I’m behind in my critiques of television commercials. After the unofficial theme song of my hometown got taken over for a Viagra ad, I thought I would just let them all go by me without comment. Honestly, I thought, what could be worse?
Never, ever think that to yourself. It only brings the “worse” out of the woodwork. So there I am, the other night, watching Food Network, of all things, and I’m not really paying attention to the commercials. And then I hear the strains of a song I recognize. Hmm, now what is that? I know I know this song; this is a cover, where do I know this from? There are peppy young women singing it, it sounds a bit like a cheer, but that’s not right… What is this? Sweet fancy Moses, it’s Twisted Sister! It’s “We’re Not Going to Take It”! But it’s being sung by girls? Peppy girls? Not these guys?
Talk about dissociation.
Once I figured out where the song was coming from, I actually started to pay attention to the commercial. And it’s this one, for Yaz birth control pills. ?!! Seriously, you have to see it to believe it.
Oh to be a fly on the wall for the conversation among those guys above as they decided to let the company use their song. I imagine it went like this:
“Gee, if only we had some way of making our old song relevant again. (adjusts leopard arm corset.)”
“You know what I think would do it? Having girls sing it! That would really bring new life to our totally masculine rebellion rock anthem! (rats hair.)”
“Right! That would do it! And you know what women really need to rebel against, in this day and age? PMS. Nothing is more oppressive to women than that. They’re not going to take it, man! (snaps wristband for emphasis.)”
“You don’t think that someone would mistakenly apply the idea of ‘not taking it’ to the pill itself, right? (fiddles with patches on denim vest.)”
“You’re worthless and you’re weak!”
And thus, the endless recirculation and decontextualization of 80’s music continues. What do you want to do with your life?