Sunday, July 23, 2006

Ever Since Burma-Shave

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" If you read this blog, you'll be thinner, more beautiful, more attractive to the opposite sex, smarter, richer, and funnier! Everyone will love you! And, best of all, you'll love yourself!

This commercial brought to you by Anne Johnson, "The Gods Are Bored." Get your bored god today, and get everything else your heart desires!

Okay, most advertisements are more subtle than that.

I'm not over the hill. I'm enjoying the view from the summit. It's been a long climb, and I think I'll rest up here for awhile before I start that perilous descent that ends ... you know where.

One of the things about being "of a certain age" is that you can remember pivotal moments in history that happened before most of your young, smart-set readers were born.

One such pivotal moment happened on the television.

I'm not talking about the damned Beatles on Sullivan. And yes, I watched it the first time around.

No, the pivotal moment of which I speak was a commercial.

The commercial shows a Native American moving slowly amongst a polluted landscape. At the very end of the commercial, the Indian looks around, surveys the gutted earth and noxious, smoky air. A single tear runs down his face. Close-up.

Of course everyone had talked about pollution before that commercial aired. But after that bit started running on the telly, wow. The rank and file voters started kicking government ass. One crying Indian changed a nation.

(I've since read that he wasn't a Native American at all, but a Jewish guy from the Bronx. Not that it matters. He sure looked like an Indian.)

Nowadays I don't watch much tv. Just like everything else in my house, it's gotten too damned complicated. Half the time I can't even turn on the stupid machine. Forget TiVo, even though we have it. Once when I wanted to watch an "On Demand" movie, I literally got on my knees and prayed to the stupid tv to let me get the thing up on the screen. (It worked. TV probably has some bored god behind it somewhere.)

I don't know how I came to be sitting alone with my tv the other night, surprised to find it responding to my gentle prodding. I settled on MSNBC.

That's where I saw THE COMMERCIAL.

It's new (to me, anyway), and it's just as powerful as the crying Indian.

The subject: global warming.

The message: Rank and file voting Americans, get off your butts and kick government ass.

Al Gore can talk about global warming in a movie for two hours, and make perfect sense, and use worldwide illustrations. But the best way to reach people is in a 30-second commercial, using recognizable imagery that conveys menace and then tugs the heartstrings.

The commercial is here. Railroad tracks.

If you click back to me, shaken and stunned, hey. I know how you feel.

Now let's do some ass-whoopin and stop global warming. I vote the windmill ticket.

And since we don't like to leave you in a bad mood when you visit us at "The Gods Are Bored," here's Anne's commercial, a nostalgic throwback to the days of Model T Fords and the fabulous Burma-Shave ads along the highways:




The Burma-Shave folks always loved a double-rhyme in the last sign.



autumn said...

I don't watch much TV eiher so I haven't seen the global warming commercial, but I remember the Indian with the tear

Interrobang said...

They should have picked someone older for the adult actor in the shot. That guy looked not much older than me, and he will get kicked in the ass by climate change.

Let's just say if their 30-year estimate is correct, I'm going to be one cranky old lady...

Interrobang said...

I knew I'd come over here for a reason, and that was to mention that the last couple of comments you left on my blog were brilliant. (I especially like the "GRADE HIS IQ TEST" one!)

You're absolutely right about Canada, too. I've long felt that if the US collapses for whatever reason, we're so far inside your event horizon, we'll just get sucked in, too. Our economies are so integrated that oftentimes if the US sneezes, we get pneumonia.

I've spent quite some time in Santorum's stronghold, NW Pennsylvania. I can personally attest to how warped and twisted he must be, based on some of the kinds of people who live there.

Your word verification is giving me subliminal messages from US radio stations: KUOKFM. Incidentally, a quick Google shows me that KUOK FM was a radio station in Oklahoma City, now called KJHK. Submiminal messages from beyond the radio station grave!! *cue Twilight Zone music*