Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Poor Janet Jackson

The latest celebrity fad has reached Australia - $600 charm bracelets that are supposed to enhance the power of positive thought.
Says theage.com.au today. The article is - unintentionally - a good summary of the classic pseudoscience propaganda; combine eastern philosophy with celebrity endorsement and cha-ching.
Importer Hans Wrang said the bracelets contained the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac and were inspired by the ancient Eastern philosophy of attracting luck, health and prosperity by thinking positively.
Princess Mary sparked the craze when she accepted one of the La Chance bracelets as a gift from the Danish jewellery designer Martina Baggar. Stars including the U2 lead singer Bono, the Hollywood actress Kate Hudson and the soccer star Ronaldhino followed suit.
If you think positively, you attract luck, health and prosperity. Sounds reasonable. Attracting the same by buying a $600 bracelet that will be out of fashion in six months; not quite as convincing.

The twist to this story comes at the end, and it's a corker.
Mr Wrang said celebrities were carefully selected before being offered a bracelet.

''One of the things we insist on is sitting down with them face-to-face to make sure that we know what they think of the bracelet.''

The singer Janet Jackson requested a bracelet while in Denmark last year but could not spare the 10 minutes Ms Baggar insisted on to explain the bracelet's philosophy before giving it to her.

''Her minders asked us to just send it round but we said no … We don't just give them to anybody.''

It's the celebrity snub. Can't find 10 minutes in your busy schedule to hear some bastardised version of Eastern philosophy from a Danish jewelery designer (Ms Baggar), then no free bracelet for you. What a brilliant piece of marketing. Imagine the discussion down at your local beauty parlour.

"Nice bracelet, Jan"

"Thanks luv. Did you hear that Janet Jackson was told she couldn't have one."

"Really? Why?"

"You see she just didn't get what this bracelet is all about. It's not a fashion item, you know. It's about positivity. You have to be totally committed to the whole philosophy or it's just not for you."

"Gee, and then her brother died. Just goes to show you."

Glancing at the website of the company - LaChance - that produces these overpriced charm bracelets (which are, appropriately enough, made in China), they seem to be happy to sell them without the requisite 10 minutes of intense training, but maybe I'm wrong and Ms Baggar does personally deliver every single one. If not, Janet Jackson might just buy one anonymously off the internet, and we certainly cannot have that.

We don't just give them to anybody.

I personally think that if Buddha found out he'd be turning in his... uh... nirvana.

Oh, and If you've got $600 to spare and your looking for a way to enhance positive thinking, how about donating it to your favourite charity? If you've got that kind of disposable income you already are lucky, prosperous and probably healthy. Enjoy it.

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