Thursday, April 5, 2012
Floating somewhere out there in the Ethernet is a television commercial about press agents and the magic of their trade. “Trade” has always been a stretch but in an earlier age you could have made a case for press agent magic. It's my fervent hope that this TV commercial will never see the light of day for it featured a youngish Yours Truly. If this foolish footage resurfaces it could upset the serenity of my retirement, not to mention my wife; it would also provide endless opportunity for irreverent grandchildren
In that 1960s production, I was a cocky Mad Man attired in the uniform of the day - gray suit and narrow tie - smoking a cigarette, feet up on the desk, hat jauntily perched on a rack close by my office door. (I can't remember having seen a hat rack for decades. When JFK set a new look by going hat-less, a ton of fedoras hit the trashcans.)
To be fair about it all, 50 years ago was a time of relative innocence when flair or chutzpah, or a combination of flair and chutzpah, made it possible to hoodwink the masses, or at least a significant mass within the masses. Stunts that would never make it past first glimmer today were often wildly successful in the 50s and 60s. Examples abound but in my own Top 10 was the PR guy with a soap detergent client who somehow managed to pour gallons of his product into municipal storm sewers thereby flooding the city streets with oceans of bubbly waterfalls. Here in 2012 we are far too jaded to entertain such “successes”, don't you think? But then again witness the plague of Kim Kardashian. Here we have press agentry in full flower. As far as we can make out, Kim is simply famous for being famous. She is everywhere among tsunamis, wars, financial chaos; the only thing that is certain is Kim. Kim. Kim. And then more Kim. What have we come to with Kim, Kim, Kim to the detriment of so many serious situations around the world and especially right here at home? It is madness with a capital M.
Now comes news (by way of legitimate media channels no less) that another publicity hound, Kim's sister Kourtney, is thinking about dying her hair. In this news break, “Kourt” says she will not be using any ammonia–related products. Wow, that was a close one.
The message, dear reader, is that the inmates are in charge of the asylum. If we don't fight against such drivel we will all be going bonkers, leaving us with careers in politics as the only way out.
It may be time for us to hire our own press agents.