Monday, December 01, 2014

Stories the ads tell us

I do not watch too much American t.v. because I dislike the number of adverts which continuously break up the flow of a story. This Thanksgiving I sat watching cable t.v. with my kids and was horrified at what I saw, on kid stations.

Time-Warner Cable showed a father with two kids taking over what could have been a living room or den/family room. The furniture has been taken apart, blankets and rugs added to make some fabulous forts. In walks mother and gives a look of disapproval, that says she gives up, and takes her tablet to another room to be on her own. Is playing with the family so bad? Is it better to vanish with your devise? Admittedly there are times we need to spend on our own, but is the place of companies to suggest we go to our devices?

Ensure Active had an equally disturbing, if that's not too strong a word, commercial. The scene is similar to a type of gym with lots of fruit and veggies standing around, as if they were people, along with plastic containers of Ensure Active, also humanized, Veggie Tales style. One of the plastic containers of Ensure seems to be the instructor for this 'gym' and tells a pear, in not so many words, that it is not fit, that you can get better nutrition from a mass produced product in plastic, rather than from fresh vegetables and fruit. Unbelievable that in country where obesity is a problem that a company would steer folks away from fresh produce.
On the flip side Kellogg's Frosted Flakes have a much better idea. Tony the Tiger is with the family playing American football with them. When a break happens in the play and they move to the kitchen for a Frosted Flake snack, moves are discussed, using the frosted flakes on the table to plan the 'play'. A wonderful story of family playing together, tied in with a product. Tony is greeeeat!

Another story I finished over Thanksgiving was a book from a genre I have not tried before - alternative history. When someone let me borrow Harry Turtledove's "Ruled Britannia" I had a blast. Set in Shakespeare's London, the story tells this alternative history of the Spanish invading and ruling, with Elizabeth I in the Tower,on Philip of Spain's orders. It is not a bad book, and is one I enjoyed. Lots of Shakespeare's work entwined into the writing and lots of facts, given a nice twist, or explanation!

What stories did you enjoy over Thanksgiving? What stories did your family tell? What books did you start or finish? What devises did you lay down to cool off over the break?

I hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving, with those you love and care for.