Friday, June 27, 2008

If I Believed in the Devil

I think he would be in advertising. Hands down, next to real estate "developers" (read: destroyers), advertising is the most insidious, slimy, corrupter of values, destroyer of happiness and contentment in the world.

And I note two commercials recently. One which exasperates me with the level of contempt in which the advertisers and their clients hold we the buying public. The second just infuriates me with the level of stupidity they display all the while holding up innocent children and attempting to guilt trip mothers.

First is the new Crest Night time toothpaste. Really. It is specifically designed for night time brushing. So now you need to buy two tubes of toothpaste. And if you fall for that (like we all fell for toothpaste when it was invented) well good for you. You know, we were all perfectly happy with baking soda for hundreds of years until someone figured out it they told us our breath still stunk and we were embarrassing ourselves with our less than pearly whites, we would throw money at them hand over fist.

Second is the beginning of the "green" backlash. I knew it was coming. All those wasteful products out there, the things we spend a little extra money for, they have been hurting in these tight economic times. Combine that with people honestly trying to to the little things they can to help this poor feverish planet, products like Dixie Paper Plates must have seen a drop in sales.

Their answer? The one I hate and despise the most: mommy guilt. Commercial opens with happy, adorable children gleefully playing with well dressed, well groomed, happy carefree mommies. Mommies all start saying things like "I don't care what people think" and "spending time with my children is the most important thing".

Well, garsh darn it, Opie, who doesn't agree with that? You may start humming I Believe Children Are Our Future now.

Problem is, these women are claiming that they are giving up washing dishes so they can spend even more time with their children, and they ain't getting Daddy to do the dishes, no, no, no. They are serving all meals on Dixie Paper Plates which they can then just toss into the trash, easy breezy, and be off to play with their children.

Never mind the trees cut down to make all those paper plates, never mind the pollutants produced in manufacturing the plates, never mind the gas used and exhaust spewed into the air by the trucks delivering those paper plates to your local grocery store, never mind the gas you use going to buy more paper plates every week, never mind the ever increasing garage dumps gobbling up land, never mind the trash incinerators vomiting out toxins into the air.

No, never mind any of that.

Your children won't mind having to live in a treeless land with polluted soil and water, acid rain falling from the skies.

Because you spent five minutes playing with them instead of reusing dishes.

Loki sez: Hush, Thor, you know there is no talking to her when she gets like this.


Heather said...

I guess I'm cruel because because I count doing dishes with the kids as time spent with them.

How freaking long does it take to load the dishwasher anyhow? 10 minutes and I'm cleaning up after 6.

JanetLee said...

How perfectly awful of you! Incorporating chores into your children's routines, allowing them to feel a sense of accomplishment and learn to work together!

Marcheline said...

This polluted soil you speak of... that wouldn't be the same soil someone (whose name will not be mentioned) recently admitted to dousing with deathly-chemical-infused lawn food?


JanetLee said...

I hardly believe that my once a year spreading of a 14 pound bag of weed and feed over a 3/4 acre lot is polluting anything.

Marcheline said...

I'm just winding you up, JL... this old mudball is bound to blow up one of these days anyway. A little poison more or less, what does it matter? Probably not at all.

Sometimes I just wonder who decided certain things that grow out of the ground were "good" and certain ones were "bad". We should save all the trees, but kill the dandelions.

I mean, I never heard a single report of a dandelion falling on someone's house and killing them. You can even make salad and wine from dandelions.

Every one of us, in some way, is bad for the environment. The best thing that could happen to this earth, environmentally speaking, would be for all of the humans to drop dead tomorrow.

But since none of us are likely to take our enthusiasm for Mother Earth that far, I say let those who use paper plates and those who use pesticides and those who drive gas guzzlers and those who do all the millions of little tiny "unimportant" things that affect the environment do so without the Finger of Shame being pointed.

Thing about the Finger of Shame is, it makes us feel righteous, but there are always three fingers pointing right back at us.

JanetLee said...

I never said a thing about people who choose to use paper plates, I used them myself for the big dinner the other day - balance between tossing paper plates into the dump or using extra water to wash more dishes than usual.

My rant was directed at advertising who manipulate mother guilt and advocate stupid things.

And I'm not killing dandelions. I'm killing Virginia creeper, poison ivy, blackberry brambles and whatever the birds shit out or the squirrels bury.

Marcheline said...

Greetings, JL, this is a message from headquarters.

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to read "Prodigal Summer" by Barbara Kingsolver.

This message will self destruct in five seconds.

- M