Sunday, December 04, 2011

Commercials We Hate, volume umpty-billion

It's this fucking microsoft commercial where the kid is giving his parents a powerpoint presentation about how he needs a dog, and his parents are charmed by this and thus, there is a dog, but then the husband tries to do a presentation about why he should be allowed to play golf on Sunday and the wife just shakes her head and he immediately shuffles off.

Now, the main action of this commercial is no great shakes; the faux-clever precociousness of the kid's presentation is less endearing than was evidently presumed. But man alive, that ending. Now, god forbid I should be like those "men's rights" assholes who fulminate about how any commercial where a man is humorously made fun of or made to eat his cheerios or whatever is an instance of horrible, omnipresent oppression and therefore let's all be as misogynistic as possible to make up for it. But look, people: what's wrong with the guy playing golf on Sundays if he likes playing golf? The only legitimate objection would be if he were using golf as a tool to help him be emotionally distant--but in that case, this marriage has problems that are not going to be solved by attacking the symptoms like that.

And if that's not the case, then he really needs to explain to his wife, "hey, marriage requires mutual concessions. I love you, but as you knew when you married me, I'm also an avid golfer, and I'm not going to be happy if I'm never allowed to play. So we are going to have to reach a mutually-acceptable compromise; if we can't do that, there will be big problems down the road, and not just because of golf, either."

But the ending makes it pretty clear that this isn't going to happen; that he's resigned himself to this situation. Which means that there are two possibilities: either at some point he's just going to explode, with horrible consequences for everybody; or else he's just going to keep on endlessly sublimating his frustration and anger, becoming ever-more withdrawn and bitter and making things ever-more miserable for his family until all this repression literally kills him.

And the fact that none of this even occurred to the makers of the commercial--that they just mindlessly drew on lazy comic-strip gender tropes to create what they thought it was a cute, funny, family scenario--just endlessly rubs me the wrong way. Is a lame thirty-second spot worth this level of scrutiny? YES. I demand that bullshit like this not be made, end of story.


Post a Comment

<< Home