[Blogaramians: Blogarama renders the links in my columns useless. Please click on View original to solve the problem/access lotsa columns.]
Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies,
I begin most days with a cup of coffee and a quick review of a carefully selected gaggle of websites that present me with a sort of screen grab of what's going on in the/my world. The gaggle includes accuweather.com because it's not weather.com, the Weather Channels site. (It's complicated, not interesting, I'll spare you.)
I mention this because when I'm trying to find out what sort of weather is expected in my little corner of Flyoverland, I'm just trying to find out what sort of weather is expected in my little corner of Flyoverland.
I'd rather not see any advertising that my mom (God rest her soul), or female grandstickies, might find to be embarrassing if we happened to stumble on it simultaneously in search of the weather or anything else. For example, "... The Miracle Pill That Cured Dr. Phil's ED Permanently!"
Where to begin... I'll start with my mom. She was a country girl who wound up in the city and then the 'burbs and then the country again. She had one husband and seven kids. She lived through the Great Depression, WW2, and the sixties.
She died before I had finished extracting my head from my bum and I missed out on the chance to ask her all sorts of questions that hadn't even occurred to me before the extraction process was (well, more or less) complete.
Her pre-sixties, traditional upbringing was tempered by an open mind, a down to Earth sensibility, and a good sense of humor. I believe that if she were still around she would, like me, hesitate to censor/condemn our culture's
That is, she was no prude. She was well aware that boys will be
Speaking of obsessed, I think of H. sapiens DNA, all DNA actually, as an obsessed one trick pony. Replicate! Replicate! Replicate! Be thou a pious fundamentalist, wild-eyed libertine, or row, row, rowing your boat down the middle of the stream, your DNA is poised and ready to jump out from behind the curtain/wall/rock (or scramble out from underneath the bed) when you're least expecting it.
While I'll admit when pressed, that I'm slightly older than 39, I'm still somewhat younger than 100. And yet... when I attended Catholic grade school girls were not permitted to wear patent leather shoes lest (gasp!) their underwear would be reflected in the shiny surface of their shoes (they were required to wear skirts or dresses).
[Dana, imaginary gentlereader appears. Whoa, cowboy! I think you've wandered off the trail. Where, exactly, are you headed?]
Alright... A quick reread of the above would seem to indicate you may have a point. Where I was headed, via the scenic route, was that I'm old enough to clearly remember what life in America was like before the late sixties when everything began changing at light speed.
Also, although I was raised by a traditional, pre-sixties mom, she was an open-minded, down to Earth sort of person that I credit with providing a solid foundation for me to stand on while I experienced the 60s and 70s and was trying to figure out how to be a grup. One of the things I figured out (slowly, painfully, haltingly) was that (stoned surfer voice) everything is not, like, relative man.
Grups need to draw lines. Grups with callowyutes must make sure their callowyutes know where the lines are, and why they are. There's much to be said for moderation in all things and every well-adjusted grup should intuitively understand why or seek help.
All sex, all the time, is as fraught with downsides as all repression all the time.
Fast forward to a few days ago. As I mentioned above, I opened the Accuweather site to check on the weather and was greeted by an ad for "...The Miracle Pill That Cured Dr. Phil's ED Permanently!" The ad featured a beautiful blond woman with the top half of her prominent boobs on display holding up a large, bright yellow banana. The caption was, "Sick of Finishing First?"
I repeat, Yikes!
I checked the URL... Yup, it's the Accuweather site. I pictured my mom, or Sister Mary McGillicuddy (if they were still around) checking on what the weather held in store for their day and encountering this advertisement. They would not even be mildly shocked (neither being delicate flowers) as they would've been back in the dark ages of a few decades ago. Far too many ads for ED and feminine hygiene products have flowed by under the bridge since then.
Eww! they would feel/think/say, and then calmly scroll to the relevant part of the page to acquire the desired information. Not I. I'd have (and I did) to click on the ad for myriad reasons, though I heartily agree with, Eww!
- Is it a fluke, a mistake, a hack, a humbug? Can't be real, right? Well, not on this site at least.
- Semantic confusion. Remember the caption, "sick of finishing first?" As I understand it, Dr. Phil, or anyone suffering from ED, couldn't finish first if they were unable to start in the first place. Not that I have any personal knowledge of this malady (knock on wood).
- Boobies! Boys will be pigs. As I instructed my daughter when she reached a certain age, all men all pigs, including me. Some men
So I clicked. It was even better/worse than I thought.
The navigation bar from the Fox News website (you know, in light of recent events... nevermind) followed by a headline -- Shocking News: Robin McGraw Reveals The Miracle Pill That Cured Dr. Phil's ED Permanently! Robin: "Special Thanks To Dr. Oz"
Then there's, featured in, which is followed by a bunch of logos for NBC, People, GQ, Dr. Oz, etc.
Then there's what looks like a newspaper article written by "Kate," a woman who, um, doesn't mince her words. If you read it, read the whole thing, it just gets better/even worse as you go, Eww! My favorite line was, "At first I was like: WTF, where do all those adult film stars get their stamina?" (You've no doubt wondered the same thing, right?)
Bottom line, it was a real ad in that there's an actual product you can buy, but everything in the ad itself is bogus. As I'm writing this there's another bogus ad that has begun running in the same space (the ads in the space are rotational) for a skincare product -- no bananas or boobies are involved, but the format is obviously a variation on a theme.
[Dana, Iggy, and Marie-Louise (who joined us at this point), cheer.]
My point is that although I'm a libertarian, by temperament and by choice, is that I have two questions. How does a culture wherein, more and more, the only agreed upon (more or less) restraints on behavior are legal ones, not devolve? How do we prevent Bedford Falls from becoming Potterville? Poppa loves you.
Have an OK day.
[P.S. Gentlereaders, for 25¢ a week, no, seriously, for 25¢ a week you can become a Patron of this weekly column and help to prevent an old crank from running the streets at night in search of cheap thrills and ill-gotten gains.
If there are some readers out there that think my shtuff is worth a buck or three a month, color me honored, and grateful. Regardless, if you like it, could you please share it? There are buttons at the end of every column.]
©2017 Mark Mehlmauer (The Flyoverland Crank)
If you're reading this on my website (where there are tons of older columns, a glossary, and other goodies) and if you wish to react (way cooler than liking) -- please scroll down.