Monday, February 8, 2010
What the Super Bowl Ads Taught Me about Myself
As I am a straight white male age 18-34, CBS is very glad I tuned in to the Super Bowl last night. As I am an intelligent critical-thinking cynical ad-proof liberal, I was pretty pissed off by what I was told I'm supposed to like. The advertisers see me as they want to see me, in the simplest terms and the most convenient definitions: a man's man who cannot be himself because he carries the heavy yoke of a relationship with a woman; all I want to do is drive my car and drink bland, watery beer, but I can't because a woman cast her menstrual spells on me and now I have to carry her purse and watch movies with Valerie Bertinelli and/or J Lo. And they tell me I hate abortions. As an atheist Democrat this is partially true; the Democrat in me wants to carve up all the pregnant bellies in America, but the atheist in me wants to eat those babies alive. Tough call.
If I may drag Orwell's dead body into this again, and I may, the reason I find all this irritating is that it's just so lazy. Cliches are shortcuts, which is why they're necessary in 30-second TV spots, but they do your thinking for you. Fact: I married my wife because, among other reasons, I enjoy hanging out with her, I can truly be myself around her, and we let each other do what we want. Myth: men always force themselves into marriage to fit societal expectations and/or get someone to feed them for free, then resent their wives because being an asshole is no longer tolerated. I encountered similar thinking during my engagement. I'd tell an older guy that I was getting married, and he'd bitch about his wife. It's not my fault you made a terrible decision as a younger man, so don't make me feel bad for holding out for the good stuff.
And you guys all realize that none of the beer advertised during the Super Bowl is American, right? I didn't see any Sam Adams commercials, or Yuengling or Sierra Nevada. Even PBR, the largest American-owned brewery now that European conglomerates bought all the other big ones, outsources its brewing to South Africa. Not that I would drink the crap if it was American. I went through that phase. It's called college. The reason beer is an acquired taste is because everyone starts out drinking the worst of it. Was your first beer a Dogfish Head Brewery creation, or a Rogue ale, or something European you couldn't pronounce? No, it was room-temp Natty Light out of a red Solo cup, which you were drinking to get drunk, not to complement a steak. The owner of Dogfish Head Brewery told me (and about 200 other conventioneers) that the major beer companies all make pretty much the same product, which is based on a centuries-old German edict limiting beer to three ingredients: water, barley, and hops. There's really only so much variation you're going to get in products made by that guideline.
Sure, I got a few chuckles out of last night's broadcast (thank you Betty White and adorable Doritos kid; no thank you Leno, not ever), but given the amount of hype and the disgusting amounts of money spent, shouldn't we have gotten better?
And hey GoDaddy, moderately attractive women in plain tank tops with your logo across the chest just aren't as hot as you seem to think.