By Bob Hicks
Must everything we see and do be an “event”?
Mr. Scatter noticed this pernicious form of marketing and advertising breathlessness beginning as a trickle a couple of years ago, and it’s become an all-taps-open flood. The most ubiquitous torrent is the “major motion picture event” — which means “movie that cost a lot to make and needs to make a whole lot more to recoup its costs,” or just plain “new movie” — but it’s spread to many other areas as well. A rainstorm is a “weather event.” A sale on socks at the mall is a “merchandising event.” A rational political speech is an “imaginary event.” Just kidding on that last one.
The subject rose yet again this morning when Mr. Scatter spotted an ad in the New York Times for Michael Flatley’s new movie Lord of the Dance 3D and promptly erupted into a minor hissy fit event. Now, Mr. S can take Michael Flatley or leave him, though he’d rather do the latter. (All these lords a-leaping remind him of a good friend’s dismissal of the background characters in operas and story ballets as “happy peasants.”) And Mr. S hasn’t jumped on the 3D wagon: he can’t figure out how to get those glasses over his regular glasses and still see what’s going on on the screen. No, the problem was the line right below the movie’s title in the ad: “THE MAJOR MOTION PICTURE EVENT.”
Why? Mr. Scatter asked himself in an exasperation event. Why not just “THE NEW MOVIE”? Or — gasp — nothing at all? Mr. Scatter dreams of a day when this hyperventilating linguistic gaseousness will simply implode and disappear.
It could. As the Michael Flatley homepage so eloquently proclaims: “Nothing is impossible … follow your dreams.”
On the other hand, the Lord of the Dance 3D ad reminded Mr. Scatter that today is St. Patrick’s Day, and then he recalled where he was and what he was doing exactly three years ago: lying on a hospital operating table, his left leg splayed open like a flounder getting filleted, while a highly gifted surgeon inserted what is essentially an entirely new and artificial knee. Loyal readers might recall this post from March 17, 2009, Celebrating a year of the Artificial Me, which recounted the trials and eventual joys of surgery and recovery. Mr. Scatter still can’t dance a decent jig, and he still can’t play the piano. But then, he couldn’t before the surgery, either. And these days, unless an anniversary rolls around, he rarely gives his pain-free knee a second thought.
Saints be praised.
- Irish horndancing and jig shoes. Photo: Skubik at en.wikipedia
- Bend it like Beckham. Gray’s Anatony.