STOP! REALLY LOOK! REALLY LISTEN!
By: Joan E. Battey
Long ago, in today's time-frame references, railroads were at street level and
cars and pedestrians crossed at their own risk. Engineers would blow whistles when
approaching the "dangerous" crossings to alert those ready to cross over. Signs
were posted at the crossings: STOP/LOOK/LISTEN. Most drivers and pedestrians heeded the
signs, because moving trains take a long time to stop and challenging them was more than
foolhardy in racing contests.
There are many different kinds of "crossovers" today, at street-level,
eye-level and ear-levels of growing high-decibel ranges, impossible to avoid encountering.
Americans eagerly look, can't avoid hearing, and seldom ever "stop" to consider
how they are being manipulated, rather than offered safe passage to desired better things
on the other side of the crossovers.
Americans are beginning to wake up and complain about growing numbers of things that
are not new. They are belatedly registering as of great importance, having already long
chugged along with few alarms being raised. Now that they are being noticed, many are
competing for top billing in our new "fast-paced" all-purpose quick news
coverage. A fast pepper-spray of assorted items, then a long break for commercials and
coming attractions, and often a completely new focus when "regular programming"
How many of us have noticed how news is cleverly served up with a heavy salting of ads?
Ads pay the salaries of the celebrity news writers, readers and commentators. Ads just
happen to slyly not only have changed to vignette-type stories, but also just happen to
promote the very things that are driving up the cost of government and daily life.
When life was less fast-paced, more home oriented, and less competitive, most ads were
usually confined to magazine ads in general-interest publications, in mid-program breaks
on air or on screens. Most often they were devoted to products geared to the daily lives
of families. (Not to mention, also tasteful!)
Advertising was mainly for products for the home or activities families could share:
Ads for cars as dependable transportation, with safety features built in,. Ads for places
that provided entertainment within reach of most Americans. Ads for appliances and home
products within reach of most viewers or saved up for because they were worthwhile.
Now that we are openly on shaky financial ground due to lack of jobs, rising costs,
increasing taxes and most expensive medical care of all kinds, what kind of ads permeate
every place that ads can be inserted? Credit cards are promoted as being the handiest
thing every American should use instead of more conventional ways of handling financial
transactions. Warnings abound about needs for tests of all kinds, for all kinds of
symptoms that could lead to all kinds of diseases. Charity appeals coincidentally flood
every visible or audible access to potential donors. Political agendas/candidates target
everyone not only in their own districts, but everywhere anyone has a TV, a mailbox, an
email account, or a phone.
Worse yet, many of the voluminous ads for intangibles, donations,
political support, or entry into endless medically focused activities, are "computer
generated." Montages of objects or backgrounds are mass-produced technically,
inserted in ads, and orchestrated to convey a sense of ground-breaking and exciting things
that mass-targeted audiences "deserve." Costs of the exciting things are too
often omitted. Deliberately!
The unemployment table figures never seem to connect backward to the reason we have so
much unemployment, except in government at all levels, charity organizations, numerous
medical professions, and schools of all kinds.
Advertising is largely targeted at those who will, for the most part, be convinced to
underwrite and ensure healthy bank balances for the people involved in . . intangibles,
government jobs, charity operations, education at all-and-growing-levels.
Most of our tangible necessities now and even more of the "toys" for the
rich, the technically-focused "customers" are manufactured
Think about the trail of clever advertising that has slowly changed us from a
largely-self-sufficient, healthy, and sustainable country.
What passes in front of you every day? How does it maybe -- no, definitely ! -- relate
to the growing unemployment, the growing under-employment, the growing amoral and
unethical behaviors across so many aspects of daily life?
What have we been successfully "advertised" into? Think about that as all the
overwhelming numbers and kinds of advertisements pass in front you every day, flood your
mailboxes and robo-dial you, as well.
E. Battey is a freelance political writer from Apalachin, NY. Her
love of logical dot connecting and writing developed over many years of typesetting
and proof reading in small daily newspapers; ad agency and manufacturing office
secretarial work, and volunteer work in libraries, animal welfare, political campaigns,
and networks of people keeping abreast of the steady "reforms" in education. She
is a regular columnist for Ether Zone.
"Published originally at EtherZone.com :
republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact."
Joan E. Battey can be reached at:
the August 13, 2012 issue of
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