Dallas Hyland is a St. George News columnist, the opinions stated herein are solely his own and not those of St. George News.
OPINION- I admit I did not watch the Super Bowl last weekend. To be frank, football never interested me much.
I did however watch a few of the infamous commercials and one in particular seemed noteworthy for an ensuing discussion.
Chrysler teamed up with legendary actor and director Clint Eastwood for a halftime commercial proclaiming it is halftime in America as well and loosely drawing some parallels between the desire to win in football and the desire to win as a country.
Although, typically, canned patriotism is particularly compelling in a “go ahead, make my day” vernacular (especially with that distinct Eastwood rasp to drive home the point), Eastwood’s fiscally conservative views and his open opposition to the auto industry bailouts, Chrysler among them, are ironic.
But the irony is not lost in the message of America’s can-do spirit and I think that was the point.
In case you missed it, the commercial is on YouTube and here is the script:
“It’s halftime. Both teams are in their locker rooms discussing what they can do to win this game in the second half.
”It’s halftime in America, too. People are out of work and they’re hurting. And they’re all wondering what they’re going to do to make a comeback. And they’re all scared, because this isn’t a game.
”The people of Detroit know a little something about this. They almost lost everything. But we all pulled together, now Motor City is fighting again.
”I’ve seen a lot of tough eras, a lot of downturns in my life. And, times when we didn’t understand each other. It seems like we’ve lost our heart at times – when the fog of division, discord, and blame made it hard to see what lies ahead.
”But after those trials, we all rallied around what was right, and acted as one. “Why? Because that’s what we do. We find a way through tough times, and if we can’t find a way, then we make one.
”All that matters now is what’s ahead. How do we come from behind? How do we come together? And, how do we win?
”Detroit’s showing us it can be done. And what’s true about them is true about all of us.
”This country can’t be knocked out with one tackle. We get right back up again and when we do the world is going to hear the wind whistle as we race to the goal post. Yeah, it’s halftime America. And our second half is about to begin.”
He had me up to the bit about hearing the roar of our engines.
Something about this did not sit well with me for the last couple of days and now I know what it is.
I heard it once said that sometimes the way to solve a problem is to turn around and take a forward step, that sometimes what is needed is to recognize that it is counterproductive to continue to try to make a flawed system work.
The message in Mr. Eastwood’s speech implies that if we are building cars again, or houses, or our consumerism is up, things are getting back to the way they should be -the way they were.
What this mentality fails to take into account is the simple truth that on a long enough continuum, unending growth and consumption is a flawed and unsustainable system to live in.
There were many things that factored into the worst downturn in our economic status since the Great Depression, least of them being America’s ability to adapt and overcome.
Surely we will endure. But have we learned anything? Have we honestly assessed what got us into trouble? Have we adequately held to account those responsible for the financial collapse? Is it American consumer confidence and patriotic duty that put Chrysler and others like it back on track or was it the bailout money that we will be paying back for generations?
Pundits and talking heads will tell us that the economy is back on track and Wall Street will agree but does Main Street?
On what we are told is the tail end of this recession, the only team who seems to have a bright outlook for the proverbial second half is the one opposite of the average American working family.
Am I wrong?
See you out there.
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Copyright 2012 St. George News.