Don’t ya just hate it when a commercial actually reached out and touches you with a bit of inspiration. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as entertained as the next person by all those radically expensive, goofy Super Bowl adds. I appreciate ongoing humorous campaigns like the “Old Spice man.” But there’s something odd and a little awkward about finding myself caught up in a commercial, or worse, looking forward to it. Don’t even get me started about the ones that make me cry (those old ATT and Hallmark ads – I’m looking at you.)
But it happened last week as I was greedily consuming every episode of Misfits I could get my hands on (if you haven’t yet: it’s funny, sexy, dark, british sci-fi. Think Skins meets Alphas) a brilliant set of words tumbled into my life via a Levi’s ad for their “Go Forth” campaign (it’s on YouTube, have a peek). Apparently the ad was pulled due to sensitivity around included footage of riot scenes and you know…we don’t want people getting any ideas. But it’s all over Hulu and if you’ve ever watched Hulu you tend to see the same six ads over and over again no matter what you watch (targeted advertising at work)
The spot is chock full of gorgeous lines like “Your life is your life. Know it while you have it.”
and “There is light somewhere. It may not be much light, but it beats the darkness.”
I’m not shilling for Levi here; although I do love their 524s (aka the cutie bootie jeans) and I’m looking forward to trying the Curve ID line next time I’m in the market for a new pair.
Anywho – I traced it back to a CrimeThinc poster (lots of interesting stuff there – and the objection to the riot shot makes much more sense combined with that context) which credited the poem to some guy named “Hank.”
Google to the rescue. A couple of lines of text and I bingo’d on a beautifully produced YouTube video/interpretation of the poem, called “The Laughing Heart” by Charles Bukowski (aka Henry Charles Bukowski aka “Hank”) and read by Tom Waits. Which I will share with you because it captures everything that caught my attention and inspired me (without the shameless plug to sell some red tags):