Thursday, March 09, 2006

Be Very Afraid

The attack ads are back! The attack ads are back!

It’s about time.

Firmly entrenched as a Blue State, Illinois was ignoooored by both the Bush and Kerry camps in 2004, a snub of Glenn Close-ian proportions. We didn’t even merit a stop on the Swift Boat Veterans for Semi-Truths and Downright Falsehoods tour. If I hadn’t traveled to Swing State Central to visit family in Ohio, I might not have known it was even an election year.

But now we find ourselves in the midst of gubernatorial primary season. The incumbent, Democrat Rod Blagojevich, is taking the high road. I’m sure he’ll mudsling with the best of them in the general election, once he has an actual opponent (and I don’t mean the Eisendrath dude with the ninja chainsaw jugglers), but for now he’s content with reminding us that he fought for affordable prescription drugs for helpless seniors and health care coverage for innocent little children. And if he made a few mistakes along the way with the budget, well he’ll try to do better next time.

The Republican challengers have fixated on the word “corruption,” flinging it at Blago and each other. Each, of course, promises to “clean up government,” “protect pensions” (who still has one of these?), and “work for you.” The clichés are so hackneyed and repetitive as to render the candidates indistinguishable from one another. Judy Baar Topinka stands out solely on the merits of her unfortunate dye job.

I long for those heady days back in 2002, when repeat Republican aspirant Jim Oberweis featured a flyover of Soldier Field and warned us that a stadium full of illegal immigrants was pouring into the country every day. I suppose as governor of Illinois, he would personally patrol our borders with Iowa and Wisconsin. We need him on that wall! Now that was a memorable ad, though probably not for the reasons intended. Mr. Oberweis made his fortune selling milk in expensive glass bottles to rich people, the very constituents who hire illegal immigrants to clean their homes, raise their children and mow their lawns. He got beat in the primary by Jack “I took my wife to sex clubs” Ryan.

Yet if even the dullest ad for State Treasurer spares me one more viewing of Volkswagen’s horrendous “My Fast” commercials, I will kiss Ron Gidwitz full on the mouth.

Ostensibly, these spots promote the VW GTI. Why exactly they feature a globular demon to embody the “Fast” of the car isn’t quite clear. The drivers in the ads are all men, apparently because the GTI is being sold as a “high performance” vehicle. And all are in thrall to the aforementioned goblin, which looks like the sort of creature Super Mario dispatched by the hundreds in his quest to save Princess Zelda. Some people find the Fast to be more than a little misogynistic, encouraging one driver to ignore his girlfriend’s pleas to roll up the windows and preserve what’s left of her no-longer-nicely-coiffed hair.

I just think the Fast is creepy, with his vaguely electronic Voice of Satan, and I get a little scared whenever these ads pop up. It actually took me several viewings to realize the Fast didn’t come with the car as the plug-in from Hell. But that just means these drivers are unstable individuals whose imaginary friend fills their heads with evil thoughts.

I propose a new category on Don’, which exposes cheaters to the entire world wide web in the form of a searchable database. How about a GTI channel? Spot one in a parking lot and post its license plate on the site. Meet a guy who owns one—before running in the opposite direction, be sure to get his name.

The AMA has been busy the past couple of days warning young women to avoid binge drinking and group sex during spring break. If they really are concerned about our safety as a gender, I recommend they amend their advice to include: Steer clear of the Fast.


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