Super Bowl Sunday has become a truly American holiday, and one of its most cherished traditions is the rollout of new, creative, occasionally controversial, and always insanely expensive TV ads.
One that’s already raising a few eyebrows is from a perennial advertiser on sports programs of all kinds, the Anheuser-Busch Corporation. Titled “Born the Hard Way,” the ad provides a highly dramatized version of the journey of A-B co-founder Adolphus Busch. The young and handsome Adolphus comes to our shores via a stormy passage on a rickety boat, experiences anti-immigrant prejudice (“You ain’t wanted here! Go back home!” an unshaven lout yells at him), sees his first black person, is forced to jump overboard after a steamboat explosion, and eventually makes his wet and weary way to St. Louis, where a chance meeting over a beer with the older and prosperous Eberhard Anheuser causes him to reveal his dream of brewing the watery and undistinguished pilsner that would become the catalyst for so many of my own youthful misadventures.
Now, the bit about anti-immigrant sentiment lasts maybe five seconds of the 60-second ad, which in normal times would be regarded as a standard, if hackneyed rags-to-riches story. It should also be noted that the ad was written, produced, and shot months ago, long before Cheeto Mussolini’s disastrous, ill-conceived and chaotically executed Muslim ban-that’s-not-a-ban-but-Trump-said-it-was-a-ban-on-Twitter.
But to the special snowflakes of Trumpland, who spend half their time crowing and thumping their chests about their idol’s recent electoral triumph and the other half stomping their feet and whining about every perceived slight to his (and by extension, their) awesomeness, even a bland ad for a blander beer is a vile and traitorous act of offense to the sovereign. “Budweiser Attacks American’s [sic] Who Want Secure Borders,” blared the wingnut website “Gateway Pundit” (where they apparently find the rules of punctuation too “elitist,” or “politically correct”).
A site called FreedomDaily.com blasted that “Budweiser Airs DISGUSTING Super Bowl Commercial Bashing President Trump.” It should be noted that President Tweety’s name is never mentioned in the ad, but why let little details like that get in the way of right wing butthurt? Breitbart.com, the wretched hive of online scum and villainy that gave us Trump adviser Steve Bannon, accused Anheuser Busch of “playing politics.”
But for the truly unhinged reactions, you have to go to the comments section at Breitbart, where one angry little Trumpkin asserted that “the Super Bowl has been a globalist propaganda machine for a number of years now.” Another raved (in ALL CAPS, of course) that we should BOYCOTT THE SUPER BOWL AND THE NFL!!! #MAGA!”
Yeah, that’s going to happen. Nothing says “Make America Great” like boycotting the Super Bowl, Budweiser, and the NFL.
Oh, they’re also mad at Kellogg’s cereal for some reason. I didn’t dig any deeper, because wading around too long in the fever-swamp that is the Trump-centric blogosphere eventually leads to sensations of disorientation and nausea. All I can say is, if these people keep getting so offended by the “liberal” bias they imagine in one food or beverage company after another, pretty soon they’re going to be living on nothing but Papa John’s pizza and Chic-Fil-A. Scurvy is a distinct possibility.
I suppose it’s not surprising that they’re a little bit touchy. After all, the poor dears find themselves trying to defend an Executive Order that was supposed to help keep us safe but which quickly degenerated into chaos and confusion, including the detention of legal permanent residents, small children, and people who risked their lives to help U.S. soldiers in the Iraq War.
Things reached maximum lunacy (we hope) when we saw Press Secretary Sean Spicer desperately trying to convince us that five year old Iranians really are dangerous and the increasingly haggard Kellyanne Conway making up a fictional “Bowling Green Massacre” to try and “prove” that “Obama did it too!” (He didn’t. Obama slowed down the admission of Iraqis to impose new vetting procedures after a terror plot was discovered; he didn’t blanket ban people from seven countries).
As you may have surmised by now, while Bud was the beer of my misspent youth, I now consider it swill. Apparently the real Adolphus Busch, a wine drinker, felt the same way. But I may just buy a six-pack in their honor after this. I’m not going to drink it, mind you, but in a world where even the beer is a political statement, one must do one’s part.
Dusty Rhoades lives, writes, and practices law in Carthage, NC. His new Jack Keller novel, “Hellhound On My Trail” releases February 28th.
J.D. Rhoades was born and raised in North Carolina. He has worked as a radio news reporter, club DJ, television cameraman, ad salesman, waiter, practicing attorney and newspaper columnist. His weekly column has won two NC Press Association Awards.
His first novel, THE DEVIL'S RIGHT HAND, was released in 2005 and was nominated for the prestigious Shamus Award for Best First Novel. GOOD DAY IN HELL, his second novel featuring North Carolina bail bondsman Jack Keller, was released in March 2006. SAFE AND SOUND, July 2007, also features Jack Keller. BREAKING COVER, July 2008, is a stand-alone thriller, and was followed by BROKEN SHIELD. The first three Keller novels are available in ebook, and the fourth never-before-published Jack Keller novel, DEVILS AND DUST, released in hardcover and ebook on February 24, 2015.
We have included links below to his blog as well as his site on Amazon where you can purchase his books.