America, we have a problem. And while I would love to be the bigger person and claim all responsibility, we know better than to lie to each other. The problem is with YOU, and your inability to judge the superiority of one Super Bowl commercial over another.
Yesterday, here in the highly unscientific labs of MSNBC.com buried 500 feet beneath Mount Rushmore, we asked YOU, MSNBC.com readers, to vote for your favorite advertisement from Super Bowl Sunday. The results were shocking — so shocking in fact, we recalculated them 17 times, and still couldn’t skew the results in a satisfactory way. America LOVED the Blockbuster “Mouse Click” commercial, and by a whopping 14 percentage points over its closest competition, even though it was clearly one of the most immoral advertisements ever to besmirch the sanctity of national television.
For those too transfixed by Prince’s halftime performance (how DID he remain so dry?) to notice this egregious example of advertising, here is the lowdown: In a pet store across from a Blockbuster franchise — by the way, pet stores are basically gulags for birdies, fishies, and puppies, so we already know we’re taking a long walk into a moral wasteland—a bunny and some kind of obese rat (a guinea pig?) are conversing. As it turns out, the bunny is “clicking” (or more accurately "pummeling") on an actual mouse in a futile attempt to try out Blockbuster’s new Total Access online video service — apparently, the animals are too stupid to have heard of Netflix.
When repeated “clicking” doesn’t work, the twosome begin violently “dragging the mouse” back and forth across the bottom of their cage. Their limited intellects leaving them with no further options, the obese rat chides the bunny, telling him, “We forgot to plug it in,” which naturally sends the mouse into a panic because of the unimaginable horror which is surely about to be inflicted upon him.
What is this? A Blockbuster commercial or the third season of HBO’s prison drama "Oz"? Unbelievably, this is the commercial YOU voted for, America!
I, for one, refuse to believe it. I refuse to believe — or LIVE — in an America that would so carelessly support such animalistic behavior (literally!) while ignoring the solid work of Kevin Federline as a rapping french fry chef. That’s why the scientific minds of MSNBC.com have scientifically rationalized your behavior to somehow explain how you could’ve come to such an unthinkable, barbarous decision. There’s no need to thank us.
1. You were drunk. You really were stinko, you know. Whoever had the idea to take a drink each time a Chicago Bear saw his hopes and dreams dashed to the ground (or turned into an interception) really did not have your mental acuity in mind. Don’t invite that guy back next year.
2. You were too busy signing a petition to outlaw men kissing each other in a Snickers commercial. Super Bowl 2004 had the Janet Jackson nipple explosion, Super Bowl 2007 had two men kissing in a Snickers commercial.
Many considered the advertisement —wherein two mechanics accidentally smooch while sharing a Snickers — a successful parody of the same macho Cro-Magnon behavior exhibited by some fans of professional football. However, a number of bloggers across America labeled it as “homophobia,” and successfully launched an online petition to force Snickers into shelving the ad — but they refused to stop there.
A second successful petition ensured that any attempt at “humor” will be forever banned from all forthcoming Super Bowl commercials. And then a third petition will now force the NFL to decide the outcome of all future Super Bowl games by petition (unless a new petition overturns it). So as it turns out, you were too busy signing petitions to watch that hilarious Emerald Nuts ad where Robert Goulet crawls across the ceiling like a bug.
3. You were in the bathroom during the Flomax Commercial. Clearly, the advertisement for Flomax — a prescription medication designed to alleviate uncontrollable male urination—was the true winner of Super Bowl XLVXIV. But apparently, you were too busy urinating to notice!
The “Flomax” ad was a gut-wrenching, emotional plea to end those constant trips to the restroom, while learning to live with possible side effects such as “runny nose,” “fainting” and “decrease in semen.” But you wouldn’t know that, would you? Because you were too busy dashing back and forth to the toilet, and laughing with your callous friends at the expense of a poor mouse being brutally attacked for your entertainment.
This is NOT the America I signed up for, Americans. That’s why the scientists here at MSNBC.com have decided to give our readers two choices: either retract your vote for the Blockbuster “pets of perversion,” or we will be forced to instigate a very nasty online petition. We’re not exactly sure what we’ll be petitioning against—but mark our words, it’ll make what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah look like a cupcake party.
Wm. Steven Humphrey does not represent the opinion of anyone associated with MSNBC.com. He writes the nationally syndicated “I (heart) TV” column for The Stranger, a weekly newspaper in Seattle.