Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Stupid, It Burns

Just plain annoying, especially after reading about why we are getting dumber, is a silly Swiffer commercial.

The scene -- a courtroom. A woman is testifying. The lawyer -- apparently the prosecutor -- is asking her what she saw. She talks about the evidence being all over the floor (so clevah!). The prosecutor says "Can you point to the defendant?" She points an accusing finger at a broom sitting behind a table. "There! RIGHT there!"


Didn't they mean something else, like, oh, perpetrator? mess maker? I dunno, something that implied that the dirt on the floor was a CRIME or something?

Yeah, I know, it's a stupid commercial! What bothers me is the utter ignorance of the mistake. I'm no lawyer. What I know about courtroom procedure is from Perry Mason. But I knew that! Being a defendant does NOT mean one is guilty of anything. Innocent until proven guilty. The commercial intends to say the broom is guilty of leaving a mess behind, but all it DOES say is that the woman knows where the defendant in the courtroom is sitting.

And those implications bother me. Little breezes and all that. Little things, innocuous things, indicate where people's heads are. A TV commercial isn't the work of one person. A LOT of people work on them. Dozens of people. And none of them caught this big, fat, OBVIOUS mistake. Why is that?

Maybe because our understanding of our court system is shifting or fading? Do we now believe that to be accused is to be guilty? Courtrooms exist only as arenas, places of entertainment?

It makes me nervous, it does.

I wonder -- I've noticed commercials being edited and revised. If I sent off this little 'mistake', do you think they'd fix it?

1 comment:

the queen said...

Yeah, and what about mitigating circumstances? Maybe the broom was provoked, a was suffering from temporary insanity. Did the broom PUT the dirt there, or was it just unable to pick it all up? If so, did the broom sign a contract? Why wasnt this in civil court.

This was a frivolous case. You'd think the ACLU should get involved.