I am confident you have seen many of the commercials that are being produced these days by 'The Foundation for a Better Life.' This one below, the young guy giving the older lady his seat on the bus, is typical. Each time I see these, I am amazed at how low our culture has sunk: we no longer as a nation teach our children respect for their elders, or anything else anymore.
Many more of these clips are put out by this group, encouraging us to not be jerks and assholes. Apparently, unless we see an ad on TV (over and over and over and over.....), we will behave in ways that are completely outrageous, antisocial and rude. The clips that The Foundation for a Better Life are currently running incessantly on nearly every channel around the clock (even Food Network) include:
1) a Downs Syndrome girl getting picked as Home Coming Queen at a high school prom.
2) after a new high school girl gets the cold shoulder in the cafeteria from the popular girls, a considerate girl comes over and has lunch with the jilted gal.
3) the newly wed guy sits down in a bar after a squabble with the missus, and the barkeep bolsters his spirits as to the 'good stuff' of life.
4) the jerk in high school knock the books out of the nerd's hands onto the floor, and the jock comes over and helps the nerd pick them up.
And on and on and on.....
Most of these ads target young people, in their teens and twenty's. I guess that is why I am amazed at the lengths and enormous advertising cost that this group goes through to convey the basic message: don't be an asshole. The parents of these high schoolers depicted in these ads must be in their early 40's, and accordingly are Generation X'ers. I, being a Baby Boomer, seem to have missed how poorly they must have raised their Generation Y kids, so that these antisocial miscreants crap on all of our notions of polite society. These Gen X parents completely fell down on the job of socializing their children, and now its up to the Foundation For A Better Life to pick up the slack. Or, perhaps worse yet, it's the Boomer's fault for raising such derelict kids that grew up to allow their children to behave like animals.
In my day ('by crackee'), if some jerk knocks the books out of somebody's grasp in high in front of the jocks in my early 1970's high school hallway, the jerk would have his face imprinted onto a locker door by the nearest jock faster than a case of 12-year old Scotch would disappear on the Kennedy compound (and believe me, that's fast). Of course, I was raised by 'The Greatest Generation' parents, and garbage like that shown in those commercials would simply not get tolerated for even a second.
Now we have to advertise on television to make our kids aware that it is not OK to be an asshole?
If we keep on this current generational path of ambivalence towards our children's socialization, in a few generations we will turn into savages and cannibals, eating each other willy nilly since nobody taught us any better. And I am guessing that is the conclusion that the folks at The Foundation for a Better Life came to as well, and are doing their best to change the direction of things to come.
Still, it's pathetic that we have to shape good values by advertising them on TV. I have to wonder if these ads are having a positive effect.
Time will tell.