It’s the post we’ve all been waiting for: our third annual Super Bowl commercial roundup. There’s only one commercial this year, and an interesting one at that. Is this a sign of a different public toward the founding, compared to recent years? Very much so, I think.
It’s finally up, for your full viewing pleasure: the session at the recent Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (SHEAR) on Hamilton, starring R.B. Bernstein, Benjamin Carp, Nancy Isenberg, Heather Nathans, and yours truly, as taped by C-SPAN-3 (perhaps C-SPAN’s equivalent of ESPN The Ocho?). You should watch the whole thing, but for the kind of viewer out there who likes to skip to the end of novels to cut the suspense, my start turn occurs at around the 45-minute mark. Happy viewing!
First, mea culpa, for not even having a reference to this commercial in my Super Bowl American Revolution post, but for some reason it wasn’t mentioned in the media hype days before the game, and hey, it only was shown in the New York, Philly, and DC markets, so you’ll just have to cut me some slack. But more importantly, this commercial, which aired last night, has some people up in arms, for two reasons. One is that some people are offended by its reference to 9/11, in the service of selling Colonial Williamsburg (CW), or, perhaps, selling anything). The other is that CW, a non-profit, bought the expensive ad at all, at a time when it appears to be struggling financially. For it’s part, CW’s reaction has not been admirable. Here’s my question: why is it that CW picked 9/11 at all? Because, while CW says it wants to “challenge” Americans, it has shied away from that admirable task.
Now that the dust has settled, some guys wearing 18th-century portraits are done playing casual ballgames for the year, and we in northwest Ohio are buried under 10
feet inches of snow, it’s time to sift through the reviews of the History Channel’s Sons of Liberty series that aired last month.
Tonight’s American Revolution surprise: a witty Turbotax commercial , complete with background music from a fellow whose name I once heard historian John Morton Blum pronounce in a lecture as “Bobby Die-lin” (I don’t think Blum was a big fan). Sure, what the colonists were protesting was lower taxes, more stringently enforced, but hey, it was a great spot. My favorite moment: Washington reversing course, mid-Delaware. What’s yours?