Monday, 25 June 2012

Football, Apple and the undecideable chiasmus*

First a little smugness, though . . . My (completely scientific) swearing algorithm has correctly predicted the result of all four Euro 2012 finals. As one of the commenters below remarks, I should perhaps start thinking of myself as Euro 2012’s own Paul the Octopus. Next prediction will be with you some time on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, I’m surprised there hasn’t been much comment on something I saw in one of the Euro 2012 ad breaks — I think it was the one right after England beat Ukraine.

It was for Apple – the iPod, iThink. (Ha, ha.) It showed a young woman flashing her screen. And on it was what looked like a to-be-done list. At the top of the list were the words Jacques Derrida and below it, iThink, was something like ‘literary theory’.

It came and went so quickly, I was barely certain I’d actually seen it. Apple promoting a product by name dropping a French deconstructivist penseur? I mean, I know the bite out of the side of the Apple is meant to be a reference to Alan Turing’s suicide — by cyanide poisoning, via the apple-with-a-bite-out-of-it found beside his bed. But, really, a French philosophe? Or, as I prefer to think of him, as a regular correspondent of the NME in the 1980s.

Who do Apple think they might reach with that name-dropping? I really have no idea but I’d say it was an awful small market. The only person I can think of who it might persuade was the friend of a friend who was so keen on Derrida, she decided he was in love with her so she followed him everywhere. She also stole the only Derrida book I had — and had never read, of course — on the grounds that I was far too base and stupid to appreciate the words and truths of her beloved. Stalker logic, you have to be impressed. She was, of course, almost certainly correct. If bonkers.

But still . . . I haven’t seen the Apple/Derrida ad again. If you have, let me know. So, as iThink about it, I come to this conclusion (of sorts): it was unintended. I reckon the ad agency did a mock-up and some clever-arse (think of someone like me, perhaps) decided they’d show off by referencing French deconstructionism (most likely, as they remembered it from the NME in the 1980s) and it got left in the finished version by mistake. Then it was shown and someone at Apple spotted it, got Steve Jobsy about it, pulled it and ordered it redone. Now it’s back in post-production — ad rehab, you could call it.

Why do I think this? Because, in my experience, things like that do happen. A lot.

Next A cracking example of that kind of thing happening.

* No, I’ve no idea what it means but it’s one of Derrida’s catch-phrases. Think of it as his version of Forsyth’s paradox: nice to see you, to see you nice.

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