.
posted by andoatnp at 11:12 AM on June 5, 2011


What's that word for a conflict between two things you hate, where your only reaction is to hope that they somehow finish each other off?

Democracy.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:15 AM on June 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


What's that word for a conflict between two things you hate, where your only reaction is to hope that they somehow finish each other off?

Colts vs the Ravens.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:16 AM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Well, that explains the passive aggressive office memos."

I CAN SMELL YOU FROM HERE, AXE MAN!
posted by klangklangston at 11:17 AM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


AXE does make (well, brand) one product I like: this scrubby thing with a rubber backing shell. It's this thing. I hate normal scrubby things because they don't feel sufficiently abrasive, so I don't feel like I get clean, and they fall apart too quickly. And I've had to abandon washcloths because ... I don't know why, apparently they're archaic or something. Everybody who sees my shower with a washcloth in it acts like I still brush my teeth with tree bark. And actually, having switched to this thing, I do like it better than the washcloths I used to use.

So I use an AXE-branded scrubber thing to wash myself. With Dr. Bronners soap. I kind of appreciate the dissonance.
posted by penduluum at 11:21 AM on June 5, 2011


Serious theory: sweat glands enlarge as part of puberty.

I am pretty sure that sensitivity to smells increases with age, and teenagers can't smell that well, but I couldn't find any evidence of that.

Combine the two, and a young person knows that he needs more deodorant, but can't smell it until he completely overdoes it.
posted by desjardins at 11:23 AM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like 4711. It's the original eau de Cologne, so it's got oodles of hipster cred, which I fucking live for. And it was the scent of choice for both FDR and Hitler! Plus someone gave me a huge-ass bottle of the stuff for high-school graduation and I still, 25 years later, haven't used it up.

It sure does stink pretty, though. Fancy!
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:31 AM on June 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


I realized recently that I actually love the way AXE smells. It just smells like "boy" to me, and well, I like boys. Pretty sure I imprinted on it during my first makeout experiences without realizing what it was, and now there's nothing I can do about it. I'm not a fan of too much of it (or any cologne), but a little bit that you can only smell when you're up close to the guy? Yeeahh I'm a fan, and I'm not exactly a "party-fried pig girl."
posted by MadamM at 11:32 AM on June 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


I like 4711, too. Just a tiny drop of it makes you smell clean.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 11:37 AM on June 5, 2011


It seems like not many people here either know or enjoy Neil Hamburger's comedy.

A sampler:

Neil Hamburger's Red Hot Chilli Pepper Jokes:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAGADRzLaS4

Amoeba Records: What's in my bag?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-sA1-m_Ymg

Neil Hamburger heckles a guy filming his set:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zd6XZUHjFyI

You boo, you groan, but ultimately you laugh.

But turning my attention to the article at hand, he's attacking what he considers "AXE’s cynical marketing team" which has been responsible for:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtZKL74LgMg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KlQaBKJftM

Those commercials are juvenile (the male gaze under a microscope), and he's amplifying their marketing message so it becomes absurd. Why wouldn't Axe go with a campaign like Neil Hamburger's art contest? Isn't Axe implying with their commercials that women will become servile, go absolutely gaga over you and 'put out' if you wear their scent? He's jumping to the next step.
posted by Jan Coztas at 11:53 AM on June 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


"I like 4711. It's the original eau de Cologne, so it's got oodles of hipster cred, which I fucking live for. And it was the scent of choice for both FDR and Hitler! Plus someone gave me a huge-ass bottle of the stuff for high-school graduation and I still, 25 years later, haven't used it up."

The number is also tattooed on Franks upper thigh in the Rocky Horror Picture Show
posted by Blasdelb at 11:54 AM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Everybody who sees my shower with a washcloth in it acts like I still brush my teeth with tree bark.

Ugh, I've gotten this impression too. Similar to teeth whitener, you're a horrendous deformed monster if you don't use a proper piece of plastic to wash your damn back.

The next logical step I suppose is disposable loofah covers in the model of gillette razor blades.

Personally, I'm sticking with washcloths for now. When hipsters rediscover washclothes are cheap and effective like when they rediscovered safety-razors, I can claim to be into it first.
posted by formless at 11:57 AM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


What men bros need is a spontaneously reconfigurable cologne that smells like the opposite of the nearest woman's father's immune system. Short of that, nothing.

Why do people want to smell more? Gah.
posted by adipocere at 12:00 PM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm surprised at the stories of stinking school rooms, mostly because I had assumed allergy-fearing school boards had already banned any artificial scents. Hey teachers, maybe you should try to get that going. Get your principals worried about allergy reaction lawsuits.
posted by emjaybee at 12:06 PM on June 5, 2011


I'm surprised at the stories of stinking school rooms, mostly because I had assumed allergy-fearing school boards had already banned any artificial scents. Hey teachers, maybe you should try to get that going. Get your principals worried about allergy reaction lawsuits.

Nope. The HS at which I teach bans hats, cell phones, iPods, eating, drinking, and any attempt at real education, but artificial scents are just fine. I've had dozens of colleagues become sick (some needing a 911 call) due to a reaction to strong perfume/cologne/body spray.

Hell, I'm not allergic, but when one of the kids perpetuates their stink by exposing the rest of us to copious amounts of Victoria Secret or AXE, I feel sick.

And yes, AXE is by far the worst spray to be stuck with in a hot, crowded classroom. Try 6th period with 40 freshmen, straight from PE with AXE taint. Now that's another circle of hell altogether.
posted by guster4lovers at 12:17 PM on June 5, 2011


As someone who gets dizzy and sick from fragrances, as well as having migraines triggered by them, I am grateful when people don't use any added fragrance on their bodies. Someone wearing perfume behind me in the line at the grocery store can leave me sick for a day; too many exposures can take days to fully get over.

Not to mention allergies. There are people who wear tons of cologne and perfume on the bus who leave me worse off when I get off the bus than if I'd just rolled around for an hour or two in a big vat of grass and ragweed.

The absolute worst is the Abercrombie and Fitch store in Old Town Pasadena, which smells like a cross between a french whorehouse and someone covering up the stench of decaying meat with gallons of bear spray.

Pretty much all of Old Town Pasadena smells like that.
posted by blucevalo at 12:28 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I went to a class on marketing for work a few years ago and I swear the teacher took 5 minutes out of the class to go on at great length about how awful Axe was. For really no reason.

Happily, I have yet to smell the stuff, but I don't look forward to the day.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:32 PM on June 5, 2011


King Bee: "Are we against all body sprays, or just Axe? Old Spice is good, right? Or am I offending everyone's olfactory bulbs by wearing it?"

I'd say any fragrance is bad. I find it hard to be around anyone wearing cologne or perfume. It makes me gag. I'm a bit asthmatic, and that crap triggers it way more than anything else. I wear unscented deodorant and wish everyone else did the same.

Axe may seem a bit worse because of the douchey ad campaigns and the fact that teenage boys do not appear to know how to use it and seem to douse themselves with it at regular intervals throughout the day.
posted by brundlefly at 12:48 PM on June 5, 2011


In the mid 80's Ralph Lauren's Polo cologne was the AXE of its time.

Only the rich assholes in my high school wore it (or it was perma-imprinted into their matching Polo shirts), so I get a supreme sense of pleasure mentally equating it with some cheap crap from the drugstore.
posted by nev at 12:56 PM on June 5, 2011


Why isn't Axe embracing this article? It's all edgy and ironic and shit. They should pay Vice extra printing an entire column that speaks to their target audience.
posted by fungible at 1:10 PM on June 5, 2011


What's that word for a conflict between two things you hate, where your only reaction is to hope that they somehow finish each other off?

Congress.
posted by steambadger at 1:22 PM on June 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


I rock those awesome fake real scents you can get at whole body. Most of the time I stick with donut scent or fresh mown lawn scent, sometimes if I feel a bit playful I go with pla-doh or crayon. If I go out after work I dab a little Jack Daniels behind my ears from the bottle I keep stashed in my medicine cabinet, and sometimes rub a bit of talcum powder under my nose, for that dissolute effect.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:54 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Why isn't Axe embracing this article? It's all edgy and ironic and shit. They should pay Vice extra printing an entire column that speaks to their target audience."

Axe gets a lot of business from the sex offender lobby.
posted by klangklangston at 2:04 PM on June 5, 2011


It seems like not many people here either know or enjoy Neil Hamburger's comedy.

Just because people don't share your opinion doesn't mean they're ignorant. I've listened to his albums Raw Hamburger and Left for Dead in Malaysia many times. I usually love his comedy. I just don't think this is a good example of it. Yes, Neil Hamburger is great at anti-comedy, but this seems almost like anti-Neil Hamburger.
posted by John Cohen at 2:56 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


To all that take Hamburgers latest stunt in bad taste I would contend that Axe, and for that matter most consumer products are in worst taste (albeit subtly). Axe markets their products in such a misogynistic fashion that to draw a connection between a sex offender and the users is not only logical, but so much so that it's comical.

Though he may go over the line by calling women whom frequent men that buy into this 'pigs', they are indeed capitalist pigs who are accepting of this multimillion dollar ad campaign that frames them as such. Hamburger is just explicitly saying what Axe does already.
posted by wcfields at 3:17 PM on June 5, 2011


Whether or not you think Neil Hamburger is funny or Axe smells like sexist cat piss, the real story is, "Magazine that tries to have indie cred takes down article they published once an advertiser exerted pressure." It happens all the time, but it's really, truly worth being disgusted with the line between sales department and editorial department over at "Vice".

(However, I did once say, "Oh, I didn't realize you had a... cat," at my mother-in-law's, to which my husband pulled me aside and told me the smell was just a family member's freshly-applied Axe.)

I would be annoyed if it were Kiva putting pressure on "Mother Jones" or Baskin-Robbins putting pressure on "Parents" or Camel SNuS putting pressure on "Rolling Stone." Capitalism works if there's a disincentive for censorship with your target market, especially when you're trying to be all indie, f-the man badass (which, to be fair, the most recent issue of 'Parents" isn't going for).
posted by Gucky at 3:28 PM on June 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


MikeMc wrote This might have mildly amusing three years ago. I have a sneaking suspicion that Gregg Turkington created the "Neil Hamburger" anti-comic character when he realized that despite his best efforts he wasn't funny as an actual comic.

Whereas those of us who remember Gregg Turkington, brilliant humor writer and pop critic, sometimes bemoan the popularity of Neil Hamburger, which started out as just one of his stable of prank call characters and became a phenomenon. Ever read Breakfast Without Meat zine? One of the best of the '80s self publishing era, and a big inspiration for my mag Scram.
posted by Scram at 3:52 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Neil Hamburger came into a radio show I produced. Looked like a normal 30 something alt-comic with a normal voice, so I didn't recognize him. When he got into the booth I heard the Neil Hamburger voice while watching his secret identity. It was a bit strange. I like him.
He's recorded an album with Aussie punks the Hard-Ons.
I wear Lynx (what they call Axe in Aus) because sometimes it's the only thing I can find. I sometimes read Vice for the same reason but they're both trash. When Ray from the Hard-Ons came on our show he said Vice was 'psychopathic' and I'm inclined to agree with him. Still, pretty pictures and some ok articles.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:00 PM on June 5, 2011


OK, well, thanks for the tips, everyone. I use Certain-Dri to prevent perspiration, but I also live in central Texas and walk to work (and hence, sweat like crazy). I change my clothes when I get to my office, but I sweat a lot anyway.

If my regular funk is going to be less offending than a spritz of Old Spice in my pits before I go to teach my classes, then so be it.
posted by King Bee at 4:19 PM on June 5, 2011


AXE has threatened to boycott Vice

If Vice had any balls, they'd boycott AXE?

"pig girl" just strikes me as something a broski would say

Yeah, based on his use of this term, I'm calling Neil Hamburger out as a closet broski. He probably wears AXE himself.
posted by straight at 4:30 PM on June 5, 2011


Do most of you folks not really know the story behind the Neil Hamburger persona?


Some of these comments are a few steps away from people who take Onion articles as the truth.
posted by gcbv at 4:33 PM on June 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


In the mid 80's Ralph Lauren's Polo cologne was the AXE of its time

Also: Drakkar Noir
posted by triggerfinger at 4:37 PM on June 5, 2011


So the lineage is:

Polo -> Cool Water -> ?? -> AXE

What is the missing link? It's not like bros weren't rocking brofume for almost 10 years.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:53 PM on June 5, 2011


Yeah, based on his use of this term, I'm calling Neil Hamburger out as a closet broski.

Riiiight, because no one ever made fun of someone else by adopting their lexicon.
posted by 23skidoo at 4:56 PM on June 5, 2011


So the lineage is:

Polo -> Cool Water -> ?? -> AXE


Hey now, I happen wear Cool Water (but I am a strict "spray,delay and walk away" guy).
posted by MikeMc at 5:05 PM on June 5, 2011


Is the MeFi 'hamburger' sarcasm tag (which I find deeply, deeply, deeply annoying) related to Neil Hamburger?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:13 PM on June 5, 2011


Hey now, I happen wear Cool Water (but I am a strict "spray,delay and walk away" guy).

I'm not judging, Sawyer from Lost wears Cool Water, so you are in good company.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:26 PM on June 5, 2011


Lovecraft In Brooklyn writes "Is the MeFi 'hamburger' sarcasm tag (which I find deeply, deeply, deeply annoying) related to Neil Hamburger?"

No.
posted by Mitheral at 5:31 PM on June 5, 2011


Polo -> Cool Water -> ?? -> AXE

Drakkar Noir
posted by Bookhouse at 6:08 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


It should be noted that Neil Hamburger is a fictional character, shouldn't it?
posted by _aa_ at 7:12 PM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Polo -> Cool Water -> ?? -> AXE

I'm pretty sure Calvin Klein earned a spot in there somewhere for Obsession and/or CK1.
posted by EvaDestruction at 7:26 PM on June 5, 2011


I have the distinct impression Mr. Hamburger's sparse knowledge of women / girls comes from TV and books.

Whereas your knowledge of Neil Hamburger clearly comes from nowhere. Poster above has it; it's like people who get outraged over an Onion piece.
posted by spaltavian at 7:53 PM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


So the lineage is

No, Drakkar Noir, Cool Water and CK One were all contemporaries. I should know, I've still got original early-90s bottles of each gathering dust in a box. Some day they will be worth more than comic books.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:08 PM on June 5, 2011


Ah. In Australia it's called LYNX. Now it all makes sense.

Back in the early 90s there was an anti-perspirant called ACTIF (or was it ACTIV?). I hoarded it, because it was guaranteed to get the missus to flashback into slutty teenager mode. I would pay much money for another can.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 9:09 PM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Axe appeared on the scene when I was in college. I was working at the college radio station and as a promotion Axe sent us a huge box of one of the fragrances. We took it to the freshman beginning radio class and told everyone to help themselves. Big mistake. Suddenly the room stank of Axe. I'll never forget that terrible smell that lasted the rest of the semester.

I remember being impressed with their marketing. cheap colonge + sexy advertising + insecure adolescent men with disposable cash. =$$$$$$$$$$$
posted by hot_monster at 9:14 PM on June 5, 2011


Ah. In Australia it's called LYNX. Now it all makes sense.

Neil Hamburger often comes to Australia! I'm not associated with him, but some of my friends are, so be sure to check him out next time he's in town!
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:20 PM on June 5, 2011


The real story for sure is hipper-than-thou Vice magazine caving in to an obnoxious advertiser. Fuck, the real story is that they'd even accept Axe as an advertiser in the first place.

However, the perfume industry is a pet peeve of mine. As long as people continue to wear toxic, artificially created scents, civilization is a sham. What the fuck, is this medieval Europe or something? There are plenty of solutions for keeping clean and avoiding perspiration that don't involve covering up the underlying stench with an even worse stench. Your best bet is often the generic drugstore brand products which are usually hypoallergenic and scent-free. The time will come where wearing this crap in public is considered as much of a health risk to others as smoking indoors, and it can't come soon enough
posted by dvdgee at 10:02 PM on June 5, 2011


Ah. In Australia it's called LYNX. Now it all makes sense.

Ditto in the UK - horrid stuff beloved of terrible people.
posted by Artw at 11:50 PM on June 5, 2011


The ads that never fail to crack my ass up are the ones for Bod, the body spray that comes in a windex sprayer and whose ads are all just shirtless dudes running up and down bleachers. The ads look like they're pitched at dudes on the down-low, like maybe there's some certain fragrance that is a secret flag that Brosef would be happy to accompany you to the bathhouse.
posted by klangklangston at 12:04 AM on June 6, 2011


Oh wow - they still make it in the UK! I'd recognise that font anywhere. Wonder which one of them, if any, smells like the one I used to get in the silver can?
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:28 AM on June 6, 2011


Polo -> Cool Water -> ?? -> AXE

Maybe Kouros is your missing link?

I had a mate at Uni who used to frown himself in LYNX and I swear you could smell him coming 50 feet away.
posted by arcticseal at 4:01 AM on June 6, 2011


drown. We were the ones frowning and choking on the fumes.
posted by arcticseal at 4:11 AM on June 6, 2011


From Wikipedia:

In August 2010, Hamburger appeared on the Alternative Stage at the Reading Music Festival in the UK, where his entire set was booed and derided by the capacity crowd, with chants of "You're shit and you know you are!". As the set progressed bottles and other projectiles were hurled at Hamburger, before he was finally shouted off. The stage's host, Andrew O'Neill came on after the set, simply asking "Didn't you all enjoy hating that?"
posted by Summer at 4:25 AM on June 6, 2011


Your best bet is often the generic drugstore brand products which are usually hypoallergenic and scent-free.

Amen. But as someone pointed out above, scent-free soap and deodorant is getting almost impossibly rare. Hell, last month I found myself ordering anti-perspirant on Amazon from a Christian bookstore in Georgia after my fave no-bullshit version got discontinued locally. Now all I see is scented garbage on the shelves.
posted by mediareport at 7:36 AM on June 6, 2011


Awwww. Is the widdle "edgy" youth product not able to handle a little tweaking?

POOR BABIES.
posted by clvrmnky at 8:14 AM on June 6, 2011


There are plenty of solutions for keeping clean and avoiding perspiration

Yeah, I guess I could never go outside.

Seriously, it's HOT in Texas. You will sweat, even if you were to cover yourself completely in aluminum chloride. If you sweat enough, for long enough, you will start to smell. I can't take a shower every 2 hours.

Or maybe some people don't stink at all when they sweat? Who are these people, and what are you doing that prevents this from happening?
posted by King Bee at 8:36 AM on June 6, 2011


What's that word for a conflict between two things you hate, where your only reaction is to hope that they somehow finish each other off?

Fox and Friends, Weekdays at 8.
posted by rokusan at 8:38 AM on June 6, 2011


Are we against all body sprays, or just Axe?

I'm pretty much against all. No special beef with Axe.

People who douse themselves in the spray are obnoxious. But the shower gel is secretly great.

This thread is sorta hilarious, for a column that doesn't seem to exist anymore and a contest that has no entries. ;)

it's like people who get outraged over an Onion piece

I don't remember any Onion pieces that use real pictures of convicted criminals. Isn't that the "outrage" here? (Not much of an outrage, but an outrage nonetheless, I suppose.)
posted by mrgrimm at 10:28 AM on June 6, 2011


Or maybe some people don't stink at all when they sweat? Who are these people, and what are you doing that prevents this from happening?

Vegans. Cut out meat and dairy for a week and see if you can tell a difference.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:29 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Or maybe some people don't stink at all when they sweat? Who are these people, and what are you doing that prevents this from happening?
You're going to get a bunch of bullshit responses to this. There's probably nothing you can do.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 10:31 AM on June 6, 2011


Please, please, PLEASE tell me that Axe/Lynx is the DDT of scents, where it turns out it's rendering the wearers sterile.

PLEASE.
posted by grubi at 11:06 AM on June 6, 2011


Is AXE worse than Hai Karate or Polo or musk oil or any of the thousands of other mass market stuff that teen males have been using for decades? Fish, barrel, etc. Lather, rinse, don't repeat.

Teenage girls do it too. In my early teens it was Body Shop Dewberry, then Charlie. Now it seems to be Angel or Miss Dior Cherie knock-offs, or the thousand sweet and indistinguishable licensed celebrity perfumes.

My brother was a teen before Lynx and he used to splash Brut everywhere.
posted by mippy at 11:38 AM on June 6, 2011


Vegans. Cut out meat and dairy for a week and see if you can tell a difference.

Hi there! I'm vegan! I'm four hours into my work day in an air-conditioned building, and I've already got sweat stains on the underarms of my tank top! I sweat when I get out of the shower! Thus I am generally stinky at this point in the day; even earlier if I walk to work in the NC heat. So yeah, not a universal stink-reducer.

Back on topic, my problem with this is using the sex offender registry. Yes, it's full of scumbags, but it's also full of dudes who had sex with their 17-year-old girlfriends when they themselves were 18. Not fair. Why not PS heads from the dudes in pictures at Hot Chicks With Douchebags? I mean, come on.
posted by Fui Non Sum at 12:38 PM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


So yeah, not a universal stink-reducer.

Because the odor-causing bacteria in one's skin and sweat don't reside there based on one's diet. So mrgrimm's original comment holds no... water.
posted by grubi at 2:32 PM on June 6, 2011


There's evidence that eating meat does alter body odor.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 2:36 PM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Axe doesn't piss me off, it's people who buy axe because it's axe and it makes girls like you
posted by tehloki at 4:31 PM on June 6, 2011


Do most of you folks not really know the story behind the Neil Hamburger persona?

Well, no--in fact, this FPP is the first time I've ever heard of him. Even as someone who doesn't claim possession of Total Pop Culture Awareness, though, I really don't think that you can compare knowing about his act to knowing that the Onion is satire.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:31 PM on June 6, 2011


Vegans. Cut out meat and dairy for a week and see if you can tell a difference.

Well, I was a vegetarian for about 3 years, and I still stank. Must be my genes. Or my jeans. I should probably wash them.
posted by King Bee at 10:07 PM on June 6, 2011



It seems like not many people here either know or enjoy Neil Hamburger's comedy.


Know about it? Yep. Enjoy it? Nope, the persona is just annoying to me.

As for Axe, I went through Polo and Drakkar Noir as a teenage girl, which explains why I didn't date guys my age, I hate the smell of either of them. Axe seems to go beyond teenagers though, guys from 13-30 all seem to wear it. I do not get it, at all. If you want to wear a cologne there are a lot of great smelling ones out there.

Showing my age for a minute but, Horizon is my absolute favorite men's cologne, but it is getting harder to find. My husband has worn it since before I met him over 15 years ago.
posted by SuzySmith at 11:32 AM on June 7, 2011


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