My Name is Erik Marshall, and I Approve This Message…

Are you sick of them yet?  You know…(enter horror-film orchestra music)…the dreaded political ads on TV?  My wife and I were discussing this voting season’s barrage of commercials, noting that we could count the amount of positive ads on one hand.  Apparently, informing voters why they should vote for them is not as intriguing as using audio and video techniques to paint a negative picture of their opponent.  I wonder…do these bell and whistles actually work?  They might.  Why else would the politicians spend all their money to air them (ironic tone in voice)?  I personally find these ads to be an insult to my intelligence, but if they work, we need to take a hard look at ourselves as a culture and society. (soft music fade out…)

Gotta Make it Sexy…

(living room shot with someone’s baby in hand) A couple of years ago I was watching the nightly local news covering a story.  I can’t remember what the story was about, but distinctly remember an interview by a family member of the suspect, making their plea for their loved one’s innocence.  I flashed over to another local station showing the exact same interview, except this version was cut short in such a way that it gave the impression that even the suspect’s family called him to question.  My good friend was a videographer at the time, so I asked him about the two stations.  He told me that the latter station recently went under new management, and that suddenly it was their aim to be masters of the scandalous.  And it worked, he said.  Suddenly they were on their way to being the #1 station in the city.  If it worked for the news, it probably works for the politicians.

“You have mind control, but I have brain control”…

(insert heroic tune…) Am I alone in raising my red flag?  Is it not a problem that most people spend time checking their fantasy football team or catching the latest news on the caste of Jersey Shore instead of making themselves to be informed, educated voters?  And now corporations will be able to contribute to campaigns.  It’s probably only going to get worse, and don’t think for a second that it doesn’t influence you if you’re not informed.

(enter climactic orchestra) (standing on a street corner with paid bystanders shaking their heads in agreement) YOU ARE IN CONTROL!  You are an actual living, breathing, thinking individual.  You can decide what you care about, how this nation ought to look, and even how you can help make this world a better place.  Don’t allow yourself to gravitate to the most sparkly item in the room…you need to focus!  Consider what is meaningful, not what is convenient. (random clapping)

Thank you, and God bless America.

(My name is Erik Marshall, and I approve this message.)

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