Aug. 26-- Things must be really slow in the safety biz this time of year if the most important thing safety advocates have to do is complain about a TV commercial for the new Chevy Corvette.
The spot shows an adolescent boys daydream in which he is out for a wild joy ride in a Corvette. He drives so recklessly that he ends up driving in space, where he meets and exchanges furtive glances with an adolescent girl who is up there driving another Corvette, apparently in her own daydream. All this while the Rolling Stones song Jumpin Jack Flash blares.
Anyone who thinks that a TV commercial will give adolescents an irresistible urge to steal the family car and go for a joy ride in outer space probably doesnt realize that Jumpin Jack Flash is about drugs, not Whoopi Goldberg.
Several groups that ought to have more sense, including Consumers Union and the Center for Auto Safety, have made this a big deal. They put public pressure on General Motors. So GM yanked the spot, which had been playing during NBC-TV coverage of the Olympics.
Dont those safety folks have kids? How did they raise them?
As the father of three sons, two of whom have matured into safe, responsible drivers and a third who is becoming one, I will gladly testify that the urge to drive fast cars can be powerful in the young. But so are a lot of other urges.
Adolescents make mistakes. Sometimes they even succumb to their urges.
But if they can survive video games and reruns of Ferris Buellers Day Off without doing something stupid, why would a surrealistic TV spot push them past the bounds of discipline and self-control?
Gimme a break.