4-19-1775 NEVAR FORGET
February 8, 2016 9:23 AM   Subscribe

"It Started Here." With great excitement, living history attraction Colonial Williamsburg spent more than a million dollars to put out its first-ever TV ad during the Super Bowl. The splurge may have backfired, as its use of footage of the World Trade Center towers falling on 9/11 to a Tom Brokaw voice-over angered and upset many in its target markets and puzzled plenty of others. Takes from Daily News, Esquire, Gothamist, USA Today, NY Post, Slate, HuffPo.

Earlier last week, Colonial Williamsburg had released a longer version of the ad on social media and in the local press, and seems to have had mostly positive reactions from that audience.
posted by Miko (87 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
So 9/11 is Colonial Williamsburg's fault?
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:27 AM on February 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Better press coverage than the advertisement alone could buy. Congratulations, Colonial Williamsburg!
posted by xingcat at 9:29 AM on February 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


However, the small data point of people who objected to some of the imagery in the ad does not represent the total viewership. Not even close.

WTF? Yeah, and a lot of those were people who actually lived here when it happened, assholes.
posted by holborne at 9:30 AM on February 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


And always moonwalking ... moonwalking ... moonwalking towards freedom!
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:31 AM on February 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


Not cool, Williamsburg.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:34 AM on February 8, 2016


Favorite Super Bowl commercials (of the ones I saw) ranked:

4: the singing sheep
3: the wiener dogs.
2: the avocado/Scott Baio one.

and my favorite ...

1: Opioid induced constipation!
posted by octobersurprise at 9:34 AM on February 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


I object to the notion that "we the people" "believe anything is possible". If only that were true.
posted by bleep at 9:36 AM on February 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


It seems like there are two strains of criticism to this spot.

1) Use of 9/11 imagery in a commercial, which yeah I think is pretty tasteless, but Williamsburg is hardly alone in that crime.

2) The image of these scenes in reverse implies that Williamsburg is against these events and represents the anti of that movement. I don't know if that's really fair, as it seems pretty explicit that Williamsburg is positing itself as the birth of American social progress. I don't really buy into that understanding of historical theory, but it seems like a stretch to say, as Slate argues, that Colonial Williamsburg "wants to move back the clock on equality struggles"
posted by Think_Long at 9:37 AM on February 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


Don't forget Drake's T-Mobile ad. I love Drake.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:38 AM on February 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


WTF? Yeah, and a lot of those were people who actually lived here when it happened, assholes.

Also we remember what Colonial Williamsburg was like before all the hipsters moved in.
posted by grobstein at 9:38 AM on February 8, 2016 [36 favorites]


Colonial hipsters are the ones without beards.
posted by peeedro at 9:39 AM on February 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


We went to Colonial Williamsburg two summers ago and it was really fantastic. So I'm inclines to give this a pass. Those images are definitely triggering to a lot of folks, but they have historical value.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:42 AM on February 8, 2016 [1 favorite]



2) The image of these scenes in reverse implies that Williamsburg is against these events and represents the anti of that movement. I don't know if that's really fair,


Not only unfair but totally bizarre. It's like the most facile, basic surface reading of something that is already very simplistic. It's like... Reductio as absurdum or something.
posted by bleep at 9:44 AM on February 8, 2016


the planning committee was probably in a post-pancake food coma when they decided that capitalizing on 9/11 was a good idea.

if you drive through Williamsburg on surface streets, you will pass half a dozen pancake restaurants, minimum.
posted by indubitable at 9:44 AM on February 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


Unfortunately I think this mawkish shit reflects the fact that 9/11 is becoming a foundational moment for our country. I hate it, I wish it wasn't so, and as a New Yorker I frankly resent it. But I think it's happening.

National media may hate it but I'm not sure they miscalculated their appeal.
posted by grobstein at 9:44 AM on February 8, 2016 [15 favorites]


To be fair the company who made the ad thought it was for that neighborhood in Brooklyn with all the bearded guys with Hitler haircuts , not the old timey town in VA.
posted by Liquidwolf at 9:46 AM on February 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


This makes the whole Super Bowl Babies ("let's get the children conceived by unprotected Super Bowl sex together and sing with Seal") that the NFL was doing seem like a good idea.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:46 AM on February 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


It could really have used the Challenger reassembling itself in midair, JFK's head coming back together, and the Arizona rising out of the waters of Pearl Harbor. That would make it even more water coolerrific.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:49 AM on February 8, 2016 [38 favorites]


When will people realize that referencing 9/11 is completely out of bounds unless you're trying to drum up xenophobia and justify military intervention?
posted by gottabefunky at 9:49 AM on February 8, 2016 [29 favorites]


Yeah, I couldn't decide if the most tasteless part was the weird 9/11 thing or the underlying message of "Colonial Williamsburg: don't you wish you could literally rewind the civil rights movement? So do we!"
posted by Itaxpica at 9:50 AM on February 8, 2016 [8 favorites]


This makes the whole Super Bowl Babies ("let's get the children conceived by unprotected Super Bowl sex together and sing with Seal") that the NFL was doing seem like a good idea.

PUPPY MONKEY BABY
posted by Itaxpica at 9:50 AM on February 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


Yeah, Think_Long, that is a part of the subtext that is somewhat interesting. Colonial Williamsburg has had a bumpy history with regard to racism - it was overtly segregated and discriminatory from its founding through the Civil Rights movement; then they barely mentioned slavery until the mid-70s, presenting basically a lily-white Colonial town (which is just ahistorical) when they were pressured by the public and critics into revamping the story they were telling. They've worked to try to address the issues of race since. A 1990s "slave auction" re-creation was one such experiment that partially backfired, but opened up some good conversation. and discussions of enslavement and nonwhite histories are a lot more prominent there now, but it's not been easy to strike the right note and resource the staff, and they are still working to improve their presentation of race-related topics.
posted by Miko at 9:51 AM on February 8, 2016 [15 favorites]


"Colonial Williamsburg: don't you wish you could literally rewind the civil rights movement? So do we!"

Pretty sure that's not what they're going for. You could say that about anything from more than 60 years ago according to that logic.
posted by Liquidwolf at 9:52 AM on February 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Pretty sure that's not what they're going for. You could say that about anything from more than 60 years ago according to that logic.

...did you even watch the ad we're talking about?
posted by Itaxpica at 9:54 AM on February 8, 2016


the planning committee was probably in a post-pancake food coma

pancake day isn't even until tomorrow
posted by poffin boffin at 9:54 AM on February 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


(To clarify: the logic isn't "Colonial Williamsburg hearkens back to a time before the civil rights movement and thus is trying to rewind the civil rights movement", it's "Colonial Williamsburg literally made an ad where they rewind the civil rights movement". I don't think "anything from more than 60 years ago" really applies).
posted by Itaxpica at 9:55 AM on February 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I was most struck by the rewinding with regard to 9/11 where watching the towers actually reassemble themselves was shocking and deeply strange. "Watch as thousands of people come back to life!" was a bizarre message to send even for a second before you explain it.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:57 AM on February 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


Dammit, I wanted to go to Colonial Williamsburg this year, but I can't stomach the thought of my tourist dollars going to an organization that thought the use of 9/11 footage was in any way a good idea.
posted by Soliloquy at 9:58 AM on February 8, 2016


See! We all make mistakes, Colonial Williamsburg!

Can I please come back to the park now?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:58 AM on February 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


I think the ad is kind of tacky even without 9/11 footage, because my tolerance for rah-rah patriotism was pretty well destroyed by the popular jingoistic response to 9/11.
posted by usonian at 10:01 AM on February 8, 2016 [10 favorites]



(To clarify: the logic isn't "Colonial Williamsburg hearkens back to a time before the civil rights movement and thus is trying to rewind the civil rights movement", it's "Colonial Williamsburg literally made an ad where they rewind the civil rights movement". I don't think "anything from more than 60 years ago" really applies).


Well yeah, you can look at it in literal way and get that message, which is almost makes it strangely satirical. I'm just saying that wasn't something that stood out to me. I didn't really think the ad was that offensive or controversial to be honest, and I can't stand 911 exploitation stuff either.
posted by Liquidwolf at 10:01 AM on February 8, 2016


"the underlying message of "Colonial Williamsburg: don't you wish you could literally rewind the civil rights movement? So do we!""

Yeeeeeeeah. I got what they were going for, but I was really uncomfortable with the Civil Rights marches going backwards, as well as the un-storming of the beaches at Normandy. (As well as obviously the 9/11 footage which was in the POOREST OF ALL POSSIBLE TASTE.) I understand they were aiming for "rewind" to first principles and come to Williamsburg where you can learn how it started, but it registered with me as "undo" progress and achievements.

Again, I understand the goal of the ad, and I even think it's a cool idea in the abstract ... but in the execution, actually SEEING those events rewind was extremely uncomfortable and I had a viscerally negative reaction to the ad. I was physically squirming when it was on.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:03 AM on February 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


<hamburger> You guys just don't recognize slapstick when you see it. </hamburger>
posted by achrise at 10:05 AM on February 8, 2016


Isn't "rewinding" a pretty dated metaphor now? Meta-appropriate I guess.
posted by grobstein at 10:07 AM on February 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I definitely think their heart was in the right place, but considering that every single person at the super bowl party I was at had the same visceral negative reaction to the ad (and judging from this thread that seems to be a not uncommon response) you'd think that someone at some point along the line of getting that thing made and aired would have taken a step back and realized that maaaaaaaybe it wasn't the best idea.
posted by Itaxpica at 10:08 AM on February 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Runner up for tackiest Superbowl ad: the Audi ad featuring a sad retired astronaut set to David Bowie's Starman.
posted by Windigo at 10:09 AM on February 8, 2016 [6 favorites]



Yeah, I definitely think their heart was in the right place, but considering that every single person at the super bowl party I was at had the same visceral negative reaction to the ad (and judging from this thread that seems to be a not uncommon response) you'd think that someone at some point along the line of getting that thing made and aired would have taken a step back and realized that maaaaaaaybe it wasn't the best idea.




Agreed the "rewind" thing was a bad idea, they should've noticed that.
posted by Liquidwolf at 10:10 AM on February 8, 2016


they could have set the whole thing to yakety sax, I suppose
posted by indubitable at 10:11 AM on February 8, 2016 [7 favorites]


PUPPY MONKEY BABY

Yeah, I have no idea what the fuck that commercial was actually for, so I'm just not going to buy anything, just to be safe.
posted by Naberius at 10:11 AM on February 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


Runner up for tackiest Superbowl ad: the Audi ad featuring a sad retired astronaut set to David Bowie's Starman.

Two words:Scientology Ad.
posted by Liquidwolf at 10:12 AM on February 8, 2016


Two words: Scientology Ad.

Was that tacky though, or just creepy?
posted by Windigo at 10:15 AM on February 8, 2016




Good lord, Brokaw sounds terrible.
posted by sageleaf at 10:17 AM on February 8, 2016


Two words: Scientology Ad.

Was that tacky though, or just creepy?


Fair enough...Creepy. Very creepy.
posted by Liquidwolf at 10:19 AM on February 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Good lord, Brokaw sounds terrible.


He aint as young as he used to be.
posted by Liquidwolf at 10:21 AM on February 8, 2016


At least the Bowie song wasn't used IN the Scientology ad, though there'd have been a certain humor in hearing Starman played to promote Xenu's army.
posted by Windigo at 10:21 AM on February 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I thought it tacky - the backwards march of history aside - just because of the strong implication that American history began when the first white Anglo-Saxon man strode on the shores of Virginia, which were of course completely empty of any people, and certainly empty of any people whose ancestors still live here.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 10:22 AM on February 8, 2016 [10 favorites]


I dunno. I think there's an aspect of modern culture now where there's a real lack of...I dunno...I know "imagination" isn't the right term. Abstract thinking? But, I really think people tend to to take things far too black/white and very, very literally now.

Now, this wasn't a very well-made ad, to be sure. It's pretty ham-handed, really. But, I do feel like it was a very easy concept to grasp...time running backwards to the beginning of the nation. Where the ad fails the conceit, though, is that it plays many clips out of chronological order until the very end. I think, had they stuck to showing events in strict backward chronological order, more people would have caught the idea and been a bit less GRAR-ish about it.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:22 AM on February 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


you'd think that someone at some point along the line of getting that thing made and aired would have taken a step back and realized that maaaaaaaybe it wasn't the best idea.

You'd think that whatever ad agency suggested a visual cliché like "running history backwards" would've been fired on the spot.
posted by octobersurprise at 10:23 AM on February 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm not going to hate on Colonial Williamsburg, it's a neat place, but yeah the ad was jarring. I interpreted it that they were going for the "rewind history: it all started here" concept but by using tragic or controversial moments (I thought the Vietnam clip was almost as jarring as the 9/11 one) juxtaposed with more positive imagery they muddled the message and despite the cheesy voiceover turned it into "also all that awful stuff you don't like started here too" which is just odd messaging for an ad.
posted by Wretch729 at 10:23 AM on February 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


Weird. I can remember a bunch of the commercials I saw last night (the walking intestine, the sad astronaut, the Prius thieves, puppymonkeybaby, Christopher Walken), at least one of which was memorably charming rather than memorably revolting. But I don't recall either the scientology or the williamsburg ad. Were they on near the beginning of the end of the game?
posted by ardgedee at 10:28 AM on February 8, 2016


Incidentally my inner pedant found the creepy puppy-monkey-baby ad annoying and baffling. The whole premise of the ad is the mashup of three "awesome" things but then the ad tells us these are Mountain Dew + juice + caffeine. Mountain Dew already has a ton of caffeine in it; that is the entire point of Mountain Dew! That's been a cornerstone of its marketing for ages! It makes no sense!
posted by Wretch729 at 10:31 AM on February 8, 2016


Colonial Williamsburg: because if there's two things kids love it's standing outside in the summer heat and learning how to mill grain
posted by dephlogisticated at 10:33 AM on February 8, 2016 [25 favorites]


I don't know that the Scientology was national — or at least on in Chicago — because Twitter was blowing up about it and I didn't see it.

I didn't see the Williamsburg one either but I may not have been paying attention once I saw my second or third ad about shitting or people Super Bowl fucking.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:33 AM on February 8, 2016


okay I legit thought that was Ben Kingsley doing his Mandarin voice from Iron Man 3. which made that a really interesting viewing experience.
posted by floweringjudas at 10:35 AM on February 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


But, I do feel like it was a very easy concept to grasp...time running backwards to the beginning of the nation.

Sure, but a lot of Americans don't look back with longing at the beginning of our nation as a simpler time they wish they could visit, and we recognize today that the "we" in "We the people" had a lot of asterisks attached at the time. That doesn't mean Colonial Williamsburg is bad or we shouldn't understand history, but the overall message of "don't you wish you could go back to where it all began?" is problematic, especially amid an election where undoing social progress has been a common talking point.
posted by zachlipton at 10:36 AM on February 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


The only thing I remember about my Colonial Williamsburg school trip in seventh grade was being handed a stick and told to pretend it was a rifle with a bayonet, and then being taught to hold the stick and yell "Huzzah" in a threatening manner on a one-two count. I was pretty Super Nintendo-oriented then, however.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:36 AM on February 8, 2016


But I don't recall either the scientology or the williamsburg ad.

The Williamsburg ad only aired in Washington, NY, and Philadelphia, which they say is where the bulk of their visitors come from.
posted by Miko at 10:37 AM on February 8, 2016


I was in NY, and I saw the scientology ad.

(Also I really liked the avocado ad, if only for the complete non-sequitur that was the "avocados from Mexico!" jingle coming on at the very end of an ad that had nothing to do with avocados until the very last second. For the rest of the night, after any particularly bizarre commercial, someone would inevitably yell "Avocados! From Mexico!")
posted by Itaxpica at 10:40 AM on February 8, 2016


Colonial Williamsburg: because if there's two things kids love it's standing outside in the summer heat and learning how to mill grain

See, my pitch for the ad would've involved a group of gun-toting, camo-dressed people in a forest somewhere. It's raining, they're cold, they're eating out of cans, they're unhappy. Then one of them looks at his or her phone and says "Why are we playing revolution out here? We could be at Colonial Williamsburg!" Suddenly, everyone looks at the speaker, the rain stops, and the sun starts to come out. A bird sings. CUT TO: fireworks. TAGLINE: COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG: LIVE HISTORY."
posted by octobersurprise at 10:42 AM on February 8, 2016 [12 favorites]


Note that "Colonial Williamsburg" is a private corporation, unrelated to the city of Williamsburg, Virginia, which owns and operates the olde timey portion of the city. They are an extraordinarily powerful corporation, and their relationship with the city of Williamsburg is weird and unhealthy, but they are a corporation nonetheless. I say this only to point out that Williamsburg and Colonial Williamsburg are very different things, in the same way that Washington DC and the federal government are also very different things.
posted by waldo at 10:42 AM on February 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


Colonial Williamsburg: because if there's two things kids love it's standing outside in the summer heat and learning how to mill grain

I did not enjoy visiting Williamsburg as a child for precisely these reasons. However, my mother began making Williamsburg cake from a cookbook she got there, and while I do not endorse pretty much any decision about historical reenactments in the US, I do endorse this cake. It is so good.
posted by Frowner at 10:46 AM on February 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


To clarify, yes, it's a corporation but it's a 501(c)3 educational nonprofit like most major nonprofit museums, operated by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. There is a also a private for-profit corporation, the Colonial Williamsburg Company, which is a legally separate entity that operates hotels and amenities to serve CW and the surrounding region.
posted by Miko at 10:47 AM on February 8, 2016


The Scientology one was national. Or at least, was also on in San Francisco as well as all over the East Coast.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 10:49 AM on February 8, 2016


"Colonial Williamsburg: don't you wish you could literally rewind the civil rights movement? So do we!"

Remember Colonial Williamsburg? Pepperidge Farm remembers.
posted by AndrewInDC at 10:50 AM on February 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


A friend of mine worked there during the summer of 2002 or 2003. She mostly worked behind the scenes, cataloging plants and doing garden work. But every Friday, she was an interpreter (I think that's the right term). Her instructions when asked about slavery were to say that they would like to be rich enough to own a slave someday. I don't know if they still have anyone there giving that answer.
posted by Hactar at 10:51 AM on February 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


It does seem like a historically accurate thing to say. To their credit, in doing that, CW is not whitewashing the economic incentives behind slavery. I have a friend who's a historical educator who portrays a slave character at a different site. She asks people "if you could invest in something that would yield you 20 times its cost, wouldn't you?" It's a harsh thing to hear, but a historical reality.
posted by Miko at 11:00 AM on February 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


Colonial Williamsburg has had a bumpy history with regard to racism

It's a running gag with my partner and I that, when discussing vacation/travel plans, I'll suggest Colonial Williamsburg. At that point she, who is black and whose family is from Virginia, will fix me with her icy stare of death which I inexplicably adore. So I support this blatant use of 9/11 footage. Now I can follow-up on that stare by saying, "What? You don't want the terrorists to win, do you?" and find out if I also adore getting stabbed to death.
posted by Panjandrum at 11:05 AM on February 8, 2016 [16 favorites]


Yeah, I have no idea what the fuck that [puppymonkeybaby] commercial was actually for, so I'm just not going to buy anything, just to be safe.

You know how they combined three cool things into a horrifying monstrosity? Mountain Dew did that with liquids.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:06 AM on February 8, 2016


"It Started Here."
"I have sometimes been ready to think that the passion for Liberty cannot be Eaquelly Strong in the Breasts of those who have been accustomed to deprive their fellow Creatures of theirs. Of this I am certain that it is not founded upon that generous and christian principal of doing to others as we would that others should do unto us."

Letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams, March 31, 1776
posted by RonButNotStupid at 11:07 AM on February 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I didn't watch, but is it my understanding that one problem with the Williamsburg ad is that it doesn't politicize 9/11? Is there anything else that can only be politicized?
posted by rhizome at 11:25 AM on February 8, 2016


They need better slogans:

Colonial Williamsburg: Where it's still OK to talk shit about George III

Colonial Williamsburg: Where "Light-Horse Harry" Lee is still a thing

Colonial Williamsburg: It's not all soap and candles
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:27 AM on February 8, 2016


If you look closely, you'll see the Statue of Liberty had a wardrobe malfunction leading to a nipple slip.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:36 AM on February 8, 2016


I don't really have an opinion of Colonial Williamsburg one way or another, but getting upset over footage of the World Trade Center attack and not mentioning the use of scenes from D-Day, or the Vietnam wall, or the Civil-Rights marches (that we needed them, not the demonstrations themselves) seems to be an attempt to ignore or pretend that the towers weren't attacked. it's been fifteen years; the sting is absolutely still there, but it seems reasonable to include the footage in an anthology of the events of our country. It was a pretty big deal.

To my read, it appears that the commercial is pointing to the best of our history (Shuttle launches, black president, etc) as well as the worst.

If anything, my main complaint is that when showing the "Bad", they skipped over the Depression, slavery and our interactions with the Natives who lived here before our arrival. But then, they weren't trying to provide a complete history in 30 seconds, they were trying to create a tourism ad by showing what we've accomplished and what we've overcome.

I wouldn't have even thought to be offended by this if I saw this when it aired, but then, I'm also pretty jaded and burned, so my sensitivity calibration might be a bit off.
posted by quin at 11:44 AM on February 8, 2016


not mentioning the use of scenes from D-Day, or the Vietnam wall, or the Civil-Rights marches (that we needed them, not the demonstrations themselves) seems to be an attempt

I would agree with this perspective if they had shown the Challenger actually blowing up, JFK getting shot in the head, and people getting blown into bits in Vietnam instead of paying respects at the Wall. The Normandy image was the only other one that was even close in its depiction of a moment of violent death, but the focus is on the soldiers in the near view, not on the murderous explosions on the beach.

I agree that the omission of slavery and indigenous genocide and things like that are noticeable too.
posted by Miko at 11:51 AM on February 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Maybe we need a flowchart where it says "Do you want to include the Twin Towers falling down in your advertisement" and all the arrows go to a big box that says "NO YOU GODDAMN MORON WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU"

Also, was anyone else looking at the opioid constipation ad and the IBS diarrhea ad and thinking "OMG brainstorm!!"...? Just me?
posted by caution live frogs at 11:56 AM on February 8, 2016 [8 favorites]


It put me in mind of the opium suppositories from Trainspotting. "Oh, yeah, for all the good they've done me, I might as well have stuck them up my ass!"
posted by octobersurprise at 12:13 PM on February 8, 2016


it's been fifteen years; the sting is absolutely still there, but it seems reasonable to include the footage in an anthology of the events of our country. It was a pretty big deal.

I think this depends a lot on how you see 9/11 and especially subsequent political events, which is something we're only starting to come to terms with. Most Americans have been taught a fairly similar narrative around Pearl Harbor as a defining moment in the history of our nation. It's also a narrative that has a fairly clear and victorious ending, albeit one at the cost of a lot of lives.

But we don't all have the same narrative around 9/11. For some, their immediate relatives are staring at them in that video clip. For others, it means an outpouring of nationalism and a fight for our nation's freedom. For some, it means suspicion if not outright hatred for their religion (or perceived religion) from friends and neighbors. And for others, it means a long and deadly war in a country that a startling percentage of Americans believe actually had something to do with the attacks. So it depends a lot on your perspective.
posted by zachlipton at 12:15 PM on February 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Sure, but a lot of Americans don't look back with longing at the beginning of our nation as a simpler time they wish they could visit

Come for the witch burning, stay for the syphillis!
posted by thivaia at 12:21 PM on February 8, 2016


To zachlipton's point, this Tweet.
posted by Miko at 12:21 PM on February 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Sure, but a lot of Americans don't look back with longing at the beginning of our nation as a simpler time they wish they could visit

when not only could they hunt minorities for sport but were also paid a bounty to do so!
posted by poffin boffin at 12:40 PM on February 8, 2016


I want an apology from Colonel Williamburg himself!
posted by ignignokt at 1:01 PM on February 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


This is the response by Colonial Williamsburg, and though they realize the importance of remembering history they sort of forget about slavery as part of history



In response to the reaction its ad received, Colonial Williamsburg posted the following message:

"We take our mission seriously to educate all Americans about the history of our Nation. This means recognizing our accomplishments and our heartbreaks. We understand and respect that some of the images depicted in the ad may be jarring to some, but the outpouring of support on social media sends a powerful message that the past must be remembered if we are to succeed as a Nation."
posted by Postroad at 1:29 PM on February 8, 2016


Also, was anyone else looking at the opioid constipation ad and the IBS diarrhea ad and thinking "OMG brainstorm!!"...?

It's a legitimately good idea, just not a new one.
posted by dephlogisticated at 1:57 PM on February 8, 2016


Looks like they've quietly removed the "It Started Here" section from their site and taken their YouTube videos private.

I guess they decided the past is not always worth remembering.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:27 PM on February 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah, we have been trying to find it, with no luck. The decision to use Sept. 11 footage was one in poor taste.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 8:15 PM on February 8, 2016


The commercial is on YouTube here.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:06 PM on February 8, 2016


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