Monday, November 23, 2009

This is Funny?

Among the kinds of people I don't want to be is the kind that hit you over the head with the significance of this or that holiday. I think it's good to be a thankful person every day, but let's leave it at that. I saw a program on PBS that shows how badly things can go. It was all about how hard it was to survive the abuses of the Dust Bowl era of the 1930's. One little piece of evidence got my attention. A birds nest was found in a tree in a community I can't recall, in the afflicted area of the Southern Plains. Not too unusual, except that this nest was 100% made from bits of barbed wire! When it's easier for birds to find barbed wire than grass or twigs, that tells you things are seriously un-normal. So, recession and all, it could always be worse.

Sometimes people create things that inadvertently let another message slip through, if you're quick enough to notice it. It's a bit like watching "Gone With The Wind", a movie that reveals as much about the year it was made as it does about the period of the Civil War.
I saw an AT&T commercial that at first seemed funny, but then caused me to wonder what someone must have been thinking. A father (of course he's a dope) strolls toward the TV to turn the channel to "the game", but he's stopped by the wife, son, and daughter, all brandishing TV remotes and insisting on their own favorite shows. The four family members are left to work out their differences. The commercial's ostensible message? Our DVR lets you record up to four other programs at once.
The unstated message? Take your pick: the TV remote as a weapon, either as a gun or a "Star Wars" light saber, the children's goals as morally equal to the parents', the hapless unarmed father's weak plea to work things out peacefully while facing down three weapons, OR the fact that we're chuckling at a scene which mocks the real violence which takes place in homes almost daily somewhere in the country, and sometimes over issues even smaller than TV.
If you haven't seen this little gem, you probably will soon. Meanwhile, here I am, old humorless coot wondering how this is funny. It's sure a long way from "Father Knows Best".


Blogger allison said...

how about the fact that if we watch all of these shows it will mean that the TV in constantly on, so we can accommodate all those programs. Also unfortunately I don't think I will ever see that commercial because. . .I have a DVR and I don't watch commercials. Teehee jokes on them . . .or is on me?

6:35 PM  

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