As I was watching one of the cable news channels, I began to see sneak peeks of advertisements scheduled to air during the Super Bowl. One in particular was a Budweiser commercial targeted at the military audience. The ad ran like this: A man is finally arriving home after a tour of duty in some foreign country, lets say Afghanistan just for shits and giggles. This man doesn’t know it yet but his wife has planned a giant surprise homecoming for him with the help of none other than Budweiser. Budweiser, as kindhearted as they are, decide to throw mister military man a big parade and invite all of the town’s people to cheer him on as he rides down the street in a buggy being pulled by a group of, you guessed it, Budweiser Clydesdales.
Now how does this example of a patriotic commercial wreak of profiting from death? Simple. Without the known psychological affect of death and the possibility of actually losing your loved one overseas, the impact of those soldiers coming home do not hold such a high emotional state of intensity. Basically what I am saying is, if you knew your loved one was coming home after a tour of duty, you would think of it as the “norm.” You wouldn’t think twice about it. Sure, we subconsciously have the everyday thought of “will I see him or her again,” or “could today be my last day,” and that is why we always give a hug and kiss and say I love you before we leave. But when that regular ole’ day is over and your loved one comes home from work or school, do you throw a parade everyday like it’s a miracle he or she survived? No. Some of you smart asses might say yes, and hey that is awesome, but the majority of people in today’s society would say no. So with your heightened emotions, Budweiser is pulling on your heart strings. But guess what, they are not the only ones.
Another example of this is the 9/11 memorial museum and Freedom Tower. Did you know that you are going to be charged $20 to go inside of Freedom Tower when it opens this spring? Not only there, but you have to pay to go inside the 9/11 museum. For what? To see all the horrors that remind us of what happened that day? So that begs to question, if over 2,000 people didn’t die in such a horrific national tragedy, would you want to pay to see this? The city of New York is capitalizing off of how those 2,000 plus deaths affected essentially millions of people. Just the families alone of the deceased would at least bring you 20,000 plus in traffic to the museum. Think about it, one person who died that day has at least 10 family members both immediate and extended. And it is now 12 years later and you have daughters and sons who have married and had kids of their own. Don’t get me wrong, I think building the monuments were a great thing to do, but charging people to see the rubble that was left over is despicable.
What happened to our morals as a country or should I ask what happened to our intelligence as a people? We are fed this crap everyday, subliminally and intentionally, and either way we seem to just eat it up. Think! What makes someone a hero? Because joining the military does not make you a hero, and not everybody needs a parade. The psychology of this is deeper than what little bit I described above. Stop putting forth such little effort to gain instant pleasure, and “feeling good” about yourselves. Sure, you can wave a flag on a busy street and hold a sign saying you support our troops, but for what? Is that the American spirit? Because if it is, these corporations are capitalizing big time, and we are all fools for following the trend of coloring fancy words on a paper sign. Seeing your loved ones name etched into a monument is a nice gesture, but the memories lie within you. Is it okay to let your city build a new building to house offices? Sure, we have to move on as a people. But is it okay to let them charge you to be reminded of the tragedy? I say no. It’s almost like we live outside of reality when we look at bent steel and say “whoa!” But to the people who went through 9/11 or the people who lost loved ones in a war, it’s real.