Sunday, August 07, 2005

Alas Poor Culture, I Knew It

What began as a quiet revolution is slowly beginning to pick up steam. Already having sunk its teeth into the American scene, product placement is beginning to gain in popularity here in Canada. I know what you're saying "But that's happened for years now!" and you're right. But I'm stepping away from all of the other forms of media that we are used to having product pimps assail us with, and looking at one of the few safe havens that remain..... stage theater.

Once the cultural refuge for those seeking some antidote from the crass and commercial "bling" of modern media, the theater is slowly turning toward the "modern world" for financial aid. Directors, and even the playwrights themselves are bending plays to encourage consumption of modern products. As marketing becomes more and more intrusive there are fewer places to run and hide. It's not bad enough that most of the theaters bear the name of one or more corporations, and the programs and playbills are dripping with advertising, but to abuse the plays themselves?!

So far we have been spared the bulk of this in Canadian theater productions, but the buzz is that it won't be long before this too will change. Sure it will be simple enough and quite tastefully handled at first. People on stage will cease to drink from generic glassware and begin to drink from easily identified branded containers. Food will no longer be consumed without the packaging being somehow worked into the play, possibly eaten straight from the wrapper itself. Where do we draw the line though? I'd like to see this supposedly inevitable progression of the stage stopped, before cast members come on stage dressed like NASCAR drivers, their tunics and costumes dripping with logos. Poor Romeo with a Nike swoosh across his ass, pouring his heart out to Juliet, straining to be heard over her blaring ipod while they share a couple of Red Bulls. Or will the two noble families of the play simply be renamed the Cokes and the Pepsis? That's right, even Shakespeare isn't safe.

Well, at least if these marketing pimps succeed in turning one of the last bastions of culture into their promotional whores I might be able to afford a ticket. Those shows are a terrifying price for a guy with a family!!!

    Alas, poor Pepsi! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow
    of infinite effervescence, of most excellent flavour: he hath
    borne me on his bubbles a thousand times; and now, how
    abhorred in my intestines it is! my gorge rims at
    it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know
    not how oft. Where be your colas now? your
    bottles? your deposits? your flashes of experiment,
    that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one
    now, to mock your own grinning? quite chap-fallen?
    Now get you to my lady's chamber, and quench her, let
    her drink an icy can, to this favour she must
    come; make her laugh at that. Prithee, Horatio, tell
    me one thing.


Blogger dan said...

If it makes you feel any better, the same thing is happening here.

5:17:00 AM  
Blogger Herge Smith said...

You think that's bad; over in the UK product placement is slipping into dramas on Radio 4.

Henry: Shall we get a coffee Marge?

Marge: Only if it's Kenco’s Columbine drug blend.

Henry: That sounds delish, and a slice of Mr Kipplings 'heart attack on a flat'.

Marge: Hmm.

Henry: So Marge, you telling me about your hysterectomy...

9:02:00 AM  
Blogger happyandblue2 said...

LOL. It's not just the theatre that is beginning to have this problem. Even churches are advertising with a vengence. It's only a matter of time before the bible is altered to include ads for popular products..

10:24:00 AM  
Blogger Sask 1 said...

Good Post Rainy Pete.I was actually laughing at Happys comments.But he might actually have a good point.

10:28:00 AM  
Blogger Charlie Gordon said...

The sad part is that the rampant product placement won't lower ticket prices one red cent. Just look at all the product placements in movies and how much the theaters have lowered their prices.

4:50:00 PM  
Blogger jon said...

magnifiCO.KEep up the great writing. Although PEoPle StIll don't seem bE Bothered at All bY these plugs, i'm glad that at least blog coM&Ment'S are free from them.

8:11:00 PM  
Blogger glomgold said...

Welp, time to burn the motherfucker down I guess! That is one version of Shakespeare that will certainly register with the coveted 13-18 young male demographic. Perhaps there will be a cell-phone tie-in where the audience can call in to vote a cast member off the stage.
(jon's comment cracks me up too).

9:08:00 PM  
Blogger Rhodent said...


11:48:00 PM  
Blogger mrhaney said...

good post rainy pete especially the last part of it.
i started a few rowes of my hardwood floor today. drop by my site and look at the pics.

1:19:00 AM  

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