Friday, October 31, 2003

WELCOME TO The Ignorant Critic, an occasional new feature of Off-Topic.

There's an AM-radio ad for Archer Daniels Midland that pretty much embodies everything I hate. I'm not really talking about the message, although that's execrable too -- it's something about how we need to kiss this huge conglomerate's ass because it turns corn and soybeans into affordable luxury garage townhomes or excellent two-buck chardonnay or something. No, I'm talking about aesthetics. The background is a Peter Gabriel-type song that blends pretentiously soaring atmospheric instrumentals with pretentiously existentialist minimalist lyrics ("Hello? Can you hear me? Am I getting through to you? Hello?"), and the voice-over is that pretentiously breathy Sally Kellerman-type tripe you've heard a million times.

I don't know whether Peter Gabriel or Sally Kellerman are actually involved. I could look it up, but that would be beside the point. I hold Peter Gabriel responsible for that kind of music, and I hold Sally Kellerman responsible for that kind of narration. Some people whom I respect are big fans of Peter Gabriel. I can't explain all that well why I'm not, though maybe I just did. There's no accounting for taste. I'm not sure anyone is a big fan of Sally Kellerman.

I'm pretty sure it's an ADM ad. Either way, I hold ADM responsible for that kind of corporate message.

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