Last night, during Mad Men, a bourbon company called Woodford Reserve premiered a national commercial, baffling the entire nation.
It looks pretty unoriginal. Drums play a sort of random jazzy beat. Hipster-types are shown enjoying the late afternoon and an old couple holding hands. This is all filtered through an aesthetic you might call Instagram-noir. It's Malick Lite, standard for a company in search of the lucrative artisanal-spirits demographic.
But it's the voiceover that elevates this into a very stupid sort of art. Here it is, rendered into the sort of margins-of-high-school-notebook blank verse that was clearly its original mode of composition:
When I see a man drinking bourbon,
I expect him to be the kind who could build me a bookshelf.
But not in the way that one builds
a ready-made bookshelf.
He will already know where the lumber yard is.
He will get the right amount of wood without having to do math.
He will let me use the saw,
and not find it cute that I don't know how to use it.
So many questions, among them: if the bookshelf is "ready-made," shouldn't it be already assembled? What's wrong with math? Is someone out there shaming their "man" for looking up the lumber yard on Google maps? Are there really women, or people of any description out there, who truly don't know how to use a saw?
Any insight you can offer into these questions would be much appreciated. Perhaps not least by the people at Woodford Reserve who commissioned this.