Ptarmigan

a grouse with completely feathered feet

5/05/2004

Advertising cues up its metafictions with efficient ease. One in particular comes to mind. One is the record player needle falling off the record sound. You've heard it, although its overuse might render it invisible. Particularly plied in advertising situations in which, in first 10 seconds of spot, there is some idyllic, albeit misleading, usually tranquil situation. Then: *record scratch* Then: But wait, here's what the commercial is really about! The first 10 seconds were a veil of your misunderstanding! (The funny thing is, in the early use of this technique, there'd usually be a type of ironic music played ("Guys really like playing with puppies and bunnies!" (cue chipper classical music) *record scratch* (cue Korn) "Just kidding! Guys really like running over bunnies with their DENALI! So buy a DENALI or else you're a fop!"). But now they use the record scratching without any music being played at all, moving purely into an indicator of "shifting gears", if you will. The question I have then is, in those situations: what record is being played that is scratched? And is it ruined? It's bad for the record. You have to clean it with a certain type of cloth but it still might be ruined forever.

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