An Ineffective Argument for Purchasing Something

Perhaps I am in the minority, but telling me that I need to buy something because other people have already bought it is not particularly effective. I don't care that 4 million Americans have already purchased Sleep Number beds. That's not a very compelling argument for me to purchase one. There are over 45 million Americans who smoke cigarettes. Does that mean that I need to do so as well? Just because someone else does something (or millions of someone elses do something) doesn't mean it's a good idea. I am reminded of the standard rebuttal that parents give their kids when said offspring want to do something because "all their friends are already doing it". That rebuttal is something along the lines of "Well, if {insert friend's name(s) here} jumped off a bridge, would you do that too?"

Think for yourselves, folks. That's why you have that gray, squishy brain inside your cranium and the ability for critical thinking.

Critical Mass Must Have Been Achieved
There are hundreds of television channels available. There are apparently a limited number of things to put on them. While I really like the X-Men movies and I, Robot, I don't know that I want to watch them twice a week or even twice a month. Surely there are other movie options available. I realize that FX may not have the movie library that Turner Classic Movies has, but surely they could manage to not show the same films on successive nights or manage to acquire sufficient quantity of different titles to not have to show repeats quite so frequently. Better variety might help combat the complaint that there are hundreds of channels and nothing to watch. Personally I could do without cable TV if there was any other way to get broadband internet other than through a cable TV hook up. I'd rather actually live a life than to sit and watch people have fictional lives. At least when I read a book, I get to use my imagination to create the details of the characters and settings and I can learn from books.

An "Interesting" Statement....
I received a workplace wellness e-mail at work today which asserted that school lunches are "always healthy". Perhaps school lunches are different now than when I was a child, but I don't believe that hot dogs, grilled cheese sandwiches, pizza and other fried and/or processed food products could objectively be considered "healthy". I'm fairly certain that the boiled-to-death vegetables which were always served and rarely eaten, had little nutritional value left in them. Thanks to school lunches, I was convinced that I *hated* peas until I reached college and got to eat peas which weren't olive drab mushy things.

An Amusing Book
I read a good chunk of The 101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived by Lazar, Karlan and Salter. It discusses the impact that characters of fiction, myth, legend, television and movies have had on our behavior, society and history. Characters like Uncle Sam, King Arthur, Robin Hood, Don Quixote, The Marlboro Man, Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock, James Bond and the HAL 9000 computer. There are also "interludes" on how the authors developed their list and wrote the various essays. Overall, I thought it was good food for thought and quite entertaining. It made for good lunchtime reading, but was too thought provoking and engaging for good bedtime reading. Here's an excerpt from the entry on Kermit the Frog:
"The period of Kermit's creation was a time when a person who was gay or lesbian or black, antiwar, pro-Communist, or Jewish--anyone outside the WASP "norm"--risked physical attack. While Kermit isn't abused for his color within the show--it's always a question of situation rather than race--he's become an example of someone who could be victimized for his color or beliefs. Kermit's green is normal for the swamp, but in human society it's the color of sickness, mold, and Martian invaders. In human society, anything different is abnormal, something to be destroyed. Kermit is an example of perseverance in a dangerous world and helps children understand and survive the violent forces in the world."
How's that for an impact on society? Or at least on all the kids who watched Sesame Street and The Muppet Show or the Muppet movies. Jim Henson was amazing, don't you think?
Next up for lunchtime reading: The Secret. Mostly because I don't know what the secret is and I'm curious. The book jacket assures me that it's a phenomenally good thing *and* an excellent movie. Now if only it were also a floor wax and a dessert topping too!


Popular Posts