Commercial Rebellion.

"These boots were made for shilling."
In 2007, a mock promotional advert created by the Doc Martens shoe company found its way onto the world-wide-web. In the image, deceased Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain sits peaceful upon a heavenly cloud; dressed in nothing but a white robe, and a pair of Doctor Martens boots. The advert drew mass criticism from critics and fans alike - Nirvana were the antithesis of product hocking, and the ad was quickly withdrawn from publication. Of course, those a little more aware than most, will not have missed the reality, that an image posted online as a potential advert, is in fact an advert. So the job was done, and the company found a clever way to associate itself with a former rock star, unlikely to promote any commercial endorsement - in life or in death.
Today I caught a bus-stop advertisement of Lana Del-Ray - the singer songwriter who rides upon an image of dark, melancholic misery, carrying a miserable, sultry look, whilst modelling a fresh line of clothing for an established fashion chain. My second thought - after wondering how long before misery becomes in vogue - like it did in it mid-1990's, is just how clever this promotion is, and how few may manage to see beyond the idea that those who are generally depressive; living against the grain of life's wind of percentage, and eternally frustrated by the harsh side of a reality which isn't marketable in the slightest, tend not to promote clothing ranges.

Commercial representation of anything deemed "anti-society, or anti-corporate", is nothing new to our world; whether in advert or general perception form. The Sex Pistols were cleverly veiled unit shifters hidden under the banner of anti-establishment rebels; as much as Johnny Rotten doesn't eat Country-life butter because it's British, but because the company pay him 250,000 quid to say so. Iggy-Pop tries to convince us he Isn't really selling Car insurance, even though it hardly takes Albert Einstein to come to the conclusion he is selling out. Eminem sells computer games as if he isn't really, while Madonna hocks iPhones to convince herself she is not really 54-years-old, or bothered about her carefully cultivated and consistently adapted image.

"I'm miserable... no. really, I am"
The list is somewhat endless and nameless; each generation from the baby-boomers onwards, quite happy to sell themselves under the banner of being against the very product they represent. Personally, while I don't mind them selling out, I do mind being patronised towards the idea they are. I should be angry, but am more amused. Then again, more than anything, it probably makes me realise how the entertainment industry is just that - an industry. And the real genuine acts are few and far between; lost somewhere in the misunderstood midst of playing the human race for a line of pawns on a Chess board.

This is where artists such as Cobain, Michael Stipe, Bruce Springsteen, and the minority of others who refuse the financial or veiled benefits of shilling, attain greater credibility through the advent of time for sticking to personal principal. While much of what the guy believes is easy to ridicule, we are very unlikely to ever see Morissey dancing around in a pair of Gap jeans - proclaiming "heaven knows I'm not miserable now... that I got my brown chinos on."

It is nothing personal against Lana Del-Ray as a person, or artist; she needs to build herself a future, and I am sure ambition holds her as it does most of us, in its vice-like clutches. So she stands with a pout, looks miserable as fuck, takes a few shots, then goes home to a fat pay check and more twitter followers; her words and body language conveying depression and melancholy - her eyes, suggesting the complete opposite.

Perhaps I am being too harsh and bitter, I don't know. I am tired of seeing so many celebrities endorse a philosophy purely to sell a product. It would be like seeing pro-wrestler CM Punk puffing a joint, Chris Martin advertising a Big-Mac, or Stephen Hawking promoting a Volkswagen for under nine grand... oh wait. So in defence to Miss Del-Ray - at least she is not selling Woolworths t-shirts for 2 quid; see Chan, Jackie, for that one...