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Selling With Shock: What's The Deal With All The Nazi Marketing?



From using Norwegian mass murderers to sell clothes to an unnerving number of examples of Nazi references at Indian stores, shock tactics in marketing seem to be reaching a new low. Here are the worst five recent examples:

1. So business names have to stick in the minds of consumers, right? Puneet Sabhlok in Mumbai went with something everyone could remember: Hitler's Cross. "Hitler is a catchy name. Everyone knows Hitler," Sabhlok told the New York Times.

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2. Apparently, not everyone knows Hitler. Rajesh Shah has been refusing to change the name of his store all week by pleading ignorance: "I had only heard that Hitler was a strict man. It was only recently that we read about Hitler on the Internet," reports the Times of India.

3. Die Welt reported earlier in the year that a new store had sprung up in the German town of Chemnitz. The only problem was that its name bore a worrying resemblance to that of Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway in July 2011.

4. Back in 2007, shoppers in in an Indian mall were given promotional material adorned with swastikas, urging them to buy new bed linen. Considering the swastika has long been used in Indian religions such as Hinduism, it would not have posed a problem if it wasn't coupled with "Bed and Beyond Presents the NAZI Collection." The furnishings dealer insisted it was merely an abbreviation for New Arrival Zone of India, reports Reuters.

5. The Estonian GasTerm Eesti company was forced to apologize August 27, after it used a photograph of the infamous gate in Auschwitz - "Arbeit Macht Frei" - to promote the company's use of non-toxic gas, reports Polskie Radio.

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Bravo! Brava! Opera's Overdue Embrace Of Trans Performers And Storylines

Opera has played with ideas of gender since its earliest days. Now the first openly trans performers are taking to the stage, and operas explicitly exploring trans identities are beginning to emerge.

A photograph of Lucia Lucas singing with a lance, dressed in a black gown.

September 2022: Lucia Lucas performing at the opera

Lucia Lucas/Facebook
Von Manuel Brug

BERLIN — The figure of the nurse Arnalta is almost as old as opera itself. In Claudio Monteverdi’s saucy Roman sex comedy The Coronation of Poppaea, this motherly confidante spurs the eponymous heroine on to ever more lustful encounters, singing her advice in the voice of a tenor. The tradition of a man playing an older woman in a comic role can be traced all the way back to the comedies of the ancient world, which Renaissance-era writers looked to for inspiration.

The Popes in Baroque Rome decreed that, supposedly for religious reasons, women should not sing on stage. But they still enjoyed the spectacular performances of castratos, supporting them as patrons and sometimes even acting as librettists. The tradition continues today in the form of celebrated countertenors, and some male sopranos perform in female costume.

“I don’t know what I am, or what I’m doing.” This is how the pageboy Cherubino expresses his confusion at the flood of hormones he is experiencing in his aria in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro – one of the most popular operas of all time, full of amorous adventures and sexual misunderstandings. Cherubino cannot and does not want to choose between a countess, a lady’s maid, and a gardener’s daughter. He sometimes wears women’s clothing himself, and in modern productions the music teacher even chases after the young man.

The role of Cherubino, the lustful teenager caught between childhood and manhood, someone who appears trapped in the "wrong
body, is traditionally performed by a woman, usually a mezzosoprano. The audience is used to this convention, also seen in Richard Strauss’s Rosenkavalier or Siegfried Matthus’s Cornet Christoph Rilke’s Song of Love and Death, first performed in 1984.

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