Thursday, June 04, 2009
What's YOUR secret?
There is a controversy brewing about a new ad for Bud Lite that is playing online only. It was quietly released back in February and has attracted little attention. I only saw it because it was submitted on Digg by one of my Digg contacts.
Twenty five years ago, the subject making our star so uncomfortable would not have been being outed as a secret porn enthusiast, but something else that people would not have wanted broadcast on the evening news.
Maybe being addicted to buying stuff on QVC, or pigging out on ice cream in the middle of the night, or even someone strait-laced who secretly watched MTV. Or on the more serious side, being discovered to be a bigamist, or an embezzler. Those sound positively lame by today's standards, but THAT is what makes this commercial so clever and funny, even for someone like me who is anti-porn: everyone resonates with the idea of having a secret, whether large or small, that they don't want exposed.
People only reveal their enthusiasm for the offbeat or socially unacceptable to others who will not be offended. Face it, that is why pedophiles hang out with other pedophiles. It's why certain kinds of Digg stories attract a certain kind of Digg reader. It's why there is a scandal when someone who professes to be upright turns out to be downright sleazy.
And Budweiser has discerned that the segment of the audience that would be offended enough to stop buying the product, is probably not buying the product in the first place.
But Belinda from Time Magazine is right, too, that it is a sad day that porn is so "normal" that it is no longer seen as abnormal. That nothing is wrong about indulging our most outrageous, and sometimes disgusting fantasies at the expense of our families, girlfriends, husbands, wives, children.
The comments on the article are actually even sadder than the article. They are, for the most part, criticizing the "uptight" people in the article who think this is not such a good trend.
It is not "uptight" to lament our collective loss of innocence. It has not been that long ago that you would have had to travel to the seedy part of town at night to obtain the magazines that were available in that convenience store. Or perhaps mail order them from a PO Box in New York City.
There are some places in the country where it is still that way. Sometimes, I wish I lived in one of them.