Super Bowl Commercials 2012: Clint Eastwood's Chrysler Ad Was Corny

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistFebruary 7, 2012

One of the Super Bowl advertisements lauded by most was Clint Eastwood's "Halftime in America" ad for Chrysler. And while some have suggested it contained strong political undertones in this election year, most seemed to enjoy the spot nonetheless.

So am I the only one who found the commercial sort of corny?

I should state that I don't find the notion of America standing up and recovering from rough times to be corny.

But come on, "halftime in America?" That's just a flawed metaphor.

For one thing, I would like to think that America has more than 236 years left in its history.

In a less literal sense, as any football fan can tell you, there's no guarantee the second half will be any better. Yes, halftime is when adjustments are made, but the metaphor also presupposes there is some sort of external opponent to conquer here.

But what if we are our own opponent, America? Wouldn't it be more accurate to claim that America had a bad season—we had some devastating injuries but our game plan was also pretty suspect for a while—but we're trying to fix things in the offseason so we get it right for the next season?

I'm reading pretty deep into the metaphor here, and frankly, it wasn't the only aspect of the commercial I thought was sort of cheesy. I love Clint Eastwood, but the gravitas and weight of the commercial almost made me chuckle.

Maybe I've become so accustomed to messages of hope, or the Hollywood veneer of inspiration, that something like this just doesn't do anything for me anymore. Sure, its fun to feel patriotic and buy into Eastwood's appeals to the fighting American spirit.

But, sometimes it just seems like we're more interested in talking about how patriotic we are and how much we love our country and how our fighting spirit will help America recover once again, rather than going out and proving we're serious about all of those things.

Being a citizen of America is supposed to be an active process, not a passive one. We should be involved in our communities, educated about who we vote for and striving as individuals to live in a sustainable and intelligent manner for the good of our country.

It's more than just getting all pumped up for two minutes because Clint Eastwood imports a feeling of pride into the national consciousness.

So maybe what I've really found corny wasn't just Eastwood and Chrysler's commercial, maybe it is how all of America said "Hell yeah!" after it aired because to do otherwise would somehow feel unpatriotic.

And if I'm accused of being self-righteous or condescending in the comments, so be it.

Just remember that Chrysler was trying to sell you patriotism and the American fighting spirit so you would leave with good feelings about the company and buy their cars. This is a company that needed your tax dollars to bail them out in the first place. Just keep that in mind.


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