Wow! I never expected that my comments on the Geico cavemen ads (in the post below) would stir up so much controversy. I feel like I’ve spent the last few days doing nothing but reading and posting the nearly 90 comments on it. Which demonstrates two things: the best ads are like Rorshachs in which people read into and project upon a popular ad their own visions of themselves and the world. I think you could construct a portrait of America from reading the Geico post Comment thread, and maybe, at some point I will.
One thing I find interesting is the few people (in the comments) who just don’t get that things like tv ads can be culturally significant indicators. Obviously too occupied with their serious cultural endeavors (reading Homer in the original Greek I’m sure) they’re don’t seem to understand that tv ads not only are more interesting than most of the shows that surround them, but they often are more revealing and illuminating about the culture we live in than any number of academic sociological studies.
I also love the people who disdain analysis of popular culture because evidently they’re too busy making invaluable contributions to the betterment of humanity when not reading Dante and Milton. But not too busy to read a blog post on tv ads and the comments and to tell us how much more significant their lives are than the other commenters. I’m honored that such deeply serious people read this blog.
Meanwhile on to truly, deeply serious matters: the Superbowl. Here I find myself torn on two level: the football level and the friendship level.
Those who have been following my peerless picks know that in the playoff games I am now 5-5 against The Spread which means that everything (well, not that much) is riding on my choice for Sunday which sees Indianapolis favored by 7 points.
I’m torn because I just don’t understand Peyton Manning. What’s up with this dude in big games? I can see the Miami contest becoming a nightmare of interceptions and sacks and Chicago at the very least beating the spread, probably taking it all. And I’d like to bet on Chicago because I’m heading out there in late March for a ten week writer-in-residence stint at the University of Chicago (don’t hesitate to use the comments to invite me to your parties, Chicagoans!) and don’t want to incur bad karma.
On the other hand I have a penchant for rooting for troubled heroes rising to the occasion and Manning certainly qualifies. It would be a feel-good story, wouldn’t it? The Superbowl like the Geico ad is a Rorschach. The deciding factor for me I guess will be a tip of the hat to my best friend from high school Rich Molyneux who lived a good part of his life in Indianapolis and suffered many years for/with the Colts and who I’d like to see get a smile out of the occasion.
So here’s my pick: take the Colts giving 7 points or whatever the Almighty Line decrees.