Andy McCarthy is right….


Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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58 Responses

  1. Avatar North says:

    Wow, you couldn’t ask for a better ad against environmentalism than that. Holy Hannah, makes me want to go shoot something endangered out of spite.Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Yeah, that ad creeped me the hell out.

    They probably intended us to laugh in the whole “well, it will never come to that!” sense of laughter.Report

  3. Avatar Bob Cheeks says:

    I’m glad you guys said what you said!
    It was a really weird ad and put me off Audi, though they were fourth down the list for cars to buy when I get rich!
    Damn Germans, they never get enough…think I’ll watch “The Lives of Others” tonight.Report

    • Avatar JosephFM in reply to Bob Cheeks says:

      Psh, I’ll make it Inglourious Basterds.Report

      • Avatar Bob Cheeks in reply to JosephFM says:

        Mr. FM, IF you haven’t seen The Lives of Others, I heartily recommend it. Kind of tells us what the future under Dear Leader and his minions will be like, and the dehumanization of ideological distortions.Report

        • Avatar JosephFM in reply to Bob Cheeks says:

          I have indeed. It’s a much better movie for sure. But this ad made me more in the mood to see Nazis get killed than to ponder what replaced them.

          As for our President, do you seriously believe that or are you being facetious? I ask this as what you would probably consider one of his minions (a “commie-dem”, to use your ridiculous phrase, Tallahassee intern).Report

  4. Avatar Bob Cheeks says:

    Hey, I don’t wanna pee on anyone’s parade but if ever a football game was fixed that one was! That was the NFL’s gift to Dear Leader. The symbolism was darn near unbearable, and wasn’t the overaged and debauched The Who just the greatest….Vince Lombardi wouldn’t have put up with this crap!Report

  5. Avatar Sonny Bunch says:

    I thought the Audi ad was pretty clearly intended as parody of environmentalists. I’m a little surprised to see people arguing that they were making some sort of super-green point with that commercial. Am I wrong?Report

    • Avatar Freddie in reply to Sonny Bunch says:

      No, I think you’re exactly right. I’m frankly bamboozled by a lot of the commentary on this thing. I thought it was just the right approach to environmental issues, or at least as much as a car commercial can take the right approach– gently mocking of the extreme vision of environmental responsibility while still recognizing that preserving the environment is an important responsibility.Report

    • Avatar Koz in reply to Sonny Bunch says:

      Yes but the problem is, as Erik and other commenters mentioned, that the whole thing hits way too close to home to be effective as a parody. I saw that ad and decided (for the moment at least) not to buy an Audi.Report

      • Avatar Scott in reply to Koz says:

        The ad hits too close to home b/c that is exactly the kind of regime I can see some of the tree huggers enforcing id they got their way. The ad reminds me of the Dead Kennedy’s song “California Über Alles” with its view of CA under Gov. Moonbeam.Report

        • Avatar JosephFM in reply to Scott says:

          More like some of us are sick of being baselessly accused of being such people, whom these days are more likely to be made of straw.

          And after all, we’ve STILL got a bigger problem.Report

          • Avatar Scott in reply to JosephFM says:

            There seem to be some climate scientists that were willing to lie and fudge the data to prove their point, so I think they exist.Report

          • Avatar Koz in reply to JosephFM says:

            Ok Joseph, I think we understand that commercial was a futuristic speculation, whose ultimate intent was to sell cars, not make some point about the environmental movement.

            Given that, exactly what do you think is the strawman? Certainly environmental advocates are not repudiating the police power of state to achieve their goals, and I can’t tell if you’re trying to argue otherwise. But if not that, what?Report

            • Avatar JosephFM in reply to Koz says:

              That “not repudiating the police power of the state” is equivalent to fascism, that environmentalism is just an excuse to boss people around and a conspiracy-hoax by Evil Communist Liberals to grab power, etc. I hear this all the time. The implication is that the real goal is to expand police powers as far as one possible can. Look at Erik’s comparison to the drug war (which, though bipartisan, has been overwhelmingly supported by conservatives). The straw man argument is that everyone who care about the environment are elitist yuppie commies who just want an excuse to make everyone the same as us and if you refuse, lock you up and steal your money. When in actual fact, we just want you to stop violating other people’s rights.
              If some people treat this as a “lifestyle” and act ridiculous, and I suppose that I should be aiming my resentment at them, but I encounter them far less often if at all (and incidentally those I have encountered tend to be the most hostile to the use of police power – they’re usually left anarchists.)Report

              • Avatar Scott in reply to JosephFM says:

                Sorry, CA has proven time and time again that it is willing to use the state’s police power to modify people’s behavior, even when it does not violate other people’s rights. Apparently using the disposal, as pictured in the ad will soon be forbidden in San Fran if Newson has his way.


              • Avatar Koz in reply to JosephFM says:

                “When in actual fact, we just want you to stop violating other people’s rights.”

                I’m not following you. You’re talking about the environmental movement here, not the drug war, or are you?

                In any case, it should be pretty clear that environmental movement is not repudiating the police power of the state to accomplish its goals. You could also argue further that is in fact the intent of the environmental movement, ie, to use the police power of the state to establish social control over those who disagree with them. I’m actually sympathetic to that point of view.

                But it’s not necessarily the point of the commercial to go that far. Are you suggesting that it is? Again, where’s the strawman?Report

              • Avatar JosephFM in reply to Koz says:

                You could argue that, and maybe it’s even true of some portion of the environmental movement that I’m not a party to. I’d only endorse the use of the police power in that regard insofar as not doing so would allow irreparable harm (or, okay, really expensive harm) to come to our common natural resources.

                As for San Francisco…I don’t approve, but hey, localism!Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to JosephFM says:

                “You could argue that,…”

                You could but my point is, you don’t have to. Let’s say we stipulate that the enviros are not intending as an end to establish social control over the people in general. Even so, nowhere that I know of, either in practice or in principle, are they willing to renounce the police powers of the state where such powers are deployed to their ends.

                “I’d only endorse the use of the police power in that regard insofar as not doing so would allow irreparable harm (or, okay, really expensive harm) to come to our common natural resources.”

                No, I don’t think you’ve actually thought this through. All manner of enviro-minded statutes, regulations, prohibitions, etc. are being enforced by the police power of the state right now. To say that you don’t endorse that except in cases of irreparable or expensive harm would require huge rollback, and I don’t think you mean that.Report

              • Avatar JosephFM in reply to Koz says:

                Well it’s pretty clear now that we’re talking past each other, so let me just say that I think you’re mostly wrong when you say ” To say that you don’t endorse that except in cases of irreparable or expensive harm would require huge rollback”. Most of those statutes and regulations either prevent exactly that sort of harm, or are useless half-measures rife with regulatory capture that I would indeed like to rollback. Or worse, NIMBY rules that simply outsource pollution to places too poor to deal with it.Report

              • Avatar Scott in reply to JosephFM says:

                So local enviro-fascism is ok?Report

              • Avatar JosephFM in reply to Scott says:

                No, but it is if you really believe in “states rights”. Because the only way to stop it would be to call in the feds. Which I imagine you’d think was worse, no?Report

    • Avatar Louis B. in reply to Sonny Bunch says:

      I don’t really see how it could be interpreted as anything other than a parody, but I was more annoyed by the LOLification of police brutality. The only thing missing was a taser.Report

  6. Avatar Steven Donegal says:

    Gladiator and Costner’s Hood? This call for serious reassessment of all that you’ve written before.Report

  7. Avatar Zach says:

    The Audi ad carried the same message as an ad for the A6 Wagon or something: fulfill some goal (be green / be practical) without the negative consequences (sacrificing fun). All of the green police stuff was a stand in for the increasingly confusing obligations that face yuppies trying to conform with expectations of greenness… buying offsets, drinking from the right cup, fair trade coffee, paper (errr, reusable) bags, etc, etc. The ad’s point is that you can still have fun and still burn gas at that and be green, whatever that means.

    So far as that goes, I’m in league with Audi all the way. I’m as hardcore a cap-and-trader as you’ll find in the world, but when Al Gore’s outfit & NBC combine to convince Americans to turn off their lights for an hour (while still watching TV, oddly) as a prerequisite to being a responsible citizen, it’s getting ridiculous. Reducing GHG emissions will require actual sacrifice (spending more on a diesel engine and fuel and having less convenience in fuel availability in this case) and not token rituals.

    At Whole Foods last week, there was a big display of “BIOWAFERS” … I have no idea what this even means, but it’s getting ridiculous.Report

  8. Avatar Zach says:

    Also, Robin Hood without tights is not Robin Hood. I mean he’s wearing armor and stuff in the ad… seriously? If it has flaming arrows and ahistorical explosions, I’m in, though.Report

  9. Avatar Kyle Cupp says:

    Looks like the script for Robin Hood is written by Brian Helgeland, who crafted the under-appreciated A Knight’s Tale (containing the best ever joke in a movie about allegory), so I’m excited as well.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Kyle Cupp says:

      Yuck, I loathed A Knight’s Tale. The amusing idea of having tourney’s celebrated by the peasants like we celebrate modern sports was completely overwhelmed by the idiotic cliche script.Report

      • Avatar Kyle Cupp in reply to North says:

        Hmm. I usually cringe at clichéd scripts, but A Knight’s Tale didn’t strike me as obviously trite. It was formulaic and predictable, sure, but I laughed and enjoyed myself nonetheless for that. The comic references to medieval literature and culture particularly cracked me up, and I thought it blended the medieval and modern very well. Songs by Queen mixed with bards reenacting the three denials of Peter. Postmodern genius!Report

  10. Avatar Shannon's Mouse says:

    Listen up, planet-rapers! Just like the Minutemen pick up the slack when the Border Patrol can’t stop the brown-skinned, Spanish speaking hordes, the Green Team is here to stem the tide of Illegal Consumption that overwhelms the meager resources of the Environmental Police.

    And for the record, I’m not anti consumer… I’m anti ILLEGAL consumer!Report

  11. Avatar dexter45 says:

    The best thing about the game last night is that, for a change we Louisianians get to cheer together instead of cry together. As for the ads, they are ads. Get a sense of Yuma.Report

  12. Avatar Rufus says:

    Having just watched the ad, I’ll say the security state frisson actually bothered me a bit. I did like the use of Cheap Trick, however.Report

  13. Avatar Dave says:

    First Jonah Goldberg and now Andy McCarthy. You still haven’t been drawn and quartered for your heresy? You’re bold my friend 😛Report

  14. Avatar Jaybird says:

    If we’re going to run with it, I suggest we run with it.