Charley says: Men – always use a condom

Any feminist analysis of literature, particularly visual media such as TV, will usually end up invoking ‘the male gaze’ – that is, whether female characters are viewed through the prism of (heterosexual) male desires, concepts about women, etc, or whether there is a greater personal truth to them.

Of course, if you’re targeting an ad at heterosexual men that’s largely about their desires, the male gaze is something that’s going to crop up. Back in the 80s, when HIV/AIDS was a very worrying new disease, persuading men to use condoms for pretty much the first time in a generation was something that required a large-scale government health campaign – even if there was a chance they’d get AIDS and die if they didn’t.

So behold, the male gaze writ large. She’s hot (look!), she’s up for it (look!), but oh the horror if she asks you to stay the night!

Charley says: Don’t do drugs like Alice in Wonderland did

While the UK was largely content with scaring the crap out of everyone through public information films in the 1970s, the US was then following a policy of education: tell people the risks and they’ll make the right choice.

This might have been a mistake in the case of its 1971 film, Curious Alice, an animated fantasy basedon the characters in Alice in Wonderland. It shows Alice as she tours a strange land where everyone had chosen to use drugs, forcing her to ponder whether drugs are the right choice for her.

Just to make sure she chooses the right one, rather than picking one at random, each character represented a different drug: the Mad Hatter represented LSD, the Dormouse represented sleeping pills and the King of Hearts represented heroin. I won’t spoil it by telling you which one she opted for (or didn’t).

PS I’ve no idea if the title is a reference to the slightly porny famous 1967 Swedish film, I Am Curious (Yellow).