Saturday, November 21, 2009

About those BlackBerry commercials

Since I don't watch much TV, it's taken me longer than most to see one of the BlackBerry commercials that have rankled some Beatles fans. (If you're unfamiliar, go here.) Recently, my luck at escaping these televised annoyances ran out. The reason for all of the frustration, of course, is the presence of "All You Need is Love," as covered by Grayson Matthews, in the commercials. The argument against this kind of advertising is straightfoward: A song like "All You Need is Love," with its emotive and idealistic message, has nothing to do with the product in question and shouldn't be used to promote consumerism. As an example, here are Steve Marinucci's thoughts on the subject. In principle, I would agree with much of what Marinucci and others have said. It's not an apt or artful use of the song, and the Beatles probably would not have approved. Even so, I read some of the responses to Marinucci's post, and noticed that people were using words like "disgusting" and talking about possible boycotts and, in general, conveying a sense of outrage that I found highly disproportionate to the issue at hand. Is the song's inclusion cheap and irritating? Yes. But even confined to the world of pop music, it's a rather trivial matter. It's not illegal, it's not intended to disrespect the Beatles, and it shouldn't change how we view the original version of "All You Need is Love." Maybe we could save our indignation for the truly grave injustices in this world.

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