Thursday, October 12, 2006

We don't need no Chief Happiness Officer

Several weeks ago, many blogs were buzzing about that lean, mean Ronald McDonald and his Go Active! program. I didn't – ahem – weigh in, because I had no reason to.

But now I do. Sort of.

My daughter took a stand when Ronald, whose official title is Chief Happiness Officer, was invited to present his bullshit message to my grandson's school. Her objection was to the blatant advertising injected into the hallowed halls of learning, and she was permitted to spend the commercial time playing with her son in his classroom.

The bigger challenge was explaining to her five-year-old why he would be the only one in his class – probably the only one from Pre-K to second grade – not attending.

[I'm sure the content of the CHO's program is too immature for the older students to sit through. Surely they wouldn't pick the youngest children in the school because their little psyches are so, um, malleable? Impressionable? Easily influenced? Oh, no, surely not.]

After their conversation, my daughter tells me that my grandson came away thinking it was rather silly for Ronald McDonald to tell children to be healthy while at the same time selling them junk food. [And Ronald calls himself the Ambassador of Balanced Lifestyles. Harumph! Even a kindergartener can see through that!]

After that, our little guy didn't mind at all that he and his mother got to play by themselves while the other kids were being indoctrinated.

Can you tell how proud I am of my daughter?

Okay, for those of you still watching The Biggest Loser, how many wanted to throw up watching the teams compete in last night's challenge? Count me in! Was that time-elapsed counter in hours?!?!? After that long a time – more than 10 hours, if I saw the screen correctly – that escalator looked like a stairway to heaven, 'cause I thought they were gonna die.

This is the first season of TBL I've watched from the beginning. I'd previously only seen episodes that pitted, say, Marine wives against Navy wives, for instance. I'm appalled at the challenges so far, and wonder if this year's are worse than those of previous seasons. So tell me: Are they upping the ante for each new season?

And when did they pee? I couldn't go two hours on an escalator without, um, powdering my nose, let alone 10!

Finally, and not related to anything else I've talked about this morning, I had A Moment yesterday. Mr. Shrinking Knitter's birthday is today, and I got to choose a card not for "my sweetheart," not for "the one I love," but for …
My Husband
Two 'awwwwwws' in one week. How much better can it get?


dg said...

braVO to your daughter!
and a hubby card! aww! i hope it was suitably cheesy ;)

Jonathan said...

Debbi: Back in the bad old days when I was a kid watching TV, whenever one of those misogynistic commercials came on, my Mother would have a fit (remember ... "My wife. I think I'll keep her." ???) She always made it very clear to me that "women aren't like that" when they showed June Cleaver-esque imagery. By constantly repeating this message to her three sons, she raised men who see the anti-women bias in advertising, and know when Madison Avenue is doing its brainwashing.

So not only is your daughter doing the right thing, I'm living proof that that kind of upbringing works.


Greta said...

I once read that more children recognize Ronald McDonald than recognize Santa Clause, so McD is doing an excellent job brainwashing. Santa might not be allowed in schools these days due to religious overtones, but I guess Ronald is welcomed with open arms. GOOD FOR YOUR DAUGHTER. To bad that somebody like her couldn't convince the school management to cancel the McDonald visitor.

I wanted to let you know that I have been trying to post to your blog for several days, sometimes 3-4 attempts but it's been impossible for me to post. I don't know if it's because I use AOL, although it did not work when I used Internet Explorer either, or if it's because I use an Apple computer, or if Blogspot was having a hard time, but every time I would write it would go into a "rolling beachball" (like an hourglass on a PC) and would freeze up or abort the web browser.

mehitabel said...

Good for your daughter--and congrats on the "husband" card, too! I didn't watch The Biggest Loser last night, so I don't know about that challenge--I don't think I'd last 10 minutes running on an escalator! I thought some of the challenges in the past couple of weeks were cruel, and it sorta turned me off the program.