Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Casual Acceptance of Bullying is Rather Horrifying

So this is somewhat embarrassing, Google's failed me. I cannot find the radio commercial that prompted this blog post, although I do have a reasonable memory and can recall portions of it. So any quotes here will be paraphrased from memory. Apologies.

Note: If you know what commercial I'm talking about, I'd appreciate if you can direct me to it online or if you remember what company did it so I can include that here.

It's the "smartphones are like tutors" commercial which has some pre-teen sounding girl complaining about a series of historical figures. Things like, "Alex Bell posted again. Just because he invented the telephone doesn't mean he can blow mine up all the time"

Now, that quote is from my memory, but complaining about historical figures isn't the "bullying" that I'm talking about. It comes later.

The girl says something to the following effect:
Marie Antoinette keeps posting pictures of cake so people will "like" them. So pathetic. Hashtag guillotine.
What? What?! WHAT?!

Am I the only person that is ridiculously offended by this?

Note: Can't remember if the girl said she was pathetic or not, but she definitely said "hashtag guillotine"...and that's enough to be offended by.

The first time I heard the commercial I just tuned it out. It was just another annoying commercial that may have been mildly amusing depending on my mood. By the third or fourth time however, I had the script practically memorized and that's when I realized what the F this little girl was saying.

Maybe your history isn't up to par, in which case I'll enlighten you. Marie Antoinette was the wife of King Louis XVI of France, generally maligned throughout history, and was PUT TO DEATH BY GUILLOTINE.

So here you have a little girl, not complaining about Marie Antoinette the historical figure (which would be ridiculous anyway), but complaining that she's posting pictures of cake so people will "like" the pictures. If you take out the fact that she's complaining about Marie Antoinette, then it's some little girl being a spiteful jerk to another girl who sounds rather unpopular and sad and is probably ready to kill herself because the only "friends" she has are of the electronic kind like this girl that is calling for her to be executed.

Can you say casual acceptance of bullying?

I find this horrifying.

That bullying in this manner is such an accepted aspect of modern society that it makes it's way into the BACKDROP of a COMMERCIAL that has nothing to do with bullying? It's about smartphones being good resources for education and the student in question is using it to be a horrible person.

Someone wrote this commercial.

Someone was paid to write this commercial.

That someone wanted to appeal to teenagers and pre-teens from the sound of the commercial, but also appeal to their parents.

That someone (or group of someones) thought it would be a good idea for the "child" of the commercial to be annoyed by everyone else and casually call out for one particularly sad example to be executed.

I don't think I'm reading too much into this because I've said it's so casual, and the casualness of it is what bothers me. (by the way, totally had no idea that "casualness" was a word until five seconds ago. I was going to make up my own word "casuality", screw it, rewriting).

What bothers me is just how damn casual it is.

Why can't we teach people to be nice? If someone's annoying you, then maybe don't suggest that they should be executed. Just a thought.

What are your thoughts on this?

Edit: It's been pointed out to me that Marie Antoinette was posting pictures of cake because she famously said "Let them eat cake" when told that the commoners had no bread to eat or whatever. Well, guess what? (1) That doesn't take away from anything that I've said here, and (2) There's no evidence she ever said that, so so much for the "smartphones are like tutors" bull this commercial was spewing. Not only does it casually promote bullying as the norm, but their entire commercial is based on a flawed example of their premise.