I have a big issue with a lot of commercials that are on the air now a days. (or is it nowa days.., now adays?) This is probably caused in part by the fact that I mostly watch stuff online and don’t pay attention to commercials the way I use to when I had cable. I think when I had cable I’d see so many commercials that I kind of just zoned out and shut down my critical thinking when they were on. Now I see less commercials and I end up paying more attention to the ones I do see, and a lot of them are not so secretly sad and depressing.
Some time later I want to deconstruct how awful most vodka commercials are now a d.. currently, but for now lets focus on Michael Jordan and the Hanes commercials he has done over the last several years. First let me state my hypothesis:
The Michael Jordan Hanes commercials are set in an alternate reality in which Jordan has been ostracized from most of society and his life is in shambles.
One major piece of evidence to support this claim is that in most of the commercials he is just wearing a Hanes shirt. In our reality, he is super rich, and probably doesn’t wear Hanes shirts on an everyday basis, or if he does he only wears them as an undershirt with some very expensive clothing being worn over top. In the world of the Hanes commercials, he is usually wearing a plain white Hanes t shirt. In fact in a majority of the recent commercial it is the same exact outfit. He may in fact only have one change of clothes in the Hanes universe, which I will from here on out call the Hanesverse.
But before we go too far down the rabbit hole, lets look at where he started to try to figure out where he ended up. These first two commercials show Jordan as he is still today; a celebrity among celebrities. Here are commercials, one featuring Cuba Gooding Jr. and another featuring Charlie Sheen, in which both celebs kind of fall apart when Jordan is in the area.
You can see that Jordan is kind of aloof but still likes the attention in these commercials. In fact, I feel that is the defining characteristic of the Michael Jordan in the Hanesverse. He loves the admiration and attention he gets from celebs and other people but doesn’t want show it. He acts humble, but inside you know it is a big ego boost and it is something that he craves.
At some point however there was a seismic shift from whom Jordan is getting this much desired admiration and attention. He went from getting hugs and high fives from comedic actors whose careers have taken some odd turns in the last 10 years, and now is seen hanging out with random normal people. There is nothing wrong with that in of itself, after all there is lots of evidence that being a celebrity doesn’t make you a more worth while human being *cough the Kardashians*. But, it is still odd that in the next couple of advertisements below that no one is excited to see Michael Jordan.
In the first commercial we see Jordan wonder up to an office drone working in his cube and demand that he hand over the tag from his boxer shorts that is talking and apparently a sentient being that can feel pain. It is not clear if Jordan just works at this office or if he is the owner or boss, but it seems clear that having Jordan in this office is not a big deal to the man in the cubicle. In the second commercial we see Jordan at a laid back barbeque party. There isn’t a lot of context to determine if he was invited or if he just showed up like an unusually tall drifter, but I’m going to guess the former. If I had to put money on it, I would guess it was a work colleague’s party and that Jordan showed up solo. Why do I think he showed up by himself, without a date? Well…
This is the commercial that first got me thinking that Jordan’s life isn’t going well. First of all let’s cover the most obvious thing that stands out about this particular commercial; Michael Jordan is sitting alone in a mostly empty movie theater. Maybe his date, or whoever he went with, is getting snacks or in the bathroom at the exact moment that this commercial takes place. That could be a possibility, but I like to think that at this point in the Hanesverse Jordan has lost most of his friends and is kind of a loner. I will explain why later, but let me quickly point out that for the third straight commercial the humans that see Jordan aren’t impressed, but the sentient clothing tags that Jordan murders are aware of who he is and seem genuinely surprised or excited. That is until they are murdered by either drowning, being burned alive, or shredded to death.
We will see in a little bit, how far Jordan has still left to fall, but right now I want to explore the point in the Hanesverse where I believe we find out what triggered Jordan’s fall from grace.
This commercial can be summed up in one word. Hitler Mustache. Jesus, that’s two words. Anyways, this is the moment I feel that Jordan starts his fall from grace. The guy sitting next to Jordan on the airplane is pretty excited to be sitting next to Jordan and is having a hard time keeping himself in check. This makes me think we are not too far away from the days of Jordan getting hugs from Cuba Gooding Jr and being tacitly responsible for Charlie Sheen’s car accidents. Another piece of evidence to support this theory is that Jordan is not wearing his White shirt with blue outfit, and instead is wearing something that looks fitting a man of his socioeconomic stature.
This is the first sighting of Jordan rocking the “Hitler” mustache, or as some might call it “The Charlie Chaplain”, although I have a feeling in real life he wanted people to refer to it as the “Jordan”. The question we have to ask ourselves is why in the Hanesverse is Jordan suddenly sporting this controversial piece of facial hair. I believe that at this moment in the Hanesverse timeline clothing tags have first begun to show their sentience and that Michael Jordan views them as something that needs to be eradicated.
Yes. Michael Jordan is sporting a Hitler mustache to show his support for the extermination of a race of sentient beings in the same way that Hitler once tried to do. The main difference being that Hitler wanted to kill everyone that was Jewish, while Jordan wants to kill all the clothing collars, who are admittedly kind of annoying.
I know that seems like a reach, but re-watch that commercial again. Jordan is not on a private jet. He is just in first class. First class is nice, but it isn’t Michael Jordan nice. Also, Jordan is flying solo again. No Charles Barkley or other celeb ridding shotgun with him as he flies 15 hours to….? No idea, but that is a long ass flight so you have to assume he is flying internationally, maybe to round up support in Germany?????
So we know Jordan is on a long flight in first class and no one else on the flight is looking at him, he is still aloof and seems to smile when recognized and gets addoration, and he has a Hitler mustache. Not a lot to go on. But check out the way the guy sitting next to him acts. Tell me that guy doesn’t have the perfect reaction of someone who 100% agrees with Jordan’s “Kill all Tags” rhetoric but has never had the courage to say it to anyone else. Here he is, sitting next to the only man in America brave enough to speak out against the Tags and offer a solution to the problem… a final solution.
I believe that up until this flight, Jordan had lost that feeling he would get when a celeb or random person would see him and shower him with love and praise. Jordan spoke out against the recent emergence of these sentient Tags and was rejected by all his famous friends and most of society, but this man was finally giving him the attention he so desperately craved. Plus this man was totally on board with his hatred of Tags and Hitler mustache.
After this fateful flight, Jordan turned away from his old life and the celebs he use to pal around with and embraced like minded everyday people. As time rolled on the general consensus of the population changed from acceptance of this new race of cloth based life, and turned into annoyance. Fed up with the lack of action by the government and people in general, Jordan took it upon himself to destroy these creatures one by one. He even went as far as to give himself a standard outfit, or uniform, that he would wear every day as he went around convincing people to let him do what they didn’t have the heart to do; kill the annoying Tags.
If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been capitalizing “Tags” to make it appear that they are a recognized group with a name that is a proper noun.
There is a post script to Jordan’s crusade in the Hanesverse however. Simply put, all wars must ends. Either the Tags are erased from the face of the earth, or Jordan has given up the fight having realized that even for a great man like him, it was a futile endeavor. Either way he is a broken man, who lost his fortune in his mad quest, and now lives a commoner’s life in a crowded apartment.
Maybe I am being to hard and Michael Jordan is not a broken man, but instead he may just be a man with a few cracks. He is fallen so far that he is living in an apartment with three other guys half his age, one of whom brutalized adorable kittens while the rest watch on in amusement. Jordan sees his one roommate wearing a shirt made of kittens (he’s clearly insane), and all Jordan can do is shake his head and chuckle before heading to the kitchen to get some Wheaties. At the end of the line Jordan is forced to live with people who almost mockingly refer to him by his first and last name, to shame him into remembering what he had once been.
Even his choice in clothing is telling. His signature blue windbreaker is gone, now replaced by an uninspired grey hoodie. The hoodie makes me think he is at peace with where his life ended up, knowing that it is all from his doing, and it doesn’t appear he is going to try and change it. I know that is a lot to surmise just from a popular piece of clothing, but in context I think it is a pretty astute observation.
Alternate Theory: Michael Jordan is suffered a psychotic break and is hallucinating the talking tags and the kitten t-shirt… and also the guy on the plane who is kind of his own version of Tyler Durden.
I think this is also a possibility that could explain a lot of things like his slow slide down the economic ladder. Maybe the guy on the plane was real, but was so annoying that in just 15 hours, he drove Jordan permanently insane. Maybe all the commercials are from his perspective in which people freely hand over their “talking clothing tags” but in reality he is mumbling incoherently to people and then forcibly ripping their tags off so he can “stop the voices” that only he seems to hear. Maybe that final commercial is when Jordan is living in a halfway house after spending time in a state mental institution, and the reason at the end he just shakes his head and says “dude” is because he didn’t take his medication and realizes he is starting to lose it again.
Let me know what evidence for against my theories you have, or if you have any competing theories.