Perhaps you watched an American Football game on Sunday. Odds are that if you are reading this blog, you did watch the Super Bowl. This is something that a large part of Americans participate in, myself included … all my life. I then spent the next two days seeing the commercials dissected on news shows across cable TV and the Internet.
So I watch the commercials, to see the reflection of America. I am also hoping that for this one day a year, the commercials are entertaining and thought provoking. Who can forget Apple’s iconic, “1984” Super Bowl commercial for the Mac. In fact, that is what this blog is about — our American icons.
Coca-Cola did a commercial, #AmericaIsBeautiful . The song “America The Beautiful” was sung — how beautiful. Really it was beautiful. I have to admit my hypocrisy upfront. While I was reveling in the song and its meaning to me, my primitive self had a moment of rage. The song had a couple of choruses sung in foreign languages. How dare they meddle with such a beloved American icon, as America The Beautiful ? But that half a second passed and I rationalized (as my rational mind is wont to do) that it was just foreign born Americans or other citizens of the world lauding America The Beautiful in their first language. I just enjoyed the lovely singing. I loved how the commercial tied into Queen Latifah’s beautiful rendition of America The Beautiful . But my rational self said Coca-Cola is going to feel a firestorm now for meddling with an American icon.
I knew that the irrational 5% of America (uh commonly called the Tea Party), would be up in arms over this commercial over the use of foreign languages used in this version of the song. I knew they would boycott Coca-Cola, itself an American icon, but these are not rational people. They (the Tea Party) would spew their hateful rhetoric and start a boycott in their usual way of social conservatism — not fiscal conservatism as they espoused as their rationale for existing. These Tea Party thugs would try their totalitarian tactics to bend Coca-Cola, the American icon of business to their will. I do not think the Tea Party would see the ugliness in contrast to this beloved business icon, nor was it possible for them to appreciate the irony in their attacking the #AmericaIsBeautiful commercial.
Coca-Cola for its part would need to learn that not all publicity is good publicity. Even 5% of a very large number is still a very large number. That could hurt the bottom line for Coke. I am not a shareholder and I have no allegiance to Coke as I am not usually a consumer of this company’s products. But I want to engage the other 95% of America, the rational 95%. Let’s buy a twelve pack of a Coke product (I think this jester will get their ginger-ale) and render the Tea Party boycott as weak as their numbers are and to show they have NO power over the other 95% of Americans ! Symbolism at its most eloquent. Render the Tea Party moot. Even better would be to vote them ALL out of Congress this November.
Let’s end the concept of “social conservatism” by exposing it to the light and showing it for the TOTALITARIANISM that our parents / grandparents fought against in World War II and its aftermath, the Cold War. Lets make sure that, #AmericaIsBeautiful is not ironic.
Think about it America, talk about it, then just do it. Make America The Beautiful the real thing !