Friday, December 10, 2010

World's greatest sad

While browsing the New York Times site, I was treated to a popup advertisement for something. In the 30-second ad, a teenage girl sitting in a bright bedroom typed the words "You're the World's Greatest Dad" into her smartphone. There followed several morphing animated scenes of a cartoon girl and her dad winning races, playing in the treehouse he'd built for her, and so on. At the end the ad goes back to "real life," showing the late-middle-aged father sitting alone in a dark book-lined study receiving the message on a laptop and apparently chuckling in pleasure.

But I thought, good God, look at this. Here's this girl texting her father. Clearly they're living apart now, in different houses. And he's sitting alone in this dark study -- it has to be his home, as he's wearing a lavender-colored v-neck sweater -- staring down at his laptop. He isn't working. This email from his daughter is basically the only thing he seems to have to occupy himself with. Is he chuckling at the end of the commercial, or crying?

Oh, and I missed noticing what product was being promoted.

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