Thursday, October 11, 2007

BUS STORY # 49 (Ain’t That America):

In this month’s KUNM public radio newsletter, General Manager Richard S. Towne grouses about the rapidly expanding phenomenon of product placement. “There’s that bottle of Heinz ketchup on the table during the dinner scene of your favorite movie. Then there’s the long, lovely, lingering shot of the shiny new Lexus during your favorite, weekly crime drama on cable. You love the great new song on the radio by the singer Akon about his Lamborghini Gallardo.”

Towne goes on to reference a blog that reports Fergie (a “mega-popstar chanteuse with the best-selling band Black-Eyed Peas”) has signed a lucrative deal with a “hip” clothing company to feature its brand name in future songs. Those of us of a certain age and countercultural sensibility might deplore this new evidence of the corporate corruption of all that is sacred -- but then we'd have to laboriously (and probably futilely) explain why it’s not the same thing when Janis Joplin sings “O Lord, won’t you buy me/A Mercedes-Benz.”

7:51 PM