Stalking Kevin Bacon: A high-tech solution to an age old problem
Is stalking funny? I guess it could be – if it’s in a movie and done sort of Something About Mary style, but generally it’s pretty freaky behavior. Think more along the lines of Play Misty For Me or Fatal Attraction. And when it comes to stalking, celebrities stick out like sore thumbs as far as targets go. They’re public figures that are scoped out by many, many more people than they could ever personally know. Add in good lighting, make up and great scripts and they become intense objects of desire for socially-stunted misfits with out-sized expectations about the world around them.
So it is with an odd mixture of fascination and horror that I watched a new commercial for the Logitech Revue featuring a strangely dedicated Kevin Bacon fanatic showing off the Logitech box’s ability to search and find all things Kevin Bacon on his TV. Don’t get me wrong – it’s really funny. A nerdy, nasally kind of guy grins goofily as he explains that his favourite actor is Kevin Bacon, then showing off a Kevin Bacon needlepoint he is working on. He says “Kevin Bacon’s best movie is probably a tie…..between all of ‘em” and then sort of snuff-laughs in a kind of mischievous, oddly unhinged way. He then busts out his best Kevin Bacon impression: “This valley is just one long smorgasbord. They’re under the ground!” ” “It’s from Tremors” he helpfully explains.
We go around his home and see a bizarre painting featuring him and Kevin Bacon. Then stickers and posters and even displayed wardrobe from Footloose. On and on it goes. He is clearly a Kevin Bacon fanatic in every sense of the word. The punchline of the whole spot is who it is actually playing this Kevin Bacon-loving nutjob: Kevin Bacon. Talk about channeling a perfect “lives in the ‘burbs but actually could be from the hills” type of obsessed Kevin Bacon fan. That it’s all in service of a new TV product is kind of a let down. For me, the really weird part is that a celeb like Bacon would be making fun of something more likely to affect him than anyone else.
Obviously Bacon sees the humor in the reality of people being so enamored of actors or fame that they kind of lose themselves inside them. And he pokes fun at his own image brilliantly. But is it wise to even be tangentially endorsing this kind of unhealthy fixation? In a way, he’s even promoting it. Buy Logitech Revue and lose yourself in Kevin Bacon easier than before. Why would anything want to be known as a stalker’s aid? Logitech Revue: The Stalker’s Choice. I don’t get it.
I can’t see David Letterman, or even Conan O’Brien doing too many ads joking about stalking. They’ve both had some pretty freaky run-ins with some real wackos. Hard to believe but maybe Kevin Bacon doesn’t have any to contend with. That’s tough to swallow though. I mean, he’s in a band. All bands have stalkers don’t they?
Whatever the truth is behind this maybe the thing to focus on is the kinder, gentler world we’re creating. Maybe through technology stalking will become more virtual and perhaps take the danger out of it. Stalkers can instead stay home vs. chasing down their targets as before. Why invade their house if you can watch them Orwell style online or on TV all the time? Maybe that’s what’s next. A Kevin Bacon channel. You tune in and it’s just like watching a security camera channel in some apartment building except you see Kevin walk down the hall of his house. Or clean the garage or sort the mail or eat croutons. That would be awesome now that I think about it. Google is already driving cameras around everywhere. They should just send us all one to stick in the kitchen and we could all follow each other around 24-7. Why not? If you have nothing to hide what could possibly go wrong? I thought this was a party? Let’s DANCE!