Friday, April 11, 2008

today : crimes against culture pt1

The fashion for using popular song on TV adverts is kinda fun. It's so obvious that I don't know why anyone didn't think of it until the late 1980s. Culture is resonant, and the association of certain tunes with adverts is a powerful thing. Currently, the singing dog advert for the VW Golf uses an old tune to brilliant effect.

However, there are some things that should be off limits. I am going to cite two current examples: the use of Edith Piaf to advertise spectacles and the use of The Irish Rover to sell butter.

The first one is just tasteless. Piaf doesn't deserve to be part of some cheap advertisement. You can just tell that the execs involved had no idea who she was until the 2007 film came out. And the joke is crap. No, rien de rien, no je ne regrette rien is translated in subtitles, and then the next part of the song is translated hilariously as 'apart from the fact that I didn't go to Specsavers'

Oh, the beautiful use of irony. My sides surely split with uncontrollable mirth.

At the same time, the people who make Clover - the non-butter butter - have decided to appropriate The Wild Rover and replace the words with some blather about eating Clover. Which is kind of blasphemous. Just because a song doesn't have copyright doesn't mean that it's fair game. The wild rover is a small but integral part of our culture - like Auld Lang Syne or Happy Birthday - and shouldn't be allowed to be butchered by these vacuous chancers.

Which is my point, really. This whiole mullarkey shows modern media types as shallow, insensitive fools who have no understanding of the way culture operates and no respect for culture as art, only as fleeting commerical opportunity.

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