Trump’s first ad shows us how he perceives himself

The Donald Trump campaign released its first-ever television ad yesterday, and its content suggests that Trump considers features what many of us regarded as bugs. He’s doubled down on two of his most risible ideas: a ban on Muslims entering the United States “until we can figure out what’s going on,” and a wall at the Mexican border. When fact-checkers pointed out that footage of immigrants storming a wall during the “wall at our southern border” part of the ad actually showed Moroccans trying to get into Spain, Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski responded, “No shit it’s not the Mexican border, but that’s what our country is going to look like if we don’t do anything.” So the tradition of decorum continues.

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Steve King refuses debate unless opponent pulls ad

Still from another advertisement that may also mischaracterize Rep. Steve King (R–IA)

Still from another advertisement that may mischaracterize Rep. Steve King (R–IA)

Tea Party darling and Iowa delegate to the US House of Representatives Steve King has refused to publicly debate Jim Mowrer until the Democrat’s campaign stops running a “misleading” advertisement against him. According to the Sioux City Journal, King withdrew from a Sunday debate on Iowa Public Television over a television ad that alleges he voted against increasing the minimum wage and for increasing congressional compensation. King denies that he ever “voted to raise his pay or get free health care. “When Mowrer comes clean, I’ll clear my schedule for Sunday and debate him,” King told the Journal. Until then, voters can just sit tight and work with the information they have.

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Authenticity Watch: Drip coffee

The snooty waiter waits.

The best part of dogsitting Stringer is watching TV, and the best part of watching TV is seeing commercials. Neither of those statements is what rhetoricians call “true,” but my ad consumption is way up over the last week anyway, probably as a consequence of my inability to work the DVR. Don’t cry for me, because finally I can access the fundamental function of advertising: telling me what’s real. If, like me, you were 14 years old when “alternative” became the most popular genre of music, you know that large portions of American culture are fake. The mainstream is a powerful if misguided force, and it is up to us rugged individuals to discern what is authentic from trends, pretensions, corporate drones and simulacra. And we have nothing to go by besides A) our visceral intuition of the sublime and B) Maxwell House commercials. Video after the jump.

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Compunctions: Bob Parsons

A different photo of Bob Parsons

As our pageload times will attest, Combat! blog is hosted by GoDaddy, the world’s largest domain registration and webhosting corporation. I settled on GoDaddy after an exhaustive process in which I researched literally threes of hosting companies and went with the lowest bidder. If you choose GoDaddy, you’ll know where your $4.95 a month went. Their WordPress servers are notoriously slow, and I am routinely locked out of the administrative side of Combat! for hours at a time. Also, CEO Bob Parsons appears to be maybe not a great guy. I don’t know if you’ve detected this, but a lot of GoDaddy commercials have vaguely sexist overtones.

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Seeking children, McDonald’s re-deploys clown

"It's actually parked out back, if you want to get out of here."

You may not have noticed,* but the last few years of McDonald’s commercials have been conspicuously free of Ronald McDonald, the clown so brightly colored that only a child‘s retinas are innocent enough to look at him. It turns out that L. Ron McDonald has been the object of an ongoing campaign of protest from various height/weight-appropriate killjoys, who argue that he is designed to sell unhealthy food directly to children. That is obviously true. When was the last time you saw a clown convince an adult of anything, much less what to put in his mouth? Whereas that works on kids all the time. With their McCafe marketing campaign and their new emphasis on salads, apple slices and other substances that will not immediately stop a mouse’s heart, McDonald’s has been working the adult/child divide for the last several years, so it’s only logical that they would again release Ronald McDonald into the wild. He is back; he is still simultaneously nonthreatening and extremely disturbing, and he is definitely for kids.

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