Skip to main content

divisive ads

i've never been into american football. i'm not much of a sports fan in general, but even on my scale, football (a misnomer if ever there was one, since it features neither feet for most plays, nor something that meets the standard definition of a ball) falls just above basketball near the bottom of my list of things i'd like to watch.

time was, though, that i'd get a kick out of seeing the ads that aired each year. after all, thanks to apple (formerly apple computers), this became the place to showcase your company's awesome creative talents, with lengthy spots purchased at the cost of a poor nation's gdp. and i might add that seeing said advertisements took some talent if you weren't a fan. in the pre-internet age, you had to keep bouncing back, hoping to catch the ad breaks, or you'd be doomed to watching three-second outtakes on the eleven o'clock news.

it's been years since i tuned into what's been happening with those ads. i know that watching them, commenting on them and rating them has become a sort of cultural pass-time, as relevant to america as the game itself. (it's 1:30 in the morning, i don't know who won, if you needed further proof of my lack of enthusiasm for football.) the super bowl ads are still huge and flashy, i know, but they're cost-prohibitive to any but the largest corporations (which i'm not condemning- i think it's reasonable that the nfl should sell their advertising for as much as they can get) and furthermore, there are often more interesting ad campaigns being carried out on line.

there are often controversies about the ads, some of which have the power to create a real furor. then you have this year's apparent controversy about groupon (an online discount vendor) and the appropriateness of their ads. are they cheeky winks at charity advertising? or were they a crass attempt to flog a commercial product through mocking legitimate charities? there's no way that they didn't know these ads were going to piss some people off, but maybe that's part of the point. after all, groupon might be eager to build their profile in a hurry by any means, after a an alluring proposal went sour and their former suitor is rumoured to be plotting to destroy them if they can't have them.

the ads were created by no less a talent than christopher guest, who is certainly no stranger to deadpan humour.

so what's your opinion? too far? fair game? everyone else is speaking up, so why sit on the sidelines? (see what i did there?)

Comments

as long as you're here, why not read more?

fun-raising

no, i am not dead, nor have i been lying incapacitated in a ditch somewhere. i've mostly been preparing for our imminent, epic move, which is actually not so terribly epic, because we found a place quite close to where we are now. in addition, i've been the beneficiary of an inordinately large amount of paying work, which does, sadly, take precedence over blogging, even though you know i'd always rather be with you.

indeed, with moving expenses and medical expenses looming on the horizon, more than can be accounted for even with the deepest cuts in the lipstick budget, dom and i recently did something that we've not done before: we asked for help. last week, we launched a fundraising campaign on go fund me. it can be difficult to admit that you need a helping hand, but what's been overwhelming for both of us is how quick to respond so many people we know have been once we asked. it's also shocking to see how quickly things added up.

most of all, though, the ex…

losers?

just a short time ago, i waxed prosaic about trump supporters who felt betrayed by their candidate pursuing in office the exact things that he said he would. short version: i have no sympathy.

today is a bit different. in the wake of america's bombing of a syrian air strip, in response to a chemical weapons attack by the syrian government, my facebook and twitter feeds were peppered with plaintive shades of "we believed you". these are the people who heard trump say that he wanted the united states to step back and focus on defending its own. indeed, trump did say such things, over and over; america cannot be the policeman of the world. even arch-liberal cynics like me had to admit that this was a refreshing argument to hear from someone outside the paul family, and, could easily have been turned into trump's greatest argument against hillary clinton. [he chose to go another way, which also worked.]

trump also said, repeatedly, that america needed to invest heavily …

long division

after the united states election last year, there were the usual calls for the country to unite behind the new president. that never happens anymore, because, since george w. bush scored a victory in 2004, having launched the country into a war in iraq for no reason, the people on the losing side of a presidential election have been pretty bloody angry about it. democrats hated bush 43. republicans really hated obama. democrats really hate trump.

it didn't help that trump didn't make the typical conciliatory gestures like including a couple of members of the opposite party in his cabinet, or encouraging his party to proceed slowly with contentious legislation. barack obama arguably wasted at least two and as many as six years of his tenure as president trying to play peacemaker before he felt sufficiently safe to just say "screw you guys" and start governing around the ridiculous congress he was forced to deal with. not-giving-a-shit obama was the best president in …