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'Halftime in America'
February 6, 2012 3:22 PM   Subscribe

Clint Eastwood: "'This country can’t be knocked out with one punch. We get right back up again, and when we do the world is going to hear the roar of our engines.' The [Super Bowl] commercial, 'Halftime in America,' didn’t reveal its sponsor until the final seconds, when Chrysler logos appeared briefly, but it has already become a classic, and perhaps inevitably in this election year, a political football.*
"'I was, frankly, offended by it,' said Karl Rove, strategist behind President George W. Bush’s two presidential campaigns, told Fox News this morning. 'I'm a huge fan of Clint Eastwood, I thought it was an extremely well-done ad, but it is a sign of what happens when you have Chicago-style politics, and the president of the United States and his political minions are, in essence, using our tax dollars to buy corporate advertising.'" The opposing team, of course, had an opposing view. 'Powerful spot. Did Clint shoot that, or just narrate it?' David Axelrod, a former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, wrote on Twitter.*
posted by ericb (184 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yeah dog...1.3 billion dollar loss! Wooooooo HALF TIME!
posted by spicynuts at 3:24 PM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I thought it was an ad for the new Batman and that it was just heavy on the product placement.
posted by 2bucksplus at 3:24 PM on February 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


"Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne insisted the spot is not pro-Obama.

'It has zero political content,' Marchionne told Detroit’s WJR radio. 'We are as apolitical as you can make us.'

He said it was a tribute to Chrysler employees and resonated 'because it says something…about the resilience of America.'"*

"Eastwood, for his part, told Fox News producer Ron Mitchell, 'There is no spin in that ad. On this I am certain. l am certainly not politically affiliated with Mr. Obama. It was meant to be a message about just about job growth and the spirit of America. I think all politicians will agree with it. I thought the spirit was OK.'"*
posted by ericb at 3:24 PM on February 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


I hated that commercial. Mostly because Clint Eastwood isn't from Detroit. I don't give a damn what he thinks about the city. I wish they had some random narrator or someone actually associated with the city.

"'This country can’t be knocked out with one punch. We get right back up again, and when we do the world is going to hear the roar of our engines.'

Also, this line made me laugh out loud. The whole ad was just way too melodramatic.
posted by nooneyouknow at 3:26 PM on February 6, 2012 [13 favorites]


I don't know, I'm pretty liberal, and I thought it was weird (just like I thought last year's Eminem spot was kind of weird). This is a company that's the subject of massive federal largesse, and they're telling us how to "get right back up again"?

I don't know. I used to work for a Detroit automaker, in PR, and I've seen the flip side of this "get up off the mat" sentiment - it's that you become so convinced of the righteousness of your cause that you end up relying solely on the cause itself and not, you know, actually manufacturing cars people want to own.
posted by downing street memo at 3:27 PM on February 6, 2012 [33 favorites]


I really liked it. And I, too, thought it echoed what I heard the President say in his State of the Union address, which was also a campaign kickoff speech in many respects.

But, it seems to me it is a powerful message because it is true. We suffered a serious recession and due not a little to the efforts of ths administration -- including saving two of our major auto companies from failure -- we are at half time and things appear to be (slowly) turning around.
posted by bearwife at 3:28 PM on February 6, 2012 [11 favorites]


To be a devil's advocate for a moment (*shudder* I don't know why I'm doing this) but the US currently owns a not-inconsiderable amount of Chrysler, and the President lead one of his themes in his SOTU address with the auto industry's ability to come back. So, I might be able to see where the Fox News crowd has garnered these suspicions.
posted by thanotopsis at 3:28 PM on February 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Eminem did it better.
posted by Apocryphon at 3:28 PM on February 6, 2012 [11 favorites]


"The ironic thing about the small-scale brouhaha is that Eastwood is a Republican who opposed the bailout of the industry. (The Chrysler ad never mentions Washington’s capital injection at all, which annoyed some Democrats.) Asked about his presidential leanings last week at an event, Eastwood only allowed some fondness for Ron Paul, saying the libertarian was 'as good as anybody else' in the race."*
posted by ericb at 3:28 PM on February 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


Karl Rove was offended? Oh noes!
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:29 PM on February 6, 2012 [22 favorites]


Oh hey did you catch the part where they used footage from the Wisconsin protests but digitally replaced the union signs with other images?

Which is kind of ironic given the unfulfilled promises that Chrysler has made to the UAW.

Good times, good times.
posted by Madamina at 3:29 PM on February 6, 2012 [27 favorites]


Also, that spot was at least $10 million. You're telling me that there's no use for that money elsewhere in that company?
posted by downing street memo at 3:31 PM on February 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Those first two lines make me wonder if perhaps vast portions of the country are suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
posted by Dark Messiah at 3:31 PM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


So what its saying is, the 99% and the 1% are all working together to make it work better and keep working and so on. Strangely, you dont see many of the 1% actually visibly featuring in that ad. Well, they did all the conceptual work on it I guess.
posted by memebake at 3:32 PM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


The surest sign that America is in terminal decline is the appearance of advertising insisting that it's not.
posted by Trurl at 3:35 PM on February 6, 2012 [78 favorites]


You could have put the name of any current political candidate (including the crazy guy who wants to give us all a pony) at the end of that ad. It was so generic "ra ra, America fuck yeah" that it could have been for anyone.

Republicans, of course, are better able to plug imaginary boogiemen into situations, so its only natural that they spent the whole ad going "OBAMA IS TRYING TO WIN THE INNOCENT MINDS OF FOOTBALL FANS" instead of waiting for the end and seeing that it was just Chrysler trying to sell us their shitty cars.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:36 PM on February 6, 2012 [8 favorites]


downing street memo: "Also, that spot was at least $10 million. You're telling me that there's no use for that money elsewhere in that company?"

Well, it's pep-rally advertising or executive bonuses.

I'm kidding, of course. It's actually both.
posted by Drastic at 3:37 PM on February 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


Watched this last night on Hulu. Yeah, the Eminem ad was much better. The Eminem ad was more about Detroit than this one, like the shots of the Fox Theater.

'It has zero political content,'

Not to be crass, but he's a fucking liar.

watch the video again at this point, there's a very real reference to a Fox-news like channel and Occupy-style protests.

The ad is proposing the way forward isn't via those methods, but only via more work. That's what will save America, the workers working more.

As a corporation, I'm sure Chrysler loves that message.

Can't think of anything more anti-Detroit then that really.

The Eminen ad had shots of Diego Rivera murals, icons of worker politics and solidarity. This one is just telling us to work harder.
posted by formless at 3:38 PM on February 6, 2012 [14 favorites]


"''I was, frankly, offended by it,' said Karl Rove"

Oh, if only we could see more things that offend Karl Rove.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 3:38 PM on February 6, 2012 [21 favorites]


Was a bit shocked this morning to learn that the spot was directed by David Gordon Green and co-copywritten by poet Matthew Dickman.
posted by NolanRyanHatesMatches at 3:39 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Proposal for a parody: A reenactment of this commercial with Adam Jensen from Deus Ex: Human Revolution narrating, and the scenes replaced by footage from that game.
posted by Apocryphon at 3:39 PM on February 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


'This country can’t be knocked out with one punch. We get right back up again, and when we do the world is going to hear the roar of our engines
For your sakes I hope they'll be loud enough to drown out the sniggering.
posted by fullerine at 3:40 PM on February 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


That's what will save America, the workers working more.

yeah thats what I was getting at
posted by memebake at 3:41 PM on February 6, 2012


Eastwood's rep, Leonard Hirshan:
"I think that Rove and everybody, if they're sensible, would wonder why a longtime Republican and Libertarian would do that. Just think about that, how silly that is: It's not like [the ad] was done by a left-winger, like Paul Newman in his day. It was done by a Republican, and he was doing it about America. There's not anything political to do with it whatsoever. I don't want him to do commercials, and as far as I'm concerned, it's a PSA [public service announcement]. Period. It saddens me personally how every little thing is twisted to satisfy or dissatisfy one side of the spectrum. Clint Eastwood is more libertarian than Republican, but he is a Republican. But he’s also very independent: He personifies America, in terms of wanting it to be what it’s supposed to be, and not just following somebody’s policy. He thinks for himself."
posted by ericb at 3:41 PM on February 6, 2012 [10 favorites]


The GE commercial was similarly annoying. "America is awesome! We didn't even pay any tax last year! But hey, we make turbines that, among very many other things, make electricity for beer."
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 3:42 PM on February 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


I loved the ad. It's the most stirringly patriotic commercial ever made by a foreign company. God Bless Fiat!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:42 PM on February 6, 2012 [30 favorites]


I'm a huge fan of Clint Eastwood, I thought it was an extremely well-done ad, but it is a sign of what happens when you have Chicago-style politics, and the president of the United States and his political minions are, in essence, using our tax dollars to buy corporate advertising.'
Yes, corporations which receive tax dollars (for example, oil companies) can turn around and spend that money on campaign ads, if they want to. Corporations are people and money is speech. If Rove is offended by this, I hope he's lobbying for a constitutional amendment to fix either equivalency.
posted by muddgirl at 3:43 PM on February 6, 2012 [19 favorites]


the president of the United States and his political minions are, in essence, using our tax dollars to buy corporate advertising

I was under the impression that the U.S. had divested itself of its stake in Chrysler, which is now a subsidiary of Fiat. Does the government still own any part of it?
posted by jedicus at 3:43 PM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


would wonder why a longtime Republican and Libertarian would do that.

Because you're paying him? Come on free market!
posted by ODiV at 3:44 PM on February 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Did not know Clint Eastwood was in Chumbawumba. Fascinating.
posted by drjimmy11 at 3:45 PM on February 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


Whenever Chrysler uses their new "Imported from Detroit" tagline, for a brief second I imagine Detroit broke off from the U.S. as some kind of Escape from New York-style penal colony.

In 2008, the crime rate in the United States rises four hundred percent. The once great city of Detroit becomes the one maximum security prison for the entire country. A fifty-foot containment wall is erected along from Dearborn to Grosse Point, across the Detroit River, and down along the Lake St. Clair shoreline. It completely surrounds the old city. All bridges and waterways are mined. The United States Police Force, like an army, is encamped around the island. There are no guards inside the prison, only prisoners and the cars they have made. The rules are simple: once you go in, you make oversized, unpopular vehicles...The new 300, A-Number One.

Oh god how long have I been sleeping?
posted by 2bucksplus at 3:45 PM on February 6, 2012 [22 favorites]


"Halftime in America" - Do Americans really need another cue to get up and get some snacks?
posted by H. Roark at 3:45 PM on February 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Strangely, you dont see many of the 1% actually visibly featuring in that ad.

Other than Clint Eastwood, of course.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:48 PM on February 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Does the government still own any part of it?

Nope.

Owner(s):
Fiat S.p.A. (58.5%)
United Auto Workers (41.5%)

Don't expect Karl's observations to be reality-based!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:49 PM on February 6, 2012 [11 favorites]


Tangentially on the topic of America Fuck Yeah advertisement stylings, I was most amused by the Act of Valor commercials. It's an action war movie like no other because oh my god you guys, it totally stars ACTIVE DUTY SEALS! I'm sure they're fine actors, but I still bet they're not as entertaining as Captain America's USO shows, though.

Also the whole getting back up after a punch and hearing the roar of our engines is making me picture a boxer getting clobbered, hopping back up to his feet, and making "Vroom! Vroom!" noises. Which I admit would probably rattle and confuse his opponent.
posted by Drastic at 3:49 PM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was under the impression that the U.S. had divested itself of its stake in Chrysler, which is now a subsidiary of Fiat. Does the government still own any part of it?

January 5, 2012:
"Italy's Fiat SpA has raised its stake in Chrysler Group LLC by 5 percent to 58.5 percent, meeting a final target set by the U.S. government as the two groups move closer to creating one of the world's leading auto makers.

Fiat has managed Chrysler since a 2009 bailout deal with the U.S. government when it paid around $2 billion for its majority stake and agreed a number of conditions to be met before a full merger could take place.

Sergio Marchionne, CEO of both groups, has made Fiat one of Europe's top turnaround stories and wants to elevate the company to a global player through Chrysler.

'The acquisition of a further 5 percent of Chrysler is a fundamental step in completion of the integration between our two groups,' Marchionne said in a statement on Thursday.

Chrysler and Fiat said they had formally committed to the U.S. Treasury Department to produce the 2013 Dodge Dart sedan at a Chrysler plant in Illinois, the final performance event agreed with Washington in 2009.

That commitment, along with proving late last month to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that the new Dart can achieve an unadjusted combined fuel economy of 40 miles per gallon, triggered the 5 percent ownership increase.

The remaining 41.5 percent ownership of Chrysler remains with a healthcare trust, called VEBA, affiliated with the United Auto Workers union.

Marchionne told Reuters in December it was possible Chrysler would have an initial public stock offering in 2013 as the UAW seeks to cash out or reduce its shareholdings.

... Chrysler has become Fiat's chief source of strength this year, comprising two-thirds of Fiat's third-quarter profit. In December Chrysler's U.S. sales increased by 37 percent on the month and by 26 percent year-on-year.

... In the last year, Fiat increased its share in Chrysler five times. Each increase was achieved after meeting requirements set up in its agreement with the U.S. Treasury in 2009, including reaching $1.5 billion in Chrysler vehicle sales outside the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Chrysler also paid back loans from the U.S. and Canadian governments six years early and exercised options to increase ownership."
posted by ericb at 3:49 PM on February 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


I just love how "Chicago-Style Politics" has become a dogwhistle over the past couple of years.
posted by verb at 3:49 PM on February 6, 2012 [18 favorites]


I'm conflicted by the advertisement. On the one hand, the Chrysler ad last year did a lot to change the media narrative around the city of Detroit. However, too much of this pseudopatriotic nonsense risk whitewashing the city's problems, which have only increased at an increasing rate.

Yes, the auto industry is coming back and they are hiring new workers. But Detroit's problems continue unabated: more streetlights out every day. More people are being kicked off unemployment or state assistance at precisely the wrong time. Police precincts closed between 4pm and 8am. Most of the libraries are under threat of closing. These problems, which I see in more and more cities nationwide, risk being swept under the rug of jingoism (not the correct word, but I'm not sure which one to use to describe the tone of that ad).
posted by wikipedia brown boy detective at 3:50 PM on February 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Seems like the ad was a success. Tons of people during the SB, and now this (this including this thread).
posted by rosswald at 3:51 PM on February 6, 2012


It was a butch variant of "WORLD PEACE" spelled out in sparklers.
posted by Trurl at 3:52 PM on February 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Ah, so its like 'Its half-time America, and we sold the other half to Fiat, so the second half is going to be soccer'.
posted by memebake at 3:52 PM on February 6, 2012 [33 favorites]


I watched the Super Bowl at my Lodge, where there is a high proportion of conservative types, mixed in with a smaller cross-section of progressives and liberals. NONE of us thought the ad was political at all, but we all agreed that the Eminem one made a lot more sense because Clint Eastwood isn't from Detroit. Duh.
posted by Curious Artificer at 3:54 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


The surest sign that America is in terminal decline is the appearance of advertising insisting that it's not.

Some days, I feel like we're in some crazy, jingoistic mirror world of the 1980s, with Obama playing the part of Reagan, and Clint Eastwood doing his best Lee Iacocca impression. Maybe Mr. Mxyzptlk is going to pop out of the bushes, at some point.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:54 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


The following commercial featured a fat guy sitting in a tub full of gold coins that he won in a NFL contest. This, to me, is more patriotic.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 3:55 PM on February 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


Speaking of offensive Super Bowl ads..
posted by wikipedia brown boy detective at 3:55 PM on February 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


fullerine: 'This country can’t be knocked out with one punch. We get right back up again, and when we do the world is going to hear the roar of our engines

Roar of our engines? I'm all for a quiet revolution, one of hybrid engines and electric vehicles. The price of gas is now a weekly news story. Will the price drop? Will it raise? If so/if not, why? I thought we were supposed to be more efficient. Roaring engines speak of macho posturing. Bring on the new technology. (But it was a car commercial during the Super Bowl! Of course it's about macho bullshit!)


verb: I just love how "Chicago-Style Politics" has become a dogwhistle over the past couple of years.

I'm sure you caught this, but it's "sly" short-hand for Obama, along with the mess of Blagojevich.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:56 PM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't think Karl Rove has bones. Like no literal bones in his body. It's all rubbery cartilage or something, I bet you pushed your palm on his face it would just sink in without yielding, and when you took it out his features wobble back into place like a memory foam mattress.
posted by The Whelk at 3:57 PM on February 6, 2012 [32 favorites]


Was I the only one that thought the ad should have stopped at the "roar of our engines" line? It's a powerful phrasing, and Clint delivered it great.

But then they tacked on the "Yeah, it's halftime, America." Which made Clint suddenly sound like his character from A Perfect World. "Yeah, it's halftime, America. And I like tater tots."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:57 PM on February 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Was it a pro-Obama ad?

1) Well, the basic content of the ad was a proclamation of optimism under duress.
2) Political conventional wisdom these days ties electoral performance directly to economic performance. The question is not, "is this man a good leader?"; it's "are you better off now than you were four years ago?"
3) Therefore, statements of economic optimism are by necessity pro-Obama.

For all the machinations, American politics these days seems mostly to be a game of hoping that things stay bad enough long enough to get your guy in, upon which an expeditious miracle recovery is called for. Stop throwing a wrench in the works, Eastwood.
posted by bicyclefish at 3:57 PM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Therefore, statements of economic optimism are by necessity pro-Obama.

Jobless Rate Falls to 8.3%, Altering Face of Campaign

The burst of job growth in January gives President Obama a fresh — but tricky — opportunity to revise the grim economic narrative of his presidency while offering Mitt Romney a choice: embrace a new optimism or campaign against a sinking economy even as it shows signs of turning around.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:59 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]



Republicans, of course, are better able to plug imaginary boogiemen into situations, so its only natural that they spent the whole ad going "OBAMA IS TRYING TO WIN THE INNOCENT MINDS OF FOOTBALL FANS" instead of waiting for the end and seeing that it was just Chrysler trying to sell us their shitty cars.


Republicans were busy paying for a bullshit misleading anti-union ad to show during the game.
posted by inigo2 at 4:00 PM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


very real reference to a Fox-news like channel and Occupy-style protests.

You mean the reference to an MSNBC-like channel and Tea-Party-style protests?
posted by Aquaman at 4:00 PM on February 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


Just to give you guys a bit better sense of where I'm coming from - where I worked, every senior figure I met - engineers, designers, marketers, PR people, everyone - was convinced that the company's problem wasn't subpar vehicles. Rather, they thought that consumers were just dumb, and if they got the marketing and message juuuuusst right, that everyone would realize what they were missing.

They truly believed that consumers, rather than looking at a Toyota, seeing the better gas mileage, greater reliability, and stronger attention to detail and deciding to buy it, were instead fools buying into a narrative (i.e., buy a Prius, save the earth) and that if they could just match the narrative, everything would be gravy. It's that kind of thinking that's the genesis of ads like these.

It's the same thing with the never-ending "comebacks", like the one we're in the midst of now (the previous one was in 2007 and, I think the one before that was 2003 or so. Do a Lexis, you'll see). They're all PR-driven narratives, designed for the cover of BusinessWeek, not reality. A few plants add some shifts and the bullshit goes into overdrive.

I don't know. I generally like my cities blue-collar and unassuming and as such I like Detroit a lot. My girlfriend's from there and I've spent a lot of time around the city, both for work and with her family. But so much effort is spent on "we're coming back, you'll see" narratives; where's the investment in production capacity? How about designing a car that gets the little things right, where nothing feels cheap and plastic? How about putting out a bona fide, well-made small car, instead of making pieces of shit, then ghettoizing them by targeting at recent grads?

So much heat, so little light. When you think about it, a pretty apt summary of America in general.
posted by downing street memo at 4:03 PM on February 6, 2012 [36 favorites]


Yeah I don't really get it. I watched the ad with my family, almost all of whom are quite conservative and quite good at picking up on the dog-whistle stuff, and none of them raised an eyebrow at it. Not a one. In fact, most of them liked it. (Though it was noted for seeming to lay it on a bit thick, but SB ads do tend to do that.)

The "controversy" seems to mostly have been manufactured by Rove. Keep in mind that Rove isn't a political advisor, at least not that I know of, anymore -- he's a talking head / celebrity-wannabe. That means he has to keep himself in the news with some amount of regularity. If there isn't some sort of opportunity for him to jump in and excoriate Obama, then he must manufacture one. Going after the Chrysler ad seems to be that.

Rationally, why would Chrysler even want to run a political ad? There's a huge downside to that, and very little upside. If they want to say "thank you" for the bailout bucks, they can more easily do that with contributions to a super-PAC come election season... buying a SB ad and running a vaguely pro-Obama spot, narrated by a conservative icon (whether he's Libertarian or Republican, most conservatives have a hardon for Eastwood that would make Dan Savage blush) doesn't make the tiniest bit of sense.
posted by Kadin2048 at 4:04 PM on February 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Thirty years ago it was morning in America, now it's half-time in America and I still haven't got to my lunch-break in America. When is all the breaking and fixing of America going to be finished so I can get to quitting time in America?
posted by kuujjuarapik at 4:05 PM on February 6, 2012 [11 favorites]


Hey, real good to know that things are going so swimmingly now for "Detroit". Thanks for that, Clint! And you know, why, I'll just betcha Michael Moore even got that meeting with Roger that he was looking for.

ROAR, engines, ROAR!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:07 PM on February 6, 2012


Republican strategists, and thus the rank and file via Fox News, hate the ad because it makes the auto industry look strong. And everyone remembers how that industry was supposed to be hung out to dry were it not for those meddling Blah people in the White House.

Democratic strategists, and some of the democrat rank and file via... I dunno... their brains? DKos?, love the ad because it refers to the auto industry that they bailed out. You know, the bail out the Right Wing has been tarring them with. Not such an effective attack now.

Liberals paying attention, and with their minds on a Le Carre kick, will see and FUCKING HATE the linguistic infiltration and bullshit emanating from certain parts of that ad. As specifically mentioned, the "only more work and The Big Crunch will help you know peasants!" is the most obvious.
posted by Slackermagee at 4:08 PM on February 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


*now, I meant to say now
posted by Slackermagee at 4:09 PM on February 6, 2012


Thirty years ago it was morning in America....

How is that ad so nostalgic and horrifyingly creeptastic at the same time?
posted by New England Cultist at 4:11 PM on February 6, 2012


Auto industry profits are always going up, every year, all the problems in the industry are caused by subversive spies who are jealous of our mighty industry, so powerful is our industry that every works gives 400% all the time and never need to take breaks or be paid, they are just that good. Everyone in America owns five or nine cars, because they love them so much, because just touching one gives you a perfect, all day orgasm while sliming your troublesome belly area.
posted by The Whelk at 4:15 PM on February 6, 2012


verb: I just love how "Chicago-Style Politics" has become a dogwhistle over the past couple of years.

I'm sure you caught this, but it's "sly" short-hand for Obama, along with the mess of Blagojevich.


I can't help but wonder if the vast majority of Americans, like me, see "Chicago Style" and think "mmmm...hotdogs." Or possibly pizza. Most other states know very little about Chicago aside from sports, and maybe vague ideas that Al Capone hung out there.
posted by emjaybee at 4:15 PM on February 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


Clint Eastwood is one of the smartest people making movies today, and his movies are absolutely politically motivated, all the way clear back to The Unforgiven. He's the incovenient Republican, a reminder that the GOP is the party of MLK and Eisenhower and Teddy, of honorable and capable and intelligent folk... of course Carl Rove hates him.

Eastwood knew damn well what he was doing when he made that commercial. He wasn't supporting Obama. Obama's a Democrat. He was condemning the Republicans. He was taking his own to the woodshed for failing Eastwood's strong moral principles, for failing the cause of true conservatism, and for failing America when she needed them the most.

Because if Eastwood is voting for the other guy, you're not a real Republican, and you never were.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:17 PM on February 6, 2012 [24 favorites]


Maybe Rove should read this, which was written by a filthy goddamn euro-commie on a completely unrelated topic, but is true nonetheless.

...but no, of course not. It doesn't "test well".
posted by aramaic at 4:18 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


halftime in America

Get used to having half of what you used to have.
posted by Twang at 4:19 PM on February 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


I only got to see it on YT, but I can see how it could easily be seen as quite political. Sure, it was laid on pretty thick. But it seems only a dullard could fail to make any connections with politics. Not only is it a govt bailout success story ad, the idea of "halftime" surely has some resonance with the election, even if it's just coincidental.
posted by 2N2222 at 4:22 PM on February 6, 2012


Halftime in America? That's means we only have one more quarter before Tebow will come and save us all.
posted by drezdn at 4:22 PM on February 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


'This country can’t be knocked out with one punch. We get right back up again, and when we do the world is going to hear the roar of our engines.'

So. The capacity to be knocked out, but not easily... and engines.

America's a cyborg? Or I guess maybe some kind of robot that's developed consciousness. That's something to be proud of.
posted by emmtee at 4:23 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wake me when it's cocktail hour in America.
posted by The Whelk at 4:24 PM on February 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


Or at the very least smoke and coffee break in America.
posted by The Whelk at 4:24 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


On the one hand, "Imported From Detroit" is disingenuous coming from the one Detroit company that is actually an Italian company that used to be a German company that moved into Auburn Hills and promptly dismissed its American leadership.

On the other hand, its American leadership was pretty terrible.

On another hand, Chrysler's cars are and have been, for as long as I can remember, terrible.

On another hand, Chryslers will soon just be re-badged Lancias. So, "imported" really sort of does say it all, I guess.

And on the final hand, a ray of hope. Lancia, boring as it is now, has manufactured several of the most awesome cars in the history of the automobile, including the car that has been on the top of my "someday I will own it" list for around 20 years. So maybe it will again someday.

So, as a native of the Detroit area, let me suggest that the next Chrysler Super Bowl ad should just point out that Chrysler is now owned by the same company that owns the company that made this. That would get my attention.

Auto industry profits are always going up, every year

I'd sure like to see a by-company analysis to support that assertion, going back, say, 20 years. General Motors had a $38.7 Billion loss in 2007. So I suppose your assertion could be correct, as long as "every year" just means "this year."
posted by The World Famous at 4:24 PM on February 6, 2012


Eastwood is a movie actor -- not an expert in policy. Who cares what he thinks? I mean, haven't we had enough of movie cowboys trying to run the country? He takes no one "to the woodshed", he's just another talking head who knows nothing. A libertarian for god's sake, to boot.

This was a car ad. I actually found it stupidly offensive. That a movie actor would come on the screen pretending the world is a cowboy movie with a lame "halftime" analogy. That he would take money in order to prop up an industry which essentially lives on climate change denial and the gutting of public transportation. Fuck him .
posted by smidgen at 4:24 PM on February 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Eastwood's rep, Leonard Hirshan:

Yawn. I liked his previous rep better.
posted by homunculus at 4:24 PM on February 6, 2012


halftime in America

At least now we know that America will end in the year 2248.
posted by perhapses at 4:25 PM on February 6, 2012 [10 favorites]


I don't know anything about cars. Do American cars really honestly still suck?
posted by Ad hominem at 4:26 PM on February 6, 2012


Visceral. That's what plays with the goobers. Spot on...
posted by jim in austin at 4:27 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's halftime in America.

Sorry, benefits are only for fulltime employees.
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:28 PM on February 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Do American cars really honestly still suck?

Ford has had good reliability and sales for several years now. When the bailout happened, GM & Chrysler were in bad shape but Ford not so much.

Chrysler has not done so well.

GM is somewhere in the middle I think.
posted by wildcrdj at 4:28 PM on February 6, 2012


The Associated Press February 1, 2012: "Chrysler posts 1st annual net profit since 1997. (...) Chrysler now employs 57,200 people. That's 9,400 more than it did when the company left bankruptcy protection in 2009."
posted by iviken at 4:29 PM on February 6, 2012 [8 favorites]


Sure 1.3 billon may buy you a zombie car company in Detroit, but it won't buy you a police force to keep that new Ram Hemi from getting jacked.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:31 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


As usual, Nas did it better than Eminem (or Clint Eastwood).
posted by mannequito at 4:31 PM on February 6, 2012


Do American cars really honestly still suck?

Ford and GM each have a few decent (just decent) cars. Of course when evidence of their mere decency arrived it was time for another "comeback".
posted by downing street memo at 4:32 PM on February 6, 2012


Harrumph Harrumph! I have a strong feeling about this ad, which I will now cast in emotionally loaded language!

Oh, and by the way: San Francisco and Chicago are well targeted by dogwhistles. At some point, you will run out of Tier I and Tier II cities, and be forced to go more downmarket for your blamecasting:

"I, for one, think this is a perfect example of Biloxi-style politics and emblematic of everything that is wrong with this issue!"

"West Frankfort-style politics shouldn't factor into this important national discussion! How dare you, Sir!"

And so on.
posted by HannoverFist at 4:33 PM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


So, as a native of the Detroit area, let me suggest that the next Chrysler Super Bowl ad should just point out that Chrysler is now owned by the same company that owns the company that made this . That would get my attention.

But that car turns left AND right when it is racing. That's Un-American!

Don't click that link.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 4:33 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


The republicans have such a vested interest in America failing during the Obama administration they couldn't help but complain about an ad which proclaimed that America is winning. For the Republicans it is team first, country second.
posted by caddis at 4:35 PM on February 6, 2012 [18 favorites]


Chrylser's whole campaign of it rising from the ashes of Detroit like a phoenix bothers me. The 300 ad that started the whole thing talked up about being made in Detroit. Except parts of that are made in other places both foreign and domestic. The we're badasses because we're from Detroit might get some people excited but I find it annoying.

'I was, frankly, offended by it,' said Karl Rove, strategist behind President George W. Bush’s two presidential campaigns, told Fox News this morning.

Karl Rove is a cock. I'm frankly offended by his presence in American Politics.
posted by birdherder at 4:36 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Chrysler's new Pentastar motor is fantastic... and Nardelli and Marchionne have been beating the quality and attention-to-detail drum very loudly, as they've seen it's what saved Ford. The new Wrangler, Charger, Challenger, T&C and 300 are built like bricks. The rest of it's still coming into line with the New School, and I'd honestly wait until the next product cycle... there will be some crossover with Fiat's product line, but the goal of Marchionne is to increase quality in the USA, where his products go head to head with the Japanese and Koreans and Ford, and then filter that back to Fiat to destroy its European rivals.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:37 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


At least now we know that America will end in the year 2248.

With the TV timeouts it will probably end in the middle of 2260.
posted by birdherder at 4:37 PM on February 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


lol dongs
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:40 PM on February 6, 2012


How about putting out a bona fide, well-made small car, instead of making pieces of shit, then ghettoizing them by targeting at recent grads?

I can't speak to Chrysler, but the Ford Focus is a quality small car. Born of European roots, mind you, but still fits your criteria.
posted by schoolgirl report at 4:40 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Eastwood is a movie actor -- not an expert in policy.

His tenure as mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea gave him wide-ranging policy experience.
Another unusual law, forbidding selling and eating ice cream on public streets, was a focal point of Clint Eastwood's 1986 campaign for mayor. He, and the new council elected along with him, overturned the ordinance and other similar laws that they considered to be too restrictive of businesses.
posted by Knappster at 4:41 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


How about putting out a bona fide, well-made small car, instead of making pieces of shit, then ghettoizing them by targeting at recent grads?

The Focus and Fiesta are both fantastic. And I was recently quite impressed when I rented a Chevy Sonic.
posted by The World Famous at 4:42 PM on February 6, 2012


If Chrysler starts putting out some of the small Fiats under its Chrysler marques, I will buy one.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:44 PM on February 6, 2012


His tenure as mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea gave him wide-ranging policy experience.

He can think Russian from his house.
posted by Artw at 4:45 PM on February 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


This is a company that's the subject of massive federal largesse, and they're telling us how to "get right back up again"?

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
― Upton Sinclair, I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked

The closer one is to the melding of Government and Corporate power the less you see it.

Don't forget this is not Chrysler 1st go at the public/government backed money.

I'm Changing My Name to Chrysler
by Tom Paxton

Oh the price of gold is rising out of sight
And the dollar is in sorry shape tonight
What the dollar used to get us
Now won't buy a head of lettuce
No the economic forecast isn't right
But amidst the clouds I spot a shining ray

I can even glimpse a new and better way
And I've demised a plan of action
Worked it down to the last fraction
And I'm going into action here today

CHORUS:
I am changing my name to Chrysler
I am going down to Washington D.C.
I will tell some power broker
What they did for Iacocca
Will be perfectly acceptable to me
I am changing my name to Chrysler
I am headed for that great receiving line
So when they hand a million grand out
I'll be standing with my hand out
Yes sire I'll get mine

When my creditors are screaming for their dough
I'll be proud to tell them all where they can all go
They won't have to scream and holler
They'll be paid to the last dollar
Where the endless streams of money seem to flow
I'll be glad to tell them what they can do
It's a matter of a simple form or two
It's not just renumeration it's a liberal education
Ain't you kind of glad that I'm in debt to you

CHORUS

Since the first amphibians crawled out of the slime
We've been struggling in an unrelenting climb
We were hardly up and walking before money started talking
And it's sad that failure is an awful crime
Well it's been that way for a millenium or two
But now it seems that there's a different point of view
If you're a corporate titanic and your failure is gigantic
Down to congress there's a safety net for you

CHORUS
posted by rough ashlar at 4:46 PM on February 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Anyone whose driven through Detroit lately knows that we're nowhere near "halftime" here in Michigan. The last game played there was over long ago, the next game hasn't even started yet, I doubt it ever will.
posted by HuronBob at 4:47 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


He can think Russian from his house.

Kudos, a Firefox and Sarah Palin reference rolled into one!
posted by Justinian at 4:47 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I thought Eastwood was in this because of his weirdo racist Gran Turino movie that was set in Detroit.
posted by klangklangston at 4:48 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm guessing that Klanklangston is right about Gran Turino (I owned one of those.... miss that car). I'll have to watch that again... I wasn't sure what I thought about it the first time around.
posted by HuronBob at 4:49 PM on February 6, 2012


I just love how "Chicago-Style Politics" has become a dogwhistle over the past couple of years.

Dick Cheney: Fuck you.

Emanuel (angry): l'm not fuckin' with you! We'll have the presidency one way or another.

Obama: All right, enough. Calm down. Outside.

Emanuel *grabs Dick Cheney*: On your feet punk. Our guy is going to be president and there's nothing you can do about it.

Cheney: ...

Emanuel: In an undisclosed location, eh? I'm gonna count to three. One. Two... three!
*BLAM!* *Cheney shoots 78 year old man in the face. Man apologizes*

McCain: Ok! Ok! I'll get endorsed by George Bush, I'll appoint Sarah Palin my running mate, the presidency is yours, anything you want!

Emanuel: Now, don't let him clean himself until after he concedes.

Obama: All right... Okay, l want Joe Biden as my VP. I want Clinton as my Secretary of State. I want the Senate and a complete...

Karl Rove: Mr. Obama! ...I do not approve of your methods!

Obama: Yeah? Well, you're not from Chicago.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:52 PM on February 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


If Ronald Reagan spoke the words Clint Eastwood spoke in that spot conservatives wouldn't be able to praise it enough.
posted by Daddy-O at 4:52 PM on February 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


Eastwood in a remake of Kings Row.

"Where's the rest of me?"

You know it's a winner!
posted by Artw at 4:55 PM on February 6, 2012


At least now we know that America will end in the year 2248.

With the TV timeouts it will probably end in the middle of 2260.


Unless there's overtime, which I'm pretty sure in this game is settled with a shootout.
posted by Hoopo at 4:58 PM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Just to give you guys a bit better sense of where I'm coming from - where I worked, every senior figure I met - engineers, designers, marketers, PR people, everyone - was convinced that the company's problem wasn't subpar vehicles. Rather, they thought that consumers were just dumb, and if they got the marketing and message juuuuusst right, that everyone would realize what they were missing.

I spent the weekend with a mate from home and his colleague - both extremely experienced automotive consultants that have dealt with almost all major automotive players to some degree. During our hideously engineering nerdy weekend (we went to the Henry Ford Museum) conversations turned to precisely that element of problems in the Auto manufacturers that are struggling at the moment.

The sense of denial among people that should know better staggered them - the people senior enough to be given the competing manufacturers cars for assessment and comparison spent most of their time trying to justify the differences rather than trying to learn and making any effort to quantify the bar that they needed to set for themselves in order to beat the rest of their market participants.

Interestingly, the force to be reckoned with in motoring (according to my two friends) is going to come from India - either through money or through direct involvement. Indian companies are spending massive sums of money importing knowledge for training and soaking up all the technology and working practices like a sponge. My friend from UNiversity - a miserable bugger about things 'foreign' at the best of times, was expecting to hate his trip to India but actually really liked it. The total and complete enthusiasm and genuine desire to totally kick arse if they were going to do this car-making thing was infectious, I gather.

I thought Eastwood was in this because of his weirdo racist Gran Turino movie that was set in Detroit.

Weirdly, we watched that film, in a hotel in Auburn Hills, and then watched Grosse Point Blank. All without realising the Detroit connections until afterwards.
posted by Brockles at 4:58 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Chicago-style politics

The more I dig the deeper this dish gets...and I'm not just talking about the pizza.
posted by 2bucksplus at 5:02 PM on February 6, 2012


Interestingly, the force to be reckoned with in motoring (according to my two friends) is going to come from India

And what energy source is going to power them?

Hydrinos? EEStor's? Taking corn and making booze?
posted by rough ashlar at 5:02 PM on February 6, 2012


I looked at Karl Rove claiming to be offended by something and my brain jumped out of my head onto the sidewalk where it began dancing an irish jig. then i died and went to irony heaven.
posted by facetious at 5:04 PM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Keep in mind that Rove isn't a political advisor, at least not that I know of, anymore -- he's a talking head / celebrity-wannabe.

Rove "advises" American Crossroads and has his fingers in any number of super PACs. So he's very much still a political adviser, though of course he's quite happy for people to believe that he's nothing more than a celebrity wannabe.
posted by blucevalo at 5:08 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


also, am i the only one who thinks it's blindingly obvious that the actually potentially offensive subtext of this ad is that it equates "half-time in america" with being one-half of the way through obama's two terms? i mean, obvious, right?
posted by facetious at 5:09 PM on February 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


But if you drink enough during the first half, you may get a different impression...
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:12 PM on February 6, 2012





filthy light thief:

verb: I just love how "Chicago-Style Politics" has become a dogwhistle over the past couple of years.

I'm sure you caught this, but it's "sly" short-hand for Obama, along with the mess of Blagojevich"


I don't think most Americans had any perception, good or bad, of politics in Chicago until conservatives started making it a talking point. Bonus points for "thuggish".
posted by Red Loop at 5:14 PM on February 6, 2012


also, am i the only one who thinks it's blindingly obvious that the actually potentially offensive subtext of this ad is that it equates "half-time in america" with being one-half of the way through obama's two terms? i mean, obvious, right?

Heeeeeeey, waidaminnit! He's right!

Discuss.
posted by Wataki at 5:14 PM on February 6, 2012


Every time I hear of a quote from Karl Rove, I'm surprised, again, that anyone anywhere gives even a fraction of a flying fig for his opinion on any topic. He's a professional latter-day propagandist; everything he says is calculated for an affect at odds with the obvious surface meanings. We become more divided, more confused, and genuinely poorer every time he opens his mouth. Is this not clear to some of us yet?

Since it's "Halftime in America," and all, why don't we bounce back by collectively rallying to the flag of Not Listening To That Jackass Any More?
posted by Western Infidels at 5:17 PM on February 6, 2012



I don't think most Americans had any perception, good or bad, of politics in Chicago until conservatives started making it a talking point. Bonus points for "thuggish".


Actually, I think among those americans who have enough of a grasp of US history to know that Chicago politics really does have a long history of cronyism/insiderism/corruption will recognize this as typically mud-slinging shorthand (trying to paint Obama with the broad brush of very well-known Chicago/Illinois corruption politics). I'm not registering this as a typical dogwhistle, at least in the normal current usage, where it is an oblique racist reference.

"Welfare queens" is an obvious dogwhistle, but "Chicago Politics" to me is more standard mudslinging shorthand, without so much the racial implications (aside from its target being Obama).
posted by chimaera at 5:20 PM on February 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Isn't Chrysler owned by the Italians? And before that the Germans? The concept of a "whatever" company makes little sense in the globalized future, Chrysler is "American" only due to history. Toyota makes lots of it's cars in the U.S. as well.
I hated that commercial. Mostly because Clint Eastwood isn't from Detroit. I don't give a damn what he thinks about the city. I wish they had some random narrator or someone actually associated with the city.
Chrysler did the same thing last year with Eminem last year, it was pretty good. I'm pretty sure the hall in the end of that ad is one that had been restored from one of those 'urban ruins' that people are always photographing, although I'm not sure.
Also, that spot was at least $10 million. You're telling me that there's no use for that money elsewhere in that company?
You understand the point of advertising is to make a profit, right? If they spent their entire ad budget on other things, well, they wouldn't have much of an ad budget the next year, or much money at all.

Seriously, why don't people understand this?
Republicans, of course, are better able to plug imaginary boogiemen into situations, so its only natural that they spent the whole ad going "OBAMA IS TRYING TO WIN THE INNOCENT MINDS OF FOOTBALL FANS" instead of waiting for the end and seeing that it was just Chrysler trying to sell us their shitty cars.
Yeah, it shows just how debased they are. I mean, here we have a generic "yay, America is great" message and republicans are offended they think they own the "America" brand.

They seem to have two contradictory but deeply held beliefs.
1) The first is that America is awesome, it's the greatest country in the world, etc.
2) The second is that Obama is terrible and destroying America.
But, if 2 is true that must mean that America sucks at the moment. So if someone says 1 without being a die hard republican they're violating 2, and thus not only are they being dishonest.

But the other reason they're offended is, as I said they feel like they own the republican "brand" and thus Chrysler is violating their "trademark", this makes them feel as though something of theirs has been taken. Same as they own the "jesus" brand and got offended that Obama suggested jesus would want you to pay higher taxes.
I'm a huge fan of Clint Eastwood, I thought it was an extremely well-done ad, but it is a sign of what happens when you have Chicago-style politics, and the president of the United States and his political minions are, in essence, using our tax dollars to buy corporate advertising.' -- Karl Rove
Wow. So I assume that Crossroads GPS doesn't take money from any company that does business with the government, or anyone who got rich doing son?

Haha, just kidding. I assume Karl Rove is a lying scumbag.

Anyway, why do people even pay attention to these people? They're essentially just trolling.
posted by delmoi at 5:24 PM on February 6, 2012 [4 favorites]




chimaera: "I think among those americans who have enough of a grasp of US history"

That's why I said "most Americans". You're certainly right that it didn't come from out of nowhere.
posted by Red Loop at 5:26 PM on February 6, 2012


The surest sign that America is in terminal decline is the appearance of advertising insisting that it's not.

the surest sign that america is disunited is the unhistorical suggestion that we will change it by coming together

that's not what we did in the revolutionary war - we were bitterly divided

that's not what we did in the civil war - we were bitterly divided

and through the long years of the 20th century, we were bitterly divided with the sole exception of perhaps ww2

the american people are contentious, bullying and like fighting - this is how, for better or worse, we get things done - or don't get them done

for pete's sake, halftime in america is a FOOTBALL metaphor - need i say more?

clint eastwood made a career out of playing men who shot those they had issues with - need i say more?

it's like a fish, unaware he is breathing water, philosophizing that he actually believes in breathing air
posted by pyramid termite at 5:29 PM on February 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Shorter Version: "America: We Have A Hulk."
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:32 PM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


You understand the point of advertising is to make a profit, right? If they spent their entire ad budget on other things, well, they wouldn't have much of an ad budget the next year, or much money at all.

Seriously, why don't people understand this?


I am skeptical of the returns on Super Bowl ads, particularly ones that run longer than 30 seconds. Glitzy advertising is often as much about making executives feel good as it is about actually selling product, and marketers are just as capable of making ill-informed decisions as actual consumers are.
posted by downing street memo at 5:34 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am skeptical of the returns on Super Bowl ads, particularly ones that run longer than 30 seconds.

Your run of the mill idiot executive is a cargo cultist. "Being an asshole worked for Steve Jobs, so I'll be an asshole. One of the most impressive ads in history was a Super Bowl ad for the Mac. I'm going to buy a super bowl ad."

Wash, rinse, repeat.
posted by chimaera at 5:38 PM on February 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


Your run of the mill idiot executive is a cargo cultist.

Agreed on the cargo cultism, but its mostly risk aversion that leads to that kind of behavior. Nobody ever got fired for hiring the Harvard guy, buying McKinsey, or advertising like P&G.
posted by downing street memo at 5:41 PM on February 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


The surest sign that America is in terminal decline is the appearance of advertising insisting that it's not.

Honestly, this was my strongest reaction. That ad portrays the current situation in the US in an incredibly grim light way out of step with what I see from most mainstream narratives. I was actually shocked by it.
posted by LobsterMitten at 5:41 PM on February 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


And Brockles, if you are interested in early automotive history, especially the engineering aspects, and you're in/near Michigan, check out the Wills Sainte Claire Auto Museum in Marysville Mich. Among other things it has old engines and whatnot designed by C.H.Wills who was Henry Ford's engineer and partner in the early days of the Ford Motor Co, designed the Ford logo, etc - then left to found his own luxury high-end car company in Marysville.
posted by LobsterMitten at 5:47 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Speaking of offensive Super Bowl ads..
Putting aside the bizarre level of unabashed racism for a moment, that commercial struck me as so strange in that they apparently explicitly told the lady to say things like "your economy get very weak" or "Debbie spend so much money" instead of "gets" or "spends", yet they failed to tell her to try to put on a stereotypical accent instead of sounding like she's from Main Street, USA.

Also, I would be interested in seeing an interview with that lady.
posted by Flunkie at 5:50 PM on February 6, 2012


yet they failed to tell her to try to put on a stereotypical accent instead of sounding like she's from Main Street, USA.

Yeah, that was what was so weird, I mean she sounds like she is from the San Fernando Valley.

Also, I would be interested in seeing an interview with that lady.
Probably a starving actor and thinks, "It's a paycheck and it means I don't have to waitress for a bit."
posted by xetere at 5:58 PM on February 6, 2012


produce the 2013 Dodge Dart sedan

Wait, what? They're bringing back the Dart? Are they bringing back the Slant 6, pushbutton transmission, and everything else Dartish?

I might buy one of those.
posted by spitbull at 6:02 PM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Putting aside the bizarre level of unabashed racism for a moment, that commercial struck me as so strange in that they apparently explicitly told the lady to say things like "your economy get very weak" or "Debbie spend so much money" instead of "gets" or "spends", yet they failed to tell her to try to put on a stereotypical accent instead of sounding like she's from Main Street, USA.

Yes. That was like something from Hollywood Shuffle, Asian edition.

I prefer to think that she used her American as apple pie voice while reciting their crappy racist broken-English dialogue as a way to stick it to the dnuggets while still getting paid.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:06 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I prefer to think that she used her American as apple pie voice while reciting their crappy racist broken-English dialogue as a way to stick it to the dnuggets while still getting paid.
Yeah, that's why I would be interested in seeing an interview with her - I have been hoping that that's true, and I'd like to actually hear it if so.
posted by Flunkie at 6:13 PM on February 6, 2012


Apparently Republicans hate the idea that America might be back before they claw their way back.
posted by humanfont at 6:20 PM on February 6, 2012


also, am i the only one who thinks it's blindingly obvious that the actually potentially offensive subtext of this ad is that it equates "half-time in america" with being one-half of the way through obama's two terms? i mean, obvious, right?

That was what really struck me when I saw it. I guess that opinion is in the minority. I guess it goes to show where my mind is these days. I just have a hard time believing the creators of that commercial couldn't see any parallel with the election season that's upon us, even if coincidental.
posted by 2N2222 at 6:21 PM on February 6, 2012


TRUFAX: Clint Eastwood and I are relatives. His grandmother and my great-grandmother were first cousins! Clint, man, you never call, you never write, you ditch family reunions to hang out in Michigan and be seen by millions of people. I don't feel the love, cuz!

(When Eastwood stars as Old Bruce Wayne in the live-action version of Batman Beyond, I am totally demanding tickets to the premiere.)
posted by nicebookrack at 6:21 PM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I am skeptical of the returns on Super Bowl ads, particularly ones that run longer than 30 seconds.

I'm skeptical, too, but it really depends on the nature of the product. A brand-new product can create inroads where they didn't exist before, like an exclusive movie trailer suddenly getting in front of millions of people, or the famous Macintosh ad announcing a product that everyone can use. On the other hand, an older product can create a talking point, like a nifty Budweiser ad can create a jokey meme. Whassssssup?

But...

Glitzy advertising is often as much about making executives feel good as it is about actually selling product

Agreed. I've often said exactly this, that a lot of marketing dollars are spent merely to have a good story to tell about how you spent marketing dollars in a cool way.

"Johnson, what did you do this year?"
"We made a Super Bowl ad."
"Yeah, I liked that. Thought it was funny. Good work, Johnson."
"But did we sell more units?"
"Shut up, Dave. I was talking to Johnson over here."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:23 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Speaking of offensive Super Bowl ads.

I was wondering of someone was going to make a separate post about that ad. All that it needs is the "me so horny" bit.
posted by 2N2222 at 6:25 PM on February 6, 2012


Do American cars really honestly still suck?

By and large, no, and simultaneously Toyota (in a serious way) and Honda and Subaru (to much lesser extents) seem to have lost their magic.

Anyone whose driven through Detroit lately knows that we're nowhere near "halftime" here in Michigan.

There is something incredibly shocking about driving into Detroit, as you pass from the well-maintained and clean streets of the surrounding areas into what looks somewhat post-apocalyptic. The "imported from Detroit" slogan is particularly apt, given how the physical environment of Detroit feels very unlike the affluent version of modern America.

Personally, I can't see the political side to this ad (other than the moments of protesters and the news person), so that interpretation feels very strange to me.
posted by Forktine at 6:30 PM on February 6, 2012


I was more offended by the buttwiper commercial where the guys driving the beer wagon were given a hero's welcome from the inebrient-impoverished rabble at the end of prohibition. But then, it's hard to say whether excessive beer consumption has been more destructive than poorly made cars. Heaven knows the combination is an odd juxtaposition
posted by Redhush at 6:30 PM on February 6, 2012


Meanwhile, in Detroit, self-defense killing skyrocket as people give up on the police.
posted by dirigibleman at 6:34 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


David Beckham in his magic underwear was a coded endorsement of Mitt Romney.
posted by humanfont at 6:41 PM on February 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


I'm with you in the half-time/mid-point in election cycle reference. I thought it from the first moments, when I recognised Eastwood's voice and heard him say "Both teams are in their locker rooms discussing what they can do to win this game in the second half..." I immediately thought Democrats vs. Republicans. Literal reference to football was too on-the-nose for me. And so it became a football-as-political metaphor through the whole thing. Except for the car metaphors. Which is why the "roar of the engines" line makes me laugh. It's filled with so much import, but it's where the metaphors totally mix for what I think is hilarious shark-jumping climax. Oh well.

Also, the Debbie/Pete ad? She had perfect command of English phonology. She easily handled much more complex syntactic structures than the stereotypical verb agreements that she "tripped up" on. It's inauthentic and yes, so racist.

I'm hoping Language Log or some other linguistics blog does a breakdown of her speech in that ad because I suspect that the errors she made (which she wasn't even consistent about*...and the delivery was almost as if she was mock making the errors, which is even worse) are more stereotypes than commonly-misunderstood grammar rules based on actual structural differences between the two languages.

I also think there's another layer of not-so-obvious racism going on in the ad...I can't quite put my finger on it yet, but it's something to do with the male gaze and the bike and her flirty innocence and the broken English. "We take your jobs! Thank you Debbie Spend It Now!", shrugs and rides off...the whole thing is over-the-top stereotypical. Disgusting.

*It really seemed to me like the inconsistency in the errors were due to style-shifting rather than incomplete understanding of the grammatical structures involved. In other words, the broken English was sprinkled on like seasoning at key points of the speech for linguistic flair, rather than like the accidental missteps of a new language learner.
What's my metaphor count here, people?

posted by iamkimiam at 6:57 PM on February 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Do American cars really honestly still suck?

It's not that they all suck, it's that quality varies widely (even within the same manufacturer) and there's a general lack of product focus.

What kills me is that this really could all be turned around really quickly.

It wasn't that long ago that if you told me you were planning on buying an Audi, I would have tried to tackle you before you made it to the dealer in order to keep you from making a terrible, terrible mistake.

Today? Not so much. I'd be envious of you, actually.

Like they say about Brazilian economic dominance, the truly great American car is always just five years away, and always will be.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:58 PM on February 6, 2012


I finally watched that Hoekstra ad, and I know exactly what you're saying, iamkimiam. There was an echo of a 1930's pulp detective story seductive dragon-lady there.

"So, American detective Sam Washington, you think you expose our smuggling operation, but while you look at pretty chinese girl you not know that Cho-fun bump you and he give you opium injection. Now you too weak and powerless to fight."

Now substitute "look at pretty chinese girl" with "buy low cost electronics", and "opium injection" with "sell government debt".

[I have been listening to a lot of old-time detective radio lately. It may have affected my perceptions.]
posted by benito.strauss at 7:14 PM on February 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


Best not to read too much into it.

It's an ad.

It's meant to encourage a specific target customer to feel certain emotions in regards to a particular vendor.

That's all it is.

Same with Karl Rove's denunciation-- more advertising, aimed at a different market.

And for Eastwood, it's a bit of self-branding combined with what I'm sure he believes is a patriotic (if compensated) public service appeal.

No doubt, there's a strong element of political payback, but of course, the revival theme --America-rallying-at-halftime/Obama's re-election bid/things really are getting better-- coincides exactly with the perceptual filter Chrysler needs to instill in order to lure back buyers to its fallen but-at-least-nominally-reviving brand.

While one might read the ad as a marker of where Money thinks the country is heading--

that is, barring something truly disruptive (e.g., the collapse of the Euro and a resultant worldwide and 'Merican depression, or an Israeli attack on Iran, and the independent, low-info voter consequently being put into fight-or-flight mode), Obama will probably eke out a victory--

the fact that it's an ad by a particular vendor in a particular context is enough to account for all its elements.
posted by darth_tedious at 7:17 PM on February 6, 2012


I don't think most Americans had any perception, good or bad, of politics in Chicago until conservatives started making it a talking point. Bonus points for "thuggish".

"Chicago Machine" is how I remember my older relatives talking about it back in the late 1990s, so it predates Obama, certainly. But I do think that it has a conservative/Republican origin, given the political color of the city (mutually hostile Democratic ethnic enclaves consolidated in the 1930s-1950s into a Democratic - albeit hardly liberal - juggernaut) and the way in which New Deal/Great Society funds and rhetoric were used by the Daley administration to solidify their control of the city.

With the exception of Harold Washington's administration, the Daley Democratic Machine chugged on after many other similar organizations had fallen to pieces, making its, er, unique attributes much more visible than they would have been decades prior.

I'm not surprised that the Republicans started working to reawaken that particular term when Obama appeared on the scene, given that it a) will have the most currency among older Republican voters and b) hit, albeit ineffectively, at Obama's claim to represent new, clean, fresh "change."
posted by AdamCSnider at 7:25 PM on February 6, 2012


I hadn't seen last year's Eminem Chrysler ad before. I thought it was much better filmed, much better spoken, much more relevant to Detroit — better in every way.

When I heard the voice in the shadows at the beginning of this year's ad, I thought, "That sounds like Clint Eastwood, but it's somebody really old." Then I realized, he is old. (82 this year, says the Wiki.)

I'm old, too, much closer to Clint's age than Eminem's, but somehow octogenarians (no matter if they did used to be Dirty Harry, 40 years ago) don't seem like quite the right symbol for a vibrant, revitalized America (or car company).

But hey, if an ad upsets Karl Rove, it can't be all bad.
posted by LeLiLo at 7:35 PM on February 6, 2012


I am skeptical of the returns on Super Bowl ads, particularly ones that run longer than 30 seconds. Glitzy advertising is often as much about making executives feel good as it is about actually selling product, and marketers are just as capable of making ill-informed decisions as actual consumers are.
Maybe it's not a good advertising investment per dollar, but the critique wasn't "couldn't that advertising money be spent more effectively" it was "couldn't that money be used elsewhere in the company".

Also they did the same thing last year and apparently they were happy with the results.
posted by delmoi at 8:14 PM on February 6, 2012


From Twitter @GSElevator:

1: I love Clint Eastwood, but he can kiss my ass about buying a German car. He made his cowboys movies in fucking Italy.
posted by AugustWest at 8:36 PM on February 6, 2012


He made his cowboys movies in fucking Italy.

And now he's selling Italian cars. What's the problem?

(Also, the best ones were mostly shot in Spain.)
posted by The World Famous at 8:40 PM on February 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Meanwhile, in Detroit, self-defense killing skyrocket as people give up on the police.

I completely mis-parsed this as some sort of "self-defense killing skyrocket" like a jetpack or flying Robocop. And I searched and searched the linked article for what exactly a "skyrocket" was, how totally awesome it is, and where I could get one. And for a moment I had hope for the motor city again. "Have you heard? Detroit is exporting Skyrockets now!"
posted by formless at 9:09 PM on February 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


If Karl Rove is against it it's got to be a good thing.

Remember, all the assholes are against domestic industry.
posted by clarknova at 9:38 PM on February 6, 2012


fucking Italy.

Hey. Food's better than Arizona.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:56 PM on February 6, 2012


Everything is better than Arizona.
posted by The Whelk at 9:59 PM on February 6, 2012


Yes, but the food in Italy is better than everywhere.
posted by The World Famous at 10:04 PM on February 6, 2012


wikipedia brown boy detective: "Speaking of offensive Super Bowl ads.."

You know what's really offensive about that ad? The fact that it so fails to comport with reality that if it were advertising a product the FTC would fine the company. It ain't the deficits, you dope, it's the fact that we, through the tax code and otherwise, do nearly everything in our power to push companies to offshore jobs.

I just wish that it wasn't a central theme coming from both sides of the aisle.

downing street memo: "They truly believed that consumers, rather than looking at a Toyota, seeing the better gas mileage, greater reliability, and stronger attention to detail and deciding to buy it, were instead fools buying into a narrative"

At this point, objectively speaking, it is a narrative except at the low end of the product line. An unmaintained Japanese car will crap out just as quickly as an unmaintained American car. A well maintained American car will last nearly as long as a well maintained Japanese car. Until the late 90s, it was undeniably true that American cars were unreliable relative to most Japanese cars, even though they were much more reliable than previous Detroit offerings past the early 90s or so.

Granted, if I were buying a high mileage car, I'd still go Honda or Toyota, but most people aren't buying cars with over 120,000 on the clock anyway.
posted by wierdo at 10:41 PM on February 6, 2012


Chicago-Style Politics is how they say Obama is corrupt since there is no actual corruption you could point to.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:50 PM on February 6, 2012


I'm somewhat amazed that on MetaFilter, of all places, people are calling Chrysler an Italian car maker because 51% of its shares are held by an Italian company, and despite the fact that the cars are manufactured in the United States by American workers.

So the jobs don't count, just the job creators?
posted by unigolyn at 11:38 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Actually, a lot of them are built in Canada and Mexico, including the Charger, Challenger, 300, the Ram trucks, and a lot of the engines.
posted by The World Famous at 11:47 PM on February 6, 2012


"But I do think that it has a conservative/Republican origin, given the political color of the city (mutually hostile Democratic ethnic enclaves consolidated in the 1930s-1950s into a Democratic - albeit hardly liberal - juggernaut) and the way in which New Deal/Great Society funds and rhetoric were used by the Daley administration to solidify their control of the city. "

Well, and not least the putative mob-fueled JFK victory over Nixon based largely on Chicago voter fraud (see also: Mob-fueled victory in Texas, though that's not memetic). The Daley machine was corrupt through and through (but it largely worked, unless you were black).

Read Royko's Boss for a fantastic explication of the Chicago machine at its height.
posted by klangklangston at 12:00 AM on February 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


In other news, Clint Eastwood just predicted that the United States of America will cease to exist in 2248.
posted by erniepan at 12:50 AM on February 7, 2012


Yeah, as a Chicagoan (born there, lived there) I must confess that "Chicago-style politics" is an unfortunately earned epithet. As to its use as a dog-whistle for Obama, yes, it's an easy way to suggest he's corrupt as all get out black. It stuck in part because there was a shadow from the Tony Rezko case at the time the GOP started using it, but that seemed to be something he rose above and dismissed in the primaries, and the fall campaign became about different things. Since then, Solyndra aside, he's been pretty much scandal-free, making it a slightly off epithet. But that just makes it more obvious that it's a dog whistle.

I, too, thought that Clint was in the ad largely because his most recent major acting role was Gran Torino, in which he plays a retired Detroit auto-worker dismayed over his city's decline.
Although the movie was clearly articulating an anti-racist line (he eventually accepts and is accepted by the Hmong family next door), it did seem to come from a sort of Republican mindset, and having had to confront drug dealers and gangs (among them Hmong) in my own now-non-Chicago neighborhood, his strategy made absolutely no sense. Then again, I'm not a Republican.

I also strongly suspect that his gravelly Reaganesque voice was a selection factor.

One thing about the "Occupy style footage" -- it was of the Wisconsin protests in Madison, and although trademark-protected union signs were photoshopped out, the photographer licensed his work and was happy with the ad.
posted by dhartung at 12:57 AM on February 7, 2012


Wait, what? They're bringing back the Dart? Are they bringing back the Slant 6, pushbutton transmission, and everything else Dartish?

I might buy one of those.
posted by spitbull



Not the dart
posted by dangerousdan at 1:03 AM on February 7, 2012


I did not see the "halftime in America" ad as anything more than an ad for a car company. Watching it a few times and then reading people say "it is obvious it is about Obama being halfway through his presidency!!!!1!" I still don't see it. I mean you can connect those dots I guess. But you could also say it was about we're halfway through the Great Recession of 2008* meaning I'll get back to making what I made in 2008 in 2016. I'll let me creditors know. As others have said, if Ronald Reagan said "It's halftime in America" Fox News wouldn't be able to broadcast the next day because of all the erections the talking heads would have. Chrysler could have run that ad in 1984 when Reagan was president Eastwood reading the same script and conservatives would be elated. Perhaps the Mondale campaign would complain but not like what we're hearing now.

As someone that has made money as an advertising professional, I think the people who think this was Chrysler's big political statement aren't familiar with how television ads are made. I'm certain most of the people on the creative team for the agency voted for Obama and will do so again in November. But they had to sell it to THE CLIENT who at the lower levels might have the same political leanings but as you go up the chain of command it starts to look like a Mitt Romney fan club meeting. And when you're talking about the kind of money that they spent, not just in airtime but to get Eastwood to participate, everyone from the CEO on down of both the agency and the Chrysler signed off. There's some one per centers in there. Running a spot during the Super Bowl is a big fucking deal. Every line in the script and every shot was worked on in countless meetings. The sales guys probably wanted Clint to throw in a line about some trade-in offer and were squelched. The team that work on a random Dodge truck ad is small and the executives stay out of the way. And if they thought there was a political vibe to the spot, they'd have meetings about it. The attention Chrysler is getting today by the likes of Rove was unexpected for sure. Republicans buy cars too. Superbowl spots go on people's reel and can be the highlight of their career. The Chrysler guys have not just their egos to defend but shareholders and dealers networks. They didn't go to all that work to make a cheerleading video for Obama.

(I always laugh when an ad comes out that embarrass the company because they'll say it somehow was accidentally released. Rather than own up and say "we didn't realize this ad would be considered so offensive. we're pulling the spot and we won't do it again," they say it was an accident. Like there was a rogue team at the office that managed to get millions of dollars to produce a spot, buy the media, get the talent and run it in secret. Months of time, hundreds of people, millions of dollars.).

And ROI? That goes out the window when you run a 120 during the most expensive spot ever. Sure, some poor intern at Chrysler is calling dealers to see if they're getting more people in showrooms this week or if people are talking about the spot. But the thing is, few people will cop to deciding to buy a new car this week based on the ad. I managed an 150 million dollar TV budget where our research said no one was swayed by our ads. But thousands of people a week called phone numbers that specifically were in the ads. And the messages we put in the ads could be parroted back to us by customers in research. I was lucky because I had the phone and web data. Chrysler doesn't and they I'm sure their marketing analysts have tried to model the webiste visits to showroom room visits to actual sale for years. But it is hard to do. You have to just say we're going to do this thing. If Chrysler has a great quarter they'll credit the advertising (or actually the message that are in the ad that that Chrysler rules and everyone else drools WE'RE BACK MOTHERFUCKERS!) . If it sucked, they'll say it was a weak economy.

But it all comes down to talk value. There's another intern at agency, a PR agency or Chrysler getting a tape together of all the mentions it is getting. The positives and negatives. But it is also a dick measuring contest. If they're not out there with a strong ad they lose the talk value. And their egos are telling them that is the best medium to use. You don't run your WE'RE BACK MOTHERFUCKERS spot during a Law and Order marathon on USA. You run it during the Super Bowl.

They'll probably recut the spot into :30 and :60s to run for several more cycles to try and recoup some of the costs. Management will get faux-ROI reports with things charting twitter mentions of the spot and increased Likes on Facebook. Until the social media APIs can plug into Chrysler's data warehouse to match likes and hashtags to VIN numbers, it will be pretty much a guess. But what they won't be able to really judge the lift they got from that spot. If they have the money next year they'll do it again. In part because they don't want Ford or GM to swing their dicks around instead.


*or whenever it started. I recall it happening in 2007 but heard on the news tonight that the housing crisis happened in 2008. The reporter said it as fact. History will call this Obama's Recession regardless of whether he was president when it started.
posted by birdherder at 1:35 AM on February 7, 2012 [7 favorites]


I can't help but wonder if the vast majority of Americans, like me, see "Chicago Style" and think "mmmm...hotdogs." Or possibly pizza. Most other states know very little about Chicago aside from sports, and maybe vague ideas that Al Capone hung out there.

Just me, I'm sure, but each time I see "Chicago-style politics", I expect speeches, narratives and talking points to be supported by footnotes and not in-line citations. Yet another way in which Obama disappoints, I suppose.
posted by the cydonian at 2:02 AM on February 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


I don't think most Americans had any perception, good or bad, of politics in Chicago until conservatives started making it a talking point.

I have to disagree. I think Chicago Style Politics™ long, long ago became part of American culture. A touchstone, if you will. It's long been shorthand for corruption and cronyism and back-room deal-making. BUT...here's the thing...it long-ago became a LOVEABLE shorthand for corruption and cronyism and back-room deal-making. It's an image that has become an American institution, largely because Chicago, corruption and all, works just fine, thankyouverymuch.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:25 AM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Mainly I'm concerned that, if it's currently "half-time in America," then someone must have forecast the nation to come to an end in the year 2247, which I think is itself pretty gosh darn un-American. But maybe we don't really have to worry until the "two-minute warning in America" in 2239.
posted by aught at 5:43 AM on February 7, 2012


So, I might be able to see where the Fox News crowd has garnered these suspicions.

So can I. It's Tuesday.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:28 AM on February 7, 2012


most people aren't buying cars with over 120,000 on the clock anyway.

I just read the tidbit that the average car on the road in the US is eleven years old, which leads me to think that 120k isn't that unlikely.
posted by box at 6:41 AM on February 7, 2012


furiousxgeorge: "Chicago-Style Politics is how they say Obama is corrupt since there is no actual corruption you could point to."

No, they just claim that Solyndra going bust is obvious corruption.
posted by wierdo at 7:13 AM on February 7, 2012


A lot of people think it’s the pan, but the real secret to Chicago-Style Politics is the water, and a bit of cornmeal in the crust.
posted by gauche at 7:42 AM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Great comment birdherder - I've never been in advertising and that's the first thing that came into my head when I heard this. If you think this ad is pro-Obama, you haven't even thought about what's involved in getting something like that made.
posted by InfidelZombie at 8:51 AM on February 7, 2012


If...you haven't even thought....

OK, cheap shot on people that aren't here to defend themselves, but really now: does anyone honestly believe that they're thinking about the claim? That it is anything but a kneejerk assumption? Really?

(That is not aimed at you InfidelZombie, let me be clear.)
posted by aramaic at 9:33 AM on February 7, 2012


What I want to know is, why does the Pepsi Max commercial include the song "On, Wisconsin" (the state song and the fight song of the Badgers) at the end?
posted by desjardins at 9:46 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hearing "Chicago-style politics" does make me hungry for thick crust pizza. Then it makes me realize "Oh, that's a phrase they've been told to try to stick Obama with? I really doesn't seem to be working, but someone trots it out every once and a while to see if it'll work this time. I wonder if it will?"

And those of you complaining how "half-time in America" implies "it ends in 2247" are missing an obvious assumption. It ends because WE WIN! That's the year the rest of world finally realizes that we really are #1 in everything and surrenders. And president Tim Tebow XII asks everyone in the Senate chamber to 'take a knee' for a minute and give thanks to the big guy upstairs. USA! USA! USA!
posted by benito.strauss at 9:47 AM on February 7, 2012


Why does the guy in the commercial have to be from Detroit? Doesn’t Chrysler sell cars across the whole country? I didn’t think this was a commercial about Detroit tourism, I’m not understanding the complaints about that. Who are you going to get, ICP?
posted by bongo_x at 10:56 AM on February 7, 2012


Oh, and if you guys want another book on "Chicago-style politics," grab the old Gem of the Prairie by Herbert Asbury. It's about the history of crime in Chicago, which, frankly, is a pretty good history of Chicago politics too.
posted by klangklangston at 11:19 AM on February 7, 2012


Who are you going to get, ICP?

Right, because it's not like there are any famous people from Detroit other than Eminem, Kid Rock, and ICP, let alone someone famous enough to be associated in some way with the Super Bowl. Where's Madonna from, anyway?
posted by The World Famous at 11:23 AM on February 7, 2012


Where's Madonna from, anyway?

She's from Bay City actually, or what she refers to as a "smelly little town."

I grew up near there. There's a sugar-beet refinery there that makes the town reek during processing season. Naturally, the town's inevitable childish nickname is "Bay Shitty".

But for those of us who moved out, we all say we're from Tha D. For the street cred of course.. and it's the only city most people know outside of Michigan.

And because, well, Detroit still rocks.
posted by formless at 12:17 PM on February 7, 2012


Where's Madonna from, anyway?

Bay City, Michigan. Not quite Detroit, but close enough.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:17 PM on February 7, 2012


Jinx!
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:17 PM on February 7, 2012


But for those of us who moved out, we all say we're from Tha D.

Yep. Same here. Well, I don't say "Tha D." But I do consider myself to be from the Detroit area, even though I was born somewhere else and my family moved to the Detroit area when I was a few years old.
posted by The World Famous at 12:25 PM on February 7, 2012


Oh, if only we could see more things that offend Karl Rove.

http://shitthatoffendskarlrove.tumblr.com/
posted by Evilspork at 1:21 PM on February 7, 2012


Where's Madonna from, anyway?

From her accent, I'd say inauthentic-English-accent-istan.
posted by birdherder at 3:22 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


When I hear Chicago Style politics, I figure they're shooting each other to pieces with tommy guns....
posted by Redhush at 7:23 PM on February 7, 2012


"Half-Time in America" Highlights Our Political Dysfunctionality.
posted by ericb at 1:44 PM on February 10, 2012


A lot of people think it’s the pan, but the real secret to Chicago-Style Politics is the water, and a bit of cornmeal in the crust.

At first I thought this was just a clever reference to Chicago-style Deep Dish, but then I realized the Chicago River is kind of central to the city (not to mention Lake Michigan) and Illinois borders Iowa. I don't know if it was intentional, but it's brilliant if it is.
posted by formless at 10:18 PM on February 10, 2012


MI-Sen: Peter Hoekstra's ad leads to polling nosedive.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:57 PM on February 15, 2012


Actress In Pete Hoekstra’s Racist Campaign Ad Apologizes Via Facebook
posted by homunculus at 12:26 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


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