Nothing wrong with that?

Maybe you’ve seen this commercial from Discover – I actually laughed the first time I saw it.  While there is nothing wrong with a company promoting their product and services, the message at the center of this commercial really jumped out at me.  It starts out:  “We’re a nation of consumers…and there’s nothing wrong with that.”  And then were told the real problem is that we don’t have enough space to put all of our cool stuff! And that they can help.

So, here again, we are taught again that we deserve stuff, that life is found in the fulfillment of our wants, and that it is better to receive than give.  No, there’s nothing wrong with that.


6 responses to this post.

  1. My wife and I agree with your observations. We’re told by the culture that we need the newest, best, flashiest “things.” That having these things will fulfill us. It’s disheartening.

    You mention how we come to believe it’s better to receive than give. I agree. I’ve also noticed from my time in mercy ministry that we only want to receive when we can make it happen ourselves. “I can put food on the table.” “I can pay the bills.” It’s difficult for many people to get past their pride to receive from someone else.

    Enjoyed your insights,
    Tim Van Arsdale
    Author, You’ve Got Spam! a refreshing collection of e-mails regarding mercy ministry


  2. Posted by Tag Tuck on August 11, 2008 at 1:23 am

    It is funny that the credit card company is giving advice on spending. It’s like Philip Morris Co. giving advice on smoking.

    In my interaction with German culture I’ve found that they are much less “credit crazy” than we Americans. There are a lot of things here that I can’t use a credit card to purchase, but I can give my bank account number so that the money goes directly from my account to the account of the store. Here it seems that cash still talks (especially if it is the euro).


  3. Posted by Gina on August 11, 2008 at 4:40 am

    This was on my homepage this morning:

    Advertising is the modern substitute for argument; its function is to make the worse appear the better.
    – George Santayana (1863-1962)


  4. Posted by adamtisdale on August 11, 2008 at 9:51 am

    Tim: Thanks for stopping by; I downloaded the excerpt of your book and look forward to checking it out sometime soon.

    Tag: nice line on the cigarette companies, but I really expected you to extol the virtues of a life without TV (again).

    Gina: excellent quote; how fortuitous!


  5. This ad churned my stomach when I first saw it, for all the reasons named above.

    Regarding the Santayana quote: having taught both Logic and Rhetoric for a handful of years, I’ve often thought that a useful service would be a sort of argumentative/logical exposé where cultural artifacts (such as ads, for example) are regularly evaluated and shown for the lies and half-truths they are. I initially envisioned such for presidential election years: can you see a team of Logicians putting every piece of public campaign material through the ringer, turning out a list of fallacies and incorrect conclusions at the end? Sort of a logical version of Fact

    It would totally change the way we elect leaders– if, in fact, people would actually read it. But these days I doubt more and more whether many would.


  6. Posted by adamtisdale on August 11, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    Ed: might still be doing on a limited basis on your blog…but I hear you.


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