Years ago I recognized that TV news had become primarily entertainment.
For decades, editors have said that “If it Bleeds, It Leads,” meaning that the most traumatic story would lead the newscast (even if it wasn’t the most relevant to viewers). That is all the more true in this age of round-the-clock reporting on TV, online, and social media.
After seeing all of the media attention toward multiple-victim shootings, I was reminded that the media essentially rewards violence, perhaps to the point of encouraging impressionable people to “just do it”:
Clearly, to go out in a big way you should make a very public attack: The media will immortalize you.
Have you seen the commercial with the guy in the toll booth? The guy takes a sly look back and forth, pulls out an Almond Joy candy bar, and palm trees suddenly fill the booth. It’s a well-executed ad, but why does the “unwrap paradise” theme not work for me?
In 1978 the US Congress passed legislation proclaiming the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. For 2015 that falls on September 13th, begging the question of how – or whether – you plan to observe it.
Some would say it’s just another Hallmark holiday, suggesting that it’s a “made up” holiday concocted primarily so that Hallmark and other companies can profit from it. Certainly money is made relative to Grandparents Day, but the same can be said for birthdays, Easter, Christmas, and a variety of other holidays.
I’ve referred to gift shops as places that sell things you wouldn’t buy for yourself. Recently I had to clean out a house that included gifts like these that had become a burden. In fact, an entire cabinet was filled with candles received as gifts.
As I was filling (and hauling) boxes, I was not thinking nice things about the nice people in the nice gift shops selling those nice gifts. Quite the contrary, I thought about the people who wanted to do something nice by giving a friend or loved-one something they’d enjoy looking at, not realizing the recipient would eventually need to do something with it. It was also a wake-up call to me that I want to deal with my own clutter now rather than subjecting someone else to it later. Not only does it take up space, but clutter is unhealthy.
Like many holidays, the sentiment behind Independence Day sometimes seems overtaken by commercialization and marketing. We see “4th of July” sales, and even references to “the holiday.” Then there are the picnics, ball games, fireworks… things which actually start to sound familiar:
I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations [fireworks] from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.