Whoops!

So when you write a blog post and format a Daily Cup on WordPress it looks one way, with pictures and videos and whatever media one feels compelled to add.

Next you hit the “publish” button and an e-mail goes out to subscribers.  If as a subscriber you read the e-mail rather than clicking the link to the WordPress website you are reading the text but missing the media.

Yesterday, at the top of my post was a very important video.  It was a Car Rental commercial that has made me sick to my stomach for quite some time now.  In the commercial a smug man in a suit says he thinks of himself not as a control freak but as a control “enthusiast.” He says this as he pours cream into a coffee cup.  If you watch the commercial closely it’s grotesque.   The smug man in a suit is tall, dark haired, blue-eyed and white.  He has just stolen that cup of coffee, swiping it from the hands of an African American barista who is handing the coffee to the woman who bought and paid for it. Next he steals the creamer container, walking off with it, using it and then rudely depositing it on top of the luggage of an elderly African American who is seated on the back of an airport cart for those with mobility challenges.  Towards the end of the 30 second commercial the smug man says:  “I can bypass the counter and go straight to my car.  And I don’t have to talk to any humans, unless I want to.  And I don’t.”  So he’s a god.  And his control (manipulation, theft, abuse) is “sexy.”  The commercial is frightening and sad.

My advice?  Don’t rent a car from National Car Rental, ever.

So there it is.  I’ll admit that even with the video the post was a little cryptic but my hope was that yesterday’s post was a dark contrast to the Teresa of Avila quote I posted last week, which also required “no comment.”

Rest assured I am OK.

Happy Tuesday,

Jim+

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11 Responses to Whoops!

  1. That was mean. I give my groceries to a black panhandler: hotdogs, cheese, vegetables, bananas, pineapple, and cornbread. I tried to buy him a rotisserie chicken but then they didn’t take food stamps for it. So I was going to buy him a plain chicken and go to his house (new subsidized) to bake it with butter and almonds and orange slices but then my aged parents, with whom I live, wouldn’t hear of my going actually into the apartment of a poor black man and baking a chicken for him.

  2. To cap it all off, my Tai Chi classmates thought when you go into an apartment actually to bake a chicken for a poor man whose had a hard life, you must be in love with him. But if I was in love with a man, I’d give him a banana. I’d tell him to get a move on and go into houses and bake chickens and clean toilets. I only go into houses to serve. And my fabulous cooking is reserved for the poor.

  3. I think in America today there is a strong antagonism to the poor because there is a notion that poverty is degraded, that it degrades us as a people; that the poor have opted for degradation and they threaten the American system which should produce happiness and success.

  4. And racism is nothing but sadism. It brings sadistic pleasure to people.

  5. Jack H. Haney says:

    Yup. I agree with you. Hate the ad. Jack H Haney+

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  6. Kristie Hassett says:

    Here’s my take on the commercial. We should certainly reflect on our own behavior from time to time, and try to behave MUCH better than the guy in the commercial. But bottom line — the commercial is just a parody; I don’t think that we should try to read anything else into it.

  7. One of the problems is that the ad seems ubiquitous on TV in the evening. I get really upset every time it’s on. I’d like to be able to treat it as a parody and laugh it off, but that would be like trying to laugh off a minstrel show. which claimed the same thing.

  8. Anne Richardson says:

    If the ad attracts customers like the man in the ad, National Car Rental will get what it deserves: drivers who spill coffee in their cars.

  9. Michele says:

    Yes indeed. I got it (learned early on about the non-link in the email and always read Cups in Word Press now). I agree whole-heartedly with this offensive commercial (also why I dont watch many commercials). The anti-love thy neighbor marketing scheme.

  10. Marina Bühler-Miko says:

    Jim,

    I have been wanting to get back to you for days now about this ad. I now have some free time since I am on a 4+ hour bus trip to NYC. So here goes….

    I also despise this ad but for some other reasons. I hadn’t even noticed the racial characteristics you pointed out because, since I started working at Lord & Taylor at a minimum wage job where I work mainly with “people of color”, I have stopped noticing color. Funny thing that … but it happens and it is part of the blessings I have received from the circumstances I find myself in. The point I dislike about this ad is the fact that it makes a VIRTUE out of not having to deal with another person. Being in the service business now I get several people everyday who behave like that. They expect service but don’t want to have anything to do with another human being. And if you try, Lord help you! This phenomena seems to be the result of the technical/computer revolution where one can control ones interactions.

    I had a customer a while back (who had been a Home Ec. teacher) tell me she is worried about the fact that young people today, who do everything by the internet like ordering clothing, miss all the other sensations which should determine a buying decision like the touch and feel of the clothing. Having made such decisions on what the internet is showing they sure come back into the store and complain that the product isn’t “like what the photo shows”. Even more limiting is the “virtue” being proclaimed here, that you don’t have to be bothered with people. It is a bit frightening making a virtue out of non interaction … and of course it never occurs to these “types” that your service has a commission attached to it. In other, words not acknowledging your presence means they are also blind to the fact that that you are being paid for “service”. But that is still another matter. Luckily, there are still people who want to interact about what they are buying so the job has its psychic rewards, especially if you can help someone make a decision who is worried about how she looks when she doesn’t feel very good about that … or those for whom the cost and her worry about money is a real factor.

    With this ad, though, I am become worried about people who spend their days believing that not having to interact with another human being is a GOOD thing. Clearly, for them a good day is one in which they can stay in their own heads, undisturbed.

    Best, Marina >

  11. Arlene says:

    I travel a lot and have rented from National a lot and regularly experience these smug arrogant white male travelers so when I see these ads it really upsets me and I normally do not care – I have posted to their FB with no response. I am saddened that they paid good money to a good actor to glorify bad behavior when traveling. Taking my dollars elsewhere but so sad someone thought this would entice me to book a car with them when I was previously loyal. Thanks for articulating the racism beyond bad behavior.

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