Thursday, January 30, 2014

Details Are Important

Details are important and not paying attention to them can develop into future problems, says a member of the Bishops Committee for Life. Writing in the Kyeongyang magazine, he suggests that we need to be interested in details because, as we are told in the Tao Te Ching: The difficult comes from the easy, and the big comes from the small. We are often enabled to see the whole from the parts, he says, by noting their future direction. Ignoring details is not an insignificant habit we fall into, he points out, and that advertisers are well aware of this tendency, devising their ads to take advantage of this tendency.  

The same writer (cited here in a past blog) mentioned the rather insignificant rosary ring on a girl's finger in one ad promoting condoms. Some would see this as making much over little and exaggerating a small point, but the writer says it is the "map and compass" of where the company wants to go with the ad: desensitizing Catholics on how they are to look upon per-marital sex.
During the  Advent season, Durex (a condom manufacturer), in one of their ads, showed two young people before a table with the Advent candles. In the background are four more candles and the playing of romantic music. When the young man attempts to kiss the girl, the sprinkler system is activated and they are drenched. He takes a  condom from his pocket and covers the sprinkler. This makes the condom unusable. He shows great disappointment and the girl then takes out a condom from her pocket and they respond with laughter. So ends the ad with the Durex logo: Love Sex.

During the Christmas season it is a well-known fact that many young people find their way to a motel for sex.  But why would they want to use the Advent symbolism for a condom ad? he asks. Catholics use the symbolism of the four candles: dark purple, light purple, pink and white to show the approach of Christmas. But the ad very cleverly changes the intention. When the four candles are lit, it signals the time for sex, Jesus being replaced by sex. 

Catholicism is shown to be, unwittingly, accepting of premarital sex in the way the ad is designed. This is one way mass media changes the way we look on  many aspects of life and gives rise to many problems. One can see it as merely a blatantly deceptive marketing attempt to increase sales, but more deviously, also, as a means to change the way society looks upon one aspect of morality that the company sees as anachronistic in today's world.

In regards to the rosary ring: The Bishops Committee for Life did complain and the company responded, saying they were sorry; they had no intention to offend Catholics.This was accepted at face value but was their apology sincere? asks the writer. The second ad using the Advent candles removed all doubt: the ad was withdrawn after the Committee for Life complained.

The writer ends by quoting from the Chinese classics: "Nothing stands out as much as what is being hidden....And what at first appears small often turns out to be very big."

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