Saturday, August 24, 2013

Commercial Influence

To my son Tommy,

You came running in to the bathroom all excited.  Somehow you were oblivious to my annoyance and the smell.  "Daddy, daddy, I just saw the camel on TV!  Hump Day! Yeah!".  It is hard to look serious about your privacy message as a father and to usher out a four year old of the potty when you are laughing.

The influence of commercials on your thinking has been concerning.  There is a Planter's Peanuts commercial that has you convinced of the health benefits of peanuts and that you need them.  Peanuts might live up to their claims but, though we haven't tested those waters, we believe you to be allergic.  So, no matter how healthy they might be, they aren't too healthy to you.  Then there is the Jimmy Dean commercial that stressed the calorie count of the microwave breakfast sandwich.  You eagerly informed us that you want calories too.  And right now you are pointing to the TV and asking to try Reese's peanut butter cups.  I picture an evil ad exec smoking cigars in some back room and laughing maniacally that their commercial logic is reaching future customers.

Somehow I will have to undo this commercial mentality.  It is an uphill battle for a father that the only sure fire way of winning is the nuclear option called the power button on the TV.  I am really just hoping that a commercial for a food you are not allergic to catches your interest.  That may help with your food challenges.  But you have to remember most every commercial, and for that matter a good amount of the supposed news stories and self help articles, has one purpose and that is to separate you from your money.  You have to be really discerning as to what you really need in this life.  And after you make the list of what you think is worth spending your money on, review it again and get rid of half the things listed.  What you really need in life is usually not found on a commercial on TV.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

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