Monday, February 05, 2007


Full of Caramel, Peanuts, Nougat, and Blatant Homophobia

So I was watching the Super Bowl yesterday, and was exposed to a Snickers commercial where two mechanics end up eating a Snickers bar from opposite ends. Once they "meet at the middle", so to speak, they freak out, tell each other to "do something manly", and rip off their chest hair and scream. I was a bit suspicious, but I didn't really raise a fuss. After all, the ad could easily be making fun of the two guys for being so concerned about their masculinity that they cause themselves pain.

That is, if not for the extras. See, to correspond with the ad, Snickers put up on their web site (which is suspiciously down right now) a series of extras, including various ways you could vote for the ad to end. Among these extras were:

-members of both the Colts and the Bears looking at the ad, grimacing, and generally expressing general disgust at the fact that-- dear God!-- two guys had to kiss.
-an ending where the two men swallow motor oil or antifreeze to get the taste of another man's tongue out of their mouth.
-an ending where the two men go at one another with wrenches for having the gall to sully one another's lips with man saliva (so, men, if another guy hits on you, beat the shit out of him! It's funny!).

I keep feeling that we're stagnating when it comes to our presentation in the media, if not sliding backwards. We got somewhere near being human beings in the '90s, and TV shows kept wanting to show us getting married. Now agents want their clients' characters to "straighten out", there are news segments saying it's okay to think about us as one-dimensional stereotypes, and a major candy company thinks it's good business to have pro athletes in one of the butchest sports in America say that they have nothing to do with that gay stuff.

Let's show them otherwise, shall we? You can write Snickers here. Let them know what you think about the ad.

UPDATE (2/7/07): Well, the good news is, Snickers pulled the ad. The bad news is, they don't get it. They say their goal was "to capture the attention of our core Snickers consumer, primarily 18-to-24-year-old adult males." Apparently, 18-to-24 year old males find the idea of whaling on a man for daring to kiss you fucking hilarious. They also say that "humor is highly subjective", which is ad exec code for, "Can't you take a joke?" You're gonna have to do better than that, Mars.

I don't know what the factors are, but I do think that the gay rights movement, as well as feminism, have been going backwards lately. Perhaps the main cause has been a recent "masculinization" of culture?
Could be. I'd blame complacency in certain gay circles as well, though. Remember, the best thing the HRC did for us in the 2004 election was to... hire a truck to ride around NYC during the RNC telling Bush that he's fired. And John Aravosis, though he's a great guy most of the time, criticized a $250,000 ad campaign by a pro-gay marraige group by saying it might raise the "Gays will ruin marriage!" specter and throw the midterms.
Justin, to take such "specters" as legit, takes a lot of ignorance. I certainly hope society as a whole doesn't run under such assumptions. We're taking ourselves WAY too seriously. Time to take a step back and have a laugh at ourselves. Life is too stressful... I didn't feel "homophobic" in the slightest. On the contrary, the Snickers Wrench Ad make me feel quite "Snickerphobic!" I hope this cheers you up guys! Enjoy.
I guess I am taking myself too seriously, anonymous. Or maybe I'm just seeing a concerted effort by far right groups to drive back our rights that is succeeding nearly every time it comes up on a state level. And maybe, at the same time, I'm seeing our presentation in the media-- scratch that, our positive presentation in the media-- start to go down rapidly.

Still. I do like the T-shirts.
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