What Fresh Hell Is This?

February 5, 2018

No, No, No. Not For A Dodge Truck. No.

Like a lot of other people, I watched the Patriots lose last night (oh God, how I loved typing out those seven words!) and there was one thing that really bothered me: The Dodge Truck commercial.

I won't link to it, I won't attach it to this blog post. (It's in the news. You want to see it? Go find it yourself.)

This was the voice over narration (made truly complete with orchestral swells worthy of any well made movie trailer):
If you want to be important—wonderful. If you want to be recognized—wonderful. If you want to be great—wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. That's a new definition of greatness.

And this morning, the thing that I like about it: by giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great, (Everybody) because everybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. (All right) You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don't have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don't have to know Einstein's theory of relativity to serve. You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.
It's from this sermon, delivered February 4, 1968.

And Dodge decided to use that text in a commercial airing at the beginning of Black History Month to sell trucks. Big, shiny, powerful pick-up trucks.

Especially ironic, (doncha think?) given how a few paragraphs later in that sermon, Dr King says this:
Now the presence of this instinct explains why we are so often taken by advertisers. You know, those gentlemen of massive verbal persuasion. And they have a way of saying things to you that kind of gets you into buying. In order to be a man of distinction, you must drink this whiskey. In order to make your neighbors envious, you must drive this type of car. In order to be lovely to love you must wear this kind of lipstick or this kind of perfume. And you know, before you know it, you're just buying that stuff. That's the way the advertisers do it. [Emphasis added.]
In a political age where this protest against racial injustice:

Has been deemed offensive to the troops by a man who got to sit out the Vietnam war with five draft deferments (four for college, one for bad feet), a sermon about how, in order to serve "[y]ou only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love" was used to try to sell you some trucks.

This is Trump's America.


Kelly Hughes said...

Yes. I was having a hard time explaining this to my kids when it came on other than no, no, no!

Emily said...

Yeah... I honestly can't believe how tone deaf so many corporations are these days. It's like they're TRYING to be as inappropriate as humanly possible because even bad publicity is publicity.