The Wide Angle: Why is Johnny Depp in the desert?

Published 5:07 am Saturday, November 16, 2019

We’ve officially entered the holiday season and you want to know how I know?

Halloween is over.

I’m not going to lie to you Reader No. 8, because I feel we have too close of a relationship to put you through such a torment, but I’m not a fan of Christmas.

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Now, before you rock your head side-to-side, tsk tsking me and thinking, “Hmm, I’m disappointed in you Eric,” let me explain.

I don’t dislike Christmas, I dislike the early nature of Christmas, which is something I’ve talked about before. You may be asking at this point, “Why start this by saying I don’t like Christmas then?”

I enjoy drama.

And while I’ve been pretty up front with this in the past, maybe even written a couple columns on it, I’m particularly bothered by the commercials. I know that the Hallmark Channel starts playing Christmas movies for the next year on Dec. 26 and it alone would be an easy target, but I just saw a jewelry commercial and it got me thinking.

It got me thinking that jewelry, car and perfume/cologne commercials are a little unrealistic, which is something those who make commercials kind of pedal in.

Creating Christmas morning on a soundstage, complete with a brand new car all wrapped up in a bow.

Or presenting a jeweled surprise at a family gathering during the romance and laughter of washing dishes, complete with festive, but soft music that tells the rest of us they are really in love and the man is showing his love with this piece of finely honed rock over dirty dishes.

Love is truly in the air.

And there are fragrance commercials. They take a slightly different tact when presenting their potential gifts that never really make sense.

They are fantastical and trippy with weird statements that make the prospective buyer think there is magic associated with these fragrances or mystery that goes beyond the bounds of our reality. There are people floating in the air, held there by golden fabric.

Or Johnny Depp is in the desert digging a hole and burying something, looking up meaningfully at a fast-moving sky with more eyeliner than the Cure’s Robert Smith.

And let’s not forget that every single person featured in these commercials are the best looking people, the cutest kids, you’ve ever seen.

Knock-outs, every one of them the perfect ideal of human beauty. Huh, maybe that’s why I haven’t been part of such unreal commercials. I’m not good-looking enough.

All of these things need only the barest moment of holiday cheer, the tiniest bit of provocation that lets them start blasting us with holiday commercials.

Over the years I’ve become a student of these commercials, partly because of my continually growing ire at how quickly they start, but mostly because of my own questions like: Does this happen regularly? How does a normal person afford this? Why is Johnny Depp in the desert and what’s he burying? These questions vex me, as does the process of creating such perfect moments that seem beyond the veil of reality.

Seriously, why is Johnny Depp in the desert and with clouds like that moving so fast? Should the rest of us be worried? Is Johnny Depp causing a natural disaster? Is this how we all end?

If it is, there’s probably a commercial for it, filled with good-looking people.