Sunday, February 5, 2017

After-Super-Bowl

The old commandment, 'The personal is political' is getting really tiresome these days, because it's gone from 'okay then, sure' to a ticket to politicize every goddamn thing in the book. So, while Super Bowl commercials used to be the fun part of the game, where people would pick out the funny ones and the cool ones and the ones they were excited about and the cool movie previews and instead, maybe as a result of the dawning of Trump's America, we get ads full of controversy and social media fire and brimstone. (Though, the Pope- the actual Pope legit weighed on tonight's game. He didn't pick a winner though. I was really hoping for him to be all like 'Go Falcons!' at the end of that video.)

Let's start with 84 Lumber.

This was a gigantic middle finger to Trump, his wall and his immigration policies. If you're against all three of those things you're going to like this commercial. If you're in favor in all three of those things then you're going to hate this commercial.

I think I came down somewhere in the middle. While yes, I think it portrayed America as an inspirational and aspirational destination for people all over the world- the moment where they reach the wall and the little girl pulls out her ragged, homemade American flag was touching. Images like that should be celebrated as part of what makes America, America. Conservative Saint Reagan proclaimed America to be 'a shining city on the hill.' You can't blame the rest of the world for picking up on that.

What pissed me off about this ad was that it complete sanitized the actual experience that illegal immigrants going through trying to get into this country. I saw someone ranting on Facebook about exactly this point and they are 100% correct. Make a damn political statement, that's fine- but don't portray what is usually a harrowing, dangerous, exploitative journey as a modern day 'Wizard of Oz.'

The Audi Commercial is another one people (well, conservatives) are losing their minds over. I saw a huge piece somewhere absolutely ripping it apart- like to the point where I made a mental note to track this ad down and watch it to see what the fuss was about- and, naturally, now that I've actually done that, I can't find the piece that twigged me to it to begin with.

It felt like this commercial was anticipating a Clinton Presidency- which is fine and I understand the sentiment and it's hard for me, not having any daughters (at least not yet) to fully understand the perspective of the Dad in the commercial. I would say though that I would want to make sure that any future female progeny knows that there is nothing they can't do if they don't put their minds to it. I don't think I'd worry about it quite so much, if that makes sense? You're a Dad. It's your job to make sure your progeny knows these things.

The commercial itself felt a little heavy on class privilege though. Suburban yuppie white Dad who drives an Audi watches as his blonde, capable, kick-ass daughter demolishes a bunch of crude looking fat white boys and then goes home in fancy Audi. Doesn't exactly make me want to go out and buy Audi.

The Hyundai Commercial, however, did. Despite the fact that there's the whole 'paid Patriotism' thing going on with plenty of NFL teams that should be more troubling to people than it is and despite the fact that the whole genre of 'military family reunion' videos that makes everyone cry- Hyundais are legit quality cars. And not quite as 'high end, elitist' as Audi present themselves to be.

I sort of kind of paid attention to the first half of the game- but Lady Gaga absolutely destroyed the halftime show tonight. And she walked a tight rope between political statement and entertainment delicately and with grace. She made subtle, important points about diversity and tolerance she did so without once mentioning President Trump's name and did so in a way that the majority of reasonable people couldn't fail to agree with. The show itself was jam packed, epic and bananas-honestly, I would slot it right up there with Prince and Michael Jackson as one of the best halftime shows of all time. Certainly the best of the decade. Gaga did great...

However...

You can't bitch about over politicization by dragging the over politicization back in the other direction- and this headline from Breitbart is from some other kind of dimension that I am unfamiliar with.

(The Mr. Clean ad was amusing enough, but I was always under the impression that he and the Brawny Guy had been a couple for awhile now. I mean, dude has frosted eyebrows and an earring and is wearing white before Labor Day. What more evidence do you need?)

The rest of the game? Very exciting...  just when you thought the Falcons were actually going to do this thing and take down the Pats, they came back into it, forced OT and then won the game. ALL HAS UNFOLDED AS I HAVE FORSEEN...  Could Tom Brady win five more rings? I don't know- but dude keeps rocking and rolling. I don't think he's done yet.

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