Friday, October 21, 2005

Taking a high schooler to task

Recently posted at Murdoc Online was this story of an ad that was placed in a high school newspaper:

My first reaction is anger. Why? Well, it's a really dishonest ad and I find it emotionally manipulative (a *MAJOR* pet peeve of mine).

First, it implies that a stint or career in the military means death. This isn't any stretch of the imagination. In fact, it would be a lot more honest if it were to picture loggers or roofers (two of the most dangerous jobs in the US). Just as an additional note, I bet the majority of those grave markers are those who served, but died of natural causes. Oh, and "signing your life away?" Puh-lese.

Second, it plays on people's fears. The group that purchased the ad is a pacifist Christian community. As a Christian, we do not fear death, because we have so much to look forward to. Here, however, we have a group that is fearmongering using death. This seems very un-Christ-like to me. Just my opinion.

Finally, it puts down those who have put their lives on the line for what they believe. I feel that you can "be all you can be" if you have died for something that you fully believe in. Would it not be a greater honor to die protecting your family...or in a random intersection in a car accident?

The only other point I would make is this seems like a bit of an inappropriate ad for a High School. When I worked in the student newspaper, our ads were just local political or activist groups. A college-level paper might be a bit more appropriate, because there's a *HUGE* maturity change between the two.

The makers of the ad claim it is only to create discussion...and that it has.


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