Monday, February 06, 2012

Can-do America

When Clint Eastwood was born and raised, America was a can-do nation. There was no problem that Americans didn't attempt to solve, nothing that an American couldn't do. Vietnam broke the spine of can-do America -- suddenly we *couldn't* do something -- and ever since, can't-do America has been the rule. America can't provide healthcare for everybody. America can't solve homelessness or hunger. America can't provide a good education for everybody who wants one, America can't find jobs for all the Americans ready and willing to work, American can't, can't, can't, can't.

Clint is basically calling bullshit on that whole notion, on behalf of a car company that's back from the grave and making cars as good as any that it's ever made. And if Karl fucking Rove believes that advocating for a Can-do America is partisan, fuck him. Fuck him and the nihilistic defeatist divisive can't-do spirit that he represents. That is all.

- Badtux the Can-do Penguin


  1. I think it's craaaaaaaazy to see that ad as a prObama commercial, but it's just another case of KKKarl Rove projecting what HE would be doing if a president from the Fascist Party was in power and that 2-minute spot was running. Because everything THEY do is about political gamesmanship -- not getting things done and running the country, but gaming it the way college kids do with student government elections -- KKKarl sees everyone's actions as gamey.

    That said, I found the commercial bleak. There's Eastwood's grizzled Mr. Kowalski character from the "Gran Torino" movie -- hey! I thought he was a Ford man -- presiding over a spot that says so much about the decline of America. Basic message? "America ALWAYS wins!" But how's it gonna do that, bubbie? As they say in investment firm disclaimers, "past results are no guarantee of future performance."

    Do you read James Kunstler's Clusterfuck Nation blog, Tux? His post Monday was about how Super Bowl ads are a reflection of America's psyche. They often show a self-indulged, narcisisstic, immature view of men. (Women don't figure in except as sex props.) The Chevy truck advert that Kunstler focuses on, plus Eastwood's Chrysler ad (I thought you despised Chrysler for the way they've turned Jeeps into crap, eh?) plus the one with the obese St. Bermard that couldn't fit through the doggie door to chase the VW, say a lot about the U.S. And not in a good way.

  2. Well, basically Detroit was done. Over. History. Now they're making record profits and good cars again. That was the point of the ad -- to make people feel good about Detroit and, by extension, about Chrysler.

    Regarding Clint Eastwood, he's a far more complex man than he is typically given credit for. It's hard to call the man who directed Mystic River and Unforgiven a "dinosaur", even if he played that role in "Gran Torino". But remember, that's a *role* he played in a movie. That wasn't Clint Eastwood, that was a *character* he was playing...

  3. I read Kunstler's post. Pretty depressing. That guy ever have any fun? Is everything hopeless in his eye's? It was a football game, and a round of commercials trying to sell you stuff, that's all. Personally, I liked the Eastwood bit. We could use some can-do spirit, that's why I avoid Kunstler.

  4. That's one thing that struck me when I decided to start visiting a wingnut blog (to see how people could support those destructive notions.) I expected to be sprayed with testosterone. I expected boasts about virility, America's greatness, the army's greatness, the weakness of people without guns in their hands...

    But I found cowardice and a complete lack of faith in the country that they still must insist is first in every way. They don't believe America can build a bridge, if it takes a public effort. They live in pants-shitting fear that a terrorist will make them one of the tiny handful of victims that die in an average year. Yet they brag about their invulnerability on the road because of the giant-ness of their vehicle. They boast about how dangerous they are with their collection of guns, yet go weak in the knees that a poor 18-year-old boy walks across the border to find a better life.

    Cowards and losers.

  5. Ole Carl the GayBoy Rove is just jealous he didn't come up with the Chrysler commercial and make it about the Newtster.

  6. Paul and Deb, the depressing is WHY I read Kunstler. I enjoy doom. That's partly due to my belief that if I know where the punch is coming from, I'll have a better chance of ducking it, or at least rolling with the blow so I'm not cold-cocked. And it also makes me feel better because I'm taking steps to get ready for when TSHTF. At least I hope.

    Kunstler is depressing, but he's realistic, IMO. Reading his "The Long Emergency" book should be required in school, because the parts about Peak Oil, "magical thinking" about how some new energy source is going to save us, and the folly of suburban civilization, describe the world as it is. Instead, the populace is fed a line of happy-sappy BS.

    Do you read Dmitry Orlov's blog, Paul and Deb? He's also gloomy, funny (but not as funny as Kunstler) and into "seasteading" as a way to survive the coming collapse.

  7. I liked the ad because I see every day how people in Detroit aren't giving up. And fwiw, pretty much everyone in Detroit knows that the likes of Karl Rove hate them and would not care one bit if the auto industry died.

    I would have liked the ad even more if they had actually filmed it in Detroit though.

  8. Bukko, It's nice to know where the punch is coming from, I agree, but do you want to wake up every day flinching? I enjoy the diverse opinions on many of the political blogs, especially Kunstler's and I too worry about the near future, not just for myself, but for my children and friends, but sometimes I feel that people like Kunstler over analyze everything. It makes me wonder about their sanity. Being positive once and a while is not a bad thing, even if it's through a corporate ad.

  9. Bukko, I both agree and disagree with Kunstler. I agree that if things go on as they are now, not only America but the whole world are fucked -- the end result is going to be a Great Die-Off that will rival the end of the dinosaurs. What I disagree on is that it has to be that way. With real leadership this ship could be turned around. We haven't seen real leadership in this nation for over sixty years, but it could happen...

    Nangleator: Yes, same thing struck me about the right-wingers. They're cowards. I asked one of them, "would you walk up to a crack house armed with nothing but a grade book?" and they're like "are you nuts?!" and start talking about how they would't do something like that without having more guns than a Terminator movie. But I did that, during my teaching days, to talk to a parent. And thought nothing of it until people started freaking out. But then, I'm not a coward.

    Dave, Karl's perverse power thrives only when people are terrified and divided. If people are optimistic and united, his power is nil. So of *course* he believes a message of optimism and unity is "partisan", because if a party has descended so far toward the dark side that terror and division are its sole sustenance, anything optimistic or promoting unity is like garlic to vampires.

    Lynne, I somehow had a feeling you would be a fan of the commercial :).

    P&D, I suspect we're somewhat similar in our outlook, except I'm more pessimistic about how bad things are going to have to get before things change. After all, 50% of Americans are below average... and average ain't so smart nowadays.

    - Badtux the Mixed-feelings Penguin

  10. I'm a big fan of the commercial. I put it up on my blog, too.

    Chrysler's ads for a while now have had an overt message of recovery and hope.

    Funny thing is - Eastwood's a Republican. Go figgur.

    Karl Rove is one of the most purely evil people in this country. There is always an element that will be susceptible to his message. Fox News, Limbaugh, and the 900 other right wings talkers reinforce the paranoia all day, every day.

    It's really all they have. And that terrifies me.



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