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1:02 am EST 41°F (5°C) in Sherman, TX
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Thank God I have been staying out of the freezing stuff that has been going on back at home in Michigan. The overnight lows dropped to –7°F (–22°C) in the wee hours of Sunday, and an even worse –12°F (–24°C) last night; it appears to be headed down to –4°F (–20°C) tonight. As I spent the whole weekend sitting in Roland, OK, waiting for dispatch to get its act together and offer me a load, the nighttime lows never got much below a comparatively tropical 25°F (–4°C). Speaking of loads, the one they did finally give me picks up here tomorrow and has until Friday to get exactly 1,500 miles (2,414 km) to New Jersey.
I am issuing a boycott, which I expect all of my readers of conscience and good faith to follow, against all products made by Mars, Inc., the parent company of candy maker M&M/Mars among many others. The products to be boycotted include M&M’s, Skittles, Twix, Cookies&, Dove, Starburst, Snickers, 3 Musketeers, Combos, Milky Way, and Kudos candies; Uncle Ben’s brand rice; Whiskas, Waltham, Sheba, and Pedigree brand pet foods; and Flavia beverages here in the United States. (My one Belgian reader gets to add Klix, Cocoavia, Perfect Fit, Ebly, and Suzi Wan brand products to the above list.) This is in response to an incredibly disgusting, immoral, homophobic series of advertisements for Mars’ candy brand Snickers, the first of which ran on American television during Sunday’s Super Bowl XLI.
In the one ad which did run Sunday evening, two male auto mechanics are shown taking a break from working on a car. One of the two of them is eating a Snickers bar; the other one becomes so jealous of this that he begins eating the candy from the other end. Eventually, the two men end up in a kiss as they reach the middle of the candy; upon realizing this, they display looks of disgust on their face, and one says, “Quick — do something manly.” At this, each man strips his shirt off and begins to rip out his own chest hair. While this ad did have something of a silliness quotient to it that may slightly blunt its anti-gay nature, others in the series are particularly ugly.
As part of this ad campaign, Mars set up a web site to allow consumers to “vote for the most satisfying ending” to the commercial (that is, after the two men realize they are kissing). The winner was to air during TV coverage of the Daytona 500 NASCAR race on February 18 (until, to its credit, Mars pulled the series — more on that later). The alternate endings that were on the Snickers web site were as follows:
- After the kiss, a third mechanic walks up, using his hand to brush his long hair out of his eyes with a particularly effeminate motion, and asks, “Is there room for three on this Love Boat?” This is offensive enough, implying that we are all effeminate and enjoy ménages à trois, but the other two are worse.
- Upon realizing they have kissed, the two mechanics drink motor oil and antifreeze. This one implies that it is better to kill yourself with automotive poisons than to be gay — which is ironic for an ad in this Super Bowl, considering a rumor I’ll discuss shortly.
- The mechanic who first started eating the Snickers picks up a giant wrench and uses it to start beating the crap out of the other one. The other mechanic responds by closing a car hood on the first one. This is the most disgusting, immoral, anti-Christian television ad that has ever been made — it glorifies the commission of hate crimes and even murder against gay people!
What is perhaps even more sickening about this is that the NFL allowed its logo to appear on this disgusting, filthy, perverted web site that promoted and glorified violence, and even murder, against God’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender children. Furthermore, it and its two Super Bowl franchises, the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts, allowed players from the two teams to be filmed making faces while watching the kiss! One player says, “that ain’t right,” and Bears wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad makes the face pictured in this AMERICAblog post. (Well, we know why he’s so stupid and ignorant — he went to that so-called “college” in East Lansing, Moo U.) The NFL and its commissioner, Roger Goodell, have now become morally culpable for the inevitable surge in anti-gay hate crimes that will no doubt occur, as children and lizard-brain adults internalize the “that ain’t right” message these ads spread about gays.
As I said above, Mars did pull the web site after thousands of complaints from individuals and gay advocacy groups alike began to roll in yesterday. However, the one ad that did air during the Super Bowl has yet to be completely pulled from the airwaves, and there has been no official apology issued yet by the company. This boycott must carry on until Mars does issue a most contrite apology, pay for public-service ads to condemn anti-gay violence, and forevermore refuse to even consider such ugly, disgusting advertising practices.
This series of ads was produced by the New York office of the ad agency TBWA\Chiat\Day. They deserve just as much, if not more, of the moral culpability for producing these ads in the first place. I call upon everybody who reads this, and everybody you tell about this (you ought to be spreading it far and wide!), to bombard TBWA\Chiat\Day’s New York offices with phone calls, faxes, and e-mails stating your moral, Godly outrage over these Satan-inspired ads. You can send faxes to (212) 804-1200, or speak directly with their director of public relations, Jeremy Miller, at (212) 804-1162. Jeremy Miller can also be reached via e-mail at email@example.com. I might also suggest calling the main office phone number, (212) 804-1000, and asking to speak with Robert LePlae, their president, and Gerry Graf, the executive creative director who no doubt oversaw the production of these ads.
What might be even better to do is to boycott other companies who do business with TBWA\Chiat\Day, and to let their public-relations reps know why you are doing so. Other products advertised by this agency include Absolut vodka, Alcon contact lens solutions (looks like I’ll be tossing my OptiFree and using Renu from now on), American Century investment products, Nivea skin care products, Embassy Suites hotels, Samsonite office products, and Sprint/Nextel cell phones.
In the above list of alternate endings for this ad, I said that the suggestion that it is better to kill yourself than to be gay was ironic, in light of an off-the-field rumor surrounding one of the coaches in the very same Super Bowl during which the ad aired. If you follow football, you probably know about the suicide of James Dungy, the 18-year-old son of Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy, in December 2005. I grant that I have only minimal substantiation for this rumor, but it has been speculated that James Dungy may have taken his own life because he was gay himself. His father is well-known as a so-called “fundamentalist ‘Christian’” who no doubt hates and disapproves of his GLBT brothers and sisters in God’s human race, so this is entirely possible.
In fact, in his post-game press conference after the Colts’ 29-17 victory over the Bears, Dungy made a very telling comment. When asked how he felt about this Super Bowl being the first to feature two African-American head coaches, and the first to be won by an African-American head coach, he mentioned that he felt it more important that the game featured two so-called “Christian” coaches who do things the so-called “moral” way. If the rumor in the previous paragraph is true, it seems Dungy didn’t learn a thing from his son’s suicide.
Furthermore, Tony Dungy is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at the Indiana “Family” Institute’s annual “Friends of the ‘Family’” fundraising dinner on March 20. As in the case of the disgusting Snickers web site, the Colts and the NFL allowed a picture of Dungy on the sidelines, complete with trademarked property including Colts logos, to be used in IFI’s promotional flyer. It is bewildering to me why Dungy, who has lost a son to suicide, would be serving to further the agenda of an organization whose mission is to so greatly demonize and condemn homosexuality that impressionable GLBT youths are led to believe they ought to kill themselves as Dungy’s own son did. Perhaps, in spite of his public persona as a calm coach who refuses to yell at and demean his players, Tony Dungy truly lacks a soul.
I offer the following words of caution and Godly wisdom to those who want to mock, belittle, or condemn me for calling for a boycott of all of the products and companies listed above, or who would make a point of buying these products just to show how allegedly “moral” and “Christian” they are. By doing that, you are saying that you have no problem whatsoever with violent beatings of God’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender children. Beatings can and often do result in death, making the assailant(s) morally culpable for murder in God’s eyes. Therefore, those who would condemn me, or go buy tons of those products, are guilty of aiding and abetting the violation of God’s Sixth Commandment (thou shalt not kill). You damn well better be bearing your own salvation (or more likely, lack thereof) in mind before you go belittling or mocking me, or buying those products just to make a point.
After all of this, it’s going to take me a while to calm down enough to fall asleep, but the hour has arrived where I must start to try. Five hundred miles (800 km) await me later today, and I need to be rested enough to drive them.