Saturday, October 24, 2009

Wife Beating is Not Funny

Am I a troll?  Or am I just old fashioned?

My son thinks...well, he probably thinks both.  But definitely the former.  But I am not posting this on an online forum, but instead my blog.  And I'm not doing it to "do it" but because something hit a raw nerve today.

An ad I saw today has me very upset.

I was on the Binghamton University campus today and picked up the student newspaper, Pipe Dream.  I got home and settled down.  I don't read Pipe Dream very much but I like it because it is a window on a culture I have not been part of for a very long time.  So, before I dig in, I want to reassure my audience:
1.  Yes, I was a college student once.
2.  I know part of the mindset of the college student is to tweak the adults, see what they can get away with, and this can sometimes lead to some very interesting (even hilarious) results
3.  But, there are also truths in adult life and some of them are not very funny.

Anyway, about the ad.

It was an ad for a local Binghamton bar that students frequent.  "Can't decide which shot you like?  Let [name of bar] decide for you." (with an "18 shot Shot Wheel.")  And then the list of drinks followed.  As you can expect, some of them were cute, some of them made references to illegal drugs, some to another favorite activity of some college students. A couple of descriptions used four letter words.  Some of the drinks sounded yummy.  Others, like the popular Jager Bomb-Jager Meister and Red Bull...no thanks.  Generation gap.

Anyway, I know this ad is part of the winking, tweaking, pulling adult strings, college scene.  Nothing unusual here.

But then I got to the "Jack Daniels", the shot of Jack Daniels, and the description boasted "Ideal shot to do if you're planning on heading home to beat your wife."

Maybe this is supposed to be ironic, and I'm too old to see the humor.

But what I am old enough for is knowing people who have been victims of domestic violence and it is not funny.

For example, there was the woman I worked with once years ago, who had a husband so controlling that he had cut her off from family and friends.  They had three children.  They lived in a trailer out in the country.  He called her at work 10, 15 times a day.  She couldn't take a breath without his permission.

She had enough, and had the courage to kick him out and file for divorce.

One night he drove by and fired shots into the trailer.  She managed to escape into the woods with her three children, and hid out there all night with them.

And then went to work the next day.

And then proceeded to, very quickly, make arrangements to move out of state.  I never saw her again.

I am very disappointed by this ad.  If anyone decides to flame this post, well, as they say, it's a free country.  I do not believe in censorship, but the flip side is, I have the right to express myself also.   My son says I don't know the Internet.  But if you do, I hope you never find yourself in the same shoes as my former co-worker.  It's been over 20 years and I still wonder what happened to her.  Or her children. 

That's why sometimes it appears that 50-somethings have no sense of humor.

I wish I could find a good, clever, ending to this post, but I can't.  Only to say to the owners of this bar-who put on a very good lunch feed that my workmates sometimes take advantage of-you do know better.

Don't you?

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