Wednesday, March 4, 2009

451 Disease - An American Affliction?


Did you miss Tropicana Orange Juice when it went off the market? Did it go out of business? I hadn’t heard but then again I only occasionally drink orange juice and I have no addiction to brand names. I usually buy what is on sale or cheapest.

Well Tropicana did not go out of business. It changed its packaging to a bright new design above. Sales plummeted. The strange thing is that people apparently, like functional illiterates, do not read in a supermarket. They go for recognizable symbols.

Pepsico which owns Tropicana also came up with new packaging that the public did not recognize as “Pepsi” and are changing back to the old recognizable symbols of these two products. Perhaps the real reason “New Coke” got dissed by the public a generation ago was not because of the new taste but because of the new packaging.

It is scary. It reminds me of the novel and movie Fahrenheit 451 whereby the government bans all reading and writing. Symbols and memory are important and the screen in the living room feeds you all necessary information.
In human beings,"disease" is often used more broadly to refer to any condition that causes extreme pain, dysfunction, distress, social problems. Wikipedia

I define this laziness or disability to read in Americans as the new 451 Disease. I do not know if it is local or global and I have to wonder why we are wasting trillions in education if our children who can master tests, tests, tests (which by the way are nothing more than full of symbols, symbols, symbols) and they or their parents cannot read a carton of orange juice in a supermarket.

Common sense don't count no more. We are surely doomed as a civilization!

No doubt they will soon be advertising prescription drugs on TV commercials to cure this new disease that I have just discovered and labeled.

Have a nice day.

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