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Archive for the 'Humanity' Category

So which card are you?

Tuesday, November 21st, 2006

I, Squub pointed me to this WFMU blog posting by about one of Bank of America’s employees singing a modified version of U2’s “One” at a corporate conference celebrating their merger with MBNA. (See the video on YouTube) The singer, bank manager and independent musician Ethan Chandler, modified the lyrics to fit the occassion — see the WFMU blog for examples.

Apparently, this has caused quite an uproar, McClung saying that “it shows the crassness of corporate culture,” the YouTube comments are mostly along the same lines, and Squub is disgusted as well, calling it “cringeworthy.” He quotes the following lines:

“And we’ll make lots of money. Forever I can sing about trusting in teamwork and doing the right thing. We’ll live out our core values while the competition crawls, ‘cause they want what we have got.”

I don’t find any of this even remotely offensive. What is the purpose of a corporation if not to make lots of money? Who cares if they want to sing a song while doing it? Squub points out that they’re talking about values, yet not demonstrating any values. That may be true, but there’s nothing inherently wrong with a merger, and they aren’t demonstrating a lack of values in any other way, either (Keep in mind that I know basically nothing about this merger aside from this). Besides, lots of people talk about values and never really follow through — in no way is that specific to corporations.

I view this in the same way I view a lot of corporate feel-goodery. I think it’s silly, and I wouldn’t be motivated by it, but I do find it extremely amusing. In fact, I think that Chandler’s adaptation of the song is in fact quite clever. Not to mention that the guy can sing!

At one point in my conversation with Squub, he asked, “Is this a political discussion?” It may not be directly political, but I do think politics have a lot to do with it. I happen to believe that wanting to make lots of money can be a good motivator. Some people find this focus on money revolting.

So, who’s right? Is this a harmless, silly corporate motivational song, or is this an example of disgusting corporate greed infringing upon art?

I’d ponder it some more, but I need to get back to making lots of money for my company.

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