Tuesday, October 25, 2011
What Would Edward Bernays Say About Herman Cain's Cigarrette Smoking Man Ad?
Cigarettes are a symbol of male sexual power and the penis.
Question: Why is Herman Cain using this symbol in his newest campaign ad? Is Herman Cain telling folks to grab his metaphorical cigarette, to work its shaft, his large, thick, heavy "torch of freedom?"
Herman Cain is a master of political theater. This is one of his strongest points, and logically a go to recurring trope. I am unsure if the gimmick will continue to work for Mr. "9-0-9," as Cain is rapidly being revealed as a candidate who has no clothes.
But let's take Cain's cigarette smoking ad seriously for a moment. He is clearly signalling to some notion that cigarette smoking is politically incorrect, and that "real Americans" must "take their country back."
Question: when did putting a cancer stick in one's mouth become an act of resistance to tyrannical state power and a symbol to rally around the flag against an oppressive State?
Sigmund Freud wrote a great deal about oral fixations. How would he analyze Herman Cain's newest ad? What would Frantz Fanon say about Herman Cain's habit of prominently featuring white folks in his ads and on his campaign's website?
Closely analyzing and viewing Herman Cain's video, what is in fact being suggested there? Is Herman Cain really a black man who is an "all American" white guy who smokes? Or can white folks seamlessly find their interests validated by working with a "good negro" like Herman Cain?
As I often do, let's take a swerve to the far lane, one quite relevant and revealing.
Edward Bernays, the father of modern public relations, had a thing for cigarette smoking flappers. It would appear that Herman Cain has a thing for "real American" white men as the ideal spokespersons for his campaign.
A rich coincidence, is it not?
My common refrain, once more history echoes--