Monday, July 3, 2017
So Easy a Caveman Could Do It
I would like to take a moment here to mourn the passing of an opportunity, and one that may not come again for too long. We are talking here about the Geico Caveman, debuted in 2004ish, gone within a few years, and never to be seen again, except by those who have that strong sense of maintaining cultural posterity.
I really believe that, to this day, the Geico Caveman stunt is the most culturally sophisticated thing ever produced by American consumerist society (slight hyperbole). And so, for those who didn't catch it the first time around: The Geico Caveman had nothing to do with Geico car insurance; he was created simply as a funny character, and a preposterous idea, to help you remember Geico the next time you think you should be saving money on your car insurance.
Really there were a bunch of cavemen, still living in modern society, and they were pissed because of Geico's temporary tagline, "so easy even a caveman could do it [use the Geico website to sign up for car insurance]". The cavemen were offended because the ad implies that they're stupid, but they're humans just like everyone else, so why should they be singled out?? They were pissed and demanded an apology in successive commercials. They even got their own tv show, a sitcom, I think it lasted like one episode.
It was created as a stab at the current state of political correctness. I should remind folks this was happening at the same time Queer Eye for the Straight Guy came out (no pun, well maybe a little pun), a tv show about gay guys helping straight guys to comb their hair and brush their teeth. This is also the same time the word 'metrosexual' entered the mainstream lexicon, referring to a straight man who takes on the visual aesthetics of a gay man, but without the homophobia. This was also the same time the NJ Governor Jim McGreevy came out, as gay, and which led to the phrase "no homo", as in "yo I really like that new tattoo on your inner thigh bro, no homo".
So yes, there we were, in a heightened state of social awareness, at least in regards to sexuality. The tide is turning, it might actually be ok to be gay, or god forbid, black (US first black president isn't elected for another 4 years).
But then what happened. It's now 2017 and it's not even ok to be a woman anymore for f sake.
All I'm saying is, that caveman may have been our way out. You can make fun of cavemen all you want! They're stupid, they're hairy, they smell, they went extinct for christ's sake; they are inferior! They are the only thing we can make fun of that is enough 'like us' to make it hurt, but are enough -not- like us to make it feel good when we make fun of them. I really think the caveman should be adopted as the pan-cultural hate symbol. People can't not hate; they have to hate something. White people gonna hate black people, straight people gay people, rich people poor people, society is gonna subconsciously hate women, but openly hate men, we can't not hate. So why can't we all just hate cavemen? It shows how stupid we are to hate on people in the first place, and it doesn't hurt anybody, because CAVEMEN ARE ALREADY EXTINCT.
I thought the caveman was our way out, an escape hatch from our incessant need to find difference between 'us and them'. We dropped the ball. Maybe we'll get a second chance. BUT we better hurry up, before we Jurassic-Park an actual caveman, and then we'll never be able to make fun of them again!
Why are there no cavewomen?
Post Post Script:
Check out this movie about one kind of caveman showing another kind of caveman how to make fire. Nobody speaks English, yet they all have names with anglicized spellings (according to the credits at the end). And fyi, Rae Dawn Chong was one hot cavewoman.