Another Super Bowl has come and gone and not without controversy.
This one ended with an Eagles victory and a bunch of (rightfully) offended people who were appalled to see the voice of Dr. Martin Luther King used to sell a Dodge Ram truck.
I feel like this one should be pretty obvious: Dr. King shouldn’t be used to sell anything other than peace, justice and true economic, social and political racial equality. But the Madmen at Dodge disagreed and decided to throw his voice behind trucks doing cliched truck commercial things: blasting through muddy bumps in the driving rain, hauling heavy loads and being just gentle enough to have a doggy hop into the bed and scale a mountain.
I’ve been guilty of the capitalism trap before, many times. If only I had this, then I’d be happy. If only I had that, my problems would go away. It’s a ruse, an exploitive weakness in human psychology, designed to keep you handing your hard earned dollars over to the wealthy, instead of investing it in the community, or creating your own happiness instead of depending on others for it.
It was a big part of the Trump appeal too, for those who voted for him that weren’t wealthy enough, or transparent enough with themselves, to see that he wasn’t a walking gasbag who was a convenient vehicle for their societally malicious self-interests. Here he was, this shining symbol of fame and wealth, gracing the plebs and forgotten people with his presence in their small towns and suburban communities. With his model wife and real estate empire, he was on a mission to turn the clock back to a time when America was “great”, a time that his supporters could participate in large scale beatings or lynchings of people of color and still feel good about themselves, not having to worry about people point out that they have the morality of a snarling pack of rabid ferrets.
Dr. King, in his wisdom, warned about this temptation to translate wealth to health and success. In the very sermon that Dodge used he said:
Now the presence of this instinct explains why we are so often taken by advertisers. You know, those gentlemen of massive verbal persuasion. And they have a way of saying things to you that kind of gets you into buying. In order to be a man of distinction, you must drink this whiskey. In order to make your neighbors envious, you must drive this type of car. In order to be lovely to love you must wear this kind of lipstick or this kind of perfume. And you know, before you know it, you’re just buying that stuff. I got to drive this car because it’s something about this car that makes my car a little better than my neighbor’s car. I am sad to say that the nation in which we live is the supreme culprit. And I’m going to continue to say it to America.
It’s not a uniquely American problem, but it’s one that’s given us a leader with the strong intent to push us into a war while using propaganda and gaslighting to keep his criminal activities in darkness and enriching himself in the most blatantly corrupt way possible.
Translation: it’s lead us to darkness. Now we have a choice to make: will we examine our own values and morality honestly? Or will we submit to the will of this psychopath and continue to believe that Dr. King dodged mobs and crooked cops to sell us Dodge trucks?