HOWARD MEGDAL: Okay, let’s get this clear: there is nothing remotely offensive about the new Lane Bryant ad.
Frankly, the idea that ABC-ABC!- would consider a mildly salacious advertisement worthy of restriction, but has no difficulties whatsoever putting things like “Cougartown” on the air, is astounding. And I say this not because “Cougartown” is sexually offensive to me. Rather, 30 minutes of jokes that poor are far more damaging to the American psyche than 30 seconds of good looking women in various states of undress.
Indeed, the idea seems to be that while extremely thin women can be scantily-clad at any time, more amply proportioned women need to be saved for later in the evening. Now why would this be? One answer is that ABC executives strongly believe in the Rubenesque ideal. The stick-thin women of Desperate Housewives simply aren’t sexy enough to be an affront to American values. Those in the Lane Bryant ad? Pornographic simply by appearing on camera. It’s about reaction, not intent.
So good for ABC, managing to avoid the national bacchanalia that followed those Dove soap commercials?
DAN SZYMBORSKI: Finally, some sanity on the airwaves. Lane Bryant, on network television, attempted to air a commercial that was completely inappropriate for the public and for children. I do not have children, but I would not have wanted them seeing that commercial.
It comes down to a simple reason. I do not want my children, whether real or theoretical, to be subject to such disgusting material. That material, of course, being the horrid arrangement of the C-minor prelude from Chopin’s Op. 28 set of preludes. Why should Chopin, one of the most perfect composers for the piano in the history of the piano, be subjected to having his music drastically altered by the addition of what appears to be some lame electronic beatbox, which sounds like one of the preprogrammed drum beats you might find on a Casio mini-keyboard, circa 1987. If you’re going to change the character of the music (while Chopin was a believer in absolute music, Hans von Bülow’s belief that the C minor prelude was of the character of a funeral march has been wildly suggestive to program-music-friendly classical music fans).
If Camille Pleyel were alive today, he’d surely vomit with rage at the notion of such perfect music being warped with less originality than a Heidi Montag pop-groan-dozefest.
That’s not to say that one needs to be a slave to the text – both Sergei Rachmaninoff and Ferruccio Busoni wrote wonderful sets of variations on this prelude, using art like, well, an artist, not Spencer Pratt.
OK, let’s turn the sound down. What’s the problem with this commercial again?
Ah, I think I see what all the complaints about. The breasts. They are encased in the bonds of a brassiere and as such, are merely the implication of breasts, not the Real McCoy. Yes, I’m angry about that, too. Stupid puritans, taming up commercials. I am outraged, too!