Sunday, January 31, 2010
My Super Bowl issue ad
Tim Tebow, former Heisman Trophy winner and star QB of the Florida Wading Birds, will appear in a "pro-life" ad during the Super Bowl along with his mother. Oops, I meant Gators. Wrong Everglades predator. Anyone could make that mistake. Anyway, they're going to tell their story about how Tim's mommy decided not to abort his high-risk pregnancy, and now he's a star football player! Which isn't something I can argue with. Dead babies are like white running backs: there's no way they'll even get a realistic shot at a Heisman.
Tim and his mom will tell the women of America their story, and remind them that they too WILL GO TO HELL IF THEY CONSIDER ABORTION. I haven't seen the ad--I'd imagine it's non-judgmental in the way that my roommate Rob is non-judgmental when he states that gay people are "immoral" and "indecent." But he doesn't hate them or dislike them or judge them! Heavens, no. Hatred is repugnant. Almost as repugnant as gay people.
Still, at least with this decision CBS is declaring open season. If an odd self-righteous ad about MURDERING BABIES BURN BURN BURN in the middle of a bunch of fun and goofy ads is okay for Jesus, then it has to be okay for everyone else! I'm of the opinion that speech ought to compete. If you have an idea or a belief, you should be prepared to defend it in public. "Oh well, this is just my personal belief," is bullshit. Faith means you don't ask questions. It doesn't mean you don't have to answer them.
CBS threw down the gauntlet of free speech when they inexplicably reversed their "no issue ads" stance for this particular ad, announcing it soon enough before the Super Bowl that no other groups could put together a competing ad or make a buy in time. Props to them! So in the spirit of intellectual honesty and open dialogue, here's my concept for an ad that might transmit my personal beliefs and values to the rest of the country. I think they can learn from my faith and by my example.
We open with a shot of an angry "tea party" protest. Piano music plays slowly in a minor key.
Voice Over 1: In Obama's America, are we headed in the right direction?
Fade to Haitian children picking through rubble.
Voice Over 2 (female): In difficult times, we often struggle to see things clearly.
Fade to the burning World Trade Center.
Voice Over 3 (black): We lose track of what's important.
Fade to Samuel L. Jackson alone in front of a mottled gray backdrop. The entire background is out of focus so nobody can tell it's a dropcloth with gray paint spackled all over it.
Jackson: Don't you wish you felt a little more certainty? In times like these, many of us don't where our next paycheck is coming from. Who's going to buy the groceries? What happens if we get sick?
Cut to a crying child. Children cry all the time, so this shouldn't be too hard to get. Can use stock footage if necessary.
Jackson V.O.: It doesn't have to be this way. There is an answer. What do sailors do when they're lost at sea?
Fade back to Jackson.
Jackson V.O.: They look...to the North.
Cut to old-timey images of Norse mythology.
Jackson V.O.: Nothing embodies the American spirit like the beliefs of our--(chuckles)--your Viking ancestors!
Cut to devastated post-Katrina New Orleans. The words "The American Spirit" fade into the center of the frame.
Jackson V.O.: When the great progenitor Ymir was murdered by his own offspring, his blood flooded the world. Countless jotunn were drowned. But the survivors rebuilt! They rebuilt in the exact same way the people of New Orleans did after George Bush destroyed their city with black sorcery.
Cut to bombed-out Baghdad. People are scurrying amongst the rubble and soldiers are making their way through. The word "War" fades into the frame. Fade to a somber shot of flag-draped coffins on a military plane.
Jackson V.O.: Why mourn the dead? In the Norse belief system, you won't have to. They aren't mourned; they're celebrated. Valhalla lacks the self-righteous judgment of Heaven. We're not about how you lived; we're all about how you die! These brave soldiers sup and drink in the hall of the mighty Odin! We should all be so lucky.
Back to Sam. Now he's sitting on a bench in a bright sunlit park. Two adorable children of different ethnicities sit on either side of him. He puts his arms around them and smiles for the camera.
Jackson V.O.: Best of all, when you take up a Norse lifestyle you gain perspective. Perspective on what's really important in life. (Smiles at the children, who smile back.) Because the Eddas tell us that in the final battle at Ragnarok, the elder god Surtr will slay the fertility god Freyr with his flaming sword. And the fires of Surtr will incinerate the Earth after the Doom of the Gods. This lets us rest secure in the knowledge that all our actions and progeny are, fundamentally, meaningless.
Sam stands up from the park bench and begins to walk slowly towards the camera. The ethnic children stand as well. They take his hands as he advances.
Jackson V.O.: Across the sundered span of Bifrost, Asgard lies deserted. The skies of the Earth are a noxious fume. Not because of man-made pollution; oh, no. Because Jormungand, the serpent son of Loki, rose from the ocean and poisoned the sky. After killing Jormungand, Thor will take nine steps and fall dead from the venom. Our world will be ruined and everything we do rendered a cruel joke, because of what? A serpent. A snake.
Zoom in for a tight shot on Sam. His face is a mask of fury. The kids are out of the shot so everyone's forgotten about them already.
Jackson V.O.: Motherfucking snakes.
Cut to black. END