Monday, September 1, 2014

Commercial or Poem (for music for a movement)

Commercial or Poem (for music for a movement)

Ah, yes, to do commercials for banks
then you can afford to make music for the movement
to support candidates who promise not to take out TV or Youtube ads
and run (on people-power) on the Get-Money-Out-Of-Politics Agenda!
And if you keep doing these commercials,
you may even convince these candidates
to put a plank on their platform
forcing all those Wellness Professionals to put better music on hold
while you’re waiting over an hour to find out if you’re still covered!

Yes, imagine a world where you call up an HMO, and they have a menu:
if you prefer to listen to classical, press one (and the pound sign)
press 3 for country,
4 for R&B, 5 for punk, etc.
And give access to local musicians who will work for less!
Let them compete on your “hold music” channels,
just like airlines have channels
(or at least did in the early 00s it’s been a while since I last flew).
Make the music experience an enjoyable one
for your customers, your captives.
You can make them love you,

Cmon Kaiser Permanente, I’ve listened to your “Thrive” ads
about the healing powers of music; put your money where your mouth is.
It certaintly wouldn’t cost nearly as much as those “Thrive” ads do,
and why do you really even need advertising.
I mean; we get it, just as they got it back before the 1980s
when it was illegal to take out ads.
So, yes, we’d love to make your advertisements illegal again,
but in the meantime we’re willing to compromise
and make some really cool grooves for you.
This is called pragmatism and it gets closer to, uh, democracy.

And, you, chainstores like Wallgreens and Wallmarts
Where people still actually share a quasi-social space
walking down aisles as they used to walk on sunny sidewalks,
we love you like a kid loves the parents he didn’t choose!
You could be our home!
Ah, I’ve seen it at places like Grocery Outlet in Oakland;
people singing along as “Hitchhike” by Marvin Gaye plays
and even sort of dancing in the marketplace
(not a lot, but more than at most live shows),
walking with a stride in their step,
not at all minding the lines even if they were longer,
and actually letting old ladies with a shopping cart full of groceries go ahead of us 
even if we only have a bunch of broccoli and three bananas. 
Ah, wellness!

But Wallmart and Wallgreens, you could do even better!
You have more money and many stores,
you could play local new musicians and save money,
you could hold little contests and shows in your parking lots,
you could even have a podcast
for the music some of the “general listeners” might find offensive
like the “light rock in the salad bar” that David Berman lamented in 2001.
Take a poll, how many people really find your easy listening that easy to listen to.
I will bet you this; no more than those who would love to hear “Big Boss Man”

Oh Venture Capitalists, do you have any ears?
If you need to hear these idea seeds spoken very softly,
in tones of a spreadsheet flowchart about the fiscal benefits,
just explain your language and know we could make it work.
But, oh candidate, when you come to me for money, please consider ideas.
This is why the teach us “The Little Drummer Boy” for Christmas.
The rich give gifts; the poor can “only” give their drums,
and it ain’t that stiff little “a rump-a-tum-tum.”
It wasn’t that silent of night.
There ain’t much snow in Palestine,
especially when it’s not December—
but yes we need drums all year long:
not always perhaps, but it is the “easy listening music” for many
and that would help galvanize and electrify your base with people power.
Yes, even today, in 2014.

Chris Stroffolino

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