Wednesday, August 18, 2010

LLBean, Your Commercial Disturbs Me

An innocent commercial, yes?  First of all, I grew up in a very LLBean family, I've been to their main HQ, I still get the catalog and several blatant LLBean items lie around our house (OMG love their monogrammed travel organizer, for the regular traveler it is LIFE).  However, this commercial reminded me of a lesson taught to us by my high school junior English teacher, Dr. Street.  We were reading the Grapes Of Wrath and studying the Great Depression and I remember very vividly studying the song in this commercial, Big Rock Candy Mountain

Here's the original last stanza:
The punk rolled up his big blue eyes

And said to the jocker, "Sandy,

I've hiked and hiked and wandered too,

But I ain't seen any candy.

I've hiked and hiked till my feet are sore

And I'll be damned if I hike any more

To be buggered sore like a hobo's whore

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains."
Hobo culture was romanticised to lure in little boys and the last stanza is where he realizes it's not all it's cracked up to be.  A "jocker" was a hobo who traveled with a young boy who was not his son, read between the lines, pedophile.  "Buggered and sore like a hobo's whore" which is basically saying, sodomized.  So LLBean, you used a song originally about raping little boys to advertise your back to school backpack sale.  FIRE YOUR ADVERTISING DEPARTMENT.  I mean seriously, who is going to be convinced to buy their son a backpack with a song that conjures up such an image?  Whiskey.  Tango.  Foxtrot.


Miss M! said...

Wow. Marketing Department FAIL.

Kate said...

Did not even know about the history of that song, but every time that commercial comes on, I think "PERVERT ALERT!"

Now I'll be double-skeeved out!

Lauren said...

I wonder what happened to Dr. Street. I remember studying that as well.