How about that Chrysler commercial starring Bob Dylan during the Super Bowl. Was anyone else confused by the end of that thing or was it just me?
Two things stood out to me in the commercial: First, unlike in his music, you could understand every word that came out of Bob Dylan’s mouth. And Second, he posed the hypothetical question, “What’s more American than America?”
That statement is rather stupid if you think about it, there’s no one more Tim Young than Tim Young either…but there are traits and things that have come to define America that are now quite American, whether we want to accept them or not.
1. Propaganda – From the White House’s controlled photographs making the President and first family look incredible to commercials like this one (and last year’s) talking about the strength of Detroit… We’re being fed a reality that just doesn’t exist.
**NOT-SO SPOILER ALERT** Detroit is bankrupt, in ruins, and isn’t anywhere near a reasonable recovery.
2. Hand Outs – There ain’t nothin’ more American than a free meal. Whether it be another country or a social program here at home, we give more away than any other country… whether you’re working to better yourself or not.
3. Distressed Clothing – Imagine the foreign worker in a 2nd or 3rd world country who can barely afford to eat and clothe himself going to work to make your stylish jeans. They finish creating a crisp new pair of jeans that they would never be able to afford for themselves hold them up proudly… and then get yelled at by their supervisor to put holes in them and make them look worn out.
Sidenote: There’s great irony in the fact that the devastated countries that end up getting those losing team championship shirts from the Super Bowl are the ones that made them.
4. The Illusion of Free Speech – You can say whatever you want, unless the masses disagree with you. Oh and that also goes with the NFL who banned commercials discussing defending yourself and family with a gun, but allowed a Scientology commercial to slide in. A SCIENTOLOGY COMMERCIAL??? Are you kidding me?
I guess you can call me a hypocrite for being upset at it… after all I had no problems with the Transformers movie preview, and that series has basically the same backstory as that “religion.”
5. The Romanticism of the Struggle – I call it American Idol syndrome. Everyone has to have a story now. You can’t just be bad off and come back from it with hard work. Americans like having venues to complain in so that their struggle is sexy. Disagree? Look at your Facebook pages today. I bet there’s at least one person complaining about going to the gym on there… why? Because they want the attention for their struggle.
And take a really deep look into this 2nd in a series of Detroit-centric Super Bowl commercials. Hollywood producers and car companies are spending more time producing a 1 minute film about how Detroit is coming back rather than actually doing anything significant to help out there. How many jobs could have been supplied to the people of Detroit with that roughly $10 Million dollars spent on the commercial?
6. Juicers – Seriously? Is it not good enough to just eat the fruits and vegetables? We have to turn them into juice. Explain that to people who are struggling to just find their next meal in another country.
7. Taking a luxurious vacation when times are the worst they’ve ever been – Ask the President and Congress about that one.
8. Debt – There is nothing more American than being in a hole financially. As I write this, I’m proud to say I’m 5-figures in debt due to student loans. People no longer think in terms of having money to buy things; instead they wonder if they have the credit to cover it. We’ve been taught to overspend and not pay for it for years… just like our government!
9. The Blame Game – As Americans, we know that it’s never our fault. Someone else is always to blame for it. Obama blames George W. Bush, fat people blame McDonalds and Nabisco, people who eat paint chips blame the paint company, and on and on and on. It’s never your fault that you failed at something in America… If blaming the first person doesn’t work, you blame the next and the next… No one seems to realize that “You Can’t Sue God” (which is the name of one of my forthcoming books…I just had to work that in there).
10. Using the troops to tug on your heartstrings in order to sell something — I am the first person that will stand up for the troops and applaud their work. Our brave men and women put their lives on the line to defend our freedom and us. I thank them any time that I can for their hard work and service for our great nation.
That being said, I’m tired of seeing them get used for commercial purposes. First, the honorable Ranger Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg was used to end Obama’s horrible State of the Union address on a high note. And again, I thank him for his service and bravery… but you can’t tell me that he wasn’t carted out by this administration and used to get a huge pop at the end of the flailing speech the other night.
To me, his use was no different than Budweiser using Lt. Chuck Nadd to sell beer during the Super Bowl. Yes, it was great that they gave him a hero’s welcome. Every single soldier coming back from overseas deserves that welcome… but Bottom Line: that hero’s welcome was used to sell beer.
If you want to do something nice for the troops, do it. Honor them, because they deserve to be honored. But don’t do it to sell something… whether it be crappy policies from a failed President or beer, don’t exploit the brave men and women of our armed forces to tug on our heartstrings for selfish purposes.
You want to do something incredible for the troops, give all the Super Bowl Tickets away for free to veterans and their families… and don’t make a big deal about it. Don’t single anyone out. Don’t tell stories about them. Just say thank you and hand out the tickets.
Tim Young is the Director of Marketing for Liberty Alliance, the top Conservative Media Firm in America according to the Inc. 5000 list. He’s also a conservative comic who has had two Number 1 books in Political Humor on Amazon.com. In addition to his stand-up and writing, he has appeared on Fox News, CNN, RT and Huffington Post Live and was the Young Member Chair of the National Press Club in 2010-2011.