I DON'T mind singing his campaign jingle in the john, which is what usually happens first thing in the mornings when we’re usually autistic. I believe some of my friends also find themselves singing his jingle, too, while sashaying into the toilet. A classmate in college used to sing U2’s “This one goes out to the one I love” while relieving his bowel of last night’s binge. This time though, there’s this one persistent campaign jingle that tops his toilet repertoire.
What should be in a jingle that makes it easy to remember, I ask a friend who knows a thing or two about music. My friend explains that it has something to do with the simplicity of the tune, when the notes are not too jumpy, something like a plateau sloping gradually only on three levels—like do-re-mi or mi-re-do. It’s the usual, simplistic pattern of pop songs, my friend says, that makes them easy to recall and really stick in the head like Bert’s wig. “Who’s Bert?” I ask. “I don’t know,” my friend says, “Ernie’s partner? In Sesame Street?” Uh ok.
My friend takes a pause and, as if some shining apparition fell before him, says, “It’s much like nursery rhymes, they’re simple and children can easily pick them up.” I see. So I got his explanation, and I go about my day feeling enlightened.
But the day ends, and there is something else. On the first flight of stairs, I am singing the jingle again. Ah-ha, so there it is—children. The jingle, or the TV ad, comes across as a nursery rhyme—like Jack en Poy, or Monkey-monkey or Ambuchiki. Although, Ambuchiki is more like a battle-cry against Chip Tsao.
The supposed candidate wriggles his butt in between the children and sits with them while they chant his name. Its creative pool probably thinks it’s a stroke of genius, but that’s the price for selling your soul to the devil—one’s work becomes impassioned, devoid of soul, lacking subtlety, and above all dishonest.
So what comes to my mind watching that ad? It reminds me of those manipulative protest marchers who would put children at the frontlines supposedly as shield. It reminds me of Middle East terrorists who would plant children on potential targets to soften an offensive. That’s what the campaign ad is like; it feeds innocent children into the mouth of this filthy beast of whatever name you call this season. At a time of need for deeper sensitivity to children’s rights, this ad is unscrupulous. Singing in that setup is no different from swimming in a sea of rubbish.
“What are they singing? His name, his frigging name! What is he, a diaper?” A friend rants on Facebook. He says you only use children in advertisements if the product has something to do with children. The candidate is not even close to Wet Wipes, he says.
Keep your cool, I tell my friend. But just when I tell him that, the country’s comedian appears on TV and endorses the candidate. When a comedian speaks in utter seriousness, you’re supposed to believe in him. His joke is as real as his claims to gravity. In fact, I long for the day when the comedian and the candidate would do one stunt together. Maybe a chase sequence around a coconut tree; ending only until the nuts fall on their heads. That will be the day, man.
The candidate says he’s using TV only to level the amount of exposure the other candidate, who he says has the better access, is getting. But the “infomercials” have been there since Adam and Eve, and mankind has been singing his campaign jingle since the discovery of toilet training.
Oh, and as I close this paragraph, the advertisement blares on TV again. Friends, countrymen, maybe for health reasons we should just stick to “Nobody, nobody…”