Saturday, July 8, 2017

On Doritos

Michael Jordan used to do McDonald's commercials. He also modeled for Hanes. The Hanes ads made sense. We all want to look good in underwear. The McDonald's commercials did not make sense. Jordan has a killer body, maybe a mutant one, and it's possible that it could withstand all the harmful effects of garbage food. Unfortunately, the bodies of most children and almost every adult past the age of 25 cannot withstand the harmful effects of garbage food. Eating McDonald's is a great way not to be like Mike.

The product placement in Spider-Man: Homecoming (Jon Watts, 2017), which I liked, is more shameless than usual. There's a loving close-up on the gummies Peter Parker (Tom Holland) buys at a corner deli. While hanging out in his room, he digs into a bag of Doritos, placed at the bottom of the screen, lit so that you damn well will notice that beautiful, crinkly bag. At 20 (when the movie was shot), Holland has a dancer-sculpted body. I've met many dancers. They tend to avoid Doritos and gummies. 

There's been a push back against us obesity fearmongers and moral scolds, but I'm sorry, junk food is disgusting and the industry that produces it is terrible. Junk food made my life worse. At 36, I'm maintaining a healthy BMI, but I still get cravings at night and I wonder if the way my appetite was trained during my childhood has made it harder to manage my weight as an adult. Doritos are the cocaine we give to five-year-olds. Some people got really excited about a tie-in cereal commercial featuring a black boy in a Spider-Man costume. They thought it was inclusive. I just saw another attempt to get children to poison their bodies.

We accept product placements as facts of modern entertainment to the point where we enjoy even the consciously ironized advertising in Mad Men (2007-2015) and Jurassic World (Colin Trevorrow, 2015). It doesn't bother me that Hollywood studio execs are cynical. The blithe acceptance of absurdity bothers me. We accept the lie. We allow the lie to work on our subconscious, and we continue to eat Doritos and Big Macs. It bothers me that we have an entire system designed to keep poor people in food deserts. They may not have access to proper nutrition, but they'll be able to see Spider-Man: Homecoming, if not at the local theater, then later, on a DVD which they'll get from a Redbox at the local 7-11, where they can also buy a bag of Doritos. Two for the price of one.  

No comments:

Post a Comment