Sunday, April 21, 2024

A few mean-spirited takes on this ad.


This version cut out two parts that I am going to comment on anyway, because otherwise these takes wouldn't be as hateful as I want them to be:

First, in the original version, this guy says "I always dreamed of going to college," which instantly reminded me of a great line from the Rodney Dangerfield movie Back to School:

Thornton Melon:  "I used to dream about going to college."

Jason Melon:  "When do you dream about going to college?"

Thornton Melon:  "When I fell asleep in high school."

Second, and also in the original version, we hear his father say "this is a dream come true."  Yeah, I'm sure it's a very common dream of American men to see their son graduate from high school at the age of 38, after providing him with at least one grandchild.  

A third point- which is included in this version- features this guy saying that he decided he wanted to go back and get his High School Diploma because he didn't want to do manual labor jobs his entire life.  Um....I've got really bad news for you, buddy.  Unless you are a tech wiz, that piece of paper that says you completed High School is going to do absolutely NOTHING for your job prospects.  I'm very glad that you got your diploma because it sets a great example for your son (better late than never) and maybe you expanded your horizons a bit with that study, but if you think that this opens the door to a better-paying job....well, I hope they paid you appearing in this ad, anyway.  Because chances are most of the people around you at every job you've held since you became a legal adult had High School degrees and were being paid the same as you were.  I really hope you weren't expecting to show that paper in front of your boss tomorrow and get a raise.  

Again, I'm glad this guy got his High School diploma, but he isn't a role model and he isn't an inspiration- he had a chance to be those things, but decided to punt the twenty most productive years of his life instead, and choices have consequences.  Simply put, he's not getting those twenty years back.  The life lesson his kid should get from this is "dad's a great guy, he's worked his butt off to provide a roof over my head and food on the table, but I am NOT going to follow his path.  And I guess what I would really have liked to hear at the end of this ad is something like "I want to make sure my son doesn't think that this is a good plan, that he should not be dropping out of High School and having a family before he finishes his education because that's like strapping on a backpack full of cinder blocks before competing in the race of life.  I'm glad he's proud of me, I'm glad my dad is proud of me, but I'll be much happier if people see this ad and think 'yeah, to hell with that, I'm getting my High School Diploma when I'm in my late-teens, not my late-thirties, and I'm not dreaming of going to college, I'm GOING TO COLLEGE."

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