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Thursday, 26 October
It's The End Of The World As I Know It, And I Feel Fabulous


My friend D. wrote me after my last entry to complain that I had misrepresented his utter dominance over C. and I at darts on football Sunday. He is correct. For the record, D. beat us stupid three games in a row, not two, as I reported. I would also like to point out that in one game, thanks to C.'s fuckup with the electronic dartboard, I was accidentally awarded 40 free points, which means that my defeat in that particular game was spectacularly humiliating. In my defense, all I can say is: D. wears hoodies and enjoys baking. So I've got that going on.

D. and I also noticed that day a rather irritating TV ad that kept cropping up. In fact, you see it all the time. It is an ad for Chevy trucks, and it features Mr. John Mellencamp (nee Cougar) playing one of his signature bland roots-rock songs, this time called "Our Country," while showing footage of, well, America. I guess. Mr. Mellencamp seems like a decent enough fellow, I suppose, though I still think he has to answer for John Cafferty. That, or he should really stick to licking Bruce Springsteen's shoes to a high shine.

The ad images that Chevy uses for the "My Country" spot are puzzling at best. "FROM THE EAST COAST!" John bellows, and you see a craggy hand picking up a doomed, delicious lobster headed for a barbecue. "TO THE WEST COAST!" he screams, and you see . . . a violent forest fire. Really? That's what we get? It gets more confusing. "TO THE DIXIE HIGHWAY DOWN HOME!" Winding up this uninspired Guthrie-lite chorus really moves the editors to baffling new heights, because all of a sudden you're seeing images from the aftermath of Katrina intercut with mighty Chevy trucks power-braking on dirt roads. "THIS IS OUR COUNTRY!" he concludes.

America: Delicious seafood; frequently catches on fire; rampant drownings; enjoys trucks.

The other spot that's really added to my bruxism habit is for some fucking shampoo and/or conditioner called Sunsilk. The ad features bullshit footage of women with alarmingly shitty hair being critiqued via voiceover by some insultingly fake flaming queen, who says things like "Fluff up all you want, but that hair is flatter than a training bra!"

Sigh. Look, I'm delighted that more and more, gay culture is becoming more accepted and prominent in American culture, whether it be via the astonishingly legless "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" or the underground success of "Grizzly Man," an unflinching documentary about the bear scene.

But the Sunsilk ads manage to make you just depressed as hell over the whole state of things. The flamier-than-thou voiceover work is grating and insulting, and at the same time serves to make sure to ram home the salient point: without Sunsilk products, you will not only look like trashy whores, but you will be put on television and derided by millions of anonymous screamy queens. By the time the ad has finished showing you these pitiful excuses for women--why don't they even care about their hair? What harridans!--and milked the fake-gay crap for all it's worth--"THUN-THILK!"--all you're left with is this gut-dropping feeling that any progress made in the last twenty years or so has all been for naught.

I know, that sounds like I'm overreaching, and maybe I am, but this particular ad just fucking infuriates me. It perpetuates the idea that women are lame or deficient or dumb if they don't show a less-than-perfect public face; it utilizes a boring stereotype of queeny gay males and their supposed (and bizarrely insensible) obsession with females; and, for Christ's sake, it's fucking shampoo. It's the same damned sulfates that are in every shampoo.

Now I have this dream of driving a Chevy truck into a big vat of Sunsilk, perhaps with John Mellencamp tied up in the passenger's seat. As I claw my way out of the greasy mess, I'll look back on poor John, struggling in his bonds as the goo rises above the red bandana I've gagged him with. "MMMF! MMMF!" I sympathize, Mellencamp. But you must be drowned for your crimes. Also, your split ends are horrendous, and anyway, the sibilant voices with prominent lateral leakage tell me I'm in the right.

THUN-THILK! I will make sure your corpse gets Hairapy.

Note: Comments are closed on old entries.


God, I thought the Sunsilk person was a woman...

Comment number: 008694   Posted by: Trance on October 26, 2006 07:58 AM from IP:

oooh, ooh. I know who this is haha. It's that dude "Ant" the host of "The Biggest Loser". I caught the edge of an interview with him when he first got the Sunsilk spot.
I agree, it is a highly disappointing that gay men are stereotyped as are obsesessed with women, and gay women as butch sports fans.
Then again, it is curious to me that people need labels and stereotypes in the first place.
But thanks for that shoout out to gays being mainstreamed, and thank- yooo for your support.

Comment number: 008696   Posted by: Alyxmyself on October 26, 2006 10:15 AM from IP:

I was so sure it was Anthony from Sex and the City. I'm floored that it's not.

There are two lessons to be learned from tv: 1) men are stupid and 2) women are crazy.

Comment number: 008699   Posted by: Aoife on October 26, 2006 09:35 PM from IP:

i never watched Sex and the City, but i think Ant was on it. so i'm assuming he was don't lose sleep over it, Aoife. you ARE right.

Comment number: 008711   Posted by: dirgy-dirg on October 27, 2006 12:32 PM from IP:

1) The guy from Sex & the City is Mario Cantone, imdb does not list him on the Biggest Loser. And I was sure that was him too!

2) I think that when ads begin to disturb you too much, it's a sign you are watching to much television. I get this way all the time, dissecting commercials while my sister stares at me, open-mouthed and horrified.

3) Assuming no one is planning to cut back on the tv, here is a fun column on slate, ad report card -- in fact, here is the guy's take on Mellencamp & Chevy's "horrible events in American history" campaign:

Comment number: 008713   Posted by: Amanda on October 27, 2006 02:48 PM from IP:

new reader. love it

Comment number: 008755   Posted by: on October 30, 2006 11:36 PM from IP:

It isn't Ant. It's the man who played Anthony on Sex and the City, Mario Cantone.

Comment number: 008997   Posted by: on November 15, 2006 08:54 AM from IP:

Ant wasn't on Biggest Loser. He was on VH1's Celebrity Fit Club.

Comment number: 009571   Posted by: Dick on December 1, 2006 09:11 PM from IP:

Ant wasn't on Biggest Loser. He was on VH1's Celebrity Fit Club.

Comment number: 009572   Posted by: Dick on December 1, 2006 09:12 PM from IP:

Ant was originally on "Last Comic Standing" Everyone hated him and he got booted quickly! New reader, love this!

Comment number: 009978   Posted by: Kristie on December 19, 2006 03:48 PM from IP:

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