Friday, November 7, 2014

A Surprise in the Mailbox

     Sure, I'm interested in social issues and economic questions. But I'm not particularly interested in politics, because politics represent the advertising and public relations aspects of governing, focusing on deceptive messages, irrational appeals, oppositional research and negative labeling.

     In my opinion the Democrats are terrible. The Republicans are even worse.

     I'm also not particularly enamored with the current state of our economy -- the low wages, the lack of opportunity, the reliance on fossil fuels and other resources that will likely get all used up, but not before fouling our environment, choking our air and super heating the atmosphere.

     Nevertheless, I was very impressed when I went out to my mailbox on election day -- although not for the reason you might think.

     Our mail usually arrives in the afternoon. So on Tuesday, as usual, I took the dog out to our mailbox around 3 p.m. Sometimes the mail has been delivered by 3 p.m., sometimes not. (The dog doesn't care.) The mail hadn't yet arrived on Tuesday.

     Like everyone else, we've been receiving truckfuls of negative political ads in the mail, mostly oversized postcards with draconian messages about candidates who are STEALING MONEY FROM OUR SCHOOLS! (photo of crazed middle-aged white male with dollar bills hanging out of his pockets), politicians UNDER FEDERAL INVESTIGATION!! (black and white photo that looks like a mug shot), candidates with MONEY LAUNDERING MACHINES!!! (photo of $100 bill hanging from a clothesline).


     So anyway, I stopped back at our mailbox on Tuesday evening, as B and I were getting home after voting, and I saw yet another pile of junk mail crammed into our box. Oh jeez, I said to myself. Will these politicians ever stop? For Chrissakes, the election is over!

     I reached in, pulled out the pile of mail, stuck it under my arm, and brought it up to the house where I dumped it on the kitchen table. Wait a second, I thought. I didn't see the familiar dark, black, ghostly warnings of the negative political ads. Instead, the pile looked cheerful and colorful and happy. What's going on?

     So I reached down and spread out the mail on the table. No political ads at all. Not one! Instead I glimpsed green triangles and red splotches and bits of silver. Yes, what we had instead were at least a dozen catalogs featuring . . . Christmas items!

     So, yeah, by Dec. 25 we'll probably be just as sick of Christmas as we were of politics on Nov. 4. But I have to hand it to them. They are efficient! The switchover was timed perfectly. The very day of the election, the changeover from political advertisements to Christmas catalogs was accomplished seamlessly. No overlap. No wasted effort. Our capitalistic democracy in action!


Anonymous said...

Who cares about the holidays and catalogues, in this county hunger and homelessness and no jobs are persistant..all Year Thru..I prefer to spend what little I got with the hubs on people and animals who homeless, hungry and unemployed! I think everyday a good day to be sweet to human and felines, and canines too! I don't buy much for gifts, always giving our only gift cards thru the entire year..We will see her this next week it will be our holiday all rolled up into a few days, she needs some things and we will present her with what we already got she can exchange them in the biggest city in our state Seattle, if we can't find it there it is no where to be found! She has a grateful heart 365/24/7 heart and just wants to see and be with us, we know the places to get great seafood and also to walk and smell the air and see the winter approaching, we might go to a local winery and get her some tastings and enjoy the fireside room and indulge in goodies we cannot get in our community! Each day is a holiday if you get to love and be with your family and friends, each day. ciao!

Stephen Hayes said...

Last Tuesday I noticed the X-mas commercials on TV even as the election returns were coming in. It's too damn soon.

Barbara Bomberger said...

I am the first to admit I begin Christmas Decorating the day after Thanksgiving-and that includes feeding my homeless women. As for the ads, we live in one of the top swing states, Ihave been having political mail and advertisements since JANUARY-I was even dvring football for petes sale. What a relief.

Tabor said...

Unfortunately all this junk mail keeps the Post Office in the green. Since their budget has been cut and digital mail has cut their demand and we no longer subsidize them they now must earn a living like the rest of us.

DJan said...

I cannot believe we are already seeing Christmas stuff. Aren't we supposed to wait until after Thanksgiving? I never get any real mail any more, just stuff like what's been in YOUR mailbox. Sigh.

Olga Hebert said...

Christmas music on the radio already. That is going a bit far ahead for me. I don't get many catalogs. I don't mind leafing through them, but then they end up in recycle. Kind of a waste. Mike put our names and address on a list so we stopped getting them.

Anonymous said...

Excellent piece. However, I think some of the Democrat's ads are more scurrilous. Contrary to popular opinion, the conservatives I know are not racist homophobes. Some of them do own guns, however.

I worked with advertising and promotion gurus for ages...probably why I am doubly skeptical of politicians, manufacturers, non-profits, and others.

Everything is marketed these days....everything. The major reason I finally retired from the Census Bureau was because the emphasis fell more on sound bites and 'staying on message' than on explaining statistics to people. The set of nuance is almost a thing of the past. I blame the people who are pig-ignorant, goofed off in school, and listen to everything with biased beliefs.

You got to hand it to those advertisers, however, sometimes the commercials are very entertaining (i.e. Joni Ernst "pig castration and cutting pork" commercial), although about as truthful as episodes on SNL. "Advertisers" have even insinuated themselves into TV shows and movies. Probably why I seldom watch either. Do movie stars really know more about politics than I do?

I do love election night, however. This year we were rooting for various pols across the country.

I barely paid any attention to our VA senator election, however, as I was more interested in bond issues and county board elections.

Kirk said...

At least catalogs will become fewer and fewer, since everything is online these days.

Rita said...

I have a different view of elected officials. We vote them in. They run our country. I even ran for public office once myself.

I've been a member of the League of Women Voters for decades.

I think it's important that citizens vote and participate in the political campaigns to elect our leaders.

If you don't like our current leaders, then run for office or work on a campaign to get someone good elected.


Anonymous said...

The "A Surprise in the Mailbox" post does not contribute much to the overall blog. Might say it is a junk post lol