There will soon be advertisements on my blog.

I don’t mind.  As long as the ads aren’t intrusive – pop up mid-sentence for example. You can always scroll past the ads to read these pithy posts.

My blog has viewers all through the world. Just last month there were 11 views from Russia and 4 from China. People from Sweden, Brazil and Indonesia have also looked. If you type “George Harrison discography” in Google my blog is second. How cool is that? I’ve had views from the Netherlands and New Zealand, but that is probably my cousin and my wife’s cousin respectively. In the USA viewership creeps up to a hundred!  Most of it may be me reading and editing my own stuff. There is no better editor than the “send” button. The real number may be a quarter to a half less.

And true, these numbers are peanuts compared to some bloggers, but I’m very happy with my “viewership”.  That’s why I decided to ruin it all by allowing advertisement.

Before the company that places the ads does so, I still have to be “approved” by them. This means they read through my blogs to make sure I do not espouse any nasty things: pornography, excessive profanity, telling you how to hack into NORAD, drug contents (there goes next week’s post…), selling beer, tobacco, prescription drugs, weapons, designer knock-offs, adult or mature content and “(c)ontent related to racial intolerance or advocacy against any individual, group or organization (sic)”.

The last one made me curious.

And got me thinking …

In fall of 1980 I was in high school. Most of the memories I have of high school are of selling things. Education was third of fourth down the line. We sold things to raise money for the band, we sold things to raise money for club functions; we sold things to raise money for class trips.

We sold everything from candles to cantaloupes. Well, alphabetically those aren’t that far apart…

We sold everything from pens to pizza.  Hmm, those aren’t that far apart either…

That fall of 1980 we students were herded into the gymnasium to meet a salesman. He was to show us our next big sales project. I don’t remember what he wanted us to sell and I don’t remember most of his pitch. I only remember one line….

“The school’s top-selling student will win a chance to go see the Presidential Inauguration.” His next line provoked a response from me. I was third row from the back.

“Wouldn’t you like to see next year’s Inauguration?” he said.
“Depends on who wins,” I said. It got a laugh from my fellow students. He laughed too and went on with his presentation.

I was serious, though.

Flash-forward to 1988. I was a DJ in Carbondale and part of my job was making commercials. Liquor stores, record stores, clothing stores, Wicca and New Age boutiques, you name it.  One boutique wanted a sinister commercial. Their first ad was pulled because the “spokesman” was a little boy who spoke of selling “sacrificial knives”. Was this a Satanic Rites store? My ad had the same script, but I read it, not a 10-year-old. Behind my voice was the omnipresent “Tubular Bells” and me chanting “Mary Had a Little Lamb” backwards. I told my supervisor it was the Lord’s Prayer backwards and had to play it back to prove it was “Mary…” when the General Manager threw a fit.

But I refused to do a political commercial. “I’m not going to be the spokesman for this guy. He’s running against a man I know and a friend of my family. Enn. Oh.”

I’m surprised I wasn’t fired. But they gave the commercial to someone else. My guy won in a landslide, by the way.

I avoid politics in this blog. If you read between the lines, you can probably tell where I stand. The following paragraphs will likely clear things up for you…

My Facebook page is filled with memes, articles and my own political rants. But I don’t want to do that here (this blog being the sole exception). And I don’t want the advertisements on my blog to do it either.

I’m not allowed to have any “(c)ontent related to racial intolerance or advocacy against any individual, group or organization (sic)” in my blog. What if the ads do? What if it contains ads for Chic-Fil-A or advertises Orson Scott Card’s Enders movie out this fall?

What if it is an ad for Papa John’s or Hobby Lobby – whose billionaire-owners refuse to provide health care for their employees? True, by doing so they will lose one-tenth of one percent of one day’s profits, but …

Or Wal-Mart who refuse to pay their employees a living wage and allow the people who make their products in fourth-world countries (those countries that don’t even reach the level of a third world country…) to live a below-starvation-level “life”? Those that haven’t been killed in factory fires, of course…

What if an ad asks you to vote for someone whose website shows scope-sites on certain politicians and who dares to play the victim when one of their mindless followers shoots the certain politician?

Perhaps even mentioning this will make the ad company “deny” placing their ads with me. Well, that’s okay – if those are the kinds of ads they place.

Gold scams, weight-loss scams, timeshare scams; those I can accept those.

We’ll see how it plays out; but if the ads piss me off enough I may withdraw from it.

In the meantime, enjoy the blog. This will be my only politically-tinged rant. I promise. More comics, Beatles and nerd-culture blogs to come.


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