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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

In Defense of Dylan's Chrysler Commercial

Hey, I just saw Bob Dylan's Super Bowl Chrysler commercial.  And you know what?  I like it.

I also don't get what the criticism and fuss is about.  Dylan's voice sounds great, speaking.  The images are evocative.  And so are the words.

They're also true.  Automobiles are indeed a quintessentially American invention, which we gave to the rest of the world.  That's certainly not true of beer, which was invented 500 years or more before America even existed.   And who cares about the other products?  And why shouldn't we take pride in this American invention that rules the world - or, at least, makes traveling much easier?

Don't get me wrong.  I actually like trains much better than cars - mainly because I can write and sleep on the train, which I can't do when I'm driving.  But I like the automobile, too, and why shouldn't it be celebrated?

Dylan has received criticism from progressives, along the lines that somehow this commercial is glorifying capitalism.   Well, I'm usually a progressive, too, but I have no brief against capitalism - I just want the government to give help to people who need it, including medical care, so they can participate more fully in our capitalist society, by having more money to put in the economy.  That's what Obama says he wants, too, and he's right.

And there's nothing in the commercial about the sale of automobiles anyway.  It's a testament to the automobile and what's it's given to our culture.  You can enjoy the commercial and take the subway or the train.

Which is exactly what I'd do if I didn't have a car.

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