Saturday, May 31, 2008

"America runs to fill it to the brim with the best part of wakin' up and release the flavor of a second cup." If not the taste.

No you didn't ... just call me a terrorist.As a teevee producer, I would never have let her wear it. "On-line ad" or not.
Since many aspects of this fashion faux pas have been neglected by the few "blogs" and news items that have briefly touched on its finer points, I feel I should address this scarf controversy from my standpoint. As a miserable, disappointed, former operative of the teevee industry. Because it is the industry that has, for more than a half-century, brewed and roasted the wisdom, expertise, imagination, and technical know-how of millions of professional and amateur broadcasters. Only to give us Rachael Ray.

  1. Free Advice: I had to throw out a bunch of paisley ties when I got a brief and unrewarding on-air gig. The small-detailed pattern is always a DON'T on video. I don't care if it's online or HD, fussy little texture + digital pixellation = moiré patterns, that weird cheap "hypno-dizzy" special effect. And don't give me any "No one will ever notice." I know tech directors who still suffer from vertigo from houndstooth jackets on guests.
  2. On-air Fashion: Even if you are personally responsible for the destruction of every form of appropriate anything and you make up silly acronyms that are more confusing to say than the actual words themselves, or you sound like a Tom Waits record played at 78 rpm, you can't just look like a slob whenever you go on-air. You have a sacred duty to uphold a certain level of decorum. Because I said.
  3. Real World Fashion: My high school World History and Geography teacher was a burly Jesuit who coached Cross-Country. One day, during one of the Seventies' oil crises, he came to class wearing a kaffiyeh -- correctly, on his head -- in order to show us how he stayed cool when he taught in Saudi Arabia. He assured us that everybody there wore one, and nobody called anyone "Grandma" or "Palestinian Terrorist." I remembered his lessons. In the Eighties, women and some really affected men wore "Afghan" scarves, like the one you see above around Ms. Ray's neck. As I remember, the idea was to wear it loosely, in order to show off the pretty -- if loosely random -- paisley. Now, they're wrapped more tightly. Twenty-five years of those scarves. I'm guessing somebody from those Reagan years has been waiting for this moment.
  4. Freestyle! Everybody skate! Haphazard draping looks inappropriate on any spokesperson. Does Rachael just have no respect for the coffee she's hawking? Or is it that the refreshing iced coffee is so cool that its effects demand a scarf? (Excuse me if any of this was explained in the actual ad. Which is possible, because, hey, They Might Be Giants...) Is this a subliminal message to those who would like to strangle Ms. Ray? And don't get me started on the suggestion and symbolism of the pink blossoms. Or the extended-middle-finger-shaped building in the background. And what's up with that trashcan? Plus, the little knotted tassels are such a distraction. Takes the eye off the product -- THE big-big no-no.

Yes, I can see why wardrobe departments, advertising stylists, and English majors are offended. But, seriously, the BBC reports...

US coffee chain Starbucks has come under fire for a new logo that critics say is offensive and overly graphic. The Resistance, a US-based Christian group, has called for a national boycott of the coffee-selling giant.
It says the chain's new logo has a naked woman on it with her legs "spread like a prostitute... The company might as well call themselves Slutbucks".
What? What are you looking at?
Starbucks says the image - based on a 16th century Norse design of a mermaid with two-tails - is not inappropriate.
Rather, the image is a more conservative version of the original Starbucks design, which hung above the chain's first store when it opened in Seattle's Pike Place Market in 1971.

She's a siren. A week-long promotional siren. You can still see her flukes, but not her alleged "sluttiness," on the green label, the one all of us fair-trade coffee fans know. As far as the "prostitution" charge goes, every sailor knows that sirens exact a very heavy price. Interesting trivia: "Starbuck," originally from a big island off the coast here, was the first mate on Moby-Dick's Pequod.

He was the man from Nantucket.

1 comment:

karie said...

I had the exact same scarf in 1982... I LOVED that scarf. It cost me like $3 to buy it in Chinatown (NYC), and it went perfectly with my IKE jacket.

It didn't go so well with cherry blossoms and coffee, though. More like Che Guevera, FREE-Nelson Mandela, and stop the Guatemalan "masacree" sentiments.

OH! No wonder...