Archive for Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Commentary: Read this, or I will bust you in the head

Super Bowl commercials becoming more violent than the game itself

February 6, 2007


On Super Bowl Sunday, millions of people couldn't wait for a stoppage in play, and not just because of Rex Grossman. It was the commercials.

Everybody watches the Super Bowl. For several years, it has actually been illegal for stores in Clearwater, Fla., to stay open during the Super Bowl. I bet you didn't know that because I just made it up. But you believed it, didn't you?

A quick recap of the Super Bowl: The Colts scored more points and won. Now onto the commercials.

Here is what we saw:

A guy throwing a rock at his buddy's head; a pig and a rabbit torturing a mouse; another guy getting into a car accident because he was looking at an attractive woman holding Doritos, and then the Doritos woman, who should have been weirded out, running to see if the guy was OK - falling on her face instead; a karate class discussion of how to beat somebody up who grabs your Sierra Mist, even though "Sierra Mist" is the most peaceful name of any beverage, narrowly beating "Mountain Dew"; a Toyota Tundra nearly driving off a cliff (along with one of those disclaimers in small type -you know the kind that say "DO NOT ATTEMPT! DRIVER IS AN EXPERT AND NEAR DEATH ANYWAY, SO IT WAS WORTH THE RISK"); astronauts accidentally killing a fellow astronaut by chucking him in front of a meteor or something and not noticing, raising the question: What if the guy that got killed was the only one with keys to the spaceship? Would it be so funny then? And a guy (I think it was all the same guy, to cut costs) and his girlfriend picking up an ax-wielding hitchhiker because the hitchhiker was holding Bud Light, the unspoken moral being that it is perfectly safe to pick up ax-wielding hitchhikers as long as you plan to drink and drive.

Also, there were the men ripping hair off their chests because they accidentally kissed; the beer commercial with the guys who decide that the fist-bump is out and the slap in the face is in, which I actually found quite funny; the Lexus that fell out of the sky, which normally only happens at stuffy private schools; and demon men with names like "high cholesterol" and "high blood pressure" abusing a heart.

And several ads for Everybody in an office running out of a jungle and off a cliff; everybody literally beating each other up for a promotion, etc. And a GM robot dreaming of suicide.

You might notice a trend, and if you don't, I'll punch you in the nose. This is what Super Bowl Sunday has become: You watch the game to get away from the violence.

It is easy to wonder if this is a reflection of the times -- specifically, the war in Iraq. I think that's a stretch. Men have been bopping each other in the head for their own amusement for thousands of years. Of course, men have been fighting wars for thousands of years, too. I don't know which came first. It happened before I got here.

I just wonder: Is it possible to sell anything these days without injuring somebody? What would happen if we allowed gun companies to advertise during the Super Bowl? I suspect the gun makers would go in the opposite direction.

Guy: Is that a Smith & Wesson Model 4040 PD pistol in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

Other Guy: Both! This here gun is for your protection!

And then they would sit in their rocking chairs, with smiles on their faces, and watch one swimsuit model kill another for a beer.


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