Flush Goes the Boss

Bruce Springsteen, native of Freehold, New Jersey, is the latest recipient of the widely uncoveted Golden Hicksie Award, given at appropriate moments by TCT to dishonor the most extreme sell-outs in our sprawling empire of commercialism and commodification.

Here’s what sad old Bruce looks like in this shocking self-travesty of what he used to be (or at least seemed to be):

I don’t know which is more pathetic, more galling, more flabbergasting — this pandering imagery, or the ideological stupidity of the ad’s content, which centers on the supposed desirability of meeting in “the middle” — at a moment when Marjorie Taylor Greene represents the new face of the institutional right.

And all in the name of selling more Jeeps, in the year 2021.

As usual, you could spend weeks pulling apart the depravity of this two-minute assault on everything that’s actually holy.

For now, suffice it to say that there’s never been a Golden Hicksie recipient more deserving of the exact, precise words of the late Bill Hicks:

“Here’s the deal folks: you do a commercial, you’re off the artistic roll call forever. End of story, OK? You’re another corporate fucking shill, you’re another whore at the capitalist gang-bang. And if you do a commercial, there’s a price on your head, everything you say is suspect, and every word that comes out of your mouth is now like a turd falling into my drink.”

Point blank, as somebody once said.

P.S. From the department of excessive protestation, here’s what Cowboy Bruce’s manager has to say about this catastrophe:

“Olivier Francois and I have been discussing ideas for the last 10 years and when he showed us the outline for ‘The Middle,’ our immediate reaction was, ‘Let’s do it,‘” Springsteen’s manager, Jon Landau, said in a statement. “Our goal was to do something surprising, relevant, immediate and artful.”

Quoted on CNBC

Tony Gets a Hicksie

turd-trophy Anthony Bourdain is certainly somebody who would understand the immortal words of Bill Hicks.

Indeed, here’s what Mr. Bourdain said when General Motors/Cadillac slipped a product placement into one of his TV shows back in 2012.

But Bourdain’s principles end after a certain price arises, it seems. According to Advertising Age:

But this year another luxury auto brand, Land Rover, convinced Bourdain to give it prime product placement as part of its exclusive launch sponsorship of a digital extension of CNN’s “Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown” TV show. It represents the chef-turned TV star’s first brand integration deal with CNN.

Having a price point, alas, is no shield. So, an uncoveted Golden Hicksie hereby goes to Anthony Bourdain, the newest shill for this lovely little planet-killing phenomenon:

Ad Age: Some of the booming SUV market is driven by people who drive them in the city. Some might call them off-road posers. Do you target people who are actually taking the vehicles into rugged territory?

Kim McCullough, VP-marketing for Jaguar Land Rover North America: We often use the analogy with high-end watches that are safe for 40 fathoms deep. Now, no one is going to go scuba diving that deep, but they want to know that they have something that is engineered to that level, so that is part of the appeal. In the Northeast when you have inclement weather, when you have a lot of rain or flooding, being able to know that, ‘Hey I can get out of this situation because I do have a capable product’ is absolutely part of the appeal.

Adieu, National Basketball Association

race-bottom If you like both basketball and human freedom, enjoy next season of the NBA. The one after that should be the end of your willingness to pay it any attention, as 2017-2018 will mark the arrival of advertisements on game-day jerseys.

Here’s the lovely explanation, per ESPN:

“It’s manifest destiny,” [NBA Commissioner Adam] Silver told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols last month. “So let’s begin by saying this isn’t going to affect the competition. What we’re talking about is a patch on the jersey. And one of the reasons we want to do it is that it creates an additional investment in those companies in the league … the amplification we get from those sponsors, those marketing partners of the league, who want to attach to our teams and our players. But once they put their name on the jerseys, they’ll then use their media to promote the NBA extensively. That’s probably the greatest reason for us to do it.”

A Golden Hicksie to you, Mr. Silver. Enjoy it.

An Especially Disappointing Golden Hicksie

Stephen Hawking undoubtedly knows better:

If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.

So, what in the universe is he doing here?:

Not only is this an ad for the machine that is, barring sharp and unlikely new forms of popular education and intervention, virtually certain to finish completing “the second option,” but it is for an “SUV” version of said machine.

So, alas, Professor Hawking, to go along with your Lucasian Chair, etc., you hereby receive the un-coveted Golden Hicksie.

Meanwhile, the ad itself is a rather pristine exhibition of the profound adolescence of the contemporary overclass mind:

“Have you ever noticed how some people in life seem to get away with everything?”

and

“We live our lives from an elevated perspective. We keep our head [is this a British sic, or a grammatical match with the time-honored royal we?*] in the clouds.”

Wow.

*Either way, it’s funny.