Andrew Steele
America 20xy
December 3, 2010

The commercial below features arrogant NFL stars being waved past TSA security as they flash their Super Bowl rings, while “ordinary” passengers are forced to wait in line.

At one point in the commercial Jimmy Johnson– a former coach– sets off a metal detector before the camera focuses on his hips and he displays a sword to the screener in an obvious representation of a phallus. The screener, smiling, compliments him and lets him proceed.

In the final shot the viewer sees a man being held by an agent, stripped down to his underwear while menaced by snarling dogs.

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The message being pressed upon the viewer is that there are two classes of people– those elite with power (able to bypass TSA screening, just like certain members of Congress) and the rest of us without power who are helpless subjects to the new police state being formed around us. The joke made of this message is the spoonful of sugar added to help Americans swallow it and subconsciously accept it with a laugh.


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