June 14, 2012 at 8:09 AM
"Questioningly: the best corporate/literary mashups..."
By Tom Maguire
Tom Maguire is a musician, arts supporter and a guy who travels the Southwest in a 13’ Scamp trailer, because he couldn’t figure out how the tent poles went together.
In this week’s New Yorker, an article entitled, “Questioningly: the Best Corporate/literary Mashups” details what happened when the magazine encouraged readers to think up literary titles based a combination of corporate names/identities and famous literary titles. Let’s call these “placements”, like the deals that puts Coke® or Apple® products in every possible scene in a movie.
Art and commerce have always mixed. When the movie “Lawrence of Arabia” was released, it was so long there was an intermission in the middle. The intermission came during a particularly sun-baked desert scene. Myth has it that a single cell of film had "buy a Coke" on it which registered subliminally, causing record-breaking drink sales during the intermission! Truth or myth? I don’t know, but I DID get a large Coke at the premiere I attended.
The New Yorker received thousands of submissions in the week between publishing the idea and this week’s edition. Here are some of my favorites: “Gone With the Windex®,” “The Importance of Being Ernst & Young®,” “Gulliver’s Travelocity®,” “Lost Verizon®,” “A Tale of Two Citis®,” “One Flew Over the Condé Nast®,” “Jonathan Livingston Google®”, “Pippi LongSpanx®” and “The AIG® of Innocence.” And, there were these two versions: “Midnight in the Garden of Good & Plenty®” and “Midnight in the Olive Garden® of Good and Evil.” Note: I have added the registered trademark symbol to these very-clever responses to The New Yorker list, lest I offend someone in a board room, somewhere.
Alas, I fear I am encouraging you to look at this article online, as, only there can you see both the article and the full list. If you must – Kindle® away, but do read this entertaining piece and peruse the full list for your favorites.
For my part I will always savor the feel of a book or magazine in my hand. And, anyway, I will soon outgrow the walls of bookshelves in this house and plan to replace the seven-foot ones with floor-to-ceiling versions and keep on reading.
So: “read on Macduff” – with apologies to Shakespeare and everyone who reveres the Bard. Kindle that!
P.S. Yes, I know that the true quote should read “lay on Macduff’, but that does not lend itself to a good pun.