Super Bowl ad invokes black violence against a white woman
so shocking I don’t have anything to say about it yet. Just be prepared to be shocked
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Matthew S. writes:
In your posting you ask one of the questions that went through my head the first time I watched that commercial, namely, “How is it OK to portray a white person getting bludgeoned by a black in an ad for soda?” The other thing I wondered was, would this ad have ever been made if it showed a man degrading a woman and her food choices “for her own good”?
Having worked in advertising for the first half of my professional career, I still pay attention to ads and the messages they send, whether intentional or not. Over the past several years I’ve noticed a lot of ads depicting a man as a bumbling idiot when it comes to housework, childcare, or food preparation. The hook for the product, whether a microwavable meal, a cleaning product, or air freshener seems to be “So easy to use, even a man can figure it out.” The model for this narrative seems to be the movie “Mr. Mom” with Michael Keaton playing a father who, after being laid off from his executive job, becomes a house-husband while his wife goes back to work for an ad agency. While she is highly successful, he is thoroughly inept in his new role. The “wacky hijinks” show him burning food, destroying a washing machine, making a mess of the housekeeping, and general incompetence when it comes to things domestic.
Imagine the outcry were things reversed either in that movie or in recent advertisements—a female professional is portrayed as incompetent in the workplace. She can’t do her timesheets, doesn’t know the right buttons on her phone for making a conference call, is unable to send or receive emails and just can’t figure out how to make copies. Do you think you’d ever see an ad with the tagline “Xerox. So easy to use, even a woman can make copies.” Of course not. But boy, isn’t it funny when a guy can’t figure out how to make the dishwasher run?
Men in general and white men in particular are the last unprotected class. We are here to be humiliated, poked fun at and generally mocked. The things that get played for laughs at the expense of men would be thoroughly unacceptable were the roles reversed. And if the subject of the humiliation is a white man, all the better. I don’t feel particularly threatened by these ads because I am secure in my ability to support my family AND cook a decent meal, but I often wonder if there is something more sinister afoot.
By the way, look at the left ring finger of both the “characters” in the ad—no rings. Again, maybe I’m reading too much into this but is there another message?
I would say that of all possible critical responses to this ad, pointing to the double standard that it implies is the least meaningful. We are dealing here with evil. And it goes without saying that this evil is directed at whites, not at blacks, and at men, not at women. To complain about the double standard implies that if both whites and blacks were targeted, or if both men and women were targeted, it would somehow be ok. But of course that premise is absurd. By their very nature these ads are directed against whites and men. So please let us put less emphasis on the unfairness of the double standard and instead focus on what these ads are actually saying. They are evil directed at whites and men. Period. That’s what matters, not that they are not equally directed at all groups.
Mrs. K. writes:
The only other Superbowl ad I’ve seen, one I found almost as disturbing, was the Doritos “Pug crashes the game” ad. Yes, the pug “wins,” but only after we enjoy the spectacle of a passive aggressive manchild jittering and mugging with glee at the prospect of hurting a dog, while his indolent squaw snipes at him, her fat ass meanwhile remaining firmly planted on the sofa. While our imaginations (at least mine did) run to things like broken glass and head lacerations.
No message in either case about a tasty or enticing product; the hook is “Look how funny it is to hurt, or plan to hurt, another creature.”
We all know what audience this is meant for. And shame on Pepsi and Doritoes for pandering to this.
Not only that, but Sean Hannity, showing several Super Bowl ads on his program tonight, said this one was his favorite. I was sickened when he said that.
Hannity occasionally says useful things. His strong stance recently on Islam and the mistake of pursuing democracy in Egypt has been most welcome. But it remains the case that there is something ineluctably idiotic about him. Among other things, he is a complete member of the contemporary pop culture and can’t see it objectively or separate himself from it at all.
Matthew S. writes:
“To complain about the double standard implies that if both whites and blacks were targeted, or if both men and women were targeted, it would somehow be ok.”
What I am interested in, what I am questioning, is what has happened in society such that an ad depicting black on white violence and the emasculation of a man by a woman is acceptable? Further, I believe it helpful to ask ourselves this question in light of the fact that there is little chance we’d see the ad’s thematic opposite—a white assaulting a black and a man humiliating a woman. This line of questioning is not meant to imply that either scenario is OK. It is instead intended to question what has happened in our society when a mean-spirited, perhaps even evil, ad is deemed acceptable by a company with a market capitalization over $100 billion, for airing on a TV program seen by millions of people at a cost of $3 million for a :30 second spot?
My point is that the constant complaints about the double standard show a kind of intellectual deadness on the part of conservatives. Suppose a leftist regime began rounding up conservatives and killing them. Would the conservatives’ response be: “What would the media say if conservatives were doing this to liberals?”
Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 07, 2011 12:21 PM | Send
Inside the head of every conservative, that rhetorical question—What would they say if …—keeps repeating forever as though on a tape player. It doesn’t go anywhere. It doesn’t change anything. It doesn’t lead to new insights. It doesn’t succeed in putting the left on the defensive. Yet conservatives keep thinking that complaining forever about the double standard actually constitutes an adequate response to the left.
And the reason the conservatives’ constant complaints about the double standard don’t go anywhere is that, on the deepest level, the left is not practicing a double standard, but a single standard: anti-male, anti-white, anti-West, anti-Christian and so on. Conservatives don’t want to identify that leftist single standard, because it would mean acknowledging that the left are our enemy, not our fellow citizens who are somehow failing to be fair. So instead they keep complaining about the left’s double standard, which implies the left itself believes in fairness, and that if we point out that they’re not being fair, they will stop being unfair.
What conservatives need to do is stop complaining about the left’s failure to be fair to men, whites, etc., and identify what the left actually stands for, which is the destruction of men, whites, etc.
I explained this in my article, “How to Oppose Liberal Intolerance.”