The Germans are assholes.Submitted by Teephphah at 2004-12-01 10:58:21 EST
Rating: 1.26 on 27 ratings (27 reviews) (Review this item) (V)
I don’t like to think too much. It gets me in trouble sometimes when I do.
For example, yesterday I was watching TV. What better way to not think too much than to watch TV, right? Right.
So there I was, watching TV. I don’t even remember what show I was watching, that’s how much I wasn’t thinking.
Anyway, whatever show I was watching stopped for a little while, and the wonderful people who make the pictures come on the TV put an advertisement on. It showed an attractive young couple in a nicely appointed SUV. They were on a hilltop overlooking some beautiful scenery.
Somewhere in my mind the following thoughtlettes formed: Pretty. Pretty people. Pretty car. Pretty trees. Nice. Nice people. Nice car. Nice trees.
Then the commercial showed the nice and pretty people taking a nice and pretty picture of the nice and pretty scenery. They then drove their nice and pretty SUV down some nice and rugged terrain until they came up to an old lady standing next to a bus. She looked nice, but not pretty.
The pretty man driving the car rolls down his window and gives the old lady the camera he had just used to take the nice picture of the pretty scenery. She smiles nicely in thanks and then the nice man drives his pretty SUV away.
I smiled dumbly. I had a nice warm fuzzy feeling in the pit of my stomach. But the commercial turned on me.
A thought formed.
Why did the man give the woman the camera?
The answer that leapt to mind was that she had asked him to. See, she wanted a picture of the nice and pretty scenery, but she was so old and feeble, and so, so, just OLD to be able to do it herself. That’s why the nice young man and his pretty significant other had to take their nice and pretty (and VITAL and VIGOROUS) SUV up the mountain.
Ageist and patronizing, but sweet.
The commercial was for the Volkswagen Touareg. And I guess it is pretty much what you might expect from those yuppie-pandering Germans.
See, here are the underlying assumptions that the whole stupid happy feeling I got in the pit of my stomach is based on:
- The old lady is weak and feeble.
- The young couple is strong and beautiful and above all generous.
But, I would submit that in reality, neither of the two statements is true.
See, the old lady may be physically weak and feeble, but the young couple isn’t exactly HIKING up this hill. They are driving. Old ladies can drive just as well as some young idiot in an SUV (unless, as an advertiser, you want to claim that they can’t). Why not put the old lady in the Touareg? What? She not pretty enough for you, you ageist, Farfegnugen-nazi scum?
So if the old lady is just as capable of getting up the hill as the couple, how is the young couple being generous? The answer is that they aren’t. They’re helping perpetuate the stereotype of the INability of the aged. Where the hell is the AARP on this?
But, see, Volkswagen has a certain sort of person in mind. They want someone like me. They want someone who is still semi-young, who is not pretty but wishes they were, who has lots of disposable income to spend on a car, and who likes to think highly of themselves and all their charitable proclivities. Most of all, they want someone like that who isn’t going to think too much about what’s going on.
Had this been a Jeep commercial, or a Dodge commercial, it would have gone something like this:
The commercial starts out with some quick shots of an attractive, athletic couple straining and sweating to arduously make their way up the hillside. Arriving at the crest of the hill the two stand up straight, puff out their chests and take in the splendor of the scenery. Smiling sweetly up at her man, the pert young woman digs through her backpack for the camera and snaps a beautiful photograph. The two smile at each other again, so happy and content in their love for each other and the environment.
A Jeep Grand Cherokee breaking through the underbrush with its horn blaring “La Cucaracha” suddenly interrupts their deep searching gazes into each other’s eyes. Startled, they turn to see the old lady hanging out the window with a camera. The lady snaps a picture, winks at the couple then peels out, busting a couple donuts in the mud and thoroughly spraying the young couple. Then the lady drives her truck off in another direction entirely, spraying more mud on the couple, while yelling at the “damned hippies” to stay out of the fucking road.
That would be sweet. But Volkswagen won’t make that commercial. They want their patronizing, self-righteous, self-involved and self-absorbed customer base to feel warm and fuzzy about how superior they are to some feeble old woman, and how generous they are for helping out the poor dear who obviously is powerless to do things for herself.
So, what’s my point with all this? That, heaven forbid, television commercials lie? That they are trying to influence people to think of feel a certain way?
Nope. My point is this: If you drive a Volkswagen, you’re a dick.
Screw you, Volkswagen. Screw you for making me think while I was trying to watch TV, and screw you for making “Touareg” so hard to spell.