3 Worst TV Ads

It always amazes me at the lack of judgement many companies show when it comes to their advertising.  Especially when you’re a major corporation with a budget to buy TV ads.  Who writes this stuff?

Obviously those that produce these “clever ads” only have one foot in reality.

For instance, the latest round of ads that have earned the rating of “Terrible” include Samsung, Zyrtec, and Dodge.  Their  three ads are amazingly insensitive to the realities of today’s buyers.  Take Zyrtec – their ad shows an average American family out in the park enjoying a beautiful day and some ice cream.  She sneezes and ends up with his ice cream cone on her forehead.  It stays there while he presents her with a Unicorn stuffed animal.  Really?  The majority of buyers in today’s world are women and you demean them with this ad?

Moving on to Samsung – a major issue of today is race.  It should be called “culture” but that doesn’t buy votes.  You have a black man that goes into a mom and pop store pouring water over his new Waterproof Galaxy S7 Edge making a terrible mess and assuming the owner will clean up after him.  So what does he do?  He buys more water to make a bigger mess for someone else to clean up.  Small business owners have enough challenges without having big companies promoting this lack of respect for other people’s property.

And finally, we have the Dodge ad.  Just a couple of weeks ago there was a report on the growing problem with street racing in America, both from cars and motorcycles that torment others, drive without regard for the law and cause accidents and deaths.  The Dodge ad shows how they can beat anyone in the dark of night and street race.  This role model for breaking the law is partly what’s wrong with society.  When asked why teenagers do stupid things a growing number answer “I saw it on television”.

It’s time for companies to promote core values of decency and respect.  These three ads don’t come close.

Until next time – – –

Writing Life Stories – A Book Review

Bill Roorbachs Book

I’ve read a lot of books on writing, but none that has helped me as much as Bill Roorbach’s “Writing Life Stories”, and I’ve only just begun reading it.

Early on, like No. 3, is a section on map-making that spoke to my visual side. He suggested you “make a map of the earliest neighborhood you can remember”, and then describe it. Use details, sights, smells, sounds, etc and see what pops up. It was an incredible experience. And allowed me to write about the house my dad built when I was 4-5 years old. The memories were wonderful and laid the groundwork for many others I had long since forgotten about.

Then I went digging for images that matched those memories and they made for a wonderful family story that is not just verbal. Do try it and do read his book. I’m grateful he took the time to write it and I’m glad Writer’s Digest recommended it.

Until next time.

Order In Court – Book Review

Order In Court by David Osborne is an odd, but fun little book. Each Chapter is a new adventure by Barrister Toby Potts. From his love life to his court life, everything is just a little odd – but so are all his clients.

I purchased the book because the tease said it was humor, and I was pleasantly surprised his unique style of writing made me laugh out loud. Mr. Osborne has a gift for turning your tongue. And his subtle humor and innuendo is refreshing.

“Gettig squiffy on rough cider” makes it clear what was going on. Mr. Dan D Lyon is yet another of his characters you’ll want to know more about. He pokes fun at just about everyone, but in a kind way. And you’ll need to be paying attention as you read, the hidden barbs and twists are cleverly woven into the text and all are worth a chuckle.

4 Stars for Mr. Osborne’s latest.

The Flower Sellers – A Tale of Two Sisters

Today is the first day of the rest of your life.

That phrase never appeared in my latest read – “A Memory of Violets: A Novel of London’s Flower Sellers” by Hazel Gaynor. The children of historic London were the flower sellers – watercress, roses, lavendar, shamrocks, each season there was one special nosegay Spirit of 13 - Book Reviewthey sold on the street to the affluent Britains. It was there they learned to take each day as it comes, don’t wrorry about the future, leave the past where it is. It was there that “little mothers” were born. They were the children who raised their younger siblings in the absence of any parents. It was there the street Urchins might meet Mr. Shaw and be chosen to live and work at his Watercress and Flower Girls Facility in Clerkenwell.

The street urchins of London in the 1800’s, results of polio, accients and abandonment, were like most of the street children – they wore tattered,m dirty frocks, which hun off their undernourished bodies and went about barefoot. Mr. Shaw “sensed that it would be only y housing the girls, removing them permanently from theirlife on the streets and providing them a purpose, that we could ever make a real and lasting difference to their lives.”

The houses were called a “Crippleage”, but they were places where children learned that “to love and be loved is the greatest joy on earth”. They learned to make silk flowers by the hundreds, and they learned to care and share.

This is my best read of 2015, at least thus far. Ms. Gaynor has done a wonderful job telling their true story, all the while asking “Is this an ending or a beginning?” Good question – one I should have asked myself over the years. The love of two sisters, the sorrow of childhood poverty, the history of women in society, the compassion of a London man who owned an engraving business who had #enough and hired a room for hot cocoa and bread and butter.

A must read.

The Boys in the Boat – Book Review 2/2/15

The story of ordinary men doing extraordinary deeds is always enjoyable, but this one is exceptional. From the inclusion of historic events and social values of the times to the details of rowing, the story is so well written you are there with them for every beat of the oars.Boys in the Boat Cover

What spoke to me most was the “swing”. If you’ve ever had the opportunity/priviledge to be involved with a group and have a “swing” moment, it gives you a senes of belonging like none other. In High School, our award winning marching band competed for awards and placement in the Annual Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, Calif. Hours of marching, learning music, polishing shoes, and instruments – no detail was too small.

The drum major practiced throwing his mace by the hour. Rain or shine, we marched; we played; we cleaned; we marched some more. Perfect diagonals – perfect rows – perfect music – perfect uniforms; and the ultimate challenge was 125 students stepping off the competition line as one. All in step, same length, same style, same beat, as one – it was our “swing” and we did it. – Jjst like the boys of the boat.

What a wonderful opportunity to share in their triumph and remember our own after almost 50 years. Great job Daniel James!!!