I weary of John Mellencamp. Really. For 20 years, I had to live with that poet-laureate-of-the-heartland crap. I lived in the same state as Mr. Laureate, but you’d never know it; a wise man once noted that southern Indiana has more in common with southern Ohio and southern Illinois than northern Indiana, and he’s right. I never saw him once, although the radio stations loyally supported his increasingly dreary, mopey music. After all, he was a Hoosier, and Hoosiers look out for their own.
Based on the evidence of his music, Mr. Mellencamp spent most of the ’90s depressed. I certainly understand how rich and famous people can get depressed — their self-imposed isolation from the regular world takes its toll — but jeez, when they are? I wish they’d just shut up about it. It’s like complaining about how heavy your wallet is. As insufferable as people like David Lee Roth and Jimmy Buffett can be, at least you can say they seem to be enjoying the trip, while Mr. Sourpuss sits down in Brown County fretting over the fate of the family farm and the regular joe.
Well, now Mr. Sourpuss has a new record out, and rather than cut through the clutter of modern radio formats, he’s elected to do it the new-fashioned way — selling the first single as an extended jingle for Chevy trucks. If you’re watching the baseball postseason, and everyone in Detroit is, you cannot escape that “This is Our Country” spot, in which we are asked to connect Silverado trucks with Mellencamp’s jangly guitar, stillborn lyrics (“I can stand beside/Things I think are right/And I can stand beside/The idea of stand and fight”) and an arresting visual montage that links ’50s super-8 home movies, the war in Vietnam, Rosa Parks and images of flooded, destroyed New Orleans neighborhoods. Because, you know, this is our country.
For the reaction in New Orleans, let’s go to our correspondent on the ground, Prof. Ashley Morris:
Does that new Chevrolet commercial piss anyone else off as much as it does me? WTF are they doing showing flooded New Orleans to try to sell a fucking Chevy truck? And Johnny Cougar now gets to keep his name Johnny Cougar. Mellencamp is a name for people with a modicum of scruples. Fuckmook.
Or else I could buy a Ford truck, and show my allegiance for sloping forehead Toby Keith. Or not.
It’s not OK to use images of Rosa Parks, MLK, the Vietnam War, the Katrina disaster, and 9/11 to sell pickup trucks. It’s wrong. These images demand a little reverence and quiet contemplation. They are not meant to be backed with a crappy music track and then mushed together in a glib swirl of emotion tied to a product launch. Please, Chevy, have a modicum of shame next time.
Yes, please, Chevy. You too, Johnny Cougar. I’m taking Ash’s suggestion and calling you Johnny Cougar from now on. The jury is still out on “fuckmook,” but you’ve been warned. This is my country, too.
The Tigers are on deck to lose it all, so how about some angry, bitter bloggage:
The only people who can make ignorant-ass statements about Parkinson’s Disease are the ones who’ve never seen it up close and personal. TPM Cafe blogger Joseph Hughes states the obvious.