It is quite the thing to realize how almost, well, a bit dull this 1995 ad for Guinness is when seen 18 years later. But, it was not shown at the time due to the theme of the gay couple:
In 1995, an ad created by Ogilvy and Mather for the ever popular Guinness beer never made its way to the airwaves. It was deemed too controversial. The commercial shows a happily domesticated gay couple—one a more of a neat freak, the other a messy business man on his way to work. We watch their morning routine unfold as Tammy Wynette sings, "Stand By Your Man," in the background.
Hard to imagine what the fuss was. But, then again, hard to imagine what the fuss still is in far too many places. Placing oneself in the context of the recent past, however, has that extra layer of needing to subtract the subsequent events and knowledge which contextualized and caused change. When did political correctness come in? Cultural context just before the internet took off are so poorly described, so hard to get a finger on. Why was tea and toast and a morning routine too hot for Guinness?
The '90s are the land before IPA, before gay and lesbian as norms - and before cheap raspberries in the grocery year round for that matter. My cousin in law... well second cousin in law once removed Mike Malone has just published a novel that also reaches back to the '90s, No Never No More. Lad lit to a certain degree it describes the life of a New York loutish guy in his late 20s, largely set in bars or on rugby fields. Not quite my era as I turned 30 in 1993 when - and certainly not my town - but she who grabbed the parcel when it came through the door gives it high marks. Mike is the writer in residence for Captain Lawrence among other things. The thing I have been writing with Max, aka The Alan and Max Book, has scenes in bars of my youth and now, like the Guinness ad, Mike has me wondering whether I am just recollecting through a filter 30 years on or describing them as they were. With the volume of beer those days were steeped in, it's hard to know. Times before all sports networks playing on the TV in the corner of the bar, when cassette mixed tapes sometimes were one mark of a good bartender.