Poets at the Superbowl

Electric Lit relies on contributions from our readers to help make literature more exciting, relevant, and inclusive. Please support our work by becoming a member today, or making a one-time donation here.
.

“It’s halftime in America,” Clint Eastwood said on Super Bowl Sunday. It was during an ad that caused all the conversations at the party I was at to stop (mostly so everyone could say, “Is that Clint Eastwood?”).

But now that the bacon explosion has settled and I’ve given the ad a second look, it’s about as motivating and moving as an ad can hope to be. And Carolyn Kellogg seems to have figured out why. At Jacket Copy, Kellogg revealed that one of the ad’s copywriters is poet and Tin House editor Matthew Dickman.

Faulkner, Steinbeck, and Fitzgerald all wrote for the movies, and maybe advertising is this generation’s meal ticket and the Super Bowl its Hollywood. The ad is visually striking, and the message rather more important than which light beer to drink. The ad calls for us to come together and persevere, to rally around, well, the American auto-industry (it was an ad for the Chrysler, after all).

In spite of a bit of a mixed metaphor about punching cars (“This country can’t be knocked out with one punch. We get right back up again, and when we do the world is going to hear the roar of our engines.”), I wonder whether it was the prose that made the ad so profound or if it was just the unifying power of Clint Eastwood.

The Guardian recently reported that a team of scientists are using fMRI brain scans and clips from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly to study the human brain. Results from their testing “led the researchers to the conclusion that films” (or poetry or football or Clint Eastwood) “can make their viewers’ brains tick collectively.” Apparently it also works on monkeys.

***
— Benjamin Samuel is the Online Editor of Electric Literature, and when he’s thirsty he drinks Lite Beer by Miller. You can find him at here.

More Like This

Why Aren’t There More Books About Asexuals?

Angela Chen's "Ace" finally takes a clear look at a group that's often ignored by both nonfiction and literature

Sep 21 - Kirin McCrory

Useful Bad Advice for First Responders

"In EMT School," a poem by Ron Riekki

Sep 21 - Ron Riekki

Tearing Down the False Monuments of the South

Odie Lindsey's "Some Go Home" challenges Southern mythologies without giving in to stereotypes

Sep 18 - Kelly Luce
Thank You!