Monday, October 20, 2008

The Dumbing Down of America: Exhibit 2
The Teen Marketing Campaign

This picture was taken at a mall by my friend, per my request (as he has the better cell phone camera). The moment I spotted it, I had to have this additional proof of the dumbing down of America.

It's apparently part of an advertising campaign for an information site targeting middle and high school girls. The website is mentioned at the bottom of the ad, but we didn't capture it and, frankly, I don't want to give them free advertising anyway.

It says "A dog's bark is caused by VIBRATIONS in the air. (But I have no idea what causes his STINKY breath.)"

Now, what is wrong with this picture?!

Well, to begin with, a dog's bark is NOT caused by vibrations in the air. Sound is vibration, and travels that way, but a dog's bark is not caused by sound. A dog's bark is caused by its vocal cords.

Duh, as they say in teenspeak.

Can anyone any longer dispute the dumbing down of America, when even a marketing firm can be this stupid?

If this continues, in another ten years our youth will be standing on street corners, walking in circles and drooling on themselves. We'll applaud if they know how to dress themselves properly, and the concert I mentioned in my last post will be considered a shining achievement.

And they'll swallow every piece of stupidity that's set in front of them.

The American government is well on its way to achieving its dream of malleable masses.


Ed Abbey said...

I always thought that the dumbing down began with Ebonics.

The Lazy Iguana said...


The poster is correct. Vocal cords, weather in cats, dogs, parrots, monkeys, marine mammals, or humans - work the same way. By creating vibrations in the air.

In the case of whales and dolphins, the vibrations created in air are transferred to water - where they can travel faster and over far greater distances.

But I do not really like the word "vibrations". Technically, it is not wrong - but "compression waves" would be more correct.

The compression waves however, are caused by something vibrating. Be it a piece of paper or plastic connected to a magnet (AKA "speaker"), leaves on a tree, a spinning blade, car tires rolling down the road, mini explosions on a log in the fireplace, or animal vocal cords.

In space, vocal cords would still vibrate - until your lungs were out of air. But the sound would travel for such a short distance that it would seem to not even be there at all.

The stinky breath is caused by decay and/or bacteria. Just saying.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Lazy, No, it's not correct. The vibrations in the vocal cords produce the bark. The sound is heard via vibrations in the air.

I think you missed that distinction. You're getting cause and effect mixed up.

Therefore, it SHOULD have read:

"A dog's bark is caused by VIBRATIONS in the vocal cords and sound is caused by VIBRATIONS in the air."

I agree with the rest of what you said.

Ed, Yeah, that was definately one of the opening salvos. That, and the "Watermelon IQ Test" which was proposed in the 80s. It was a patronizing 'adaption' to black culture, with the premise that they were scoring lower because they were having to test according to white cultural standards.

Fred said...

I teach social studies, not science. I'm lost.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Fred, A dog's bark is caused by its vocal cords vibrating. The sound that we hear - the reason that we hear it at all - is due to that noise being carried through the air via vibrations.

Sonosaur says "That's why sounds can't be heard in space - because space is a vacuum, therefore the sound cannot vibrate through the air/atmosphere".

The writers of this fluff piece are getting cause and effect mixed up.

The CAUSE of the bark is the vocal cords vibrating. The EFFECT is hearing the bark via vibrations through the air. The ear picks up the vibrations and the mind interprets them, as Sonosaur explains. I couldn't have said it better myself.

And if these guys don't know the difference, they shouldn't write about it.

underground-like, you know-logician said...

I thought a dog's bark was like, you know, caused by the dog, like, wanting, a treat or go outside and take a pee. You know, it's the dog that caused it. Whateverrrrrrrrrr!

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again.


Saur♥Kraut said...

Daniel, Dittos all the way. Like the new hair (or lack of it) BTW!

UL, You are, like, so TOTALLY right, ya know?

The Doozie said...

I really don't get that ad at all. It makes no sense and it makes no sense for it to target young teen girls? What sort of store was it on?

If you ask me we're pretty much already there on the dumbing of the kids. Unfortunately they do dress themselves and very poorly I might add.

The Doozie said...

I just read all the comments here, and I think peeps are missing the point. The point is not to argue about the dogs bark, but to argue about what the hell this has to do with teen girls? The stupid slogan makes no sense, it's bass ackwards anyway.

It's probably symbolic for some nasty inferrence. Thats how marketing works these days

Saur♥Kraut said...

Doozie, Here's what I think was going through the marketing department's brains (or lack thereof):

"1. Girls like dogs. We've seen some really cute dogs lately - they're on cards, posters, you name it. They're shot with a fishbowl lens so that their noggins and their eyes seem absolutely huge. Kids go crazy over them. We hear them pass by a picture like that and they say "awwww!" So, a dog shot from a similar angle is going to bring attention to the poster/product.

2. How can we justify using a cute dog on a poster to catch a young girl's attention? Let's tie in something informative-sounding, in order to make them see that we are a teen girl's info site. Lessee... what can we come up with, Jim? Something kinda generic here, but folksy and funny... NO, we can't talk about their nasty breath. Well, wait a minute, maybe you're on to something because that could be made to sound funny if we do it the right way. How about...?"