A mob gathered. Torches were lit. Pitchforks drawn. Keyboards stroked, firing off angry sentiments and exclamation points like sensational bullets being sprayed into the sky from the barrel of a semi-automatic rifle. The Internet was pissed.
It was pissed at a short video. The South African sector of Kentucky Fried Chicken released an advertisement that played off of Mick Fanning’s encounter with a shark in the final of the 2015 J-Bay Open. A traumatic event for Mick, a moment that returned the sullen threat of danger to the forefront of every surfer’s mind, and the biggest story out of surfing this year. KFC’s commercial made a joke out of it.
A mob gathered, and you know the rest.
Here’s my question: Really? Was anybody really pissed? Did anybody feel a genuine surge of anger while watching — the kind that makes you slam your horn and flip another motorist off in an act of road rage, the kind that makes you take an intact coffee mug and turn it into ceramic shards on a tile floor during an argument with your significant other, the kind that makes you fucking scream?
There’s no chance. It was a corny dramatization of one man’s experience with a shark — and from KFC. Honestly, what do you expect from the people of Kentucky Fried Chicken?
Nobody is out there wondering why Colonel Sanders never won an Oscar.
So, no, the commercial isn’t funny. It isn’t witty. It isn’t creative or compelling. It is a KFC commercial. It is nothing to get rustled about, just like a lot of other things in 2015.
In 2015, comedians Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock avoid performing on American college campuses. They say that the culture is too politically correct or, better yet, that people try too hard to be politically correct. That people get offended too easily. Jokes are too often met with that’s racist or that’s sexist or that’s homophobic or that belittles the Algerian trans-gender lobster community or that’s wrong! Very few people actually feel that way, they just feel like they should feel that way — there’s a gaping difference between those things. And there’s a gaping difference between making a joke out of a situation and actually committing a wrongful or bigoted act.
On a small scale, I think that’s what happened with the Mick ad. Nobody is mad, they just feel like they should be. No coffee cups were smashed into pieces, just a bunch of forced anger smashed into sentences on Disqus.
Maybe it’s time for a change. And maybe that change should start with surfing.
Instead of forcing anger and disgust into our lives, lets force positivity and excitement. Let’s get wildly and unnecessarily happy about things instead. TYLER WRIGHT’S 8.33 WAS FUCCKKIING INSANE!!!!! DID YOU SEE THAT NEW DEREK PETERS CLIP???? WOW! MICK’S FIFTH TURN ON THAT WAVE WAS MENTAL, RICHIE PORTA YOU NAILED THAT SCORE BROTHER!
That’s the world I want to live in. Want to come with — we could pick up a bucket of chicken on the way? —Brendan Buckley