Archive - Apr 2006

April 10th

Deliciously Disgraceful

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Memo to America's advertisers: WE'RE STILL DUMB.

Which must be why you treat us like complete idiots. That's your job. To market to us, and reach as many of us as possible to convince us of things we wouldn't have convinced ourselves of by ourselves. And I understand that. I don't like it, but I understand it. But sometimes it goes a little to far, and I have to tell Tyson to go fuck themselves.

Ah, Tyson, the chicken people who have been moving into a few other species over the last year or two. Their new... well, I suppose "focus" is the wrong word... their new biological scope demands a new, pan-mammalian slogan. Which is why, apparently, I keep seeing commercials that ask me if I've had my protein today.

Tyson. Is asking Americans. If they've had their protein today. Sometimes they modify it to "Tyson protein", as if that helps. It's a good thing fish don't have televisions, because otherwise, Masters Of The Fucking Obvious Advertisers Inc. would be rolling out their "got water?" campaign any day now.

Yes, we've had our protein today. No, we didn't forget. No, we didn't need you to remind us. There is not some kind of freakish protein shortage out there. We're protein-prolific. We're awash in amino acids. You can't swing a wet cat in this country without touching meat.

I mean, don't get me wrong. I'm not some kind of vegan. You can send the Homeland Security photographers away now. I love meat. Meat tastes good. But I'm not under some delustion that a frozen breaded chicken tender is an essential part of the human diet, and that Tyson is performing a nutritional public service by putting thirty of them in a box for three bucks.

There are two types of people who might watch a Tyson commercial and answer "no" to their hypothetical question. Amateur vegetarians and people who are starving. Neither of whom, I might add, are really the target of Tyson's ads. Tyson shows us nice, white suburbs, full of active children and busy but dedicated parents, their increasingly-mythical middle-class lives fueled by the mighty power of brine-injected pig loin.

And since we're talking about Tyson, were they always so fucking Godtastic? I went to their website looking for more embarrassing corporate bullshit, and found a section entitled "Giving Thanks At Mealtime". They have a free booklet intended to help families renew the tradition of, essentially, saying grace. They call it "giving thanks", and don't mention it per se as a Christian thing, but they include a list titled "See the many ways to give thanks." But here's the list of who's thanked in each one:

Nobody in particular; God; God (Muslim), "Cristo", loving Father; Lord; Lord; Christ our Lord; Thy name; The Lord; Good God; Heavenly Father; You (capitalized mid-sentence); God; Unspecified, but ending with "Amen"; Lord (Jewish); Father; Lord; Father; Lord; Lord; One; Father; Jesus; Lord; Great God; God; Great Spirit; Lord.

That's not many. That's, by my count, five. And that's if I'm being generous. And I put them in order, so you can see the careful planning and spacing that went into it. Put an apparently non-religious one first, Muslim third, HUGE WAD OF CHRISTIANITY, remember the Jews, handful of Christians, Buddhists, another handful of Christian, put the Native Americans next to last because they're busy arguing over mascots, big Godly finish.

Well, fuck off, Tyson. The people who feel the need to thank Jesus for their food will do it without your prompting, and the rest of us will not be made better people by getting your fucking pamphlet mailed to us and starting. Not to mention how ridiculous it is that you're trying to imply your antibiotic-laden, hormone-filled, industrially-raised cannibal meat is just how your God happened to make them.

Not that I don't enjoy a nice slab of cannibal meat from time to time, but at least I'm not trying to blame Jesus for it.