I call it the "Dick Van Dyke Principle." Men are expected to rise to the level of the incompetence with which we are represented on TV. Are we really the bumbling, beerswigging oafs we're made out to be?
Many groups cry mistreatment because of misrepresentations in the media. And with good reason: Many of them have gotten the shaft more than a mining crew. All people can cry unfair treatment in the media at the way stereotypes are presented, but men are the only group that takes it.
Like psychopaths, we allow beer company after beer company to show men as dim-witted simpletons who are incapable of tasks other than gawking at women while drinking beer. Remember, you can gawk at women without a beer in your hand. But if you think about it, most of the men on TV commercials are shallow, one-dimensional, lazy louts who are incapable of any basic emotion other than lust.
What about the guy who calls his mother-in-law just so he can get a Little Debbie's snack cake? Performing seals is what we are! I'm calling no way on this one. There isn't a man alive who would call his mother-in-law for a Swiss Roll. Maybe a Little Debbie's Donut Stick, but not a Swiss Roll.
Well I say men, it's time to protest this careless treatment. The way men as a whole are shown around the world constitutes a homeland emergency, an invasion of some sorts maybe. It would be very easy for Canada to look at the way American men appear on TV and say, "once we take Detroit, we can start to rebuild it. They are bumbling fools - America will be ours, ay." But not all men are like that. There are those of us who are a nice, middle-of-the-road representation. Like you and me. Right? The problem is this: corporate America sees men from this country as either a cool guy with great hair or a swill-head who would trade his kids for a light beer. And the scary part is, it works. Billions are spent to make men look like clowns, and we buy their product, producing billions more in profits. Brothers, they are dumbing us down all so they can sell us a new car. Well, the joke is on them, because I'm broke and still driving a time machine from 2001. How come we allow this shoddy treatment? Would 19th-century man allow adverts that presented him as a goofball getting zapped screwing in a light bulb in hopes of getting you to buy that new-fangled thing called electricity?
No, they would not - yet we do it today. I really find it funny that this would be a technique in selling - making the man look like an idiot. And it's not just the beer commercials. New car ads as well regularly show the woman as the smart and informed buyer, while the husband sits in a showroom model playing with the radio and tapping on the steering wheel.
And do you want to know why the informed one in that commercial is a woman? The answer is very simple: Women wouldn't stand for treatment like the stuff handed down to us men. Women have too much self respect to allow themselves to look like the butt of every stupid auto insurance commercial joke.
I guess I'm fearful, that's all. I'm afraid that men are presented in a proper light. We are bumbling, stumbling fools who have real smart wives who aren't dumbed down by light beer. I'm afraid that a part of me is extremely stupid and should not be trusted at a Chevy dealership even if I could afford a new car.
Sure, we stub our toe every once in a while, but there is no way we are that goofball guy in the dealership. Nor are we stocking the fridge with some adult beverages so our dog can deliver them to your guests. Right? Where is the dern remote? I have got to change the channel.
Johnnie Carrier is a freelance writer who thinks he can survive without TV, but his wife must have her stories.