While cleaning out my basement and going through some old magazines, I came across what may very well be the most reprehensible piece of douchebaggery ever produced – M. Night Shyamalan’s American Express “My Life, My Card” ad.
Now, for those of you unfamiliar with the “My Life, My Card” ads, they feature a black and white picture of some celebrity (Tiger Woods, Ellen DeGeneres, Martin Scorsese) and show the celebrities’ handwritten answers to a bunch of questions like, “Fondest Memory,” “Wildest Dream,” and “Perfect Day.” I guess it’s supposed to give the reader a “window” into the lives of these people and let us know that those fabulous lives include heavy usage of the American Express card.
Putting aside the idiotic and insulting nature of these ads (like I’m gonna want to buy shit with the American Express card just because that’s the card Ellen uses to buy her strap-ons), the pretentious douchery of M. Night Shyamalan’s answers simply demand recognition.
Here's a recap:
Name: M. Night Shyamalan
Okay, first things first. That’s not your fucking name. Your real name is Manoj Nelliattu Shyamalan.
While I understand your wanting to change your name for use in Hollywood, choosing “M. Night Shyamalan” (just typing it makes me feel like less of a human) violates the two time-honored goals of Hollywood name changes – (1) making it easier for the semi-literate American public to be able to identify you and (2) concealing the shame of your non-WASP ethnicity.
I could understand if you’d gone with, say, Monty Shepard or Michael N. Shanley, but M. Night Shyamalan? That’s a bitch to pronounce and it it does nothing to cover up the fact that your ancestors didn’t come over on the Mayflower, so what the fuck?
And don’t get me started on that pretentioius first initial-middle name-last name thing. Why don’t you, C. Everett Koop, and C. Thomas Howell go jerk each other off in front of J. Edgar Hoover’s grave?
Fondest Memory: Kissing my wife in the rain
This answer is offensive on multiple levels:
First of all, the only thing worse than married people publicly and un-ironically expressing their love for each other is artsy married people artsily expressing their love for each other (in ways that force me to envision M. Night Shyamalan making out with someone).
Secondly, this answer sets the hypocritical, pseudo-artistic douchebag tone that pervades the entire ad. You’re trying to let everyone know that despite your fabulous cinematic success, you stay grounded, you keep it REAL, and you focus on the things that really matter in life, like loving your wife. And you don’t just say, “I love you, Sugar Boobs,” like most guys. You do it with the delicate artistry of a true auteur who remembers sensual moments like a rain-soaked kiss.
Well I got news for you, cock breath – true auteurs don’t do credit card ads. And exploiting your wife’s personal romantic memories to make yourself seem more authentic in an AmEx ad won’t make you the poster child for authentic family values. (As a result, that job will continue to be held by Shawn Kemp).
Soundtrack: My daughter playing Chopin
Your douche-osity goes to new heights with this one, M. Noir.
First off, people who make their kids play classical music are child abusers. No kid likes classical music. Even the daughters of pretentious douchebags like you prefer Hilary Duff to Chopin. That poor girl probably has to hide in her closet to listen to Britney’s Greatest Hits while her father tells his chardonnay-sipping guests about the sonata in D-minor that his little girl just mastered.
And once again you’re trying to look like a guy who wants to deflect attention away from himself, but in reality you just want to let everyone know that your little prodigy can play Chopin. You’re just so punchable.
Retreat: Our farm
Listen up, Nighty – the 380 million people in your native India who earn less than $2 a day trying to coax rice out of the desiccated soil of the Punjab – those people are farmers. You’re a guy who gets paid millions of dollars to keep making the same movie over and over again. You don’t have a farm. You have an estate on what used to be a farm. Instead of grazing livestock, you have little girls running around playing Chopin. And when it starts raining, you don’t celebrate the fact that your subsistence crops are receiving badly needed nourishment, you run outside and kiss your fucking wife. Again.
Wildest Dream: Living in the South of France and writing a novel
The South of France? Really? You might as well have just said, “Living in Generic Artsy-ville, a place that everyone who reads this credit card ad will instantly recognize as a place where fabulously talented artists go when they get tired of working in integtrity-compromising media like film and want to explore the bounds of their boundless artistic talent.”
I’m so on to you.
Proudest Moment: When I see my children overcome fear
Wow. I would’ve thought that a guy who writes and directs big successful movies would have said something like, “Being nominated for an Oscar,” but damnit, Manoj, you are just so genuine and down-to-earth! Makes me want to drive down to Pennsylvania and treat you to a proud afternoon of watching your kids overcoming their fear of being forced to play Russian roulette - how’s that sound?
Perfect day: Walking with my family in the woods
Okay, okay, you love your fucking family. We fucking get it, you queef.
First job: Promotional video for a law firm.
Did they sue you when the video you gave them turned out to be a photo collage of your wife and kids?
Seriously, there are about seven non-wheelchair bound people in the United States who I can beat at basketball and I’m pretty sure that you’re one of them. So just stop with the, “Hey, I’m a regular guy who shoots hoops” shtick. You’re not fooling anyone.
Favorite movie: The Godfather
Now you’re really starting to piss me off. “Godfather” used to be one of my all-time favorite movies. But now my enjoyment Duvall collapsing as he says “They shot Sonny on the causeway” will be forever tainted by the knowledge that somewhere, on a “farm” in Pennsylvania, M. Night Shama-lama-ding-dong might be enjoying that same scene (on a screen that makes my TV look like an iPod).
Inspiration: The three black-haired angels that live in my house
Your obsession with your own family is now officially scarier than any of your movies. I’ll lay even money that one of those black-haired angels has a restraining order against you within the next ten years.
My Life: Is about finding time to dream.
Finding time? Dude, people who work real jobs have to find time to dream. You’ve got all fucking day. Or is all that hay baling and crop harvesting on the farm taking up all your precious dream time? Do ol’ Kimmie a favor and kill yourself.
My Card: Is American Express.
And that’s why I’m taking a scissors to mine right now. Die, douchebag.
Thank you, Rob Sanford