Absolut Nonsense

Posted by: David Kiley on April 7, 2008

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Vin & Spirits, the owner of Absolut Vodka until the approvals of Pernod Ricard’s acquisition of the brand go through, yanked an ad in Mexico that stirred up trouble in the blogosphere.

The ad, pictured above, is part of the “In An Absolut World” campaign that promotes so-called ideal scenarios under the slogan. The ad shows an 1830s-era map when Mexico included California, Texas and other southwestern states. Some Mexicans, it seems, still resent losing that territory in the 1848 Mexican-American War and the fight for Texas independence, and didn’t like to be reminded of it. At the same time, some conservative Americans viewed the ads as inflaming cross-border tensions between the U.S. and Mexico. Among the conservative ad bashers has been intellectually suspect Michelle Malkin, who often substitutes for Fox’s Bill O’Reilly.
The agency that created the ad, Teran/TBWA’s Mexico City, is a unit of Omnicom’s TBWA agency that has done Absolut advertising since its introduction to North America around 1980.

“In no way was it meant to offend or disparage, nor does it advocate an altering of borders, nor does it lend support to any anti-American sentiment, nor does it reflect immigration issues,” Absolut said in a statement left on its consumer inquiry phone line.
Vin & Sprit, Absolut’s Sweden-based parent company, will be acquired by French spirit maker Pernod Ricard SA under a deal reached last week.

It’s not likely that Absolut or TBWA was intentionally going for edginess in this ad. That hasn’t been the tenor of the campaign. Instead, it seems that it was one of those cases where the agency and client did not anticipate the sensitivity over the true history of the U.S. Southwest territory on both sides of the border a century and a half after the battle was fought.

I’d never advocate focus-grouping every ad to test for such sensitivity. But, the agency in Mexico City is supposed to come to the table with some cultural expertise to keep the advertiser shooting itself in the foot.

Reader Comments

Hector

April 7, 2008 4:55 PM

How exactly does an historical fact become an insult?. That used to be the territorial distribution until Mexico lost a war with the US. I find it more agravating to Mexicans rather than americans. Or probably the insult is that history is not taught in american schools..

I find the whole issue of this being an insult funny. It's like saying that the primitive human fossils found in africa are an insult to us modern homo sapiens.

it is just a historical FACT.

Tim

April 7, 2008 5:23 PM

Glad to see Business Week finally come to the party on this issue, a week later. I've been following this story from inception and I'll give you credit for the first (I've scene) to note the failure of the local agency in Mexico City. Of course, someone at Absolut corporate had to approve the ad, didn't they?

To me, the most interesting questions concern the timing of the acquisition of Absolut by Pernod Ricard SA, and as far as I have been able to discern so far, they have not yet been asked or answered. What marketing due diligence did Pernod Ricard SA do prior to the purchase? Did they know about the ad? Was Absolut under any duty to disclose local campaigns such as this one? Will the ad and the resulting damage to Absolut's good will in its largest market have any impact on the sale being finalized or the terms? It should: simply put, the asset Pernod Ricard SA announced as agreeing to buy last week has declined in value as a result of something that clearly pre-dated the sale, but who's fault is it? Granted, Pernod Ricard SA overpaid for the brand name, a brand name that is now DOA with a significant portion of the U.S. market, but now the amount of the overpayment may untenable.

This should be a textbook case in marketing classes and due diligence seminars for years to come.

Finally, while I am offended by the ad and disappointed as a long time Absolut drinker, I did not learn from the ad from Michelle Malkin or any right wing blog, so please don't lump me in with any dismissive generalizations and assumptions you may have about same.

P.S.: In the category of unsolicited advice, you could (and should) have made your points without calling Malkin "intellectually suspect." Ad hominem attacks are themselves intellectually suspect, so the irony is a bit rich.

ALF

April 7, 2008 6:52 PM

Hi there
After reading this article,just I noted
that you make a mistake, saying 1884 war
between mexican-american, well mexican weren't on a war with america
mexican were in a war with the u.s.
so you people in the u.s. think that america belong to you,well guest what,
you u.s. people are part of america, like Canadians, not america is part of the u.s. so when you refer to the u.s. do not do it in behalf of america.
thanks

Jeffrey Williams

April 7, 2008 7:20 PM

"Among the conservative ad bashers has been intellectually suspect Michelle Malkin..."

In what way suspect? What is suspect is the intellect of a writer who resorts to crude, gratuitous and unsupported ad hominem.

Eugenio

April 7, 2008 8:22 PM

You say Michelle Malkin is "intellectually suspect." That would make YOU a bigot at most and arrogant at the least. She's smarter than you'll ever be. Who are you to call her "intellectually suspect?"

Sam

April 7, 2008 10:57 PM

Next maybe they should show a map of Sweden that includes Denmark and Norway.
see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swedish_campaign_against_Norway_(1814)

Jeremiah

April 7, 2008 11:28 PM

THE ad Was
ABSOLUT BRILLIANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We Americans should allow people to have their own opinions.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH????
FREEDOM OF PRESS?????
READ A HISTORY BOOK and take your heads out of the sand.

row

April 8, 2008 12:43 AM

"...intellectually suspect Michelle Malkin..."

Name calling will certainly increase your level of credibility (at kos/huffpro), but for thinking people it's passe, much like you assessment.

Could be a little jealousy on your part though...I see that your articles generate very little in the way of responses. If you were able to produce numbers (and influence) on the scale that MM does hell who knows, you might get a raise...or at the least be offered a job at something other than a left wing rag ;)

jack

April 8, 2008 1:29 AM

Also comments on this controversy, re: Michelle Malkin/Absolut on jackrabbitcafe.blogspot.com

Michael Barlow

April 8, 2008 1:37 AM

"Among the conservative ad bashers has been intellectually suspect Michelle Malkin, who often substitutes for Fox’s Bill O’Reilly."

This missive alone would label the author of this article a leftist, anti-american, reconquista partisan. I expect better of Business Week than to employ such hacks as contributors. Good luck with next quarter's subscriptions.

JohnnyT

April 8, 2008 1:50 AM

Michelle Malkin is the 'intellectually suspect' one here, Mr. Kiley? You can't even figure out why millions of ordinary Americans are outraged by it! Missed the Shamnesty bill smackdown last year, did ya? And would you be so nonchalant about a similar ad showing the US land mass extending through Mexico to Guatemala? I think NOT!

Oh, and do us a favor. Knock off the 'intelectually suspect' crap. Personal and totally biased statements like that masquerading as 'journalism' are blatant elitist 'look-down-your-noses-at-us' snobbery and yet another reason why 70% of the American public doesn't trust the MSM to honestly report the news.

Last question: how much did Absolut pay you to write this 'impartial' OpEd?

Robert W.

April 8, 2008 3:06 AM

Mr. Kiley:

Just curious about one thing. Is Ms. Malkin "intellectually suspect" because her point of view is different from yours? Or do you have this intellectually superior attitude toward all non-Caucasian women?

Robert W.
Vancouver, BC

Tim

April 8, 2008 4:47 AM

Seems like Kiley here is playing defense for some people with whom he agrees politically more than acting as an actual journalist.

Cheap shots and setting up strawmen doesn't take away from how big a hit this business took for it's stupid pandering to some Hispanics.

But that doesn't get the "journalist's" personal views across. And who wants honest reporting when you can have that?

G Powell

April 8, 2008 8:01 AM

Come on Business Week, Can't anyone in our media just report a story anymore without the blatant swipes like your "Ace Reporter" David Kiley.

You have just proven again the where the intellectually suspect really reside.

linda

April 8, 2008 8:17 AM

I'd say you are pretty intellectually suspect. There is no sensitivity over the "true history of the U.S. Southwest territory". The sensitivity is over the attempted retaking of the Southwest U.S. through illegal immigration and "Reconquista". btw Michelle Malkin rocks.

Tom Hagen

April 8, 2008 9:47 AM

The reality is that Mexicans couldn´t care less about the ad, it´s only a quick resource to make fun of ancient history. On the other hand, Americans all over U.S. demanded the ad to be removed, it seems it touched sensitivity in the conservative, racist and ignorant ones. It doesn´t matter, the last time I visited California and Texas it seems to me these territories are back in Mexican hands: Insted of the traditional SE HABLA ESPAÑOL sign hanged during the 80´s and 90´s, now you find ENGLISH SPOKEN ones.

Rick P

April 8, 2008 10:02 AM

What exactly makes Michelle Malkin "intellectually suspect"??

Howard

April 8, 2008 10:37 AM

C'mon guys! Mexicans should get down on their knees and thank God that Texas,Arizona,New Mexico and California are not part of Mexico, but belong to the good old US of A.
If these states were still Mexican territory, then Mexicans would have to make their way thru another thousand miles of toturous desert wasteland before arriving at an American city to sign up for their food stamps, welfare checks and free healthcare.
Howard

In Your Dreams Kiley

April 8, 2008 11:19 AM

Mr.....Kiley is it??? Having never heard of you, I had to laugh at your "intellectually suspect" jab at Michelle Malkin. Might I suggest a wide ranging public discussion of immigration issues on FOX news between yourself and Ms. Malkin. I have high confidence that Ms. Malkin would wipe the proverbial floor with you from an "intellectual" standpoint.

Your laughable standard-issue MSM attacks show your envy for a person of true intellect and values. She informs the public on issues OUTSIDE the MSM/DNC template, and you can't bear that the public is made aware of information you don't want them to have.

Please email MM and set up the discussion. I won't hold my breath.

andy

April 8, 2008 11:22 AM

the mexican people are still taught in their schools that the land in dispute is still really theirs

David

April 8, 2008 11:49 AM

Gee. Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, Oklahoma are part of Mexico. Tibet is part of China. Northern Ireland is part of Ireland.

Don't ad people watch CNN or Fox News? Is Absolut a sponsor of the Beijing Olympics?

juan faneca

April 8, 2008 11:50 AM

"Mexicans, it seems, still resent losing that territory in the 1848 Mexican-American War and the fight for Texas independence, and didn’t like to be reminded of it."

Huh? Mexicans born before 1848? Are they still bitter about the Spanish conquest, too?

q8rph

April 8, 2008 11:55 AM

I'm finished, poured all mine down the drain, think I will go to scotch or bourbon.

hispanic

April 8, 2008 12:56 PM

in the future we are going to put up
a hispanic website and we are going to use this map.lets remember there are 45 million hispanics in the us and this land was stolen from the indians and purchsed for pennies on the dollar.
and this article already tells us that amricans are going to be pissed off.
and we to incourage these mexicans to reclaim their stolen land.
bush and chaney will be held accountable after they get out of office and will be held accountable for no imigration policy..its going to get very ugly...watch how the hispanic expert straighens everyone out...
with this media channel..and let mexicans reclaim what was rightfully theirs.
also jews will loose their monetary
power as latinos already comprise 9% of the us vote..isreal will not be aligned by the jews in the us..put that in your pipe and smoke it,the future is bright
as we have seem with obama individual contributions corporations have lost their control over politics...
watch how bush and chaney will pay for generations after they get out of office
for what they did to the usa!!!!
as we have waited and prepared for the last 8 yrs.politicans will pay daily for their past decisions.and media will not be censored by a jew murdoch.
ie news corp...the stage is set for hispanics to reclaim their past glory.

Jenny Bea

April 8, 2008 3:00 PM

This will go down in history as the WORST marketing disaster EVER. It all boils down to the fact that the marketing/advertising dept. within Absolut simply wasn't thinking, or were consuming too much of their product when they decided this ad would be a good idea. I can't wait to view the 2008 annual report to see how far their sales went down.

Why any company would piss off their NUMBER ONE customer, is beyond me. The people responsible for this should be fired.

If this were 1808, rather than 2008, we'd all be dumping bottles in the harbor, and having a little Absolut Tea Party. Lucky for Absolut, we passed that century.

And they should remember that the next time they advertise.

SOUS

April 8, 2008 4:53 PM

nO aBSOLUT VODKA FOR ME.

dan

April 8, 2008 7:23 PM

I think all of you clowns who bash people against the ad are intellectually ignorant. If you even would have listened in American History the US PAID the Mexico government for our land. Didnt have to but did. So get off your high horse and realize who is really suspect of intelligence

Dan Lewis

April 8, 2008 8:46 PM

I'm certainly grateful for freedom of speech and freedom of choice. So, I'm grateful that I can say that I will no longer purchase Absolut or anything Pernod.

JK58

April 8, 2008 9:27 PM

"We Americans should allow people to have their own opinions.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH????
FREEDOM OF PRESS?????
READ A HISTORY BOOK and take your heads out of the sand".....Hey idiot, they did have freedom of speech and press, that is how the ad got here. And people who did not like the ad are using their right to speak against it. So maybe you should read a book and get rid of your leftist free speech for me but not for the, attitude

Pancho Villa

April 8, 2008 9:41 PM

I love it! International law dictates that it is *ILLEGAL* to acquire land through war, and everyone know that if you sign a contract will a gun to your head, it is not legally binding because it was signed under duress. It took a purveyor or booze to point out this glaring travesty of sovereignty and international law.

Curva Beckets

April 8, 2008 10:04 PM

Andy, if you want to post your opinion is OK, buy what you said it's not true at all, get your facts right. Sam, congratulations, either you are a Scholar or you just Googled the subject. Wow, Wikipedia! that's deep knowledge. I've always thought Americans were quite ignorant, but expected a bit more form BW readers... my mistake.

AlGoreIsTheGodOfMyChurch

April 8, 2008 11:30 PM

Seems to me, Senior Correspondent David Kiley might be intellectualy suspect. I base my assertion on the fact that he lives and works in Detroit Michigan, and yet has written two books BOTH praising GERMAN carmakers? What are you David? A self loathing liberal America hater?

Oooops. Sorry! You see, my ad hominen attacks are an intellectually dishonest tactic that I employ when I when am at a loss to debate rationally.

Here's your mirror!

Bill M

April 9, 2008 8:27 AM

Dan is correct. We even tried to buy it BEFORE the war. Mexico didn't recognize Texas as an independent country and said it meant war if we admitted them to the union. We did and they did. They lost. Commenter Hispanic needs to learn grammar and spelling plus lose the anti-semitic BS. Commenter Tom seems to be your average leftist, like David Kiley; can't make a comment without intellectually vapid insults.

TinkerBrendie

April 9, 2008 8:43 AM

I subscribed to BusinessWeek last month after reading SmallBiz at the dentist. I haven't even OPENED my fist copy of BW, but if Mr. Kiley's work is typical of the publication's view, I'm already regretting my subscription. Lo siento mucho, pero Michelle Malkin is intellectually superior NOT ONLY to Mr. Kiley, but to that simpering, butt-kissing Jerry Rivers - AKA "Geraldo" - as well.

random

April 9, 2008 8:56 AM

To me, this ad is absolutely fascinating in the kinds of people it brings out of the woodwork. You know, the ones throwing around racist and xenophobic sentiments and calling business magazines "left wing rags" which is the equivalent of calling Switzerland a fascist state... Yes, those great minds.

As for Malkin's supposed intellectual superiority over all mortals, while Mr. Kiley's initial jab was unnecessary, I fail to see how an incendiary blogger and columnist who takes new from the mainstream media she loves to bash so much and spins it to appeal to the most base of xenophobic and separatist attitudes while giving phone numbers and addresses of the "parties at fault" for her loyal fans to harass, is some sort of mastermind. If it wasn't for the mainstream media, she would have no income and nothing of her own. Oh wait, she did that one investigative report on a scammner in San Fran over a decade ago. It might have been her one and only and not at all overwhelming or all that new, but I guess that must mean she's a brilliant sleuth who knows what the mainstream media could never figure out and could tough it out doing actual journalism rather than cherry picking news pre-hashed and pre-researched for her. Right...

Oh and she wrote a book. That was dismissed by every historian as total and complete nonsense based on 1940s propaganda and half-truths. Again, simply brilliant. I know. Why don't I start a blog, lure people with a passionate need to vent their rage, give them a target I find digging through work already done for me by the mainstream media and rile them up to make them feel good about their incivility? Then I'll be considered smarter than other will ever hope to be too! And just for good measure, I will ridicule the very media that gave me all the material with which I work.

Now, if you actually think that Absolut will endure serious sales shortfalls from this ad, you need to step outside, get some fresh and smell the coffee because you've been sitting in your own partisan fumes a wee bit too long. Some pundit is going to blow a gasket about something else, make a huge deal out of it and everybody will be talking about that. You included. This ad is an example or base punditry gone awry and the ad itself will blow over in a few weeks with only the most radically anti-immigration and separatist groups able to instantly recall it as proof for whatever rant they're trying to make next.

And Mr. Kiley, might I suggest that when you try and tackle someone for being "intellectually suspect," you do it in a forum in which the intellectual honesty of the person in the discussion is the main topic and come ready with at least five examples of gross negligence of the facts or abusive and repellent behavior justified by your target with logical backflips or outright lies? Rightful rage is one thing. An interwoven snipe is a bit base.

random

April 9, 2008 9:22 AM

"If you even would have listened in American History the US PAID the Mexico government for our land."

Actually the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed after Mexico lost its capital city and most of its territory in the war. To end the war, the nation agreed to hand over about 40% of its land and to smooth over accusations of imperialism and cruelty coming from home, the US government gave Mexico $15 million and assumed $3.5 million in debt so it would look like the land was just sold, not conquered. Although that sales price was 50% less than the US offered to pay before the start of hostilities and came after a war in which more than half of Mexico was occupied. Not exactly a simple business transaction.

Just to show how much the land handed over in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo may have been really worth, consider the Gadsden purchase. About 30,000 square miles cost $10 million or 66.6% of what was given to Mexico for 500,000 square miles about 5 years before. Either the land appreciated by more than 1,100% ($30 per square mile in 1848 vs. $333 per square mile in 1853) or the US government paid a small fraction of what the land was worth at the end of the Mexican-American war.

So the land was bought on the cheap at the end of a war that captured the Mexican seat of government to diffuse criticism at home and their transaction was met with bitterness, sarcasm and generals shaking their heads at the tortured logic of the deal. The US government tried to buy peace from ridicule, not give Mexico a decent value for half a million square feet of land. Not quite the act of charity you want to describe Dan. Not quite.

Scott M

April 9, 2008 11:16 AM

I personally am infuriated by this ad and regardless of their apology, I hope to spread public knowledge of their actions and boycott their products in my area. I made a shelf hanger to hang underneath Absolut bottles in your local liquor store. Download and share here if you agree;

http://rapidshare.com/files/106111567/Absolut_Boycott.pdf.html

ivan

April 9, 2008 1:03 PM

of course it belongs to Mexican. What's the difference of Americans and European colonist and imperialist? same shit just different smell~

Chris Roland

April 9, 2008 2:05 PM

Before anyone starts making claims that the United States "stole" Mexico's land it might be wise to know what legitimate claim Mexico had to that land. Where did they get it? Who was living there before they claimed it? Did the people living there feel any loyalty to the Mexican government? How many Mexicans were even living there?

In every case it's fair to say that, if the US "stole" the land from Mexico, then it was only land Mexico had stolen itself, from American Indians, who felt no loyalty to the Mexican government whatsoever.

More importantly, there were few Mexicans living in the ceded territories. Despite the fact the the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo allowed Mexicans living in the ceded territories to remain, the total population of the three areas created from the conquered lands - California, the New Mexico Territory, and the Utah Territory - came to less than 170,000 people. California had 92,597 people (this was after the Gold Rush began); the Utah Territory had 11,380 people; and the New Mexico Territory had only 61,547 people.

This was a census that showed New York with 3 million people, Tennessee with over a million people, and Ohio with nearly 2 million people.

If Mexico can purport to claim all of that territory with so few of its citizens living there then I now lay claim to the moons of Saturn and Jupiter and to the Dwarf Planet of Pluto. Please don't invade my turf.

random

April 9, 2008 2:31 PM

"Hey idiot, they did have freedom of speech and press, that is how the ad got here. And people who did not like the ad are using their right to speak against it. So maybe you should read a book and get rid of your leftist free speech for me but not for the, attitude"

Funny, nowhere do I see Mr. Kiley saying that anyone who doesn't like the ad should never speak about it again and only those who approve of it are allowed to voice their opinions. He only said that it seems to incite xenophobic rage. If anything, we have people like Bill O'Reilly screaming "shut up" every time they hear something with which they don't agree and right wing demagogues constantly saying that moderates and leftists should remember that they're "blessed to live in a country with free speech," ominously wondering how they would like to live in a country that tortures its citizens for speaking their minds and declaring that criticizing the actions of the government is a form of treason.

Methinks the angry rightists here are using the passive aggressive left as the scapegoats on which to project their uncivil behaviors. It's their right to do it. Likewise it's my right to disagree and point it out. Which I suppose makes me a radical loony left wing America hating traitor. Or whatever negative label makes you feel more alive and patriotic.

Random Idiot

April 9, 2008 5:38 PM

For the Random moron idiot that posted on April 9 at 2:31pm, the comment you reference was directed at another poster, not Mr. Kiley you freaking retard. And while we probably both agree that Bill O'Reilly is a blowhard bunghole who needs a tampon stuck in his cakehole, I don't see any conservative groups calling for "speech codes" at universities, which should be bastions of offensive speech. And I don't know if it's just me, but anytime someone uses the term "methinks", they're usually some pseudo-intellectual career student or wannabe-career student who has no idea what the real world is like. But I could be wrong.

kb

April 10, 2008 7:17 AM

Jeremiah wrote:

"We Americans should allow people to have their own opinions.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH????
FREEDOM OF PRESS?????
READ A HISTORY BOOK and take your heads out of the sand."

Unfortunately, when people like Jeremiah condemn Americans for expressing their own opinions, it is THEY who demonstrate the location of their heads. Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press are concepts embodied in the First Amendment, which governs the relationship between the Government and the People. It essentially implies that the GOVERNMENT cannot restrict citizens' political speech (with certain limitations) that is not imminently dangerous, such as shouting "fire" in a crowded theater, or encouraging mobs to riot. If a commercial entity runs an ad that offends someone, that individual is entitled to express his distaste. Why should he be restricted from doing so? Jeremiah would argue that Absolut enjoys free speech, but that no American enjoys the same level of free speech to criticize them, or to join with others and withhold their hard earned cash from them. Thus, it is evident that Jeremiah is the one who lacks Constitutional and historical temperament, and has his head firmly planted beyond the reach of sunlight. Contrary to Jeremiah's microencephalic view of the world, it is we who enjoy free speech, and Vin & Spirit must be prepared to accept the commercial consequences of its advertising missteps.

random

April 10, 2008 7:57 AM

"For the Random moron idiot that posted on April 9 at 2:31pm, the comment you reference was directed at another poster, not Mr. Kiley you freaking retard."

Just an FYI, the terms 'moron idiot' and 'you freaking retard' being used as the opener to your comment suggest that you have some rage issues. Maybe you can do something like punch pillows or go to the gym to relieve at least a little of that tension. Of maybe the equivalent of screaming at random strangers on the web is what helps you out? I would certainly hope so because you my friend sound on the verge of a rage induced heart attack.

As for the comment I quoted, I didn't see anyone trying to limit Mr. Kiley's speech, not even the most vehement opponents of the ad. Based on the quoted commenter's distaste for the ad and his use of the world 'liberal' as a pejorative, it was either very clear that he was talking to Mr. Kiley or that he had no idea to who he was responding as his disjointed ranting was inapplicable to anyone else.

"And while we probably both agree that Bill O'Reilly is a blowhard bunghole who needs a tampon stuck in his cakehole, I don't see any conservative groups calling for "speech codes" at universities, which should be bastions of offensive speech."

Then you haven't heard of David Horowitz and his allied groups. Liberals and conservatives are both guilty of doing the same bad things they accuse each other of and this is no exception. Oh and Horowitz has been at it since the 80s so this isn't a new development.

Colleges are not a bastion of free speech and never really have been. They are just as prone to elitism and political groupthink as the people who run them and the communities where they're located. Some are set up as deliberate indoctrination institutions such as colleges ran by televangelists. Let's not limit our view of reality by sheer stereotypes.

"And I don't know if it's just me, but anytime someone uses the term 'methinks', they're usually some pseudo-intellectual career student or wannabe-career student who has no idea what the real world is like. But I could be wrong."

Condescension usually doesn't get you anywhere in any debate or conversation. It just shows that you think you're better than the person to whom you're speaking. If considering me a pseudo-intellectual career student or a pretentious academic wannabe based on the use of a single word I used is what lets you sleep soundly at night, then by all means consider me what you will. I would hate to upset your personal world and accomplish nothing at the end since on the internet nobody knows who you are and all your claims are meaningless.

Oh and oddly enough, everybody knows what the real world is like. We all live in it and I've yet to mean anyone who didn't. But then again, I don't make it a habit of hanging out at Fermilab and looking for quantum gateways into surreal microcosms.

kb

April 10, 2008 8:17 AM

I find it interesting that Hispanic posted a blatantly anti-semitic statement, yet Random completely ignored its racist tenor and chose instead to insinuate that anyone who cares about U.S. sovereignty is necessarily a racist and a xenophobe. This clearly indicates that Random not only shares Hispanic's racist, nazi, anti-semitic ideology, but that she also hates America. I was furthermore amused by the manner in which Random rewrote history, and characterized the U.S. payment of $15M and assumption of $3.5M in debt as some accounting trick designed to give the appearance of a legitimate transaction. Specifically, she said that the U.S. merely did this "so it would look like the land was just sold." Look like? To Whom? Exactly who were they trying to fool? The U.N.? She never tells us. Perhaps the nazi Random is insinuating that this was merely another Jewish trick cooked up by crooked Jewish bookkeepers to keep the government accountants at bay. No doubt that her ideological counterpart Hispanic would share this opinion. Hispanic's blatant anti-semitism oozes from Random's pustuous pores. Unfortunately, the nazi Random ignores the fact that the U.S. didn't much care at the time about its global reputation among the world's actual imerialist powers, like the U.K., France, the Netherlands, and Spain, who were marching around the world collecting new territories and enlisting technically inferior peoples wherever they found them. Needless to say, the U.S. certainly wasn't trying to fool them. Perhaps James Polk and George Dallas conspired with Israel Green and the New York Jewish Bankers to trick Congress? Contrary to the racist, ethno-centric claims of Hispanic, and the hysterical, naziesque screed of Random, history actually demonstrates that Mexico never exercised any meaningful dominion over these territories in the first place; they were simply inherited from Spain upon independence, and then managed badly when managed at all. Furthermore, the native North American Indian tribes were vehemently opposed to Spanish and Mexican rule, and suffered casualties in the tens of millions thereunder. Do their opinions, or the fact that they were the first claimants to these lands matter in the fantasy world of Random or Hispanic? Obviously not. In fact, many American Indian tribes still carry the spiritual scars of Spanish-Mexican oppression, and justified hatred chills the blood in their veins when they are subjected to the shrill of Mexican claims to these territories. In fact, under the questionable logic of Random and her "Spelling Bee Champ" compatriate, Hispanic, the territorial claims of Mexico are even less valid than the U.S. sovereignty they've attacked; at least the U.S. paid Mexico for the land. Did Mexico or Spain ever pay the native American Indians? No. They killed them instead. They need to pack up their nazi, anti-semitic, ethno-centric, Orwelian, revisionist rhetoric and head on down to Mexico to stay there.

random

April 11, 2008 8:57 AM

Dear Kb,

Normally I would ask what you're on and why you're not sharing but whatever that substance is, it certainly seems to induce far too much rage and results in disjointed, accusatory, baseless kneejerk rantings of a madman. It also brings out poor commands of facts and logic.

1. I'm a Jew. My last name is about as Jewish as it comes. I don't care to deal with anti-Semitism. I've already been dealing with it all my life and I know that lashing out at an anti-Semitist does nothing. It's like talking to a brick wall or a UFO conspiracy theorist who thinks humans were created by alien monsters from the mythical planet Niburu. What am I gonna do? Go after every anti-Semite who doesn't care what you say anyway? If you enjoy butting heads with human equivalents of brick walls, go for it. As for me, I'd rather they grumble on the web instead of going out to put Jews in concentration camps again.

2. Not immediately hitting through the roof when I see something objectionable, shrugging it off and addressing the actual point of the article means that I endorse anti-Semitism? Are you trying to be sarcastic and parody a rabid right wing zealot hopped up on partisan rage juice or do you really have such a lack of logic? Even the guilty by association fallacy requires that I say something. But apparently you can read minds and know what I'm going to say and feel free to say it for me. Albeit you do it with the equivalent of screaming your head off like a rabid banshee and spewing baseless insults.

3. Calling me a racist or a Nazi is an intellectually lazy exercise known as an Ad Nazium. Basically you're just name calling and you have no proof behind it other than me not writing the same kind of hysterical, disjointed ravings of a lunatic that you spewed out in either a stupor or a rage induced psychotic episode.

4. Yes, yes, I hate America. That's why I quoted from history books and noted that Mexican land was purchased for a token fee because of rising criticism from home. If you were to look up the Treat of Guadalupe Hidalgo in any known or respected historical publication, it would say the same exact thing. And my quoting of history must of course mean that I hate America because recitation of facts could only be done by a hater.

Ok... It hurts my head to even parody you. How can you actually write a 600 word rant like that without getting a migraine?

5. By the way, an unspoken rule of debate is that the more times someone calls his opponent a Nazi, the more desperate he is and the less of a point he has. You started off with that in your first sentence and called me a Nazi about two dozen times afterwards. I get it. You're angry and your rocket propelled leaps to wild and idiotic conclusions shape your tortured attempts at rational thought.

6. Trying to tie European Imperialism with my supposed Elders of Zion conspiracy leanings in a God-awful attempt at sarcasm was probably one of the most incoherent attempt at pseudo-intellectual posturing that I've yet to see. You couldn't join those two concepts no matter how badly you tried. It looked as if you had two points. One that was historical was left unfinished halfway through. And another Ad Nazium attack that you completed because that's your area of proficiency and you were actually able to finish that string of words.

7. You pulled my supposed approval for Hispanic and his rantings out of the darkest, deepest and most putrid depths of your large intestine. I find it an unpleasant surprise that shrugging off a random anti-Semite online because God knows there are millions of them out there and they're all impervious to logic and reason, would attract the attention of a sophist so mentally underpowered and so hysterical that he would paint me with the same brush he used for a person who's views I never endorsed. Where do you get this sheer, unabridged, inexcusable idiocy? Do you just make up your own reality? Are you really so hysterical and unthinking that the idea of someone shrugging off an anti-Semitic comment means that he or she has a framed posted of Hitler above the bed?

8. The question of whether Mexico did or did not exercise enough dominion over the territories bought in the Treaty of Guadalupe (and your only coherent point by the way... see, if you let go of hysterics you can actually make a complete sentence without erupting into pejoratives and spewing knee jerk accusations), is kind of a moot point. The land legally belonged to them. Just like if your neighbor is away from his house for long periods of time and didn't take good care of his house, doesn't mean that he doesn't actually own the house.

I also never said that the land was stolen or that the US government didn't have the right to annex it. Polk won it fair and square in a war, it was his right to take the land and he chose to pay a small token to diffuse critics like Ulysses S. Grant and his political opposition, the Whigs and counter their claims that he was starting a colonial war to finish Manifest Destiny. That's what happened. Fair or not fair is not for me to decide. I just noted that it wasn't an act of charity. The fact is that for the first half of the 1800s, Mexico's map looked like it does in the ad.

If you can't stand that fact and can't even think is possible that Absolut's ad agency thought it would be funny without doing its research on local cultures, thus unwittingly screwing up and upsetting US and Mexican nationalists, you need to talk to a professional about anger management classes. Maybe you'll learn how to act like a civil human being. Or could it be that you choose to manage your inner, seething rage by behaving like an insane barroom pundit on his eighth shot for the evening?

9. No one threatened your sovereignty or that of the US. Mexico isn't looking at the ad and gearing up its army to take back the American Southwest. Illegal immigrants aren't starting terrorist operations ala al-Queda. A few Mexican nationalists got riled up, a few American nationalists went crazy and used the ad to once again degenerate the very real questions of border security and illegal immigration into genitalia waiving contests which have zero substance, zero facts and zero thought behind them. Then they wonder why they can't solve the problem with hysterical screaming and throwing around insults and proceed to do even more of it. I'm sure you've heard that insanity is trying to do the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result every time...

10. Absolut's agency did something stupid. People do stupid things. If you want to verbally crucify them for it, that's your ax to grind. Do it as much as you need to be able to have a good night's sleep. But don't drag me and whoever sees it differently into your personal issues and accuse me of something I've never done and don't slather me with pejoratives like an enraged primate in a zoo flings its waste in its angry fit.

11. So I wrote a hysterical screed? How many times have I called someone a Nazi? How many times have I attributed their views to someone who's comments they didn't explicitly endorse? How many times have I indulged in pejoratives? Calling someone a nationalist isn't one. Neither is calling anyone xenophobic. It simply means that someone is devoted to his nation above all other and is afraid of foreigners. Phobia means fear, remember? Not hate. How many times have I called them colonialists?

You on the other hand concocted the web equivalent of an apoplectic banshee's howl and based over 80% of your post on ah hominems for which you had no proof other than your own rabid imagination. So how about you remove what seems to be a very large and cumbersome object from your lower cavity, take a walk around the block and act like a civilized human being who is actually capable of reading comprehension and logical flow?

Just a thought.

Kai

April 30, 2008 11:42 AM

As a Chinese whose government "supposedly" used "dubious" historical basis to deny the Tibetan secessionists the right to independence, I strongly support the right of Texas, California and other states that were illegally seized from Mexico with violent means to break from the United States, either returning to Mexico or becoming independent. As a matter of fact, I think our compatriots, who the West believe should be more politically-active, should actively support the cause of the above-mentioned states to gain independence, and will condemn any brutal means the US might be resort to "crack-down" on the secessionists in the name of maintaining law and order.

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News, opinions, inflammatory meanderings and occasional ravings about the world of advertising, marketing and media. By marketing editor Burt Helm, Innovation Editor Helen Walters, and senior correspondent Michael Arndt.

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