In July of 2014 American rap artist Macklemore was a part of a campaign to help the residents of Seattle Washington’s King County become more aware of the damage they create by not being more cautious with what they put in the toilet. Macklemore took his famous song Thrift Shop and changed the lyrics for a campaign created by Seattle-based Golden Lasso.
According to Pam Elardo (director of King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division), “King County spent $120,000 transporting improperly flushed waste to landfills last year.” This PSA program cost the taxpayers $123,000; three thousand dollars more than the line item cost for removing problem waste.
While this might seem like a difficult project to sell to a community, Pam Elardo’s record of commitment and integrity was probably a factor in getting this project through. An engineering graduate of Northwestern University, past member of the Peace Corps, and founder (1999) of The Living Earth Institute, Pam is an example of one person making a difference through action and example.
While licensing for the musical portion of the “Flushing Awesome” campaign officially ended in fall of 2014, its overarching message is still strong and helping to protect our environment.
Here is another Public Service Announcement (PSA) by Golden Lasso from this campaign:
Having become aware of how important music is to driving the message of moving images, I can’t help but wonder about where licensing leaves off and fair use policies begin with regard to “One to Flush” and its relationship to A Chorus Line.