Saturday, August 31, 2013

In My Head

image borrowed by bing

In My Head

“The business of the advertiser is to see that we go
about our daily lives with a tune or a slogan throbbing
in the background of our minds.”--Marshal McLuhan. 

As a kid I can still remember slogans from
radio broadcasts, or reading them on highway
billboards, but boomers recall that during
the 1950’s, as televisions moved into
every household “Imagination at work--GE”
we started becoming willing victims of
Madison Avenue conditioning “A little dab
with do ya’--Brylcream”, as repeated viewings
of commercials “I’m not a doctor, but
I play one on TV” began to imprint jingles
& catch-phrases into our “Think outside
the box--Apple” subconscious.

Even the necessity of sustenance became
besmirched, as we needed to always
“Eat fresh--Subway”, but we should not
forget that we eat “Just for the taste
of it--Diet Coke”, before we begin
the burping & uttering “I can’t believe
I ate the whole thing--Alka Seltzer”,
delirious that we “Had it our way--
Burger King”, even though several times
during the feast we took “The pause that
refreshes--Coke”, and too often we did
rush lunch “Sorry, Charlie--Starkist”,
but hey “There’s always room for Jell-O”
before washing it down with “the real thing--Coke”
or sometimes swigging the freshness of
“the UnCola--7up”, or really hoping that
“this Bud’s for you.” because we all know
“Where’s the beef--Wendy’s” for it resides
within, right alongside “Finger lickin’ good--
KFC” chicken, which in Chinese translates to
“eat your fingers off”, which make me smile
ever since I found out that “Got milk?”
translates to “are you still lactating?”
but I do regret that the mere sight of golden
arches reminds me that I’m “loving it”;

and tell me, how in the world did the simplicity
of coffee, always “Good to the last drop--
Maxwell House” become a behemoth,
a worldwide phenomenon “one person,
one cup & one neighborhood at a time--Starbucks”,
and why is it that I can never drive past
a Rolls or a Bentley without rolling my window
down & inquiring “Pardon me, would you have
some Grey Poupon?”,

and although we would like to think we have a degree
of sales resistance, every time we see a pretty girl
“Nothing beats a great pair of Leggs”, knowing that
“You are worth it--L-Oreal” while adoring the fact
“that nothing comes between you & your Calvins”,
we still find ourselves spending too much on our
sweetie’s spark-lies because “A diamond is forever--DeBeers”.

Although I have never been a smoker, I still love to 
“Flic my Bic” and I would “Never leave the house
without it--American Express”. I would never
“Walk a mile for a Camel”, completely reject LSMFT,
and don’t give a damn that “Winstons taste good,
like a cigarette should”, or that some others are
“Outstanding, and they are mild--light either end--Pall Mall”.

Even in my own bathroom I am plagued with
“It keeps going & going & going--Energizer”,
or while standing at the sink “Look, Ma,
no cavities--Crest” thinking I “Wonder where
the yellow went--Pepsodent”,

and I freely admit that I am partial to
“Cheap Sunglasses--ZZ Top” & cheap watches
“It takes a licking & keeps on ticking--Timex”
while fully realizing “Sometimes you feel like a nut,
sometimes you don’t--Almond Joy”, knowing that
every single day we should strive to “Be all you can be--
US Army”, for at present when I “Let my fingers
do the walking--Yellow Pages” they are stroking
divers keyboards “Do you...Yahoo?”, smiling wide
as I am welcomed “to the Human Network--Cisco”,
always happy to “Hello Moto--Motorola” .

But seriously, there is something amiss when
you discover that “Just do it--Nike” was realized
when Gary Gilmore, while strapped to his death
chair, uttered his last words,
“Let’s do it.”

Glenn Buttkus

August 2013

Posted over at dVerse Poets Poetics

Would you like to hear the author read this poem to you?


Mary said...

Glenn, you definitely have a good memory....and you have covered a lot of ground in your post. Brought back some memories for me!! I really love "Pardon me, would you have some Grey Poupon?"

Björn said...

Oh that end... I still recall the Gary Gilmore thing... yes those slogans can be overwhelming... and some were different as I grew up in Swedish...

Great writing as usual Glenn

Claudia said...

oh heck - that close hit me unprepared - my - you wove quite some slogans into this - even the US army has a slogan - oy - and a smart one as well even though it seems a bit weird, doesn't it

Brian Miller said...

dude, i knew the brylcream one...ha...and nothing beats a great pair of leggs....smiles...oh snap i did not know that is where just do it came from...

is it just me or does he look like charlie sheen?

Victoria said...

Oh my! This is so well thought out, Glenn. You've dipped into the past and present to come up with a philosophical presentation. So good. For some reason, those Burma Shave ones came to mind. Of course, I remember all those old ones, too, growing up in the age of radio.

Grace said...

Wow, what a weaving of slogans and marketing brands, some of which I have forgotten ~

I see that some are targeted to men, some to women but mostly to us greedy consumers ~ Happy Saturday ~

howanxious said...

What a great read! So many slogans, so many brands and a quiet nostalgia.
Vibrant and interesting.

Laurie Kolp said...

You rock, Glenn! I love it... especially the stanza about coffee.

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Oh the end the end Glenn!
Funny how we remember jingles of long ago, so indelibly printed in our psyche.
We didn't get TV until I was eleven and apart from an odd programme - all I remember are the ad jingles...
Sad, isn't it?
Anna :o]

HisFireFly said...

well done indeed
and "eat your fingers off"?

Maggie Grace said...

Glad you read it because my eyes aren't working so well today. You had quite a trip down memory lane. I recall as I hear them but my memory bank is pretty much shot. Thank goodness for google to write this one. Thanks for visiting me. Nice to hear your voice and memories!

kaykuala said...

Most exhaustive Glenn! They brought wonderful memories. Just shows Ads work and slogans stay put in young minds right thru adulthood! Brilliant yet again!


lifentruthz said...

I loved this! It's crazy how we walk around slinging jingles and slogans, anthems and so on and have no idea of their origin, and (last paragraph) shows how companies don't give a crap about us, who'd be that obscene and pick something to possess that was spurted, rooted in darkness, to build their foundation from and pass it out for millions to worship..We don't know soo much about our own culture

RMP said...

that was an absolute treat! I thoroughly enjoyed that read.

bostonpoetry said...

Cool write Glenn... you packed a lot into this. I knew all of the slogans, and especially loved the ZZ Top Cheap Sunglasses ref. Slogans are in songs too, after all. The beginning quote really is the force that brings this work together. Great job.

seasideauthor said... your fingers off... in Chinese really? Your brain is full of some obscure good stuff! Liked listening too, twice.

Diane Jensen said...

Glenn, I thought you might be interested to know that I am currently reading Norman Mailer's "The Executioner's Song". I'm on page 864 of 1109 of this tome about Gary Gilmore. It's quite an interesting read and includes his letters and poems. He was quite intelligent and artistic. I wish his drawings were included in the book.