Commercial Analysis

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Anti-Epiphany

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If one saw, in real life, a beautiful woman wearing an exquisite evening gown, with a cold sore on her lips, the blemish would mean nothing but a minor affliction, and one would ignore it. But a painting of such a woman would be a corrupt, obscenely vicious attack on man, on beauty, on all values — and one would experience a feeling of immense disgust and indignation at the artist. (There are also those who would feel something like approval and who would belong to the same moral category as the artist.) -Ayn Rand

The apple falling on Isaac Newton’s head, true or not, is (or is at least believed to be) the defining moment in his life (and indeed, because it dealt with such an important physical truth, one of the defining moments in the history of Western Civilization itself). Obviously, because such profound epiphanies do not actually occur (or at least are not caused by being literally hit in the head), the actual historical incident (if true) is of little consequence. In other words, if Isaac Newton actually was hit in the head by a falling apple, and if instead of it inspiring him to formulate his theory of gravity it made him desire an apple-flavored ale, it would be of no importance. The fact that Isaac Newton, just like everyone else, drank alcohol doesn’t in any way detract from his status as a giant of history. Of course he drank ale! He was, after all, a man.

However, if Newton wasn’t actually hit by an apple (or at least if it’s unverifiable), and therefore the legend (as it actually is) is simply a subliminal way to communicate the integrated nature of mind and matter (ie: that “fortune favors the prepared mind”), and therefore it’s purpose is to inspire people to be rational and to study sciences (so that they too may be able to “accidentally” make a profound discovery) – then to artistically emphasize the fact that Newton, when hit on the head, may have just as likely been inspired to have a particular flavor of ale is “a corrupt, obscenely vicious attack on man, on [intelligence], on all values.”

The purpose of this commercial is to inculcate and/or exploit whatever nihilism it’s viewers might possess. Because Western culture is no longer predominantly rational, enough hopelessness has seeped it’s way into people that this commercial will not be offensive, but comforting. It’s subliminal message is the following: “Even Isaac Newton was a man – and therefore he was also idiot, so it’s okay for you to be one too. Yes, he did happen to discover a fundamental physical truth which has shaped, does shape, and will continue to shape human existence no matter what, but he could have just as easily been provoked (by a falling fruit) to desire an apple-flavored beer. He was just lucky a lucky idiot – and you’re not one, so lighten up, stop aspiring to greatness, and make the best of how life really is (ie: enjoy a cheap little indulgence, such as a beer, since that’s the closest to happiness that you – a member of a pathetic little class of creature known as ‘humans’ – are going to get).”

Western culture is at a point where the consistent, conscientious rationality which was the true cause of Newton’s achievement (and all others like it) is needed the most. It was the only cause of it’s existence, and it is it’s only hope for survival – but because of the mixed economy, capitalist enterprises (organizations which are ironically derivative of, and completely dependent upon, the existence of a rationality-revering culture) would rather take whatever emotional impulses (ie: anxiety and guilt) which could provoke people to think about what they’re subconsciously aware of, and manipulatively redirect them not into saving the culture, but into the same sort of nihilistic irrationality which is destroying it (ie: which makes such pragmatic business tactics appear necessary in the first place). This commercial is a particularly glaring example of that.

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Written by commercialanalysis

August 1, 2014 at 7:05 am

Posted in Food and Drink

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