OK, let’s see what we learned from television this week. Not from the programs or the news, but from the all-important commercials. We learned that it is perfectly acceptable for a man driving his family to pivot in his seat, throw his head and right arm out the window, and point backwards down the road at a pink license plate frame. I defy anyone to pull that off without inadvertently tugging the steering wheel to the left — directly into on-coming traffic.
Then we learned that if you screwed up your cake order at the bakery, it’s “like totally” OK to whip an illegal U-turn in traffic to speed off to correct your mistake. Nothing hazardous about that, right?
Oh, and we found out that if you have the sponsor’s power hatchback, you can go instantly from illegally parking to evading police. No sweat, it’s all just such a hoot! And, of course, no teen or twenty-something is ever expected to drive without using both hands to pound out the rhythm of some too-loud music, using the steering wheel as a drumhead. Why actually pay attention to driving when you can JAM?
Many will say, “Oh, c’mon, it’s just an ad.” Right. Just an ad seen by every impressionable teen or tween looking forward to becoming a “driver.” And no sponsor would put his or her name on a display of stupid, irresponsible, dangerous, or illegal behavior on a TV commercial, would they?
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Perhaps the broadcast stations should begin looking at advertising submissions with more than dollar signs in their eyes and refuse to air these sponsors’ material until it is purged of such idiotic and dangerous messages. Keep the stupid, irresponsible, dangerous, or illegal behavior where it belongs — on the news.
Jim Boling, Richland
Free to disagree
I am a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Army. I joined to serve my country for what it stands for to the world. Our country stands for freedom of many things to many people of all countries of this world. Before deploying to overseas assignments, whether for hostile or non-hostile reasons, we are told and reminded that we play a role as ambassadors to the people of that country that we operate in. We represent who protects the freedom of the people who live in our country. We as soldiers are not there in that country in the interest of a suppressive government to suppress their people. Those people already have that in their country. When we get sent into a country other than our own, we are there to help the people of that country have the freedoms we have.
If We The People do not have the freedom of speech in the manner that we want to express it without being physically abusive, then I as well as thousands of dead soldiers have fought and died for nothing for this country. I am proud to see people burn our flag, make hate speeches, boycott whoever, write our opinions in letters to our local, county, state, and federal government officials, march on our streets, conduct sit-ins, flip off people of authority, raise a fist or kneel during the playing of our national anthem, all in the name of Freedom of Speech.
Charles Tredway, Columbus
Terror of abuse
Georgia Legal Services has been following the lawsuit challenging the City of Columbus practice to charge victims of family violence if they dismissed their charges against the person who abused them. We applaud the city for repealing the ordinance and compensating those who were forced to pay fines when they dismissed charges against the abuser.
Family violence occurs when an abuser uses power and control on a victim to get what they want. Abusers can force victims to stay in abusive situations, to return to abusive situations, and to drop charges by horrifying threats and practices. Victims are killed, beaten, stabbed, and shot every day in this country — 120 victims were murdered in Georgia last year. This also includes law enforcement, children, family, and bystanders who try to help. Abusers use children, parents, and pets for control victims (Georgia Fatality Review).
We must stand up for victims, not against them. We must provide shelters, legal representation, law enforcement, and access to medical care to give victims hope to escape. It takes a victim an average of seven attempts to escape the violence. Georgia Legal Services provides free legal help in getting Protective Orders, custody, and the financial support that victims need to be free of abusers.
Survivors can contact GLSP at 1-800-498-9469 for more information on legal assistance and eligibility. The 24 hour DV Hotline number is: 1 800 334-2836 in English or Spanish.
Sally Haskins, Georgia Legal Services, Columbus office