Monday, October 26, 2020

Free Gold


There's a Lloyd's bank commercial on TV here that features a galloping black horse (the Lloyd's trademark) accompanied by the Carpenters song "We've Only Just Begun." Which I happen to love, sentimental as it is. It made me wonder how old Karen Carpenter would be if she were alive, so I looked it up -- and the shocking answer is 70! It's shocking only because none of us can picture her at that age. We all still see her as a winsome 25-year-old, don't we?

Would she be annoyed that her first name has become synonymous with middle-aged white privilege?

Marilyn Monroe would be 94, assuming she was still with us -- probably a big assumption.

Anyway, yesterday was very low-key. I spent most of it reading, finishing my latest Newbery book ("...And Now, Miguel," which was meh) and working my way up to page 527 of the latest Robert Galbraith. I gotta say, it's a compelling story, and not at all painful or boring to read, but I do feel like there's an awful lot of extraneous detail. I suppose my editor's mind is constantly seeking to pare back.

I took the dog to the cemetery, but otherwise I didn't leave home. I caught up on some photo archiving and some other housekeeping stuff I've been meaning to do.


I mentioned yesterday that I brought the avocado tree back indoors -- here's what it looks like, back in its corner. It rained off and on yesterday and I almost felt sorry for the tree, locked up in a dry room. But come winter it will be happy to be inside. (You can see that massive Galbraith tome sitting on the little table next to the couch.)

Speaking of social media and targeted advertising (as we were in my last few posts), yesterday I got a spam e-mail that cracked me up, featuring this:


Yes, that is a "gold" coin featuring a portrait of Donald Trump. (But looking more like Alec Baldwin playing Donald Trump.) And look -- it's FREE! All I had to do was click a link! What an amazing deal!

Honestly, do people really fall for these things?

I thought it was pretty funny since clearly whoever sent it to me has NO IDEA who I am or what I'm likely to want. Spam e-mail is the opposite of targeted advertising, I suppose.

(Top photo: A streetlight shining through an autumn tree, early one morning.)

43 comments:

Moving with Mitchell said...

The real gold (the tree) is beautiful. The coin... oh dear god. And, yes, sadly many people DO fall for these things.

Alphie Soup said...

Karen Carpenter, synonymous with white middle-aged privilege? How did this come about?
And just look at Olga, comfy on her pink rug.
As for the gold coin, I shall make no comment.
Alphie

Yorkshire Pudding said...

In spite of myself, I have always loved the plaintive sound of Karen Carpenter's voice and to hear it attached to a banking commercial appals me. What the hell have a galloping black horse and "We've Only Just Begun" got to do with banking anyway? Lloyds should instead be explaining just why they have closed so many branches - including the one on Ecclesall Road - just near us.

Andrew said...

Where the lamp lightshines always holds its leaves a little longer. I didn't really know that was thought about Carpenter.

Steve Reed said...

To call someone a "Karen" is to imply that they're comfortable and entitled. How it came about, I'm not sure!

Steve Reed said...

The commercial uses a re-recorded version of the song, so it's not actually Karen Carpenter singing. But of course I hear their original version in my head. I guess the idea is that newly married couples can rely on Lloyd's to help them get started? I have no idea what the galloping horse has to do with anything!

Steve Reed said...

Well, not specifically her -- just Karens in general!

Steve Reed said...

It's amazing, isn't it?

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Perhaps the black horse is connected with the "Black Lives Matter" movement.

Vivian Swift said...

Oh, that first photo is delicious! and you've redone your Comments theme -- nice!

Do you remember the Joan Rivers joke about Karen Carpenter? You know that Joan was looks-obsessed so, when Karen Carpenter died, Joan joked that "I have no sympathy for someone skinny enough to be buried in pleats." And boy, she got a lot of flack for that.

Ursula said...

The "Karen" thing only came to my attention recently, via someone whose blog name now refuses to melt in my mouth. I don't get why some people so derogatory, so specific in naming and shaming, latching onto some ill thought out meme; not least when spouted by those who cry wolf at they themselves being discriminated against. It lacks taste; it lacks perspective.

Marilyn Monroe? Such whiff of melancholy around her at all times. Be it film, be it photo. She was so sweet, yet so lost. Once outshone by Daphne (Jack Lemmon) in heels. "Some Like It Hot". I love that film. Know it inside out and yet will watch it again and again. That Tango! And the rose! Daphne's good natured, almost Zen like DESPAIR at unwanted attention! The smitten millionaire's closing line "No one is perfect"! I laugh as I write.

Did I mention "lush" the other day? With regards to greenery? I dare say both your in and outdoors qualify. It's amazing. Not least inner city.

As to that golden shower of a tree. Reminds me of the Brothers Grimm. Grim being the operative word. A little girl, most likely orphaned and poor (in fairy tales they usually are - that's why it's grim), being blessed with a shower of STARS in her apron. The End. The (happy) end just as the real adventure is beginning. Cop outs.

Greetings to Olga. Not that it'll be of any comfort to your Olga, I once had an Aunt Olga. She too was cute.

U

Sharon said...

Love that photo of the tree. That book is HUGE. I'm always amazed at how obvious some spammers are with their tricky emails and phone calls. That gold coin is disgusting but I bet a good portion of his followers will fall for it. After all, they've fallen for him, haven't they? Karen Carpenter at 70, I bet her voice would still be beautiful. It is a sad thing that she left us so young.

Ms. Moon said...

I bet that my next door neighbor has a bagful of those coins.
Send me that Galbraith novel when you're done, okay?
Haha!

Red said...

I wonder about many who left us far too early. What would they have done? What would have been their influence?

ellen abbott said...

that free 'gold' coin is probably gold colored plastic ala a Mardi Gras medallion. and it's not a very flattering depiction either. his administration has issued all kinds of celebratory commemorative 'coins', just about every time he farts. he is nothing if not a black hole of adoration neediness.

if my redbud tree in a pot is any indication your avocado tree could live a long time in that pot. it will eventually stunt itself I think. at least my redbud did. I pull mine out and root prune it and give it new dirt every couple of years. of course redbuds don't get nearly as big as avocados.

robin andrea said...

That gold coin is so funny. What a bizarre spam email offer.

Edna B said...

What a beautiful photo of the tree with the golden light on it. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

Ellen D. said...

Well, you made me smile with that "gold" coin ad. It is exactly Alec Baldwin playing you-know-who! What a riot!

Susan said...

That photograph of the tree is just stunning! What a lush living space you have - I used to take lessons from a sculptor in Cleveland who had a tree that had grown across three rooms! Would that coin be Fool's Gold? Or, in the case of HWMNBN, Idiot's Gold?

Debby said...

I was thinking about John Lennon the other day and was shocked to learn he would have been 80. I cannot help but think he would have had quite a lot to say about these times. Those 'gold' coins? Here they tend to be part of a fearmongering campaign. They preach that the system is about to collapse and only tRUMP can save us. Sadly, people glom onto these sorts of advertisements as if he is their savior. It's another con. Another way to exploit people for his own gain. Susan, your comment made me laugh out loud. PS: Steve? The coin is not free.

Catalyst said...

Ha! I thought the "Free Gold" title was referring to that golden tree shining in the streetlight. Speaking of reading, I'm enjoying "Dirt" by Bill Buford, the story of his travails in learning French cooking in Lyon. He's quite funny.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

The gold on the tree is beautiful, Steve, the "gold" coin is ridiculous. Sadly, many people will fall for things like this, especially when the word "free" is included. It is ironic to think of those folks aging as I remember them through music and films, what a disappointment that they were not ageless. Karen Carpenter's melodic voice always evokes memories of the way she looked in better times.

Allison said...

One of our neighbors bought one of those "gold" coins and brought it to happy hour to show to some people who believe as she does. It was weird, like seeing beneath the human skin clothing an alien being.

Mary said...

"Medal" ought to be called Fools Gold. Sadly, the ones who fall for the scam are the same people who would vote for the pretend/fake human being (roughly pictured) on it.

Karen Carpenter had such a pure, melodic voice. Gone too soon.

gz said...

Very wise to bring the Avocado tree indoors. They can get quite tall! I have started another one and have pinched the top out..hoping for something a little less leggy!

Debby said...

I did have to come right back here and tell you this hysterically funny (to me, anyway) detail: your gold coin? It's from CHINA!! It is also 'gold plated' with no mention of karat. Can you say scam? Last ditch effort to sell these before the awful man loses the election bigly (said with a lot more confidence than I feel some days).

Steve Reed said...

I bet "gold-plated" means "gold spray-painted"! LOL

Steve Reed said...

Joan took flack for a lot of her jokes, which admittedly pushed the boundaries. (But were always darkly funny.)

Steve Reed said...

I think that air of melancholy is part of what made Marilyn Monroe so famous. She wasn't just beautiful; she was beautiful and lost -- an air that surrounded her even before her death. Your aunt had a good name!

Steve Reed said...

Every time I get spam e-mail (which I usually just delete but occasionally I read interesting-looking ones) I am amazed that anyone would fall for it. That book IS huge. Ridiculously so.

Steve Reed said...

If you pay postage! LOL

Steve Reed said...

Yeah, you gotta wonder. I suspect Monroe would have faded into a respectable retirement, like Gina Lollobrigida or Mamie Van Doren.

Steve Reed said...

I had no idea Trump was issuing commemorative coins, but I suppose that happens in every administration. Probably makes extra money for the US Mint. We'll have to do something about the avocado's soil at some point -- it's been in this pot for years and is pretty pot-bound.

Steve Reed said...

Isn't it weird? And to contend that it's free! So ridiculous. I'm sure it's just a data-harvesting scam, so we'll give them our names and addresses.

Steve Reed said...

It is a beautiful tree, isn't it? Caught my eye right away.

Steve Reed said...

I know! Cracked me up! I wonder if Alec's seen it?!

Steve Reed said...

Who knows! As someone said above, probably plastic. I hope the avocado doesn't get quite THAT big!

Steve Reed said...

Oh, I'm sure it's not free. They're getting something out of us -- personal information, probably.

Steve Reed said...

Well, I meant it to refer both to the tree and the coin. A little double meaning, there. LOL

I don't know that Bill Buford book, but I should get it for Dave. It sounds PERFECT for him!

Steve Reed said...

Isn't that coin ridiculous? I couldn't believe it. And so weird that they sent that offer to ME. I guess they just sent it to anyone and everyone whose address they could get.

Steve Reed said...

Wow, you've seen one in real life?! Crazy! Aliens live among us!

Steve Reed said...

I agree -- I love Karen Carpenter's voice. No one sounds like her, before or since.

Steve Reed said...

Yeah, they need pruning to make them bushier. We're going to have to do that with this one, too.