Learn to look passionately
“…it is even more urgent that we learn to look passionately and technically at stories, if only to protect ourselves from the false and manipulative ones being circulated among us.” ― George Saunders
Tomorrow is the third anniversary of this blog. For the past year, I’ve published posts only twice weekly, instead of the daily posts that I wrote for the first two years. So it’s fitting that this year’s celebration would be less of an event than those of the previous two birthdays (see pages linked above under “Thank you!” and “Celebrate again” for more on those festivities). But it’s still a milestone of sorts, and I wanted to mark it in some way.
This year, I decided to give myself and the rest of our blog family a different sort of party favor by doing something I’ve wanted to do since the very early days of Defeat Despair: we’re going ad-free here.
In the beginning, when I was new to blogging, I had no idea that advertising would appear on my blog, or that I would have no control over what type of ads they were. Since I
hate have a low opinion of advertising and the ever-increasing role it plays in our culture, this really bothered me. I never see the ads myself when I’m signed in on my own computer, but over the past three years when I’ve happened to see my blog on other people’s computers or cell phones, I’ve found it quite distasteful to see those commercials perched just above the gravatars and comments of readers in our blog community.
My longtime disclaimer “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain” (at the sidebar to the right) has at long last been rendered irrelevant. It never really made me feel that much better, anyway. From the start, I wanted this blog to be a place of respite from all that was annoying, disrespectful, manipulative or depressing. I also wanted it to be a respite from the bombardment of advertising that is everywhere we go, including the sneaky product placement messages embedded into a lot of what passes for content. But I was too
cheap frugal to pay the big upgrade fee. Well, no more. Happy Anniversary to us!
Y’all can help by letting me know immediately if you see any ads here, and I’ll sic my cyber outrage hounds on the perpetrators. In the meantime, I hope you will enjoy these nuggets of wisdom from far better writers than I am, who give us much food for thought in their commentary about advertising. Let’s continue to focus on the inspiring stories among us, and defeat despair by refusing to fall prey to false and manipulative messages.
“All the papers that matter live off their advertisements, and the advertisers exercise an indirect censorship over news.” ― George Orwell
“Ads sell a great deal more than products. They sell values, images, and concepts of success and worth…It’s in our biology to trust what we see with our eyes. This makes living in a carefully edited, overproduced and photoshopped world very dangerous.” ― Brené Brown
“It did what all ads are supposed to do: create an anxiety relievable by purchase.”
― David Foster Wallace
“Advertising is the modern substitute for argument; its function is to make the worse appear the better.” ― George Santayana
Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money they don’t have for something they don’t need…If advertisers spent the same amount of money on improving their products as they do on advertising then they wouldn’t have to advertise them.” – Will Rogers