Friday, August 6, 2010

Perverting For Profit

Everything is up for grabs even if it makes no sense and nothing is sacred if there might be money to be made. It's the American Way.

Common Dreams

Target and LL Bean Butcher Progressive Musical Legacy

We all remember Nike using The Beatles' Revolution in a commercial, or when Wrangler used Creedence Clearwater's Fortunate Son (to make it look like a patriotic song, not the antiwar ballad it is). Now Target and L.L. Bean have co-opted 2 more progressive classics.

Possibly worse is the new L.L. Bean TV Ad which plays a Smithsonian recording of Wobbly Haywire Mac McClintock singing his original version of The Big Rock Candy Mountain. A member of the radical Union The Industrial Workers of the World during it's height during the early 20th century. He was a contemporary of song writer and organizer Joe Hill, and among the first to publicly sing Hill's The Preacher and the Slave. The recording of McClintock Singing was taken from an interview with him at the end of his life. He talks of the Wobblies and that the original meaning of "The Big Rock Candy Mountain" (the more commercial version was rewritten by Burl Ives). It was a ballad of how older Hobos would trick younger ones to help them survive with stories of the Candy Mountain where there are cigarette trees and alcohol springs. These stories were based in part on springs with lemon flavored carbonated water in the Western United States. Haywire Mac is also known for Hallelujah I'm a Bum. These songs humanized the homeless, now The Big Rock Candy Mountain is being used to sell expensive, yuppie, camping equipment; in Haywire Mac's own voice. He must be rolling in his grave.

How the hell will this help to sell high end camping gear? I shoulda finished college, I guess.

Shit, using this logic, here's Amtrak's next ad:

The Country Gentlemen ~ Joe's Last Train

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