Thursday, September 6

More Thoughts On Greeting Cards

After yesterday's rant about the "Little Miss Sunshine" cards, America's Favorite Lawyer-Turned-Artist Elise Gres reminded me of another great independent film that somehow ended up in the greeting card aisle:

These cards remind me of how they (whoever They are) also turned Napoleon Dynamite into an advertising vehicle, though with fewer worrisome consequences. Nothing is sacred...

Elise's comment makes me wonder why the "Napoleon Dynamite" merchandise doesn't irritate me the same way the "Little Miss Sunshine" greeting cards does. I think it's because the films are so fundamentally different. I also think it's because "Napoleon Dynamite" has so many nuggets of dialogue that fit so well on greeting cards, T-shirts, refrigerator magnets, talking pens, et al.

In fact, I wrote a story a while ago about a local businessman who produces and sells "Napoleon Dynamite" talking pens. He was introduced to the film through his kids. He's now making "Family Guy" talking pens.

Back to the greeting card aisle -- when I encounter "Napoleon Dynamite" greeting cards, it's not a huge shock, but it's clearly a sign that what I had considered an independent counterculture film has, in fact, been embraced by mainstream popular culture. In fact, if I ran a large greeting card company, I'd be eager to license "Napoleon Dynamite" to prove to my shareholders and vendors that my company was on the forefront of youth culture trends.

I still don't think it's as sad to see "Napoleon Dynamite" cards as it is to see "Little Miss Sunshine" cards. At least I don't have to worry about picking up a "Napoleon Dynamite" card and (once again, I feel the need for Caps Lock here) FINDING A JOKE ABOUT SUICIDE.

A completely random thought about greeting cards: What do you think greeting cards are like in the universe of George Orwell's "1984"? When Winston Smith was growing up, what did his birthday cards look like? I don't imagine that a totalitarian regime would offer much selection. I don't think there would be a lot of licensed characters. I would imagine that birthday cards could be used as a tool for propaganda. Are there condolence cards and anniversary cards? Do party members have different cards than proles?

It's just something I've been thinking about.

1 comment:

Elise Gres said...

Wow, I feel terrificly famous!

Here is my Newspeak Birthday Card for you:

Notice from the Ministry of Love:

You have committed the thought crime of prioritizing your individual birthdate over other dates, all equally valued by the State.

Remember that Birth is Death.

Your Date of "birth", i.e., Initial Transformation, is now 1907, updating made retroactive by the Ministry of Truth.

You are to immediately report to the Ministry of Life for your Terminal Transformation, as your date of expiration at the 65 year mark has long since passed.

War is Peace;
Freedom is Slavery;
Ignorance is Strength.