Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Chia Obama

Man! OK, I realize I have to start mixing things up with some more light, fun posts, so how about this... have you all seen the commercial for Chia Obama?!

Can you believe that this is actually a real commercial for a real product that you can buy! I saw it for the first time last night on television. On television! I know... this is maybe the first time in months that I've watched any commercials (thanks, Tivo) and this is what I see.

So, OK: my first thought on this was "Whaaat?!" and then my next thought was "OMG, I want to buy one." But then I thought again and realized "wait; no, I don't." First of all, since when do I want a friggin chia pet? Chia pets are like half really weak clay artifact/half sad excuse for a house plant, and they're the epitome of tacky, useless junk people buy on a whim and then wonder where to cram it. Plus, the Chia Obama doesn't even look that much like the president.

A lot of people seem to feel that a Chia Obama with an alfafa-sprout afro is sort of racist (or at least "racialist"). I'm not TOTALLY convinced of that -- and I feel like I recognize racism when I see it. Don't get me started on the clear, racial overtones in that Ant and the Grasshopper mass email that Nicole brought to my attention! --, but I would have to say that the commercial's suggestion that you proudly display Chia Obama on your desk at work sounds like a good way to start trouble.

I think it's kind of wonderful and hilarious that the commercial decides to take us in the other direction by saying that buying your own Chia Obama is a great way to celebrate the inauguration of our 44th president and that it is a symbol of your hope, pride and patriotism. So basically, you should just think of it as another cheap, commerative Obama souvenir of questionable taste.

Hey, in Germany they have Obama chicken fingers mit Curry dip, and in Russia they're using the president's image to shill vanilla and chocolate ice cream bars. OK, I will admit that that ad puts a big smile on my face.

So what do you all think about Chia Obama and about Obama kitsch in general?

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