Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Greatest American Advertising Slogan

For whatever reason, this morning I am filled with a fair amount of vitriol towards my usual targets, and I find that in order to relieve myself of this sepsis, I must coin a new post. My angst stems from that place within me where I obsess over the pathological blindness that permeates American social attitudes. And from the most unlikely of places: 1. Sports, to which i have a lifelong addiction, and 2. Advertising, to which I have a lifelong aversion.

I confess that I read a post somewhere, which began to fill the gas tank with the necessary fuel, and, I must also confess that the focus was on a subject that I had never really examined, which is unusual, as I have considered nearly everything. I must also confess that it was also fueled by a high school paper that LM wrote  on All Quiet on the Western Front.

So, let's begin. What is this slogan, you ask? Something like 'God bless those brave, young men and women who serve and sacrifice to protect our freedom'. Let me further ascribe to this slogan a judgement; my own judgement. The most stupid humans on earth are those parents that allow their children to embrace military service in my name, or any other name.

Soldiers are assets; assets for old men with old agendas, assets for sports anchors, and assets for the most greedy among us (please understand that I use the term asset in the sense of a spendable, or expendable, item, not something on the positive side of the ledger). They are assets spent freely and carelessly in order to obtain more valuable, unrelated assets, i.e. dollars. Soldiers die to pad the pockets of those whose pockets need the least additional padding, and it is those dollar grabbers that fully embrace the greatest American advertising slogan; use it shamelessly to amass greater wealth. This is done on the shoulders, for the most part, of the great, unwashed masses; the poor, the ignorant, those with very little chance of rising in the American economic hierarchy. This is not to say that there are not intelligent, wealthy people in the military, but again, for the most part, they serve in Cleveland, behind a desk. Ask the venerable veteran, little Georgie, how much harm's way he was put in front of (one should never end a sentence with a preposition).

Target #1: Sam Walton: Sam Walton (maybe that's not his name, but I mean the guy who owns Walmart) is currently offering guaranteed hiring to any veteran with an honorable discharge, that is to say, any veteran who served blindly and obediently; not a veteran with the good sense to object to the senseless, violent tasks he is ordered to perform). There is no greater source of cheap labor than the pool of returning veterans. Mr. Walton is clearly a very smart businessman, who completely understands that lower expenses mean higher profits, and knows that you can get anyone to work for minimum wage, providing they keep costs down in the name of God and country, and providing they hire a few men and women fated to work in wheelchairs.

Target #2: ESPN and whoever paid to hold a college basketball tournament in Korea (suspicion leads me to Phil Knight, since his bought and paid for Oregon basketball team is gaining a 'valuable, life experience' by playing in the tournament). You will kindly notice that the chosen venue was not Fallujah, or Kandahar, cities in or near the 'cradle of civilization', and yes, in a war zone where the ultimate service is a distinct possibility. Good advertising, and better revenues, are not suited to the reality of killing fields. Beside, Pyongtaek, already had a basketball court (By the way, I have no objection to entertaining men and women forced to be thousands of miles from home. Just don't pretend that is the reason you're doing it). This is simply an event, designed in the safest, yet illusory, setting, to garner revenues for the promoters, and for perpetuating myths.

It is my sincere hope that we continue to have fly-bys at football games, march out wounded and crippled veterans to sing God Bless America, and saturate our awareness with emotional little vignettes of tearful, family reunions. How else might we raise a new generation of Walmart employees, if we do not teach them the value of god and country, and honor those soldiers, THE DEAD ONES, who will never aspire to seek gainful employment for the greater good, or play basketball for their 'comrades in arms'. THAT is what your freedom is all about. Suck on it.