The ad itself completely misses the mark. Though the lyrics to the re-written parody of Geto Boys’ “Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta” play over the ad, painting a picture of Clinton as a corrupt, entitled Washington insider—the scene itself depicts Clinton as a take-no-shit badass.
The problem, and where the commercial totally fails as an attack ad, is that it depicts Hillary Clinton as one of the heroes from one of the most iconic and well-loved scenes of one of the biggest cult films of the last twenty years. On a subconscious level, if you are a fan of Office Space, you can’t help but view Clinton as the hero of this ad. They may as well have made a Bernie Sanders attack ad, casting him as “The Dude” from The Big Lebowski. It just doesn’t work to cast your political foe in a role completely associated with a hero—an anti-establishment hero AT THAT. Even the camera angles, parodying the original Office Space scene, make Clinton look larger than life and totally in charge. The ad works as a parody of a famous movie scene—as a political attack ad, it’s an utterly dismal failure. The Clinton campaign could take this spot as-is and dub in some different music (perhaps the original Geto Boys cut), and have a great ad of their own.
Republicans seem to have trouble getting the nuances of humor correct and they also seem to have a major problem with musicians getting angry when songs are used without permission in political campaigns.There’s a long history of this, and Cruz’ use of the Geto Boys’ music is the latest in that history.
Willie D of The Geto Boys, center
Willie D of the Geto Boys had some choice words of his own about the ad and the Cruz campaign’s (parodied) use of the Geto Boys’ music. Willie D called the ad “blasphemy” and “garbage” and asserted that the Cruz campaign runs completely counter to the Geto Boys’ ideals. “I don’t believe he’s all the way human,” he continued, comparing Cruz to “The Tin Man” from The Wizard of Oz. Willie D went on to call Cruz the “scum of the earth” and “a self-aggrandizing, insufferable douchebag,” ultimately demanding, “you owe us and our fans an apology. I want an apology, Ted.”
The Cruz campaign may want to consider making good on that apology before Willie D makes him “read his Nikes.”
The attack ad in question:
Willie D don’t give a fuck:
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Gangsta rap fans baffled as The Geto Boys bust out ‘All in the Family’ theme at concert
Pirate radio station plays Geto Boys for months, middle-aged white guy with kids gets pissed