Nov 22, 2010

Are you watching?

This post contains some frank discussion and videos that, while apparently appropriate for prime-time television, might make you feel sick.

We don't typically watch much TV at my house, but this Sunday we tuned into the Colts/Patriots and Giants/Eagles games. Besides seeing both Manning brothers bite the dust, we got an earful and eyeful of commercials. And those were just the ones we didn't mute because we were distracted.

Now, we usually mute commercials because they are generally so loud, obnoxious, and, these days, objectionable. Below is a sampling of about four of the worst ones we saw last evening. They range from plain old dumb to suggestive to downright raunchy. 

But first is a commercial brought to my attention by my friend Jason, who saw it the other day and found it not only laughable, but intellectually offensive. It depicts a polar bear swimming away from his melting iceberg, climbing onto a beach on the Pacific coastline, and walking all the way across the continent to hug a man in NYC. The man drives a Nissan Leaf, 100% electric. 

As Jason observed about its absurdity: if the bear can live in the continental United States, as he does quite aptly in this commercial, what does it matter if the iceberg melts? Similarly, how can a wild animal know, and why would it care, what kind of car this man drives? It's looking for its next meal!

Beyond this, as long as 30,000+ scientists maintain that global warming is a scam, why should we accept the premise that the iceberg is melting in the first place?

Again, as Jason astutely remarked, Nissan is clearly attempting to pull at the strings of the bleeding hearts in order to sell overpriced, under-proven (or not at all proven), unreliable technology. If you buy this car, it will make you feel good. At least, when you get stranded because no one ever thought out all of the kinks involved with this technology, at least you can be reminded that you did something to keep those world-trekking polar bears from being stranded.

Next we have a commercial that my husband challenged while studying for an upcoming exam. I was in the pantry doing some reorganization. Hearing him chuckle, I asked what it was about. He said that the claim made by the commercial is flatly contradicted by the basic laws of physics. 

The suggestion is that the braking force on a roller coaster could be converted into electricity and used to power the coaster on its next run (a system Toyota has apparently incorporated into some of its new vehicles). The problem is that, in such a situation as this one, you will never get as much energy out of the coaster as you put into it, due to friction. So, while a nice idea, it wouldn't be able to make an amusement park self-sustaining. Perhaps combined with solar power and other resources the idea could come together, but not as simply and neatly as the commercial suggests.

I'm all for clean energy and finding innovative ways to meet our power needs, but I'm not on the bandwagon bound for blindly promoting "green energy" at the cost of common sense and realism. This commercial simply amounts to another attempt to goad the American public into investing its hopes, dreams, and hard-earned cash into this kind of technology. Beyond this, it is a contribution to the "cult of green" and the worship of mother earth. Beware that we replace faith in God with devotion to snails and polar bears.

Next up: a commercial that disarmingly highlights what the focus of our day-to-day entertainment has become. Watch.

So, what did you think was going to happen there in the beginning? What does that say about what we have been subconsciously conditioned to expect from something as casual as a 30 second TV commercial? And why do we need to see people licking their fingers? Gross.

If you're not sure where I'm headed with this, the next commercial ought to give you a good idea. 

What a... funny... way to sell hamburgers.

But, hey, that's small fries (pun not intended) compared to the next one, which juxtapositions innocent babies with sexual excitement over documentary depictions of animals mating. Or am I wrong?

To say that this is sick is an understatement by my estimation. Haven't we reached a pinnacle of immorality and pervertedness when we are willing to sully the innocence of babies in such a gratuitous way? Oh, here's an adorable little baby who has a naughty little internet habit revolving around wildebeest. Ha. Ha. Ha. Can you send me the link?

If you can even find a television show worth watching, might I suggest that you do your best to avoid the commercials?


Cathy said...

The dumbing down of America isn't just happening in the classrooms. In the example of the commercials you listed we have green goofiness (polar bear commercial), and sex sells food (McDonalds). The Jack in the Box commercial starts out re...inforcing the bad American habit to eat out too much which we all knows not only can promote obesity but breaks the budget. Then it moves onto what else but sex, kinky at that. I love the yellow lab, the only decent part of the commercial. The baby commercial is disgusting in that it seems to suggest an early porn addiction though in this case it is supposed to be what ... funny ? because they are babies and the link is about animals mating?

I never knew what this commercial said because I seldom watch television and when I do I mute the commercials. I will continue to do so.

Priscilla said...

Those are some good points you make, especially about Americans eating out constantly.

jason said...

Good point on the eating out part Cathy, as I am sure you know this also creates a lack of family togetherness. No one knows what the rest of the family is doing or how they are feeling. Get rid of the family care for one another and now you become dependant on gov't care.

The commercial with the babies makes me sick. This type of mind set could give one reason to so much sexual child abuse. Perverts see this and think of the children as fair game, they think that if kids are thinking sexually then sexual contact is what they want or need. This type of thing also creates an early start to kids wanting to experiment in sex, it is shown to them so much on TV that they think they must experience because "everyone else is". If you think the commercials are bad at teaching kids the wrong message about sex, check out the cartoons and sit coms.

I agree, mute it and turn it off. Thanks for the great messages that are sometimes overlooked in todays culture.