Monday, February 6, 2012

My Favorite Super Bowl Ad: Good Old Clint’s Call for an American Resurrection

No, I’d rather not discuss the outcome of the Super Bowl, thank you very much. Instead, this New Englander would much prefer to discuss the most surprising and evocative ad of the evening: Clint Eastwood’s pro-Detroit, pro-America ad.

While some are calling it a subtle pro-Obama/pro-auto bailout spot (Chrysler was a bailout recipient), I like to look at it as an apolitical inspirational, pro-America spot. As the airwaves and political discourse is currently swarming with disingenuous politicians who seem like snake oil salesmen who haven’t been able to offer voters a reason to embrace them, as opposed to arguing why voters shouldn't embrace the other guys, this is the kind of ad, the kind of sentiment that people are looking for. “We’re all scared . . . because this isn’t a game,” Dirty Harry said.

Yes, we know that Detroit, which was held up as an example, isn’t a shining city on a hill. It has serious, serious woes that can’t be overlooked or shunted aside simply because some of the car manufacturers are making cars again (some of ‘em thanks to big bucks from Uncle Sam). But the guts of this ad, the meat of it, is hope. It doesn’t talk down to us and tell us the economy’s robust and happy and that there’s a chicken in every pot. It doesn’t prescribe nonsense answers that, when parsed by experts will be proven to be meaningless or unable to execute in the real world. It offers American grit from one of the living symbols of it.

“That’s what we do, find our way through tough times,” Eastwood said in a way that’s more believable coming out of his mouth than the mouths of all the candidates for president including the current officeholder, who used to be able to talk the labels off of tin cans.

While I was on Twitter during the Super Bowl, my Twitter feed was overflowing with plaudits for this spot because it offered something we all want to believe in: An American resurrection. Yes, we do want to make Dirty Harry’s day.

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