Monday, August 1, 2011
Emulate Goofus, Sneer at Gallant
When I first saw this commercial, I actually thought that the guy with the law books (they say "LAW" all over them, just in case we don't get it) was looking for the place to take the Bar Exam, and instead got talked into blowing it off and spending the day guzzling beer with a bunch of not-at-all-clever losers. I tried to imagine the hate that must exist in the jerks who could write such an ad (it's actually becoming easier all the time, since it's clear that being a hateful sociopath is a prerequisite for a career in advertising.)
On the second or third viewing, I realized that in fact, this guy is not living some updated version of the High School Nightmare, where the student is rushing around madly trying to find the room where he is supposed to be taking the Algebra Final. It's not quite THAT bad. Instead, he's trying to find a study group.
So he's not at the end of his Law School Career, ready to take the test which will allow him to get his law license. He's a student, willing to go the extra mile by joining a study session designed to help him better understand his subject, get good grades, and pass that Bar Exam when the time comes. Good for him!
Unfortunately, he's waylaid by knuckle-dragging, drifting, purposeless jackanapes who apparently think that all of this "studying" and "planning" and "ambition" crap is for the birds, and what life is really all about is the drinking. The only "Bar Exam" this guy has to worry about involves reading the labels on beer bottles. Like the Designated Weak Kid in any Horatio Alger novel, our patsy quickly abandons the lame idea of working with like-minded individuals in preparing for a lucrative career and fulfilling life in favor of an evening of guzzling crappy beer with total strangers. Total strangers who thought that printing up fliers reading "BAR EXAM STUDY GROUP" in order to trick earnest young law students into buying beer was somehow witty.
Total strangers which include hot girls willing to steal beers right out of his hands, apparently for no other purpose than to be able to utter the Again Not-At-All-Clever punchline "so sue me." On what planet is THIS funny? Is it a pick-up line- is the guy supposed to follow the girl back to her table (or her car) to get his beer- or a reasonable substitute- back? Is stealing a beer the modern equivalent of dropping a kerchief or signing a dance card? Or is this just another example of a Beautiful Woman Doing What Beautiful Women Get To Do?
The bottom line for advertisements like this seems to be the utter contempt that the writers have for things like studying, ambition, hard work, etc. All those things are well and good, as long as they don't interfere with the primary purpose in life, which is to drink beer, eat crap, and have fun. Whether it's breaking up the office routine with a "spontaneous" party ("Here We Go!") or interrupting a guy's plans to hit the law books, it's all about having a good time and letting work- and tomorrow- take care of itself. This guy wants to be a good student, so he can be a good lawyer- what a lame dork! What he really needs is a beer and sex with a girl whose idea of foreplay is to steal that beer.
And yet, the MSM continues to tell me that Americans are the hardest-working, most productive employees in the world. I really need to travel more.