Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Sunday in New York.

I noticed something very strange this morning as I went out for a run. I left the house around 9:45 and just before 10, I passed a kid and his dad and the kid was eating an ice cream bar--a popsicle, the colorful red, white and blue types you buy from the Sabrett's wagons that dot our cityscape.

A bit later on, maybe around 10:15, I saw a kid and his mom, with the kid eating a peanut-crusted hard ice-cream cone, again, the type you buy from a street vendor.

Finally, finished with my run around 11:15, I saw a grown man licking lasciviously at a cone heaped with chocolate soft-serve.

Seriously, not to sound like an old man yelling at kids to get off his lawn, or like Michael Bloomberg, but what's happened to our society when people are eating ice cream well before lunch? Why are they writing ridiculous phrases all over their bodies, wearing next to nothing. And why, amid a national obesity epidemic is Taco Bell running yet another campaign positioning itself as a "4th Meal." Really. Three meals is no longer enough.

Maybe it's a stretch. But something's gone wrong.

But maybe something is changing.

CAA and R/GA both won big at Cannes for doing work that promotes values--sustainable farming and dedication to fitness. The antipode to our current dedication to fatness.

This weekend National Public Radio had a short segment on the great television writer/producer and liberal leader Norman Lear. Lear created shows that discussed the issues of the day. Racism, sexism, ageism, war and politics. He did so in a popular and humorous fashion.

Today, there is no room for Lear or someone like him on television or even cable. Our shows have no heroes, no positive role models. And most seem to involve nothing more than a juvenile fascination with giggling and sex.

But maybe things will change. Maybe people will wake up to the horror of amusing themselves to death.

Probably not, however.

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