Friday, January 21, 2011
The Human Network (At The Center Of Which Is A Breakdancing Black Kid)
We are all "interconnected," sure--but there is a fine line between connectivity and psychic colonization, and Cisco has crossed that line.
A hundred or even ten years ago, Tibetan Monks could focus on their meditations. But now, with Cisco, all attentions get distracted by the dancing black kid. No more will we have a moment's peace. Every household will get invaded by his insistent, mindless, pointless gyrations. Every person will drop what they are doing and re-prioritize, and at the top of their mental to-do list will be, well: pay attention to the dancing black kid. Why? Because Cisco has brought you to this crisis in which what is going on around you is irrelevant. It is only the black kid and your instant access to his dance that matters. If you don't have black-kid access, well, you're just so last century.
And then...then the heartbreaking moment, that crucial second at :27 (the most important point in a 30 second ad, as we have mentioned previously) when the white kid looks up with that face that says "The world would pay attention to me if I were that dancing black kid." His look betokens envy, admiration, loneliness and loss. It only lasts a second, but it is immediately followed by and contrasted with the dancing black kid, looking smug, dancing over Times Square(!)
A voiceover condescendingly reassures "Anyone can be famous," implying that even shy white kids, more cerebral perhaps, might be able to indulge the ego-trip fantasy of being a dancing black kid with the help of Cisco.