Damned to eternal purgatory? Then you'll love Applebee's!

Posted on May 15th, 2006

“I believe that famous people have a debt to everyone. If celebrities didn't want people pawing through their garbage and saying they're gay, they shouldn't have tried to express themselves creatively… In closing, you people must realize that the public owns you for life! And when you're dead, you'll all be in commercials, dancing with vacuum cleaners.      -Homer Simpson, "When You Dish Upon a Star"

"Your paltry, unconscionable commercials are the antithesis of everything my lovely, gentle father represented."      -Ava McKenzie (Fred Astaire's daughter) in a letter to the makers of Dirt Devil vacuum cleaners.

I should tell you straight off that I'm actually pretty torn over this subject. Intellectually, I find the notion of non-consensual endorsement absurd and the posthumous bastardization of an artist's work completely disrespectful. So I'm ashamed to admit that my distaste fluctuates with how well the ad is executed.

The first time I saw Gene Kelly pop and lock his way through this VW ad, I knew I should hate it but... wow. It's inconceivable to me that someone could channel-surf past that. Just preparing this blog tonight, I watched it a dozen times. I can't hate that ad anymore than David Elsewhere can stand still. But how do you feel knowing the same technology could be used to put your mom's face in a German scheisse porn? Oh, so now it's wrong. Happy belated Mother's Day, by the way.

Anyway, that's the question for this week's words vs. pictures: Does having the rights give us the right? And, yes, the “moron” button is back by popular demand.


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