Offhand, I suppose you can’t get more real than what happens in the bathroom, and yet a prominent toilet paper manufacturer is urging us (or rather, a series of beautiful women in pristine settings) is telling us that it is time to get “real” about what happens in the bathroom.
I can only assume that this is what happens when you stop teaching Health Class in school, so that students can spend more time studying for tests - even basic human plumbing becomes as mysterious as anything found in Shangri-La.
Leaving these Lost Souls behind, however, and getting back to the reality of the bathroom - and more specifically, shopping - one might well confront the myth that this commercial (and others like it) help to perpetuate - that men either do not shop, or have no idea how to shop, save for shaking cans of carrots, trying to figure out the water content.
Oh, like you haven’t done it yourself . . .
When have we not seen men in grocery stores? And not just bachelors, or the boorish husbands, trying to hurry their wives along, because shopping is somehow beneath their sense of masculine pride? Isn't it a little late in the day to go back to 1950s style sexism in TV commercials?
Guys have always shopped, and yes, Vacant Reader, they have been buying toilet paper. True, sometimes for price, though that is a decision one makes rashly (oh! A bathroom pun!) but the smart shopper soon wipes those that product off his list.
Instead, he will learn, as everyone else does, to select a toilet paper for the reasons that everyone else does - because . . . well, just because. But price is the least of our concerns when it comes to the reality of the bathroom.
I’ll believe in the “reality” of these commercials when they include a few guys.
Five Seconds to Air: Broadcast Journalism Behind the Scenes - Bob Losure and the early days of CNN
Bob Losure's story of his time spent in broadcast journalism - both radio and television - opens with an exciting sequence during the beginning of 1991’s Persian Gulf War. Cable News Network (CNN) had worked diligently for some months, using its not inconsiderable clout, to convince Saddam Hussein to allow the installation of a four-wire telephone system in Baghdad’s Al-Rashid Hotel. Because of that effort, CNN was able to broadcast from “behind enemy lines,” and report on what was happening in Iraq when the American air strikes began. In Five Seconds to Air - Broadcast Journalism Behind the Scenes, he tells the fascinating story behind all of that.
CNN was able to leave all other networks in the dust, and claim a place in broadcast history, as three CNN correspondents, in a city subjected to the power of the greatest air power in the world, told the world what they saw and heard. Back home in Atlanta, Headline News (CNN’s sister network) producers and writers broke a long-standing rule and didn’t bother to send their messages across the large newsroom by computer - they literally shouted facts and updates across the room.
Across the globe, eyes were glued to CNN and Headline News for their information. To some degree, it has been true ever since.
Anyone wishing to learn about the early days of the world’s first truly global news network will find Losure’s book fascinating. But it isn’t just a history of the public glories and off-camera dramas which propel this book. Rather, it is the story of a hard working, ambitious young man determined to make his mark on the world. The account follows Losure from his early days at a country western music station, to radio traffic reporting to Tulsa’s KOTV, and finally, Headline News.
Losure recounts tales both tragic and comical, and there is nary a sign of any “aren’t I wonderful” blather so often encountered in other works by journalists.
In addition to his professional life, we become acquainted with his wives and friends over the years. Possibly the most affecting chapter has little to do with the news business, but his battle with testicular cancer in the mid-1980s. He leads the reader though his various surgeries, and chemotherapy regimen, until his victory over the cancer.
t was while he was recuperating that he made the decision to leave Tulsa and head for another arena. Watching television, he couldn’t help but notice that his on-air replacements were doing good work at the station. Sources at the sation told him that they had signed contracts and wouldn’t be moved out of anchoring positions anytime soon. Accordingly, Losure contacted his agent, who began a job search. CNN Headline News had an opening - would he be interested?
The rest, as they say, is history. Five Seconds to Air tells the story of what it was like, creating a network from the ground up. The book relates the days when Ted Turner, CNN’s owner who lived in the on the premises for a time, wandered the building in the mid-morning hours in his bathrobe.
Losure also gives his views on the state of modern television journalism, with its over-reliance on focus groups and consulting firms. Losure left Headline News in 1997, and now makes his living doing corporate videos and taking on speaking engagements.
He has some criticisms to make of the current direction CNN has found itself in, and his views can make us take just a little closer look at the news business.
Quote of the Day
More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly. - Woody Allen, "My Speech to the Graduates"