Don't Rush Me
Sometimes it's good to remember and smile.
March 02, 2011 - This column was from early in the year of our Lord, 2003. I've been going back and looking at past columns to put 'em in book form, and this one made me smile. Hope it makes you smile, too. -- Don
Since I was a young collegiate student-type of individual, the debate has raged in regards to the influences the media has on younger and more impressionable youths.
"That kid drank 27 gallons of milk and died of Bovinetummyacheitis 'cause he saw it in a movie."
"No he didn't. No one ever told him he could drink that much milk and live. He was just stupid."
"No he wasn't. He would still be alive today if only those evil, money-grubbing movie producers had not shown a similar situation in their danged movie, Mad Cow 2 -- Lactoserous Returns."
"It isn't Hollywood who is supposed to watch kids. Where were the parents . . ?"
During those thrilling days of yesteryear, in between binge drinking on the weekends and defending the honor of Ronald Reagan from numerous attacks of those more left-leaning (and far less informed) students than myself, I thought the premise of blaming the media for everything was, in a word, ridiculous.
In two words: Poppy and Cock.
And, in three words: No smackin'frackin' way!
I can still remember the debate/discussion in an ethics in journalism class.
"Balderdash!" I would self-righteously rant (I don't 'rant' -- do I?). "Just because Ozzy Osborne sings (if that's what you call it) about suicide, doesn't mean he's to blame when some knucklehead of a kid offs himself . . ."
People are not sheep. People have brains.
They know what is right and what is wrong, I emphatically argued. With all the vim and vinegar I could muster, I would demand to be heard: People are not mind-numbed robots! They can think for themselves. They are individuals, and individuals are responsible for their own actions -- don't blame some ominous bogeyman as the scapegoat.
Of course this was a time when MTV was still in its infancy, before it became the slick, violent and politically bent network it has now become. Regardless, up until this past Sunday, for the 20 years or so I have thought about it, I was righteously indignant towards the idea of blaming the media for society's ills.
Like I said, until this past Sunday, when I saw my little, almost three-year-old son Sean, running around the kitchen table like some sort of possessed midget, (excuse me, dwarf . . . ummmm . . . . little person . . . well . . . vertically challenged individual). What transformed our angelic, blond-haired, blue-eyed lad into a lunatic?
The answer: Domino Dots.
Specifically, the television commercial introducing Domino Dots (those little bits of pizza dough, rolled into a ball and baked in cinnamon and topped with a nice sugary white icing). In this bit of cinematic magic, the giant dough balls, as big as elephants, roll and bounce down a hilly suburban street. In front of the Domino Dots stampede is a lad, running full-tilt bogey proclaiming, "Incoming! Domino Dots are coming!"
I don't know how many times young Master Sean has seen this commercial -- it can't be too many -- but it has affected him. I brought home two medium Domino pizzas and a box of Dots. Five-year-old Shamus, reader of everything written, joyously informed the household, "Poppy got Domino Dots! Poppy got Domino Dots!"
And that set off Sean. That's when the little Dr. Jekyll turned into a wee Mr. Hyde, flailing his arms above his rocking from side-to-side head, "Incoming! . . . blah, blah, blah!" (The blahs, are my words.)
So, I have revised my stance on the media. The media can and does wreak havoc on young and impressionable minds. My son is proof. He was once a regular kid. Now, after watching a television commercial he is a Domino Dot Head.
Lord, help us all.
Comments for the over-opinionated writer who has obviously read too many 'conspiracy by the left' books can be made to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: email@example.com