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Super Bowl ad outrage: Megan Smith says the world already has enough mountains

Student Life

By Megan Smith

I’ve noticed a particular phenomenon running rampant as of late, mainly on the internet and social media: the tendency for every little thing to become a firestorm of opinions and raised tensions.

It’s as if we are obligated to immediately and fervently take a side on each and every event on this planet.

Now more than ever, we seem to be making mountains out of molehills and each of those hills are hills we choose to die on.

Now, in making this broad statement, there are a few caveats I must make abundantly clear. For one, I in no way exclude myself from this phenomenon.

“I do not assume or enforce that your personal views agree with mine in any way.”

When it comes to arbitrary divides and petty opinions with no bearing on my life or existence, I am as guilty as anyone.

(In fact, hypocritical human that I am, you might say I’m doing it in this very article.)

Secondly, I am not dismissing the urgency or importance of any contentious point. Everything out there, no matter how big or small, matters to someone.

If that someone happens to be you, more power to you.

Finally, I am not denying anyone’s right to an opinion.

This article is simply my thoughts on a matter, and I do not assume or enforce that your personal views agree with mine in any way.

Variety is the spice of life, after all, and if your opinions conflict with mine, so be it.

Good publicity

The incident for my thoughts on this topic was a certain advertisement aired during this past Sunday’s Super Bowl.

You might know the one I’m talking about — showing up to your rental accommodations and being faced with a flock of wild animals, all set to a popular Newfoundland folk tune.

If you have no idea what I’m referring to, take a look for yourself here.

I didn’t see what the big deal was. It was short, sweet and the music choice was a nice little nod to the fact that yes, this tiny island in the North Atlantic does exist.

I’ve lived in St. John’s for my entire life and am of the mindset that, barring a few particularly egregious offender, any publicity, even a small joke at our expense (though the advertisement didn’t initially read to me as such) is good publicity.

“The debate and outrage eclipses the original matter of discussion.”

No matter which side you take, you can’t deny that the response to this innocuous ad was swift and fiery.

Its detractors have a point.

When I reflect on it, the use of the song implicitly associates Newfoundland and Labrador with the undesirable conditions shown in the advertisement, which is an injustice to the beauty and hospitality of our landscapes and population.

I also believe the statement that it was never meant as an insult by the company, just an unfortunate choice that could have used some reflection or revision.

But, no matter who may be “right” or “wrong,” does it really matter? 

I’m of the mind that no, it doesn’t.

In the grand scheme of things, this is just something else that will quickly boil over and vanish from the cultural collective.

Just like many other points of conversation, even some of the topics I’ve personally written about, the debate and outrage eclipses the original matter of discussion.

Pick your battles

So, I’d like to leave you with some advice.

I’m not a mind-reader, nor can I see the future — this debate may end up spiralling into a huge, culturally important conversation.

In the meantime, no matter what the topic may be or what side you may be on, I think society as a whole could benefit from taking a step back, not fanning the flames, and asking ourselves if this is really the battle we should be picking.

Think about it: will it matter in five years, five months or even five days?

The answer might surprise you. The world already has enough mountains.

Let molehills be molehills.

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