Tuesday, January 16, 2007

"Discrimination = entertainment" or "...a caveman could do it"

You can see all the caveman ads over at WankelRotaryEngine.

First of all, count how many Geico campains are going on now. 1) Caveman 2) Gecko 3) Celebrities help non-celebrities 4) Tiny House... Are there more? I wouldn't be surprised.

I'm sure my highly educated readers, the ones academic ones who are angry all the time, will be better able to articulate this than I am. Regardless....

Let's talk about the caveman ads. I love them. The making-of. The ultra-modern caveman apartment. The apology at the restaurant. The airport. The therapist. The FOX News interview. I love every single one. It's all about a caveman, a character whose species does not exist in the modern era. But if his species did exist, it would be as an under-the-radar minority. And like all minorities in America, our hero has to deal with ignorant white people.

Yah, yah, it's sapiens vs. neanderthal. And that's why white people are not up in arms about being mocked. But it's the thinnest of veils. Do they not see it?

Those spots are all about the ethnocentricity of white America, and what a minority has to deal with even when assimilated; the insensitivity, the ignorance, and (as demonstrated by the FOX News spot) open hostility.

But I thought discrimination= bad? Why do I find these ads so entertaining? If they said "so easy a woman could do it!" or "so easy a Jew could do it!" wouldn't we all be angry? Well, wouldn't we?

And then, on another level: how ironic is it that we mock white America by pointing out how they mock other ethnocultural groups at all levels of assimilation?

And then, on another level: is it right to mock white America, which is obviously an ethnocultural variety, just because it's the dominant one?

I'm not sure if it's right, but when I see the therapist spot, I lose my shit when the therapist realizes she realizes her own ethnocentric ignorance and can't answer him ("because therapists are smart?") . And then she is saved because the 1) caveman has a cell phone which rings at that very moment; 2) he reads the caller ID and 3) he suggests putting his mother on speaker phone, because obviously he's familiar with freudian psychology. So the caveman is thoroughly modern and sophisticated to the point of ennui, but the stupid therapist is five seconds behind, still struggling with the implication that a caveman offended by an insulting commercial is somehow oversenstitive.

In other words, it's funny because the white people are less evolved. Than a caveman.

Yep. It's a joke at the expense of an ethnic group. And I'm laughing.

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