Reader response to my Cranky Day smash hit column last week was so overwhelming I simply had no choice but to produce a sequel (even though I usually avoid doing sequels as they generally never live up to the originals). So for all you millions of readers who have clamored for more, here is Cranky Day Part II. Enjoy. And keep those cards and letters coming in, folks. Your constant adoration is what I live for.
Now on with this week’s aggravating things that make me cranky and sad.
1. I’ve been a fan of Jack in the Box milk shakes and tacos for years, but there’s a new commercial they’ve been running lately on TV. If there was a triathlon of disgusting elements in marketing; vulgar, low class, and pandering, this spot would win hands down. It’s for a new burger called Jack’s Big Stack. The ad features two teenage girls lying on a bed, each holding a smart phone, giggling and talking about what we are supposed to think is some boy.
Girl #1: “He just said, ‘It’s Big!’”
Girl #2: “How Big?”
Girl #1: “REALLY Big! (Giggle, giggle).
Girl # 2: “Tell him to send a pic.”
Girl #1: “NO!” (Then quickly changing her mind) “Okay.” Then we hear a tone indicating that the picture has come up on her screen. Her eyes widen and she says, “WHOA!”
She turns the phone around and we see…. Well, ha, ha, we fooled you! It’s only the new hamburger from Jack in the Box. Ha, ha, ha. Oh, aren’t we agency folks clever? Aren’t we edgy? Aren’t we cool? No, actually you aren’t at all. You’re just unimaginative and predictably classless. This kind of coarse crap advertising has no place on family hour viewing (I saw it played during a Dodger game). Sorry to see Jack in the Box playing the vulgarity card. Chalk up one less place I’ll patronize in the future. I’ll stick with In-N-Out Burgers, always the best anyway.
2. While watching the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, Carousel the other evening, I was struck with the beauty, sophistication, grace, and art of the choreography and the outstanding music and timeless songs. Then I thought about all the people who created this and so many other innovative and beautiful shows of the last century. All the music from the likes of Cole Porter, the Gershwins, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Johnny Mercer, Lerner and Lowe, Lorenz Hart, the list goes on and on.
Think of the dancing. Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Hermes Pan, Agnes De Mille, Jacques d’Amboise, Bob Fosse, and so many other highly talented dancers and choreographers. Was that period in human history a quirk? Was it just a serendipitous coming together of talent that could never happen again or only once every few millennia? These creative people had enormous talents that everyday people like me could enjoy and appreciate. They wrote and danced to some of the most beautiful music the world has ever witnessed.
So where are the young Gershwins and Cole Porters today? I can’t believe that there aren’t highly talented people living today who might be capable of creating the same quality of art as the old guys did. Wouldn’t you think today’s creative people would WANT to aspire to the heights of the best of the 20th Century? But no, we don’t have that, it’s not encouraged somehow. Melodic and beautiful music is not being marketed; graceful, innovative dance is not given a platform. Why? It’s either because the masses don’t want it, or the marketers don’t THINK they want it. But for whatever reason, it is not part of our contemporary pop fabric anymore.
That’s it for this week. Join us next time for the continuing adventures of Cranky Man.