Os Mutantes+Mcdonalds Commercial= Intense Sadness.

Ian Power

Why oh why oh why oh why oh why is Os Mutantes in that Mcdonalds commercial.  Why do these things happen?

The inclusion of an Os Mutantes song in that delightful Mcdonalds soccer driven happy meal commercial may be old news, since it apparently has been running in different forms since the Beijing Olympics. Yet it still seems to pack quite a wallop of a punch to the gut for anyone preferring that commercialism/stylization and art be separated like church and state (another debate altogether.) Still more unnerving and perhaps most sad is the sneaking suspicion that Os Mutantes must have, in some capacity, given the green light on this debacle. One comprehends that in light of their 2006 reunion coincidentially paralleling the hip-ized re”discovery” of tropicalismo they perhaps believed the ad-spot to be publicity icing on the cake. However, there is a chance that this presumption is false and the record company gave the O.K. without the go ahead of the artists, or even less likely, the golden arches used the clip sans permission from anyone…but the fact that their has been no blog/news storm about a pending lawsuit leads one to believe it was kosher for all parties involved. The inherent ideological paradox that an Os Mutantes-Mcdonalds commercial creates stems from the fact that the bands was rooted in the midst of a sixties Brazilian counter culture artistic movement which, following the coup in ’64, championed political activism and probably wouldn’t have taken too kindly to the ethically malignant and exploitative policies of the global corporate powerhouse Mcdonalds. Mutantes is not the first icon of the sixties to later on double back on their coolness. (think Paul McCartney, Jerry Rubin etc..) The truth is, many people have no problem with bands lending their songs to commercial interests….Perhaps the same people who champion the fact that you can only buy Bruce Springsteen’s new album at Wal-Mart. In the end, Tom Waits’ stance on the issue seems to ring truer than most. He has steadfastly opposed his music being sold into commercials and has had a history of winning lawsuits pitted against companies stealing his songs for commercial gain. “If Michael Jackson wants to work for Pepsi, why doesn’t he just get himself a suit and an office in their headquarters and be done with it? Apparently, the highest compliment our culture grants artists nowadays is to be in an ad—ideally, naked and purring on the hood of a new car, I have adamantly and repeatedly refused this dubious honor.” Exactly why Waits will continue to garner the respect of the world, and the sellers-out will fade into the background eventually melding together into one anamorphous processed blob which will then be cookie-cut, deep fried, and sold back to us in faux-pop art stylized styrofoam packaging.