Sunday, December 10, 2006

I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

In a studied avoidance of grading over the past few days, I've been catching up on my popular culture addictions, which, if you're a regular reader here, you know include prime time television and fashion magazines.

It may well be the case that I'm getting old and not realizing it (in fact, I'm sure that that's true). This hit me like a ton of bricks for the first time upon turning 26, when I realized I was no longer eligible to be on The Real World. [Given what's going on over on the Denver season, I suppose I should be happy about that.] Since then, however, I keep happening upon these instances in which those who create the popular culture artifact seem to post-date a fairly dubious association with its content. How about a concrete example, to save that previous tortured sentence?

1) There's a commercial on currently, which could be a Taco Bell commercial, in which a young man is eating something in the back seat of a car, flanked by two young women. Clearly, he's having the time of his life, sandwiched in between these two. "Gee," someone in the audience thinks, "that looks great! I should have one of those too!" Until one hears the song, which is Stealer's Wheel singing "Stuck in the Middle with You." Now, I suppose if you weren't watching R-rated films in 1992, you might be fine with this song; its got a bit of a chirpy pop hook, I suppose. But if you WERE able to get into Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs in '92, all you associate with that song is getting your ear hacked off by a suave, dancing psychopath. Yum. Pass the chalupa.

2) Will Smith and son grace the cover of the current issue of Entertainment Weekly. When you get to the interview, the magazine has it's typical sidebar reviewing the actor's best works. The title of the sidebar? "Triumph of the Will." Clever, right? Unless you associate that with Leni Riefenstahl making propaganda films for the Nazi's, of course! Oy. Or perhaps someone at EW really has it in for Will Smith? (Didn't we all, after the summer of getting jiggy with it.)

Sigh. Two examples of ways in which, at my tender age, I've fallen out of the market demographic. Either that, or toddlers have taken over pop culture production. Perhaps both.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled grading drudgery.


Blogger Elizabeth said...


i only just now found your blog, but i cannot resist commenting about that taco bell ad which always makes me kind of grossed out imagining the taco or whatever full of blood and maybe even containing an ear. i thought that was one of the major permanent triumps of "reservoir dogs," to make everyone think of that song in that way.

what's next, car commercial featuring "american girl"? those of our (to presume) generation may recall from "silence of the lambs" that hearing that song signals imminent kidnapping, getting thrown in a pit and ordered to put on lotion. sheesh, these kids.

Monday, December 11, 2006 5:18:00 PM  
Blogger kfluff said...

Permanent triumph indeed! I know *I'd* definitely buy a car if it asked me to "put the lotion in the basket" via musical indoctrination...

How about that Philips commercial that uses "It's getting better all the time" by the Beatles? Never mind, of course, that the next line is "it couldn't get much worse."

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, December 11, 2006 11:03:00 PM  

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