Saturday, July 16

Trashy, trashy

Mississippi has an ad campaign about the evils of littering starring Pat Fordice, the wife of one of our ex-Governors. The one that I saw first, called "Tow Truck," just floored me, especially, I think, because I had no context for it. I didn't know that in addition to using Uncle Tom as an influence, the campaign also yukked it up with some true bubbas in another ad. ("Two Dudes.")

"Tow Truck" is amazing. Minstrel-esque music begins the ad, which features a skinny Black dude cheerfully throwing a water bottle out of the truck. He then almost runs slam over the blue-haired Mrs. Fordice, who stops him with the sheer force of her calves, then chides him with "I am not your momma," and tells him to pick the bottle up. Wall, yas, ma'am! Our litterer practically kills himself shufflin' on over to that bottle.

"Damn! Did I just see that?" I thought. What the Hell? And what the Hell will visitors passing through Mississippi think when they see this ad? So, I call the Mississippi Dept of Transportation, mainly to voice my concerns, partially to see if they have had other folks calling in consternation. I finally am connected with a liason, a very nice, very young Black lady who hasn't seen the ad, and doesn't have much of a reaction. Naturally, I never hear back, though I leave my number for someone higher up to call me.

The "Two Rednecks"-- excuse me, "Two Dudes"--ad is pretty offensive, too, but I wasn't quite as shocked having been broken in by "Tow Truck." It uses the same minstrelly music, as well, so perhaps I am being overly sensitive? Well, check them out for yourself.

Take Pride in Mississippi, people, and don't trash up the place.

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