Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Painting with a broad brush.
For virtually my whole career I have read misbegotten copy that includes phrases like, "this is designed for people like you." Reading that I always say, "blow it out your orifice, who are you to say who is like me?"
That said, there is a virulent and persistent strain of generalization galloping through our thought processes today--perhaps exacerbated by the impending presidential erection, er, election. Yesterday on the news, the news readers cited the opinion of the "Black community." Today, in a story on the Department of Vaterland Security, Chertoff was criticized for not enlisting the aid of the "immigrant community."
To me such spurious collectivism is racism of the lowest order, denying the individualism of people because they happen to belong to a racial category or in the case of the "immigrant community" because they happen to have moved here from elsewhere. I know I'm part, according to marketers and politicians, of the "Jewish community," but I don't even agree with my wife politically (or even about what we're doing for dinner) much less agree to a larger community that in reality doesn't exist.
"Hey," I say to my friend Fred, who happens to be Black, "do you want to grab some lunch on Thursday?" "No, I can't," he replies. "I'm having a vegi-burger with the Black community."
Oh, it's easy to classify people this way. It's easy to deny individualism. It's easy to generalize and put people in (the marketers' favorite term) "buckets."
I wonder what the "blogging community" will think of this post.
Posted by George Tannenbaum at 7:25 AM