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Super Bowl Showcases Animal Exploitation, Celebrates Cultural Ugliness

Photo by Tom Tarrant

Photo by Tom Tarrant

Today, millions of Americans will be encouraged to discuss their favorite Super Bowl commercials. I found many of the ads disgusting — not necessarily because of what they were promoting, but because of who was bullied into doing the selling.

A Bengal tiger was used to sell the Ford Fusion Hybrid. A llama was used to sell Bud Light. And those are just two examples of animals being exploited by deep-pocketed companies to sell mass-produced crap to the rabble.

As a marketing vehicle, the Super Bowl has become a shameless celebration of all that is ugly about American culture. We got confirmation of this in the weeks leading up to the event, as we learned, among other things, how many billions of chicken wings Americans would eat during the “big game.” I wonder how many gluttonous barbarians took the time to figure out how many chickens would have to die to fill that demand.

The pomp and circumstance surrounding the game itself certainly reinforced a defiant commitment to ugliness. Joe Namath’s hideous fur coat, which he wore to offer a callous nod to his glory days, served to remind us that we’re still living in the dark ages, just as the presence of the participating teams’ mascots — a hawk and a horse — offered an unnecessary reminder that slavery is still part of our unapologetically arrogant culture.

Chevrolet’s new Silverado ad, in which a bull is delivered to a bovine harem of sorts, was designed to make us chuckle. But those of us who know that the cows in that lowbrow commercial might later have been used to make Super Bowl game balls aren’t laughing.

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