Sunday, March 4, 2012

Truthful Advertising?

Walking to Bushwick to visit a friend, I came across this billboard:

Egads.

It's an advertisement for Fatherhood.gov, the national responsible fatherhood clearinghouse website, and I suppose it's supposed to inspire a sense of responsibility and reward for raising kids. But instead it just looks like an advertisement for birth control, or possibly vasectomies. The kids are kids, and as such, are a self contained unit. The elder is looking at himself in the mirror with the self-assured narcissism of an eldest son, while the younger looks to his brother for confidence and inspiration. And the father? Look at that sad bastard. He's tired, his eyes are flatlined, his features are slack, and he's moving without spark as his children feed off of each other. Maybe he's worried, or maybe he's lucky to not be thinking, but to just be waking up and out of it before going to a job he doesn't enjoy to feed these two spirited creatures standing next to him before he's had any coffee.

This picture doesn't make me want to be a father. This picture makes me glad I'm single.

This picture makes me think maybe it'd be cool to be a father:


It's probably too late for me to want kids. But come on, United States. Aspirational imagery might inspire folks to raise new, good citizens. This ad, well, the kindest thing I can think it says is: You broke it, you bought it.

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