During the whole fancy-smancy Cadillac sponsored CBS premiere night (which I deem successful, more to come) there were, as to be expected, quite a few Cadillac commercials. One stood out most to me. A man driving a Cadillac speeds down a dramatically lit street at night. Shots alternate between the car zooming through downtown, neon lights streaked in the windshield, and the man confidently shifting with dramatic bravado. The voice over says:
You can practice risk avoidance. You can aspire to blend in quietly. You can live in, wear, and drive social camoflage. And you can believe in the philosophy that the nail that sticks out gets hammered down.
You can be the hammer.
The nail that sticks out gets hammered down. OK, that’s a metaphor for conformity. I get it. Being hammered down means that you are flush with the rest of the nails, the conforming nails, so you end up conforming too. Therefore, the hammer is the tool which is dealing out, for lack of a better word, hammerfalls of conformity. Hitherto, therefore, Cadillac is telling us that we should be—that with their cars we can be—the hammers of society, dolling out forced conformity on anyone who stands out?
I don’t want that. I’d rather be the teeth of that hammer, pulling others up to my level.