I am a football fan, which means another season enduring ads trying to manipulate men in new, subconscious ways.  I notice some ads are beginning to make social statements. Rod Dreher calls this “woke capitalism.”  He maintains, “Woke capitalism is now the most transformative agent within the religion of social justice, because it unites progressive ideology with the most potent force in America: consumerism and making money.”

Men, be forewarned: you may be being manipulated by a woke capitalism that wants you to embrace the progressive social agenda, not because it means a better future for America, but because it is now mainstream and it sells.  And if you disagree, you may be on the wrong side of history.

Coors, for example, still wants to sell beer.  Beer is all about men, football and having a good time.  So the underlying message goes something like this: Men are willing to be made fun of, so long as they can just be who they are.  We can’t live up to today’s expectations of being a proper male.  So let’s just be boys… These ads can be very subtle. 

Case in point: one of the Coors beer (Made to Chill) ads.  Coors Light wants to be the official beer of the discontented male, and Coors tries to win over the male audience with a new appeal: “Chill Out”.  Two guys are settling down to watch football.  A guy asks his buddy, “Who’s playing?”  The answer, “Does it matter?”  To which the first guy replies, “Nope.”  Then this caption flashes on the scene.  “The official beer of who cares, it’s football.” 

What is the underlining message of this “Who Cares” ad?   Remember, a lot of psychological study goes into these ads.  Here is my take:  First, get men to laugh at themselves.  It fits the dominant narrative of the “dumb” male: uninvolved in the issues of the day; just wants to have a beer with his buddy.

Second,  this message reinforces the idea of “escape.”   The chaos, stress and confusion of life at the end of 2020 is too much for men.  They just want to have a place where life is normal.  This is watching football with your buddy.

Third,  the remark, “Does it matter?”  That is loaded with implications.  We are left to draw our own conclusions.  I take it to mean two guys have checked out on real life by escaping together into football. 

Fourth, and most damaging is the remark, “Nope!”  That is totally the stereotype of “toxic” masculinity.  Males in our culture have been told they have to be reeducated to know how to behave in our new “brave” world with its demands of feminine equality.  But men would rather “check out” of the drama of contemporary life.   

I could be wrong.  But that is my take.  My sadness is that many men subconsciously accept  the “I don’t care” message.  My suggestion is that you get your laugh from the ad and then take a look in the mirror.  

I know that I want to stay engaged, even at 79.  I ask God to give me a passion for his kingdom and a desire to understand what he is saying to America today.  I refuse to check out, just trying to survive…  

I am reminded and convicted by the words of Jesus to the church of Ephesus in Rev. 2:4-5, “But I have this complaint against you.  You don’t love me or each other as you did at first!  Look how far you have fallen. Turn back to me and do the works you did at first.”