Back in March I became thoroughly disgusted with Bank of America's "Pink's Hot Dog" commercial. Their self-portrayal as this noble, financial ambassador of goodwill left me in a complete rage. Are people really that stupid? Lamentably, the answer is... of course they are. Well, imbecilism (not a real word) goes hand in hand with indifference these days. As you might expect, I wrote about it.
Well, just when you think the big banks have a monopoly on being aggressively deceitful and manipulative, along comes big oil. I swear to god, next up will probably be the defense contractors. Lockheed and Northrop hailing the virtue and precision of land mines and cluster bombs. You know, the bright, shiny bombs that accidentally resemble children's toys. As if the children of Afghanistan didn't have enough agonizing shit to contend with.
So lately the philanthropic arm of Chevron has been under attack from the greedy citizens of Ecuador. Apparently, a few gallons of oil have inadvertently spilled. You know... it's like when a tanker rig overturns near St. Clairsville and they have to shut down I-70 and call in the EPA clean-up crew. I actually visited Ecuador (back in 1999) although I don't think this gives me any unique insight. Anyway, there's a massive, ongoing 20 billion dollar class action lawsuit. This oily disaster is even worse than the flooded Greek wings at the Alpha. And don't even get me started on Chevron's destructive impact on Nigeria. I think the African country should be renamed "Chevron." Maybe refer to the Niger Delta as "the Texacanic Strip." Rename the capital city Lagos... Latex. I'm pretty sure they use oil when manufacturing condoms. I could be wrong.
Brief aside - did you know that the population of Nigeria will soon exceed the United States? I think in 2050 or so (as if humanity will last that long... talk about wishful thinking).
Anyhoo, the Chevron execs have fought back with a "We Agree" marketing campaign. It reminds me of those Fox Network commercials hailing the virtues of sportsmanship and not being judgmental. You know... the one where the high school basketball player touches the ball before it goes out of bounds (C'mon Alex! The ref didn't call that. It's the championship game!). Don't worry he admitted his transgression to the ref who then miraculously came to his senses and overturned the bad call. Brilliant! Or how about the teen, skater punk that "snatched" the black lady's purse. (Ma'am you left your purse!) He was rewarded with a doughnut from a congratulatory pig. I wonder if it had sprinkles.
So rather than try to fix or alleviate the mess, they're doing what the United States does best - saturate the airwaves with a massive public relations initiative. That'll help!
Okay. I get it. Chevron and all their related subsidiaries are on the cutting edge of technology, and it would appear to a lesser extent, grooming (their physicist spokesperson is in bad need of a haircut and a shave). Is it me or does "Barney" bear a striking resemblance to the deceased Iraqi tyrant Saddam Hussein?
Doesn't anyone bother doing simple market research with these multi-million dollar ad blitzes? I'm not talking about sophisticated facial recognition software. I'm just asking them to pick any bum off the street and ask them, "Does our unkempt scientist remind you of anyone famous? Maybe, just maybe, a Middle Eastern strongman who detonated a bunch of oil wells in Kuwait and Southern Iraq? Ask any West Virginian and he'll tell you "that's the sum bitch who tried to kill W's daddy."
I remember shortly after 9/11 they asked a local from Wheeling his thoughts on Osama Bin Laden. He replied, "That guy's a real asshole!" They had to bleep out "asshole," but you get the picture. I really enjoyed the local news portrayal of the man responsible for the most diabolical act in the history of mankind - yep, the late Bin Laden was indeed an "asshole."
Maybe I'm getting too emotionally attached. You see, I've had my share of identity issues over the years. In high school, this kid said I looked like actor Jeff Goldblum (when he played the role of The Fly). I believe there's a kernel of truth here...
I've also been told I bear a striking resemblance to a local guy who's roughly my age. His name is Ty Rodman (no relation to NBA superstar/transvestite Dennis Rodman). For about a decade (1990-2000), every once in a blue moon, I'd be accosted by some dickhead who thought I was Ty Rodman. And these guys wanted to kick the living shit out of me. One time I actually had to show some steroid-fuck my ID. I think these were my exact words, "I'm not the asshole you think I am! No... I'm an entirely different asshole!"
And just a week ago my friend Melinda in Elkins, WV texted me. She demanded I turn the channel to this chef on the Food TV Network show "Chopped." She claimed there was an aspiring Indian chef that bore a striking resemblance. I went to the Food Network website but couldn't track down a pic. She claimed it was an "Indian Saf," a "curried version of me, but 20 years older." Not exactly sure what that means. Truth be told, there was a resemblance. I've never been a big fan of Indian cuisine (curry, or cumin for that matter). Although I am very hip on the Tandoori movement (not the bowel aspect). Enough of this shit. I was just trying to relate to the issue of mistaken identity. Seriously though, why would anyone want to be me? Especially with this inevitable stampede shit.
One final thought. I'll leave you with this fantastic parody of the Chevron nonsense.