Thursday, February 08, 2007

GLAAD is not happy

Did you all see the Super Bowl? Well, if not, there was a Snickers commercial that involved two macho guys eating a Snickers bar with their eyes closed. Right before they finished the bar, they ended up kissing by accident. It was kind of like that one scene from Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. With both of them highly embarrassed, they tried to do something "manly" and ended up pulling out their chest hairs.

Okay, it wasn't that funny. I didn't laugh, and the commercial failed to convince me that Snickers is a better candy bar than Baby Ruth. However, GLAAD, which is an acronym for Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation got all pissy about it and wanted the ad pulled. The President of the Human Rights Campaign said that it condones violence against gays. Huh? Did that clown even see the ad?

You all know how I feel about political correctness. This is just another case of p.c. gone wrong. I watched the Super Bowl and if anything was offensive, it was Rex Grossman's inability to do anything right. That bozo lost me money. The Bears should have taken the Colts over their knees and given them a spanking. Three defensive takeaways and a kickoff returned for a touchdown should be more than enough for any team to win.

Anyways, back to my point. If you're looking to be offended, you'll find something to be offended about. There was one commercial where some people were out in space and one guy gets killed by a comet. Don't you think that's insensitive to the families of those who lost loved ones who were astronauts? Or back to the Snickers commercial. To be manly, the men pulled out their chest hairs. Well, that's just racist. Are they implying that Asian men can't be manly (because Asian men don't grow chest hairs)? The audacity.

Then they had a GoDaddy commercial that I found the most offensive of all. While everyone else was working hard, the Marketing Department of GoDaddy were partying. So marketing gets to party while the rest of us work? That's not fair. I'm hurt. I'm suing. I'm going to make a Federal Case out of it.

Gay men have never had to prove their masculinity to me. I'm actually insulted that GLAAD and the HRC could actually see the public as that dumb. As a gun fanatic, I learned a lot of my shotgun technique from a bisexual man. I've shot side by side with Pink Pistols on many occasions. I've shared shooting tips with them all the time. One of the guys I used to do kickboxing/MMA with was a fruiter. Had better hand skills than I did, and wonderful footwork. I could take him on the groundwork though.

The thing is, who cares? People who get offended by everything suck. Take a chill pill GLAAD. Living in San Francisco, I've yet to run into a gay man who was offended by that dumb ad. I'm wondering who in the world GLAAD is supposed to represent.

My theories on GLAAD's secret identity

Okay, here are my possibilities of who GLAAD really are:
1) A bunch of Humanities Professors who sit around looking for things to get offended about (kind of like how Puritans stay up all night worrying that someone somewhere is having a good time),
2) Folks with guilt about how they treated gays in the past so they do everything they can, no matter how misguided, to make up for it,
3) A bunch of homophobes who are secretly trying to weaken the gay and lesbian communities so they don't survive the upcoming zombie plague.

I'm starting to think it's #3. Gays and lesbians could take care of themselves. Heck, gays in San Francisco are proven to make well over $10,000 a year more than straight men in San Francisco. Gay bashing comes from internal insecurities and bad family values. It does not come from dumb Snickers commercials. Saying it does is an insult to our intelligence.


Anonymous j.f. said...

Zom, you know me and you know I'm not anti-gun, but don't you think guns and martial arts are a shallow way of showing masculinity? I mean, you could have used better examples.

Plus, gay men don't have to be tough to be seen as people. I just think this was one of your more shallow posts. I could see gays being offended by that commercial.

2/08/2007 9:07 PM  
Anonymous j.f. said...

Zom, never mind. I failed to see this was humor. I'm stupid. Please delete my last post.

2/08/2007 10:16 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

Or, it could be GLAAD could be creating controversy to keep homosexuality in the limelight, subscribing to the theory that no press is bad press.

The video of the commercial is here.

2/09/2007 5:53 AM  
Blogger Notta Wallflower said...

Funny you mention this. K has to do "current events" from the internet each week for his social studies class. He is an avid football fan and caught most of the ads on the superbowl. His "theme" this week assigned by his teacher was "constitution". What appropriate timing this was since K has an interest in free speech. Either that or he just doesn't know what else is in the constitution. :-P At any rate, his event this week is an article on the pulling of that commercial. You can guess what he thought - that the commercial should have remained on the air. Personally, I find other commercials more offensive and/or tasteless.

2/09/2007 6:52 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Actually, the reason I find the ad to be (offensive is the wrong word) but, objectionable is this:

It not only reinforces the way white, masculinity is constructed in our society, but it also reinforces the belief that there is shame for men who "do something gay" thus promoting the heterosexist undertones of masculinity.

Sure particular people, one-on-one, can usually see through these stereotypes, but that doesn't mean they're less pervasive in our culture. I mean, there's a reason why it's a stereotype.

Let's face it - images are about the power to define the dominant ideals and how they are portrayed. In this case, gays as a minority group, rarely get to define how they are perceived, but are usually, as shown here, only defined by others. That is why what we say and show, and how we say and show it are important.

2/09/2007 8:09 AM  
Blogger United We Lay said...

Nice to se you back!

2/09/2007 2:32 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

J.F. - It's all good. Read on...

Scott - Thanks for the link. Haven't watched it since the SB.

That's another possibility. I still like my #3 theory best though.

Notta - I'd love to be in K's class, to see what kids his age are learning about the Constitution. I'm just glad they're still learning it in class.

Yeah, this commercial didn't bother me as much as those guys washing the car. That wasn't offensive, it was just gross. Yuck.

Laura - Well, I wrote this off as just a stupid commercial.

I've always thought that some humor has to push the boundaries of what we are allowed to laugh at. Hats off to people like Mel Brooks (whose original Producers did offend a lot of people back then), Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, and now Dave Chapelle. This commercial tried to do that, but it just wasn't funny.

There will always be prejudice as long as there are insecure people. It's much easier for me to say "I'm not a loser, that guy over there with the purple coat is a loser because he's a _____" Takes the heat off of me.

I firmly believe that humor reduces tension, and when we get each other to laugh at our differences, it makes us closer.

United - Thanks. :)

2/09/2007 6:16 PM  
Blogger Songbird said...

While we are at the PCness of commercials, can someone explain why they changed the Honeynut Cheerios commercial?

This is the one where the little kid storeclerk accuses the (black) store manager of being a liar when he tells the kid to tell customers that the high fiber cereal tastes good. Now the ending's fluffed up to something like "I can't tell a lie, ha ha fiber tastes good, yah right'.

Was the issue that a white kid can't tell a black adult that he's lying?

Have we gone back 30 years?

Or was there another reason? Is 'liar' an inflammatory word?

Just wondering.

2/09/2007 7:52 PM  
Blogger Bo Salisbury said...

I just learned something... gays and lesbians are a minority! You certainly wouldn't get that impression from the popular culture, academia, the corporate scene, the mainline religions, government or over the backyard fence.

I admit, though, I have seen gays pretty badly stereotyped, misrepresented and mocked by progressives -- both those I know personally, as well as the politicos and entertainers. Do you folks remember the hate that spilled out of the DNC over the Mark Foley revelations?

2/09/2007 8:21 PM  
Blogger Vest said...

Z S: Thanks Pal. Lest you forget. Don't be a (_*_)It diminishes any respect I had.

Scott: S Y B My lawn mower ran over a red bellied brown snake near where the Gr/ch were playing earlier, such bravery needs rewarding, but how do you say thank you to a lawn mower?

jf:I echo the words in the first paragraph of your top comment.

2/09/2007 8:54 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Songbird - Was that a Super Bowl commercial? I don't remember seeing it.

Bo - Yeah, I remember that hatred towards the guy. Double standards?

One of my biggest beefs with the progressive movement is the whole idea of minority victim groups. I'd rather us all work together as a nation, instead of being branched off by labels.

I've always found gays to be highly self-reliant. It seems to me that groups like GLAAD would rather see gays as victims. That's a step backwards.

Vest - Jess is a good friend of mine, going back almost a decade. She sent me an email saying that she didn't get it the first read. Maybe you should read it twice too.

2/09/2007 10:57 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

ZS said: "Laura - Well, I wrote this off as just a stupid commercial."

Exactly my point. The whole reason why, as you said in your previous post, that Madison Avenue for example, holds such strong grip over our social values is because we write things off as "just this" or "just that" without critically thinking about where it comes from. It wouldn't be thought control if we all realized it was there.

Also, as I was thinking about this more - the anger (or frustration) of people about certain groups trying to 'control' what we say and see has an underlying assumption to it that there already isn't someone doing that already. It's called Hegemony.

2/10/2007 5:07 AM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Laura - How about if we become the new media? Instead of finding fault in the current media, I think we can supplant it. The internet has done a wonderful job of creating media equality. Average, every day people can have just as much a voice as corporations.

Blogger, for instance, gets millions of daily reads. Some of the more popular sites in blogger get tens of thousands of hits daily, and they're regular people, not big media corporations.

You're a lot more powerful than you think. You have a strong mind, and a strong will.

From experience, it's hard for an average Joe or Jane to compete head to head against the big media corporations. I've known lots of authors who tried to get their books, poems, ideas, etc., published through traditional means and fail.

The internet is leveling the playing field and giving Joe and Jane a chance to seriously compete against traditional media. Sure, we don't have tv commercials and the huge publishing houses, but we still have reads. It's a start. Let's keep it going and expand from there.

2/10/2007 10:58 AM  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

I heard there were plenty of people that complained about Prince's halftime performance saying it was oversexualized. There was some whining about the part when he was playing that weird symbol guitar behind the sheet. Apparently some people thought it looked like a giant phallic (spelled wrong?) symbol?
I saw the performance and I was just excited to see my old friend Prince! He rocked! I loved it--no frills, no nudity--just awesome dance/pop music.
If people wanted to complain about something, the GoDaddy commercial you mentioned was more sexualized than Prince's show.
It looked like a promo for Hooters.
People are always looking for ways to make a stink about something. Next year's halftime show is going to be something totally boring uncool.

2/10/2007 2:43 PM  
Blogger Bo Salisbury said...

Mr. Zombieslayer, sir.

Right on about victimhood... I'm finding this hard to put into words, but it goes something like this:

One time I participated in a peaceful rally of 1500 people in a town of about 10,000. The rally wasn't covered. However, five women will dress in black, stand on a bridge in the same town and get front page coverage... repeatedly. I think, objectively, you could conclude that I/we had been the victims of a biased community newspaper. But, rather than play the victim or, more importantly, *think* like a victim, I think it's more honorable to simply suck it up and resolve to change things in a more substantial way... day by day, one person at a time.

This brings me to my progressive friend, who participates in all sorts of awareness raising and even political activism on behalf of gays. Yet, when we are alone he makes slurs and engages in lampooning gay stereotypes. So, institutionally we see a lot of so-called tolerance, but on the real, day-to-day, interpersonal level, we see some palpable disrespect and hate, really. I suppose institutional attitudes will bleed into real life, but it's not real... it's plastic. And, I don't think hypocrisy is what bugs me about it... it's the fact that the tolerance is institutional and not a deeply held conviction, so it can turn on a dime.

Sadie -- I was never a big Prince fan, because of all the hoopla and, frankly, when he was younger, all the gratuitous sexual stuff -- sure, he was really good, but I was put off by the scene. However, I was in Chicago and walked past a kiosk in Virgin records running a live show of Prince in Las Vegas. This was a few years ago, he was older and there was none of the nonsense. I was literally *mesmerized* by the musicianship of the band and by Prince. I stood there and watched the whole thing. He's amazing in every way.

Laura, when I think of Madison Avenue, I tend to see them exploiting social values, rather than forming them (and, I have to admit that I really kind of admire them, when I see how they work people -- like the Indians watching the white man building the railroad -- they knew it was bad and they didn't like the settlers at all, but they admired the fact that, when the white man puts his mind to something, he's real determined). I tend to think that many of our social values are formed in our early social settings -- our tribe, if you will. I would tend to think that our household and neighborhood will be the greatest influence, until we are introduced to the machine... the institutions. Of course, if you're raised by the television that would definitely come into play but, again, childrens's commercials exploit well established behaviors and ethic, I think.

2/10/2007 3:58 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Sadie - Prince is cool. The guy can play, and he's a heck of a performer. I think folks were reading into it too much calling Prince's guitar too phallic. Some folks I guess just get offended by everything.

Yeah, I imagine next year's halftime show will put me to sleep. Prince is the best we've had in years.

Bo - Your friend sounds like a few progressive folks I know when it comes to race. There's another can of worm there that I'd rather not get into. ;)

As for protests, yeah, it all comes down to squeaky wheel gets the grease. If you're peaceful, nobody reports anything. If you blow stuff up, burn a flag, break some windows, or tip over a police car, then the media chases you with microphones.

As for t.v., the beauty of it is the parent can always turn it off. That's what my father did, probably why I got so much done as a kid.

2/10/2007 7:07 PM  
Blogger Songbird said...

Zomb, no the Cheerios thing wasn't a Superbowl commercial, it was just a commercial. A recent one too, running over the past year.

2/10/2007 8:16 PM  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

Yeah, I hear ya about his early days. My mom would always yell at me for stealing her Prince tapes--namely, Purple Rain, because of the sex stuff. (Darling Nikki).
But over the years, he kinda grew up and out of that whole sex-pop and entered into a real niche. He can play mad electric guitar, I don't care what anyone else says.
His dance tracks are unmatched. I still can't sit still if Let's Go Crazy or I Would Die 4 U comes on.
I heard he's a Christian?
I dunno.
I heard he had a child with disablities?
I dunno about that either.
I bought his latest cd and it sucked.
There were like three songs on it that I'll listen too and the rest is totally weird Prince crap.
sorry to take over your blog ZS--I just love music and movies discussions.

2/10/2007 8:24 PM  
Blogger mckay said...

snickers commercial = dull and a bit gross watching anyone eat a brown sticky thing like that.

price rocked and i didn't see anything phallic in his performance. people can turn almost anything into something nasty if they want to.

i agree, people just want to complain loudly to get people to focus on their cause. it bores me to tears to see all the whiney complainers today.


2/10/2007 8:43 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Songbird - Oh. Never saw it, which I guess is probably a good thing.

Sadie - No problem at all. I love music, so I could never talk too much about it. Just like your cousin.

And yes, I've heard too that Prince is a Christian.

Too bad about the latest CD. He does seem to do a lot of experimental stuff. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's horrible.

McKay - thanks. Glad to be back.

Yeah, that's kind of the gist of it. I just think GLAAD was reading into this one too much. There's always something to complain about. I'd rather laugh at something myself. Life's too short to be offended.

2/10/2007 11:45 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

ZS said: "How about if we become the new media? Instead of finding fault in the current media, I think we can supplant it."

That's definitely the only solution as I see it too. But in order to ensure we don't make the same mistakes, we have to make sure we know how to critique what it is we don't like about our current media, right?

2/12/2007 3:59 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

But in order to ensure we don't make the same mistakes, we have to make sure we know how to critique what it is we don't like about our current media, right?

Well, I think the biggest problems with the current media have to do with money buying influence.

2/12/2007 7:37 PM  

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