Here’s a great column from Cathleen Falsani on what’s wrong with the new Gap ad, which suggest that we should “86 the rules” and just do whatever-we-wanna:
Unless we’re meant to be concelebrating Bacchanalia or — and this is even a stretch — Mardi Gras, nothing in the Christian, Jewish and pagan traditions or the African-American cultural ideals that Kwanzaa celebrates would encourage the faithful to throw all rules out the window and do whatever feels good, man.
If that were true, the Gap ad would have done well to end with an Ayn Rand look-alike in a Santa hat and white beard driving a sled pulled by 12 tiny flying armadillos.
Christmas is about selflessness and transformative love, the improbable gift of a divine baby born into straw poverty in order to reconcile the world back to God. We do celebrate Christ’s birth by giving something to each other to commemorate that epic, divine gift. But it’s not supposed to pivot around the exchange of material goods, and it’s definitely not about sweaters and turtlenecks.
Hannukah is about power of perseverance, faith and righteousness to overcome tyranny. It’s about a small miracle that changes everything. The seven principles of Kwanzaa are: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. Those principles are pretty much the direct opposite of the idea of “do whatever you want.” And Solstice is, first and foremost, a natural, communal, Earth-centered event. Nothing about ushering in the death of the old year and the birth of the new says “fleece hoodies” to me.
The “Dowhateveryouwannukah” spots have made me think twice about where I’ll purchase any last-minute stocking stuffers this year. But not for the same reason as that of the perennial saber-rattling “pro-family” organization the American Family Association, which, it brags, has been for 32 years “on the frontlines of the American culture war.”
Well said. Read the whole column, especially if you’d like to read the word “twee” in the sentence. (She’s got the commercial posted there too.)