A truly astounding series of German condom advertisements are making the rounds this morning—each features a sketch of a sperm made to look like Adolf Hitler, Osama Bin Laden or Mao Zedong. Their not so subtle message being, “Better wrap it up… unless you want to bring evil into the world!”
On one hand, these ads make perfect sense due to their exploiting the potent Schuldgefühl–or guilty feeling–that is such an important part of German culture. On the other hand, Schuldgefühl was borne out of WWII and the Holocaust, and is one reason why joshin’ about that silly vegetarian painter called Hitler just doesn’t play in Germany even now.
Even scooping Hitler out of the pool, however, the ads pronounce an inscrutable message. Are sperm inherently evil, or just the sperm contributing to unplanned pregnancies? If someone is impregnated with these seeds of destruction, is it game over right then, or will some extra hugs in childhood purge the perversity? What is the cost to humanity of sheathing the good sperm? And most importantly, does the fact that sperm can be mustachioed or sport a turban indicate the prescience of Nicolaas Hartsoeker?
HT: Paul, who surprises me with his interest in prophylactics of the world