Wednesday, September 19, 2007

is that intentional?

There is an eBay commercial I've seen recently. It shows a group of people running around a race-track, like dogs chasing after the sliding bunny, but instead of a bunny it's a toaster or some such thing. So they're coming down the homestretch, and a pale, 30-something, tubby dude is in the lead, but look out, a young, cool looking black dude is making his move. He is about to pass our pale friend and win the race when, OH NO, he comes up lame with a pulled hammy, and Average White American Man wins his toaster! The ad campaign is of course centered on the slogan, "It's More Fun When You Win It", or something like that.

Is that social commentary or what? I know it's kinda subtle, but not really. Who did the casting for that commercial? Was it written into the script that the white guy would win only because the black guy got injured? Is that a conscious decision to represent it that way? Or do they think we're living in such a heterogeneous world that it doesn't matter, that the white and black dudes are interchangeable, and it could have just as easily been the other way around. But that's just the thing, it could have just as easily been the other way around, but it wasn't. Basically what i'm saying is, Critical Theory class has ruined TV for me. Everywhere you look there are sketchy representations like that, creeping into our psyche with seemingly meaningless images that in fact reinforce whatever it is we're supposed to believe.
Which is what? The black guy would have won if he hadn't gotten injured. So what is that saying? Is it suggesting that Black Americans have every opportunity to succeed but in large part they don't because they don't stretch properly before the race (ie shoot themselves in the foot)? [I pose it as a question because i don't want to offend anybody, which i shouldn't, if you understand what i'm saying.] That is certainly what it suggests to me.
So the question becomes, is that true? Well it's almost three in the morning here, so i plan to go to bed and dream of elysium, thankful that i'm not (directly) responsible for any under-handed racism.
But just for the record, HEY, remember when we enslaved an entire race for a few hundred years? Exported them all over the world? Invaded their continent and destroyed intricate cultures with knowledge dating back to the dawn of man? Then we slowly, begrudgingly let them be a part of OUR society, finally letting allowing them to be recognized as real citizens something like 40 years ago. And do we really think that in such a tiny timespan, barely a generation, the effects of our wrongdoing have worn off and we're all on an equal playing field?
I just hope that people think for themselves, and not blindly buy what an eBay commercial is trying to sell them. Hopefully most people won't notice at all. I think that would be best, serving as evidence for the whole heterogeneous society theory.
I'm going to bed.

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