NBC News columnist Kim Kelly accused Dolly Parton of selling out everything she’s ever stood for in a new Super Bowl ad.
It would seem to me that anyone with an IQ above room temperature would understand Parton’s ad, which is about using your off-time as a means to build a business for yourself, to make your dream finally come true, to use this time as a means to escape the “9 to 5” job you hate.
Watch for yourself:
It’s a pretty clever idea, reworking Parton’s iconic “9 to 5” hit, which was about how awful dead-end jobs are, into an inspiring “5 to 9” anthem about how to escape that awful “9 to 5” drudgery, but this NBC columnist only saw Parton as selling out… And I honestly can’t tell if she’s obtuse or being deliberately disingenuous.
Read for yourself:
Rather than paying homage to the spirit of the original song, which made no bones about the exploitative nature of the daily grind, the commercial for Squarespace features a tinny ode to the side hustle. Its office workers are portrayed as being overjoyed to continue working after hours, their side hustles are painted as freeing, fun and fulfilling, and the song itself encourages them to “be your own boss, climb your own ladder.”
It’s a perfect storm of gig economy propaganda. And it’s a particularly disappointing message to hear from someone like Parton[.]
Knowing this context, it’s so disappointing to read the lyrics to this new song and hear her literally sing the praises of “working, working, working.” It’s not “fun” or “empowering” to juggle multiple jobs; it’s an indictment of a system in which people aren’t paid fairly and workers are squeezed down to the last drop of energy.
Are these awful people ever happy?
Parton, who is herself a wildly successful entrepreneur, a true self-made woman who has built herself an empire through incredibly hard work, talent, and risk; a woman who literally started with nothing in a one-room cabin and is now worth hundreds of millions of dollars, is guilty of nothing more here than showing others that there is a ladder out there to achieve the same dreams she achieved. And yes, it’s going to require a lot of hard work in your off time, because…
That’s how it works. Who achieves their dreams working nine-to-five? No one.
So what this hideous NBC columnist is basically telling people is that Parton is wrong. Don’t try to achieve your dreams. Instead, whine to the employer you hate about how you’re not getting paid enough to work a job you hate.
And then after you’re paid more and still hate your job…
Whine to the government to create a job like?