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That’s why they call it “parody”

You’d think that with all of the scandals and investigations surrounding him that Tom DeLay wouldn’t have a whole lot of free time for frivolity, but apparently you’d be wrong.

A super-sized Statue of Liberty, holding aloft an order of french fries, is adorning food tray liners in Subway restaurants across Germany. And House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land, is angry enough about it to lose his lunch.

“This is every bad stereotype about corporate America come true,” DeLay said in a news release.

The ad in German, whose headline translates as “Why are Americans so fat?” is a promotional tie-in to the movie Super Size Me, director Morgan Spurlock’s take on life in the fast-food lane.

In his award-winning documentary, the American filmmaker eats nothing but McDonald’s Quarter Pounders, Egg McMuffins and the like for 30 days, gaining 25 pounds and reportedly risking his health.

Milford, Conn.-based Subway has long marketed its restaurants as a healthier alternative to fast food.

Jared Fogle, the Subway spokesman who once tipped the scales at 435 pounds, only to lose 245 pounds on a diet of Subway sandwiches, makesa brief appearance in the movie.

Subway officials point out that the prime images on the tray liners — the goateed, fry-stuffing madman and the Rubenesque Lady Liberty — were both borrowed directly from the movie promotions running in Germany.

No similar Subway ads ran in the United States.

And Subway officials dispute the notion the tray liners are somehow un-American.

“It’s an American movie, made by an American, made about an American issue, shown to Americans,” Subway spokesman Kevin Kane said.

Here’s a picture. I thought it was pretty funny, but then maybe I’m just another America hater.

“I guess for some companies, corporate patriotism is as flexible as Jared’s waistline,” DeLay said.

DeLay objected to the ad’s parody of the Statue of Liberty, “one of the most recognizable American symbols.”

So I presume then that DeLay would have objected to a parody like this, too? I don’t recall hearing about his press release for that one, but maybe I just missed it.

I can’t believe Tom DeLay has never seen a parody of the Statue of Liberty before. Did he grow up without ever once seeing a Warner Brothers cartoon in which a low-flying plane or other fast-moving object caused the statue’s skirts to billow up? Has he never once looked at a MAD Magazine? The Statue of Liberty, like Uncle Sam and Santa Claus, gets parodied precisely because it’s so recognizable a symbol. What’s the point of parodying something no one’s ever heard of?

Here’s a bunch of parodied images from art and pop culture – I’ve linked directly to a few favorites below. I’m sure there are plenty more out there, but I don’t have the time to do a really thorough search. If you’re in the mood for some research, please do feel free to leave any results in the comments.

UPDATE: Jack takes his shots at DeLay as well.

The Real Thing





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  1. Greg Wythe says:

    Granted, taking shots at DeLay is like shooting fish in a barrel. But in this case, I’m a little curious what his stance is on American companies that incorporate offshore to avoid American tax laws (ones that DeLay is now in charge of writing, for crissakes!). Once more, the difference between substance vs. style stands in stark contrast.

  2. Michael says:

    I think it could only be “every bad stereotype of corporate America come true” if Tom Delay were behind the statue twisting her arm and asking for money.

  3. J.F. says:

    I think Delay is hoping to use silly trifles like these as election issues in his sagging campaign.