ERNST & YOUNG

Woman stands in graveyard, speaking to long-dead grandfather while fingering pocket watch (presumably his). “I miss you, Grandfather. You have no idea how much I miss you. You always had the answers.” Can it be? Is a modern woman giving a moldering patriarch credit for knowing more than she does? It can’t last, and it doesn’t. “Of course, you didn’t have to turn the company into an e-business, make three joint ventures work and still convince customers it’s safe to trust your Web site.” There, now, that’s the kind of condescension we expect from the living to the dead. Still, the whole scene is a bit weird, an impression unrelieved by a voiceover that chimes in to say, “At Ernst & Young, we understand the new economy and offer a fresh financial perspective to help you build value.” Does this mean Ernst & Young will fill the role your wise grandfather would play if he weren’t dead? Who knows. In any case, viewers may wonder how much a consulting company’s advice matters if we’re all going to end up dead and buried like the people under these headstones. Hamlet speculates (during his graveyard scene) that the dust of Alexander the Great now plugs the bunghole of a beer barrel. I’ll grant that Hamlet was a gloomier sort than your typical New Economy entrepreneur. Nonetheless, it’s in the nature of a graveyard to make us feel the futility of life’s efforts, not the utility of “a fresh financial perspective.”