I've seen some repulsive TV ads in my 50-plus years on this media-saturated earth. This ad for Cadillac may top them all.
Combine out-of-control materialism, hubris and a generous helping of smugness, and you have a television-commercial graduate course on Why They Hate Us. This ad is the audio-visual representation of the Ugly American, and when Americans are ugly, we are ugly indeed.
Advertising, as a rule, is the art of selling people stuff they really don't need -- of convincing folks they desperately need stuff they really don't. You don't need a damned Cadillac, and something is wrong with you -- namely, the profoundly broken human condition -- if you think you really, truly need a Cadillac ELR . . . or anything else apart from your health, food, shelter, love and God.
This ad -- which ran over and over and over again during the Winter Olympics, during which the United States famously underachieved -- takes it a step further and tries to do so while convincing you all those other inhabitants of the earth who aren't citizens of the United States are, in fact, losers if they don't sacrifice heart, soul and all those things money cannot buy to the great god Greed. In Cadillac America, the 1 percent are demigods because they have done just that, and if you don't aspire to material wealth at the expense of all else, you are, too.
SO GO out there and give yourself an ulcer, leave little Johnny to shift for himself while you're putting in 80 hours a week at a job you probably hate not for food, shelter and health insurance, but instead for an effing luxury vehicle. Which you will spend hours in while commuting to that 80-hour-a-week job to which you've offered up your soul . . . for what?
Your wife may rarely see you, your children may not know you -- who may, indeed, loathe the materialistic bastard who's thrown them to the wolves of neglect -- and all this wreckage you have left in your wake for . . . a Caddy? Screw you, and screw the America that's made this sort of materialism the sum and summit of it's earthly existence.
This America deserves whatever may befall it. And will, in time.
But at least we'll be going to hell in not a hand basket but, instead, in a really sweet ride. Right?
For the America of stuff, hubris and over-the-top arrogance, that will have to do as small consolation. No, you can't take the Cadillac ELR with you when you go to your richly deserved reward (or richly deserved lack thereof) but perhaps you can be buried in the damned thing.
The "losers" of the world will be greatly amused at that.