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the only earth?

network television [hearts] landmines!

In case you missed it, here's a BoingBoing post about a United Nations commercial about landmines that television stations aren't keen on airing:

  • BoingBoing on the ad [# ], with links to it (as a torrent, obvs.)
  • An article linked by BB about the ad and why it won't be on TV: No one wants to donate the time, which is kind of different than when networks won't even air an ad for pay. [worldnetdaily]
  • The actual video -- an American girls soccer game interrupted by a landmine [.mov]
  • the UN campaign website, stoplandmines.org

I guess the point is, why do people get outraged about television networks not airing commercials? Is there any cause for people to believe that they're out to do the "right" thing? They air commercials that con people into crappy life insurance, sell them coins made from silver found in the WTC wreckage, promote prescription drugs that they probably don't need, etc.

And really? Girls getting blown up by a pretend landmine in middle America is pretty likely to interfere with people's willingness to be sold useless products. Because I don't know how it's possible to think about the fact that people in 80 countries apparently live in constant fear of having their lives destroyed by a landmine at any time and not feel completely enraged. Not to mention the part about how the U.S. won't sign an anti-landmines treaty. Or the fun detail about how the point of landmines isn't to kill people, but to maim them enough to make their lives really awful. Or the thing about how hard it is to clear a landmine field after a conflict ends.

Which is basically why I can't think about it for more than twenty minutes, either. Since actually thinking about it would drive me insane. Who needs that interrupting their network television fix, anyway?


n.b., a superfun way to donate a tiny bit to minefield clearance efforts is to buy some Get Your War On items. [mnfiu.cc]


I'm getting the impression that you were being sarcastic in your commentary, but yeah, I think people get outraged because there's this overwhelming sense of complacency about network television, and the feeling that an ad like this, with a clear and important purpose, has no place in that environment merely because it will shake people out of their collective, too-comfy stupor.

I think the ad deserves to be shown. I don't think it's the networks' obligation to give them free airtime, though. I mean, the UN has money, right? They can afford it. It's not like they're buying Superbowl time here. Though it would be rad if the ad had run during the Superbowl. Overweight dads everywhere would've shit themselves. It would've ruined the whole game.
I honestly don't know how sarcastic I am about this. I guess it seems like a weird way of being angry. Instead of being angry about landmines, people are getting riled up about the politics of putting advertisements on television.

  1. I think that it would be nice if the commercial entertainment space was motivated by "doing good things" instead of "making money"
    1. I don't think that that it is.
    2. I'm not sure why anyone else does.

  2. I don't know anything about the U.N. budget
    1. I don't know how much of it I'd want them to spend of television advertising, vs. actual humanitarian things like minefield clearance
    2. Again, people are (apparently) angry that networks aren't giving free time to this ad

    I sincerely think that the landmine problem is outrageous. It makes me angrier than most other injustices (even industrial animal husbandry).