Super Bowl ads are sometimes memorable and original but one of the oddest this year came from Chrysler’s Jeep Renegade. It used “This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land,” with the original lyrics, but from the second verse on they dropped familiar American imagery and substituted gauzy pictures of China, Brazil, Japan and Australia.
The tag line, showing the car, declared “The World is a Gift. Play Responsibly.” This anti-nationalist approach – that no land belongs to anyone in particular, is the opposite of Woody Guthrie’s original version. He wrote the song in 1940 as a leftwing, nationalist answer to “God Bless America” and penned the chorus line, “God blessed America for me.” By 2015, a big American corporation dismisses the idea of our people viewing our homeland as a unique gift, with any special sense of blessing or belonging. How sad.