Jewish World Review August 4, 2003 / 6 Menachem-Av, 5763

Ian Shoales

Ian Shoales
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Is the free market doomed?


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Capitalism, bless its heart, is unavoidable. It is the most beloved and behated system in the world today. Right up there next to Islam.

Still, if capitalism really wants to gain more yards, it's going to have to get a bit more clever than what I've been seeing lately. I've said this before, but there is the stench of desperation around marketing efforts these days.

Example: I got a cup of coffee the other day. The little wraparound thingie that protects your hand from the hotness of the go-cup not only had a logo from a candy company I will not name, it had a little shrink-wrapped piece of gum attached to it, which rapidly turned to goo from the heat of the cup. That unpleasantness aside, I must ask this nameless company, do you really want to be widely recognized as the proud sponsor of a circular piece of cardboard?

Another example: the movies. Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez have a movie coming out. By the time you see this, it may already be in the theatres. That's great. Ben Affleck is a big affable movie star, Jennifer Lopez is everything you want in a diva. They're fire and ice, she likes to shop, he likes to hang, he's a guy, she's a gal, one sings, the other doesn't — oh, the public relations angles are endless.

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At the time I'm writing this, though, I haven't heard or seen any radio or teevee ads, I've only seen posters for the movie which is called G I G L I. What is that? Is it Jee Glee? Is it Giggly? Is it Hard Gee Glee? Is it Jiggly?

Mr. or Ms. Movie Producer, you have spent millions of dollars just to get these two lovers together on film, not to mention the untold millions entailed by actual production. So why do you saddle this multi-million dollar production with a weird unpronounceable title? Couldn't you have called it ETERNAL LOVE, or SEMI-PERMANENT LOVE, or BUFF LOVE — anything really? It doesn't have to make sense, but it needs to be something you can at least get your mouth around.

But Gigli it is. I will soon see that on the little cardboard wraparound on my go-cup, I suppose, blazoned on the separator bar at the grocers, put up on the monitor at a McDonald's, and spray painted on the side of a bus.

The name will be everywhere. The movie will tank. Ben and J. Lo will break up. The world will move on. But capitalism will be the worst for it. And terrorism is one step closer to winning. Why don't people ask my advice on these things before they put their foot in it? The world would be a better place, believe me.

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JWR contributor Ian Shoales is the author of, among others, Not Wet Yet: An Anthology of Commentary. Comment by clicking here.

Up

07/08/03: Hill Williams at Bay
06/30/03: The Amazing Red Faced J-Lo
06/25/03: TCB, KFC
06/16/03: Because it's there
06/11/03: The Matrix regurgitated
06/05/03: Here, Spike
05/07/03: When Hippies Retire
04/09/03: Your mommy could have told you that silence is the stoic's path to personal salvation --- hey, but who would have listened?
04/01/03: Hedging the war
03/28/03: Space: The Penultimate Frontier
03/18/03: Hour of the Narc
03/07/03: Home entertainment tips for pinkos --- no joke!
02/28/03: When Anorexia is a good thing
02/21/03: Aussie invasion!
02/11/03: This museum of my dreams would be no accident
02/03/03: Hasn't 'reality TV' always been with us?
01/30/03: Get tougher?
01/21/03: Spinning through the 'newscycle'
01/16/03: "G" for verbal violence?
01/03/03: Farewell to novelty
12/23/02: Neo-frontiers
12/18/02: A nation of hypochondriacs?
12/11/02: Cursed
11/08/02: Good news for skateboarders looking to keep up with world events
11/01/02: "Extreme" annoyance
10/24/02: Snipers are people, too!
10/16/02: Hockey Therapy
10/08/02: Cupid, the parasite
10/03/02: How to have fun in Africa
09/30/02: If you are employed, you're part of the problem
09/25/02: "Up and comers," go away!
09/18/02: Collectibilitized
09/10/02: Monotone felons
08/20/02: Will we soon need a passport to get caviar, duc a la orange, or Polish sausage?
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07/09/02: Musicians' brains
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06/21/02: Life IS a movie?
06/19/02: Spreading fertilizer on a dictionary to try to raise a novel
06/17/02: Happy cows are really miserable?
06/12/02: Very similar to a rock
06/05/02: Of Humice and Men
05/30/02: Pooches in sharkskin suits and the end of dog tags
05/22/02: We baby boomers used to rule the roost
05/20/02: The Files now Ex
05/14/02: Entangled in Spider-Man's web!?
05/02/02: April Showers May Come Our Yadda Yadda
04/24/02: From child murderer to milk hawker
04/10/02: New realities
03/21/02: You did it your way? I have to kill you now!
03/14/02: IN THIS CORNER SUSAN LUCCI AND STEPHANIE ZYMALIST!
03/12/02: Life in the warehouse
01/28/02: Shoes and food
01/24/02: Suspension of disbelief has nothing to do with whether we accept something as real or not
01/22/02: Save the Grand Ole Opry?
12/15/01: If you truly want to appeal to the lowest common denominator
12/11/01: KNITTING!
12/07/01: Conspiracy by the 'fat suit' lobby?
12/04/01: The future of comic books
11/15/01: Literary tips in a jar
11/12/01: The ectoplasm of a ghost economy
11/05/01: Sumner Redstone's passions
10/31/01: My irony
10/29/01: Even in wartime, America can still bring it home
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10/17/01: Pathetic me
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10/01/01: Confessions of a sarcastic scribe
09/11/01: The end of Mom
09/07/01: Boy Loses Girl, Boy Bites Girl, Boy Gets Girl
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08/31/01: I COPY, THEREFORE I AM
08/28/01: Buzz!
08/23/01: Radio workout
08/20/01: I robot, you Jane
08/15/01: A wild and crazy world!
08/10/01: When the future was "as real as a dime"
08/08/01: Garage Dearth!
08/06/01: That Big Clock
08/02/01: Stop the pop!
07/31/01: Catchphrase history of the world
07/26/01: The Bride of Science
07/23/01: That java jive
07/17/01: Homogenized hegemony
07/13/01: Applying Newton's First Law of Physics to textbooks
07/10/01: The dumb and the dead

© 2003, Ian Shoales