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.

1 comment:

T said...

so darn right.
in our job we also like to group people after age. So suddenly when you jump from one age group to another you're a different person.
At some point you become invalid.
So, with age, in our job, we're also supposed to have become more stupid and less creative and less in touch with what people respond to as far as advertising goes. no matter if we happen to have kids at home, which means we should be reasonably aware of what goes on in young peoples minds and worlds.
I doubt a person who is 27 have any touch with anything other than hi or her peers.
i'm afraid i'm now a geezer who deserve not to live.
i do also belong in the immigrant community, so i'm totally useless.