15 December 2008

(Potential) Fathers and Mothers

A local medical practice specializing in vasectomies (ouch!) has a radio advertisement the tagline of which is "This is not your father's vasectomy."

Now, I'm unsure of whether it's my uneasiness with medical implements around particularly delicate areas of my body (i.e., I'll never wear contacts for the same reason!) or just my Catholicism (or insecurity) showing, but this seems an really unfortunate turn of phrase.

What's the next ad campaign? The Pill -- The Mother of All Birth Control!

Yes, it alludes to the 70s car ad campaign: "This is not your father's Oldsmobile," but, if my father had bothered to have one, I, as child #3, very well might not have been around. Now, statistically speaking, getting a vasectomy is probably far safer than driving an Olds, but at least you can pass on your 1986 Toronado to your teenagers.

(When a colleague of mine had the procedure done, I dedicated Frank Sinatra's and Keely Smith's 1958 duet "How are you fixed for Love?" to him on my radio show. If you're gonna have it done, at least set it to swingin' music.)

Speaking of mothers and fathers, my favorite British title that didn't make it across the pond (like the American release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone -- well, THAT clarifies things!) is the original title of an Elvis Costello compilation. In the US it was called Girls Girls Girls (with symbols of the American dollar and British pound interspersed into a misogynistic equation), in the UK, Ten Howsyafathers and 10 Bloody Marys.

American record companies and publishers always get uneasy when religion is even tangentially involved. Hence we get Nick Lowe's Pure Pop for Now People instead of the original, and far better, title, Jesus of Cool.

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