Friday, December 11, 2009

Public Service Announcements

Public Service Announcements hold a special place in my heart. My montessori school teacher wrote this one and I have been singing this song in my head, yeah, almost daily, since I was 3.

The first time we went to a movie at a theater in Melbourne, the previews included an Australian Public Service Announcement. I was about "asking questions at work". A teenage girl didn't know how to use the bread slicer her first day on the job and thought it would make her "look dumb" to ask for help. So she cuts a finger off and bleeds all over the place. I was stunned. We eventually got used to them. Here's poor Josh getting a broth bath.

We put some money aside for a car and are ready to get one any time, probably a hybrid or something fuel efficient or maybe a compact that doesn't have the long term toxic effects of a hybrid (from the batteries). That is all a little confusing, the short vs. long range economy and environmental impact of cars. I also have a recurrent premonition that Tom and I are going to be killed or severely maimed in a car accident. And we've been doing okay without one so far.

Road safety is a big deal here. There are clearly plenty of resources put towards campaigns and enforcement....speeding cameras and booze bus's (mobile alcohol/breathalyser check stations) everywhere. Tom told me about this PSA about speeding. Apparently "No One Thinks Big of You" has won a lot of awards and is credited with saving $264 million in accident-related hospital a lot of lives. According to this article, it has "lead to the widespread practice of people wagging their little finger at speeding male drivers". Okay I'm sorry, but that just cracks me up.

Anyway, my point being...there is a kind of irreverence in advertising here that I rather like. Let's not gloss over it, whatever it is. Australia is just gonna put it in your face. If you have time, do take a few minutes to click on these - they're pretty impactful:

Though we don't get exposed to a lot of overt homophobia in Melbourne, we've noticed a lot of undertones of it in popular culture. Australian stand-up comedy, TV and movies are an anachronism to the way things were in America in maybe about the 80's. There are a lot of gay jokes and we don't get why they're supposed to be funny.

This permeates the (lack of) consciousness or the way kids talk these days. I swear, to ride the train around the time school is letting out, you'd think EVERYTHING is just SO incredibly "gay".

Here's one from America. I wish we had more like this here:

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