Watch any televised sporting event and you'll undoubtedly find yourself bombarded with commercials extolling the virtues of being a man. The most prevalent current examples are the T.G.I. Friday's commercial where some assholes (including the guy from Office Space) scream at each other about beef and pork, the Dial commercial for men's body wash (shaped like an oil can!), and the Burger King commercial for the Texas DOUBLE WHOPPER, where the protagonist rebels against his girlfriend's restaurant choice, laments having once been served tofu, then throws a minivan over a bridge (meanwhile, an Asian guy breaks a cinder block with his bare hands). The Miller Lite "Men of the Square Table" series, where B-list celebrities decide the (previously) unwritten rules of male behavior, is a somewhat subtler example of this unsubtle phenomenon.
It is my contention that these commercials suck.
Exactly when this cartoonish distortion of the male id became an advertising staple is difficult to pin down. Chuck Klosterman locates its genesis in the standup comedy of Tim Allen. My associate, Blog Stevens, blames Maxim magazine and its progeny. But I believe these commercials have their roots in the Republican Revolution of 1994. The uneducated male voting bloc, dubbed Angry White Males, was widely credited with allowing the Republicans to regain control of Congress after Soccer Moms helped Clinton into office two years earlier. In the wake of the Republicans' success, advertisers realized that dumb people could be swayed by bad ideas if they (the ideas) were delivered in a vehicle that not only recognized but celebrated their (the dumb people's) mundane lifestyles and myopic Weltanschauungen.
But I don't know. It's not like I expect advertisers to be smart or socially responsible or anything. Their job is just to sell a bunch of shit. What bothers me is that the commercials are just so fucking uncreative.
THIS JUST IN: Men like meat! Men don't like doing things that women like doing! Men are willing to go to extraordinary lengths to obtain beer! Thanks a fucking lot. What's funny about pointing out what everyone already knows?
So anyway, Blog Stevens and I are organizing a boycott of these products. The way we see it, a vegetarian and a guy with zero income boycotting two shitty chain restaurants and a soap company should have ripple effects that shake the advertising industry to its very core.
Perhaps you'd care to join us.