Friday, September 07, 2007

Tributes to Pavarotti

Death is a great sales gimmick. A famous tenor dies one day and he climbs back up the album charts the next. Since Pavarotti died, I’ve had countless emails from different companies asking me to pay my respects to the great man by buying some of his albums. I think they believe they're being timely. I think it’s just another reminder that big business can never be relied upon to do the moral thing.

I thought the same recently when I saw the new Nike adverts with the cast of Dirty Sanchez playing the fool with Wayne Rooney (and yes, I agree, that can't be that difficult). Most people won’t have seen Dirty Sanchez on MTV and fewer still will have enjoyed the sight of grown men putting industrial staples through their fingers, hitting their genitals with rulers, or sticking dozens of hypodermic needles through their arms until they were awash with blood. Nor will they have seen a few other of the stunts these guys get up to: licking the sweat from a fat wrestler’s armpit being one of the more tasteful. And at least it didn’t involve the less savoury bodily fluids they eat and drink in some of their other tricks. If you really want to know how bad things get, follow the previous link and then begin to wonder where the money of your Sky subscription goes.

I suppose I’ve always had a naive faith in capitalism, believing that freedom gives people the chance to do great things if left to choose how to spend their money and live their lives. I now realise that capitalism succeeds because money gathers were people are at their weakest. Sex, war, food, addition, violence, horror. Freedom allows idiots to do stupid things and for the masses to follow them. And that’s ultimately where the money is and where the capitalists feed. Do companies like Nike or MTV really care about their target audience? Or would that be to take a moral stance and suggest that they care about the way we educate our young or give them meaningful idols to look up to?

There are some things more depressing about Pavarotti’s death than the simple facts of his dying.


Momentary Academic said...

Well said, Chip.

Death of the famous sells.

Mopsa said...

I have stuck my head in the clouds. I buy the papers on a Saturday only and in the summer work outside in the evenings and frequently miss the TV news. There is no radio reception so I only get my Radio 4 fix when in the car and that is once or twice a week. And so Pavarotti has died and I had no idea. What else have I missed that is actually important? Now I'm in a fret of ignorance.