Sarcastic Saturday :: discussing troublesome commercials, part twenty of howevermany.

13 Jun

(over a montage of the mentioned scenes)
Narrator: Sixteen, wide eyes.
Driver’s license, took two tries.
First drive, fast living.
Hit the garage door, was forgiven.
Bought a roadster, second hand; playing parties with the band.
Showing off on the strip, end of summer roadtrip.
Late for curfew, speeding ticket in Kalamazoo.
Loaded up, off to state.
High jinx, tailgates.
Late night, big skies; a passenger with green eyes.
Starter, midsized.
Family cruising, a sing-a-long of her choosing.
Now in the garage, something new; reminds you of when you…were you.

This is the saddest commercial I’ve seen in a long time, I think.  Here is a story about a presumably at least semi-privileged white male youth, who does wacky things like get in car wrecks with the garage and wave at girls walking down the street from his convertible, who meets a girl (at college?) and marries her, then proceeds to procreate with her, during which time he trades the old convertible for a succession of proper family cars.  At the ad’s end, he enters the garage (you can tell it’s been a long time because the dirt ring on the back of the door where the dartboard used to be) and he’s older and a bit filled out and he finds a car that looks like his old car.

“Reminds you of when you…were you.”

That’s the saddest thing I’ve ever heard.  Implying that growing up, gaining responsibility, gaining spouse/family/stability/whatever is akin to a death of self. I personally have no interest in procreating, but the man in the ad seemed to be doing so consensually and happily – is the happiness he may feel over his family a mere shadow of the happiness he felt playing in a garage band and tailgating?

If you want to look at it more directly in terms of the ad’s direct storyline, for a man gaining wife/child is akin to the death of self, “the old ball and chain” or what have you.”  The happiness he may feel with his family, or with his “boring person job,” is a shadow of his reckless, misbegotten, boys-will-be-boys youth.  The car ties him to a time when no wife or daughter or busy job life could stand in the way of his fun.

And there’s the interesting notion that he cannot somehow balance the frivolities that made his youth pleasant – music, beer, etcetera – with his stable responsible life.  That at any given point in time, it’s either/or.

It’s a sad notion.

–your fangirl heroine.

if you insist


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