BOSTON (CBS) – In pondering what to write about today I decided to examine several things—actual things that you can hold, sit in, drive and consumer that have made headlines of late.
The first one that piqued my interest is the latest device aimed at helping smokers quit their nasty habit, the E-Cigarette. One puffs on a metallic device shaped and painted to look just like a coffin nail; however with the E-Cigarette one doesn’t ingest tar, nicotine or any of the other hundred killer carcinogens. You “light” it with a button instead of match (much like you would turn on a flashlight) and it pumps harmless water vapor into the lungs and throughout the local environment. I’m not certain how promising the future of smoke rings looks with one of these gizmos. And isn’t water in the lungs a little risky? It appears to be a decent idea save for the fact that the E-Cigarettes are becoming the rage among young kids who might ultimately graduate to the real thing and more and more businesses are encouraging their smokers to “light up” in the office again since it means dragging on something relatively harmless. I suppose one has to weigh how much productive time is wasted by employees fleeing their desks to head down to the nearest sidewalk to sneak a butt as opposed to those who will now take drags of steam around the water cooler? It will certainly have an upside for those in the AA battery business for sure. I’m thinking of bringing back candy cigarettes. At least you add a little sugar to the mix.
The second thing I would like to touch on is that $97,000 Audi S8 that “America’s Quarterback” Tom Brady saw towed to the salvage yard last week after a nasty downtown Boston accident. Tom was not at fault and as the world now knows he continued onto Foxboro and football practice without a scratch. Local and national news went wild with more correspondents and helicopters covering the scene than reporters filing stories from Afghanistan. A few days later, it was revealed that the thing with wheels that Brady drives is actually owned by Best Buddies, a charity that helps the intellectually disabled. Brady has been active with the organization, lending is his name and fame to fundraising at various events. Audi is a corporate sponsor of the charity and out of “appreciation” for Tom’s involvement, supplies him every year with a brand new top of the line S8. It’s a pretty nice perk for a football player who just signed a $72 million dollar contract and a few editorial writers in town had a field day taking Brady and the charity to task for his acceptance of the car. Could Audi take that $97,000 and make much better use of it by donating it directly to the charity? Would Brady feel even a whisper of financial stress in having to do what the rest of us do and make a car payment once a month? While I believe it would be a lovely gesture for him to forgo the car and ask for the money to be donated, I don’t lay the blame squarely on our fair-haired QB. It’s a corporate fact of life that these companies want their products showcased by celebrities. It’s good business. The stars do help in raising a ton of cash for needy causes. The issue for me is that so many traveling in jet set circles seem to forget how the rest of us, the paying customers out here live. From the President of the United States on down wouldn’t it be satisfying if once in a while the “haves” gave a moment’s thought to the struggles of most people and said no thanks to the perks? Public relations works and good PR works like magic. They all ought to try it.
The final thing to look at this week is bewildering—raw meat. Now we all understand the concept of uncooked meat, but what are we to make of a hot-for-publicity pop star named Gaga who thought it fashionable to festoon herself in a dress made entirely of chops, steaks and ground beef at some silly awards show? It attracted a lot of attention, mostly from flies and maggots I’m thinking. One fashion maven even took the time to provide critical analysis and called the dress “uninspired.” I would label it just plain unsanitary. Think of all the hungry mouths in this recession ravaged country that might have enjoyed a flank steak or rib roast. Instead, the music world’s “Lady of Little Taste” made a spectacle of herself and everyone had no choice apparently but to pay attention.
Perhaps there was an upside. It just might have driven some in our cholesterol loving populace to think about switching to salad. At least for a moment.