I went to the Meridian 16 the other night to see Woody Allen’s latest, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, and was treated to probably the worst match of ad to demographic ever made. The ad was a brand new recruiting video for the National Guard featuring Kid Rock singing a song he made especially for the occasion. “They call me WARRIOR!” he screeches, while shots of him cut to those of NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and scenes of “citizen soldiers” that go way over the top in terms of propaganda. In one, a little boy in what is meant to be either Iraq or Afghanistan stops his soccer game in fear as the ball rolls in front of an American tank. A soldier gets out of the tank and -- as the boy cowers -- kicks the ball back. He smiles under his helmut, and the boy flashes a wide grin.
It was hard to get your head around all the jarring ideas. Little boys are cowering in fear at American tanks rolling down their streets. Oh, it’s okay because the soldiers are nice guys. But wait a minute, they're WARRIORS too. “If you aint going to fight, get out of the way,” Rock sings.
So how did the Woody Allen crowd react? “BOO!” they shouted when it was over. Loudly.