I've read the Sunday Parade magazine since I was a kid. Walter Scott's Personality Parade is probably the source of my freakish knowledge of names of movies, movie stars and other similarly useless trivia. As an adult, and as someone who works peripherally in public relations, I recognize it for what it is: a shill for publicists angling to promote their clients' projects. One big, shameless plug.
Anyway, in this morning's Parade there was a four-page ad insert for Dell Computers. The headers were in a font similar to the one used on the Harry Potter covers. They said:
Page 1: Your child wants it. And you want to buy it for them [sic].
Page 2: The urge to buy is good...
Page 3: Give in to the urge.
Page 4: Don't think of it as technology. Think of it as a symbol of your love.
The tag line on two of the pages reads: "The computer is personal again."
What the hell? Now, I'm not naive. I know that the text, with its crappy grammar, is explicitly expressing what is usually implicit and even subliminal. Those sentiments undergird all advertising. But there's something really self-consciously ironic about placing them front and center. Or is it brilliantly subversive?