...busting up my brains for the words

Thursday, December 30, 2004

'Tis the season (time capsule)

I wrote this back in November. Found it, updated a bit while listening to T. Rex.

And speaking of television, I see we have entered that wondrous holiday season of Old Navy commercials.
Oh, we are soooo lucky. Do my British readers know the joys of Old Navy television ads, I wonder?

Update: No, the Brits are unaware of Old Navy Christmas television advertisements. Unless they travel to America, of course, be it Kansas City, Kansas or New Amsterdam at that most wonderful time of the year.
No matter.

Old Navy television ads and, by extension their news print ads and Internet ads, are nostalgic for the American 1960s. There's a vacuousness in the models' faces. There's a Barbie & Ken (isn't this just another way of saying "vacuousness") kind of pose to the bodies of the models.
But one does not have to look for subtleties of lighting and theater when such glaring, sparkling early 1960s fonts are plainly competing for your recompense.
And then there are all those bright colors.
The ad states, "It's the most colorful time of the year."

Beaconing back to "It's the most wonderful time of the year," which is a line from a Christmas song. The 1960s is a decade that has had many cliche's cast before the public in search of a sympathetic vibration. Folk music, early Beatles and soap commercials. Squeakie clean.

In the wake of 9/11 I got it in my head that I should have a tee shirt with the Stars & Stripes on its front. I never did get it. And maybe that's 'cause Old Navy had the corner on that market. I never liked the Old Navy American Flag tee. It felt greedy or false or both. To buy & wear an Old Navy American Flag tee is to wear a sign that says, I'm a schmuck. ("You outta know." - Ed.) It's the most colorful time of the year.

And when you think of it, "I'm a schmuck." is what's brandished across your brow when you even see a commercial from Old Navy. Isn't it? At least, that's my story as to why I don't shop there. In other words, I'm actually repelled by their ads. It would seem that the goal of a t.v. ad should be to convince potential shoppers to give their shop a visit with the credit card in tow.
Of course that whole notion gets flung right out the window when you know that attracting a 51 year old bachelor to shop at your store might not be the pinnacle of casual wear retailing success.
The day that I show up to buy a tee shirt at Old Navy is the day that a thousand suburban teens are inspired to become punk, which happens sometimes so I guess it can be pulled off.

Hey, I can threaten without actually spending money at Old Navy. I could simply walk in, finger the merchandise and leave. The shock of my prospective patronage would resound like a tsunami from sox to chino pants.

Okay. I've mined the depths of greed and pettiness and narcissim with this tome. And to finish it off with a flip off to the victims of nature in Asia recently, well, that's just not acceptable. You've got to atone. Okay.
How about a donation to the relief efforts?
That will do.
How much?
None of your business.


  • At 3:16 PM, Blogger Custos Morum said…

    I'm afraid we've been spared. Send them to France first so we can gauge the reaction.


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