Did you see the uproar over Taylor Swift recently inking a deal to be a spokesperson for Diet Coke?

Did you see the uproar over Taylor Swift recently inking a deal to be a spokesperson for Diet Coke? I’m scratching my head over this one. An enterprising (and talented) young American signs an agreement to hawk a soft drink for a little extra cash…..and a certain contingent nutritionist and a selected few guardians of “extra poundage” rise up out of the woodwork to protest.

What happened to the land of opportunity?      

I don’t know Taylor Swift from Adam’s housecat. I can’t tell you one song she sings. I could not pick her out of a line up of Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and Beyonce. Listen, I’ve got running shoes older than Taylor Swift! 

I’ve heard just enough of her to know that, despite any claims to the contrary, she is not a country singer. I don’t care how she is advertised or promoted! Loretta Lynn to this day gets a hint of a c in there as she pronounces “here”…..as in that line from her autobiographical standard, “Not much left but the floor, nothing lives cheer anymore…..” Now folks, that’s country! You should a’seen the hairdo Tammy Wynette was sporting when she first moved to Nashville in 1966; it screamed country even before she opened her mouth. And bless her heart, the late Kitty Wells would make Loretta and Tammy both seem like they were born in New York City!

I’m not defending Taylor Swift today because she’s young or beautiful or “my kind of singer”. I’m just musing over the fact that some folks have got to put their negative two cents worth in sometimes where it doesn’t belong.

These naysayers claim that the popularity that Miss, or Mrs., (I don’t keep up with that stuff) Swift has among young teenagers will cause them to drink more sodas thereby adding to the already raging obesity among the youth of America today. They added statistics with graphs and charts to aid their viewpoint.

Have we gone completely bonkers in this country? 

We’d never heard of Diet Coke in 1957. Me and Ricky and Yogi would drink a sugar laden Root Beer over on the front steps of Woodrow Kennon’s Grocery Store and then run up and play for an hour on the World War I cannon guarding the square. We’d then high-tail it down to the big ditch below our house and swing across the water on grape vines. We’d spend the afternoon playing baseball way out at that field across from the Pajama Factory. We’d race like the Devil was after us to get home before the sundown curfew. We ended most everyday a whole lot thinner than we started it.

Don’t blame the cola if you’re going to sit on the couch for hours on end and watch Howdy Dowdy. Listen, you can get fat eating carrots and English peas if you don’t know when to stop! 

It might behoove our young generation to worry less about their calorie intake and spend more time “hand walking” the World War I cannon. How about a good game of “kick the can” or “hide and go seek”?  

Plus, do we really believe Robert Wagner has a reverse mortgage on his personal home? Sam Elliot is as rugged as all get out and one of the most likeable actors around, but does that mean he actually drives a Dodge Ram? I have a pretty good idea of “What’s in Alec Baldwin’s wallet” since he started doing those Capital One commercials!

Leon would say, “They’re just in it for the money.”

I don’t wear English Leather. I had a girlfriend once that insisted I would be more attractive to her if I’d splash a little on before we went to the dance over at the National Guard Armory in Lexington. It smelled like a cross between dead lilacs and prune juice to me! I stuck with a touch of Vanilla Extract along each sideburn. I wasn’t about to put some “foreign substance” all over my face and body.

But let’s not kid each other here; if the English Leather people showed up and said, “Hey Kes, we’ll pay you a million dollars to get on TV and promote our cologne”, I’d sign on any dotted line they pointed to! I’d pour that stuff in my hair, my eyes, I bathe in it……shoot, I’d drink it for that kind of money! I’d proclaim English Leather to the rooftops! I wouldn’t care how many lilacs or prunes were killed in the making of the commercial.

You think those Taylor Swift critics wouldn’t do the exact same thing if given the chance?

People, young and old, have some responsibility as they watch any promotion, read any ad, mull over an infomercial or decide between Crest or Colgate. Isn’t it written on Mt. Rushmore or somewhere, “Let the buyer beware”?

Let’s leave Taylor Swift alone. If she can command the extra money, good for her! I’m not going to rush out and buy her records or CD’s or videos. She just doesn’t appeal to me as an entertainer.

I believe I will, however, go out and have myself a Diet Coke to celebrate her good fortune.