SNL skit targets American militarism, Toyota — and ISIS?

When an American man reaches that juncture in life where he’s ready to buy a Toyota Camry, he can be confident he’s now living the American dream: a reliable car, a house in the suburbs and then the final act that will prove his boldness and manhood — he tearfully ships off his teenage daughter to join the U.S. Army.

I didn’t watch the Super Bowl, so I didn’t see this ad until today. My reaction to Toyota’s message: WTF?

It seems like the writers for Saturday Night Live also took exception to Toyota’s message and thought that it was worth a parody — a parody which a segment of SNL’s audience thought was in bad taste.

As much as some viewers are applauding SNL for being so bold as to take on ISIS, I think that what the show really did was use ISIS to give themselves some cover while taking an indirect punch at U.S. militarism and the Americanist dogma that military service is the closest thing to saintliness.

Meanwhile, I’m still waiting for Toyota to seize the marketing opportunity that has been staring them in the face for decades: to launch The Technical — a four-wheel drive pickup truck with a factory-installed gun-mount, and “fully loaded” with all the features that an organization like ISIS needs for desert warfare.

But joking aside, when the military history of the 21st century gets written, among the tools of warfare of preeminent importance, the Toyota pickup truck is probably going to rank higher than the drone. And it’s not just any Toyota truck; the truck of choice is the Hilux.

“The Toyota Hilux is everywhere,” says Andrew Exum, a former Army Ranger and now a fellow of the Center for a New American Security. “It’s the vehicular equivalent of the AK-47. It’s ubiquitous to insurgent warfare. And actually, recently, also counterinsurgent warfare. It kicks the hell out of the Humvee.”

Whether you’re an American dad, or you’re fighting for ISIS, there’s only #OneBoldChoice: Toyota.

Now if there’s any way Toyota could trick ISIS to trade in their Hiluxes for the Toyota Isis minivan — that’s right, Toyota makes an “Isis” — there’s no question the militant group could swiftly be defeated.

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