#FamilyDisputes #DinnerTableConversations #PolarizedNation #arguments
A Kayak travel Web site ad, and a Sling TV ad, feature a family dispute at the dinner table, or living room.
It’s not just a friendly argument. One lady gets up and stomps out.
The disputes center on the good things about Kayak or Sling. The lady who stomps out isn’t just skeptical. She’s downright angry that the others at the table believe what they believe about the product.
Has it become normal not to have pleasant conversations at the family dinner table, or in a living room?
Does every family dinner or gathering turn into an argument, even over planning a trip, or how one watches TV?
A polarized nation tends to lean that way.
What’s interesting in these ads is that one side had no intention of getting into an argument, even though one of the people warned the other that the lady on the other side of the table might react the way she did.
There are many who long for the days decades ago when family dinners and gatherings were not just pleasant. They were the place everyone wanted to be.
If there were serious topics to be discussed, they were usually discussed calmly. Perhaps when parents discussed whoever a child was dating, or interested in, the discussions got testy and, in some cases, the child would stomp away mad.
Today’s dinner tables and gatherings are not always pleasant. They can be so unpleasant that some family members do all they can to avoid them.
It’s understandable to want to avoid unpleasant discussions so as not to spoil a good time.
The TV sit-com families of the 1950s and 1960s, though some still long for them, may not be the norm any longer.
The irony may be that those who still long for those old days might be the leading cause of disruptive families.
The question becomes whether it’s a good thing to “normalize” family arguments in ads.
It also begs discussion of whether family life ever will be “normal” again.
Family is the origin of community. But if just being part of a family causes so much grief and strife, why would one add that stress into his or her life?
You need to know where you came from, what your history is etc. You don’t necessarily have to feel obligated to interact with that family regularly.
If family life gives you pleasure, and is something very much to look forward to, by all means interact with your family as much as possible.
But if your family is not what you would like it to be, and you MUST interact, keep conversation topics to those that will not lead to an argument.
If you dine or gather together, know who is at the table, what topics might set them off and avoid them. If agreement on certain topics is impossible, don’t go there.
Families must learn to live and let live, and treat each other with respect. One way to do that is to avoid confrontational interactions whenever possible. It’s not necessarily a good model for young children to feature argumentative families in ads.


#freedom #WhatWeThinkFreedomIs #guns #laws #America
What does freedom mean?
We all have an idea of what WE think freedom is.
But, definitions are not necessarily universal.
The simple definition is the ability to do what we want, when we want and how we want.
But, because we are not alone in the universe, and we live among others who live different lifestyles, have different religious beliefs etc., freedom cannot be absolute. In other words, one is not free to harm someone else in his quest for freedom.
Secondly, one’s freedom to live as he or she sees fit does not carry the freedom to oppress others.
As an example, one can follow one’s religious beliefs strictly within his or her own life. He or she is not free to impose his or her religious beliefs on others. That’s why, in more perfect democracies, secular law remains religiously neutral.
In another example, one may be free to own a firearm. But laws are designed to manage how one uses and maintains that firearm. Owning a gun does not give you the right to use it on someone else in an offensive scenario.
A group may preach “freedom,” yet impose restrictions on others who don’t fall in line with their beliefs.
You can’t be free to make others less free.
Few in this world want to live under authoritarian rule, with no individual freedom. But one must take care not to use the quest for freedom to exhibit authoritarian tendencies.
So how do you define freedom? The easiest way to define it might be “live, and let live.”
In America, you are free to be you. And, you should want to protect others from those who do not want people to be who they are.
You may not be free to be a criminal. But, you should feel free to do what you want in your own life, without harming others in the process.
Circumstances may demand certain things from you. Some demands – and restrictions – are reasonable. You would be wise to know the difference between unreasonable demands and those that ensure safety and well-being of all.
“Let Freedom Ring,” ends the patriotic song “America.”
The freedom sung of in that song is one that recognizes its many definitions.
The lyric tells us we are free, and should rejoice that we are. But it also tells us that others have to be free, too. Our lives should be free, and others’ lives should be free.
If we all substituted the word “freedom” with kindness, courtesy, humility, care and love, we might really know true freedom.


#hugs #HugDay #schools #kids #students
Wednesdays are hug days at Cedar Grove High School.
So begins an article by Cassidy Alexander in the Feb. 25, 2023, edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Each Wednesday, the article says, each student at the school in DeKalb County, Ga., is greeted by a hug from either a student or staff member.
Most kids really like it, the article says, but if a student is uncomfortable with a hug, he or she gets a fist bump.
The idea for a weekly hug day was conceived because students in the previous couple of years were cooped up at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. No touching allowed. Safe distances from others was not just encouraged, but required.
With the pandemic mitigated to a good degree, the school believes students should be shown the love they’d gotten too little of during that time, the article says.
In decades past, teachers might have lovingly touched students routinely. But, as allegations of child sexual abuse increased, teachers had to be careful about their interactions with students.
Even if a teacher wanted to comfort a student in distress, or congratulate a student for a job well done, he or she often had to stop short of any physical contact.
In fact, according to the article, a Maryland elementary school banned parents from hugging any child except their own. In 2018, a Carroll County, Ga., parent said her middle school daughter was reprimanded for hugging a classmate.
But, Cedar Grove students said they are glad for the connections. In fact, a student organization called The Love Club was formed to not only set up the Wednesday hugs, but also perform other acts of kindness. Those include helping custodians empty trash and decorating teachers’ rooms, the article says.
The pandemic caused much distress in all spectra of life. The pandemic-mitigation era is prompting people and organizations to rethink how they do things.
More people are working from home. At the same time, more people are getting out to do things with others that they weren’t allowed to do as the pandemic raged.
At Cedar Grove, before the Wednesday hugs, the atmosphere was “very dry.” Alexander quotes sophomore E.J. Colson. Now, the hugs mean a lot, he says. “It starts you off with a loving feeling. It makes you spread more love,” Alexander quotes E.J.
Obviously, as the weekly hugs may be a good thing, the school, and others that may emulate the idea, have to be careful.
One could easily take advantage of a kid at that level. One could easily spread a cold or other contagion. Good ideas and practices can have unintended consequences.
The school has to be careful to make sure that one thing may not lead to something sinister, or unhealthy.
Just as actor Ted Danson offers a hug to a frustrated cellphone customer in a Consumer Cellular commercial, the intention of the hug has to be noble and kind.
When offering a kind touch to someone, know when it is appropriate and know whether the person being touched is comfortable with it.
Apparently, the students at Cedar Grove, for the most part, welcome the hugs every week.


#advertising #FamousPeople ##products #services #EffectiveAdvertising
Actor Matthew McConaughey sits in a laundromat in a light blue suit.
Turns out, he’s advertising for Salesforce.
First, why would a famous actor be in a laundromat? Second, why would he have a light blue suit on to do laundry? Third, what does laundry have to do with Salesforce?
This ad is memorable because McConaughey is in it. But, months or years later, will anyone remember what he was advertising?
Advertising is not exact science. But the goal of every ad is to sell the product or service that bought the time or space.
When the ad overwhelms the desired message, is it effective?
Many of us can remember popular ads from decades ago. Many of those memorable ads have jingles that include the product’s or service’s name. For example, “Winston tastes good like (as) a cigarette should.”
Other ads, like McConaughey’s, are memorable for who is in them. For example, the late Charlie Daniels walks into a restaurant that has a strolling violinist. He grabs the violin and bow from him, plays one of his patented fiddle riffs, shreds the bow in the process and gives him back the instrument saying, “that’s how it’s done, son.
It was a memorable ad, but does anyone remember the product or service Daniels was advertising?
The Daniels ad had a side educational benefit in showing the difference between a violin and a fiddle.
One has to presume that someone among the advertising company is monitoring whether ads are driving business.
It’s just hard to know how effective such ads can be.
The ad creators have to find the sweet spot in having a memorable ad that doesn’t make anyone forget the product or service being advertised.
It helps to have well-known spokespeople. But, they should be in a context that makes sense for the product or service being advertised.
McConaughey’s laundromat scene doesn’t seem to be the right context for Salesforce.
The myriad athletes, and former athletes, who advertise for Subway present excellent context for selling subs. Subs go well with watching games on TV.
In short, effective advertising is subjective. One person’s great idea may fall flat on the next person.
Marketing and advertising professionals make a living thinking of effective ways to advertise Product X or Service Y.
It helps to find a way to compel someone to watch, while having the product’s or service’s name and purpose remembered.
Also, one has to figure out which ads won’t get muted, or forwarded past, with clicker-happy viewers.
Most of us appreciate advertisers sponsoring our favorite shows, or helping keep our newspapers, magazines, Web sites and podcasts financially viable.
It helps when viewers can remember the product or service advertised, long after the ad has stopped airing.