Butterfinger Dreams: When your past comes back to sell you
Much of it is a blur now. Well, okay, it’s more denial than anything else but the last decade more than did its job at reminding me quite clearly where I actually sat in the great grand scheme of things – somewhere just above plankton but well below sliced bread. My self-created images of grandeur were revealed as the merely naïve delusions they really were, successfully tempering my bloated sense of awesomeness with a generous pounding of humility. Finally, I was free to begin the task of actually living, versus the Kabuki version on display ala Lindsay Lohan and most of the Kardashians.
But just as I was becoming inured to an overall lack of societal interest in me, myself and I, the world done went and turned my way again.
Think your late 30’s suck? No way – because for the next ten years or so the world at large will pretty much start aiming its conditional love directly at you 24-7. Oh sure, the boomers will still get their attention and the new kids coming up theirs but our group is top of the charts for now. Mostly we have kids, are out there buying houses, cars, boats, weed-whackers, stuff of all shapes and styles while planning our futures. We’re gearing up and the ad agencies have our picture tacked on the dartboard, front and center. As such, popular culture will be themed more often than not, for us – what we like and what we want. We’ll see our favorite colors, be reminded of our best memories, served our tastiest flavors – if we liked it once we can expect to see it again and again and again –prepared with a smile or a tear, whatever it takes to get us to buy and to buy a lot.
Butterfinger, that longer and more substantial of the chocolate bars has leaped headfirst into pleasing our ilk by taking their chance to prop up the artist known as Sir Mix-a-Lot for yet another variation on his 1992 original big-booty hit “Baby Got Back.”
The ad is a pop cultural extravaganza featuring Charisma Carpenter (she of Buffy) and in cheerleader togs no less, Lou Ferrigno of the Incredible Hulk TV series and Erik Estrada reprising his Ponch character from Chips. As the icons of our collective youth dance and preen and shout the lyrics to “Baby Got Butterfinger” we get to transport ourselves back to a simpler time of innocent happiness and drippy fashions while those we once revered rev up their moneymakers and shed their embarrassment for our mild amusement. Granted, it’s a tad sad to see Ponch with a paunch, but he’s sporting a sense of humor that has him adjust his own hairpiece mid-song. And everyone knows it’s not pathetic when you’re in on the gag. I love it – you’ll love it. How can we not love it? The sense of stupid fun a song like this revels in is perfectly resuscitated to sell bars that are chocolate-y good.
This is our time, as our salad days are spritzed up anew and fed back to us in hopes of driving sales back to the future. A-Team is at the movies, Hawaii Five-O is coming back to TV and Erik Estrada is willing to dance only for me in a bright (and tight) white motorcycle cop’s uniform. How can that not be a little slice of Heaven here on earth?
It won’t last of course. Nothing ever does. The best advice is to lay back and enjoy the attention as much as we can. God help us all when the sunlight finally passes by for good and our tastes are no longer mainstream. I know I’ll be left to veg in some dank corner clutching a hard-to-close Hong Kong Phooey lunch-kit under a blanket made from Dukes of Hazzard bedsheets wondering why they won’t change my Homer Simpson emblazoned adult diapers. Maybe it won’t be that bad, but I think it best we all prepare ourselves just in case.