Be thankful Carl’s Jr. isn’t based out of Washington, D.C.

Marketers sure are brilliant! Just when you thought you’d begun to really identify with a brand you’ve loved and faithfully used since childhood, Philip Morris became Altria, and Time Warner became AOL Time Warner, before becoming Time Warner again…so exciting!
7up “flipped it and reversed it” to become dnL, and next thing you know, twenty-somethings felt like skateboarding and reading “Thrasher” for the first time since junior high (and it surely didn’t hurt that 7up, I mean, dnL, tastes way cooler than yesterday’s extreme-sports soda, Mountain Dew).
Now, according to Adweek, the branding wizards at Mendelsohn/Zien are giving us another rechristening. Beloved second-tier fast-food chain Carl’s Jr. is pandering to its Los Angeles base:
“With a simple display of the fast-food chain’s smiling-star logo, a voiceover announces, “Carl’s Jr. would like to extend a special welcome to the L.A. Lakers’ Karl Malone,” at which point a super comes up under the Laker-gold star, reading “Karl’s Jr.” The sound of a bouncing basketball concludes the spot.”
Phew. Seeing that revised logo the first time, and given chain founder Carl Karcher’s notorious background as an avid Southern California Republican, I initially feared far more insidious influences were at work.


They’re Ba-a-a-ck!”

Lainnuendo.jpgFinally! Richard Rushfield and Stacey Grenrock-Woods (and their stellar contributors) are back with a second issue of LA Innuendo.
What you will find inside (or on the Web site if you don’t live in Los Angeles):
Brett Ratner bashing, obligatory (but still funny) Gigli jokes, and more of those great Overheard Conversations like this beaut overheard at the Gold’s Gym Parking Lot in Hollywood:
Two women in workout clothes argue before getting into the car.
FIRST: “Do you want to get something to eat?”
SECOND: “No, I just ate.”
FIRST: “So what, you’re fully bulimic. Let’s go.”

Makes me sad that there wasn’t anything this good to read when I lived in LA.


Women of the world, raise your middle finger

Not since Virginia Slims tried to connect smoking with women’s lib has an ad so offensively linked consumption with power as this new campaign from the white devils at A Diamond is Forever.
Since the Web site shortens the ad’s text, here it is from the print campaign:
Your left hand says ‘we.’ Your right hand says ‘me.’ Your left hand rocks the cradle. Your right hand rules the world. Women of the world, raise your right hand. A Diamond is Forever. The New Diamond Right Hand Ring. Romantic, Modern Vintage, Floral and Contemporary Styles at ADIAMONDISFOREVER.COM
That’s seriously fucked up. How about:
Our left hand says ‘greed.’ Our right hand says ‘monopoly.’ Our left hand held down the slave laborer working in the mine. Our right hand searched his ass for any contraband. Women of the world, raise your right hand in favor of exploitation.
Speaking of sparkly rocks of death, Black Table has an interview with Janine Roberts, author of Glitter & Greed: The Secret World of the Diamond Cartel on the very same topic today.


Up, Up, and Away!

White House Takes Credit for Surge in Economy by Richard W. Stevenson
Personally, I think it’s because of the new $20s: they make spending fun!
[low culture kidz corner: Hey, kids! Want a new $20 of your own? Just download the image above and use your color printer to make as many as you like! It’s easy, but you may need an adult’s supervision.]



When two movies (one based on real events, the other on a Philip Roth novel) that have very little to with each other both turn out to hinge on lies and the lying liars who tell them, you gotta wonder just what about the zeitgeist puts us in the minds of deceptive prevaricators. Oh, right.


Ever wonder what your mom’s phone number was before you were born?

hef.jpg“Hefner’s two little black books from 1957 and 1958, include a who’s who of celebrities and cultural icons of the day, ranging from Richard Avedon to Oleg Cassini. Christie’s says the address books could fetch up to $12,000 apiece.” Bunny Booty On The Block In Playboy Auction By Paul Tharp


The Oval “Office”

Here at low culture, we have already speculated how agonizing it must be for members of the White House press corps to be subjected to President Bush’s repetitive jokes and audaciously inane pet nicknames for his friends and peers.
Having taken a closer look at the full transcript of Tuesday’s press conference, however, it became vividly clear: the president must be taking leadership cues from David Brent of BBC America’s second-season hit television series, “The Office”). David (brilliantly played by actor Ricky Gervais) is the bumbling and deluded Regional Manager at a paper-supply company in an office park in the middle of nowhere.
Fans of the show can check out the uncanny similarities by looking at the lesson plan:

Grave Unintentionally Hilarious

Unintentionally Hilarious Photo of the Moment, vol. 8




Buried at the very end of Armond White’s review of The Human Stain in this week’s New York Press is this:
The moments are so especially erotic, it’s clear we’re watching Coleman’s secrets and dreams. (Nakedness bathed in Jean-Yves Escoffier’s amber light; Coleman snorfling a young Wasp woman’s body with curiosity as much as passion.)
Snorfling? What the snorf?!? Curious, I snorfled over to the blogger’s best friend, Google and tried to find this word. Here’s what I got: What is my Greyhound trying to tell me?
The click/snap is actually a replacement for the lick; you will find that most of these dogs aren’t lickers. Sometimes they yelp, bark, or make throaty noises while clicking. “Snorfling” might be a good description of this activity.
Snorfled that right up.
Earlier thoughts on Armond White from low culture.


A Lesson for the Youngsters

Back in 1994, Douglas Coupland complained in ArtForum that the younger generation of artists and art critics had completely forgotten James Rosenquist. (The essay, on Rosenquist’s F-111, a portion of which is above, is collected in Polaroids from the Dead.)
Not so anymore. Rosenquist is the subject of a big retrospective at the Guggenheim in New York (through January 25th) and pops up today in one of those mini profiles in The Times Metro Section. Here’s a little bit of wisdom from an art world survivor to all you young turks out there:
We lived like kings in New York in those days on very little money. The younger artists today think they have to turn their fine art into cash to pay the rent. Now what happens is they show too early and the critics say they stink and they think they stink.
Keep at it, kids. This guy is 70 years-old.