Wednesday, April 8, 2009

pasta with a side of irony

So today I've been going through some drafts of posts I've been meaning to finish, and came across something I started about a month ago... 

Does anyone else but me think this commercial is weird?
If this image brings to mind only an Old Chicago Pizza promo, then you're too young to get this. If, however the term Chicago Seven conjures memories of the infamous 1968 Democratic National Convention, where Mayor Richard Daley brought the full force of the Chicago P.D. down on thousands of anti-war protesters, then you're old enough to understand the sheer lunacy of this ad campaign.
Being a dyed in the wool, second-generation-bleeding-heart-liberal, I remember 1968 well. At 11 years old I was a quick study, listening to my older siblings discuss the anti-war movement and other subversive stuff. 

Politics were frequently batted around over the family dinner table. My parents were early supporters of Eugene McCarthy, the anti-war candidate, and supporters of many progressive ideas like equal rights and desegregation.

 The Democratic convention in Chicago that August saw mass protests fueled by heavy-handed militaristic tactics led by Mayor Daley, who repeatedly announced "Law and order will be maintained!", and passed out "We love Mayor Daley!" signs to the delegates inside the hall.

 Protesters, many of whom were led by Yippie leaders Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, and Black Panthers founder Bobby Seale, clashed with police in bloody riots, and hundreds were arrested. Hoffman, Rubin, Seale, Rennie Davis, Tom Hayden, Lee Weiner, John Froines and David Dellinger were indicted by a Grand Jury for conspiracy, and crossing state lines with the intent to incite a riot. Seale was bound and gagged in the courtroom to keep him from acting up, and was ultimately removed and tried separately, (sentenced to four years in prison for contempt-one of the longest sentences ever handed down for that offense at the time) and the remaining defendants then became known as the Chicago Seven.

They were found not guilty of conspiracy, and two of the seven were acquitted of all charges. The remaining five were convicted on the charge of inciting a riot, fined $5000 apiece, and sentenced to five years in prison. At his sentencing, an unrepentant Abbie Hoffman suggested that the judge try LSD.  All the convictions were ultimately overturned in the U.S. Court of Appeals in 1972. 

Abbie Hoffman by Richard Avedon

I'm pretty sure this is not the image Old Chicago Pizza's ad agency had in mind....


mo.stoneskin said...

What type of gun is that? As a Brit I have no idea!

San Diego Momma said...

I'm convinced that only people under 25 write commercials these days.

Anonymous said...

I would say that was more irony with a side of pasta.