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Rating the Super Bowl Ads. I actually turned in after the Black Eyed Peas concert but by that time the ads had already turned me off as overly-gimmicky (I’m talking about you Coca-Cola). Maybe I’m just tired of years of watching the increasing fop sweat as every freakin’ advertiser tries to produce the most-clever ad ever. It’s like being trapped at a party with the guy who’s always on. More annoying still were the spots with a nasty streak. Note to Doritos: A guy coaxing a dog to jump through a door window isn’t funny. It’s psychotic. (Saving the ad from legendary failure status was the fact the the stunt backfired on the creep.) Note to PepsiMax: It’s also not funny when a woman gets whacked in the head with your soda can (falling to the ground while clutching said head) as the two people responsible for the “accident” flee the scene. View all the Super Bowl ads here.
Christine Aguilera takes heat for flubbing “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the Big Game. Anyone can forget a song lyric. Give the woman a break. BTW: My own personal choice for a new national anthem would be I’m Proud to be an American. If nothing else, the words are easier to sing.
Can Hollywood produce a friendly portrait of Ronald Reagan? Yesterday’s 100th birthday celebration of a historic life is now itself history. With a new HBO documentary on the Gipper drawing fire from conservative critics and memories of how he was portrayed by James Brolin (Mr. Barbra Streisand) in an unflattering 2003 TV miniseries, it’s fair to wonder whether the 40th President of the United States will ever get sympathetic treatment from the industry that made him famous. Well, now comes words that producer Mark Joseph is working on just just a biopic. Reagan: The Movie is due out in 2012.
The Great Depression still occupies an enormous place in America’s folk
memory. But astonishingly the miserable decade of the 1970s has largely
gone down the memory hole. Even those who lived through that deeply
disappointing decade have forgotten how desperate our country’s plight
was when Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter in 1980: Inflation seemed
incurable; countless pundits pontificated that this disease was the
ghastly inevitability of a democracy; and mortgage rates were 18
percent, short-term rates, 21 percent. That era was pockmarked by three
recessions, each more serious than its predecessor. By the time the last
of those slumps hit bottom in 1982, unemployment was at a higher level
than it is today. The stock market, in real terms, was some 60 percent
lower than it had been at its peak in the mid-1960s. The long-term bond
market, outside of Treasuries, had virtually ceased to exist. The Soviet
Union seemed to be in ascendancy, having seized Afghanistan and with
Communist insurgents set to take over Central America. The U.S.’ defense
posture had become a global joke.
Yet four short years later Reagan won a landslide re-election victory,
carrying every state but one in the Union, with the theme that it was
morning again in America. The inflation fever had been decisively
broken; millions of new jobs were being created; America’s once-anemic
financial markets were robust; and the country had become a dynamic,
global high-tech leader.
Reagan’s defense build-up and sure-footed foreign policy set the stage
for one of the most extraordinary events in human history: The U.S. and
the Free World winning the Cold War against the Soviet Union, without a
single shot being fired. The Soviet Union itself collapsed into rubble,
its ideas resoundingly repudiated. Until Reagan, the Cold War was seen
as a fixture of world politics, destined to last for generations more.
Forbes also notes that:
Reagan repeatedly acknowledged how helpful Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s
Conservative prime minister, and Pope John Paul II – both also
transformational leaders – were in making possible the destruction of
what Churchill had called the Iron Curtain.
I’ll be looking forward to Mr. Joseph’s movie.