Tuesday, March 06, 2007


It's funny how context changes things, how something has an entirely different meaning simply because it's plonked down next to one thing or another.

Take the Rolling Stone issue that has Ryan and Kirk's story in.

The cover headline, the one meant to sell the issue, is "FALL OUT BOY (in white outlined red type, serif font, all caps) The Fabulous Life, the Secret Torment of America's Hottest Band" which must relate directly to the cover image.

Now, I admit I'm old....er, older - (00h, watch me rationalize!) slightly above the age of Fall Out Boy's primary marketing audience and therefore my reaction to their branding is just possibly both outside the desired effect and not of interest to their handlers/image boffins. However, the picture, in context with the headline made me immediately figure that the secret torment was perhaps directly related to Far Left Guy's lousy taste in glasses, his slightly rat-nibbled facial hair, and his unfortunate do, or Center Left Guy's inexplicable desire to resurrect the 80's fedora (none of us need that), or Center Right and Sex God For the Band Guy's... sorry, kind of stupid tattoos (come on, "unlovable," combined with heart-shaped lock, combined with coffin combined with wings?) or even Far Right Guy's utter lack of personality.

But then, add that headline to the boxed in story below it: "Death of a Contractor: Greed and Murder in Iraq's Lawless Desert" and, well, doesn't it sort of make any fabulous life or secret torment these 20-some-year-olds might be coping with a little... well... trivial?

No comments: