Archive for June, 2013

How Heart-Healthy Cheerios Harvested Hate-Filled Hearts

They say Cheerios can help lower cholesterol and thus is considered a heart-healthy cereal. Of course, it stands to reason that overall health, lifestyle factors, and behaviors including regular exercise also play hefty roles in the bth_Family(1)health of your heart. And who doesn’t want a healthy heart? So how is it that Cheerios manages to help lower cholesterol, but recently raised the collective blood pressure of so many Americans? Because, intentionally or not, Cheerios stepped “out there” and put it in our face in a big, or shall we say, non-big-oted way. We couldn’t side-step it if we tried. It was, after all, the “elephant in the room”. What, exactly, was Cheerios thinking? Certainly they knew that a backlash was brewing, but they pressed on regardless. Perhaps they recognized the potential purchasing power of the market they reflected. And I’m fairly sure they were conscious of the practically predictable controversy that would ensue. Perhaps they didn’t care. But did they realize the ridicules reach that backlash would have and the potential repercussions and ramifications  not only for Cheerios cereal sales, but for General Mills products in general? Did they expect the intensity of the nature of the backlash that was unleashed?  Did you?

Cheerios BoxIf you’re still wondering what exactly I’m talking about and even if you’re not, check out the Cheerios commercial below. Keep in mind that this 30 second clip raised the ire of so many Americans that any shock value the commercial may have wrought, is overshadowed by the shock of the sheer number of Americans who felt compelled enough to take time out to express their dismay (putting it mildly). So many, in fact, that YouTube had to disable the comments section for the video clip due to the nature and number of hate-filled “comments” being spewed. And if you don’t believe that America has a ways to go before the issue of race rests, when tolerance and acceptance pervade, and we reach our true potential greatness, the clip below should help clarify that. And even more so, the response to the clip cannot and must not allow us to continue to pretend otherwise. Welcome to 2013 America.

But true to form, America is a nation of diversity and there are plenty of Americans who were equally dismayed (still putting it mildly) that in the year 2013, we can still be completely aghast by the backlash of the core issue. And also true to form is that when ridiculousness reaches reality, somebody’s going to run with it and/or make light of it. I love that! Those of us who get it don’t get why those who don’t get it just don’t get over it. Despite the fact that there is an ever-growing market yet truly untapped as a powerful motive, could it be that Cheerios wants their product to reflect that market as well as all of the “markets” that collectively makes Americans, America? And why not?

The complexion of America is and has been undergoing a magnificent make-over. And along the way, if we are open to it, we get to appreciate a glimpse of the “before” and “after” pictures. We may or may not like one or the other picture, but we cannot go backwards. Where there’s a market, there’s money to be made. If that market happens to reflect the current and unfolding complexion of America, kudos to the company(s) wise enough to not only realize that, but to step up awareness and the issues of acceptance and tolerance by putting themselves “out there”. In response to the Hater’s response to the Cheerios commercial, below is a parody of the commercial that nicely sets the stage for yet another fast growing American family market harboring a wealth of potential purchasing power. If you must, brace yourself. It’s just a matter of time. Cheers to Cheerios!

 

See You Next Wednesday!     Pink Heart      OXOXOXO

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Sorry Shakespeare, But a Rose by Any Other Name is Horse Mackerel!

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”     Rita Profile

William Shakespeare, “Romeo and Juliet”

I must admit, Shakespeare challenged me in school. At one point, I would have stood a better shot if he had challenged me to a duel! It wasn’t that his body of work wasn’t interesting or engaging, but more so the difficulty I encountered just trying to understand what the heck he was saying. But once I got it, I got it…and I really liked it, at times downright enjoying it. Shakespeare was all right! Except for when he was wrong. Imagine my frustration when I finally got it only to later discover Shakespeare didn’t get it. So, I actually didn’t get what I got when I got what I thought I got. Fortunately, it wasn’t long after “getting it”, that I learned the truth and came to understand Shakespeare’s famously quoted, well-known line from Romeo and Juliet from a completely different perspective!

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Let’s begin with the original understanding that I thought “I got”. The “What’s in a name” part was pretty self-explanatory. Interpreting “ that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” simply meant (yeah, right) that no matter what you call the rose – be it a person, place, or thing, the rose is a rose is a rose and therefore would still smell sweet. Yay! That was easy!

bth_horsemackerelliveAnd so it was, until it wasn’t. Bring on the Horse Mackerel. Ever heard of it? I had never heard of it before, but once I did, I knew that what I thought I knew, I didn’t really know. Turns out, in the event that you didn’t already know, horse mackerel is also known as Tuna fish. You may have heard it tastily referred to as “Chicken of the Sea” or “Starkist”. Yum! Horse Mackerel? Not so much! I mean, really. How about a horse mackerel sandwich or salad…or horse mackerel casserole…or simply grilled horse mackerel? Not very appetizing. Evidently, tuna became a much more delectable dish (and fish) when “Horse Mackerel” was removed from the label. I guess horse mackerel conjures up somewhat different images and as a result, sales, shall we say, slumped. But an opportunity to taste test “chicken of the sea” – well now, that’s a horse of a different color (so to speak)!

So, what is in a name?  Clearly, more than what Juliet conveyed to Romeo. How about your name?

Do you know the story of your name?471px-Désirée_Clary1807-Robert_Lefèvre

My name reflects the country that I was born in. Désirée is French and means desire or desired one. I was named after Désirée Clary, a one-time fiancée to Napoleon Bonaparte.  Désirée was presented to Napoleon (Wiki’s wording, not mine), to whom she became engaged but the engagement was broken off when Napoleon (a.k.a. philanderer) became involved with and later married Josephine de Beauharnais . Désirée Clary would later become Queen of Sweden and Norway. (Désirée was clearly destined for royalty). When her husband died, Désirée desired to return to France but her fear of sea travel prevailed. It’s said that after she became a widow, she became more and more eccentric and would sleep during the day and wander the halls of the castle with a lit candle at night.

Other stories tell of people being awakened by the carriage Désirée  drove through the streets at night. Sometimes the carriage stopped for a period of time and Desiree would sleep and then continue on her way. She drove the carriage in circles (a feel all too familiar) around the royal palace, also known as “Kring Kring”, meaning round and round – one of the few Swedish words Désirée learned (and the only one I now know). On the last day of her life, she entered her box at the Royal Swedish Opera. She died in Stockholm on December 17, 1860.1    

When I was growing up, everyone called me Desi. In fact, some people had no idea that there was anything more to my name. Anyone who saw my full name in print hacked it to pieces trying to pronounce it. Even I envisioned being “Desi” for the rest of my life. That was until I was about 14 years old and a woman at the summer work program I was involved in asked me (phrased as a statement as opposed to a question) if I intended to be called “Desi” once I got older. Well, yeah, that’s my name. But when I left home a young woman, I felt I needed a more “mature” name as conveyed by the woman in the summer work program. I then became Désirée .  When I started working, I became “Des” by default.

There’s something to be said for “Desi”. Although years have passed since anyone other than my family has routinely referred to me as Desi, I am amazed whenever someone other than the people I grew up with call me that. When I hear “Desi”, for a brief moment I am transported back in time to years gone by and am again among my childhood friends. “Desi” says you know me from way back and when I hear it, I can’t help but smile.

So, what is in a name? If you don’t already know and you have the means to find out, discover how you came to be named. There’s a story waiting and that story could be more telling than you ever imagined!

See You Next Wednesday!  Pink Heart   OXOXOXO

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