retail news in context, analysis with attitude

It is a measure of how fast that social media can turn a person into a laughing stock that John Travolta found himself to be the target of online ridicule this week.

On Sunday's Academy Awards, you see, when introducing singer Idina Menzel, who was about to sing "Let It Go" from Frozen (which would go on to win the Oscar for Best Song), he mangled her name and called her "Adele Dazeem." (It was the second worst case of butchery evident on the Oscar telecast, the worst being what has been done to Kim Novak's face.)

The video clip quickly went viral. A Twitter account in the name of Adele Dazeem quickly got created. And best of all, Slate created a webpage called

"The Adele Dazeem Name Generator" that allows people to "Travoltify" their names. (I typed in "Kevin Coupe" and instantly discovered that Travolta would pronounce it "Kayden Cloirk.")

Pretty funny.

What really is the Eye-Opener is how fast this stuff happens, and how pervasive and sweeping the mockery can be. That's an important lesson for business. When I was starting out as a newspaper reporter, a politician I was covering once dismissed a negative story I'd written - and me - by saying that "today's newspaper will wrap tomorrow's fish." That's not true anymore. Today's newspapers are online … and remain online. Forever. Keep it in mind.

BTW … because I'd rather focus on the positive than the negative, let me refer you to an appearance that Idina Menzel made on "The Tonight Show" on Monday. Jimmy Fallon has brought a feature from his "Late Night" show over to "Tonight," bringing musical stars into a backstage music room along with his house band, The Roots, and they perform a hit song using only kindergarten instruments such as kazoos and building blocks. It is an absolutely charming and joyful rendition of "Let It Go," and I cannot imagine that anyone can watch it without smiling. (For my money, there is more joy in this few minutes of Fallon's "Tonight Show" than in any segment I ever saw of the Jay Leno iteration. But maybe that's just me.) You can watch the video by clicking on the screen at left.

Enjoy.

KC's View: