This hilarious ad for a 1996 Honda is the perfect commentary on materialism.

When Carrie Hollenbeck needed to sell her 1996 Honda Accord, with over 140,000 lifetime miles on it, having a filmmaker boyfriend paid off. Big time.

Max and Carrie. Photo used with permission

Max Lanman had the idea to produce an actual commercial to advertise his girlfriend's jalopy. But this wouldn't be some low-budget production for a 4 a.m. run on the local access cable channel. Oh no. Not at all.


“I thought it would be hilarious to make a high-end car commercial for a really junky car,” Lanman told ABC News. “And she had just the car.”

The ad begins like any high-gloss, self-important, sleek car commercial, with a deep-voiced narrator uttering some vaguely inspiring patter: "You, you're different. You do things your way. That's what makes you one of a kind."

Cut to — instead of a luxury vehicle with a slick dash, leather interior, and impeccably dressed anonymous driver — Carrie's old Honda, complete with coffee spills, random objects rolling around in the back, and one of those cassette things you use to play your iPod in a car without Bluetooth.

"You don't do it for appearance. You do it because it works," the narrator adds triumphantly.

Check out the finished product, which has gone viral with over 4 million views:

Lanman may have intended the piece to be more silly than satire, but the faux ad inadvertently makes an important point about the car buying experience in America.

As commonplace as the ads he's lampooning are, the majority of Americans cannot afford a new car. Things are only getting worse — the average price of a new vehicle has skyrocketed 35% since the 1970s, while the median household income is only up about 3% for the same time period.

Cars have always been a status symbol, but somewhere along the line — between the time of horse-drawn carriages and the modern era of Matthew McConaughey selling Lincolns by falling backward into an infinity pool while wearing a tuxedo — cars have become an extreme symbol of status.

Car commercials would have you believe that cars are not something you buy because of how well they can get you from Point A to Point B, but because of how they made you feel and how they make you look to other people. For every person buying a $60,000 car that fits their "lifestyle," (or to sit in their garage, barely touched) there are dozens more people buying a used junker on Craiglist or eBay because it's all they can afford. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Though it wasn't intended to be, Max and Carrie's viral ad is almost a digital middle finger to those who want the rich to get richer and income disparity to get worse. It reminds us to be proud of our ability to successfully live our own lives, even if it's not always pristine or glamorous. This ad ... is practical and real and ... well, it's all of us.

"Luxury is a state of mind," the narrator bellows at the end. Finally, a car slogan everyday Americans can get behind.

True
Frito-Lay

Did you know one in five families are unable to provide everyday essentials and food for their children? This summer was also the hungriest on record with one in four children not knowing where their next meal will come from – an increase from one in seven children prior to the pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt around the country and many people struggle to secure basic needs. Unemployment is at an all-time high and an alarming number of families face food insecurity, not only from the increased financial burdens but also because many students and families rely on schools for school meal programs and other daily essentials.

This school year is unlike any other. Frito-Lay knew the critical need to ensure children have enough food and resources to succeed. The company quickly pivoted to expand its partnership with Feed the Children, a leading nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger, to create the "Building the Future Together" program to provide shelf-stable food to supplement more than a quarter-million meals and distribute 500,000 pantry staples, school supplies, snacks, books, hand sanitizer, and personal care items to schools in underserved communities.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

We've heard from U.S. intelligence officials for at least four years that other countries are engaging in disinformation campaigns designed to destabilize the U.S. and interfere with our elections. According to a recent New York Times article, there is ample evidence of Russia attempting to push American voters away from Joe Biden and toward Donald Trump via the Kremlin-backed Internet Research Agency, which has created a network of fake user accounts and a website that billed itself as a "global news organization."

The problem isn't just that such disinformation campaigns exist. It's that they get picked up and shared by real people who don't know they're spreading propaganda from Russian state actors. And it's not just pro-Trump content that comes from these accounts. Some fake accounts push far-left propaganda and disinformation in order to skew perceptions of Biden. Sometimes they even share uplifting content to draw people in, while peppering their feeds with fake news or political propaganda.

Most of us read comments and responses on social media, and many of us engage in discussions as well. But how do we know if what we're reading or who we're engaging with is legitimate? It's become vogue to call people who seem to be pushing a certain agenda a "bot," and sometimes that's accurate. What about the accounts that have a real person behind them—a real person who is being paid to publish and push misinformation, conspiracy theories, or far-left or far-right content?

Keep Reading Show less
True

$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


via msleja / TikTok

In 2019, the Washoe County School District in Reno, Nevada instituted a policy that forbids teachers from participating in "partisan political activities" during school hours. The policy states that "any signage that is displayed on District property that is, or becomes, political in nature must be removed or covered."

The new policy is based on the U.S. Supreme Court's 2018 Janus decision that limits public employees' First Amendment protections for speech while performing their official duties.

This new policy caused a bit of confusion with Jennifer Leja, a 7th and 8th-grade teacher in the district. She wondered if, as a bisexual woman, the new policy forbids her from discussing her sexuality.

Keep Reading Show less

Editor's Note: This story will be updated as events are developing.

A grand jury in Jefferson County, Kentucky has formally charged a former Louisville police officer with with three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree for his conduct in the shooting that killed Breonna Taylor. According to the Washington Post, the jury said Brett Hankison "wantonly and blindly" shot 10 times into the apartment where Taylor was sleeping. Under the current charges, Hankison faces up to 5 years in prison.

In responding to the charges, Kentucky's Attorney General Daniel Cameron said the grand jury ruled the other officers in the incident -- Sgt. John Mattingly and Det. Myles Cosgrove -- acted accordingly. Cameron urged calm in response to the charge, noting that "peaceful protests are your right as an American citizens," and that many people would be "disappointed" both that the other officers were not charged and some offended that Hankison was charged at all. However, saying acts of "revenge" were not warranted, Cameron said his department's own role is to enforce the law: "It isn't the quest for revenge, it's the quest for truth," adding that he hopes to be part of "the healing process."


Keep Reading Show less