Close Encounters of the Levantine Kind – Part 3

(Part 1, Part 2)

Last post about this, I promise…

Victims of the in-house drive-by

 Dimi Reider has added a few interesting, sad thoughts to his important post:

The more I think about this ad, from an activist perspective, the sadder it seems. Ads aimed at the general market, like this one, are invaluable time capsules, representing  public mood much more faithfully than any art. They can’t afford to affront and lose a single customer – and thus they document not just what a society really is, but what it really thinks itself to be, which can be just as decisive as facts and figures.

From that perspective, this ad is the peak of a two-decade long process of alienation of the 1967 Palestinians from the mainstream of Israeli public.

True, in a way this is a reflection of how Israeli society thinks these days.

What scares me even more is the attempt to sell a product using soldiers and the wall. Sure, soldiers have been shown throughout the years in various commercials. But as far as I can remember (and please correct me if I’m wrong), soldiers always appeared in a way that was never really far from the concensus, they’re portrayed as the sons we must take care of when they come home, as the ones we call to make sure they’re OK and so on.

With this commercial, McCann Erickson went a step further and dealt with an issue that is widely known as politically contentious. There is much disagreement over the wall, it’s route and need. Did they not know this? Or is this the reality that McCann Erickson and Cellcom want us to believe is out there? What’s extremely dangerous is that this fake reality is something that can be fed down Israelis throats, as a commercial on prime time television.

I’m reminded of a song, “Bullet in the Head”, by Rage Against the Machine (RATM). Now, I know I’m taking a chance by mentioning this band as being regarded childish and not to be taken seriously. But I used to love (still do actually) these guys, and thought they were way ahead of their time (hey, I had long hair and was a head-banger. Shoot me.). Foul language aside, their lyrics ring true to this day. “Bullet in the Head”, from 1992, is basically a song about the evils of commercial television, an evil that McCann Erickson just recently perpetrated. For the lyrics, press here. But here’s a small taste:

No escape from the mass mind rape
Play it again jack and then rewind the tape
And then play it again and again and again
Until ya mind is locked in
Believin’ all the lies that they’re tellin’ ya
Buyin’ all the products that they’re sellin’ ya
They say jump and ya say how high
Ya brain-dead
Ya gotta fuckin’ bullet in ya head

Just victims of the in-house drive-by
They say jump, you say how high
Just victims of the in-house drive-by
They say jump, you say how high

And for those who want to listen (not for the faint of heart…):

Oh, and one last question: What the F-CK does the separation wall have to do with phones?!?!?!?!?

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