August 30, 2006
A New Advertising Low
I was driving home from work yesterday and was a little disturbed to discover advertising in a place that I did not expect to see it...
You have likely seen advertising popping up all over in strange and new places. The ones that are meant to shock me, but do not, are those that go way off the deep end - like people who tatoo a business name into their forehead just to earn advertising dollars. This is just human behaviour. People will exploit their bodies for money, nothing new here.
At one time, years ago, I was surprised to find advertising cropping up on transit benches and on the walls of bus stop shelters. Then some time later (assumedly after I became oblivious to the ads) they started placing bolder and more obnoxious statements on the unused ad space like "YOU LOOKED! BENCH ADVERTISING WORKS!!" This was annoying to me because now the advertising agencies were intentionally distracting people from driving in a much more intrusive manner.
Then yesterday, just when I thought that I had seen it all, the advertising world threw me another curve ball. On the back of a wheelchair being driven down the road by an individual was a large white sign emblazoned with bright blue letters: "YOU LOOKED!"
Now that's just wrong.
Posted by Hammer at 10:36 AM
August 04, 2006
It's a Snap!
If we pay attention, some times we see that kids are amazing in subtle ways. One day they're asking how something is done, and the next time you look over they're putting their new-found knowledge to use.
Here's a short example...
A couple of weeks ago my oldest daughter asked, "Dad, how do you snap your fingers?" So I showed her which fingers to place where, and how to press in order to make the snapping motion. She tried in vain to snap, but nothing resembling snapping of fingers happened just then.
Now just two days ago, I noticed that she was busy doing something, and while she was waiting for that to happen she was just sitting there snapping her fingers. As if this was an age-old habit that she always performed when idle. It took a bit of thinking for me to remember when she originally asked me how it was done, and when I realised it was about two weeks I thought that was pretty impressive. Sure, it's only finger snapping, but it was just the pure ease of snapping she showed that was impressing me at that moment.
Do kids really learn that much faster than adults? Or do they just have so much more free time to dedicate to practicing new tasks?
Posted by Hammer at 12:21 PM
Tonight, I Drew Tears
There are very few occasions when one has a real heart-to-heart talk with someone else. And certainly, 2:00 am in a local bar is not usually where you find youself when in the middle of one. Yet, there I was...
It was a friend's brithday party, and we had agreed to meet at a karoke bar around 10:00 pm. I showed up a little late, but not too much. Everyone at the table had already had a few drinks and they were all in a good mood. I knew almost everyone else in the party except for three people; two of the "almost strangers" left shortly after I arrived, leaving only one new face to me: Leah.
Leah (and don't you dare forget to pronouce the last syllable!) had only one real comrade at the table - the only other woman! The rest of us guys were quite giddy and acting our normally stupid selves. I'm pretty sure that each of us guys showed our bare chests off at least once before the night was out. No, I'm sure it wasn't necessary, but it was all in the name of having some birthday fun. As we drank more, our antics became more and more outlandish. In general, it was a bunch of adults acting a little silly.
Leah, to me, seemed a little out of place. She was certainly going along with everything, but she remained somewhat detached. I asked her how she was doing, and she said, "OK, I guess. I get embarrassed easily. Some of this is embarrassing."
As the night went on, Leah did go along with everything that we did, but something was still out of place. It was like she was acting... putting on a face, and going along with the crowd just in order not to stand out. I think she was having fun, but I also think she was genuinely shocked at some of the "funny to us" stuff that was going on.
The impression that Leah left on me was that tonight, I was not seeing the whole of Leah's personality. Yes, of course: we were drinking in a bar. One can ask: when do you ever get to see the real person when you're drinking in a bar? Actually, quite often. It's quite amazing to watch the crowd dynamics... I've been doing it for years as a DJ myself. People act very differently when they are drinking with a bunch of friends, and there is a whole wealth of psychology that goes into analyzing their social behaviour at that point.
So at the end of the night, when I was ready to go home and get some sleep, I pulled Leah aside and talked quite openly and honestly to her. Perhaps more honestly than I have spoken to another human in quite some time. I simply reminded her that she had a lot to contribute to society, and that she should feel good about who she was... confidence was a valuable asset, and self-esteem had to be believed, not just shown. More words than that, but pretty much that basic sentiment.
What did she do? Her eyes welled up with tears, she thanked me and she gave me a hug.
Wow. That's about the best end to a night of drinking that I have ever had. I think I'm going to try these motivational talks more often.... helping other people is proving to be very rewarding.
Posted by Hammer at 02:33 AM