The Cher Manifesto
When Karl Marx wrote about the decadence of capitalism, he may have been imagining something like our current moment, in which a slew of publications (for instance, here, here, and here) write about a fifteen-second trailer that a company has produced to promote a thirty-second commercial advertising a platform that allows people to get money back on purchases they make using electronic devices they can activate around the clock, without ever leaving home.
The only thing Marx might not have anticipated was the Jane Austen angle.
During Sunday’s Super Bowl LVII broadcast, we learned last week, Alicia Silverstone will reprise her starring role in the immortal 1995 Emma update Clueless, when the online shopping platform Rakuten premieres a new ad.
The trailer that landed last week features Silverstone, dressed in the iconic yellow-and-black-plaid outfit of Clueless's rich-girl heroine Cher Horowitz, parading to the front of a high school classroom, shopping bags in hand. “Don’t bug–your girl is back,” she says, gazing straight into the camera.
Silverstone has been milking her Clueless stardom for a while now, and if that’s what it takes for a forty-six-year-old actress to keep a roof over her head, who am I to judge? I plan to skip the Super Bowl—I tune in only when my Denver Broncos are playing, and even then I’m probably multitasking with a crossword puzzle—but I will catch Silverstone’s ad later, because I’m just as much a product of late-stage capitalism as the next girl.
Nothing to lose but your chains, baby!