Thursday, January 17, 2013

And it begins...

Received an ad from an outfit which shall remain nameless:

"Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr., and save 20% on all purchases this weekend!"

Am I being overly picky or sensitive in being somewhat put off by this? This is why I have a problem with increasing numbers of Federal holidays to "honor" individuals - all too soon, they devolve into the fodder for advertisements. And the average Joe, at least the average Joe at my university, see these days as not a day to honor someone, but as either a "woo, I get to sleep in" or as a "I can go out and party the night before!!"

Which is why I have such a major problem with the idea that's been floated, to make Election Day a federal holiday, based on the argument that "people don't vote because they have to be at work and that keeps them from the polling place." No, they don't vote because they don't consider it important and don't make time for it, and closing the banks and the schools and shutting down mail delivery for that day is not going to encourage people who don't vote now to go and do it. (I work long hours - hell, some days I've had 14 hour days - and I've found time to vote). (And I will make some leeway for the argument that "a lot of polling places are schools, and it would be easier if school were out that day." Okay, fine: give the kids the day off from school. But don't turn the day into another holiday just because you can.)

Several years ago there was a car ad with a hip-hoppy version of "Hail to the Chief" and caricatures of Washington and Lincoln for a President's Day sale. I'm sorry, I may be a stick in the mud but I have a problem with  past luminaries being used to shill cars. (I also have a few problems with caricaturing Founding Fathers, but whatever - I can let that go).

I don't know. It seems disrespectful to me. In an age when we're trying to encourage some kind of respect, when a lot of people complaining about how some kids don't seem to respect anything....and then we use a breakdancing George Washington to sell cars.

No comments: