Last month, PBS stations everywhere were begging for bucks, and I noticed this ad for NYC’s channel 13 in the Arts section of the paper: “Yanni Live! The Concert Event: onstage in Vegas, first TV appearance in eight years!”
Let’s ignore the fact that Yanni hasn’t had a hit in God knows how many years. Let’s ignore the fact that a live performance from the Met or a revival of Dance in America would be far more likely to move me to write sizable checks to PBS. Let’s ignore the fact that I actually own four Yanni CDs, but nothing recent, and none of it’s on my iPod.
Let’s concentrate on the abuse of the English language: a concert event. What the hell does that mean? A concert event. It’s not just a concert, it is a concert event.
It cannot be just a concert, because Yanni’s return to the stage after an absence of eight years is not special enough, although I for one would have counted my blessings if I had been made aware how long he’d been gone. It is an event.
Nobody who reads this blog is old enough to remember Pogo, Walt Kelly’s comic strip about a possum in the Okefenokee. Pogo was the Bloom County/Doonesbury of its day, skewering our political leaders with gusto and a deep-fried accent. We could use Walt Kelly right about now.
Anyway, there was one character, P. T. Bridgeport, who was like the P. T. Barnum of the greater Waycross area. He was always promoting something stupendous, and when he talked, it came out like this:
That’s what the PBS ad reminds me of. I wonder if the writers of the ad realize how effectively they satirize themselves. Of course, Yanni helps.