Infuriating ad of the year
by David Atkins
There's one ad that's been on my TV quite a bit lately, and it makes me want to throw something through the television every time. No, it's not a political ad. It's an ad for a Honda Civic Coupe, targeted at Millennials.
The video below is two minutes and a half long, but the 30-second spots that are derived from it still capture the gist pretty well:
Get the message? The economy may be terrible and politics may be ugly, but that's OK! Because you can take selfies, watch Nyan cat, grow out a beard, dress up like a comic book character, maybe get fifteen minutes of fame on Youtube, put on a virtual reality mask and volunteer for causes. Also, lots of great new technology that isn't quite here yet but will almost certainly kill what few jobs are left, so...rejoice!
Let's be clear: this is a perfect distillation of the message that corporate executives and the politicians who feed out of their hands are peddling to Millennials everywhere. And it's bullshit.
No. Today is not great. Today is terrible. All the petty personal freedoms to dress up funny, grow funny facial hair, watch funny videos online and do silly things doesn't make up for the fact that jobs are less available than ever, wealth is more concentrated than ever in fewer hands than ever, wages are lower than ever, and the climate is spinning out of control.
The right answer isn't to shrug one's shoulders and retreat into silliness and the hope for technologies that may or may not do more than increase productivity while killing jobs.
The answer is to fight like hell until the people in the top 1% strangling the economy and stealing all the money get their grubby, rapacious hands out of the community cookie jar. All that gloriously commodified self-expression doesn't amount to a hill of beans if your kids can't eat, your Social Security is stolen, and your planet is burning.