But what got me about Griswold's article, which critiques Taco Bell's recent commercials, is this last paragraph:
Plus, for all that Taco Bell is trying to paint McDonald's as boring and old-school, the commercial's final shot—of the middle-aged male character munching a fast-food wrap all alone outside his cluttered garage—seems more like an advertisement for poor life choices.
Um, what exactly is it that makes Griswold think a man, alone in the morning, is "an advertisement for poor life choices"?
I mean, gee whiz, if Griswold's preferred breakfast is an Egg McMuffin, how much calorically worse can Taco Bell's offerings possibly be? Nor can his "cluttered garage" really be held against him. I mean, really, who's garage isn't the teensiest bit cluttered?
Please tell me I'm not alone in detecting a sexist undertone to Griswold's criticism, but what seems to drive Griswold's animus is that, well, there's this middle class-ish and seemingly capable forty-something year-old male who is "alone" (i.e., unmarried and un-coupled).
Which, ipso facto in her mind, must mean he's made "poor life choices." Otherwise he'd have a wife and family bristling with little children. He'd be a dad, a husband, a life partner, a provider. Implicit also in Griswold's judgement is the thought that, well, this otherwise decent-looking man must have really done something wrong-- "poor life choices"-- to cause him to be separated from whatever previous people were in his life.
So, is a man's marital status reason to condemn him? Have we now chugged into so moralistically strident times that a single male deserves condemnation?
Okay. If you think I'm over-reacting (as I've sometimes been known to do), imagine the genders being flipped. Imagine an ad featuring a woman alone eating her breakfast sandwich outside a cluttered garage. Would anyone use that image to accuse her of "poor life choices"?