Thursday, May 5, 2011


It doesn't take a genius to see we've come a long way from this scenario. Most of us, anyway. (All he wants is a decent cup of coffee! Even the girls at the office make better coffee!) This housewife's nightmare of trying to please hubby, as depicted in countless TV advertisements, has gradually died out, thank God. Somewhere along the way we figured out men could make coffee, for one thing. And we discovered coffee comes from actual coffee beans, not just dusty old cans of Folgers.

Of course, there was always good coffee--but it was mostly in Europe back then. By the same token, there were always strong and intelligent women though many got hammered into very narrow, gender-defined roles, and mainstream television certainly didn't encourage non-conformity. That hasn't changed. We've got more channels these days, and the coffee is decidedly better, but the cultural net cast by TV broadcasting--especially commercials--is still extremely narrow. As long as television is advertising-based, and as long as advertising makes most of its money needling the insecurities of those dying to fit in, television will reward conformity. It makes sense. Why would advertisers encourage you to think for yourself? Inner-directed rebels might just walk away from the game and not buy their product.

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