By ANNE DONNELL
What’s your take on some of the TV commercials we’re forced to “face” every time we want to watch TV? I’ve got my opinions, but what’re yours?
-Thanks, and Keep Me Anonymous
OK, QP of T (Question Person of Today), I’ll keep you anonymous, but I can only do so much. Your anonymity will not extend to activities like banking or retaking your driving test the sixteenth time. Those in the home with you will probably know who you are. Ditto, those neighbors who are into wiretapping and hidden cameras. Homeland Security may be on to you, too. Depends on what you’ve been up to, buddy. Or gal. (Anonymity sounds like enmity to me, but buddy or gal, I bear you none of that. And I won’t get started on bear again, either -- a reference to “Ask Anne” for November 12, when I gagged us all with bear and bare to the nth degree. But, this is NOT an apology.)
Yes, I have strong opinions about commercials. It’s not the Super Bowl most days, when clever, witty zillion dollar commercials reign between plays and a halftime show with something like Janet Jackson losing her clothes. Nope, ordinary life features ordinary commercials. And that’s a bad thing.
I wonder why commercials make fun of the consumers of their products or services. For example, there’s a constant showing of a young couple (she’s pregnant) who are prospective home buyers and perfectly happy with the most dreadful of houses until the question of mold comes up (sponsor: maker of paperless dry wall). So, if these two people, who seem gullible and not so bright, can pull themselves together long enough to espouse a certain kind of product, why should any of us think their endorsement has merit?
And why should we be impressed by a woman wearing excessive makeup who tells an attractive, appealing young lady she can save enough with the sponsor’s insurance policies to get a fancy “tricked out nametag”?
The laughs are at our expense you know. We’re singing the jingles, humming the tunes, mumbling the phrases. They’re not called catchphrases for nothing. He who laughs last, laughs best. And who would that be? That last laugher? Laughers? Would that be you? Nope, not me, either. We’re on a list called something like, “The Dumb and Dumber Public.”
[ATA (According to Anne) -- He who laughs last, laughs best or He who laughs last, laughs the loudest both mean The real winner is the one who is ahead at the end of the game. Both versions are listed in the Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings (1996) by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996). “The saying has been traced back to John Heywood's 1546 compilation of proverbs: ‘Better the last smile than the first laughter.’ The current form has been in common use since 1706 and was used by Sir John Vanbrugh (1664-1726) in his play The Country House. First attested in the United States in …1798. The phrase occurs in various forms.” It’s also said to be a Dutch proverb, but overlapping aphorisms aren’t uncommon. Perhaps one can say wisdom is wisdom on any continent, unless one is a producer or script writer of commercials and unfamiliar with wisdom.]
What about the tastelessness and inappropriate show times for personal hygiene items, and drugs related to “bathroom problems” or sexual performance? (What’s with those two bath tubs out in the field, anyway?) Why are they choosing “prime time” (family time) for showing?
I’m angry that any drugs are advertising because that makes their usually very high price tag read even higher. You and I pay for it all, every twinkling light and sparkling ripple. Which makes me think of the beer commercial promoting “drinkability.” Somebody responsible for that one has been laughing hard, as they say, all the way to the bank.
Another major complaint I have – marketing to children. We have oceans of cartoons and other “children’s programming” (featuring lippy children), and they’re punctuated by commercials directed at their young audience, featuring must-have toys, clothing, accessories. (That clothing can be a hair away from pornographic.) If these commercials weren’t effective they wouldn’t have been airing for so many years. So, fill the young with greed and discontent. Anger them as their parents struggle in this economy. Not the road to, say, discerning and responsible maturity.
You can contact the National Advertising Review Board (http://www.narbreview.org/about/index.asp) and complain. You can boycott products and services, but that works best if the boycotted know it, so write the company. Don’t use a form letter. Write an original. Encourage others to do this. Enough complaining and ads are pulled. Really.
Organizations of which you’re a part can pass resolutions objecting to commercials. These resolutions, local, state, or national, need to be sent to the commercial’s sponsors. People’s names should be on these resolutions. Yes, there goes the anonymity.
Well, you have to blow it sometimes. Remember John Hancock wrote his name really large on something of vastly greater importance and filled with real, perhaps deadly consequences for him and all other signers -- the Declaration of Independence. And wasn’t that a good thing?
Independence, something for which I’m thankful. A peaceful Presidential election with record shattering voter turnout, something for which I’m thankful. I’m thankful for so much abundance here and our hopes for peace and plenty throughout the world. And, I’m thankful I can complain. In print even. Long live the freedom of the press (and every bit of the rest of our grand Constitution)!
I hope Thanksgiving is happy in your nook and cranny. And I like some commercials. Like, “…Not this time, Johnny.”
By David Dewolf
I believe there are a number of issues facing the country at this time that are affecting the economy.
I think everyone would agree that the uncontrolled lending of money in the mortgage industry set things in motion and have now sent a number of industries into a decline like we have never seen in our life time.
The auto industry is currently at the center of attention and the national media is having a field day reporting on the problem with management of the domestic manufacturers, union greed and a lack of quality products for the “Big 3.”
Unfortunately, most of the information being reported by the media is unfounded and erroneous. Permit me to put things in perspective and try to set the record straight on certain issues.
I grew up in suburban Detroit. As a young boy in the 1950’s and 1960’s things were very good in Michigan. The Detroit auto makers were building cars as fast as they could and the car companies were knocking down big money. People were moving to Detroit from the south by the thousands, looking for those high paying auto factory jobs. This went on well into the 1980’s even as foreign manufacturers started to make a push for market share. During this period, the “Big 3” ignored the threat from Europe and Japan because their sheer arrogance would not allow them to think that these little economy cars could compete with the mega horse power of Detroit. What fools they were.
Fast forward to 2008. Now everyone wants to castrate the domestic management because they are idiots, the unions are greedy and our products are inferior. On the contrary, the real truth is in the facts.
Yes, the domestic manufacturers are at a cost disadvantage to the imports. Primarily because of union contracts that the U.S. government promoted on the side of the unions. Much like they demanded that mortgage companies give loans to unqualified home buyers.
* GM, Ford and Chrysler spend billions of dollars each month to support retires programs. Import Manufacturers do not have this cost burden.
* GM, Ford and Chrysler are bound by agreements to support laid-off workers for months after RIF programs or plant closings. Imports are not.
Let’s talk a little about product line and quality. The biggest argument I hear is that the “Big 3” does not build as good a car as the foreign manufacturer. That could not be further from the truth. Not only do they build as good a car, that gets as good a gas mileage, they do it and sell the cars much less than the Imports. And, the sales revenue stays in this country.
Let me give you an example. Take a new Honda Civic. Ford builds a competitive Ford Focus, that gets just as good of gas mileage and sells it for $3,300 less than the Civic. Like wise, GM builds the Chevrolet Cobalt which is comparable to the Civic and it cost $4,200 less than the Civic. This is consistent with other models as well. What’s wrong with the American consumer?
Quality: The media consistently reports that the Imports build a superior product to the domestic manufactures. This could not be more untrue, and as a matter of fact the quality out of Detroit over the past 10 years is greatly improved and equal to all the imports. One just needs to read the JD Power reports to know this.
This past week I have watched Congress beat up the management of the “Big 3” and rightfully so. But I find it odd that they are eager to give $700 billion to the banking industry thieves that have stolen trillions from the American people but are reluctant to “loan” with interest, $25 billion to the auto industry. What they refuse to admit is the impact that letting one or more of the “Big 3” go under will have on the country. Pure and simple, GM going out of business will cost the American people $1 trillion the first day. It will put four million people out of work over the next six months. The tax loss will equal at least $100 billion per year. This is a no brainer that some members of our congress just can’t get.
The bottom line is that the “Big 3” must survive for the economy to recover.
Editor’s note: David Dewolf now resides on Palmer Road in Lebanon and is a veteran of the automobile business including management positions in both the retail and auction areas.
On this national holiday in the midst of a sumptuous feast, warm conversations with family and friends and not to mention great football, it is important to stop and reflect on the ways we have been blessed. Let’s pause and offer a prayer of thank as we remember the one who has blessed us in such profound ways.
Our Father in heaven,
You are holy and loving. You are just and merciful. You created our amazing and beautiful world and our intricate and complex bodies. You have come near to us in Jesus and have filled us with your Holy Spirit. You give us life, joy, purpose and meaning and for all of this we are deeply grateful.
On this Thanksgiving, we are especially thankful to live in a nation that provides us with wonderful freedoms and numerous opportunities. We believe your sovereign hand has guided our great country from the very beginning until now. You have seen us through many good days and some difficult ones too. We ask that you bless our new president, other government leaders and our brave men and women serving our country in the armed services. We thank you for their courage and sacrifice. We understand, Heavenly Father, that we have been uniquely blessed and with these blessings come great responsibilities. We as a people have many faults and failings and yet we desire to reflect your glory and become a more perfect union. Help us to become more kind and compassionate, more thoughtful and helpful toward “the least of these.” Help us to become more gracious and generous.
We are also thankful to live in this beautiful part of the world. We are thankful for the men and women who have taken upon themselves the mantle of leadership in our city and county. May you give them wisdom and compassion as they lead and direct our local affairs. We ask that you protect and be with our police officers, fire fighters and emergency management technicians. We are grateful for their dedication and service to our community.
Father we are thankful for the way you have blessed us personally. We thank you for the joy our families bring us. We are thankful for the gift of marriage. We ask Lord that you teach us to love one another even as Christ loves the church. We ask Father that you be with parents that they would love, nurture and discipline their children as you love, nurture and discipline us. We ask Lord that you would bless our children that they may grow up to worship you and be a blessing to our community. Keep them safe and healthy.
We are thankful for our jobs and work places. May we find joy and purpose in the work to which you have called us.
Father, we know these are difficult and trying times economically. Help us in the coming days to be brothers and sisters to one another as we provide a listening ear, a helping hand or a word of encouragement.
We pray your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaver.
For all of this we give thanks in the name of Jesus, Amen.
Kevin Owen, Preaching Minister
College Hills Church of Christ
From Post staff reports
Not exactly weather fitting for a day at the beach, but, considering past Thanksgivings, Thursday is going to be a rather nice day, according to the U.S. Weather Service, with temperatures reaching into the low 60s and sunny skies.
As holiday shoppers prepare for their assault on local retail stores, they can expect mild and above average temps for the next several days and only minimal changes of rain.
The extended forecast for the weekend calls for daily highs in the 50s, some sunshine and only a 20 percent chance of rain on Thursday night and Friday.
Most businesses will be closed on Thanksgiving and most government offices will be closed on Friday, the day after.
The Wilson Post will also be closed on Friday and will reopen its offices on Monday, although the newspaper will publish a regular Friday edition.
By JOHN B. BRYAN, The Wilson Post
LEBANON -- The word on the street is the economic climate in Wilson County is in a lot better shape than what’s being reported on the national level.
Business leaders, students, realtors and others gathered Tuesday, Nov. 25 for a “Coffee and Comment” session at Cumberland University at which the local economy was the focus of discussion.
CedarStone Bank and the Eastern Middle Tennessee Association of Realtors sponsored the event held in the University’s Baird Chapel. An audience of some 150 heard opinions and comments about the economy from a Cumberland professor, a local financial planner and the state’s Commissioner of Banking.
Bob McDonald, CedarStone Bank president, and Bobby Wood, president of RE/Max Carriage House, made opening remarks at the event along with Cumberland President, Dr. Harvill Eaton.
“We are seeing a vibrant entrepreneurial spirit in our community,” McDonald said enthusiastically adding that his bank routinely is working with clients with solid business plans, strong work ethic and a commitment to building successful businesses.