Monday, May 7, 2012

Bad Ruffles and Bad Sneakers

LJ Vintage Ads
Yes, this ad from the 70s is pretty bad. As in, bad. But they thought it was bad, meaning pretty good. A little (very little, because it is Monday etc.) research tells me (and I'm telling you now) that the slang "bad" meaning "good" was first used in the 1970s. It's called oppositional slang, by the way.

The Steely Dan song "Bad Sneakers" came out in 1975 and I suppose they meant bad as in good. Only with a little of their patented irony thrown on top. I like Steely Dan a lot but this is not, in my opinion, one of their best songs; it's catchy, though. Makes me think of sitting around in college playing Steely Dan records and writing 10 pages in my journal every day because there was so much complicated stuff going on. Ugh, now I've got "Bad Sneakers" stuck in my head. I was going to put up a YouTube thing but I'll just link to it. Because I don't want you to get the Steely Dans on a Monday, unless you want to (PS: I really do like SD a lot still, just not this song. And that's more than enough about that...)

Bad Sneakers ("...and a pina colada, my friend") are a natural accompaniment to the Bad Tux. Sneakers will make the whole thing ironic. Although from the look of things, that might not be enough.

Because ruffles on shirts were never ever bad in that oppositional slang sense. Nor were they mean. The Edwardian from Top Hat - and the "Tom Jones" tux (as advertised very meekly in the small print) just aren't bad, mean, or exclamation-point-worthy.

Repetition of the word "ruffles" does not help either. Ruffles ruffles ruffles. Lots of ruffles. Ruffles make it this year. Ah, but they don't. Never did. Not even back then. Not all the stern smug sideburned men with silly smouldering expressions can convince us.

But it is a wonderfully funny ad. I'll bet it was pretty funny back in the 1970s, too.

2 comments:

Marcheline said...

All this ad needs is Leroy Brown...

Vintage Living Magazine said...

It really is a funny ad and thanks for sharing.