Sep 16, 2009

Universal Health Care for Dummies

Those that know me, know perfectly well where I stand in this so call "debate" on universal healthcare. Even if you don't know me personally but you read my blog, you probably know where I stand, but so far, I kept my mouth shut (or better said my fingers quiet) and didn't talk about the issue in my blog for two main reasons:

a) I didn't see real debate happening, what the media was showing as "debate" was just a bunch of ignorant/misinformed/selfish/fearful individuals (choose one or all of the above) yelling nonsense.

b) More important so, there was little "creativity" around the issue: at the beginning most of the material available was coming from those against universal healthcare and let's face it, people so afraid of change tend to have little creativity.

But finally those for the plan have started to surface with their own take on the matter and I want to share with you some of the good material I found here and there. (Note: if I am calling these "good material" is not just because I agree with what they say but because of how they say so.)

Let's start with these cards from SomeEcards. I talked about them before, but they have conquered my heart with these e-cards about the issue: my sentiments exactly!

Now, a video that I think it should have been named:

"Universal Healthcare for Dummies"
(Think about it. The water in your house comes from a "socialist" service:
Beware, by drinking it you may become a commie!)

Animated by Andy Lubershane. More comics at

So, we all talk about "the facts". The problem being, which facts? Which ones do you believe in? Here is what happened to someone trying to get good, real, reliable info online about the plan (for or against it):

Ze Frank finds out that "It's complicated"

This last video may not be as funny as the ones before, but it clearly presents facts. Facts with names and numbers and parents or kids. Not funny maybe but on the creative side, a little gem. Made with "social" help, giving voice to those that need it the most, and the music of R.E.M.

If you have any doubt, I guess now is obvious that I am all for universal healthcare. I do not need it, I have healthcare here through my job AND I keep my private healthcare in my native country. I simply believe that health is like education: everyone should have access to it on time.

Last but not least, a couple of thoughts.

For those that believe that a public option would be "unfair" for the private companies: have you seen any private university closing their doors due to the "unfair" competition that public schools represent?

For those that do not want to do it now, because "we need to get it right": Do you really believe that 40 years in the making is not time enough? And do you believe that when the actual system fails, you will be able to get it "right" then, in a hurry?

And for those that are just wondering "how we'll pay for it" I hope you never lose the private healthcare you have now. On second thoughts, I hope you lose it. Don't get me wrong, I am not wishing you bad. I am just wishing that you experience the same experience other have. Maybe that way you will understand a bit better how awful it may be to be sick or have your relatives sick and think "how I will pay for what they need"?

The US has an enormous advantage to get it right. We can learn from all the others countries out there with universal healthcare. We can take what works and avoid proven mistakes. We can be creative and start working on a problem when it's in the early stages. You know what? I hate super used slogans, but I will make an exception this time: "Yes, we can".


Sep 13, 2009

A Campaign With an Edge

From Singapur (Singapore), probably the most clever campaign I have ever seen for a product like Play Doh. And the cutest one, in a "Tim Burton" sort of way.

These ads talk to parents directly, reminding them -at the same time- about the thousand of possible things you can make with the product but, even more important, it also reminds them about how safe it is to play with it.

According to my friend Odra -who is living there and sent me the ads-, the whole campaign appeared in one of those small free magazines that you can pick up at the coffee store (in her case it was at Spinelli's) and it is "the type of magazine that let you know what there is out there to do if you want to be young, crazy and informed of the last tendencies...".

Clearly, the target is young, progressive, open minded parents (my friend being one, she also fall in love with the campaign).

Here, the ads (click to enlarge):


The magazine where she found them is called Navigator and if you are planning to visit Singapur soon, you can also read it online. I don't know the agency behind the campaign but I surely hope they get some recognition!

UPDATE: Hasbro denies the ads were correctly approved (even when they were approved by someone in the company). Read more here!


Sep 7, 2009

On Parents and Education

As seen in CNN - Weston, FLI can't help but laugh at the "controversy" about the President giving a speech to students about the importance of education on their first day at school. Parents that are complaining about "indoctrination" clearly have no idea what that word means (no surprise there).

You can read Obama's speech here, there is nothing in there that even gets near to political propaganda.

I guess that those parents complaining like cry-babies are threaten by anything that the POTUS may say just because they have little positive to say at all. Or maybe, they really would prefer their kids to become rich and famous the quick way, through reality TV or rap because that would not challenge them (the parents) in any serious way. Something in the lines of "Let's keep 'thinking', 'asking', 'learning' and 'commitment' out of our lives." What is a shame, because if there is something that nurtures creativity is exactly that, the capacity to keep asking questions.

The very sad part is that their complaining just comes to show what kind of parents they are: the lousy type. Good parents are not threaten by that real big world outside their homes that is so full of different ideas. Good parents do care about what their kids are exposed to, of course, but they are powerful enough in their knowledge and conviction, -and most importantly in the eyes of their kids- to talk with them about what they may have seen or heard anywhere and discuss those things with their kids, as another way to teach them.

As I said, I don't see any indoctrination or political propaganda in this speech, but even if there was a hint of it, a good parent could easily rub that off from their kids. Of course, to be able to do that, you need to have half a brain, some basic capacity to articulate coherent sentences and -last but not least-, the ability to talk with your kids (as opposite to give monologues to them.)

Really, parents that do fear a speech like this, should re-evaluate their parenting skills; they obviously do not know what means (or how to be) a good parent. It may sound harsh but it is just a fact of life: Good parents are not threaten by a 20 minutes video that their kids will see just once in their life!

PS: BTW, have you read Reagan's speech for the same occasion? It wasn't exactly what I would call an "objective" one. If you compare them, there is clearly more political propaganda in this one that in Obama's speech, but I guess that was another time. Maybe at the time, those parents that differ in their views knew how to talk to their kids or maybe the type of people that are complaining now would have not complained about Reagan's propaganda because it was "their" propaganda...


Sep 2, 2009

Pepsi Adopts a New (& Old) Name

This campaign for Pepsi Argentina, makes the most of something that -normally- brands hate: having their name mispronounced. Making a long story short, since I was a kid Pepsi was a name that some people just couldn't get it right, and Pepsi was for them "Pecsi" or "Pesi".

In this new campaign, Pepsi cleverly adopts this other name and even praises those that say Pecsi. The ads are all very short, most of them with Carlos "Mostaza" Merlo. "Mostaza" (what means "Mustard" and became his nickname for the color of his hair) is a former football player, that after retiring became a football coach (note: I am talking about what the world knows as football that is known as soccer in this part of the world.)

Anyway, going back to the commercial: Mostaza is well know for mispronouncing soccer English terms as well as the cola brand, and -of course-, that makes him the perfect spokesperson for this campaign.

Here, one of the short ads, with subtitles:

The campaign has several short ads like this one but also a website "Tomás Pecsi" ("You drink Pecsi") that makes the most of the whole mispronouncing English. It has "Daunlos"(downloads) and even a "Pecsipedia" that is pretty funny and allows users to enter new terms that they mispronounce. Is in this dictionary that the brand praises those that say "Pecsi": the brands assumes that it is not that those doing so don't know how some words should be pronounced, but that they don't care.

Interestingly enough, when I first saw the ads I thought it was a great idea but that it was the kind of campaign that could not be understood in any other part of the world. I was wrong: Talking with colleagues from Colombia and Venezuela, I learned that in those countries some people not only say "Pecsi" but also "Petsi" and "Persi"...

Anyone out there knows of yet another way of saying "Pepsi"?

PS: If you understand Spanish, here you can see more ads from this same campaign.

Thanks Mauricio and Ana for the info on Colombia and Venezuela!


I'm Back!!

Well, at least one of my computers is back!

Yeap, my two computers decided to die almost at the same time and I was left with my small old laptop, that may be great to travel but it is NOT what you want to blog and be a social twitter.

But finally, thanks to my beloved and skillful other half, one of my computers played the rol of Lazarus and came back to life. This does not mean that I will post everyday from now on (lots of stuff going on), but hopefully I will be able to catch up a bit. Meanwhile, my sincere thanks to all those friends and readers that contacted me to know what was going on...., it is nice to know that my ramblings are appreaciate, hey, even miss by some!