July 15th, 2006

ozarque figure

Another commercial that supports the myths....

Some time back, we had an interesting and contentious discussion in this journal about that tv commercial where the teenager "has to have" a pair of $80.00 designer jeans, and her dad's not only fine with that, he has the eighty dollars handy in his pocket and turns it over without a struggle. I found that one offensive; not all of you agreed with me.

Now there's a Hummer commercial running on tv that seems to me to be at least as bad, maybe worse. A young woman and her little boy are waiting their turn to use the slide at a playground, and another woman crashes the line with her own youngster. The first woman points out that her boy was next, and when she gets back a snarky, "Well, we're next now!" she stands there shocked, hurt, and silent. But wait -- then a solution occurs to her, and she doesn't hesitate -- she grabs her little boy's hand, marches off to a Hummer dealer, buys a Hummer, and drives it off, looking both smug and joyful, while somebody sings a tune with the line "this little girl's gonna rock!"

So. You get put down -- very minor putdown -- in public, in front of your kid. Do you explain to your son that there are people in this world that have no manners, and talk about ways of dealing with them? Do you respond to the rude mother in a fashion that demonstrates to your son at least one of those ways, and then use the incident as a springboard for a conversation with your child about courtesy? Nope. You demonstrate to your son that the way to get rid of the pain when somebody with no manners hurts your feelings is to go buy something very expensive and trendy and show it off.

This isn't funny, and it's not cute, and "Oh, lighten up!" isn't, in my opinion, an appropriate reaction to it. This is a Teaching Story. A Teaching Fairy Tale. And I for sure don't like what it's teaching.

I thought the phrase "this little girl" was particularly appropriate for this one.