Sunday, November 16, 2008

But Aside from That, Mrs. Lennon. . .


This full-page ad for a local Realtor is currently running in the San Francisco Opera's program book. I caught it at this afternoon's Bohème opening and just about lost my lunch.

Aside from the ineptitude on display just from an advertising perspective — what is the message here, that she's selling condos in the Dakota? — it's inconceivable to me how a piece of fetid necrophilia like this could have got loose into the world. Even if we assume, very very generously, that not one person in the entire production chain recognized one of the most iconic photographic images of the last quarter-century, or grasped the obvious tastelessness of using it in this fashion, that still leaves someone at the start of the process who actually had the idea and then said to himself, "Yeah, that'll work." Seems to me that guy's got a little explaining to do.

Unless — and here I'm maxing out on my capacity for generous invention — he's on the phone in a panic at this very moment saying, "Wait — dude — you thought I was serious?"

10 Comments:

At 11/16/2008 8:32 PM, Blogger Lisa Hirsch said...

Righteous rant. It's a bit more than the last quarter century. He died in 1980.

 
At 11/16/2008 8:35 PM, Blogger Joshua Kosman said...

Oh I know; I remember it as if it were yesterday. But it never hurts to round off those time chunks.

 
At 11/16/2008 8:36 PM, Blogger Lisa Hirsch said...

Yeah, me too.

My girlfriend just looked up the photo and discovered it was taken the day he died. We didn't know that.

(The verification word I drew is "ilenn," I kid you not.)

 
At 11/16/2008 11:29 PM, Blogger sfmike said...

I think the most disturbing thing about the ad is that she's on her goddamn phone while a presumably cute young man is kissing her.

 
At 11/17/2008 9:06 AM, Blogger mamagotcha said...

Nauseating. Have you written to them to share your response?

 
At 11/17/2008 10:49 AM, Blogger The Opera Tattler said...

I saw this in the Bohéme program yesterday afternoon, and just tried to pretend I hadn't seen it. I was very confused about what it was trying to sell, so thanks for clearing that up.

 
At 11/17/2008 11:25 PM, Blogger Brian said...

it's inconceivable to me how a piece of fetid necrophilia like this could have got loose into the world

While I agree about the problematic nature of the image, remember it is a performance of La Bohème we're talking about. Necrophilia, fetid or not, would seem to be completely in order.

 
At 11/19/2008 2:04 PM, Anonymous Marc Geelhoed said...

It's probably part of an entire campaign centered around famous images, or magazine covers, since they borrow Rolling Stone's typeface, too. I don't know that it's so bad, though, considering I find all the ads for old-folks' homes and $20,000 watches offensive in most opera program books.

 
At 11/19/2008 7:54 PM, Anonymous Edmund G. Brown, Jr. said...

Oh my goodness, can you folks overreact just a little more? The image in question may have been based on an easily recognizable -- even iconic picture -- that was taken on a fateful day . . but, so what? The original was a picture of two people in an embrace, and this was an imitation used for commercial purposes -- as have countless other images of religious, political, and musical figures that people respect, admire, and even worship. Get over it.

Oh, wait, you are offended because an image of one (or maybe two) of the gods you worship was used in a crass, commercial fashion?
1) How very Bay Area.
2) John and Yoko are in very good company indeed.

 
At 1/06/2009 1:24 AM, Anonymous Beeri said...

Where's your sense of humor?

 

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