Wednesday, April 28, 2010

You're A Drooling Idiot So Do What I Tell You To

California county trims toys in meals to cut fat
You know what I find super obnoxious about this idea of banning toys from restaurant meals? Two things, one, it is specific in its targeting of a particular business and worse it assumes the parents can't raise their children.

I love those toys. I've collected some of them. I use the possibility of getting a kid's lunch toy as a parenting tool - "If you are good, I will let you have a Happy Meal."

We don't get fast food all that often and, when we do, my kids often make good food choices on their own, choosing the fruit options McDonalds and Burger King offer instead of fries.

But Noooooo.

These officious nincompoops believe they know better. That although they have the superior mental ability to not mindlessly succumb to advertising, we are all helpless before it's mesmerising messages.


I was an advertising copywriter for the better part of a decade in New York City and Richmond and I promise you - people do not mindlessly responde to advertising messages.

If people did, then we'd be seeing a lot more government-sponsored shows with "special" messages.

Advertising is a tool to present goods and services and to persuade people to use them. If you are not in the market for that particular good or service, studies have shown you do not process the information presented. And if you are in the market for a burger, then you will get a burger that suits your tastes and price-point no matter how much advertising you see to the contrary.

So when these ignoramus think they "know better" and attempt to something like a ban, all Americans should be up in arms and pitchforks because this is not about our health and safety, it is about control by withdrawing choice.

I profoundly resent the idea that I can not raise my children to make an informed choice. That is my entire goal as a parent. To teach my children to become adults who can make good and informed choices about and throughout their lives.

And sometimes a good choice is apple slices. And sometimes a good choice is a treat like french fries. And sometimes a good choice is getting a wee little toy because mommy just needs you to shut up for a minute.

The odd thing is I don't like french fries all that much. As I mentioned don't get fast food all that much. But I'm not against either, it's been very convenient for me to hit their drive through now and again. Nor do I ever wish to take that choice away from anyone else.

But as I said before, this is about control. This is about believing that "I" know better than "you". About an arrogant and ignorant group of elites believing that the average American is a drooling idiot who needs saving from themselves.

As I said before - Bullpoop!

1 comment:

  1. "I profoundly resent the idea that I can not raise my children to make an informed choice. That is my entire goal as a parent. *To teach my children to become adults who can make good and informed choices about and throughout their lives.*"

    I'll try to be brief, I know you are busy!


    My girls are now 27, 25, & 24. My goal was always to raise mature, responsible individuals-- individuals capable of thinking for themselves-- and to set an example for them (just as my mom had for me). O.k., that might not be a true statement. I was in my mid-20s when they were born, so at first, I just wanted them to be healthy & happy, and to sleep all night, and to not have more than one in diapers (they're 18 months apart-- those old ads of 6 year old in "training" pants really set me off, but I digress).

    It was-- still is sometimes-- hard work. Setting an example meant that I had to show them, at very impressionable ages, that it wasn't o.k. for Dad to smack Mom repeatedly.

    But gosh darn, hard work pays off!

    I do not always approve of, or agree with, my daughters' choices. Which is to say that we have many arguments and discussions based on reason and evidence. (Credit where it's due: after the smacking guy, I married a Texican-Libertarian-Philosopher/Neuroscientist-- the girls benefited.)

    The fun part of being a parent of our persuasion--take responsibility for yourself-- is that you can see how well independence plays out in your kid's lives.

    Hardly a day goes by that I don't get a call. Someone's trying to grow their own veggies b/c she thinks she can do better than the store (right-- forgot to mention I'm a biologist and supreme veggie farmer). Someone is trying to pay off student loans more efficiently. ... We don't' see these as dependent questions, we see these as questions asked to (adult) people who know stuff. Like, duh, we still seek advise from our parents.

    I hope not to, but if I die in my sleep tonight, I am confident my girls will survive.

    So-- Auntie Marica thinks you are an A-o.k. parent.

    And as a P.S. I think you might enjoy the William S. Lind essay, Militant Musings