I’m still loving what the Super Bowl commercials were selling.
Last week I mentioned my surprise and chagrin when I came across this article by inspirational, minimalist-living-guru Joshua Becker entitled “7 Life Misconceptions Portrayed in the Super Bowl Ads”. I’m just not done with that topic. Because, DUDE, it was the Super Bowl. And they were commercials. And they were GOOD.
5. Super Bowl commercials claim that to watch television is to experience life.Joshua says this is a blatant lie, and “We begin to believe that if everyone else is spending their evening watching… I must really be missing out.” I completely disagree.
My hubz and I have not watched commercials for the last seven years, except during the Super Bowl. We don’t have cable – not even the local channels. Everything we watch is either DVD or via instant streaming through Netflix or Amazon. And I gots to tell you… we take a lot of shit for what we miss. Don’t get me wrong – we enjoy the LACK of commercials and noise and sales pitches and car pushes and political ads. That’s the good part.
The bad part? We don’t always know what’s happening in the world. We miss a lot of news, and we aren’t privy to many of the memes and funnies that the rest of America gets firsthand from their televisions. I can’t tell you how many times we are asked if we watch XYZ, and it’s some show we’ve never heard of because it’s a first run program that is only available if you are willing to wait a week to see the next episode. Or if we saw THAT commercial where THAT thing happened and it was so hilarious! These questions aren’t asked by various strangers who aren’t familiar with our *crazy* lifestyle. We get asked by our own extended family who really ought to know by now that fucking answer is, has been, and shall always remain – NO! Emphatically, forever and always, NO!
And it sucks. To say we aren’t missing out would be extremely disingenuous. The fact of the matter is, everyone else *IS* spending their evening watching (…) and we really *ARE* missing out. That’s the tradeoff. So when Joshua says, “Life is not meant to be observed. Life is meant to be lived.” – well, we aren’t fully living THAT part of life. When everyone around you is “in the know” about something; when there are certain items being observed by everyone but you; when you are left feeling a bit out of the loop and lost and NOT part of society… how on earth can anyone say emphatically that we are fully living?
Again, I’m not complaining. We do really, really, really love our decision and firmly stand by it. But let’s not pretend that “our way” is better than the alternative, and that avoiding a huge facet of our culture makes us somehow more “alive” than those who are actually on the inside. For every side of the coin, there is always another point to consider. It’s not for one person to decide what makes one family’s life more full than another’s.
6. Super Bowl commercial claims that adventure / respect is discovered in the right automobile.Joshua says this is a blatant lie because “A certain model / style of vehicle will not bring the promised results.” I completely disagree.
My hubz and I drive a serious piece of shit. For a while we had muffler issues. And when we drove through the fucking ritzy side of our neighboring village of Germantown, where more upper crust folks reside, we got pulled over. More than once, I might add! It may not be politically correct to say this, but the truth is this: If you drive a POS car, you are looked down upon as a poor person who must therefore be up to no good because your ass certainly does NOT belong in certain areas. I’m willing to bet that Joshua drives a fairly decent vehicle – not like a luxury super sports car or whatever, but a nice, costly car with lots of expensive safety features and some bells-n-whistles for the kid. Don’t fucking tell me that certain cars don’t bring promised results.
When a friend came to visit us, lo those several years past, she arrived in a seriously nice rental minivan. I was impressed. It was fucking awesome. Our car was <meh> at best. We all agreed, hers was definitely the way to travel. It got better mileage and was more roomy for the kids. No brainer.
When I drove my POS to visit another friend who happens to live in a very upscale neighborhood, I was quite embarrassed to pull up in my very obviously old-old-old car. She couldn’t have cared less, because she is a sweetheart. But I’m no stranger to suburban shenanigans. When I got turned around on the way out, after our visit had ended, and pulled over to consult my directions, a guy mowing his lawn turned off the mower, put a hand on his hip, leaned against the machine, and pointedly stared my direction. His gaze was very easy to read: “You obviously don’t belong here. Best keep moving before I call the cops on your sorry ass. I bet you are one of those jobless welfare moochers who has a fuck-tillion kids at home so you can scam the government into giving you money out of the hands of hardworking taxpayers.” I may, or may not, be overly sensitive.
But seriously. If I’d been driving around in an uber class vehicle, no one would have looked at me twice. And you know it. Let’s not pretend otherwise, m-kay?
7. Super Bowl commercials claim that a website will solve your life problems.Joshua says this is a blatant lie because, “Websites offer information and inspiration, but they do not solve your problems.” I completely disagree.
Joshua, I have you at Google. And also? Triberr and Twitter. Plus this here bloggy-blog. The majority of my problems has been, and continues to be, solved by these websites. Almost every issue that arises can be resolved if you only know where to look online, who to ask, and how to get from here to there. Going back to my original premise, Happiness can indeed be purchased (albeit in small amounts). The only questions are ones of price and quantity.
So that’s it. That’s all I’ve got.
What’s YOUR stance on the Super Bowl commercials? Or commercials in general?