Really? Honestly? Kidding me?
These are the only things that have come to mind in the wake of the ridiculous over-reaction, and over-analysis of Kendall Jenner’s Pepsi ad. I caught it—with dramatic buildup from CNN’s drama-queen deluxe, Don Lemon, Tuesday night.
I was braced for the worst. What did I see? Miss Jenner—who I wouldn’t recognize walking down the street, unless somebody was holding a sign over her head with her name on it.
She is seen drifting through a bunch of pristine, model-worthy protesters made up of various genders, colors, religions (a smiling woman in traditional Muslim garb is issue-placed, photographing the event.)
Kendall appears to be having some sort of internal activist struggle involving a blonde wig and her commitment to the cause—whatever the cause is. Finally, holding a can of Pepsi, Miss Jenner approaches a stern-looking policeman, and hands him her soft drink. Happy protesters dance and cheer. The End.
The CNN panel was, of course, horror-struck. OMG—it was trivializing Black Lives Matter and other important protest groups. Miss Kendall was not fit to place herself in such an ad. A pox on her, and Pepsi.
Well, I didn’t even think of Black Lives Matter, or any other particular group. It seemed very amorphous, insipid, hippie-ish, and it was an ad for soda! Since when is it new to trivialize, capitalize, sentimentalize or make money out of serious real life situations? Coke urged the world to sing and everybody join hands. Was that an insult to those to wanted peace on earth and general civility?
Was Natalie Portman ever the wife of a slain president? Was Bradley Cooper a military sniper? Was “Flying Nun” and “Gidget” actress Sally Field ever a poor, gritty factory worker for heaven’s sake?!
This is an absurd reaction to the perceived (not incorrect) superficiality of Miss Jenner’s image and her flamboyant family. It is also fake outrage and hyper-sensitivity at its most annoying—like college students wanting “safe places” from opinions they don’t share.
We live in a world where innocent women and children are the ho-hum collateral damage of battle in the Middle East; a world where hundreds of gay men are arrested, tortured and killed in Russia. But Kendall Jenner and Pepsi are monsters. The ad has been pulled. Apocalypse avoided.
Now, a commercial that does annoy me is the new Volkswagen spot. Here, a young couple are shown having sex in a variety of cars (we see the vehicle shaking, with fogged-up windows). Each time they do it, they have another baby and get a bigger car. I think it ends with five children.
Not only is it a bit tasteless (can’t these people get a room?) But it totally ignores the very real issue of earth’s overpopulation as well as cash-poor American states such as Louisiana, New Mexico, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, etc. (Are the down-and-out residents of these states thinking, yeah, let’s get a brand new car, every time we make a brand new baby—no problem.) I’d love to know who—other than Volkswagen–is sponsoring this paean to endless, cheery, childbearing? This, in a U.S. where middle-class families struggle to prosper, even with both parents working full-time.
And the ad was surely conceived by a man. After multiple back-to-back births the woman still looks trim and energetic. The husband has grown some stylish facial hair.
Let’s see Don Lemon and CNN do a six-panel 45-minute segment on that.