Monday, September 3, 2012

On this Labor Day...

... I give you a slightly edited and improved (for clarity) commercial I had in a dream, probably inspired by the day and this news item

Interior: a ledge of wooden rafters against a wall with high windows. We are made to think this is the interior of a church, perhaps Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (hereafter VIL) steps into frame from stage left. Instead of his traditional black suit he is wearing a tight t-shirt with slacks and dress shoes, hipster-style. The shirt is festooned with colorful designs that simultaneously suggest Tetris blocks, political graffiti, and Soviet-era art. 

VIL thoughtfully takes a few steps onto a crossbeam, then notices the camera to his right. He stops, carefully turns, and addresses the audience. 

VIL:  Modern political fashion can be a bit of a balancing act. On the one hand, a dedicated revolutionary should make every effort to convince other workers that his cause is just. On the other...

Cut to: a scene depicting a bourgeois capitalist pigdog, finely dressed, getting rich off the honest labors of the working man by selling Che Guevara t-shirts to noble, hardworking proletariat for literal buckets of money.

VIL (voiceover): ... one does not wish to give aid and comfort to one's political enemies simply because they control the means of distribution.

Back to VIL, looking straight down the camera, face-only.

VIL: That is why, on this Glorious People's Day of Labor, I, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, am proud to announce...

Cut to wide shot. VIL's arms spread wide. To either side of him are large workmen, dressed in equally tight t-shirts.

VIL: ... the Second October Revolution! (SFX:  echo and reverb)

(Back to 3/4 shot of VIL)

VIL: Yes my friends! Today is a glorious day! Today, the workers take back style! From each, according to their sense of design! To each, according to their sense of fashion!

VIL begins stalking across the beam towards stage right, knocking over the workers in his way. Those further back, seeing the trend, dive off into oblivion.)

VIL: The workers control the means of production! Without the workers, you have no shirts! Do you truly wish to be seen as ideologically naked in this political struggle of class versus crass?

VIL stops again; head turns to the right to address camera once more.

VIL: (roaring) NO! Down with the industrial bourgeoisie! Up with the industrial  proletariat! Buy Second October Revolution apparel TODAY!

VIL stalks off-camera as the Second October Revolution logo appear: a dollar sign, a hammer and sickle, and a profile of Lenin, each indicative of the letters S, O, and R. 

Voiceover: Available at these fine outlets.

Fade-in logos of stores carrying the SOR brand, such as Aeropostale, Hot Topic, and Banana Republic. Linger for three seconds, then cut. 

Yes, even my dreams are full of satire.

Please tell me that all of you get this. I hate having to explain my humor...


  1. It's like seeing a zypo lighter with the Anarchy sign.

  2. People's Cube has some great satiric takes on the Che t-shirts. For me, I've actually read both his how-to book on revolution and his book about his adventures as a revolutionary in Africa (something I'll bet long green that the vast majority of Che-shirt-wearing wannabe eschatonists never have done) and I'll tell you this: as a 'leader of the Revolution', Che Guevera was great at  growing a wispy little beard. God send that all my enemies are as slack.

  3. We can only hope that all of our dreams will be as brilliant as this one.

    Thanks, that was a pleasure to read.

  4. Che Guevara is the Lord Byron of the Cuban revolution.
    There is a reason why one became a celebrated dictator for life, the other died in a jungle. Still celebrated though.

    As for satire. With the exception of the "sell at Hot Topic, Aeropostale and Banana Republic" it's a fair description of a fully legitimate branch of syndicalism, and the SOR logo is brilliant. If it was instead branded as a direct online retailing (skipping the bourgeoise chain of distribution that steals the productive values from the working class) it could be SORe (with the "Re" standing for the "Re" in revolution and electronic distribution). "Go with the Second October Revolution! Put your thumb in the eye of the bourgoise and stick out with SORe!"

    Too bad that I don't believe in syndicalism...because with good design we'd make millions. Which I would like to keep for myself, but that would be even more hypocritical.

  5. You make me giggle. That is all.

  6.  I do. Perhaps just a vaguely different interpretation. :)

  7. Excellent labor!  You shall be rewarded with a position at the People's Central Committee of Satire and Not-For-Profit Trade Advertising.

  8.  Well... _I_ got it. But considering my QC-reject-bin sense of humor*, that might not be much of an endorsement (speaking of crass commercialism).

    * Probably installed at birth by a Soviet mole accustomed to quantity-over-quality to meet his productivity quota.


The Fine Print

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Creative Commons License

Erin Palette is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to