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I can’t prove it without doing a lot of tedious research, but I’m reasonably sure that some of the incidental musick for the old Lost In Space series was filched from the “Gnomus” movement of Mussorgsky’s Pictures At An Exhibition.

(Incidentally, John Williams (of Star Wars fame) wrote the theme musick for Lost In Space, but I don’t know if he did the incidental stuff as well.)

Update: Speaking of pictures and exhibitions and Johns and Williams reminds me that this week marks the anniversary of the birth of Mrs. P’s favorite Pre-Raphaelite painter, John William Waterhouse.  Let’s have a little, ah, celebratory fresh fruit.  (Careful, Miss, with the twanging.  You don’t want to get any nasty bruises):

I see where today is the anniversary of the birth, in 1902, of Andrew “Sandy” Comyn Irvine, in Birkenhead, Cheshire.

As it happens, the other day the Mothe and I were discussing the attempt by George Mallory and Irvine to become the first climbers to conquer Mt. Everest and the still-unanswered question of whether they actually succeeded in reaching the summit before falling to their deaths there on or about June 8, 1924.

The available evidence is inconclusive at this point, but at least it does not rule out the possibility that they made it.  Personally, I believe they did, and will continue to do so unless and until it can be proven otherwise.  Even then, I’ll probably still believe it.

Irrational, perhaps, but there we are.

I wasn’t going to say anything about the, yes, extremely creepy new Nike ad featuring Tiger Woods and the disembodied voice of his deceased father that is making headlines this morning.  In fact, I’ve been pretty loathe to comment on the Woods biznay at all.  I positively detest celebrity “culture” in general and only do bad things to my blood-pressure when I try to focus on any of the details.

But I felt I just had to say something about a quote appearing in the Telegraph article linked here:

Michael Sugden, managing director of VCCP, the advertising agency, said: “Initially I thought this advert was very weird, but having watched it a few times I think it’s genius.

“From Nike’s point of view it is a very risky move, because they will be accused of profiteering from Woods’s misdemeanours.

“However, it is becoming one of the most talked about adverts of the moment, so in that sense has already proved its success.

“Golfers will get this, because loyalty is one of the core values of sportsmen, and it shows that Nike has retained that loyalty, to Tiger as his other sponsors abandoned him, and to the spirit of the game.”

Italics are mine.  Loyalty is one of the core values of sportsmen.  Got that?  And, according to Mr. Sugden, Nike is here supposedly showing its own appreciation of that core value while all those other nasty sponsors have gone and thrown poor Tiger under the bus.


Of course, Nike is in all of this simply to sell stuff and rake in the dosh, and is taking a calculated risk here in order to be able to sell even more stuff and rake in even more dosh:  You can be sure that if they believed their allegiance to Tiger wasn’t worth the financial gamble, they’d have chucked him, too, in nothing flat.   So I suppose that while I think the advert itself is in extremely bad taste (you can clicky over to view it yourself), I at least understand Nike’s motive for running it.

No, what really irks me here is Mr. Sugden’s attempt to transmogrify Nike’s profit motive into an expression of virtue, particularly where that virtue is one conspicuously absent from Woods’ own character, and then to suggest such false virtue is or ought to be attractive to Nike’s customers.   There are so many strata of cynicism at work in such a calculation as to be positively obscene.  I shudder to to think that Mr. Sugden believes people will, ah, buy into it.  And I shudder even more to think that he might be right.

But then again, I’m not in advertising.  Laus Deo.


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April 2010