Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Takin Care of Bizness

donuts.jpgTwo commercials I don't get:
The first one is actually a whole series of commercials that are really annoying, mostly because they are, um, stupid. Southwest Airlines, a good company with a nice sense of humor, has these commercials about an employee getting ahead and suspected of using "productivity enhancers." I don't hate it because it tries to be a whacky satire of steroid and HGH abuse in baseball. I hate it because the guy's secret is Southwest Airlines and he never actually flies anywhere or even talks about flying. What the hell does Southewest have to do with his productivity. It's never explained.
In a similar fashion, Dunkin Donuts now claims to be what America runs on. There's a bunch of people who like "doing things". If you watch the commercial, you'll notice that eating donuts is not one of the things they do. Donuts are implied but they are not featured. Neverthe less, I like this comercial. I like it because the song is upbeat and fun... okay, I really like it because just the suggestion of donuts makes me happy.
I'm just not sure how I'm supposed to get more productive flying around eating donuts.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Variations on a Theme

high hopes.jpg(UPDATED 1/27) Everyone is familiar with the inappropriate songs played at weddings, such as the stalker song, “I’ll Be Watching You.” I submit that Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight” should be on the list: “We go a party, And everyone turns to see, This beautiful lady, That's walking around with me…………Its time to go home now, And Ive got an aching head, So I give her the car keys, She helps me to bed”. Sure, any guy would love an arm-candy, live-in, designated driver sleeping in his bed, but the guy doesn’t say that OUT LOUD. Clapton actually put it in a song! And people play this as a tribute to a bride!
In a similar way, political candidates choose theme songs based on the title and forget to review the lyrics. This article points out some excellent examples.

strawpoll-elvis.jpgJohn McCain recently dispensed with the classic, Chuck Berry tune, “Johnny B Goode” in favor of Abba’s “Take a Chance on Me
.” I don’t object to this because he switched from a rocking song by a real American to a lame disco song by some unisex Swedes. And the new song is fairly appropriate for McCain, being about somebody who is rejected once, asking for a do over, and the lyrics, “Gonna do my very best and it ain’t no lie If you put me to the test, if you let me try” fit his message. What’s wrong about this lyric is that John McCain has gone from Johnny B Goode who overcomes humble beginnings, achieving self-made success, to being John Cusack standing outside your house with a boombox over his head, willing to "Say Anything" to get a date your vote.
Somebody asking you to “Take a Chance on Me” is a pitiable loser. It doesn’t have to be that way. Dirty Harry asks a similar question in a more assertive manner: “I know what you're thinking. ‘Did he fire six shots or only five?’ Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself a question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?” Mr. Harry is asking “Do you want to take a chance on me” in a very testosterone-fueled, active way. However, he’s suggesting there may be very drastic, negative consequences if you do, which is not McCain’s intended message (I assume), so he's better off with old Johnny B
McCain is not the only politician these days with a soft message. Barack Obama uses “Higher and Higher” which says nothing about what he will do for you but is about what your love does for him, which seems like the negative flip side of JFK’s message. Speaking of which, Obama talks about giving America “hope”. John Kennedy’s theme song was “High Hopes” back in 1960. Martin Luther King had a dream back in the 60’s. We no longer have time to take a chance on hopes and dreams. We need someone to wake up and give us some results, not hope. Hope is the thing with feathers. Things with feathers, can't be held, they fly away, like birds. By offering “hope”, Obama is giving us the bird! Maybe “Free Bird” would be a good campaign song.
Hillary Clinton has taken to saying, "Some believe you can get change by hoping for it. I believe you get change by working hard.” I've noticed that Obama has recently spoken less about hope and more about change. Here's a good song for one of them about change, with a message for the Bush Republicans: "Ch-ch-changes, Wheres your shame? Youve left us up to our necks in it." But change just for change's sake is not enough. As Billy Joel has said at many weddings, "Don't go changin', to try and please me. Won't change the color of my state.... I Love you just the way you are. Now drive me home and put me to bed."