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Dash of Pepper

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The infantilizing of America
The Gazette Staff
The infantilizing of America
Have you ever noticed that the advertising industry seems to be convinced that the way to get us to buy goods and services is to use tiny children to sell them to us?
A case in point - a spot currently running on cable features a baby making stock trades. Another example - a youngster wakes his parents up and asks about the family's finances, insurance and investments. Any adult watching that commercial must be asking himself/herself if anyone could really believe that the average eight-year-old walks around thinking about family finance.
Public service commercials are not exempt. We are treated to grade-schoolers teaching us about the horrors of global warming, among other things. The ad industry must have a whole series of focus groups which indicate that small children can sell adult goods and services. This, I suppose, says something about our population in general. Is something going on in the education system that promotes infantile thought processes?
My husband had a theory that our culture began to unravel in the mid-1950s, especially in the area of music, the performing arts and literature. The elegance and sophistication during the epoch of our great composers in the era that stretched from the 1920s through the 1940s was born during hard times, yet the deterioration began in good times. America, by the mid-50s, was ebullient and prospering. Adversity, it seems, causes us to become more adult, while the good times allow us to focus on the trivial.
Our ability to communicate has also been impaired, even with the explosion of technology and 500 cable TV channels plus the internet.
Basic literacy is part of the problem, but I suspect that the political correctness we have imposed on ourselves is also part of it. Anyone who indulges in straight talk can be accused of being "mean spirited."
You can see the result of this in commercial like the one I mentioned about global warming. The spot treats the issue of global warming as a done deal, an accepted concept, despite the fact that over 50 percent of the serious scientific community disagrees.
What is even more interesting is the approach taken by the ad. Basically, it states, that if we all come together and sing Kumbiya, we can defeat global warming. The hubris inherent in that attitude is amazing. I don't think God will be mocked.
What is also interesting is the assumption that people will easily desert their honestly held beliefs in the service of "peaceful" cooperation. If that is true, politicians everywhere can have a field day manipulating our volatile emotions!
Tiny babies are cute but, for me, one thing is certain: I'll never buy anything from any financial institution that uses babies in diapers to convey their message.
Last Updated on Friday, 12 June 2009 14:38  

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