I caught this one on Salon.
The Citizens Against Government Waste, which is one of those billionaire money groups in the shadows that is working to buy the 2010 midterm elections for the Republicans, put out an ad about a dystopian future. (Well, it’s a dystopian one, I imagine, for everyday Americans, and particularly non-Chinese Americans.)
The ad says a lot by only saying a little. Most of the communication is image; and the sinister background music, that to me comes across as a musical intonation of how Mandarin Chinese sounds, with its highs and lows.
The professor is obviously taken from the James Bond standard plot–I bet he’s even got his pet kitty sitting off stage. “Bwa ha ha! We bought up all that federal debt and now the Americans are our slaves!” I think there was one about SPECTRE trying to blow up Fort Knox. It’s this sort of thing. (That was a Sean Connery one–Goldfinger. I know the villains in the Bond series didn’t become Asian until later.)
So someone in the shadows presents us with: The evil Asian guy. Never mind that the story line suggests that we did it to ourselves—that’s the message of the billionaire who wants to cut out social security and Medicare. The point of the flick is that you don’t want to have to be working for the chuckling college punk in the front row, even if he seems to have adopted a Western dress and hairstyle.
Is the ad meant to highlight the fact that China owns $700 billion in U.S. bonds (slightly less than the $1 trillion that our own federal reserve recently bought of mortgage bonds?) Are they trying to say that the stimulus was bad, despite the fact that China did a bigger stimulus than we did, and their economy is booming? Are they trying to say that in the future the Chinese university system will be overrun by video stimulation and the curriculum emptied of any detailed, fact-based reasoning or argument?
Empires–eh, cough, I don’t know if you want to include America in that as it’s kind of an insult–don’t fall because they fail to hold true to their principles. It’s hard for me to believe that the reason the Roman Empire fell was that it went against its principles. In fact, the original Roman Empire was a republic. It was pagan, and then it embraced Christianity. The British Empire doesn’t seem to have made out too badly, in the end. People use English all over the world, and the British trade with everybody. I’m not sure what happened to the Greeks–I think the Romans overtook them. I’m sure it wasn’t because they turned on the principles of democracy. I think they got invaded.
So I think the real point of the commercial is to inflame anti-Asian sentiment. (It doesn’t matter, Chinese, Japanese, Korean.) You’re hit over the head with it: we are better than those white-skinned people, and they’re just clowns who did themselves in. Now we sit back and laugh. The success was an “ancient Chinese secret” or something. It doesn’t matter. Old Glory gone, Chinese communist flag at the close.
Now, the fact is that, yes, there is a competition among the Asian nations and America; and among Asian nations themselves. As I have pointed out, there is the terrible problem of Americans selling out other Americans here in Japan. Notice that ad says nothing about American corporations failing to look out for American interests in the region. Just simply something about “debt” and health care (which I think is socialized in China, by the way.)
Someone quickly made a parody of the ad, taking digs at some of the Tea Party senate candidates because of their wacky comments and backgrounds. The Citizens Against Government Waste quickly raised a “copyright” issue, even though copyright law clearly protects parody, and the send-up was clearly a parody. I think you can find the spoof here. The message of the spoof seems to be that shadowy forces are trying to buy the election in favor of big multinationals and other moneyed interests.