I’m with The Bland

In confectionery, Fags Candy Cigarettes, Picanniny Popping Corn on December 9, 2010 at 10.46

Good old “Fags”. We all need one in our lives. Something politically incorrect that is.
Busily stamping out anything that may be misconstrued and therefore offend, many products have undergone “image overhauls” (except, strangely, Coon cheese in Australia…what does this say about our Oz cuzzies’ complete lack of respect for Aboriginal culture? I need not elaborate, demonstrated by the company’s unapologetic stance in the past). The “majority” of the population are middle-class, family oriented conservatives, according to the Roy Morgan/Ogilvy & Mather Values Segments statistics commonly used in marketing, and are not exactly known for their liberal outlook on – well- just about anything.

Given this fact, I don’t know why any company think that its going to affect sales of any product in a significant way, since the amount of people that may get on their high horse, statistically speaking are such a tiny sliver as to hardly count. Regardless of whether this warrants any attention, products like Foodtown’s “Picanniny (sp) Popping Corn”, “Darkie Toothpaste”, the now horrifying “Nigger Polish” as well as “Fags” have now fallen by the wayside and have been replaced by the bland and inoffensive -as if we need any more of that in the world. Nevertheless, the packaging for these items in it’s original, unadulterated format is now highly collectable – a reminder of an era, that was perhaps not so much “less PC”, as perhaps simply more innocent times.

Addendum 22/03/2012: During my recent hiatus, I had time to rifle through my archives yet again – and found this modified box design from the late 1990s, early 2000s.

  1. Postscript: What the “FAGS” product looks like now. May as Well be a completely different product, except it’s not.

  2. […] candy cigarettes (which were actually Australian in origin, I posted on them here https://longwhitekid.wordpress.com/2010/12/09/im-with-the-bland/ in the early days of this blog). But now both products have been dumbed down for the […]

  3. The reason Coon cheese hasn’t been changed in Australia is that aboriginals aren’t known as “coon”. It could be something to do with the man who invented the cheese being Dr. Coon. It’s not his fault that decades after his death somebody with PC leanings finds his surname offensive……

    • would be a hard product to register in America!

    • I agree that it should stay because it’s derived from a person’s ‘name’ in regard to the product. But are you kidding re the word not being used in Australia? I grew up in a country down in WA where people used that term (and still do) even since I can remember. It’s terrible 😦

    • Actually if you’d bothered to do any basic research you would have 1/ Definitely found out that indigenous people have been called ‘coons’ as a slur. 2/ pretty quickly discovered it was named after a cheese-processing technique called ‘cooning.’ There was never a ‘Doctor Coon’ and the brand wasn’t anyone’s surname.

  4. Australian Aboriginals have most certainly been referred to as “coons” since the time of early European settlers. And other equally as offensive things, more recently than you probably think. Please keep in mind that they were not once considered human, and did not receive the “right” to vote in their own country until 1969. The cavalier and disgraceful attitude towards that race by so-called Australians, even today, is exemplary in your suggestion that anyone who finds slurs offensive is “oversensitive”. My post was written in a humorous tome, but you are clearly too stupid – or I am gunning for deliberately antagonistic – to either understand that, or want to understand that. Thank you Dr. Smee, you win prize for leaving the most intelligent comment on this blog in its short history. Oh, and do some research – starting with this, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ethnic_slurs
    where you will see the term “coon” is definitely amongst the list. Cheers, admin.

    • Coons is a term to describe whites, or from the negro point, (Indians, that the far east india companies dutch and british dropped alll over the place, as overseers, and bean-counters) set in place to manage plantations in the 17th century, and left many of them behind when things went awry., true.

  5. Great reading…cheers! I also have a blog and photos about Riviera’s Fags your readers might find interesting.. I’ll be adding more to the origin and peoples stories .. http://peterlister.com/blog/index.php?entry=entry130122-074237

  6. Thanks Peter, to this day this amateurish little post from my early days gets a high amount of hits from visitors. I guess Fags bring back a lot of memories for people from our generation. Your blog is neat and you are lucky to have a Fags POS box! I’m jealous! Cheers

  7. They were white cigarette shaped lollies (for those who don’t know) and you were really cool walking down the road “smoking” them…. they had a red tip on them just like the “Real” thing!!

  8. Regarding comment on “Coon” brand cheese:I found a reference in music that seems to state the owner of the plantation is “de Coon”, so the *nigger* (respectfully used here- as is in the lullaby song) is the slang of white to black, and “Coon” is in reply- sheet music titled “Ma Curly Headed Baby” the line runs- “Yo’ daddy’s in the cotton field , working for the Coon” (Plantation song) makes it clear, so nothing to do with white attitude to black, but, very clear in its use in the lyrics of this lullaby dated 1897 by G.H Clutsam BTW when a man of color calls you his Nigga, it is very different, and is a sign in words of his trust a friendship of you. as opposed to ” you ma Bitch”! clearly viciously subjective, all this said I have never seen a truly “Black” man. though Congolese, and Somali seem to be the closest but still peoples “of color” .

  9. Ahhhh Fags. This is how I found your wonderful blog! I’m a vintage blogger and collector too so a appreciate any other antipodeans out there with a love of visual history 🙂 I used to buy Fags on a in the 70s weekly basis as a kid. I still have a box of the originals somewhere stored away. I remember when they changed to ‘Fads’ which, although most of us kids from the 70s thought was pretty ridiculous, we were glad that the cool, 50s packaging remained the same. By then they had removed the red ‘tip’ and they were pretty much just sticks. But when they changed to the new imagery they truly did destroy an Australia icon. It didn’t need to happen as they were still as popular as ever with younger kids with the old packaging an name change. To me, they are just a pathetic example of political correctness gone crazy. The name change I totally get – but not the packaging.

    • As the Daughter of the inventor of Fags, i will forever be proud to be a small part of a Australian Icon.
      My Dad was proud of what he invented, not so politically incorrect in the 1940’s thats for sure!!
      Memories of fun times at the old “LOLLY” Factory.

  10. PS: Last time I was in NZ (2008) I bought a similar product called ‘Space Sticks’. These are in the exact same sized box and taste identical to the old Fags.

  11. I love how innocent things can be misconstrued for one’s own agenda……
    Coon cheese is named after its American creator, Edward William Coon

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