Saturday, February 9, 2013

My take on some of the Super Bowl commercials - Part Two

Alright...I promised a follow-up to my favorites.  Here are my remarks on some of the ones over which I have heard much controversy.

#1 - I will begin with the Taco Bell - Viva Young - commercial.  First, I really liked this commercial.  I thought it was hilarious!  From the moment they showed the pool scene, I immediately thought of the Ron Howard movie "Cocoon."  However, Mr. Bill O'Reilly thought it was not favorable toward seniors.  Really?  I have to say that, being a conservative Christian, there isn't a whole lot that he says that I don't agree with politically; but, that's just me.

But as for whether or not this commercial is unfavorable toward seniors, what it makes me think is:  don't be so quick to disregard, or write off, the elderly.  They have a lot of life in them yet, and to put them in a home, and forget about them, or to refuse to visit them because the place where you've left them makes you uncomfortable, is the epitome of selfishness.  These people have a lot of offer.  There's a lot they'd still like to be able to do, and don't really want a bunch of people younger than them robbing them of their dignity to make those choices.

Maybe I'm looking at this all the wrong way.  Maybe I'm oversimplifying.  Who knows?  However, having spent quite a bit of time with people much, much older than me - though, admittedly & ashamedly, not nearly enough time - there's a lot to learn from and about the those among us who outdate the Baby Boomer population.  If it takes showing them sneaking out of their home to go club hopping and making late night runs to Taco Bell to make the younger generations wake up to that fact, then so be it.

#2 - The Calvin Klein underwear and GoDaddy commercials.  You might think that I might have a different beef with each of these commercials.  It's the same one really; just hear me out.  I am not fond of the kissing sound on television at all anyway; it's just not something I care to listen to.  So, at first, that was what turned me off about the GoDaddy commercial.  But then I realized that wasn't it at all.  See, anytime something really gets to me, I just have to stop and ask myself what's the true culprit.  The realization I came to was this:  I am a bit prejudiced against things not-so-pretty.  And, I think, deep down, most people would have to admit that they do too.  See, what really bothered me about the GoDaddy commercial, and what didn't bother me so much about the Calvin Klein commercial, was the look of the guys on the commercials.

          If Fat Albert came into my living room and started dancing around in those same, although much larger, Calvin Klein underwear, I would be repulsed, and would, most likely, call the cops on him for indecent exposure.  I would chase my kids out of the room, throw a towel at the guy, or something.  However, I did not turn the channel away from the Calvin Klein commercial.  I didn't like it, but the guy was not hard to look at.  The guy in the GoDaddy commercial, not so pleasant to look at.

The sad thing about all of this is that comparing these two commercials, and these two men based on appearances does them both a disservice.  The GoDaddy guy may be one of the nicest guys I could ever hope to meet, and the Calvin Klein guy one of the worst, but that is not the first place my brain went to when I watched those commercials.  And I am ashamed to say so.

So, why print them here?  I've been a student studying Psychology and Counseling since 2008.  One of the first things we are encouraged to do is examine ourselves to see where we might be harboring biases.  Having felt like an outcast at time, or at least like an outsider looking in, I had reasoned myself into thinking that I didn't have too many biases.  A few based on circumstances that had occurred to me, yes, and I knew I would have to address those if the occasion ever arose when I became a counselor, but nothing as shallow as what I've discussed here.  I am the first to warn my kids about not judging something just based on the way it looks at first.  I am also the first to rush to the defense of just about anyone saying, "You shouldn't say such a thing, because you never know what that person has been through, what his/her life has been like up to this point."  You name it.  And always, my default is:  "Treat others how you want to be treated."  That pretty much sums up how I believe any bias should be handled.  Well, guess who I had to preach that lesson to this week.

My initial goal for this post, I'm sorry to say, was to hop on a soap box about these commercials and about how other people had hopped on their own soap boxes about these commercials, and the state of our country today when it is perfectly okay for a half-naked man to dance around in front of millions of people in his underwear but an ugly  making out with a super model was not okay.  But, that was not to be.  Why add fuel to the fire, when I can, maybe, make some people think for a second.

None of us is perfect.  I don't mind saying that I certainly am not.  Well, okay, maybe it's not true to say that "I don't mind saying" that.  I'd rather not have to say it, but I might as well.  But, I would like to leave you all with a word of encouragement, an exhortation, if you will.

The next time something makes you really mad, or indignant, or leaves you feeling downright self-righteous, before you open your mouth to spout off your rant, ask yourself:  Just what makes me so mad about this.  Pursue the answer with all you are worth.  Even  if you suspect that the path you are about to follow is one you'd rather not travel.  In fact, ESPECIALLY THEN.  You just might find that there is still room for improvement.

Forrest Gump said that his mama always said: "Stupid is as stupid does."  Well, I think beauty is as beauty does holds up pretty well too.  And beauty does not judge others by their appearances.  Pride does that.  Arrogance does that.  And God opposes the proud.

So, I leave you tonight having been knocked a peg or two down my self-importance ladder, and feeling better for it.  Maybe one day I'll finally make it to the bottom and I can begin rebuilding a different ladder that puts people's inner beauty before their outer appearances.  Until then, I am certain God will provide me many, many more chances to learn to see people the way He sees them.

Tomorrow, I'm making my last recipe for the week - CRISPY HERB CHICKEN & CHEESY CAULIFLOWER MASH - however, since tomorrow's Sunday, I will not be blogging about it until Monday!

Alright, that's it for me.  I bid you adieu (Goodbye) and bonsoir (Good Night)!

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