Archive for May 24th, 2009

Businesses tricking children into thinking that brands can solve non-existent problems

| May 24, 2009 | 1 Reply
Businesses tricking children into thinking that brands can solve non-existent problems

I really like the message delivered by Josh Golin of Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood. [Note: I interviewed Josh here.] This speech was giving at the February 2008 Conference for Reclaiming Childhood From Corporate Marketers.

First of all, yes, a healthy childhood lifestyle is something that is extremely difficult to commodify. That fact means that when you see commercial entities trying to convince children to buy things, it is almost certainly an attempt to convince families that there is a problem where there really isn’t one.

Golin states that “children are being targeted relentlessly with the lie that it is brands that will make them happy, cool, powerful and sexy.” He scoffs that the problem can be addressed by allowing businesses to “self-regulate.”

In this speech, Josh clearly identifies some of the specific problems with allowing advertisers into the hearts and minds of children. And then he tells some stories about how people are fighting back.

Here are parts II and III of Josh’s speech:

[more . . . ]

Share

Read More

Our culture of distraction

| May 24, 2009 | 1 Reply
Our culture of distraction

I remember the good old days, when I received a dozen or so emails every day at the office, thereby obviating the need to send and receive paper letters on those matters. Then something unproductive happened. As I started getting more and more emails, I found that they were becoming more fragmented, like stretched-out conversations, and more lost in a sea of emails that tried to sell me something or tried to make sure that I was constantly updated as to nothing very important.

Keeping up with email, then, has become both an incredible tool and a huge time drain. I think of that every day as I read and create 100 emails, many of which require detailed responses. Email, which was once a way to avoid sending and receiving paper letters, is now taking up several hours of every day. Why don’t I turn it off and get a lot more done? Because, every day, I end up decided that I don’t want to throw out the baby with the bath-water. I love-hate the way email barely often enough distracts my attention to something that barely often enough requires my attention.

Sam Anderson explores our new attention-divided culture in a New York Magazine article titled, “In Defense of Distraction”:

This is troubling news, obviously, for a culture of BlackBerrys and news crawls and Firefox tabs—tools that, critics argue, force us all into a kind of elective ADHD. The tech theorist Linda Stone famously coined the phrase “continuous partial attention” to describe our newly frazzled state of mind. American office workers don’t stick with any single task for more than a few minutes at a time; if left uninterrupted, they will most likely interrupt themselves. Since every interruption costs around 25 minutes of productivity, we spend nearly a third of our day recovering from them. We keep an average of eight windows open on our computer screens at one time and skip between them every twenty seconds.

Share

Read More

Parents Support Transgendered Child

| May 24, 2009 | 3 Replies
Parents Support Transgendered Child

An eight-year-old child in Omaha, Nebraska, the middle of three boys, has told his parents throughout his life that he is a she. Since he learned to talk, he has said, daily, that he is really a girl. His parents have come to believe him, and are letting him begin the next school term in a new school, as a girl, with a new name.

Ben-turned-Katie will not be allowed back in his Catholic elementary school. According to the priest in the parish, since the Catholic Church believes a person is born one gender and cannot change, his appearance at school would lead to too many questions and cause discomfort for the other children.

It might, of course. Certainly it would raise all kinds of questions, yes. Hard questions, the kind that parents aren’t sure how to answer. My guess is, though, that if the school called in an expert on the subject and held an assembly in which the child’s situation is explained in brief and concrete terms and the other children were allowed to ask any questions they had, parents were allowed to attend, etc., the issue could be handled and put to rest. Children that age are amazingly accepting, and what a wonderful life lesson it could be. That is how it would be handled in our school – or similarly, somehow – one of the many reasons we are there.

In watching the video, I was struck by the dedication of these parents to their child. I am so relieved, on Katie’s behalf, that she has this kind of support. In conservative Nebraska, this can’t be easy. I wish them well, and thank them for being the kind of parents every kid deserves to have. Unconditional love at its finest.

Share

Read More

Best 404 Message Yet

| May 24, 2009 | 3 Replies
Best 404 Message Yet

I followed a link to christwire.org and got a great laugh:

404 Error Page Not Found
Refresh to find the article you wanted, and if that doesn’t work please keep praying for an hour and then check back.

Why do 404 error messages occur?

Image and video hosting by TinyPicThe 404 Error message was created by an unholy menagerie of vile atheists, Democrats, liberals and Godless Soviets in the Year of our Lord 1992. We’re told through electronic pathogens and demonic incantation rituals, they managed to create ways to electronically limit the amount of lost souls and seekers of truth that ‘web servers’ could process in a given minute.

Though their machinations are evil and everlasting, through hope, prayer and clicking refresh you can eventually overcome these wicked limits during times when tens of thousands of people flock to ChristWire per hour to discover the works of True Christians.

During these trying times, feel free to also join some of our Moral Leaders and core Community Pillars at their respective edifices:

Pastor Jack Gould – Christian Coalition of America
Dr. Pat Heinkel – Answers in Genesis, Incredible Creatures that Defy Evolution
Joe P. Reagan – TownHall.com

Some days it pays more than others to keep an eye on the opposition.

Share

Read More