Friday, February 11, 2005

GoDaddy's Superbowl ad, censorship, & Bonhoeffer...

Joe Carter reported that the owner of GoDaddy.com, Bob Parsons, is also the founder of Parsons Church Software. GoDaddy's Superbowl ad, in which a buxom female is shown before a Senate hearing on censorship, has (intentionally) generated quite a stir for its apparent raciness as well as its lack of ingenuity. Interestingly enough, the NFL and Fox pulled the ad from airing a second time during the game. Joe references an interview that Randy Townley had with Craig Rairdin, who actually wrote the original code for Quick Verse, the software that Parsons bought and marketed. Rairdin seems to think that the controversy regarding the GoDaddy spot is much ado about nothing. In fact, he thinks that the real issue is that the second spot was pulled, or - censored. He stated,
"I saw an article at WorldNetDaily.com that intimated some kind of hypocrisy in the airing of the GoDaddy Super Bowl ad, but it didn't really make its point very well. In fact, it indicated that Parsons didn't allow the ad agency to take the ad in the direction of lampooning 'religious fundamentalists' but instead they piloried network censors -- a good move on their part since it was the NFL and Fox who ended up censoring the parody on censorship, not religious groups."
Also from the interview,
Rairdin doesn't believe the commercial is racy, gratuitous, or anything other than great parody. "People have a hard time comprehending parody," Rairdin says "It's too sophisticated. They focus on the means and not on the end. They can't get past the real objects that are standing in for the parodied objects. That's why they object to a broken strap but miss the frightening implications of Fox's action in pulling GoDaddy's second ad -- the very subject being parodied by the ad." He raises an interesting point that I believe has been missed in all this discussion. But I don't believe the ad lacks raciness. In fact, Parson's comment to the ad-agency executive Paul Capelli seemed quite disturbing to many people "I would love to have a beautiful woman with a nice ample chest with my company name across her shirt." ..."GoDaddy hoped to take advantage of this lack of [parody] sophistication on the part of some viewers, who saw it as only a 'T&A' show. But then, Shakespeare played to the cheap seats as well as the cushioned ones. A penny's a penny." He continues "I really think more attention should be paid to the NFL and Fox. Their hypocrisy in pulling the second GoDaddy ad is offensively blatant. Ironically, the Simpson's commercial they played in its place featured Homer taking off his shirt, putting it between his legs, and imitating a male stripper -- all the while revealing that his pants didn't quite come high enough to cover his posterior. Again, more skin on Fox's 'family friendly' Simpsons ad than on the 'racy' GoDaddy ad." ...In response to criticism from other Christians concerning his connections with QuickVerse, Parsons said "To this day I consider myself a Christian, but I am not a fundamentalist Christian. I am also not a member of the religious right. I am not opposed in anyway to these groups. I am just not part of them. My beliefs today are exactly what they were back when I owned Parsons Technology. I'm still the same guy."
So the real villians here are the fundamentalist Christians and the religious right, clueless to the concept of parody; and especially the NFL and Fox, for their hypocrisy and blatant acts of censorship. In the 1930s, a Lutheran pastor named Dietrich Bonhoeffer gave a radio address in which he exhorted the youth of the Germany to question the idea of having a Fuhrer. While he was able to continue his address, the Nazi government cut the radio transmission, replacing it with dinner music. Now that's censorship. Apparently, the likes of Rairdin and Parsons have a hard time comprehending real censorship. It's too sophisticated for them. That's why they can't get past those dollar signs in front of their eyes. That's why they object to any policing of their self-serving actions while missing the real issue of their pandering to the base aspects of secular culture.

3 comments:

Craig Rairdin said...

You wrote:

"So the real villians here are the fundamentalist Christians and the religious right, clueless to the concept of parody...."I just want to clarify that that's your conclusion, not mine. I did not attribute cluelessness to fundamentalists and the regligious right. I've heard from lots of people who would count themselves in those groups who agreed with my comments about this ad.

You wrote:

"Apparently, the likes of Rairdin and Parsons have a hard time comprehending real censorship. It's too sophisticated for them. That's why they can't get past those dollar signs in front of their eyes. That's why they object to any policing of their self-serving actions while missing the real issue of their pandering to the base aspects of secular culture."Again, you're stepping beyond anything that I've ever said. I agree with you that government censorship of citizen speech is not even comparable to the NFL objecting to this ad because it made fun of the NFL. What I don't get is the connection between my opinion about this ad on a football show and the conclusion that I can't see past money and don't want anyone policing my actions.

I don't mind you expressing your opinion, but be careful when you assign people motives and attitudes when you've never spoken to them.

Craig Rairdin

Rusty said...

Hi Craig,

You make some very good points. I was a bit careless in how I framed your comments regarding a TV commercial that was a cheap, lame attempt at parody, and for that I apologize.

BTW, it's Parsons, not you, that I quote immediately preceding my "So the real villians..." conclusion.

Yes, in looking at my last paragraph I overstepped my bounds by including you in with Parsons with regards to being interested only in dollar signs. I apologize for lumping you in with his crassness.

I'm glad to see, in contradiction to my impressions from the Townley interview, that you consider the private action taken by the NFL / Fox to be distinctly different from that of governmental intrusion.

Jilly Tilly said...

Now you can vote whether you like, which you like and see GoDaddy Superbowl ads and find the “Lost JoeBikini GoDaddy Ad”. First is was on GoDaddys site after it ran on a limited Mens Cable TV schedule then IT WENT AWAY. It was listed under Testimonials again after many requests. The question is DID THE GODADDY GIRL Candice Michelle object to the other Bikini Clad girls two in Bikini Joes GoDaddy Bikinis he designed for the South Beach shoot in Miami this past summer.

http://Zoodoodle.com has the original “Window Washer” ad and guess what? Its a guy, not Candice Michelle, nor is it for GoDaddy, seems that the Idea was maybe stolen and used for the Football playoffs.