Thursday, August 26, 2010

Free to be not-so-much you

I might be alone, but I was appalled APPALLED when Target rolled out Free To Be You & Me as their back-to-school shopping theme song.  It had nothing to do with Target, I just did not think of that song as being for sale exactly.  I remember listening to an interview with Paul Simon & he was talking about John Lennon.  Specifically he was talking about how John Lennon asked him how he knew not to sign away the rights to his music.  Paul Simon's answer was "well, I'm from New York". I also remember when Them There Eyes was used to sell color film (yes, I am that old).  My mother was very upset over I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke.  We both moved on & have lived happy lives since then.  It rankles, but it is not worth getting bent about.

Around the same time that Target rented Free To Be You & Me to sell their stuff (which I have been known to buy; I will not tell a lie) they also made a donation to a group supporting gubernatorial candidate -not in my state- that is anti-gay rights.  As it happens he is anti a lot of things that I am pro, but again not my state (we have plenty of anti-candidates here, they just aren't getting Target money...that I know).  It made me want to take back the crockpot I bought for C****** & give "Target is a hypocritical bastard" as the reason.  I did not, of course, but I also have not been through the doors since.

I know there has been some backlash to the backlash:  that it isn't fair to the employees who have no control over where company money gets spent, but will be the ones who lose their jobs OR that private companies like private people should be able to spend where/when/how they want without third parties getting involved.  I think you could make a god argument for a past&potential customer being not-so-much a third party myself, but that does not seem to be where this one is headed.  Instead, it seems headed for if you do support candidate X & his message of non-inclusion, you should do MORE shopping at Target. 

None of this solves my problem, of course, because mine is unsolvable.  How can I unring that bell in my head that now marks the moment when another large corporate entity carved off a piece of my history in the hopes of making me associate their products with whatever good feeling I had about a particular piece of music?  I guess I can't.  But I can find Boy meets Girl on YouTube, which makes the whole donation thing just more glaring.

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