Thursday, December 31, 2009

Product Placement

(C) 2009 Stan Spire

In case you're not familiar with the term:

Product placement is a sneaky form of advertising. A product -- such as a can of soda with a distinctive logo -- is surreptitiously placed in a scene during a TeeVee show or Movee. Instead of directly selling the product with a loud, annoying ad, the zombie viewer subconsciously picks up the cue: "Joe Hollywood is drinking a Coke so that soda must be cool and I can be cool, too, if I drink a Coke."

Product placement can pop up anywhere, even in the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance. "One nation, under God..."

There's been a uproar lately that a NENYland public school will no longer require its students to recite the Pledge at the beginning of each day. Your typical NENYlander is pissed off at this but the school responds that it is just following a Supreme Court decision.

Today on a Plattsburgh radio station there was a guest editorial by a retired military robot who said that if students don't want to recite the Pledge they should move to a Third World Country. He said non-recitation showed disrespect to all brave soldiers, especially those awarded Purple Hearts.

The commentator made sure to mention his rank when he retired from active duty and that he was a veteran, three times. Such credentials mean that he's absolutely right, of course.

I've never served but I can still pull rank on that commentator as an plain old American citizen. When he was serving his country, he was defending the right for someone like me to be an atheist. Originally "under God" wasn't in the Pledge; it was added during the Red Scare 1950s. Those liars who say this country was founded as a Christian nation pushed to get their product version of a god in the ritualistic loyalty oath.

Two inserted words -- "under God" -- caused the Supreme Court to decide that students didn't have to be forced to repeat them.

There is one way around this for a public school. Leave a pause after "under" during the Pledge and each student can insert whatever he wants: God, Allah, Satan, No One, Amos 'N Andy, etc. Don't forget the "public" in public school: students come in all shapes and colors from various backgrounds. They're not clones or robots; they're individuals.

Take a look at this statement:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..."

That statement ain't from the Communist Manifesto.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Public Begging System Self-Destructs

(C) 2009 Stan Spire

Enough already, PBS!

Some should tell them about the law of diminishing returns. More pledge drives doesn't mean more money being donated. After a while people get turned off by the almost constant begathons. As soon as I see someone pleading for money for public television, I tune out.

One time a PBS station here in NENYland was really laying on the guilt trip, saying that employees would have to be let go unless the money came in. This claim appeared in a newspaper article.

The next day, according to someone who worked at the station, the general manager was going around to everyone and saying not to worry, no one was going to lose their job.

That's the BS in PBS.

Maybe public television is really hurting for money this time around. Fuck 'em. Let the rich elite pay for it, those wealthy stockholders reaping in big dividends while ordinary people are being thrown out of work to jive up the company's stock value.

New York Times Offers Titanic Deal

(C) 2009 Stan Spire

Check it out. The New York Times is hawking stuff to rake in some bucks to stay afloat during the economic slump. Take a look at this one:

Now you can own a fully assembled "Large R.M.S. Titanic Large Wooden Model" -- either 32 or 40 inches long -- with "amazing details" that include "handcrafted wood lifeboats." I wonder if one of those lifeboats includes a tiny replica of The New York Times Company chairman, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr.

You could fill up your bathtub with frigid water and send Junior afloat in his little lifeboat, a victim of a financial iceberg.

That's cold, huh?