Critical Thinking – THE Napkin

2 Mar

On a fairly regular basis I get a bit peeved at something I experience in my Bah ha ha!immediate environment. I tend to be fairly critical of media in general (a characteristic that has been bolstered by years of reading Adbusters magazine.) I believe that encouraging students to think critically about their environment is a fairly important idea that I hope to develop further in the years to come.

So I was sitting on a Delta flight this past spring break when I found myself face to face with THE napkin. I couldn’t help but stare at it…the ideas implied in the few words adorning this serviette just seemed so darn ridiculous to me! Coca-Cola, one of the mega-corporations contributing to the many health woes of our time, is endorsing a program aimed at preventing heart disease in women. Don’t get me wrong, I recognize that this program can do a lot of positive things for those fighting the havoc of heart related health problems. The thing I find difficult to chug is the fact that Coke is the one backing this project. In fact, it irritates me. It’s comparable to McDonald’s supporting a program to end child obesity or Wal-Mart supporting an initiative to promote small, locally owned businesses.

In honor of my disgust at the print found on THE wrinkly napkin (see above), I decided to tinker around a tad with one of the programs our instructor suggested in my ECMP355 course. The program is Google Search Stories. The end result is admittedly a little bit low budge looking, but it was fun to create! This Search Stories tool will certainly be handy to bust out in my future classroom. Anyways, enjoy the schmow!

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2 Responses to “Critical Thinking – THE Napkin”

  1. rlukan March 2, 2011 at 11:16 pm #

    This is so great! I had the TV on for background noise one day and found myself running to the living room when I heard “Coca-Cola” and “fighting heart disease” in the same sentence. I was appauled! I love your Google Search Story and your writing style is really great! Thanks for posting this!

  2. P March 3, 2011 at 12:45 am #

    Ha ha! This is SO you and SO true. I LOVE your comparative examples.
    “The thing I find difficult to chug is the fact that Coke is the one backing this project.”
    LOL, that’s some great pun-idge.

    Okay, but more seriously I agree with your irritation and perspective. Sure it’s great that they want to support something good and yes it’s nice that they might want to help with the clean up of what they cause, but to do it in this manner is like putting the “cart before the horse”. Granted they are not going to shut down their product and lose millions, plus face an angry outcry by the people already “addicted” (I use quotation marks to be politically accurate, for now). However they could choose an organization who is not working to heal the side effects of their product.

    To take it a step further, it’s a bit like birth control pill companies saying they support the breast health initiative. I know that’s not universally accepted, …yet, but soon enough the comparison will jive.

    I’m further bothered that it’s not just a matter of them supporting them quietly, but that they are using it as a marketing tool. No one sees that and says “You know I should take better care of my heart and stop buying Coke”. It also advocates a false idea to support one’s health, while drinking Coke or worse yet – by drinking coke. That’s the most sick and twisted part.

    So in the end their minor contribution to heart health is far outweighed by their detriment to it; thereby their contribution seems to me to only be payment for a well strategized ad campaign. It’s about prevention, so what we need is offense, not well-placed defense when you help supply the army to outnumber the defense you supposedly advocate.

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