Right Actor, Wrong Message
As an art form, Chrysler’s Super Bowl Clint Eastwood ad was perfect. A grizzily actor, fantastic production values, a moody introduction, a great build-up, plenty of Go-Team spirit, and an energetic finale, with the words, “Hear our engines roaring!”
This was a case, however, of the medium overriding the message, which was all wrong. First, there was the technicality. Although Detroit was supposed to be the setting – you know, “Motor City” – the bulk of the commercial was filmed in Los Angeles and New Orleans. Certainly, New Orleans was a besieged city during Hurricane Katrina, but what does that have to do with making Chrysler cars in Detroit, Mich.?
The ad tells us Detroit has pulled through because we’ve all pitched in. Yessir, we were all standing there on April 15th waiting to “donate” our taxpayer money to bailing out the Big Automakers, who mismanaged their companies and whose unions put them into the bankruptcy. These are the workers we’re supposed to be take into our hearts as the emblem of American spirit? We're all supposed to be one big, happy collective, when we should be celebrating the individual initiative and creativity that really made America great.
Many fans were annoyed with the Super Bowl game because (I’m told) it was basically a bad game until the last few minutes when the Giants threw what is called a “Hail, Mary!” pass. They won on a gamble. That’s the nature of football, of course. But in American business, companies’ fortunes shouldn’t rise and fall on Hail Mary passes thrown by Big Government quarterbacks who’ve rigged the game.
Eastwood is certainly emblematic of the moderate-leaning Republicans who’ve allowed themselves to be duped into propagandizing the left-wing Liberal message: Go for the Bailout! Hold back the Defense! Do your worst! Let the other guy win! Trophies for everyone! Get your carrot sticks here! Fresh carrot sticks! No beer – a bottled water and pass the weed, please!”
The score: Government: $15 trillion. Taxpayers: Zip!
It’s Half-Time in America, and Madonna and her back-up singers are giving Americans the finger – and they’re laughing. All in good fun. We’re doing so well that the company being promoted, Chrysler, is actually owned by Italian car manufacturer Fiat. We see the glory of the Giants, celebrating their well-earned victory at their stadium, after their ticker-tape – er, confetti parade in Lower Manhattan. But we’re blind to the economic fiasco of Xanadu (named after the summer capital of Kublai Khan’s Yuan Dynasty before he decided to move the seat of his dynasty to the Jin Dynasty capital of Zhongdu, which he renamed Dadu, the present-day Beijing.) right next door.
Rush Limbaugh, wanting to give Eastwood, a Conservative, the benefit of the doubt, produced a parody of the commercial, inadvertently adding to the confusion. The clip was so well done, listeners thought that was the real commercial. If only.
Caveat voter. Let the voter beware.