Well, here we are. The Monday after the Super Bowl. The hangovers are real. The food comas are still in effect. And the opinion trolls are out and vocal about that Bruce Springsteen Jeep Commercial.
The ad copy reads: “There’s a chapel in Kansas standing on the exact center of the lower 48. It never closes. All are more than welcome to come meet here in the middle,” Springsteen says. “It’s no secret, the middle has been a hard place to get to lately, between red and blue, between servant and citizen, between our freedom and our fear.”
“Now fear has never been the best of who we are. And as for freedom, it’s not the property of just the fortunate few. It belongs to us all, whoever you are, wherever you’re from. It’s what connects us, and we need that connection,” he continues. “We need the middle. We just have to remember the very soil we stand on is common ground. So we can get there. We can make it to the mountain top, through the desert, and we will cross this divide. Our light has always found its way through the darkness. And there’s hope on the rode up ahead.”
I’m sure you’ve heard about it by now. The commercials — which let’s be honest, are the reason 90% of people actually tune into the Super Bowl anyway — they left a lot to be desired, and all people are talking about is the Jeep spot.
Last night I watched the game with a couple of friends, and my famous Cincinnati Skyline Chili Dip. And to be honest, I spent more time gabbing than actually watching. But today, I have certainly got an earful about Bruce Springsteen’s appearance during the controversial commercial.
By the time of publication, it’s had 30 million views already on YouTube. And – no surprise here – but like all of 2020 and 2021 so far, the country is harshly divided over this commercial…about unity.
It’s a rather played out trope…the rugged man (Bruce) is in a Jeep looking weathered and doing a serious voice over about how the country needs to find “common ground” and meet in “the middle.” The setting was at a tiny chapel situated on the exact geographic middle of the country, symbolic of the unity our country should seek. There’s Christian symbolism throughout, and it closes with the phrase “The ReUnited States of America” — superimposed over an outline of the United States….which ironically forgot to include the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Let’s just say, people are heated over this seemingly benign call for togetherness.
Left wing liberals are claiming that it’s a “disturbing omen of Christian nationalism.” Others on the left are saying that all of the Christian imagery is tone deaf to the evens of January 6 at the Capitol. While other far left extremists say that you can’t find common ground with white supremacists and fascists, and that the “other side” needs to pay for the events at the Capitol, and make atonement for their non-wokeness.
Conversely, people on the right are slamming both Jeep and Bruce Springsteen as hypocritical for promoting unity, when Bruce is famous for being derogatorily outspoken against Trump and conservatives. He was quoted for saying he’d move to Australia if Trump were reelected in 2020, calling the election an “exorcism.”
Conservatives, myself included, also feel the ad is corporate virtue signaling to the absolute N’th degree. “Come together and find common ground“…meaning, come to “our woke side” and believe what we believe, or we’ll call you a fascist or bigot, and cancel your ass. But sure, unity.
And to heavy handedly use Christian imagery as the cornerstone of the ad, when religious liberties are truly, under attack in this country…you could cut the irony with a knife.
Personally, what left the worst taste in my mouth, was how at the end, it called for the “ReUnited” States of America. Which, frankly, is the biggest proverbial “middle finger” to former President Trump I’ve ever seen.
The whole tone was like, this country is in shambles thanks to that fascist that was in the White House. Thank God we have Biden in office now to bring us together. Let’s unify at the altar of wokeness….or as we like to say, “the middle.”
The melodrama of it all was just sooo self serving. And its self-righteousness made me gag.
But that’s not what I want to focus on in tonight’s post.
I was watching with my friends, and one says, “I’m tired of the NFL being so political. I came to watch football.” Coincidentally, he was the second person who uttered, nearly that exact sentence to me that day.
My friend wasn’t the only one feeling this way, either. The NFL’s ratings and viewing numbers were the lowest they’ve been since 2017 this season. What used to be America’s favorite game, is now a breeding ground for wokeism, and politics. Case and point: during the Super Bowl, Mariah Carey tweeted, “Happy Colin Kaepernick Appreciation Day!”
There were ads about BLM and the NFL itself put out an ad where they announced that they were pledging $250 million to ending systemic racism.
Referee’s and players wearing “woke” slogans on their hats and uniforms. Commercials oozing with demonstrative and performative activism.
It’s getting shoved down our throats.
Can we not just enjoy the game without getting political?
I miss the good ol’ days where we laughed our butts off to “Wazzuppppp” commericals, or cried to the Budweiser thoroughbred horse.
It’s just too much.
Because at the end of the day, as we’ve witnessed in the reaction to this seemingly innocent call for unity, sadly, our country is so fiercely divided that even that is grounds for division. Our country has completely vilified those who believe differently. Not all, but the small minority of extreme minded individuals, whose voices are not only the loudest, but then further amplified by an agenda’d media and government, who benefit from a country divided. Those extreme voices are setting the cultural tone, and businesses and organization must either play along, or get canceled and feel the wrath of the woke mob.
If we are earnestly seeking the middle — like Springsteen is so cinematically calling for — then it’s going to actually take coming to the middle. The middle denotes compromise. It is comprised of creative and cooperative problem solving and solutions.
The Middle is not steamrolling 28 highly divisive executive orders through, within the first two weeks of a presidency term.
That is not communicating a spirit of cooperation. It is not demonstrating a quest for unity or the middle. It is a gigantic red flag that it’s “my way or the highway.”
Last night, we had a huge opportunity to come together as a country and enjoy a football game, and the multi-million dollar commercials that go with it. But sadly, we failed that test.
Unity takes humility. It takes compromise. It takes a willingness to listen, and a heart that welcomes and respects differneces.
Tonight, I pray that our country and its leaders take that tall order to heart. Because until we do those things, can we begin actually come together and meet in the middle.
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
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