Llais Ifanc Reloaded

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The rhythm (of violence) is gonna get you

Last year, 15-year old Christopher Rose was stabbed after refusing to give up his iPod. Days after the murder, two kids almost the same age were charged. As the Roses processed their grief, they received a interesting call from Steve Jobs, offering his sympathy over the murder. I thought (and still think) this was a good thing to do. This leads us to last Tuesday. Darren Samuel, one of children involved in the murder, has been convicted. While, this is good news, I hope a sense of closure is brought to the Rose family.

In the end, I see two factors that contributed to this whole tragedy. The first is the marketing for the iPod. Even if one can see that the marketing for the iPod does not expicitly say the iPod is the thing to have, it throws off the projection. This is not a good thing. The other is the range of violence on TV. The Children's Defense Fund concluded in 2004 that children by age 18 will see at least 200,000 violent acts on TV along with 16,000 simulated murders. This could, in some way, plant the seed that violence is somehow OK to get what you want.

For those who think this is a new thing, it isn't. 25 years ago, Air Jordan shoes were the thing to have. A side effect of this was there were many murders of kids by kids for shoes. The most recent murder that I could find was last year. The point of the matter is murders will happen for the must have item, no matter the decade.

iPods aren't immune to this. Two years ago, six people died after a dispute over an Xbox.

Besides the obvious, I feel this is consumerism run amok. If people are dying because we can't control our want for things, we must take a step back and check ourselves.

Can we do this?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

What gets me - for a buck

Recently, I have been shopping at dollar stores. They are great for finding good deals on root beer and gummi anything under the sun. Afterall, it's just a buck! However, there are things I don't like about dollar stores. Among these is the sale of US flags that are made in [the People's Republic of] China. As you know or don't know, China and the US are like night and day. To see for yourself, here is China's World Factbook entry and here is America's. From reading this, it's clear we are different as day and night. So then, why is easy to get a flag - the symbol of the principles our country stands for - made in a nation, that be honest has as much love for the US as my dog has for the UPS guy or the vacuum cleaner? I don't get it. Would a Canadian like their flag sold in Canada but made in the US? Would Australians like their flag sold in Australia but made in New Zealand? It boggles the mind. In any case, it's better to spend a bit more than a dollar to get your flag. Fine American-bred companies like this one will thank you for it.

Now don't get me started on frozen foods and vitamins in dollar stores...