tonight i saw a cadillac advertisement on television. cadillac has, in the space of ten years, gone from old man car to asshole car. this ad proves it. it shows a young white man, with stubble and a suit, driving a shiny red cadillac SUV in a tunnel. he talks in his head about how people always told him "the nail that sticks out gets the hammer," and that being different is bad.
suddenly he hits the gas, and raucous guitar music sounds, and he says, "or, you can be the hammer."
in other words, rather than growing the callouses needed to take being hit, or being tough enough to be different and take the shit the world throws at you for being different -- just get high on power. and, naturally, as the one in power, you can hit others for being different. for getting power virtually requires that one trade in one's true uniqueness. wonderful message. be an asshole and anesthetize your inner being with an injection of egotism. yuck. this commercial, unfortunately, reveals the schizophrenic soul of our society. but it has the virtue of being honest -- unlike the sentimental animated films full of messages about being yourself and accepting difference, while the movie business model is driven by celebrity, and power worship, and conformity.