The video: Borrowing a page from When Harry Met Sally, the Young Socialists of Catalonia, a regional Spanish group, put out a TV ad in which a young woman simulates an orgasm when casting her ballot. The ad's tag line: "Voting is a pleasure." (View the spot below.) A conservative politician criticized the ad as an "attack on the dignity of women," and even some Socialists complained, albeit less stridently. If the act of voting were as stimulating as the ad suggests, commented equality minister Leire Pajin, "electoral participation would go up greatly."
The reaction: Catalonia's local election was already "starting to seem like a race to see which [party could] get [its] entire campaign banned for excessive use of sex, violence, or porn film soundtracks" before this "R-rated ad," says Robert Mackey in The New York Times. "Yeesh, why so uptight?" says Tracy Clark-Flory in Salon. Sadly, says Lauri Apple in Jezebel, this ad takes "the low and obvious road of applying the old 'women plus sex equals edgy' formula." But love it or hate it, it's so dumb "that it's hard not to laugh at it." Watch it for yourself: