Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Clint Eastwood Chrysler Super Bowl Ad

Today I received an e-mail notice regarding controversy that has generated in response to a Super Bowl advertisement. Included in the article to which the e-mail notice provided a link are two embeded videos, one of this advertisement and one of a Reagan reelection campain advertisement. Apparently there are many articles on the Internet regarding this advertisement and what various people perceive or extract from it. This particular article is Rove Tosses Penalty Flag at Eastwood Ad, Calling It 'Offensive'.

I find this controversy to be amazingly sad and even sick. It shows how sick America has become. It shows how far from reality most people are in their thinking. It shows how people look to the wrong sources for guidance and leadership and identity.

Here are the two videos:

The reactions to the so-called Eastwood advertisement very powerfully demonstrates the limits that have developed regarding people’s thinking. People today no longer know how to listen so as to hear what is actually being said and more importantly, who is actually saying it.

This is a Chrysler advertisement. It’s purpose is to promote the Chrysler corporation and its products. Chrysler spent a fortune on this advertisement promoting their company. It is not a statement on America and Americans, though it uses nostalgic notions from these themes to present Chrysler as caring about America and Americans. And perhaps the producers of this advertisement actually do care about America and Americans. But the true point of an advertisement like this one is to try to convince Americans to care about Chrysler.

In this advertisement Clint Eastwood is a hireling of the Chrysler corporation. While he may agree with what is presented in the advertisement, he is speaking for someone other than himself.

This is what he does. This is who he is. He is a lifetime hypocrite, that is, an actor. That is, after all, the definition: hypocrite.

This is what Clint Eastwood does. He is a professional presenter of things that he is not. He is a pretender. He invests himself in presenting what he is paid to present. This is his life. This is his identity. This is what he does. He has done it for more years than I have been alive.

Why do people look to Hollywood hypocrites for the truth? In the special features portion of “Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever” Antonio Banderas made an amazing statement. He said of himself as an actor: “I am a professional liar. That’s what I do.” He said it with his winsome charm and smile, but on this occasion, he was not lying.

How can anyone know when to trust a hypocrite? When can that which a hypocrite presents be taken to heart? Why do people look to such shallow persons and expect to find depth of character and direction? When this is where people turn, what does it say of them?

Regarding Mr. Eastwood, since he is the object of the current controversy, consider the pattern of his relationships on record, Clint Eastwood: Relationships.

Now, I do not share this link to tear down Mr. Eastwood, but to show the shallowness of thinking of anyone who looks to someone for leadership and direction without considering whether the person has this sort of stability in that person’s own life. How a person deals with one’s most personal relationships is most surely a powerful indicator of whether or not the person’s judgment and dealings can be trusted as a guide or source of integrity and leadership.

I like Mr. Eastwood, at least from what I have experienced. I don’t like what he represents, but I expect that if I actually met him that I would enjoy the encounter. I imagine that we would even find that in our conversation that we had some things in common.

As I view the Chrysler advertisement, I find it to be very appealing. My impression, after watching it multiple times, is that it is a very nostalgic but shallow view of America. My impression is that both Chrysler and Mr. Eastwood are sharing their view of America as a land where the people are strong and committed and resilient. They seem to believe that Americans are a people who come together when times are bad, when they believe that they are fighting for survival. It seems to me that the primary view of America and Americans is expressed when Mr. Eastwood says:

     All that matters now is what’s ahead. How do we come from behind? How do we come together? And how do we win? Detroit’s showing us that it can be done.

There is no doubt in my mind that this is the point of the advertisement. It is a very typical view of America and what makes America great and what America should be. It is the prevailing American sentiment.

I do not agree with this perspective and belief. I do not believe that this is all that matters. I believe that we need to be concerned with more than these. I believe that we need to begin with the realization that integrity is more than coming together for survival and for coming from behind and for winning. I believe that truly coming together means standing united in the identity that our founding documents provide us. I believe that truly coming together means standing as “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” This means that there must be a singular understanding of what these mean. It means that “liberty and justice” must truly be for ALL. It means that leaders must be elected and appointed who are not hypocrites, who do not say one thing today, another thing tomorrow, and yet something else a week from tomorrow. It means that when the oath of office is made that we impeach those who do as is reported in this article: Justice Ginsburg causes storm dissing the Constitution while abroad. If we allow a US Supreme Court Justice to make such outrageous and treasonous statements about the Constitution and to remain as a judge over the application of the rule of this Constitution over the laws of the land, then how can we imagine that we can come together for anything more than hypocritical and momentary unity and justice and liberty?

America is facing her current dilemma and impending demise because Americans have forgotten what it means to be American. As a people we have forgotten our foundation upon which we stand. Without this foundation we fall.

The words that Mr. Eastwood spoke on behalf of Chrysler, and perhaps even from his own heart, are good words as far that they go. We need to remember that winning has a defined objective, that winning is about more than which side prevails. We need to remember that the battle has a genuine cause, something substantial, something with a rock-solid foundation.

We need to consider those for whom we vote and support. We truly should consider their record. Do they show fidelity in their most important personal relationships? If they are not faithful to these and betray those who are closest to them, how can we expect that they will treat people that they have never met any better? If they supported big government and big corporate control and warmongering and trampling of liberty in times past, how can we expect them to do differently under the current circumstances?

And naturally, I believe that ultimately, true unity cannot be embraced apart from the one true faith in the one true God. America has never truly had such in her history and so she has never had true justice and liberty for all. Yes, America has been called a Christian nation, but she has never truly demonstrated this. If she were truly a Christian nation she would not have allowed the horrible abuses that have been done to her children. But hypocrisy is not limited to Hollywood. It prevails most among those claiming to be Christians. And while that is the case, true peace and true freedom will remain but a shadowy dream.

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