04.28.12

Truth versus Crap

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle at 9:13 am by George Smith

A few months ago DD noted the arrival of the “Brand USA” marketing campaign. Since then I’ve made it the momentary butt of a joke moment in a slide video set to one song.

The idea was to gin up the rotten reputation and inspire tourism which has taken a hit because of the war on terror.

One of recent results has been the above video commercial bit, entitled “Anthem.” It’s explained here.

Naturally, you know I view it as crap. It’s high production value, no expense spared, simple-minded pandering using Rosanne Cash’s maudlin “Land of Dreams.” Just come to the glorious USA. Don’t think about the TSA, visas, proving you’re not a terrorist, and enduring customs for something high rent, blighted and really not quite worth the trouble.

However, last week my song, “The National Anthem” took an unexpected bump upward in views. Drilling down through the statistics I found viewers were fortuitously coming over from “Brand USA Anthem” because YouTube was displaying my tune to the side in its related videos list.

Ha ha!

By comparison, “The National Anthem” is catchy, funny and the truth. It rocks. In stark contrast to “Brand USA” it is not marinating in deluded bathos.

Now, it still doesn’t have the view count of the latter. But I didn’t have the advertising and promotional dollars to shove it like its corporate minders.

A recent New York Times story here shows how much muscle the US government and recruited high-power ad agencies are putting into the “Brand USA” campaign. This, to spur tourism, because it’s one of the only ways they can think of to hike employment — more minimum wage jobs as waiters and hospitality industry staff.

Go out to the “Brand USA: Anthem” video at YouTube and take a look at the comments. Doesn’t look like it’s working too well, now, does it?

Such transparently dishonest things deserve all the superciliousness, and more, that comes their way. They are perfect examples of Paul Fussell’s BAD — something phony, witless or vacant passed off as uplifting, genuine or in some way, worthy of praise just because.

It is another in a huge collection of fool’s gold-painted trinkets fresh from our culture of lickspittle.

Hit “The National Anthem” up a few ticks today. Feeling inspired? Post it somewhere, just so they can’t be rid of it dangling maddeningly in the related videos column. Post it in the comments.

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