It's the little things that really tend to piss one off. For instance, I was listening to my radio, and a Geico commercial came on which posited the question (I paraphrase), "Would helium make opera seem less pompus and stuffy?" An audio clip follows with a baritone huffing helium in the middle of an aria, that aria being Largo al Factotum from Rossini's opera buffa The Barber of Seville. Of course, the particular aria singled out in the commercial (because people know it from popular culture) is one of the least boring and stuffy pieces of music ever performed. This sprightly, funny piece is about a pompous (but never boring) individual, but it swings:
Pompous and stuffy? Only if you're lazy and stupid. With a little work, the lyrics translated, this piece is revealed as a jaunty introduction to one of the classic characters of the Western comedic tradition.
Of course, Largo al Factotum is best known in the popular culture from the Bugs Bunny cartoon Long Haired Hare, in which our protagomorph matches wits with pompous baritone Giovanni Jones (the helium bit is a crib of the alum-spiking scene in the cartoon). Now, while Giovanni Jones is portrayed as a pompous ass, I think that Messers Jones and Maltese would have joined me in my desire to hit the guy who wrote this ad copy with a shoe. After all, their love letter to Rossini is so much more eloquent than this little mash note.