The wonders of the Internet mean I can now watch American television on my laptop, and I'm teleported directly inside the American soul. It's all there in the adverts.
Endless fast-food passes before my eyes. Why do none of these processed-fat-guzzlers look overweight? But I spot some salad, and start feeling peckish. If the nearest Wendy's Steakhouse is in Portland, Maine, could I get there and back before the start of the Second Quarter?
A smug businessy wanker drives his nasty machine on the edge of a skyscraper while a woman faux-orgasms next to him. I find myself rooting for gravity.
Hummer adverts. Contempt fails me.
Four more smug businessy wankers get email on their mobiles and gibber at the commands passed down to them from the Board
. You know what? With each day that passes our bodies malfunction, the global climate breaks down, the sun burns on towards extinction and the universe - our gorgeous, swaggering universe - puffs itself outwards. Eventually there will be nothing left except wisps of inert matter, expanding towards nothingness for ever and ever and ever. But even then, should I by some outrageous miracle survive, there will not have been even one second where I have given the vaguest flying fuck about the desires of the Board
. Grow some spine, you odious corporate lickspittles.
A slouchy fatso drops into a subterranean bunker where other slovenly nonentities drink themselves polatic in front of a plasma screen. Its target demographic is the suburban, sports-watching male. We're expected to empathise with the ordinariness of this supine and apathetic figure. He's us
. The not-so-hidden message is you are a useless, failing toe-rag who doesn't even need windows, so shut up and consume our product
. If I bludgeoned an adman to death with a copy of The Da Vinci Code
, could I plead provocation?
The sports commentators start joining in the adverts. "I'm really looking forward to that new series of 24, where Jack Bauer's corpse is going to reanimate itself in order to save America by torturing dusky foreigners and slaughtering inmates in Federal custody.
Dozens of Peyton Manning slots. He lacks the comic genius of, say, Charlie Chaplin, but he's amiable enough. America, you'll soon be bombarded by David Beckham, who will make Manning look like Demosthenes.
Thirty magic seconds where rednecks talk about which devices to put on the back of their pick-up trucks. Are they serious, or is this ironic? I honestly can't tell.
But by the end of the game, Baltimore Ravens fans are blubbing on the telly. I know schadenfreude is an ugly beast, but I can't help feeling it's all been worthwhile.
Labels: advertising, America