Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
Yeah. I’m the guy who hates this ad.
I’ll go into my reasons in a bit; sorry to disappoint, but “xenophobia” doesn’t figure into it. But first, to demonstrate how little the chattering-class seems to understand me and the others who don’t receive the ad positively, a hilarious take-down by Matt Walsh…
It was a wonderful night. And then…then IT happened.
The Coke advertisement. Dear God — the Coke advertisement. It started out alright: some girl singing America the Beautiful while beautiful images of America flashed across the screen. But things went downhill fast. Suddenly, other people started singing the song in other languages. It was awful. I was furious. They were speaking in, like, Asian and Australian and stuff. Utterly horrifying. I told my wife to cover the children’s ears.
Out of nowhere, graphic depictions of other cultures and skin colors infested my TV screen. There was a brown one and, like, a Mexican guy or something.
Oh, the foreign languages and varying skin pigmentations!
I couldn’t stand it. Enraged, I grabbed my shotgun and blew a hole through the television. My wife could only weep, and through her tears she thanked me for saving her from the terrifying onslaught of multi-culturalism.
And that’s exactly what happened…in the fantasies of left-wing bloggers and journalists.
In the real world, I saw that commercial and reacted in a way similar to almost all of my fellow right-wing conservatives: I yawned and went to the kitchen for another beer. Then I proceeded on with my evening, not caring one way or another about Coca-Cola’s contrived marketing tactics. Admittedly, I have long since vowed to never drink Coke, but that’s only because I dislike diabetes, not because I’m upset about foreigners singing patriotic hymns.
So imagine my surprise when I went on the [I]nternet after the game to see social media abuzz over the “right wing backlash against Coca-Cola.”
Outrage! Firestorm! Backlash! Xenophobia!
Funny thing: these stories started popping up within minutes of the ad airing.
Loud, outspoken, obnoxious…strangers-on-the-innernetz. Solutions in search of problems.
Well as Obi-Wan Kenobi might have said, I’m the bigot they’re looking for; it’s a terrible, terrible ad. I don’t like the music, not because I can’t understand the words, but because at 0:18 there are way too many syllables. It just sounds awful, and if you disagree you aren’t being honest. But some might protest that this doesn’t get to the heart of what truly upsets me so, so let me walk the reader through my argument, with complete candor:
Many spoken languages do not make a good thing. Many spoken languages would be a plurality of one spoken language. One spoken language is a pain in the ass. Can we all agree on just that much? Yes you can do things with a spoken language that you can’t do without one; the same would be true of your job, or the car you use to get to it, if you’re overdue for trading either one of them in and can’t get around to it just yet. One language is like that. Especially English. It’s full of idiosyncrasies, ambiguities, and frustrating little gadgets that don’t work the way they should just like a car that’s past its prime. Many languages? That just multiplies the frustration without getting anything further accomplished. United States school students are still lagging behind, or were as of a year ago. Let’s fix that first. Then we can talk about beautiful, rich, robust tapestries of half-a-dozen languages, and something besides English being spoken at home.
The above has to do with pragmatism. What follows has to do with altruism.
Walsh provided an overview of his discoveries within the very few minutes after the ad hit the air:
Some of the headlines:
Coke Ad Draws Outrage, Praise (EW)
Coca-Cola Super Bowl Ad Inspires Racist Twitter Backlash (Mediaite)
Coca-Cola Ad Celebrates Diversity, Twitter Racists Explode (Huffington Post)
Coca-Cola Multicultural Super Bowl Ad Really Angered Conservatives (Talking Points Memo)
Coca-Cola’s Multilingual America the Beautiful Ad Sparks Conservative Outrage (AlterNet)
Coca-Cola Super Bowl Ad: Can You Believe This Reaction? (USA Today)
Coca-Cola’s America the Beautiful Ad Creates Social Media Firestorm (The Examiner)
America the Ugly: Coca-Cola Super Bowl Ad Provokes Xenophobic Outrage on Twitter (The Daily Mail)
I showed candor, up above. Let’s have everybody else follow suit, and let’s all just admit to the point of this. It wasn’t about celebrating the beauty of, or for that matter anything positive about, the United States. “America the Ugly” was the point. It was about scolding people who aren’t very well understood, may not even exist as they were imagined by the people who cooked up the ad, or those who salivated over it.
There is a story here, certainly. Coca Cola knew exactly how to poke the hornet’s nest; that means — can only mean — they knew exactly where it was and what the best poking-method would be. It’s been growing there for awhile.
But the imagined “bigots” are not that nest. It’s the people who are ready to do the scolding who are the problem. The virtue junkies.
They feel so smug and superior to people like me, because they’ve decided I should have positive feelings about an obnoxious ad and, it turns out, I don’t like it. Their lack of curiosity about people like me is the stuff of legends. I, on the other hand, would sell off all sorts of my possessions, and at a loss, to find out more about what motivates them. What causes this hair-trigger temper of “I’m better than that person who exists mostly in my imagination,” within someone who isn’t actually doing much of anything to make life better for anybody? What unleashes this torrent of energy to produce ads, or watch ads, then take to Twitter and unleash some tut-tuts about these imagined racists…or, to read those tut-tuts, and tut-tut in approval.
Generation after generation after generation burned away “fighting racism,” supposedly — and then celebrating “finding” it’s still there. It is celebrating, isn’t it? I mean, what else could we call it.
And why this undue expansion of the definition? When did racism come to mean “We’ve decided you should like this ad, and we think we caught you not liking it”? Is that really where things are now?
I don’t like the ad because it’s got too many syllables and it gives me a headache. I also don’t like what it promotes. It promotes, not a beautiful America, but a balkanized one. It promotes many-languages as opposed to just one, therefore it promotes confusion. Confusion and an omnipresent, hostile smugness.
America is still beautiful, to me. But in this day & age, it’s got way too much of both those things. Diet Pepsi for me, or just coffee, thanks.
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