Thursday, November 15, 2012

This shouldn't annoy me...

I have been subject to two commercials recently, both of which annoy me with the underlying message. 

The first is a radio commercial from a payday loan/check cashing company.  Now, I understand that they want to push their product and services.  And a humorous ad will normally make people remember it.  In the ad, a man takes a job that sucks because he is in need of funds.  His friend is occupied the entire time by telling him that instead of working for that money, he can use his car as collateral for a loan from this company because he owns the car outright.  The ad is written to be funny and I will admit, I do remember it.  I remember it because it annoys me.  Maybe I'm getting old, but I hate it when people are advised to go into debt instead of getting a job and working hard. 

The second ad is a televised ad.  It has a background soundtrack of a discussion between a mother and son concerning him attending college.  While this discussion goes on, the picture shows a man getting ready to go to work in the morning.  When the son speaks of skipping college, the man shifts into drab overalls and the house shifts to a drab 50s era tract home with bars on the windows and doors.  When the mother talks about going to college, the picture turns to a mcmansion.  As the family in introduced, the same changes occur with the wife and children.  I will give them credit on one item, the family never looks unhappy.  As the ad continues, the man exits the tract home to get into a beater Japanese sedan from the late 80s or early 90s.  Then as the mother talks the car transforms into a luxury SUV and the house into the mcmansion.

This ad is working to inspire parents to send their kids to college after high school.  But here is my problem with it.  Not everyone can go to college, not everyone can be president of the company.  Not everyone can be "highly successful" with a mcmansion and a luxury SUV.  The world still needs plumbers, electricians, cashiers and cooks.  I know a goodly number of people who have college degrees that are doing nothing relating to that degree.  A number of them have expressed that the money and time spent was not entirely worth it, although the parties were epic.  The notion that living in that small tract home, driving a older car and going to a blue collar job is failure is pushed by that ad and it annoys me.  If the teenager is aware that they aren't interested in the "college/whitecollarjob/executiveposition" track, maybe spending that tuition money on a trade school with job placement assistance will be the better option and they might be a happier person. 

I'd really like our children to know that college does not mean guaranteed success, and that many people do lead happy, full lives while working in jobs that require them to have their name sewn onto their uniform.  The reality is that those people have been a huge part of building America.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I spat in the wind...

And felt the bitter sting.  I generally followed the plan, voting No and against the incumbent with few exceptions.  Unfortunately I live in the south SF Bay Area, an area so politically blue that I wonder why republicans run at all sometimes. 

In addition to new taxes being passed, and the country voting for four more years of Obama hoping to redistribute what little change I have left in my pocket, the city of San Jose decided to make the minimum wage $10 within it's borders.  Entertainingly, I am sure that many of the people who voted for this will be shocked when, not only are new jobs not forthcoming in the San Jose borders, but current jobs are lost because businesses have to make up that shortfall somewhere. We'll see how much of a boon this is for the surrounding cities when businesses start moving there, or as more new business start there. 

But, the even more frightening news was that the democrats apparently now own both houses of the state capitol.  So now we have the party with the fiscal responsibility of a 16 year old with a new credit card in full control of the budget.  I can hear the cries now of "for the children" as they put gobs of new programs into place with no financial ability to pay for them.  This oughta be great.  I have got to move...

Friday, November 2, 2012

Ooo, thats gotta sting...

Hizzoner Bloomberg, Champion of the people of NYC, apparently felt that he wasn't held in enough scorn and decided to show really how tone deaf one gets when living in marble halls. So, while significant parts of NYC are still suffering through a lack of power, water (ironic, considering they suffered massive flooding) shelter and dealing with the lovely November weather, Mayor Bloomberg decides that the thing to bring them out of their funk is a really good marathon.  I loved his quote from the news conference:

"You have to keep going and doing things," he said, "and you can grieve, you can cry and you can laugh all at the same time. That's what human beings are good at."

Another words, suck it up and quit yer bitchin...  Amazing what kind of attitude takes over when a politician knows that he isn't running for re-election.  (Hmm, interesting thought when applied to what could come down the pike if someone is re-elected to the White House.)

This apparently fell somewhere south of the expectations of the populace and shockingly, they voiced their displeasure loudly and on national coverage.  So Bloomberg had to do a complete about face and cancel the marathon.  Of course, his explanation is still trying to justify holding the race, but that isn't shocking from a politician.  He can't just come out and say "I apologize, apparently I am a moron."  It might hurt his credibility with the...  Oh, who am I kidding, this guy has none.

All I could think of was Mr Carlson on WKRP:  With god as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly...