Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ad fight

A woman fights back at a Super Bowl ad. Does it work? What do you think?

Here's the ad it's spoofing:


Lungclops said...

I think the reaction to this dopey commercial has been all out of proportion. It's an ad designed to sell a car, not an approved message from the Men's Issue Center think tank. The idea that there's a need to respond to a witless salvo from a car salesman seems a bit neurotic to me. Guess the chix who made this spoof musta been on the rag or something. Anyway, some of them could stand to lose a little weight, if that's what you're asking.

Mr. Pony said...

I've been thinking about this, because I happened to see a bunch of those ads, and I was like, "gosh."

Lungclops has good points. The guy ad is playful, despite the looks on the men's faces and the tone of the VO. The gal ad is NOT playful! The gal ad is ANGRY!

I can see the anger all the ladies in the house might be feeling, especially since the general annoyance at women on display during the Superball wasn't confined to this ad.

Upon reflection, though; lot of the 'misogyny' seems to me to be on par with the one-sided man-bashing present in television programs as aggressively geared towards women as the Superball is geared towards men, such as Sex [preposition] the City. Or at least, the few episodes I was able to sit through without running to my room in tears.

The guy ad may seem to be full of unfair complaints. I mean, lip balm isn't that heavy, usually. And men and women speak different languages with regards to feelings. Get used to it.

But the gal ad is really looking to escalate the unfairness. It's not men's fault they go bald sometimes, and ask any man if he wants his wife or girlfriend to make 75 cents on the dollar, and he'll probably say no. Also, I've yet to meet the woman who will let me cheat on her with younger women.

But all of this might beside the point. I think both voices in this debate have really bad attitudes, and I disavow both sides.

Richard Vomit said...

Both stupid! Like everything! TV! Menses!

Fugu said...

I don't think it's that important that the men are playful where the women are not. Godwin does not say that: if you see a playful ad with Nazis happily killing jews; no offense was intended and therefore none should be taken or you're a jerk.

Maybe the stink happened because of the whole "last stand" ending.

As Pony mentioned, much of what they're complaining about are "unfair complaints" with lip balm and something about socks—>so how does this lead to "WE ARE OPPRESSED BY WOMEN, and therefore deserve a just reward, which happens to be this ridiculous car"?

I would have been surprised if women didn't get pissed about that—>"So you think that carrying my lipstick means you get this banner to rally behind and you get a car? This is the shit we've had to put up with and we get a pat on the back."

True, though, that they seem to (mostly) be escalating things unnecessarily. They could have pointed out to our video game/IRL sport obsessions, the toilet seat being up, or something about socks.

Final note: that bit about board meetings and work also threw me, and seemed out of place. This sounds like either:

A) the guy was complaining about work, and not his wife, or

B) insinuating that he's working hard at a job he hates to provide for his wife, who is not.

Since the rest of the commercial is 100% obviously complaining about women, "B" is the more likely answer, which is stupid and offensive. Or at least I could see some people seeing it that way, and then this wouldn't be as unbalanced as we suspect.

Mr. Pony said...

Well, there's something. I agree that the dude means "B", since everything that he's saying in the ad amount to "These are the things I do for you." I think the reason ladies may find the ad so offensive is that many of the other things this guy is doing for his lady are kind of petty and ridiculous, which make his lady seem petty and ridiculous, and since the commercial implies that every guys is saying this inside, it also implies, by some math thing, that all ladies are petty and ridiculous.

By the way, I didn't mean to suggest that the guy ad was playfully committing genocide, or even playfully being offensive. The guy ad is playfully complaining about being oppressed. The silly nature of the complaints is, on one hand, not meant to be taken seriously, because the guy can't possibly be taking any kind of credit for eating fruit; and on the other hand, being taken with deadly seriousness, because no one likes the implication that women are petty and ridiculous.

Still, I have a hard time watching the "MAN'S LAST STAND" end cap and not seeing it as being a least a little tongue-in-cheek.

Richard Vomit said...

I would also like to point out that the disheveled looking muppet fellow with the beard in the man ad for cars is the Internet person who took a photo of his face every goddamned day for like five years and then he shmushed those pictures together using a computer software and turned them into a single moving picture called a video and posted it on YouTube and there on YouTube you can watch the dude age before your eyes and it's sort of disconcerting to watch. And anyway now he gets to be in a commercial where more people see his face. And so there - take pictures of your own face for years and then you may be on TV looking like a putz forever associated with the ignominious Dodge Charger vehicle.

No sleep over here btw

Fugu said...

A woman friend of mine found the most offensive part being forced to care about a guy who wants a fucking Dodge Charger.

I think you're right, Pony--the guy ad is playfully complaining about being oppressed by women. This is completely stupid, as this hasn't ever actually happened, but it has happened the other way around; thus, the offense.

It would be like Nazis playfully complaining about being oppressed by Jews.

FAKA! said...

Woohoo! Charger!....

Hey what are you guys talking about?


Ruby Tenneco said...

God I just watched that superbowl ad, i couldn't believe how depressing it was. I didn't really find it playful or funny, just suggestive of the most bleak and emotionally devastating universe I possibly imagine.

I felt sorry for both the man and the woman narrators.

Fugu said...

Agreed, Ruby.

FAKA! Are you playing the STMMO?!?

Ruby Tenneco said...

Woah! How long has that lurking pink thing been there at the bottom of the page, MrP? It's neat!

Galspanic said...

O god the lurking thing is now GONE.

I'm insulted that both men and women would spout this much loathing over a Dodge Charger.

I mean, that's what gay guys drive.

Heeero said...

Dodge Chargers? NCIS agents drive them too. (yes I watch too much tv.) I dunno. Somebody will probably shoot me for this, but I actually find the women's ad more humorous than the the charger ad. (Maybe it's because I work with so many females and I can easily hear them saying the exact same things. In fact, they do.) I dunno. On one level I can understand how some people can take this very seriously. But on the other, I just watched two minutes of stuff. Liked one more than the other. And really, nothing else more world-changing or earth-shattering as that. But that's just me.

odori said...

I agree with a lot of what everyone said.

I think what Mr. Pony called a general annoyance among women to this year's Super Bowl ads definitely played a role in this spoof.

If only one or two of the Super Bowl ads this year were demeaning to women, people wouldn't have noticed much. I mean, that happens pretty frequently. But supposedly there were a great many of them this year! So I would guess the spoof's creator is really lashing out at all the commercials in general. She probably picked the Charger ad because it was easiest to work with.

Another thing: I noticed the guy was complaining about all the things in his crappy life that make him miserable - his job and the things his wife makes him do like put down the toilet seat, walk the dog and be civil to his mother-in-law.

But the woman's complaints included more grievances against society at large: unequal pay for equal work, male politicians who made decisions about abortion and contraception, men who look at her breasts when they talk to her etc. These are things caused by society around her for the most part - not by her boss or her boyfriend or husband.

Her anger is directed not at one man but a male dominated society. It's more broadly directed and thus perhaps more pissy and visceral than the anger of the guy who really just needs to quit his job and get out of a bad relationship.

I cheered a handful of parts though, like when she said "I will make 75 cents for every dollar you make doing the same job." I know the reasons for wage disparity are vast and complicated. But it's still annoying.

I also liked the part where she says "I will get angry and you will ask if it's that time of the month." Most men, especially in their 30s and younger, know better than to say crap like this. But there are still some morons who don't.

Galspanic said...

I really like what Heeero said about watching two minutes of stuff, nothing more earth shattering than that. But I gotta say that there was something about the combination of these two "commercials" that stuck in my craw. I think its the whole "I'll pretend everything you do is ok, if I can have this one caveat." I think that's kind of pussy on both sides. (Pussy being a misnomer since as far as I understand, pussies are far more muscular than dicks. Do the doctors on the blog agree?)

Yes there are horrible iniquities that women have to deal with, and have had to deal with for millenia, but this video definitely says that women are allowed to speak their minds, so why not do just that, instead of turning the other cheek?
Why pretend that all that shit is ok? Is it because men would never hear the end of all the yelling?
I am reminded of that joke "If women really knew what men were thinking they would never stop slapping us." So is it "If men really knew what women were thinking men would never stop being slapped."?
I end up thinking that this set of commercials would have been so much more valid and powerful had it been aired about three years before the onslaught of reality TV which determined that there are members of both sexes that are really fucking stupid. I mean like, stupid stupid.

Litcube said...

Love Panic's last graph.

I just wrote a big thing on getting kicked in the nuts.

Mr. Pony said...

Hello, Fugu! Do you remember when you said "It would be like Nazis playfully complaining about being oppressed by Jews"? And then later that night, offline, I mentioned to you that I thought that this rhetorical technique was questionable? And then remember how you said that you were simply taking a situation to a logical extreme in order to prove its absurdity? And then remember how I said, that no you weren't; you weren't just playing a situation out to show some kind of inherent fallacy; you were creating an artificial correlation between one situation not necessarily analogous to another? And then remember how you got drunk and started making fun of things I say on Twitter?

I can see the reason in taking a point to a logical extreme in order to show the unforeseen judgments on or consequences of the original point, but first there must be general agreement that there is more than a passing correlation between the original point and the logical extreme (thus the word "logical"). Rather than proving that it is ridiculous for men to even joke about being oppressed by women, you seem to be making an altogether different point, by way of weak analogy, and/or a mild example of Reductio ad Hitlerum.

If your point is that on the whole, the relationship between human men and human women is analogous to the relationship between Nazis and Jews leading up to and during the second World War, then I think you need to make that point before using it as a logical extreme--While you may see this as a perfectly reasonable correlation, I doubt everyone shares your radical politics on this matter.

Lungclops said...

There's a passing resemblance between women's historical oppression and Nazi oppression: both are oppression. HOWEVER!!!! I don't think that really applies in this here Dodge ad controversy.

The pussywhipped men of Dodge are lodging what are basically domestic complaints: how they are put upon by women in their daily lives. And while I agree they should probably leave their wives or something, I do think most middle class, American men (the subject/target of the Dodge ad) are as put upon by the women in their lives as women of the same demographic are by their men.

The overheated response to the ad (both in the video posted here and in the blogoverse's reaction) incorrectly answers the Dodgemen's domestic complaints with women's broad (heh) social complaints. So criticizing your dude's bald head and slobbishness are fair game, but things like the salary gap just aren't: your husband most likely is as responsible for it as you are.

Litcube said...

@Lungclops: *applause*

Fugu said...

Wow! Pony, I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings! You seem to have misread a playful comment I made and taken offense and blown things out of proportion! Hey… "The guy ad is playful… The gal ad is NOT playful! The gal ad is ANGRY!" I guess this might lump me in the same camp as chauvinistic men and nazis, and you with emotional women and irate jews.

Anyway, Pony, you ass: of course my point is not that "on the whole, the relationship between human men and human women is analogous to the relationship between Nazis and Jews." Seriously, what? I made a comparison between a specific commercial and a hypothetical nazi comedy, and you go here?

But I love that you brought up an association fallacy and the reductio ad Hitlerum! As I mentioned, just before you got drunk and felt me up, I seriously wish I had taken a symbolic logic class. Anyway, my example is NOT a "logical extreme". On the contrary: the logic is exactly the same in both cases, which is the whole point:

The guys in the ad complain about being oppressed by women. This has never actually happened, but it has happened the other way around. Women are upset by this ad.

The nazis in a hypothetical comedy complain about being oppressed by Jews. This has never actually happened, but it has happened the other way around. Jews are upset by this movie.

This statement logically true in both cases. This is not a fallacy of a slippery slope (I'm not saying one leads to the other), or a fallacy of association (I'm not saying that nazis are evil, therefore since nazis are guys, all guys are evil). And definitely, it's just a passing resemblance, I wouldn't suggest otherwise. But the structure of the argument is logically valid in both cases.

So the "analogy by extremes" I was talking about is an emotional one, not a logical one. Part of the reason we're having this discussion is because of the varying allowances and biases that we all have regarding men and women, right? This is no longer a problem when discussing nazis. We can all agree that nazis are all fucking jerks. The ambiguity and disagreement are gone, and we can see that it's silly to be surprised that women are offended by this stupid, stupid ad, when we're not surprised at all by a Jew's response to this stupid, stupid movie.

This is also not an ad Hitlerum thing: that's a reduction of an Ad Hominem attack, which would suggest that I brought up Nazis to discredit some argument by association without relevance, e.g., Nazis like corn, therefore all people who like corn are bad. This would be stupid. Lets go back: I infer that nazis are like men in a specific example, but in no way state that because of this association, men are bad.

My conclusion is instead just this: it's stupid for a guy to joke about being oppressed by women, and then complain when women get angry about it. Definitely, the response ad is also stupid.

Mr. Pony said...

It sounds like I misunderstood part of your argument. Thank you for clarifying, but I still have a couple of questions.

You seem to say that it is "logically true" that men have never been oppressed by women. Are you saying that every complaint in the Dodge ad (ugh) has absolutely no basis in reality? Because it sounds like you're saying that. Even the statement that Nazis have never been oppressed by Jews feels a little absolute, as well.

Or are you just saying that if Party A has done Party B a great injustice, then Party A is forbidden from complaining about lesser injustices inflicted on it by Party B.

This may just be the way you define oppression, and if so I question that definition--can't both parties simultaneously feel the effects of oppression from the other? I would argue that even in absurdly extreme cases, this remains a two-way street. Not perfectly balanced, or anything; just bi-directional. To look at the facts and issue summary judgment on which party has the right to complain seems more about deciding who has God on their side, and less about finding ways to address the problems. And isn't the latter a more productive path?

* * *

Separate point: Despite the fact that you say you're not trying to discredit by association, the choice to use Nazis in your analogy is questionable, and my fears are realized in your seventh paragraph, in which you exclaim with 100% certainty that Nazis are Evil. You couch it in terms like "We can all agree" and "fucking jerks", but the sentiment is unmistakable.

My problem is not with the content of your statement (I don't really like Nazis all that much either), but with the way you treat it as an incontestable axiom. This kind of thinking isn't uncommon; you hear it all the time: "God created the universe in seven days", "The Pope is infallible", "Either you're with us, or you're with the terrorists", "Marriage is between one man and one woman", etc. So you're not completely alone in using this method of argument, Fugu.

While it's nice to just wish away more nuanced and secular arguments; this kind of thinking, more often than not, serves as a method to argue from an assumed authority, obscure a weak analogy, and quickly rally support among the more fundamentalist believers in the audience. An axiomatic argument becomes an argument about what IS and what ISN'T, and isn't terribly useful in the scientific sense.

Most dangerous of all, pushing forward with 100% certainty leads to axiomatic creep, and pretty soon, we're all living in a theocratic oligarchy, thanks to you, Fugu.

Are you really suggesting that this kind of argument removes bias? Because that, brother, would be seriously bowel-moving!

Galspanic said...

See, this is why Mrs. 'Panic doesn't post on this blog.

Litcube said...

This is only the second fight I've seen here. Have there been others that flew under my radar?

Mr. Pony said...

Hey, this isn't a fight. Okay, maybe it is, maybe in the sense that someone is wrong on the Internet, but I think I speak for Fugu as well as myself when I say that neither of us wants this to get annoying, and we're happy to take this somewhere else.

Or declare it over, since I just went.

Fugu said...

It's just an energetic debate! It'll turn into a fight once Pony starts accusing me of things I didn't say and tries to ruin my credibility by associating me with nut cases. Oh. Wait...

So where did I say that people are forbidden to say or think anything? This never happened. I only said this: "it's stupid for a guy to joke about being oppressed by women, and then complain when women get angry about it. Definitely, the response ad is also stupid."

But sure. I'm totally fine with taking out the word "never" in the logic statement. The absoluteness of that was unnecessary, and was used only as a reflection of the imbalance of oppression in both cases.

Hey! I see your point about everyone having the right to complain. Of course men have the right to complain about being oppressed by women! If you think it's true and important enough to complain about. I guess my point would then be: "it's stupid for a guy to joke about being oppressed by women, and then complain when women get angry about it" oh wait that's my point in the first place and I never said men didn't have the right to complain.

Re: your second point --> :P

Okay, lets say that part of my statement is this: Nazis oppressed Jews, and this makes them jerks.

The difference between your examples and mine, Pony, is that mine is based off of historical record; photos, documents, personal accounts, tangible evidence, graves, gas chambers, etc... all your absolutes? Based off of conjecture and silliness. Are you saying that you think that our understanding of Nazi Germany is on par with believing in creationism? Really? That just doesn't seem right. So why did you use those examples instead of others that are more equivalent? Michael Jackson is dead. Evolution happens. My coffee is now cold. Our economy sucks. The plague sucked. I should be working.

Interestingly, I think it's because you are blatantly abusing the guilt-by-association fallacy here, and you're doing it specifically in an attempt to annoy me (and as an ad hominem attack against my character!). Remember the structure for an association fallacy:

Premise: A is a B
Premise: A is also a C
Conclusion: Therefore, all Bs are Cs

And you said:
Creationism is a argument.
Creationism is also stupid.
Fugu's Nazi argument, therefore, is stupid!

Yes, I deduced from my understanding of history that everyone who reads this blong might agree that Nazis are jerks. It would be a guilt by association fallacy if I had then said:

Nazis are men.
Nazis are also jerks.
The men in the ad, therefore, are jerks!

This is most definitely not what I said! IMPORTANT! We had already agreed that the men were jerks by their own accord, irregardless of fucking Illinois Nazis!

The association here is not one of inferred guilt, but is that both can be placed on the 'jerk scale', independently, with nazis being the extreme case, and therefore, not the same as douchebag men.

And what is this "axiomatic creep" link that's broken? What does this even mean??? What are you trying to make up here! Anyway...

My statement isn't even an axiom. To say Nazis are jerks, is more of a testable theory. It can be deduced by their known actions and other people's reactions to them. The do certain things which can be seen as jerk-like behavior. This would likely be backed by dictionaries, historians, the-man-on-the-street, even you. An axiom, means that it is a starting point which did not arise from deduction. This is absolutely not the case: I have deduced that Nazis are jerks based on evidence. An axiom, such as the few you chose to list, would have been if I had instead announced that I believe all Nazis to be purple, fire breathing dragons. I am offended that you think I believe Nazis are purple, fire breathing dragons, Pony.

Mr. Pony said...

I imagine this is wearing a bit thin, so I'll keep this brief.

Thank you for conceding the first point. The "never" was unnecessarily absolute, and your statement had some strange consequences as a result. I offer a gentlemanly nod in your direction.

And I apologize for linking you, in my second point, with fundamentalist christians and neocons. If it helps, I wasn't comparing your arguments, only your arguing styles. And I was only doing this to point out that your "analogy by extremes" does nothing to erase "allowances and biases", and serves only to swing any such allowances and biases in a direction of the arguer's choosing (despite the rhetorical dishonesty inherent in this tactic).

Still, because two wrongs don't make a right, and in the interest of keeping things friendly and even, I concede this second point.

I'm done! I will make any further replies in the Shoutbox, if necessary.

Litcube said...

Or here.

Fugu said...

My iPhone has discovered that the song on that page is called "The Ritual / Ancient Battle / 2nd Kroykah", by Alexander Courage.

Pony, I am sorry I made fun of your Twittering.

Galspanic said...

So weird what you wrote in your previous post about Nazis being fire breathing dragons.... You remember when Pony was asking us to think about games?

Mr. Pony said...

Well, I hope you're happy, Odori. Can you think of any other ways to TEAR FUGU AND ME APART?

Fugu said...

What the hell? Weird! I totally forgot about that, Panic.

Pony, nothing could tear you and me apart. Well, except for what's written on this little piece of paper I keep locked in a box that I buried at my parents house. I didn't even write it. OH, GOD.

odori said...

Drama queens.

odori said...

I'm sure some mutual slaughter with Starcraft this weekend will make it all better.

Heeero said...

Uhm...we hope. It could make things horribly horribly worse. Or better.

AI-BU9 said...


Oh - @Pony and Fugu:
Love will tear you apart.

Mr. Pony said...

Well, it seems that no one can make it this weekend, so it might just be Fugu and me! Aaaa!

odori said...

Uh-oh. Maybe we should arrange for a chaperone. Or an umpire.

Fugu said...

We're probably going to end up playing some co-op game, aren't we. Might as well just pick flowers and sing nursery rhymes.

Litcube said...

I had fun when we played that tower defense type co-op. Once we worked out the bugs, I mean.

Fugu said...

Oooh, that map you made? Jeezus yeah that was intense.

Mr. Pony said...

Good times.

Hey, if crushing me in single combat is what it takes for you to recover from all this, so be it. I shall spend the evening planning new strategies to gain me seconds of life.

Litcube said...

Aahh, ha ha.