Just watched an ad for a medication and it hit me that there is a trend these days that rivals the values and bad tastes of the old days and advertising of cigarettes, booze, guns, and the “little woman.”
In the ad there is a grandfather playing miniature golf with two boys, likely his grandsons. He is seen blowing in a golf ball that tips on the cup of a hole. After the game, they enjoy something to eat and drink. The grandfather blows the paper off the straw. We’ve all done the straw trick, but have hopefully picked it up rather than litter. I don’t know anyone who’s actually blown in a golf ball to score, much less done it while playing with two kids.
It’s a generation of new advertising. Writers who don’t see what they’ve just shown as okay behavior. And it’s not just in advertising, it’s in real life. Politicians lie, it’s a given. They cheat on their spouses–and that’s okay if it’s the President, but lower positions, well it depends on if it’s your party or the opposition.
Yesterday, a FB post pointed attention to a literary journal’s blog posting about catching a “playgiarizer”–a term that indicates the intent of a play on words, rather than outright stolen language, but denounced the man and called him a hack. Mean, yes, particularly since links to his work and the original author’s text were provided along with excerpts. I was shocked to see comments pile up calling out the lit mag for its nasty attitude and defending the writer’s act as perfectly okay, citing creative license, all the way to claiming it was paying homage. I was the only dissenter in the group, calling the lit mag a bit uncool in its methods, but the plagiarizer really the uncoolest of all. Turns out the guy had actually included an explanation that the editor should have included with the piece and that would have provided the proper attribution.
Then today, a contest winner, claiming to be the author of two books. Well yes, she did write two books. Neither of which have been published.
It’s a new world, a new society, and there are some great strides towards equality and justice and not stepping on anyone’s toes. But we’re losing some values and truth as we try to convince ourselves that everybody is good, everybody is a star.