Daily Archives: January 10, 2006

Incongruities in Advertising

My pet peeve of the day:

What does Alabama, or Lynryd Skynyrd for that matter, have to do with fried chicken? In particular, what does “Sweet Home Alabama” have to do with Kentucky Fried Chicken?

Perhaps my geography is a little bit rusty, but Kentucky is nestled between Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia (ok, some other states too), but is NOWHERE near Alabama. Colonel Harlan Sanders was a hillbilly who DRESSED like a southern cracker, and more closely resembled Burl Ives than anyone else. Seems to me that most of the chicken in the United States is not produced in Alabama, either. Most likely the chicken is from Arkansas — which to my recollection doesn’t border Alabama OR Kentucky (but that’s another issue).

So why does the KFC campaign for Chicken Capital USA (which I can only assume is bluegrass country and not swamp rock country, being somewhere south of Cincinnati and north of Nashville) have as its theme song Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama”? Is it because nobody gets all goofy-eyed and thinks of fried chicken when they hear musicians from Kentucky — like Bill Monroe, Merle Travis, John Prine, the Everly Brothers, Dwight Yoakum? Hell, Johnny Depp would be a better fit. The Kentucky Headhunters’ “Walk Softly On This Heart of Mine” would be far more appropriate.

Is it because in this country the intellectual capability of the average American is, as they say, going South?

Or is it because those folks who now own KFC (the same people that own Pepsi and Taco Bell, I think) couldn’t think of a better representation of fly-over country than Skynyrd?

Don’t get me wrong. I love Lynryd Skynyrd. And I think all of ’em that are still alive deserve all the royalties they can get. But I’ve got relatives in Kentucky, I’ve got relatives from Kentucky that work for KFC and knew the Colonel while he was alive, and I’ve even EATEN KFC in Kentucky — where, I might add, it is better than anywhere else in the country. “Sweet Home Alabama” as the theme song for something that is in NO WAY associated with, or from, Alabama is a little insulting to me. It’s just wrong.

And by the way, considering the number of Puerto Ricans, Gautemalans, Costa Ricans, Mexicans and Latinos and Hispanics of almost every variety living in New York City, how is it that they know so much less there about salsa than folks in San Antonio?

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Life is What You Make It

When I was a kid, I had a record (yeah, a plastic disk that spun around and was activated by an actual needle, producing sound waves that were amplified as electric signals through hot glass tubes and pushed out into the atmosphere through big ol’ speakers, not headphones) that included Guy Lombardo’s “Enjoy Yourself (It’s Later Than You Think)”. I always liked the song and what it seemed to suggest … for those who think that Tim McGraw’s song “Live Like You Were Dying” represents some new breakthrough in psychology, I would suggest checking it out. Anyway, I was sitting here watching a family of cardinals dining at the bird feeder in the backyard and enjoying the sunshine, and came up with the line “there’s no use in complaining, son, when life throws you a curve / we each get what we ask for, or at least, what we deserve.” And the rest of the song sprung (as in “spring has sprung / fall has fell / winter’s here / and it’s colder than … usual) from that.

Now, I suppose each of us chose
where we were born and raised,
just like we pick which songs to play
and what work fills our days.
I know it’s true that fortune moves
in strange and wondrous ways;
the lessons we require are given
’til the learning stays.

Good times and bad both come and go,
one day leads to the next;
you never know what’s coming
or just what you can expect.
There’s no use in complaining, though,
when life throws you a curve;
we each get what we asked for,
or at least what we deserve.

Life is what you make it
Don’t waste time knocking around
Don’t let your dreams split at the seams
Don’t let those teardrops drown
The sun that keeps on shining
Every morning until night
It may not be a perfect day
But it will be all right.

Geography and circumstance
are not just random luck;
and it’s no accident you drive
a Beamer or a truck.
Blue collar or accountant,
each has their own row to hoe,
and either fights the current
or learns to go with the flow.

There’s not much point in judging, then,
how the world has passed you by;
we each serve our own sentence,
a life’s span, and then we die.
So live like you want life to be,
and dance to your own drum;
who knows? tomorrow you might find
your lucky number’s come.

Life is what you make it
Don’t waste time spinning around
Don’t let love bloom around you
Without chasing a bit down
The sun will keep on shining
Every morning until night
It may not be a perfect day
But it will be all right.

10 JAN 2006

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