Saturday, April 05, 2008

Absolut Trolling

Michelle Malkin has got herself into quite a frenzy over this ad. Let me quote the full title for her outrage: Absolut arrogance and the advertising agency behind the reconquista ad; Update: Absolut’s mealy-mouthed response. Fuck me - doesn't that really sound pompous?  

Fear of a Mexican Planet

It's not like the U.S. doesn't have real problems, with a 4000+ death toll in Iraq, a currency that's tanking, a economy based mostly around worthless mortgages, an overexploited working class, and a president who thinks torture is great (up to and including crushing child testicles, apparently). That doesn't bother Michelle Malkin and her wingnuteers one bit. It's mischievous advertising agencies in Mexico City that get them angry!

How do I explain this to an Aussie audience? Once upon a time, places like California and Texas were part of Mexico. In the 1800s, they taken over by the U.S., except for Texas which became independent and then was taken over by the U.S. Fast forward to 2008, where a a lot of Americans are frightened that Mexico will take it back. I have no idea why, but only if I assume reason, decency, half-decent education and a sense of proportion (qualities apparently absent from the readership of that blog). 

Here's how I think. There are 30 odd million "Hispanics" in the U.S. (as their Census defines) - and that's not just people from Mexico but also from Cuba, Guatemala and even as far south as Tierra del Fuego. However, my impression is that they left their countries for a better life in America - not for expanding their own countries' borders. Escaping to the U.S. and bringing their own country with them seems quite the contradiction. I really doubt that Mexicans-Americans want to swap the corruption of the Republicans for the more extreme corruption of the PRI, or have the high inequality of the U.S.A. replaced by the higher inequality of Mexico. But the way things are going, it looks like six of one against a half dozen of the other.

I found the whole saga funny, in a sad way. The sadness is that the only other person around here who would have really "got it" would have been my dad, and he passed away a few months ago. Wetbackophobia isn't a common malady in Brisbane, and certainly not in West End where I live; people are pretty cool with the Latin Americans in the community. The only "Mexicans" folk know in this area are New South Welshpeople up for the State of Origin.

On Balloon Juice (where I discovered this story), a commentator by the name of "r€nato" suggested regarding the right-wingers:

I have an idea for an Absolut ad which would (hopefully) give ‘em all aneurysms: A Photoshopped pic of Bush languishing in a jail cell after his war crimes trial, with the tag line: “Absolut Justice”.

You mean, something like this?1

Absolut Justice.

Ask and ye shall receive. It's not quite what you're looking for, but it will do. I don't think it will bother the mouth breathers that much, because they can't imagine Bush and cronies in the dock at the Hague. They will say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. 

The person I feel sorry for is Jeffrey Moran, Ad Executive at Absolut. As unwilling contact man, he's been getting a few nasty grams from the trogyldytes. If he's been deleting them unread - good for him! But I wonder how else he'll deal with this. My guess is that he'd create another ad. Michelle, this drink is on me.

Absolut Petulance.

[1] Acknowledgment goes to Billmon, who created the original picture. No URL for it, I'm afraid; he went off line at the end of 2006. God bless him wherever he is.