Monday, October 01, 2007

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.


Blogger Rowena said...

OH GAWD! Now I'm going to have that song stuck in my head again.... ;-), but imma still laughin' anyways.

Regarding your question on the cannoli. Hehe...that was the way I used to make them (chocochips in the ricotta) until my neighbor and my wonderful hubby (damn the two!) mentioned those chocolate-in-the-inside versions. Then I had to see them at the fair so... I'm hooked. They are the bomb, and those little itty bitty chocolate bits in the oil? Sounds gross but actually they end up looking like burnt flour. The only benefit I can see from going through all that trouble is because it'll baffle your guests. Oh, and because they are simply...sicilian. ;-)

P.S. I hope you post something for World Bread Day (Oct.16). You've got that killer sour in the fridge!

3:48 PM  
Blogger Maddy said...

So funny. But so annoying. This song will probably never leave my head.

On the bright side, now no matter what kind of crap job I have, I can always think to myself, at least I'm not being forced to prance around in a shiny onion suit on national tv.

2:42 AM  
Blogger ML said...

A tad annoying. So weird, though.

5:48 PM  
Blogger hellomelissa said...

oh, crap, i hate irritating jingles that play and replay in your brain... even into the wee hours of the night.

lately the problem for me is the pop-culture craze of "high school musical." s listens to it incessantly, and those songs sick like velcro to my brain.

8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought it was funny but I would be afraid to watch it twice. It does seem to have the threat of mind control where you could end up singing it over and over again in the most inappropriate places. I like your blog and will be back :)

5:22 AM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi Rowena, funny, it looks like there's no blog-related World Bread day event on Is My Blog Burning.

Hi Maddy,

Next time I feel like I hate my job I'll visualize myself in a shiny onion suit too! What could be worse?

Hi ML, Wierd is the word!

Hi Melissa, High school musical is really popular here too. It must be a global phenom. I haven't heard any music for it though.

Hi Maryann, Ha ha! Mind control... in that case, I've been a zombie for about a week now.

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, I can't be blamed for hiotting the Parmigiano video... it was inviting... I had to know.

But when I saw the Ricchi e Poveri video below it... well, I knew what I was in for. I've long argued that they were always at the bottom of the barrel with respect to Italian music ( ok, maybe one step above 'Pooh' ).

Still, some overwhelming force within me took over and caused my mouse to click it. My fault, I know... but now my day is ruined.

Thanks a lot!

3:34 PM  

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