Friday, March 02, 2007

Melting Mothers, Cigarettes, and "the Truth"

E493 diva, Bridget O'Meara, weighs in with a critique and a movie. What do you think????

Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2007 11:15:20 -0800 (PST)
From: Bridget
Subject: The Truth
To: bnericci@mail.sdsu.edu

Hi Nericcio!

I saw something on TV that was quite offensive, or if
you will, obscene. It was slightly reminiscent of the
video of the gigantic marionette girl you showed us
earlier in the year. Not everyone will see me eye to
eye on this, but I think all can agree that this
commercial, in the very least, is disturbing.
The Truth (you know, the anti-smoking campaign) came
out with a commercial that, on first glance, I thought
was an anti-abortion advertisement. Their whole point
is that over 30 children a day lose their moms to
smoking. But the impression the commercial gives is
that female smokers kill their babies (and, as for
themselves, melt away like the Wicked Witch). The way
The Truth chooses to portray smokers as 'ice cold' is
pretty twisted.

I find it rather upsetting because I have a good
friend whose mother died from smoking-related cancer,
and I hope he never sees this. His mother was not an
object that one day just dissolved without a sound or
emotion.

Here is the link or watch it just below...

Bridget O'Meara

8 comments:

  1. While I can share dive O'Meara's sentiment on being more cordial in regards to those that have lost their mother to smoking, I must retort.

    I work in an Emergency Room 3 to 4 days a week. I have seen the devistation of smoking from lung cancer to heart related issues. So, I am in tune to the way it effects those left behind. And, when you look into teh eyes of a child that has just lost it's matriarch, you become affectd yourself. The crow states, "Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of all children". Having such an emotional umbilicus torn from you at such a tender young age, memory is not enough to sustain you. After a definite amount of time, Mommy fades away. If you're 12 and your mother dies, many feelings and memories stick with you. If your five, not so much. For an infant, they never get the opportunity to even develop such sentiment towards their mothers and they grow up with an empty sense of loss. This commercial, as brutal as most of The Truth ads tend to be, makes a very deliberate and, in my opinion, necessary point. Smoking does not only hurt you. We all should look at the whole spectrum before rushing to emotional judgment.

    Will

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  2. Anonymous8:48 PM

    This is such strange timing, because as I was on the bus yesterday (yes I am the only person in California who doesn't own a car), there was a pregnant woman smoking. I couldn't beleive what I was seeing. It was ... I can't even put it into words... horrifying.

    I agree that the Truth ad is disturbing, but at the same time this advertisement has to be taken differently than a child losing a mother to lung cancer, (for example) than a pregnant woman endangering her child by smoking.
    Two completely different scenarios.

    I really like all the ads that Truth put out, mostly because they spark debates like these every day. Whether you have lost someone or not (I have as well) to smoking related illnesses, we have to remember that this is a very prominent poison that is being marketed and sold to us everyday.(Rita Hayworth smoking a cigarette is enough to make any pro-health viewer have a slight craving, why do you think everyone smoked in the 50's?) This makes us smokers all robots in some way... don't you think?

    Courtney Yip

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  3. Anonymous10:00 PM

    I thought this was an amazing commercial! It shows the human in a spot of vulnerability, and question why we put ourselves in the situation that we do. I was amazed when I looked on the blog and saw this post, since I had just seen the commercial and was wanted to post it myself. We have to look at the audience as a whole and ask how (as a whole) this group will best be affected. Going to the extreme is the answer! “Truth” has the balls to cross that line of what is politically correct and show the world, in a way that will shock us and make us remember, that our actions have consequences. And if we continue to act in a robotic way without using our brains, we all will at some point emotionally feel the consequences.

    Props to the producers of the “Truth” campaign

    Andrew F.
    e493

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  4. I too can understand Bridget's concern over this commercial, but I think we have all become too sensitive and "politically correct" to others making a statement about a serious problem such as smoking. I think the commercial is not strong enough! We are only beginning to learn the impact that smoking mothers fathers, and smoking in general has on us. It is not just mothers that are killing their children but fathers too. The movie Gilda was a perfect example of the time when everybody smoked and nobody realized the problems of smoking or second-hand smoke. My dad was a heavy smoker, and in the sixties (when I was a kid--I know that seems like centuries ago) few gave smoking a second thought. The inside of my house was filled with smoke reminiscent of the Gilda set. As a result of smoking, at age 67, my father suffered a heart-attack and in three days was dead. Yea, it took longer than the few hours it took the ice-sculptures to melt (and his head didn't fall off), but the end result was the same.

    This commercial is mild compared to others I have seen like the lady who continues to smoke even after a tracheotomy. I have yet to be offended by such commercials, in fact I don't believe they are strong enough to impress the dangers of smoking on society.
    Todd Wilkinson

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  5. Marco3:37 PM

    Regardless of whether you approve of smoking or not, I think it is important to note that "the truth" ads function just like tobacco ads would. After all, the supposed "truth" is said to be contagious right? Contagious like smoking. The ad creates a situation in which smoking is defined as something absolutely wrong or undeniably harmful, but as some poststructuralists might argue, an illusion of wholeness is what makes this ad effective. Wholeness + wholesomeness + being justified in opposing smoking instead of melting + sickness + being wrong in smoking. Personally, I think the truth ads function like massive sermons to the public, like preachers trying to scare people into the "right" decision.

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  6. Anonymous4:55 PM

    I tend to agree with most of the comments posted. While I find ALL of those "truth" commercials extremely disturbing and hard to watch, they undoubtedly make their point. There is a huge difference between a mother who smokes and a pregnant woman who smokes.
    My mother has smoked since she was 18 years old, except when she was pregnant. While I hate the fact that she smokes, and I am still wondering how people can smoke when we have so much information about the harmful effects, at least she was smart enough to stop while she was pregnant with her children. That is what this commercial is about; I don’t think it is meaninglessly insensitive to people who have lost their mothers to lung cancer, it is just warning those mothers before it is too late.
    I have often wondered after seeing those commercials: is this really what it has come down to? To show these types of images on national television proves that very drastic steps have to be taken in order to stop people from doing harm to themselves, and in this case, their unborn child. Ironically, the dangers are right in front of their eyes when they pick up a pack of cigarettes: on the Surgeon Generals’ Warning.
    -Lindsay Steinman

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  7. Anonymous5:00 PM

    I tend to agree with most of the comments posted. While I find ALL of those "truth" commercials extremely disturbing and hard to watch, they undoubtedly make their point. There is a huge difference between a mother who smokes and a pregnant woman who smokes.
    My mother has smoked since she was 18 years old, except when she was pregnant. While I hate the fact that she smokes, and I am still wondering how people can smoke when we have so much information about the harmful effects, at least she was smart enough to stop while she was pregnant with her children. That is what this commercial is about; I don’t think it is meaninglessly insensitive to people who have lost their mothers to lung cancer, it is just warning those mothers before it is too late.
    I have often wondered after seeing those commercials: is this really what it has come down to? To show these types of images on national television proves that very drastic steps have to be taken in order to stop people from doing harm to themselves, and in this case, their unborn child. Ironically, the dangers are right in front of their eyes when they pick up a pack of cigarettes: on the Surgeon Generals’ Warning.
    -Lindsay Steinman, eng. 493

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  8. I found this commercial to be extremely powerful and compelling because of the message that the advertisement was able to send to a general mass audience. I do understand O’Meara’s negative concern in regards to this commercial, and I do sympathize for those who have lost a loved one due to smoking, however I think “Truth” did yet another great job in showing an effect of smoking. This ad obviously hit many with stark reality, which is something we need because we can’t continue to be in denial of the negative outcomes of smoking. Like the ad said, “30 children a day lose their moms to smoking” and I’m pretty sure “Truth” only wants that number to drop so they believe in order to do so they must be pretty extreme with their commercials. Without these ads, many would be unaware of what occurs because of smoking.

    I'm glad "Truth" goes out of their way to promote the truth of smoking, regardless of who agrees with them or not and regardless of what debate it sparks up. They argue an effective point that is only beneficial to everyone, except for those in the tobacco company who make money off tobacco. I hope they continue to keep spreading the knowledge.

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