Like in many American households, one of my televisions was tuned to the Super Bowl last Sunday. I don’t give a rat’s ass about football, but I do enjoy the clever commercials made for the millions of captive drunken sports viewers. I was puttering around in the kitchen when my ears picked up an instrumental version of the White Stripes’ “Fell In Love With A Girl,” a family-favorite. I look up to the TV. It’s the backing for a United States Air Force Reserve commercial?? Whoa, OK, I go, OK, as I listen. MissSeven immediately begins trying to sing the words along to it. I hear that it is not the original version, and I also hear the tiniest difference in construction, but the difference is REALLY tiny. It’s “Fell In Love With A Girl,” all right, oh yes it is. I then announce to the household, “HA! I guess the Air Force didn’t want to pay Jack White’s high licensing fee! HA! Listen to that! HA!”

HA! The Air Force, as it turns out, didn’t want to pay Jack White A DIME! I don’t really imagine that Jack was sitting down with a brewski and a plate of nachos watching the Super Bowl at the time, but I bet he got a MILLION phone calls, texts, tweets, and paper airplane messages saying HEY BUDDY, HOW ‘BOUT THAT, YOU HEAR THAT WHAT IS UP WITH THAT within, oh, ten seconds of it’s airing. And as Jack is a businessman, I bet he would be DAMN well aware that the Air Force requested no license for such a high-profile thing and he got STEAMED. It’s bad enough you don’t get paid for your work; it’s even worse when it’s used as a recruitment tool for a mired-in-hell oil war. The USAF carpet-bombed the White Stripes, and the White Stripes responded with this ground-to-air missile on their website, posting their song against the Air Force commercial for comparison (pulled now) and this statement:

OOH. So, I wondered, what now? If you weren’t aware of it, U. S. citizens, you have a very limited ability to sue your gubment. To put it very simply, you can enter into litigation against an official institution like the Air Force ONLY if they LET YOU. In this matter – copyright – Jack White could take them to court, BUT if he won the case he would only be paid the absolute bare minimum, a pittance not worth the cost and effort whatsoever, as angry and in-the-right as he might be. So, who was going to win this epic battle and what would the casualty count be?

White’s missile damaged the nasty bomber and no doubt a strategic session was held, perhaps in a secret bunker somewhere in Kansas. I think it went something like this:

USAF Major B. Problem
: (tightly) Well well well. It seems I got me some hot-under-the-collar scruffy damn ROCK STAR all over my ass about that Super Bowl commercial. Someone want to give me the low-down on that, FAST?

Ad AgencyDude, Fast Forward Productions
: Uh…well…there’s been some kind of misunderstanding here, sir.

Maj. Problem: I see. Well, what I UNDERSTAND is that I’m getting some big bad PRESS about stealing some stupid under-two-minute punk song. That ad was supposed to BRING us recruits, not make them think we are UNDERHANDED and ARROGANT! YOU’VE DAMAGED THE REPUTATION OF THE MILITARY IN WARTIME OVER A FORMER UPHOLSTERER FROM DETROIT AND HIS GIRL DRUMMER WITH NICE TITS! MAKE THIS GO AWAY!!!!

AAD: (meekly) Yessir. Please don’t kill me.

Maj. Problem
: Shut up and get out.

AAD:(cowering) Yessir.

(Ad Agency Dude gets the Kamikaze Kit from the bunker and drives the several hundred miles to one Kem Kraft, the “composer” of the USAF commercial hired for the campaign. He arrives at Kem’s Salt Lake City home, soon to be going into foreclosure or at least tagged by vandals.)

Kem Kraft
:(opening door) Ohhhh…uh, HEYYYY man, nice to see you, heh heh heh, ‘sup? Heh!

AAD:(grimly handing him the Kamikaze Kit) Here.

KK:(taking the package slowly, swallowing hard) I swear, man, I swear I had no idea! Never heard the White Stripes! Heh!

AAD:(disgustedly) Yeah, right. Keep saying that. No, really...KEEP SAYING THAT.

KK: Ohhhh. Yeah. OK. (pauses) I guess you won’t be needing me to write for the Palin ads then? Heh?

(The Ad Agency Dude has already entered his vehicle and is pulling away from Kem Kraft’s home with a tearing screech of tires, flanked by two Suburbans with dark tinted windows.)

Which brings us to yesterday, and Kraft’s complete denial of intentional coppage while absolving the Air Force of all responsibility. Kem Kraft’s Kamikaze Kit, deployed, the commercial removed from the USAF website and for all further purposes, forevermore.

Battle outcome: Win to White. The USAF sustained moderate damage, mitigated by the swift professional sacrifices of Airmen Ad Agency Dude and Kem Kraft. The bunker was cleaned thoroughly, after a major spill of beer and nachos on Sunday.