Utterly Predictable

Over at the Daily Beast, Dean Obeidallah writes;

At this point, we shouldn’t be shocked by the intolerance of some towards immigrants and other cultures. But who could’ve predicted the outrage we saw over the Coca-Cola commercial that aired during last night’s Super Bowl?!

The commercial simply displayed the diversity of our great nation by showcasing people singing “America The Beautiful” in different languages—beginning in English and then Spanish before moving on to other languages. But it caused some to seriously freak out.

Who could have predicted it? Uhmmm, everyone? I was reading a book during the Super Bowl, with the game on, looking up every now and then. I heard the song come on, noticed the change in language, looked up, and thought, “Oh, the jingoists are going to have a field day with this one. Good on ya, Coca-Cola!”

Seriously, who would have expected anything less? And that’s what I liked about it–corporate America sticking a thumb in the eye of the petty right wing bigots because, hey, there’s a big ol’ market of non-white people out there, and we want to make money off them.”

Markets are awesome that way.

About J@m3z Aitch

J@m3z Aitch is a two-bit college professor who'd rather be canoeing.
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22 Responses to Utterly Predictable

  1. Troublesome Frog says:

    I missed that commercial, but it was an interesting thing to hear all the hubbub the day after having my familly come out to celebrate Tet with my wife and her family. Kind of a jarring transition. I take comfort in the fact that you can construct any narrative you want by looking for a theme in a half billion tweets per day.

    I’m always a little weirded out by the complaints about immigrants not learning English for a couple of reasons. First, it seems to be a complete non-issue: Most immigrants learn English and all of the next generation grow up speaking English. The idea that we’re all going to have to switch to Spanish or something is nuts. Second, a lot of the people I’ve known who complain loudest about it have come from areas where meeting a non-English speaker is pretty rare. Like they have trouble going about their day to day business because they meet somebody who speaks only Spanish once every ten months.

  2. lancifer666 says:

    I must admit I grumbled, “This is Amurica. Speak Americun ya damn ferunners!” when I saw that commercial.

    Of course I meant it as a ridiculous send up of xenophobic cretins.

    I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that there are enough actual xenophobic cretins in our fine land to make my mockery seem prophetic.

    Of course I have only read accounts of people being outraged by these idiots and haven’t seen any direct evidence of said cretins, since I pretty much stay away from media outlets that give voice to these nimrods. (Unlike Ed Brayton who seems to spend all day mucking about in these backwater fever swamps.)

  3. lancifer666 says:

    Troublesome Frog,

    I must confess that I can’t see the word Tet without subconsciously following it with the word offensive accompanied by that Tuk Tukta Tuk Tuk TUK!TUK! music from the PBS American Experience: Vietnam series.

  4. lancifer666 says:

    I think the sound is from bamboo poles, like the ones used in traditional Vietnamese bamboo pole dancing?

  5. Troublesome Frog says:

    My father had to send some photos and videos of the celebration to my uncle (one of two who fought in the war) chuckling, “Probably better than his memories of Tet.”

  6. Matty says:

    I made the mistake of actually trying to look up these criticisms and now my brain hurts. The most sensible (which is saying something) was that immigrants would see it and think it was a government message telling them not to bother learning English. The others ranged from “Furriners bad, duh” to “how dare they change the words of a song I know” and of course the chorus was “Blame Obama”, whose control over the Coca-Cola advertising department is legendary.

  7. Matty says:

    Or should that be mythical?

  8. J@m3z Aitch says:

    I like the suggestions that Coke miscalculated, didn’t anticipate the backlash. Are you kidding me? How many products advertised in the Super Bowl were still getting as much buzz in the days after?

    I think this brew-ha-ha is a classic case in the annals of “conservatives don’t really like markets.”

  9. Matty says:

    Well of course they don’t. Markets are far too unpredictable to mesh well with conservative values of social stability and respect for established institutions. I suspect they only ever claimed to be pro-market because the left broadly staked out an anti-market position.

  10. Troublesome Frog says:

    On the topic of conservatives and markets: Fox Freaks Out Over CVS Ending Sales of Tobacco.

    On Fox’s The Real Story, host Gretchen Carlson approached the CVS decision with suspicion and a remarkably uninformed premise, asking, “Is it OK legally … to restrict tobacco availability in a private store like this?” She questioned her guests as to whether they would continue shopping at CVS and observed that, “For people who smoke, you know, they have a right to buy cigarettes. It’s not illegal.”

    What won’t they come out in favor of?

  11. J@m3z Aitch says:


    T-Frog–really? She actually asked whether it was legal for a private firm to choose not to sell tobacco? Is that just drug stores, or can I sue my my local bookstore for not selling Skoal? When your desire to be so anti-their-ideology that you end up fundamentally denying your own, it’s pretty fucking bizarre, isn’t it?

  12. Troublesome Frog says:

    She’s just “asking questions” to get her audience thinking, right?

    I think we’re at the point where Obama could use straight-up Looney Tunes style reverse psychology to get the Republican noise machine to say whatever he wants them to. I’m pretty sure if Obama proposed the Ocular Penetration Restriction Act [NSFW], the Republicans would come back with a law making it mandatory instead.

  13. lancifer666 says:

    Gretchen Carlson, hmmm isn’t she one of the tools on the morning idiocy known asFox and Friends?

    Yep, I just Googled her. I guess she was. Now she has her own afternoon dumbfest The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson. She is the Fox News prototypical “Fembot”; former Miss America, former local news cutie, All-American blonde Christo-fascist.

    I once heard her go into a spit flecked tirade because Florida was going to allow a Festivus pole to be put on the State Capital grounds along with a manger scene. Oh, the outrage! Her children might have to see a pole MADE OF BEER CANS on the same grounds as the baby Jeebus!

    Occasionally I will switch over to Fox News to see what the old white Republican people in my life might be watching. Some, a very small portion, is tolerable. Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace is actually a fairly unbiased look at the Washington scene. Brit Hume is a traditional, anchor man, “hair cut” guy. He isn’t exceptionally insightful but neither is he a right wing loon.

    Bret Baier’s Special Report manages to infuse an air of “newsiness” to his show, while occasionally dishing out the right wing red meat in between actual news bites.

    Then there are the bland “info-tainment” people like Sheppard Smith and Greta Van Susteren.

    After that it’s all a cesspool of jabbering and screaming right wing morons.

  14. trumwill says:

    To be fair, Gretchen Carlson isn’t the only one with ideas on what pharmacies should be required to sell.

  15. Troublesome Frog says:

    Fox & Freinds is the source of my all-time favorite piece of talking head dumbassery. It encapsulates everything that’s wrong with how many people filter information. Any number of quick sanity checks should tell any reasonable adult that the story had to be nonsense, but a couchful of morons whose job is apparently to provide commentary that the rest of us couldn’t come up with bought it without batting an eyelash. Nobody anywhere in the newsroom said, “A billion dollars on jetpacks? Could somebody check that?” All probably because it fit with their favorite “governments are stupid” narrative.

  16. Matty says:

    Trumwill, I assume you are alluding to the arguments over whether pharmacists who have a religious objection to contraceptives can refuse to sell them. It isn’t something I’ve followed but the cases I’ve heard of all involved an employee of the pharmacy refusing to hand over a product they were employed to provide not owners declining to stock them. Do you have any cases of the later?

  17. Troublesome Frog says:

    Pharmacies should be able to refuse to sell whatever they want as long as when they turn you away, they only do it in English. Extra points for using ethnic slurs in the process. Anything else would be un-American.

  18. trumwill says:

    Matty, there are a couple of debates. But one of them definitely involved pharmacies themselves. Here’s an example of Guttmacher making that argument. A law in Washington state that applied to pharmacies (not just pharmacists) was struck down by the federal courts on religious grounds.

  19. AMW says:

    Here’s what I’d like to ask the knuckle draggers who got the vapors over that ad: what the hell could be more American than people of all cultures singing “America the Beautiful” in an effort to boost the profits of the Coca-Cola Corporation?

    For fuck’s sake…

  20. AMW says:

    Also, we know how seriously to take these people because some of them were outraged that Coke would disrespect our “national anthem” this way.

    For fucking fuck’s sake…

  21. J@m3z Aitch says:

    Whoo, coming from AMW that’s some really bawdy talk!

  22. AMW says:

    When in the bawdy house…

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