I’m sure many of you watched those super bowl ads last Sunday. As usual I watched the ads to see what they might be telling us about the condition of the male soul in our culture. Monday morning there was a real “buzz” about the ads on the Internet. Personally, I was disappointed in the ads. I thought there was more sexual content that was obviously directed toward the sexual urges of men then in previous years. I also felt the content lacked the subtlety of expression. But I did like the ad about the Silverado truck
If you remember, the ad began with the scene of a bulletin entitled “2012 Mayan Calender Apocalypse.” Then the following scenes showed a man driving his Silverado through the collapse of civilization with his dog. If you looked closely you could see symbols of American culture among the ruins. All the while there is the musical refrain “looks like we made it” in the background. At the end of the ad, the driver of the truck is united with his buddies. He is informed that others never made it because they had been driving a Ford, instead of a Silverado which is “the longest lasting, most durable truck on the road.” The claim is made that “from the beginning of your work day to the end of the world” it is best to be in a Silverado. Then of all things, one of the men who had survived offers the driver of the Silverado a “twinkie.”
So here is my take on this ad. The ad very subtlety speaks to a unspoken fears and suspicion that many men in America secretly entertain, that things are not going well. There is the foreboding concern that there could be some kind of “collapse.” What the aftermath will be, no body knows. The man in our ad just looked around in awe at what had just happened. I wonder if there are a lot of guys out there who have these fears but are reluctant to verbalize them, for fear of seeming a lot “out of touch.” It very well could be that there could be some real big change coming, that will change the landscape of our culture beyond recognition, similar to the ad. Many men could be intuitively identifying with the words, “looks like we made it,” as kind of hopeful wish to survive the big change that might be just over the horizon.
So for better or worse, men try to hang on and hope that they will be able to “ride out” the collapse. Now the man in the Silverado made it through the collapse with his dog. It is interesting that it is all he had; a man’s best friend, a dog. At the end he comes upon a group of his buddies who tell him that others never made it because they were in a Ford. His apparent salvation was driving the right truck. Then, to me, the most interesting symbolism is in the offering of “a twinkie.” The driver accepts the twinkie with a simple “thanks.”
I could say a lot about this ad. But I will limit myself. First of all, if we are going to go through a collapse, we have more then a dog. We have the very presence of God in our life. Remember men, the most real, substantial, lasting reality is the Trinity- Father, Son and Holy Spirit. From all eternity God has always been. We are invited to share in this life. C.S. Lewis called it “The Great Dance.” Jesus said, “My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them” (John 14:23). With the Triune God of grace we will survive everything. Secondly, I sure hope that each of you will have more to offer your friend then a “twinkie.” I am not sure what to make of the twinkie. But it sure isn’t substantial, nourishing or lasting. Men, we need to give to other men, what is deepest in our life – the hope that we have in Jesus. We need to encourage other men, to keep on keeping on. So I close with words from Hebrews, “So let’s do it – full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the Big Day approaching (Heb 10:22-25 – The Message).