Truth in Advertising

Carol A. Hand

Normally, I avoid looking at advertisements when I visit corporate news sites, but one caught my eye on Huffington Post last night. I just had to take a screen shot.

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Huffington Post – October 2, 2018

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This is not the best of photos but the message about a corporate agenda for a dystopian consumer future is so alarmingly transparent.

The message reminds me why I still teach. It’s well worth the effort to face the challenges of creating opportunities for students to learn by paying attention to what surrounds them, to “see the wonder of life in a blade of grass,” and think critically about the world.

Speaking of teaching, I may be slow visiting blogs or responding to comments because I have many papers to grade at the moment.

P.S.

I would have postponed posting this before the coordinating warnings that just came from the National Emergency Warning System. The loudspeakers and sirens in my neighborhood trumpeted the message, my cell phone screeched next, followed rapidly by a message on the classical public radio station I listen to each day. I’m just curious to know how many others have heard the warnings and if anyone has an inkling about what’s going on.

29 thoughts on “Truth in Advertising”

  1. Yes, Carol, this virtual new world is creepy and scary to me. Especially to be giving it to children. But it will go along with this new Big Brother security alert launched by the man who is determined to bring down what bit of democracy has remained in this country. Guess you hadn’t heard about the test of this new national alert system that has access to our cell phones.

    It’s at times like this that I return to my spiritual practice. Remind myself that this time on earth is to purify my karma, to be of service to others, to practice compassion. And above all to not get trapped in these material illusions and quests for power.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your important observations and insights, Skywalker. I agree that the virtual world is a bit creepy and couldn’t quite believe the advertisement! Sending my best wishes. ❤

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  2. It’s the Trumpster, Carol. He’s helping to make the American public even more paranoid and reactionary than it already is. I just happened to listen to the network talking-heads yesterday, and they were saying this test was going to happen this afternoon.

    It probably won’t work, just like the entirety of the infrastructure, when Putin starts pushing his nuke buttons!😉

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Trump is the current sick, twisted figurehead of an ancient system/order, which has ruled over the vast majority of mankind and the planet for far too long.

        Those who put Trump, and all the other charlatans in power, have always had all of our numbers. It’s just that now, we have come to realize the awful truth!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I was going to turn off my phone…and it was sent two minutes early. 😑 I’m off of social media and glad that I am. If I could opt out of the craziness that is a warning designed to instill fear, I would. I am so glad you teach. We must ensure that our children – the generations behind us – learn to use their hearts and minds as guidance for choices, actions, responses. Tech seems to offer and instill the opposite. Apologies for the rant. Thank you for your thoughtful posts. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I hand not heard of any tests of the warning system, but it does not surprise me Trump would order one — perhaps to remind voters to rally around the flag of the man in office out of nameless fear. He’s got such a genius for motivating people through negative things.

    Carol, I think part of the problem with the public’s acceptance of corporate agendas is that so many people cannot seem to simultaneously hold in their heads both the notion that some corporation is providing a useful product or service and that it is also screwing them over socially or environmentally. So they go with the former and tell everyone the latter is a myth.

    Beyond that, I so glad you teach. Your goals and attitude are admirable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments, Paul, and for sharing your important insights. This certainly is a time of escalating tactics to increase fear and control. You insights about corporate agendas remind me of the work of Edward Bernays, described in a BBC documentary, “The Century of the Self” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Tq8M6P79nY). Part 1 of the video was assigned for students in my class for our distance learning week.

      You have astutely pointed out that corporations have learned they need to manipulate our emotions to convince us to buy things we don’t need for the sake of publicly trumpeting our status and outward appearances of “success.”

      Sending my best wishes to you. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You just made my day, Carol! Not only your warm compliments and comments, but the fact you assigned Century of the Self to your students! That is an awesome — and hugely informative — documentary that should be recommended viewing everywhere. At least, recommended. You’ve given them such a valuable resource.

        I don’t know of a clearer explanation of how the PR industry in league with the corporations have turned Americans from citizens into consumers. There was a time when we looked to politics to improve our lives, now we look to consumer goods. And how’s that been working for us?

        Bless you, Carol!

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Somewhere in the 20th Century, certainly by the 1980s, we officially gave up on any of the impulses that sprung from the Renaissance—the sense that out efforts should be directed towards exalting mankind—in exchange for the late-stage advanced capitalist spirit of individual acquisition and consumption. The latter model required the rationalization of society, the arrangement of all humans into their most productive roles. Such things as humanities, stories, moral traditions, art, music, quests for beauty and harmony, had to be chucked in favor of a society rationally arranged to produce and consume at a maximal rate. Instead of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, we now preach medical care/therapy if you can afford it, jobs and Growth. All this began before the internet. Even those who supposedly represent the belief that people are more important that capital don’t really believe it anymore. (Remember what Obama said about studying art history?) The internet has really sealed the deal here because (1) it can organize people and rationalize society in a way that corporations and politicians could not have dreamed up a decade ago; and (2) it gives enough dopamine to users (Facebook, Instagram, “social” media tools like l”likes” and other internet “goods”) to keep everyone, particularly those who grew up with it enthralled. We are probably on the edge of a historical dividing line where we can truthfully say that “before” was better than what comes “hereafter.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hearing from you is always a gift, DK. I love your thoughtful, erudite analyses, including this one, even though this particular comment offers little hope that the future will be kinder and wiser. You remind me that it is important to be aware of reality. In part, it made me think about the starfish story this morning. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Star_Thrower)

      It is so tempting to escape to the entertaining world of virtual reality. After all, I am semi-retired. Doing so, though, would be antithetical to a career of working against the odds with students, organizations, and communities to collaboratively attempt to “the best we could imagine.” Perhaps too naively optimistic, and yet, a few lives may have improved in the process. Certainly mine did, although that didn’t mean gaining fame or wealth, but rather in knowing I was doing what I could to open up kinder possibilities in the small ways, and hopefully modeling a path others could follow. I am grateful I still can teach a new generation.

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  6. “Think critically about the world”, what a powerful vision statement to your students, in and outside the classroom. To some, might not be so easy after spending a childhood and adolescence to “do what they are told” by authority figures and advertising alike.
    Thank you for today’s “lesson “
    Peace to you my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

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