Rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture.
Monday, May 18, 2015
Who Wants to Play Second Fiddle?
United States Department of State
Bank of New York Mellon has produced a laugh out loud funny commercial. Audience members are waiting to hear Itzhak Perlman begin a
concert. You can see the look of anticipation on their faces and then all of a
sudden, it’s announced the comedian Rhea Perlman will be sitting in for
him. A few bars of cacophonic violin playing follow. The idea is that you don’t
want surrogates handing your money. Rhea is, of course, the wife of Danny DeVito and not the famed musician. However what is most interesting is the shared name and the not so subtle implication infusing the comedy and relating to marriage. However, glamorous it is to be married to a successful person, no one likes to play second fiddle. But, let’s imagine
if Bank New York Mellon’s advertising agency had chosen the Clintons for
theircommercial. This scenario might be
slightly reversed in terms of the sexes. The audience is waiting for Hillary
to appear, but at the last moment it’s announced that Bill will be taking her
place. What would the equivalent of the out of tune violin in the
context of a political campaign. Remember Monty Python’s, “Nudge nudge. Wink wink. Say no more.” But that’s too obvious. What could really happen would be something
even more discordant with Bill, as he has on some previous occasions, acting like a runaway horse. For instance here isa Times report “Now on the Campaign Trail, a Reined in Bill Clinton,” (NYT, 2/27/08) dealing with how Clinton
botched up Hillary’s earlier campaign for president. No one wants him to play that
Francis Levy's debut novel, Erotomania: A Romance, was released in August 2008 by Two Dollar Radio.
His short stories, criticism, humor, and poetry have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, The Village Voice, The East Hampton Star, The Quarterly, Penthouse, Architectural Digest, TV Guide, The Journal of Irreproducible Results, and other publications. One of his Voice humor pieces was anthologized in The Big Book of New American Humor (HarperCollins). He is presently the Co-Director of The Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of Imagination (philoctetes.org), where he supervises roundtable discussions on topics as varied as “The Psychology of the Modern Nation State” and “Modern Traffic Theory, Behavior, and Imagination”.