What is wrong with people?

So, during the Super Bowl, they run this:

What would an American major sporting event be without uber-patriotism and flag-waving about the glories of America. And since I’ve always thought “America the Beautiful” would be a much better national anthem than the unsingable “Star-Spangled Banner”, I was rather pleased hear it sung. Jeepers, an actual prayer “God shed his grace on thee” right there on global TV. Plus, it’s just a musically better and more beautiful song. Happy to hear it.

So what greets me today but the fact that a nation O’Malleys, Schmidts, Wassersteins, Iancus, Torellis, Hidekis, Kims, Francois, Toboloskis, Tobolowskys, and Sanchezes are upset because it was sung in different languages! Zoot alors! The chutzpah! Foreigners coming to America and bringing their languages and cultures here! Oy vey! Doesn’t that just give you the mickey? Mamma mia! Faith and begorrah, the horrah!

We should all chill out with a good old fashioned American meal of French fries, pizza with Canadian bacon, lox and bagels, and a hamburger and beer.

Update: Fair’s fair: Matt Walsh has a hilarious take on lefty freakoutery about the same commercial because of nuns.

Also, Dylan hawking cars? I feel… old.

My personal favorite was the random dude who winds up on the limo date followed by Don Cheadle with a llama and ping pong with the Governator climaxing in the wall falling over to reveal the gigantic rock concert. The Super Bowl is all about garish heathen splendor. I sort of vicariously felt like Bottom suddenly tranported among the fairies with Titania madly in love with him. Awesome prank!

"Truly brilliant clip."

Not coincidentally….
"And the kids aren't just protesting, they're registering to vote. I just hope they do ..."

Today is the 19th Anniversary of ..."
"One thought that continues to come back to me when I see some of what ..."

Carbon Monoxide vs. Oxygen
"Oh man, there's so much to say about this topic... I I'm still looking for ..."

Carbon Monoxide vs. Oxygen

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Dave G.

    People have a problem with this? Personally I thought the commercials were blah. Some were nice, a few cute, a couple a little funny. This was one of the better ones. I liked it because, unlike many things that promote the non-traditional cultures coming into the county, this actually played up more ‘traditional’ activities and folks as well as celebrating those coming in and bringing their cultures and traditions. Almost like saying America Old and New: a good thing. Anyway, at least I liked it.

    • LSpinelli

      I don’t even know why people are complaining about it, when this is, after all, a nation built on immigration. We all came from somewhere else.

  • Dan C

    For the 30 minutes of TV I watched during this game, this ad was toward the end of the time of that TV watching.

    I thought, “nice.” And went about my business. Apparently it upset FB friends who threatened to switch to Pepsi. Yawn.

    Again, we see the consequence of the pedagogy of talk radio and xenophobia. This crazy blowback on a mild commercial demonstrates where we have gotten lost. The HBD/dark enlightenment crowd has a huge potential audience in these xenophobes.

  • Rebecca Fuentes

    My nephew was killed by in an accident after the game. We received the call about it around midnight. The game, the commercials, what *LANGUAGE* anyone wrote or sang in feels pretty damn insignificant right now. My nephew spoke English and Spanish, btw. They can go feel good that there’s one less brown, Spanish-speaking someone in America today.

    • Lisa Marie Kipp

      I am so sorry for your loss!

      Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

      • Rebecca Fuentes

        Thank you all. I probably shouldn’t have blurted it all out, but arguing over a soda pop commercial just seemed so spiteful all of a sudden. Please remember in your prayers the driver. He’s a young man who is now being charged with manslaughter for his best friend’s death.

        • SteveP

          May our Father, full of mercy, bring your nephew to eternal life. May his best friend know of the Father’s mercy though our Lord Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit.

        • S. Murphy

          Adding my prayers to those already stated. So sorry for your loss.

        • Heather

          Praying for everyone involved too.

        • orual’s kindred


        • LSpinelli

          Prayers said. Tragic all around.

    • I’m so sorry, Rebecca. You and your family have my prayers.

    • chezami

      God rest his soul and give you consolation in your terrible loss through Christ our Lord.

    • Rebecca I’m so sorry. Praying for you, your nephew and your family.

    • Francisco J Castellanos

      So very sorry for your loss Ms Fuentes. My family and I will say a prayer for him and his parents tonight. May he Rest in Peace. Que la luz eterna brille para él, Señor, en medio de vuestros Santos porque eres misericordioso.

    • IRVCath

      Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. Requiscant in pace. Amen.

    • Jonna

      I am holding you and your family in prayer today.

    • I’m late to this, Rebecca, but I want you to know that I saw your comment last night and have been praying for you, your nephew, the driver, and your and the driver’s family ever since. So, so sorry for your loss.

  • CatholicJames##Scott+~

    I found the Ad tedious, heavy handed and obvious. It would have worked better if oppressed people in other counties started singing the song in their own country in their own language then cumulated singing in English in America.

    Coming to America is a better theme. Less PC.

    The outrage is apparently over the fact the song was not solely in English.

    The whole “Should English be the official language?” meme.

    I am indifferent.

    • wlinden

      Oh, is that it? I was told that, as far as I can make out, “conservatives” are enraged because the video includes a… woman of cover, and I somehow did not get the memo to get mad.

      • CatholicJames##Scott+~

        The wife & I watch FOXNEWS(unlike the majority of the Foxnews critics here including the Blog Author).

        That is pretty much what they complain about. Showing different cultures in America is good. Not doing it all in English is bad.

        • chezami

          Why is it bad? Boy, you must have a cow when you’re at Mass. All that Latin and even Greek! How un-American!

          • IRVCath

            There are even Masses where not even the homily is in English! In this country! What will become of us all?

            Yes, this is sarcasm, naturally. I mean, seriously, I love this country, but expressing patriotism in another language isn’t going to bring down the Republic.

            Though Mark, Maronite isn’t a language. IIRC, they use Arabic in their liturgy when not in English. Gasp! Horror! The “terrorist” language! /sarc

          • CatholicJames##Scott+~

            Don’t be an idiot Mark & learn to read English yourself.

            What part of “I am indifferent.” do you not understand?

            I am conveying the complaints of those who object too the commercial on Foxnews. I remain as indifferent as ever to the whole “English should be the official language” meme.

            You are such a Mark Shea

        • Dan C

          Not doing it in English is bad? That is a moral matter? A policy matter ? A policy matter that has reasonable room for discussion?

          Or is this a culture war point of battle for which one can have no negotiation. Just one more area of intolerance.

          • chezami

            Seriously. I wonder what “other languages are bad” people do with their cognitive dissonance over a Latin, Maronite, Filipino, Spanish, or Vietnamese Mass?

            • Dan C

              That’s only “Church” stuff. It’s not “AMERICA.”

            • Dan C

              The flavor of The American Catholic is often with a lot of emphasis on “American” and the Catholic bit as being a bit of a tool in the nationalist culture war.

          • CatholicJames##Scott+~

            Same complaint to Mark. Learn to read English Dan.

          • CatholicJames##Scott+~

            Sorry Dan I note you where not accusing me of anything.

            I apologize I should not have lumped you in with Mark.

            • Dan C

              No worries. My point is that this is a culture war reference, and it’s role as an arguable policy matter is trumped by the need to score culture war points.

              And that this is an historical phenomenon. Nothing new in immigrants not knowing English.

      • S. Murphy

        Woman of cover – that’s good

    • chezami

      Their “agenda” was “sell Coke”. Duh. And unlike idiotic jingo conservatives, they understand that you are more likely to do that if you are welcoming than if you treat everybody who doesn’t look and talk like Mitt Romney as if they are an alien cancer on White America.

      • CatholicJames##Scott+~

        They failed. They just can’t ever re-capture “I’d like to teach the world to sing”.

        Or that Pepsi commercial which featured the Hallelujah Chorus and the fall of the Berlin Wall.

        Those I enjoyed.

        This one not so much.

      • *deleted by comment author on account of unjustified snark*

    • Ye Olde Statistician

      Englisch sollte die amerikanische Amtssprache sein, sodass jeder einander verstehen wurden.

      • CatholicJames##Scott+~

        I am still indifferent to the “Should English be the official language?” meme. Also I don’t read German & I am too lazy to translate your post TOF.

        But you will be pleased to know my copy of THE JANUARY DANCER has come in the mail as Rosemarie has informed me.

        I look forward to reading it.

  • Dan C

    How dishonest and ahistorical! I think of friends whose parents couldn’t speak much English whose children graduated medical school and finished residency. I remember friends growing up who had grandparents who spoke mainly Italian or Spanish or Polish and never really learned much English.

    Hospitality not patriotism was once the cherished virtue of the Church during the medieval era.

    The language of the homeland was always kept and the first generation after immigration learned English. Nothing new. Actually, that there is such good English by so many immigrants is awesome.

    • IRVCath

      It says something about our society that all the vulgarity done in English gets a free pass, while essentially calling for God’s blessing for their country in another language evokes outrage. It’s as if some people in this country would prefer vice in English to virtue in Spanish or another language.

      • Dan C

        While folks can whine about the PC feature of this ad, and how this appeals to a certain segment of society, at least it does so with an insistence on virtues. The opposition has been no less as commercial (talk radio) with the purveyors of the filth of an antagonism to an ad such as this. These filthy instructors of hate, are no less a commercialized media teaching its listeners it’s message. Like this ad or not, the message of intolerance is far far less virtuous than the message of this ad.

        • IRVCath

          Sorry, but no intiende. I merely said that some people have skewed priorities in that they would prefer obscenity in English, like the Butterfinger ad, over a foreign tongue praying for this country.

          I’d prefer prayers in, say, Arabic, to blasphemy in English, is what I mean. That some would prefer the blasphemy is… I seriously have no words.

    • Paxton Reis

      I had a college roommate who’s grandfather spoke only Italian (Gramps was a farmer in NY state).

      Also, some seem to be upset by the purported trend in hyphenated-Americans, but this is nothing new. Back East in my hometown there were Italian-American clubs, Polish-American groups, Irish-American social organizations, etc., and all had roots dating back to the early 1900s.

      On the flip side, business travel takes me across Asia several times each year, and there is a tremendous effort spent in Korea, China, Taiwan, and Japan to make sure school children are learning English–the global language of business, commerce, and travel. My understanding is that the government in Japan is developing a new program so to further emphasize instruction in English for young school children all the way through high school.

      • Dan C

        Almost 25 years ago, I taught at an Indian school in Santa Fe. Dozens of Native American parents who barely spoke English enrolled their children.

        Code talkers brought their language to the service of the nation in WW2.

        Conservatives who reacted to the woman in a hajib as much to non-English speaking folks (because so so many critiques are noting other ads with American servicemen unlike the unAmerican Coke ad-hence its not just or even really about language) were plentiful.

        Diversity is not a desirable communal element in conservativism, there is no provenenance for it. In fact, it has been opposed by many conservative leaders over the decades.

        • wlinden

          When I hear the word “diversity”, I r/e/a/c/h/ f/o/r/ m/y/ r/e/v/o/l/v/e/r know that the last thing the speaker wants is any diversity of THOUGHT.

          • Dan C

            Well….the Church desires its membership diverse. Actually, the Church wants an ad like Coke with everyone singing Ave Maria. Which isn’t in English.

            And reaching for your revolver embraces virtue? Which goes to one of my points- this ad embraces more virtue than that response.

            • Francisco J Castellanos

              A little off-topic but…the most beautiful language I’ve ever heard pray the Hail Mary is in Aramaic. We are friends with a Chaldean couple from Irak, and every chance we get to pray together we asked them to pray in Aramaic. It gives me chills to think that those are the literal words the Archangel Gabriel and Elizabeth spoke to Our Lady. Sit back, forget about the Coke add, and enjoy this:

          • Jonna

            How do you know this, wlinden? Are these personal experiences or things you’ve read or heard others say? Do you truly desire to kill others or yourself when someone challenges or disagrees with you?

  • Brad Harvey
    • Dan C

      This is the denial of the consequence of the promoted xenophobia. My FB friends who are Obama-haters are all trending #pepsi now.

      • Paxton Reis

        Funny…I stay away from Coke, Pepsi, and all sodas as that stuff is plan unhealthy. Ok, maybe once every two months I grab a soda on the run at the airport, but it does not seem to be too smart to proudly trend “# pepsi now”.

        • Dan C

          The ad sold Coke. This ad’s competition wasn’t selling pepsi, it was a product of talk radio that is selling spite and hate.

        • Dan C

          Over what the comptetiton sold, Coke’s far far healthier.

          • chezami

            I prefer milk myself.

            • antigon

              or chartreuse!

        • I lost a good deal of weight recently, but I didn’t even cut back on Coke.

          Coke is largely sugar water. (There might be some issues on the coloring, I’d need to learn more) I am quite okay with that. I have few desserts or candies in my life. So having a liquid dessert with my meal instead I don’t think is necessarily bad as long as I, or whoever, maintains a proper diet without too much sugar elsewhere.

          For me it’s a calculation I’m willing to make because I like it. (I do wish they could find a way to make a soda that contains vitamins or nutrients though. It seems like that should be possible)

  • I’ve always thought that rather than “melting pot” (which would turn everything the same stale gray) America could best be described as a colorful patchwork quilt, which each separate part of the design contributing in its diversity to the whole.

    In other words, people in the U.S. from other countries, are and should be, proud of their native country’s heritage, including its language, because it is a part of them. And if it is part of them, it is part of America.

    You think we, of all people, would encourage the teaching of different languages in our schools, but we apparently do so much less than Europe. American isolationism?

    Yes, we do have English as our “official” language. But that doesn’t change the above. Odd how that fact sure encourages some people to say some hateful things.

    • Ye Olde Statistician

      Some years back, a school district in NJ noticed a fair number of Patels and other Indian students in their schools and implemented ESL instruction in Hindi. Outraged mothers descended on the school demanding their children be taught in English! We don’t even speak Hindi! they cried. We are Gujaratis (and Marathis, and Punjabis, and Tamils…) Besides, English is one of the official languages of India, so we all know English already.

  • $2346491

    There have always been a multitude of languages in America. Not everyone who came to America was a WASP on the Mayflower. And English is a difficult language to learn.

    • Paxton Reis

      English is my wife’s fifth language and it frustrates her as some things do not make sense and come across as complicated compared to other languages.

    • Ye Olde Statistician

      Michael Rodriguez told the story of being impressed with Teresa Heinz Kerry because she spoke 5 languages. “Then I remembered. I spoke 5 languages, too! And they were the same 5! Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, and English!” But then he chastised those who criticized Anglophones — British, Americans, Australians — for being monolingual. For him (and Mrs. Kerry) the first three of those languages are very nearly dialects of one another. French is a little different, but only English is really alien. For an English-speaker, there is no “training” language. The closest major language is German — and it’s not that close.

      Every language is difficult. Try guessing der-die-das in German, or where the accent falls in Russian (or how to use aspect in Russian verbs), or the 20 cases of Finnish nouns. I remember at the UN in Vienna one time, my Spanish colleague trying to explain to a Venezuelan about the Castillian “lisp.” There are exceptions to every rule, he said. You just have to learn which words lisp and which do not.

      • “Scots”, which is more than just Scottish accented English, is sometimes seen as having evolved separately enough it’s sometimes classed as a related language rather than a dialect of English.

        Dutch and especially Frisian are said to be fairly similar to English. I think Afrikaans might be too. Not that you’re going to run into many Afrikaans or Frisian speakers in life.

        • Ye Olde Statistician

          Dutch alas is not a major language the way Italian, Spanish, French, or German are. There is a poem:
          “Good milk and good cheese
          Is good English and good Friese”
          because it is the same in both languages. But also alas not even Frisians speak Frisian that much any more, because… who they gonna talk to. I find I can do a fair reading of Dutch, at least of signage and placards and such. All I do is I read it like English, then read it like German. Dutch is the arithmetic average.
          And why were none of the voices in the commercial Frisian? Hunh?

  • Elaine S.

    Anyone who considers this commercial offensive probably thinks Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck are flaming Commies. If the issue is the alleged promotion of a divisive kind of multiculturalism — the kind that downplays or neglects the major figures and events of U.S. history and culture because too many Dead White Males were involved — I do NOT see where this commercial does that. Yes, they are singing in different languages but they are all UNITED in singing with one purpose about the glories of America the Beautiful. I’d much rather hear that than listen to TV talking heads scream at each other in perfect English.

  • wlinden

    Pat Archbold sez:

    What has some people talking is the inclusion of a gay couple with their daughter.

    Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/pat-archbold/one-nation-divided/#ixzz2sN9VGUf3

    How can I intelligently discuss being offended, when people can’t give me a consistent explanation of WHY I am allegedly offended?

    • I actually had to watch it twice to realize what the gay couple was. I thought there was a lesbian couple I missed, but it was the gay couple with the daughter. I’m so backward I thought it was just two male friends, or brothers, and the girl was the child of one of them. I grant this was stupid of me. (In our culture men don’t gently touch each other unless they’re gay, at least according to some sources, and they did sort-of look at each other)

      But his “E. Pluribus Unum” thing, I’m glad we dropped that. That was often just an excuse to get American Indians, Asians, and Catholics to act like good little American Protestants. Or just literally become Protestants. We need something to unite us, but I react against notions of “oneness” and smoothing down distinctiveness. We have always been in a nation of multiple cultures. At independence you had Pennsylvania Deutsche, New York Dutch, Appalachian Celtic, German Catholics, Gullah (or were they later?), etc. The US as a nation is one of the more artificially constructed anyway. “Out of many One” could be a motto for the Borg. (A little harsh, but not totally off from what I feel. Although if “Out of many One” just means one nation, not one culture, that’s okay)

  • Rosemarie


    I wasn’t going to comment but since my name came up a few times I might as well say something.

    I’m not offended. I didn’t watch the game so I didn’t see the full commercial till now. If there’s anything even slightly objectionable about it (the gay couple, perhaps) I don’t think it rises to the level where it’s worthy of comment by political pundits. Don’t they have much bigger fish to proverbially fry? If the country weren’t so politically polarized the commercial probably wouldn’t be an issue.

    There, see why I wasn’t going to bother commenting? My opinion is pretty boring.

    On the bright side, God was mentioned in a Coke commercial. During the Super Bowl. In English, no less; they didn’t try to “hide” His name behind some obscure dialect spoken by approximately ninety-four people living isolated in the mountains of Who-knows-where. Which they could have plausibly done had they wanted to. So maybe the culture warriors should be rejoicing.

  • The Matt Walsh piece is dead on. We’re jousting with phantoms here.

    Just as with the Cheerios ad, a vanishingly small portion of America was actually offended by the multilingual “America the Beautiful”. But pretending otherwise is just too ideologically useful for some people. Many of them are satisfied with elevating random, barely-followed Twitter users into Tribunes of the Great Unwashed so as to illustrate the evil of their political opponents; others go so far as to fake hate crimes.

    Pretending otherwise is also psychologically useful to a wider group of people. As the list of universally-condemned sins keeps getting shorter, opportunities for moral preening grow more scarce. Once one gets hooked on a sense of moral superiority (earned, in this context, always and only because of one’s enlightened opinions, never on account of one’s actions), it’s hard to shake: one *needs* there to be racists and bigots and other terrible people out there, and for them to be numerous and visible. One needs occasions like this, gleeful moral panics which treat the targets not as human beings but as mere objects for us to use for our own gratification as we despise, feel superior to, and confirm our virtue against them.

    (cf. Luke 18:9-14)

    • As the list of universally-condemned sins keeps getting shorter, opportunities for moral preening grow more scarce.

      Perhaps we should all drive SUV’s and fail to recycle then . . . so we can conserve the dwindling resource of “targets for moral preening.” Be the change, people.

    • Well, it’s now become clear that Matt Walsh and I were significantly wrong about this one.

      Yes, it started out as a fake controversy. People on the left were giddy at the prospect of a display of ignorant right-wing nativism, and so they started reporting it before it happened. (This also gave them a nice head start on the moral preening and self-congratulation.) So far, precisely the same as the fake controversy over the interracial Cherrios ad–which conservative provocateurs handled intelligently for once with the #MyRightWingBiracialFamily hashtag.

      Clearly, it was too much to expect them to handle things sensibly twice in a row. No, this time, a few conservative celebrities like Allen West just had to take the bait and confirm the left’s prejudices…and that, depressingly, set the trained-seal portions of their fan bases to barking, as they do.

      I hate it when people live down to our worst expectations of them…especially when they’re supposedly my political allies. I always think of Leo Bloom’s “Whom has he really hurt?” defense, from “The Producers”, at moments like these:

      LEO BLOOM: Your Honor, Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, Max Bialystock is the most selfish man I ever met in my life.

      MAX BIALYSTOCK: Don’t help me!

      Memo to Allen West, Todd Starnes, et al.: STOP HELPING US!