Monday, May 26, 2014

We were going to add "Oh and thanks, Vets" but we ran out of time

Look, I'm hardly the mawkish, saccharine type who wears his sentimentalism  on his sleeve, but I do find it a little annoying that the only hint of an actual holiday in this ad is a little pinwheel inserted in the company logo.

On the other hand, I've never been able to listen to a lot of radio or watch a lot of TV during Memorial Day weekend, because the cheap treacle just flows too fast and too thick for me- the non-veteran sports and news commentators bleating "honor the fallen" and "support the troops" as if they are being paid by the mention, the phony jingoistic flag-worship, and all the rest which, let's just admit it, is seen by most people as a mild annoyance that barely interrupts the burger-flipping and potato-chip consuming that makes the "holiday" little more than a rehearsal of July 4th.

And what's with the cable movie channels every Memorial Day Weekend?   Every World War II film in the archives gets dragged out, every single year, to run in a ceaseless marathon of cinematic death and destruction.  Who got the idea that the best way to "honor the fallen" is to spend three days watching Hollywood storm beaches and blow up bridges?  The youngest WWII vets are approaching 90.  Is this fun for the veterans of Korea, Vietnam, etc?- "Hey guys, we are going to honor you by showing you movies about America's last real war that had an actual, honorable point to it?"  Or is it more "we really don't know how to honor those who served in war (clearly the only service that counts*) so here's John Wayne leading an army of actors up a fake hill on a lot behind the comedy store again?"  Somehow I find the Lowe's commercials- and the mattress commercials, the car commercials, the big-screen tv commercials, the cell phone commercials, etc.- more dignified than this.   At least they are more honest- "hey, it's a holiday- that means it's time to spend money again!  Why not do it here?"

*If we ever get an actual Liberal in the White House, I'd like that person to push for a national holiday celebrating service that does not involve shooting and getting shot at.  But if we must have two holidays per year devoted to our veterans, let's show our support with something other than 72-hour movie marathons and sales.  How about fully funding the VA and avoiding For-Profit conflicts?  That would be a nice start.

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