When I got into this business, I didn’t think I’d ever reach the top of the Left’s list of reactionary, anti-cookie extremists.
This weekend, the multi-billion-dollar Nabisco corporation ran a Twitter ad for their Chips Ahoy! Cookies featuring a short video by a semi-literate, highly affected drag performer named “Vanessa Vanjieone” of RuPaul’s Drag Race urging people to buy their cookies for Mother’s Day. (Editor’s note: What is RuPaul’s Drag Race? Remind me to set my DVR to ‘Never Record This Program’).
— Chips Ahoy! (@ChipsAhoy) May 12, 2019
I really don’t have anything against Chips Ahoy! cookies (though I don’t eat them) or, for that matter, against the existence of men who like to dress up as women (I don’t eat them either).
But I bristled at this, the latest example of woke, agenda-promoting advertising.
At the supermarket yesterday, I passed the cookie aisle and quickly thought to lodge a small protest against the trend. I tweeted a selfie, thumbs-down, holding a box of said cookies, and tagged @ChipsAhoy. Putting aside my feelings about both drag queens and cookies, I focused on the larger issue, arguing we should, “say no to woke-ass, hyper-politicized ad campaigns.”
— David Reaboi (@davereaboi) May 13, 2019
This morning, in what must have been an awfully slow news cycle, Tommy Christopher at Mediaite thought this controversy was important enough to write about, memorializing my tiny act of disapproval and the avalanche of social justice warriors—including the woke ad firm representing the cookie company itself—who took issue with my protest.
“Chips Ahoy!” Christopher pridefully writes, “has emerged as an unlikely culture war champion,” and goes on to mock me and others he accuses of a “reactionary backlash.”
One might be tempted to ask, though, what do cross-dressers have to do with selling cookies? Or with Mother’s Day, for that matter?
Of course, none of this is really about cookies. And it’s not really about drag queens, either.
Gillette has gone full-tilt on progressive advertising, burning its brand by railing, first, against toxic masculinity in its Super Bowl ad, and then attempting a critique of the beauty standards of the female form, with a cringeworthy, propagandistic endorsement of morbid obesity along the way. All this has as much to do with razors as drag queens have to do with dry, cardboard cookies.
Under the new woke cultural regime, the product is incidental; the only thing of importance is the politicized message: what was once considered immoral, perverse or deviant is now considered a cultural norm or good and, as such, it is to be celebrated with the fervor once associated with fundamentalist religious sects.
It seems that most of America’s large corporations have gone all-in on insulting the mores and sensibilities of most of their potential customers. This doesn’t seem like it would be a decent business strategy, and it isn’t. “Get woke, go broke,” is a wry response to this seemingly self-destructive business trend, but it’s relatively accurate, too.
But, until these companies face the financial consequences of alienating so many of their customers, ideology is a strong motivator.
Following the full-court press to normalize trans-activism with Caitlyn Jenner in 2016, many of our country’s institutions have awoken to the idea that they can bully a significant number of Americans to accept their ideas of “social progress,” if given enough self-righteousness and media coverage. They think they’re giving us our medicine and making us better, more progressive people.
These companies are, today, staffed largely by HR and PR departments dominated by woke-culture millennials whose ideological cocoons prevent them from identifying their own cultural radicalism. The young staffers who comprise these firms are the kissing cousins of BuzzFeed and Gawker writers and, almost certainly, their most loyal readers.
Habitual users of Twitter and other social media (and I’ll admit to often being one of those) can be led to confuse this woke hall of mirrors with the real world. Thankfully, America’s under-40 population is probably not as lost as it seems.
Interestingly, the gradual cultural normalization of what was once the province of fetish and kink has accelerated and, rather than making culture more interesting and provocative, it’s made these once-taboo things utterly dull, commercialized and gratingly performative.
Rather than a desire to be immersed in puritanism, wise cultural critics like Camille Paglia or the late Allan Bloom would say that the traditional tension of taboos surrounding topics like these made them interesting. Bloom would say that these SJWs are dull, sexless ideological automatons without the slightest hint of eros. And he’d probably be right.