I have a 6 year old daughter. She's pretty much the reason I continue. She is the back brace that stops so many, so many, last straws from breaking me completely.
And while my physical, mental, and emotional states limit me to being less than 10% the Dad I want to be, I have managed to plant a few seeds in that brain of hers.
* * * * *
Commercials are the bane of a parent's existence.
They fuel the need machine that is my child, as if the things she actually needed were not enough work, especially when just putting together a meal presents one with physical issues.
I have not cured my daughter of commercials, by any means. She pulls every manipulative stop out after each new desire hits her. [Though it would be much more fun to write them out, demonstrating both her brain power and the hell of being a parent, it would take too long to do justice, and it would send this entry into an entirely different direction.] Yet, she does know that commercials are "trying to sell you something."
Sure, she does not totally understand this concept in terms of the inherent deceptions of marketing campaigns, but that seed exists.
* * * * *
There is one set of commercials in which I have trained an automatic response from her, which has become one of our games, one of my favorite games.
You have most likely seen them, a man sitting in front of a group of kids asks a question, they discuss, and eventually the screen solicits AT&T Wireless services. There are a bunch, most are pretty funny. I particularly love "Wait! I'm watching this," while the man watches a boy do two things at the same time.
Each commercial of this set starts with the man asking a question. My 6 year old refutes the answer given to this question. It has become an automatic response.
She can be in the other room, practicing typing on some computer game (which blows my four-finger-one-thumb-typist mind) while I watch a sporting event on TV, when she'll hear, "What's better, bigger or smaller?"
Before the commercial even gets going from that point, she'll scream, "Bigger isn't always better!"
Then, we'll start giving examples: bigger owies, bigger car crashes, bigger messes, bigger servings of [insert food you don't like], etc.
This makes me happy.
* * * * *
What does not make me happy is that our government has become a giant commercial. It exists, seemingly solely, to advance the profits of corporations.
While facially evil, Citizens United is only the tip of the iceberg.
Our politicians are the actors in the commercial, paid to play a part. Granted, most do so unknowingly, just as you can get most any kid to smile and say they love McDonald's Happy Meals (at least I hope most do so unknowingly - a hope greatly hurt by the current lack of transparency in trading stocks off of governmental knowledge), but the results are the same. Everything, EVERYTHING, is geared to perpetuate the stranglehold corporations have on this country.
Our democracy has become an illusion. Our votes serve corporate interests, the only question really being which ones.
Just like a commercial, our government manipulates us into believing we want or need what those producing the commercial want us to buy.
* * * * *
I cry often. It's no secret or surprise, given my pains, their duration and all.
Usually, I'll cry over something good happening, fictional or real, because I so long for something good to happen to me.
Two days ago, I watched Lincoln. I wept, often.
This time, it was because I saw evidence of politicians actually trying to do what they objectively believed was right. Back then, the corporate interest was slavery, and it took a war and politicians of integrity to beat those interests.
I simply cannot even imagine men being able to work within our government to do what is right today. Even should a few somehow be elected, even should several get elected, even if they were men willing to "commit political suicide" by calling for the people of this country to stop buying the products and ideas this governmental commercial is selling, they could not possibly make any real changes, not in my lifetime, anyways.
What I am trying to do to myself is infinitely easier than the prospects of our government actually beginning to serve The People.
And so I wept.
* * * * *
Yet, maybe, we can plant some seeds.
[It's a departure, but I felt like venting. I'm a bit bothered that I do not have the energy to go back for a proof read at present, so forgive first draft the errors that surely exist, please.]