The Republic of T.

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Cadillacs, Cocks & Commercials

What’s your first impression of this commercial?

Now, what’s your reaction to this one?

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Are they the same? Are they doing/saying the same thing?

I ask because I yesterday I came across a reaction to the first commercial that would have struck me as funny (or funnier) had I not realized that the writer was apparently quite serious. From the title that blared “castration” to the invocation of Charlton Heston as a symbol of masculinity, I could almost see the writer crossing his legs with anxiety as he wrote.

I am old enough to remember when the word “Cadillac” was synonymous with success. It was the ultimate masculine status symbol.

A recent Cadillac commercial sells cars to feminists as a symbol of their success in degrading and humiliating men.

It’s part of an ongoing Psychological Operation waged by the London-based central banking cartel designed to destroy heterosexuality and the family. The bankers perceive real men as a threat to their plan for world government tyranny. General Motors and other multinationals are all singing from the banker’s homosexual/lesbian songbook. The commercial (entitled “Khakis”) depicts white males scurrying like mice at the appearance of the office cat. To a chorus of “Here Comes Success” a young woman strides confidently through the office intimidating the young slackers who are in various states of idleness.

In one office, a man smells his armpit. Another man is doing Tai Chi. Another takes his feet off his desk. Another is eating. Another throws up his arms in submission. There is no way to impress her; she is unattainable. While they include minorities, there is not one women in the ranks of these slackers!

The young goddess finds herself alone in an elevator with a male co-worker. When she says, “Hi Chris,” the pen in his pocket spurts ink, suggesting he cannot contain his excitement. Premature ejaculation = impotence.

The goddess notices and smirks. In the next scene, she is driving away in her Cadillac. She thinks about Chris and laughs triumphantly. It is not enough that she is “successful”; the satisfaction is in lording it over men.

The author would prefer something more like this one, with the aforementioned Heston-esque actor/model. (Personaly, Charlton Heston always bored me, even in The 10 Commandments. I was more turned on by Yul Bryner.)

It gets worse from there. Up to and including a link to an American Family Association “study” of the portrayal of gays & lesbians on television followed by this statement.

This isn’t about tolerance; it is about teaching heterosexuals to be homosexuals.

I wraps up with a mention of a conspiracy between the Illuminiti, George Bush, and the “central bankers” to emasculate (white, heterosexual, Christian) males and “control society.”

The author is right about one thing, though, and that’s the phallic undertones in the first commercial. He recognizes that while seeming to miss the same obvious undertones in his commercial of choice. In the former, the car itself is a kind of “ultimate phallus,” winding its way through terrain that’s neither urban or suburban, but suggests wilderness and intentionally or unintentionally invokes the much-loved “rugged individualism” that either denies the reality of dependence or interdependence, or feminizes it, or both.

Maybe I took too much feminist theory in college (any is probably too much as far as the author is concerned), but if the landscape — nature itself — can be read as feminine (as it often is) and the car can be read as a phallic symbol (anyone who’s ever given head will recognize a familiar view in the opening shot of the 1987 commercial). In that sense, the casting of the Heston-like actor probably wasn’t coincidental (I can hear the director saying “Get me a Heston-type, but updated a little), nor was the choice of terrain.

The driver, of course, is alone. He and the car may have sprung fully formed from the craggy landscape. There’s no one in the car with him, or anything to suggest that where he’s going. He certainly doesn’t seem to be coming from work (where he probably has a boss, and *gasp* possibly even a female boss), nor does he seem to be headed home (which would suggest domesticity, and dependency, and even more if his wife pulls up behind him in her car after having her own day at the office.

That would be almost like this Cadillac commercial.

Starts out well enough, with the father preparing for a day at work. Nice, heterosexual family. But then Dad sets the table? Mom does pick up the papers Dad knocks over, but then proceeds to check email (checking in with the office?) while he gets coffee and appears to get breakfast for the kids? Plus (if you blinked yo missed it), a nanny seems to appear and is holding the baby as the rest of the family departs. That means mom probably isn’t returning home for a while.

And then Mom is in the driver’s seat? Not just that, but once the kids are dropped off, Mom is back in the driver’s seat. The commercial is entitled “Morning Ritual” and as Mom and Dad drive off, you can almost envision Mom dropping Dad off at work before driving on to her own office. (Or maybe they work at the same company, but she’s an executive.) It’s not a far stretch to imagine an “Evening Ritual” that starts with Dad waiting — passively — for Mom to pick him up, and then she pulls up that big, black Cadillac. In the driver’s seat again.

Remember, the objection to the closing frame of the commercial.

The message on the screen is “Enjoy the Driver’s Seat.” Then the Cadillac emblem appears with another message “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of [Success]”. But where is she going? Home to an empty apartment? What man would put up with her?

In the latter, it’s the woman’s ownership of the phallus — symbolized in her position of power suggested by the men’s response to her, the confidence in her stride, and yes, the leaky pen — that not only makes for bad television but also contributes to the downfall of society.

Power= penis. Masculinity is defined by power. General Motors is neutering both men and women by inflating women’s self-importance. It ensures they will be demanding and unreceptive while men will find them unattainable and unapproachable.

The result is failure to form long-term monogamous relationships, leading to promiscuity, family breakdown and childlessness, i.e. homosexual behavior.

The woman in the commercial is not very impressive. She is not especially attractive nor well dressed. She doesn’t look intelligent and could be mistaken for support staff. Why is this? So average young American women can easily identify with her.

Maybe the women in the beer commercial would have been more attractive (more conventionally feminine?) to the author. Maybe it’s me, but the woman in the last commercial bears some resemblance the woman in the first commercial, and she appears to have found a man who does more than “put up with her,” but also a reality in which neither is “lording it over the other.” And maybe that’s what’s disturbing this author, who injects homosexuality into a commercial that doesn’t so much as suggest it. As I pointed out before, in the minds of some right wing men, anything that upsets the the “ordained” relationship between male and female by suggesting equality automatically raises the specter of homosexuality.

… Gay marriages demonstrate the possibility and desirability of gender equality in any marriage by modeling a relationship where the parties to the marriage do not distribute roles and responsibilities based on gender.

… That is, marriage is being transformed from a utilitarian arraignment grounded in the idea that women are sexual property to an egalitarian life journey with a partner who one chooses to develop and share mutual love, affection, respect, and support.

… One of the most obvious issues to which gay marriage speaks is gender equality. One of the strongest and most relied upon objections to gay marriage from the Right is that it violates the concept of gender complementarity. Gender complementarity is the metaphysical claim that men’s and women’s social functions in the world are determined dichotomously by their biological sex, such that where men are convex women are concave.

… Undergirding the concept of gender complementarity is the assumption that men are metaphysically meant to rule over women (ideally in the spirit of love, of course) and women are metaphysically meant to serve men.

And that’s why it matter’s who’s in the driver’s seat, pumping that clutch and jerking that gear shift.

Or is a commercial sometimes just a commercial and car sometimes just a car?

15 Comments

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  2. Ignoring all the gay bashing (I pretty much skipped over all excerpts from the other blog), you may want to examine if there are predominantly more commercials that “bash” men versus those that “bash” women.

    The beer commercial was soundly discussed and protested at feminist blogs, and we don’t seem to think twice about it.

    The first cadillac commercial was soundly discussed and protested by Glenn Sacks and lots of people think that is just weird. Lighten up! It’s only a joke!

    But why is it somehow okay to make fun of men but not women?

    Sometimes in response people will say things like, men are in charge, men are jerks, that’s the way it has always been! But are men really in charge? I am in my 40s, and quite frankly have never been in charge of anything. Most men have not been. Most men are not jerks, and it used to be okay to make fun os African Americans and other ethnic groups.

    Personally I think both of the top two commercials are just fine. And funny. (I didn’t watch the other commercials.) I think men and women should lighten up. But I think that if it is not okay to bash women, than it is also not okay to bash men.

  3. Henry Makow, where the hell have I heard that name before? It must have been over something batshit insane, as no one who wrote the section called “whiskas” could ever write anything that made any sense:

    WHISKAS

    In this context, I should mention the “Whiskas” cat food campaign that encourages young women to substitute cats for male leadership. “Only cats can be cats,” is the message.

    Each commercial shows men emulating cats: clawing at the curtains, playing with yarn or lying on the couch.

    Well they finally did it. They now have a commercial that shows a man taking a dump in a litter box. Can you imagine if they degraded a woman in this way?

    Bruce Miller, director of marketing for Whiskas, said the company’s consumer research showed that cats are in charge. “We had women in the focus group say, ‘If my husband behaved that way, I wouldn’t put up with it. But my cat does, and I love him for it.’ ”

    In other words, women are in charge of the male-female relationship. “Only cats can be men.”

    What does that last sentence even mean? Is he actually angry that women won’t let men crap in litter boxes? Does he really think that a cat who shreds the curtains is ‘in control’ because he’s so cute the owner couldn’t possibly get rid of him? That sounds suspiciously like young girls who argue that they have ‘power’ over men who buy them drinks.

  4. “Only cats can be men.”

    Translation: “Real men are pussies.”?

    At least that’s how he appears to be reading the Whiskas commercial.

  5. No, men are more like dogs. You can train ’em but you can’t change ’em.
    Seriously, that guy has way too much free time.

    In the first ad, I didn’t think the guy in the elevator (with the pen, you know) represented premature ejaculation, as much as peeing his pants. Sure, the female exec may be a hard-ass boss. So what? Suck it up, ya baby.
    About time, if you ask me.

    It’s part of an ongoing Psychological Operation waged by the London-based central banking cartel designed to destroy heterosexuality and the family

    Heh. Indeed. Check your tin foil hat, I think you’re done.

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  7. Obsessing with penis much?

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  9. Well, first of all Im sure GM had very little to do with this ad. This specific ad was made by a small Boston Ad Agency.

    The reason they targeted women is because the majority of SRX owners are women. Which is rare for a GM vehicle. Also the SRX is fairly large, so I would imagine the women attracted to it like to think of themselves as powerful.

  10. I’m with Duros62. The elevator/pen leak scene I took to be a pissing of the pants, turning the man into a boy.

    I also thought the ad was horrendously stupid. When I first saw the ad on tv, I was rolling my eyes, then when we got to the elevator scene, I said to myself, uh-oh, how are they gonna wrap this up? The pen leaked, I groaned. My god, I’m not sure the last time I saw such a crappy ad. I have no problem with women having power in the office, or anywhere else (me, fwiw, straight, white, married, no kids…). It’s just a turd of an ad.

    My assumption was that Cadillac wanted to attract the same tacky women as customers to match their long-time stranglehold on tacky men. I live in the Boston area – I have actually scene a 50-something year old (white) man come out of a Cadillac in a shiny light blue sweatsuit. I wondered if it came with the car, perhaps an incentive from the dealer.

    The ad with the family is much more fun. It plays games with gender roles the entire time, as discussed in Mr T’s post 🙂 But what I found most interesting was how the dad was reading the paper and drinking his coffee in the car. Almost like reassuring Mr. Tin Foil Hat (like I said, I had the same thoughts as Duros62) that the man was back in his rightful place. He wasn’t driving, no, but maybe he was being chauffeured?

    As for the El Dorado commercial, that was very enjoyable for its datedness. I had to watch it a second time to see if it had a tunnel. Look at that landscape, there’s a tunnel on that road somewhere, I’m telling you.

    And as for the remark about giving head, I had to watch it 2 more times, but I think I get the picture. Not my view, I get to see landscape, Nature, not a car 🙂

  11. Henry Makow (author of the reaction to the first ad) is one serious loser. If he thinks a Cadillac ad is not about selling Cadillacs, he’s completely clueless. Ads continually use sex to sell whatever. Cadillac is just trying to woo female buyers using the same technique which has always worked so well with men. “You know you’re successful when you have one of these, because everyone will be hot for you.”

    As for the Miller ad – same old same old.

  12. This queer jewish buddhist advertising creative director/copywriter finds everyone of the Cadillac spots tired. Old, new, doesn’t matter. It simply isn’t good advertising.

    The Miller Lite spot however was brilliant because it made fun of its sexism even as it reveled in it. It made fun of male fantasies even as it fed them. Not an easy thing to do. It’s not the kind of commercial I would have written, but I recognize what made it work.

    As for the raving right wing ad critic. Well hell, there are people who claim to see skulls in ice cubes in liquor ads. Conspiracy is everywhere. I know. After all, I’m one of those queer jewish (buddhist) ad execs who is conspiring to emasculate American culture.

  13. I actually liked the top commercial. I took the pen leaking to be a symbol for premature ejaculation, rather than the man wetting his pants in fear. I thought the implication was that men can be and often are attracted to powerful, confident women. Sure, premature ejaculation is embarrassing and a little emasculating, but it’s also pretty funny. Any man who’s angered by that observation strikes me as a bit tender. Probably kind of a pussy, actually.

  14. The Cadillac commericial was odious – it guarantees that I will never purchase a Cadillac. As a woman, I found it degrading and insulting; the suggestion that I, as a female potential purchaser of a Cadillac, would be edified by the degradation of a gender and the pathetic imagery of the supposedly ‘confident, successful female executive.’

    I knew many women who would be gratified by such a commercial. They are divorced, unhappy, malajusted, male-hating and male-blaming, pathetic, needy, lonely women. They would love to be happily married – but cannot admit it; they cannot keep a boyfriend or husband – yet continually blame the male gender for *their* failings; they are doomed to attract losers and effeminate ‘dominatable’ men who never satisfy them in a relationship.

    Might just as well buy a car. Why not a Cadillac? It’s all they have, really. And the ad companies know that, sadly, and take full advantage. Not unlike the males these pathetic creatures are drawn to, and used by, time and time again.

  15. I’d like to add that I am speaking of women I’ve known for twenty years, many of whom married in their twenties; all of whom are now divorced, some twice and thrice divorced.

    I had a positive relationship with my father and brother, and attracted men who treated me well. In our circle of friends, I was somehow looked upon with contempt for *not* hating – or blaming – men. Our generation witnessed the advent of feminism, and while I endorsed equality, pay-equity and recognition of the contributions of women, I never subscribed to hating men as a form of therapy for life’s disappointments. My feminist girlfriends would have love this commercial some years ago. Today, they smirk at it, enjoying the sentiment, but not taking it in full seriousness.

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