Pa Pa Pa Parmigiano, Irritating Schlock or Brilliant Satire? You decide.
Last Christmas there was a tv commercial for parmesan cheese in heavy rotation here in Italy. The deliriously happy-looking actors dressed up as colored metallic foil vegetables and short pasta shapes dancing like morons around a giant wheel of parmesan and singing one of the stupidest songs I've ever gotten stuck in my head, filled me with exasperation. What had those actors ever done to deserve such indignity? I couldn't help but think that whoever came up with this commercial must be some kind of sadist to make those actors humiliate themselves to such a degree just for a paycheck. I couldn't understand why else such a spectacle of schlock could come to be. Have a look to see what I mean.
You see? Doesn't that just make you want to drive a pasta fork into somebody's eye? A friend of mine recently told me that this video has been making the rounds of Anthropologist You Tube fans back in the States. She really likes the video, thinks it's funny, and that fact drove me even crazier. But then I found out that the stupid "Pa Pa Pa Parmigiano" jingle comes directly from a 1980's Italian pop hit by the band "Ricchi e Poveri". Have a look here:
Can you believe that? There's the same stupid tune and the female singer bounces along pantomiming every lyric as if she were singing to an audience of Korean speakers who had no clue what she was saying. Seeing this made me realize, maybe, just maybe the "Pa Pa Pa Parmigiano" commercial's send-up of the song "Ma Ma Ma Maria" is fitting punishment for all the torturous earworms* Ricchi e Poveri have put into the heads of Italians over the years. What do you think? Am I being to critical?
*Earworm: From the German ohrwurm, a song that gets stuck in your head.