8.16.2011

(Not So) Subliminal Message

In the interest of full disclosure, let me start out by saying that I don't like the recent Direct TV commercials.  IMHO, they're not even remotely funny or clever and utterly fail in their attempt to make me want to throw over Verizon FIOS and give them my business. 

But putting that aside, I caught this commercial while watching one of my favorite TV shows a couple of weeks ago. That's what I get for watching it live instead of recording it on my handy dandy DVR like I usually do...but I digress.

Without further ado, here's Direct TV's latest offering starring comedian Dat Phan:


There are many things I don't like about this commercial, but I'll go with one of the the most obvious: once again, it is intimated screamed loudly while waving multi-colored sparklers and whistling Dixie that a MoC who's "made it" and wants to live large gotta get him a white woman (or two).  *rolls eyes*  It's that same dangerous fallacy that got a lot of black men killed back in America's Jim Crow bad old days.

And what's up with the not-so-subtle stereotyping? I mean, I get that it's supposed to be campy and over-the-top, but...I don't know. I guess I don't find stereotyping funny.

Whether we like it or not, the media is an extremely powerful entity that is used to control, manipulate and propagandize the masses to great effect. It can make a nobody into somebody or it can marginalize an entire race.  It can convince a group of people to love what they hate or it can drive otherwise sane people to do insane things (the definition of reality TV if you ask me). It can make a single man the king of the hill or it can make that same man one of the most despised people in the world (giving the side-eye to Rupert Murdoch). 

If there's one thing I've learned it's that ownership has its rewards.  Unfortunately, for the moment at least, the status quo owns this damn country (and is currently trying to ruin it...but I digress...again).  Until we start hitting them in their wallets--via withholding our support for their white guilt fantasy/savior complex foolishness--this is what we're going to continue to get.  'Cause you know they aren't going to do the right thing.

Fortunately, new media, such as YouTube, Facebook and ebook publishing, should help begin to level the playing field at least a little as we begin to fully embrace owning, operating and producing our own stuff. As we've been saying over and over again, it's imperative that we continue to build ourselves up and make ourselves just as financially relevant as the people who currently hold power. The rapidly changing demographics in this country (along with globalization due to the wonders of the 'Net) almost guarantees that it's going to happen sooner rather than later, but in the meantime, we have to keep holding those at the top accountable.

15 comments:

  1. Hello I have been frequenting this blog for about two years now and I love it. But anywho I really do hate this commercial, my friend and me saw it a few days go and we both thought that it was highly offensive.

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  2. I absolutely hate this commercial - and is that makeup? Because the last time I saw Dat he was super cute.

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  3. As in Dat Phan? That's what happened to him?

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  4. And I just realized it was in the post. Dear gods...what happened?

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  5. I stopped watching tv because of racist bombs like this.

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  6. It went downhill after the Giant Koi's* appearance, in my opinion. WAY downhill.

    *The Giant Koi, and the Mini Giraffe - the only things I want from this series of commercials.

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  7. Initially, I thought that this was Ken Jeong from the Hangover I and I. Anyhoo...I'm with you guys on this.I wondered did Dat get the message behind it. I don't know him,but I would have passed on doing this commercial.

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  8. Oops my bad, forgot to put the word "about" between the words know and him.

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  9. I thought that this was Ken Jeong from the Hangover

    So did I! Was Dat trying to do some sort of an impression?

    I wondered did Dat get the message behind it.

    It's a recession, they showed him a check, and the rest was history.

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  10. " It's a recession, they showed him a check and
    the rest was history".

    Yep..unfortunately.

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  11. @Cinnamon,

    Until we start hitting them in their wallets--via withholding our support for their white guilt fantasy/savior complex foolishness--this is what we're going to continue to get.

    Yes, THIS!! There's no reason to invest in such people. Let the others feed them. This guy reminds me of Poon-sensei and his "accessories." I didn't get pass episode two of that mess.

    Fortunately, new media, such as YouTube, Facebook and ebook publishing, should help begin to level the playing field at least a little as we begin to fully embrace owning, operating and producing our own stuff.

    I'm reminded of something. Recently, while I was having an A/B conversation with a Japanese colleague about a story I'm working on, another colleague intervened without an invitation. Helpfully, she suggested that I write a more mainstream book that was relevant to the masses rather than one that only catered to minorities. I was equally "helpful" when I told her that I didn't give a flying fuck about the masses. I'm ONLY interested in the well-being of my people (includes all POC). As expected, that Euro-American-with-no-heritage-to-speak-of gaped at me as though I'd grown six heads. Basically, she couldn't imagine any scenario where I'd write stories just for our people without any consideration for hers. None. Zilch. My other colleague and I left "whiteness" in the corridor to ponder a world where POCs exist without thinking about "white" needs. I wonder if her little brain will crack. Is it possible they think we live our lives considering what is best for THEM? I guess some POC do. Not this Black girl.

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  12. http://www.asia.si.edu/events/index.asp#/?i=1
    don't know where to post this but here a kung fu/ hip hop panel

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