Thursday, October 15, 2009

Big Rock Candy Mountain

“Come on, Barbie, let’s go potty,” the four year old sings. She knows this song because it’s Mattel’s new theme song for Barbie, complete with accent-man singing, “Come on, Barbie, let’s go party.” Of course, the four year old has never “partied” and will never do so as long as she comes home to roost in my house. Apparently, a boy singing to Barbie that they should go potty together makes complete sense in her world view. Of course he says “potty.” Have you ever seen Barbie in a diaper?
The whole famous song as jingle thing doesn’t bug me. In fact, I quite enjoy a good Black Eyed Peas to liven up my Oprah. But some things jangle in my head and make the liberal beast come out. For instance, Sting singing in the back of a Jaguar (that’s Jag-you-are if you’re British). I guess everyone needs a ride, especially coming back from a Save the Rainforest or Liberate Tibet rally. Sheesh. He might as well buy stock in Hummer. Next we’ll have Bono singing at the Queen’s Birthday party. Or potty, if you’re my four year old.
So I hate the whole “had a moral but will sell to the highest bidder” move. Like the Barbie song. You’ve got to know that the song is anti-Barbie, right? I mean, the Mattel people have to know that. They have to know that the Mommy Dearest (me) who kept her oldest daughter away from Barbies until she could recite the 6 Deadly Sins of Barbie, I know the song is anti-Barbie. Catchy tune, lovely male voice, but as a jingle? And Aqua, what about them? Hal says they’re laughing all the way to the bank, being as how they only had one good song. But isn’t that sort of like selling your child after they pass the everyone-loves-a-cute-baby stage? Just because the song is no longer on everyone’s mind is no reason to offer it to the Corporate Gods.
Of course, it’s all good and easy to have morals when you’re sitting behind a computer waiting for someone else to bring home the eating money. Maybe that excuses Aqua: they didn’t have much of a buffer zone with only one hit. But Sting? The man could live off his earnings from Fragile alone. What, suddenly the price of organic tofu is so expensive that he needs to sell his soul to the Ford behemoth? I feel so dirty.

1 comment:

Greg and Nancy said...

And as I recall, Mattel threatened to sue Aqua when the song came out because Aqua used a trademark without permission. How things have changed...