Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cheez-Whiz, Pass The Spice Girls

Cheese Whiz. HGB/RIP. I mean Helen Gurley Brown, the original Cosmo girl, of course. This self-confessed "mouse-burger," had risen to become an absolute Media Saint. Saint Helen of Me, Myself, and I. Did someone say mouse? Nobody ever hid her cheese. And yet, judging by the unanimous reaction to her passing, she was beloved by every editor, writer and producer in journalism and TV. Margalit Fox's Times obit described St. Helen in an unprecedented way, "...She was 90, though parts of her were considerably younger." St. Peter, prepare thyself, and tighten the cinch on your robe.

Standard? Chartered? Spineless? Amazing how so many companies are willing to part with millions in penalties to government entities, even though they "did not admit to any wrongdoing." Standard Chartered Bank is the latest one to pony up hundreds of millions to New York State even though it did not do anything wrong. Their CEO and other London banking nabobs were incensed that anyone would recklessly and needlessly cast aspersion on London banking and bankers. Talk about spineless appeasement. Maybe they should change their name to Chamberlain Munich Bank.

Aren't we getting a little tired of our state and federal agencies accepting these "I'll pay the easy dough, but I didn't really do anything wrong" arrangements? Forget fines. If they aided Iranian terrorists, put their execs in jail; if they didn't, then shut-up.

Besides, the idea of a place like Albany, NY getting a $340 million reputation-ransom is high comedy indeed. Talk about the pot calling a kettle black. That dough will last about fifteen minutes before becoming seed-y money for some legislator's uncle's wind-farm and fracking outfit based in Elmira.

Closing, Closing, Gone. The Spice Girls? Queen? Were the London organizers of the wonderful 2012 Olympic Games trying to make sure the world knew that their culture is really just as cheesy as America's? Were they desperately trying to get us to forget their banking foibles, as if London were not the world's financial hub, along with New York? And, who was that guy singing that inane song near the end anyway?

Still, the campiness of it all was a reminder that London is a center for design, advertising, food (of all things) and creativity of every sort and taste-level, in addition to being a center for banking calamities.

Strange moment: when John Lennon's image appeared on the big screen and Imagine played, talking about "no countries" and "no religion too," to hundreds of athletes who had just about spent themselves preforming for their countries and for whom religion plays a great part in their lives every day. I guess the organizers had never listened to the words, only the melody. Duh.

Not seen: Eric Clapton. Mick Jagger and/or Stones. Radiohead. Adelle. Twiggy! And The Who, who actually did perform in the geriatric band category, except that NBC cut them off here in favor of an abrupt end so that we could see the all important local snewzzzzz. Goodie.

Still, it was wonderful stuff all around. But, as soon as the Games ended, the campaign began to get serious. You thought that was a coincidence? Talk about from the sublime to the ridiculous...

Speaking of which. Apparently, after months of rope-a-dope, we have finally found the main campaign theme and it is...Accounting! So exciting.

We will now be able to spend the next 12 weeks talking about nothing except the numbers, folks. In this corner, we have the Elysium Field Theory of Perpetual Borrowing. And, in that corner the Pay The Piper Picked the Pickled Pepper Pop Your Grandma Algorithm.

Come to think of it, The Spice Girls looked pretty damn good after all, didn't they?

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