Submitted Date 01/07/2020

America Can Do Better -- Part 4

If the commercial for the official beer of drinking in the shower didn't bother you or enrage you as it did me, then I fear for the direction this country is headed. The commercial played during a college football game to reach the ideal demographic of young drinkers finding their identity in the real world. What better way to create lifelong boozers than to normalize the behaviors of alcoholics with commercials about drinking in the shower.

This particular beer company has been around for almost 150 years so I imagine coming up with new advertising campaigns is becoming difficult. However, alcohol is the third leading cause of preventable deaths, so as a manufacturer of such a deadly and addictive product, accountability is in order. Statistics show more than 15 million American's struggle with alcohol abuse and that's only counting the ones who recognize they have a problem.

The other beer company I have an issue with has an alcohol-free beer and their commercials suggest it's great for drinking everywhere. One portrays a man at an important business lunch where he is giving a presentation. After he's finished, he takes a drink of his beer and notices everyone looks shocked. The commercial finishes with the reason for their astonishment being not the beer but what his computer was projecting on the wall behind him, post-presentation.

The commercial featuring their tagline of 'Now You Can', suggests drinking their alcohol-free beer before driving so you can have all the great taste without the risk of getting a DUI. Really? If beer tastes so great, why does everyone I ever talk to about why I don't drink tell me it's an acquired taste? That's just a fancy way of saying, 'yeah, it tastes awful the first time, but eventually, you get used to it.'

People drink beer to get drunk. PERIOD. Never in the history of making beer was it to make something that tasted good. Beer and alcohol are made to dull the pain of boredom, to lower one's inhibitions, and for some to drown in their sorrow. When a product has such a powerful impact on its customers, they should be held to higher standards with regard to how they can market their products.

Speaking of marketing products inappropriately, Kidz Bop is an absolute disgusting concept and I am genuinely surprised no one has ever questioned it. While watching television with my daughter, we saw a commercial for Kidz Bop 40 (yes there are 40 of them). I listened to the songs and couldn't believe people think this is ok.

These albums feature popular new songs sung by children for other children to enjoy. The company behind these albums boasts the songs are changed to kid-friendly versions. Really? Kidz Bop 40 has a song called If I Can't Have You, by Shawn Mendes. The only word they changed in the song was the word drink to the word think. The rest of the lyrics remain exactly the same and, in my opinion, are not child-friendly in nature. Up all night reading your texts in a hotel room are not exactly song lyrics I want to hear from my 4-year old.

Another song on this album is called 'Thank You, Next' where the girl is singing about all the things she learned from her exes. CHILDREN DON'T HAVE EXES! What the actual fuck is going on America? Why do we want our children to grow up so fast and allow such adult topics to be sung by kids for kids? Lyrics about prenups and broken homes? Really???

Then I start to think about the other demographic these albums are likely being marketed to and it takes every ounce of my being not to vomit. Not only would the pedophiles enjoy listening to children singing songs about relationships and adult situations, they probably use them as grooming tools when relating to the child to gain trust. America is in the top five countries for child sexual abuse with numbers so bad the government gives vague answers and guesses at the severity of the situation.

Perhaps because they have more to hide than we the people could ever imagine. I've read about horror stories involving the overcrowded foster care system and lately, we are hearing more of the child sex rings that have been occurring all over the nation. Do we even need to mention the particular religious branch with the long history of such abominations? We need to speak out against things when we know they are wrong, even when it seems like we are the only voice.

While we're on the topic of children, let's talk for a minute about another sensitive topic that isn't being handled well, bullying. Schools are constantly working to end bullying by spending money on programs that don't work. Want to know why they don't work? Because there will always be bullies, it seems to be in our nature to be ass holes.

The only way to stop a bully is to take away the power they have over you. We need to teach kids how to stand up for themselves and ultimately fight back. If you're not afraid of the bully the bully has no reason to target you. Schools went too far with their zero-tolerance bullshit to the point that kids are punished for defending themselves.

Somehow these adults think that the bully is just going to stop if we all sit down and talk about our feelings. Never works. The other brilliant plan teachers have is to talk to the parents of the bully to get them to do something about it. Where do you think the little ass hole learned it from? If not through direct abuse at home, it was from a complete lack of parenting.

Regardless of how they became a bully, we need to raise confident children who are allowed to stand up to the bully. Otherwise, we will continue to see young children committing suicide and shooting up schools when they can't take it anymore. And it never fails that after every school shooting the first topic is gun control.

It's far easier to put the blame on an inanimate object than it is to take a look at how we are the ones responsible for what has happened. Parents allow their children to run the show and that's why we have lost all control in the classroom. What makes it harder for kids being bullied now is the teasing and tormenting go beyond the classroom thanks to social media. Now in a matter of seconds, a reputation can be ruined by rumors created on a keyboard and it spreads like the wildfires of Australia.

Technology has become such a normal part of our lives we feel like we can't get by without them. I may be alone in my thinking, but I don't believe there is any reason cell phones should be allowed in schools. They are nothing but a distraction to the education process and a detriment to true social interaction.

A teacher in Colorado did an experiment to show just how big of a problem cell phones have become in the classroom. The class of 23 students was asked to turn up the volume on their phones and every time they received a notification, they were to put a tally mark on the board under what type of notification they'd received. In just 30 minutes, the students had received 58 texts, 182 social media notifications, and 28 other notifications.

Cell phones were first created to keep in your car in case of an emergency. They were used by people who had to travel for work. Now, cell phones and other smart devices are owned by 5 billion people around the globe making this a worldwide issue. While it is great to know we are all connected to one another through technology, there is a responsibility that falls on each of us to ensure the technology is being used for the good of us all.


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