Duality Will Blindside You

Ah, the pretty plastic horse for females, the pretty naked girl for the males. Throw in a mystical background, a fan to blow the girl's fake extended hair, add in fancy lettering and the effect is complete. The eye is drawn in by the Bacardi Rum ad feel only to be smacked upside the head with the actual message: horse-drawn carriages are cruel. Good ol' PETA, with plans to release this ad on Nov. 20, is up to its old tricks once again. It seems like it's more important to shock people than it is to tell the truth. Their arguments are as fake as their advertising campaigns.

The truth is, hooking a horse up to a carriage and giving rides in any downtown metro area is far from cruel. NY City has so many rules, regulations and constant inspections of horse-drawn carriage services that it would be impossible for any cruelty to happen. A horse is sent back to the stable if it breaks a sweat. A horse will sweat while grazing out in pasture!

Any argument for or against anything that is based only on emotion instead of facts is faulty, misleading, irrelevant and imposing at best, but is most likely extremism in all its glory. The duality, the totally misleading imagery, the exclusion of actual facts, the hypocrisy and the very obvious shove-it-down-your-throat tactics are just plain sickening.

If PETA was the only one using this insulting and demeaning method of operating, it wouldn't work. Advertising psychology discovered long ago that the best way to influence people is to play on emotions. That's where people are weakest and most vulnerable to persuasion. The last year has been filled with emotional arguments minus facts with the presidential campaign and that's exactly the way the majority  elected the next head honcho. It was too easy to do -- the majority had no clue about any of the facts, and therefore couldn't decide on anything beyond the emotional rants and raves. Split the objective away from the subjective and the battle is won with divide and conquer. It works every time.

Duality will blindside you in thousands of less obvious ways. Look at the man pleasant and agreeable, and not a minute later changing his tone and tune when talking with a different person. Look at the teenager trusting her boyfriend only to be date raped. Look at the x-rays of the ribs of a wife constantly beaten by the man she married. The used car salesmen, the big box chain stores, the company that steals hard earned pensions by firing a month before retirement, the government that goes to war to protect business interests under the guise of humanitarian efforts...

The best defense - observation, objectivity and intelligence. Use the same tactics to your benefit by splitting the objective from the subjective; set aside the feeling and use the thinking.


  1. Feeling instead of thinking is largely the province of the young, but unfortunately older folks can succumb. Heck, feeling without due diligence is what put obama in the White House!

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  3. Pam - Would you say that, if a person lacks access to the facts, there is more of a chance to, as you say, succumb to the constant barrage of emotional drivel? Yes, I agree that this is what put Obama in the White House.

    FishHawk - Thanks! I'll check it out.

  4. I am really not sure what you mean by "Heck, feeling without due diligence is what put Obama in the White House?" I watched most of the debates, watched a lot of speeches, and came to the conlusion that Obama was far superior to McCain and would make a better president. I didn't randomly pick him based on a feeling. Can you explain what you mean?

  5. I do believe that PETA just gets bored from time to time and has to go out of its way to find something to get outraged about. And, yes, basing everything strictly on emotion is about worthless. People who rely on facts and logic are in short supply these days.

  6. John - As a counselor, what I saw during Obama's speeches was a lot of words that everyone wants to hear mixed in with a healthy dose of idealism and overtly lacking in substantial content. He played his crowds, and played the country like a motivational speaker, and not much more than that. There is a HUGE difference between an effective speaker and a leader of the US.

    Hawg - Like most extremists, PETA doesn't hesitate to step into the ridiculous! I agree with you about the shortage of critical thinkers.

  7. Theresa, Have you ever read or listened to Obama's 2002 speech against the war in Iraq? Listen to that speech and tell me he is playing the crowd and saying what everyone wants to hear. Here is a link.http://www.barackobama.com/2002/10/02/remarks_of_illinois_state_sen.php
    Can you give me an example of someone you think is an effective speaker? Who do you think would be a good leader for the United States? Thanks.

  8. John, I will have to take a raincheck on listening to the speech - no sound on my computer right now.

    At the beginning of my college career, I had a history professor that was the best speaker I've ever heard. An old woman, she was a member of the White House Press Corps back when Nixon was president, and she knew more about Watergate than what was released in the news. She was effective because she would present the facts first and foremost. She was transparent in that she answered any question asked about herself, her experiences, her life, always letting the facts speak for themselves. Randy Pausch (if that is his name, I don't quite remember), a motivational speaker, was also very good without coming off like a motivational speaker. He stated the facts, shared of himself, and did not offer fluff or exaggerations of any sort.

    For your last question, I think it would be much simpler to say that the two candidates we were offered to choose from, once again, failed to meet the basic requirements of such an important position. I truly fear for our future.

  9. Thanks Theresa. I think that Barack Obama is the real deal. I think he is going to be a great president under terrible circumstances. I think he is the leader that we need right now.I know a lot of people are fearful of the future of this awesome country, many of my friends included. I hope that Obama can get things moving again quickly. There are too many talented people in the United States for this nation to be kept down for long. By the way, you can read the speech at the link in my last comment, you don't need sound. Thanks again.