Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Several days have passed since the shootings at Sandy Hook school.  This blog is about communication or the lack of it and both certainly apply to Sandy Hook. 

On Friday, we had entirely too much communication as talking heads filled air time guessing about everything from the shooter's identity to what he was wearing. Little children were pushed in front of microphones and asked to relive what they experienced. Parents sobbed as cameras sent every tear out on the airwaves. Politicians called for more and less gun control. So-called experts told us how to stay safe in the future.

After the initial rush of commentary, cooler heads are giving serious and thoughtful consideration to many of the issues this tragedy raises. Real communication has begun as people consider what it all means. Hopefully, we will focus, not just on guns, but on all the other issues. What are they? Mental illness, school security personnel, and school preparedness to name just three.

Yesterday I tweeted this link. I draw your attention to it again because a friend, who is a school administrator, said something very similar to me when we were discussing Sandy Hook this morning.  (Read the post here.)  He spoke about tornado drills instead of fire drills but basically said the same thing found in the article. He added that the school board would not permit him to work up a plan.

How often have we heard that families should have a well-rehearsed escape plan in the event a fire occurs in their home?  Such plans are just as important for schools. That why we have fire drills.  After 9-11, high rise office buildings started evacuation drills. Perhaps Sandy Hook will bring about similar changes in our schools.

We can no longer deny that what happened at Sandy Hook can happen any time any place. No school is immune.  Instead of pretending these things can't happen where you live,insist that your schools develop plans and hold drills. It's a kind of insurance that we just can't afford to do without.

So talk about it openly and honestly. Leave the politics in a closet and discuss how to better protect ourselves and our children when there is a shooter in our midst. Because, sadly, that is just as likely as a fire or a tornado.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Another Car Commercial from the Grinch

What is it with holiday car commercials? Last week I repeated my dislike of an Audi holiday ad. This morning, I saw an Infiniti ad that made me sad.  

I grant that the snowball-down-the-hill ad campaign isn't new however this morning I saw one of them from start to finish. Holiday ads? I think not.

The Infiniti ad takes the same mean-spirited approach I found in the Audi commercial. Obviously the BMW owner told his children to throw the snowballs.  Why? Why encourage children to behave that way?  Is this how we mold future members of Congress?

Of course our sympathies lie with the Infiniti owner and we understand his desire for retribution. However, I ask again, what are these ads really saying? Both car owners physically attack one another. When is this ever OK? And why is this car company promoting such behavior? 

Both the Audi and Infiniti commercials reflect the attitudes of the auto companies that approved them so now I see Infiniti as a corporation that feels getting even is a goal unto itself. Gosh - what does that tell me about the company's willingness to stand behind its product? Frankly, the ad tells me that the company will do anything it has to be successful. That doesn't give me, the consumer, a good feeling, particularly when autos are subject to problems.  

I'm sure the ad agency behind the snowball commerical thought the ad campaign was a hoot. Obviously the Infiniti exes liked it enough to air it.  I am not the only blogger to catch the underlying meaning. Starting back in 2010, people were objecting to the tone of this ad campaign.

If car companies feel compelled to do seasonal ad campaigns, I suggest they take a look at their hidden messages. Consumers aren't stupid. They pick up on what is really being said.  And when the time comes to buy a new car, I, for one, won't be getting one from this group of Scrooges.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Parents Steal Car and Christmas - Again

It's back.  That awful Audi commercial.  If Audi can repeat a commercial, I can repeat a commentary about it.  This was originally posted on December 14, 2011.  My feelings about the ad have not changed.

Surely you've seen the ad - the young man arrives at his parents' house, Christmas packages in hand, and he can't find his parents because they took off in his Audi.

So how did the father get the keys to the car? It is obvious that the son did not give them to his father as the son is confused about where his parents are.

However a more significant question is what's with these parents?

Are they so heartless and so self-centered that a ride in their son's car is more important than spending time with him?  More important than greeting him upon his arrival? 

The father tells his wife that "he'll be all right."  Why mention it unless there is some concern that their son will not be all right.  And, let's face it...would you be all right if your parents treated you this way? The fact that the son is an adult is immaterial. The parent-child relationship remains intact regardless of age. So, in this case, simply stated, the son is of less value than a ride in a car.

I can't help but think that Audi is sending a strange message.  Apparently Audi cars are for people with no compassion, no family values, and no interest in anyone other than themselves. Audi is for those who think a car has more worth than a child coming home for the holidays.  Who approved this commercial?  The Grinch?

After watching this ad, I can see it is not the car or car company for me.  I wonder how many other people feel the same way?