Your Copy Can’t Be Too Literal

I bought a bag of organic tortilla chips and most of the copy on the bag is as you would expect. It’s friendly, has an informal tone of voice, and really seems to be speaking to the kind of person who would buy organic tortilla chips. These are lime flavor, so they also happen to be quite delicious. But the copy on top of bag, right next to the pre-cut notch to help you open the bag, says “Tear to Eat.” I know that is shorthand for “tear open the bag here, reach in to grab some chips, and eat them,” but their version makes me think the bag is edible too. Crazy? Sure. But it’s a short trip from recyclable to biodegradable to edible.

More Expanding Gender Identity

As society becomes more divisive and polarized, not just from a political perspective, but from a cultural one, I wonder how opinions of the country can advance so fast. Same sex marriage is a great example. According to the Pew Research Center, 57% of the country was opposed to same sex marriage in 2001, but by 2016 55% were in favor. The internet has created comfortable niches and filter bubbles which reinforces our own opinions. This makes me ask how conservative and/or rural teenagers will become accepting of the notion of expanding gender identity when they don’t really encounter it in their media consumption. Forms are beginning to change beyond the binary choices and it will be interesting to watch who drives this change and how accelerated the change happens.

Expanding Gender Identity

I was talking to my daughter about the continuum of gender identity and how accepting her generation is of this change in society. She has friends who use they-them pronouns and it has become pretty natural for people to respect that expression of self-identity. My daughter likes to explain it like this: Biological gender is what’s between your legs. Gender identity is what’s between your ears. Gender preference is what’s in your heart.

Side of the Road

Today I saw a toy fire truck and a dead bird on the side of the road. Both were pretty pristine. The fire truck was on its wheels with the ladder extended, as if a playing child had just walked away. The bird was lying on its side, as if it were sleeping. But I know birds don’t sleep lying on the ground. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions from this one.

The Smells of the Suburbs

One of the reasons I like to be outside, especially hiking in the woods, or even the mountains, is the smell of nature. It is pure. It is refreshing. And other than an occasional mucky smell, it usually smells pretty good. Every morning I run along a road and through a neighborhood subdivision. I enjoy being outside in the early morning, but the smells are just different. Car exhaust, diesel, even cigarette smoke as I run along the road. They improve somewhat in the neighborhood, but it is still not like the wilderness. Laundry, chemical fertilizer, mulch. The best days are the ones where I smell bacon cooking.

Shoes? Really?

There is a table in the kitchen in my office where people leave “stuff for the taking.” Normally these are books that have shown up at the agency that no one has any use for any more. They could be old travel books that have since been updated, or just a random assortment of uncorrected proofs. Today there were a pair of shoes on this table. They were very specific shoes. Pumps (I think). Rather large. Certainly bigger than the average woman’s size of 7 1/2. And fancier than most women in my office would wear to work. I’ve been wondering all day about the story behind how these shoes wound up on the giveaway table.