7/22/2004

So what I think is funny and stupid is commercials that edit songs so they sound like the opposite of their actual meaning. The first time I noticed this was “American Woman” by the Guess Who, which was used in an ad for Tommy Hilfiger or American Eagle or something like that. The song is a protest song from the Vietnam era against the U. S., but it was edited so it sounded like it was glorifying American women. Then there was another Tommy Hilfiger commercial that edited “Fortunate Son” by CCR, which is about the sons of rich and powerful people avoiding Vietnam, to sound like it was a patriotic song. They only played “some folks are born, made to raise the flag, oooh that red white and blue,” but they edited out the next line of the song, “And when the band plays ‘Hail to the Chief’ They point the cannon right at you,” as well as all of the draft-dodging stuff. I assume bands do this solely for the money, or maybe they lost control of the rights to their songs, but I think it really sucks, both that the song is being used for basically the opposite of what it means, and that ad people assume we don’t know what the song is about. Either that or the ad people are bad listeners and only notice the very brief parts that they can use, which would not surprise me. Recently, I saw an ad for a cruise or something with Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life,” which I am pretty sure is about drug addiction, and a car commercial which took one line from the Dandy Warhols' “Bohemian Like You,” which is a sarcastic song that makes fun of young people who are trying to be cool bohemians. Neither of which are things that people selling stuff would want to be associated with, you would think. “Hey, if you guy this car you are a poser! Come on this cruise and do heroin!” But I guess it’s easier to cut up a song by an actual band than to make a catchy song yourself.

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