The most blatant and disgusting use of music by an advertisement has to be the National Guard recruitment ad that uses Kid Rock’s neo-fascistic fantasy theme “Warrior.” The ad goes back and forth between images of soldiers in military vehicles, soldiers in disaster relief situations, an idealized view of soldiers in their civilian lives, a NASCAR race and a concert with misogynistic and unkempt Kid Rock growling into a microphone about being a “warrior” who is “ready to deploy, engage and destroy,” and believes that one shouldn’t tell him “who’s wrong and right when liberty starts slipping away.”
With this idealist picture of soldiers, one wouldn’t think about the reality – that these people may be called to riddle people’s bodies with bullets or set off explosive ordinances with an intent to kill. Rather, a guardsman is merely a citizen who is there to “help out.” The emphasis on disaster relief and being a “citizen-soldier” rather than a career one conceal the fact that these people are called to take lives in the name of American imperialism. There is a scene in which military humvees are driving through a village in a stereotypical Middle Eastern setting and a child kicks a soccer ball in front of the convoy. The kindly soldier steps out of the vehicle, kicks the child his ball back and leaves with a smile. This image is quite ironic when one considers the carnage that children have had to face and endure in the wars of occupation that the US military apparatus has waged abroad, or the prevailing ideological currents of racial prejudice which are forefront in the minds of many soldiers.
No, says this shameless recruitment tool, none of that ever happens. Every soldier is “Mr. Rogers” in brown camouflage.
The second thing that should be mentioned is, if one can stand to watch the commercial without the mute button on, the lyrics of Kid Rock’s pro-imperialist ballad are the most nationalist, militaristic and crypto-fascist lyrics conceivable. He goes as far to say that he is happy to destroy in the name of his nationalist ideology. He goes as far as saying “they call me loyalty.” There is no room for critical thought or for dissenting opinion. There is only room for American nationalism and machismo. “If you ain’t gonna fight get out of the way,” he says. Apparently, if one doesn’t accept the ideological current of violent American nationalism, there simply isn’t room for them.
This advertisement is a class act. Not only does it contain bad music, but it has ultra-nationalist undertones and is completely devoid of any remotely deep or critical content. This advertisement thrives on emotionalism and extreme patriotic sentimentalism combined with testosterone and idealized images of military personnel in their military and civilian lives.