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.

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