Monday, 2 September 2013

Archive: Use a little English to doctor the spin...

This is an archive piece written and posted on LiveJournal in 2006, albeit slightly edited and re-published in 2013:

Use a little English to doctor the spin...


I was recently fascinated by a comedy series on the Public Relations industry recently called "Absolute Power". Basically, the stars of the show were hired by celebrities to embellish/fabricate facts and rebut/quash rumours and/or start new ones. In other words, they're like a bull with no horns and no genitalia - they just sit there and bulls***.

Recently I have seen a couple of pieces of PR produced verbal diarrhea that have just left me wondering "Who are these people and why do they invent such crap?"

On the inside of the sleeve to "God Save The Smithereens" by The Smithereens is written: "This is the band Buddy Holly died for...". What the hell does that mean? Buddy Holly died needlessly in an accidental plane crash. Thus, in my opinion, making this statement redundant and ridiculous. And the fact that this appeared on their 9th or 10th album makes me wonder why they have even bothered - they don't need to sell the virtues of the band to me. I've been listening to their records since I was 16.

And on a bottle of cheap red wine, have a go at this piece of lexicographical wonderment:

"Featuring the subtle flavours of almond, rose petal and blackberry, this richly textured wine also leaves a smooth, buttery finish."

Isn't it great how you can get all that out of a bunch of crushed grapes stuck in a wooden barrel for a few short weeks?

According to this PR bloke (or lady, we can't be sexist now, can we?), this Merlot, or whatever it was, does everything except mow the lawn. It must be that, in order to be a successful PR person, you have to be able to sell ice to the Eskimos. Lie through your teeth with a straight face and make it convincing.

If that's the case I'd probably starve, because I can't lie straight in bed. I'd be totally useless at it. I'll just stick to teaching, I guess. You can't fool everybody all the time, but it's easy enough to fool a bunch of 8th graders for 50 minutes at a time into thinking that Alegrba is useful....

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