Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

Levi 501 Unbuttoned Trash Advertisement

Posted Tuesday, August 19, 2008, at 9:20 PM
View 49 comments
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  • When you describe yourself as "not real prudish", is that in some way confessing that you are somewhat prudish? I do not watch much commercial television, so I have not seen the offending ad and probably wont. I doubt it would have bothered me too much anyway.

    Our sexuality is a reality that we have to come to terms with and when situations like yours lead to embarrassment, I wonder how you would have felt if your child were still a young teenager at home with you. I personally would not have been embarrassed, but would find the situation a perfect opportunity to try to initiate a discussion, not only about sexuality, but what the advertisements objective was as well.

    As far as accepting what is on the television, I encourage you to turn it off. It is very liberating, and not at all hard to do. You could decide what your favorite television shows were in the past (can be the recent past) and check ebay for some used DVD seasons. They can be pretty reasonable and provide hours of distraction.

    I would not suggest turning to the channels that most college kids may be drawn to. I fear we just might lose you sitting right there in your recliner.

    -- Posted by memyselfi on Tue, Aug 19, 2008, at 10:28 PM
  • www.hulu.com

    just sayin' :)

    -- Posted by darrick_04 on Tue, Aug 19, 2008, at 11:14 PM
  • I would have certainly been more upset if I had a teenager in the room with me. The show was Star Wars. One that little children could have been interested in as well.

    I reviewed my choice of words, and prudish may not be the one I should have used, but it was one I thought others would. Conservative, reserved, overly modest might have been better.

    Just because we are sexual in nature does not mean that we should allow companies (through the public medium) to influence our children with unsafe behavior. Many households have more than one TV which means that we might be watching different shows.

    Star Wars is not one that I would restrict a child from seeing, but the ads might make it such. What a shame.

    If I was watcting an R rated or X rated film, I know what to expect. R rated advertisements during G rated movies is something else.

    I do not watch TV much because it distracts me from other pursuits, and because it has become more depressing than entertaining. Others in my family like to watch the CSI's and the Law & Order shows.

    I don't share their interest, but that does not stop me from having an opinion about what is out there. Glamorizing and therefore condoning and encouraging reckless sex is not what I consider to be a responsible way to advertise clothing.

    While it is not good to live in the past, traditions, morals, and standards are good to encourage and continue. Lack of values nor standing up for them will continuously pick away at our society until it disappears. Maybe some feel that is good. I happen to disagree.

    If we had advertisements that encouraged dishonesty, where the drug dealer comes out a winner, the crooked politician always has a big smile, the child-molester proliferates, do we think it would be acceptable? I sure hope not, but maybe it would.

    Promoting reckless, careless sex with a complete stranger is morally questionable but what about all the potential for physical, psychological injury or even death. That could go for both sexes, since there are twisted people out there on both sides.

    Yes, it could be a good conversation starter, but what if you were not watching Star Wars with your child or went to get popcorn during the advertisements. Would a child turn it off or just soak it up and consider it acceptable behavior?

    Turning it off, or pretending it is not happening is not not in MY genes or jeans in this case. I have expressed my dislike to Levi in both oral and written form. I don't plan on mounting an anti-Levi campaign, but I have at least stated my opinion.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Aug 20, 2008, at 8:36 AM
  • I am with you Steve. I have boycotted Levi since they donated a large sum of money to the million mom march. Every one should buy another brand of China made jeans.

    -- Posted by jim8377 on Wed, Aug 20, 2008, at 9:57 AM
  • There are so many things on TV these days that is very suggestive I guess we have become use to these things. Kids now-a-days do not pay as much attention to these things as we adults do because they have always been there in their lives. Of course us older adults remember when you couldn't have anything suggestive on TV. I Love Lucy show couldn't even use the word Pregnant.

    When you are flipping through the channels it is sometimes scary to see and hear some of the things on Local channels and Lord help you if you have HBO or Showtime. :>)

    -- Posted by Dianatn on Wed, Aug 20, 2008, at 10:02 AM
  • That is why we never signed up for HBO, Cinemax or Showtime. Pay Per View was just fine since we could decide on a movie by movie basis.

    I used to watch HBO in the hotel during my travels, but now I rarely turn on the TV at all now.

    The Levi Strauss website talks about all the good community things they are doing and some may be good, but...

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Aug 20, 2008, at 10:24 AM
  • I agree Steve!

    There are many ads on tv that are unacceptable, and this Levis one would be included in that category for me. There is absolutely no correlation between jeans and sex. But marketing tools obviously argue quite the contrary.

    Equally disturbing commercials out there? include the pharmaceutical commercials- I never expected to hear about ED or Viagra while I am watching a game show. I don't want to hear about someone's herpes either...the HPV ad for vaccinations for girls (it's an STD that causes the HPV but that doesn't get explained in the "one less" campaign). For those of you who think kids are "used" to these ads and don't pay attention? Well, that's untrue. They are picking up on the cues, and the pharmaceutical companies are hoping to make young children lifelong drug users...we have a drug for everything and the TV says it's okay. Suggestive advertising is just that and it's used because it works. But a jeans company has NO business encouraging risky behaviors....but maybe Levis is going to start their own teen pregnancy/ STD campaign too? Only if Levis is tied to drug companies. I wouldn't be surprised.

    -- Posted by thinkingdeep on Wed, Aug 20, 2008, at 12:14 PM
  • Thinkingdeep -

    I have to respond to your comments about the "One Less" campaign. Before making a judgement call on that particular marketing campaign you should get your facts straight -

    "the HPV ad for vaccinations for girls (it's an STD that causes the HPV but that doesn't get explained in the "one less" campaign)."

    HPV is an STD, that is clear in the ads. What you're not understanding is that the ads are for a vaccine that is to stop cerival cancer. You may not know this, but certain types of cervical cancers are cause by HPV. I can't understand why anyone would not want to get their daughter's vaccinated against cervical cancer - almost 4000 women a year die from it. As a cancer survivor, I find your comments about the "One Less" campaign to be highly insulting - if you paid attention to the ads, the vaccine is more to guard against cervical cancer (something that kills women), than it is about HPV.

    -- Posted by cfrich on Wed, Aug 20, 2008, at 1:46 PM
  • Last year Burger King had a commercial depicting a young, nicely built female teacher talking or singing to her class. She got on the desk, & the kids in the class were drooling. It was supposed to be the hamburgers they were thinking of, but that ad was way off base. I e-mailed both the TV stations where I saw the commercial & also Burger King. It didn't run long. Evidently my complaints weren't the only ones that were registered.

    Complain about the commercial to the TV station. That's all I know to suggest.

    -- Posted by bettyhbrown on Wed, Aug 20, 2008, at 2:29 PM
  • I've been fortunate enough to miss that ad but if I were to see two kids who just met disrobing as they went upstairs I'd better see them go to separate rooms to finish undressing before they go to get their school physicals,change into their playwear (bathing suits,sweats,gi's or whatever) or put on their good duds for dinner out with the parents or a job interview.

    (Why do I think that discarded clothing wasn't hung up,folded or sorted before being put into the laundry?)

    A good product can be sold on its own merits or it can add incentives for purchase that are wholesome and actually make sense.

    What's the message behind THIS campaign?

    "Levi's: Every moment you spend wearing them is that much wasted time."

    -- Posted by quantumcat on Wed, Aug 20, 2008, at 3:53 PM
  • Steve, I'll comment later on the topic, but wanted to ask if you have seen the latest changes to ebaymazon.com? Interesting. The most signifigant appear to be shipping charge regulations and the removal of money order/check payments.

    -- Posted by memyselfi on Wed, Aug 20, 2008, at 5:54 PM
  • yes, I waiting to see exactly what they plan to do with the checks and money orders. I suppose it might be safer to get money back but we have very good customers who do not want their credit cards on PayPal.

    We will continue to accept normal payment but may not be able to tell our new customers what payment we will accept. We will find a way, but I have to see more of the details.

    35 cents for a thirty day fixed price listing sounds good, but the details on the other points started my head swirling so I put off reading them for later.

    we are starting to move to more independent sales but eBay will still be a major part of our marketing effort, if they let us.

    Sorry I was slow in responding. My mother-in-law celebrated her 90th birthday today so we have been out to dinner.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Aug 20, 2008, at 8:48 PM
  • Happy Birthday ma'am!

    Your mother-in-law seems a pert and powerful lady.Steve.

    I hope we can all be as savvy (and cute as a button) when we are fortunate enough to reach her age.

    -- Posted by quantumcat on Wed, Aug 20, 2008, at 11:07 PM
  • cfrich

    My daughter is having the 3 shot vaccine now. My mother is a cervical cancer survivor of 26 yrs. and still has complications from surgeries and treatment after all this time. I think it's wonderful that we have something to help prevent our young girls from a life threatening disease.

    -- Posted by Disgusted on Thu, Aug 21, 2008, at 8:43 AM
  • I am a 31 year old mother. I saw the commercial last night. I was in shock! I am a very laid back type of mother, but that was the most tasteless thing I have ever seen. That isn't the first time they have done sexualy based commercials. I saw another one a year or so ago that had some guy in his underwear sneeking out a window of some half naked woman because her boyfriend was comming in the room. Then he sneeks back in to get his jeans.

    So I guess the point behind their advertisements is that if you wear their jeans your sure to get some! Way to go Levi's!!

    -- Posted by csanders on Thu, Aug 21, 2008, at 11:15 AM
  • Disgusted - I completely agree that it is a good thing to have something to protect girls from this potentially life threatening disease. I also like how some of the complanies that make it are making it available, either at low cost or free, to lower income families - it shows that maybe not all pharmacutical(sp?) companies are in it for the money.

    Also, that's great news about your mom (I'm a 5 year survivor of it).

    -- Posted by cfrich on Thu, Aug 21, 2008, at 11:20 AM
  • I will pass along the compliment QC. By the way, I like your new ad slogan for Levi's.

    I think informative advertising for the shots is beneficial.

    I also agree that we don't need to see groping of any couples. I'll rent CD if option is important.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Aug 21, 2008, at 12:00 PM
  • cfrich

    Last year my insurance wouldn't cover it and the cost was around $400.00, I found out from a friend that the Health Dept. offers the vaccine at low or no cost!

    Can't remember if it's 7 or 13 yrs. cancer free that the possibility of it returning are unlikely. It may not be that long now, hang in there!

    Levis are becoming a thing of the past. None of my girls have ever ask for Levis, every other brand but Levi brand even though a lot of guys still stick with them. They are resorting to desperate measures, unfortunately it may destroy them completely!

    -- Posted by Disgusted on Thu, Aug 21, 2008, at 2:39 PM
  • Disgusted -

    I can't believe when insurance won't cover things that are potentially life-saving. It's just dumb.

    (Steve - I'm sorry for hijacking your blog post comments).

    -- Posted by cfrich on Thu, Aug 21, 2008, at 2:49 PM
  • No problem C. I am pleased it has taken this kind of turn and not another.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Aug 21, 2008, at 3:07 PM
  • Just wondering "what is the objective of the advertisement". I guess it is difficult to understand such when you are in your "younger" years. Another case to remind me "what is this world coming to". It is really getting horrible when you are watching TV, and you immediately have to change channels due to the content for children to see and hear. It is very unclear to me why such things have to be made a part of the ad.

    -- Posted by countrygal2008 on Thu, Aug 21, 2008, at 4:40 PM
  • Oops -- pardon me That should have read "older " years. See that is what happens in "older" years.

    -- Posted by countrygal2008 on Thu, Aug 21, 2008, at 5:07 PM
  • Countrygal,I knew I'd finally become an "adult" when I'd be confronted with something stupid and my first thought was "I'd better make sure the kids don't see this by accident" instead of "I'd better make sure this doesn't surprise the grown-ups".

    Teachable moments are wonderful but if EITHER side sees inappropriate material on their own without such a discussion,the result is apt to be kids trying sooo hard to be blase' and sophisticated that the parents start looking for salacious or violent content in "Davy and Goliath","Dora the Explorer","Encyclopedia Brown" or the "Backyardigans."

    I agree that today's youth are likely to feel insulted by implications that they aspire to nothing more than promiscuity,getting wasted,undermining other people and spending more than they earn.

    They are far more aware of their present and interested in their future than these ad-makers seem to think.

    They may just decide that one might find better value in clothing made by people who actually have respect for their customers.

    -- Posted by quantumcat on Thu, Aug 21, 2008, at 5:47 PM
  • Good point about respecting their customers. I would say that this certainly does NOT do that.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Aug 21, 2008, at 6:53 PM
  • Here is one respnse I received from Levi Strauss. For what it is worth:

    Hi Steve:

    Thanks for contacting us at Levi Strauss & Co.

    We place a tremendous value on the feedback we get from our consumers - especially when it concerns any problems or dissatisfaction that you may have experienced.

    Although our marketing professionals work continuously to produce advertising that is appealing and relevant to our consumers, we do recognize that this is a highly subjective area. It is for this reason that we sincerely thank you for your feedback, and assure you that your comments and concerns will be registered and passed along to the appropriate management.

    Please feel free to contact us again if we can be of further assistance. Just email us back, or call us at 1-800-USA-LEVI. We're available Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 4:00pm Pacific Time.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Aug 21, 2008, at 7:16 PM
  • I hate to be the one to possibly take this where you are pleased it has not gone, but I fear that is exactly what I am about to do. I do understand from the other comments that I will be in the minority and think that I may actually be from a slightly younger generation, even though we may have children the same age. I may just be more liberal than I ever imagined. I also want to emphasize here at the start that I mean no offence to anyone, even if the topic is personal.

    Your reply has 2 words that stick out in my mind. I just cannot get over your self description of "overly modest". How does a modest person believe they are overly modest, as opposed to appropriately modest? I imagine you, like most everyone else in this society, have some conflictions regarding your sexuality.

    Most people are so conflicted they do not even realize what caused it. It should be no surprise, given the fact that most of us are taught about the appropriate methods and places to eliminate waste as toddlers, but are often times left on our own to figure out the rest of what is going on down there until it has been going on for years. We are ridden with guilt and shame based on biological functions as normal as eating. I do happen to think that is a good analogy. Some people appear to have sexual bulimia. We as a society are repressed and do not understand that we are passing it on down through the future generations.

    If you have any doubts about where your morality came from, just ask yourself if you are more like the responsible caregivers in your childhood life or the friends whispering and posturing about sex in the restroom at school. This may be a shock to some of you, but I can tell you for certain, that by the time a child is a young teen, they have been exposed to a degree of sexuality that make this ad appear tame. When a child of today (or my day for that matter) reaches the 7th grade, they already know more than most adults will ever tell them. A television commercial showing whatever you can imagine, can not begin to counter what a child has been exposed to and seen throughout their life. If a child sees that sexuality is equated to shame, that is how they will view it when they get older, but will be more likely to mis-step along the way to adulthood. If a child sees healthy outlooks that encourages responsibility and love that is what you will likely see as an adult, with fewer early mistakes, as a rule.

    We all make bad decisions at times, but we carry ourselves through those times as well, and we find that the bad decisions reinforce whatever our environmentally inclined disposition is to begin with making our sexual outlook a self fulfilling prophesy.

    I see no reason to hide the age old reality that sometimes people are inclined to have sexual relations with strangers, irresponsible situations occur, crime pays, bullies get their way, bad things happen to good people and politicians do have big smiles. I also try to be quick to point out that we all have to live with ourselves and that utility is not always our ultimate objective.

    Does an advertisement have to promote what already feels good? The promoters are just using the already present feelings of desire to form an association to their products. I agree the practice is predatory and unfair not only to children, but to many adults as well. What we should be doing is educating our children about what they are doing and why. To me, it makes more sense to embrace the reality of our existence than to pretend as if and wish it were different.

    -- Posted by memyselfi on Thu, Aug 21, 2008, at 7:20 PM
  • Wow Steve, you just got a free psychiatric consult for free! You should be all cured now, hahah. I completely agree that you had every right to voice your displeasure with that ad. I get so sick of commercials using sex to sale everything and I don't have any conflicts with my sexuality!

    -- Posted by breezy on Thu, Aug 21, 2008, at 8:54 PM
  • Sadly, it would take years and years to cure most people. I just wish the adult generation could have the ability to not perpetuate their hang-ups to the future generations.

    breezy, Your discomfort with my comment indicates to me that you do indeed have some conflicts with your sexuality. - Sorry

    -- Posted by memyselfi on Thu, Aug 21, 2008, at 9:17 PM
  • "What we should be doing is educating our children about what they are doing and why. To me, it makes more sense to embrace the reality of our existence than to pretend as if and wish it were different."

    -- Posted by memyselfi on Thu, Aug 21, 2008, at 7:20 PM


    AMEN to your comments...


    If you have conflicts with your sexuality then you probably are one who gets sick of the commercials, otherwise it shouldn't bother you! Why do we as a nation fear sex? It is such a hush hush issue (especially among Christian Conservatives) who don't think their kid experiments or thinks about sexuality. How you all forget when you were young, as if you were pure and innocent, and you didn't even have Levi commercials with sexually suggestive material. If parents spent more time EDUCATING their children on the effects and/or consequences of sex, there wouldn't be so many teens trying to figure it out on their own... You all act as though sex shouldn't be used to sell products, hmmm... so that must explain why condom commercials never actually show the product in use, huh?

    -- Posted by nascarfanatic on Thu, Aug 21, 2008, at 9:45 PM
  • All I can say is as a Marketing Major, I would LOVE this free advertisement of my product... be it negative or positive, either way people are talking, and most of us would have never even heard of Levi 501 Unbuttoned Jeans until this week.

    -- Posted by darrick_04 on Thu, Aug 21, 2008, at 10:27 PM
  • Breezy, thanks for your support. It may be surprising to some that I do not take offense at these types of comments. However, I do smile.

    I also don't mind that you took us in a different direction memyslefi, but I hope we can stay away from personal comments. Directing them at me is fine because I will do my best to avoid returning it, but others can get pretty riled and the discussion then falls apart.

    Breezy, please don't respond to personal evaluations that can obviously not be determined from a few comments in a blog. It is not worth the aggravation.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Aug 22, 2008, at 8:48 AM
  • With that said, let me continue the conversation.

    I would bet that all of us have inner conflicts about something. Should I fudge on my taxes, go 5 miles over the speed limit, look at that provocative picture, etc. If one was perfect, I am not sure they would be human.

    To answer a few points in memyselfi's post, my description of overly modest was once again what I would think others might assume from my comments, as it appears they did.

    I would agree that a 7th grader knows quite a bit about sex but what is it they know, or think they know. Many parents do not have conversations with their children about this topic, but to assume all do not or that I did not would be wrong.

    The fact that our children have been exposed to so much is correct, but I see that as a fault of the adults and THEIR morals. I would prefer that strangers did not feed their opinions to my children over the open airways or other public venues.

    One television commercial adds with the MANY TV commercials and sitcoms to mold our children's opinions on what is acceptable behavior. As parents, we have a hard enough time counteracting what they learn from others, without seeing it every way we turn.

    Sex is a very pleasurable gift that our creator gave to us and he gave us a brain determine how we live our lives. A society with no boundaries, no values (morals) is not much of a society at all. I wonder how our nation would have grown if it started out as the Roman Empire ended?

    I do not try to "hide the age old reality that sometimes people are inclined to have sexual relations with strangers, irresponsible situations occur, crime pays, bullies get their way, bad things happen to good people and politicians do have big smiles.", but I see no reason to glamorize it. As I questioned before, does that mean we should have ads showing children in their underwear, being ogled by sex offenders?

    You may not see the correlation, but I believe this ad was tasteless and "in my opinion" over the line.

    I truly hope your opinion IS in the minority, but you are certainly free to have it, without psychoanalysis from me. I did post graduate work in psychology, sociology and counseling, so I have heard these types of evaluations in the past. I know that an analysis of this sort requires detailed study, tests and interviews, not just surmised from a few lines in a blog. This is why I do not take offense at the statement and why I had to smile.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Aug 22, 2008, at 9:24 AM
  • PS: Darrick, you are right. Successful advertisements are the ones that are talked about, and I had not really noticed the 501 unbuttoned line before. But at what price?

    I do not think it will influence me to buy any, but I may have inadvertently helped them. Darn!

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Aug 22, 2008, at 9:27 AM
  • It is my belief that problems like teenage pregnancy and underage drinking are actually propelled higher when conservative minds get together and demonize a behavior or action. Human's generally will do what they want to do when confronted with a choice. If you think that an advertisement for jeans or a value meal at Burger King is going to cause your child to have sex you are badly mistaken. Take for example the teenage birth rate. The peak of teenage pregnancy in our nation was during one of our most conservative of decades, the 1950s. This was of course a different time with different rules, but the bottom line is that teenagers were having sex then, much like teenagers are having sex today. The primary difference being that teenagers in the 1950's got married when they got their girlfriends pregnant and teenagers today do not. Nonetheless they were compelled to have sex for obvious natural reasons.

    Another example is drug use. America has one of the strictest drug control policies of all developed nations. Our government has spent billions of dollars over the last four decades fighting a war drugs. Yet, the United States has the highest rate of drug use in all of the developed world. How can this possibly be? In the United States the percentage of adults that reports using cocaine at least once is 16%. The next nation closest to the United States in cocaine use is New Zealand at 4%. In the Netherlands, a nation famous for its liberal drug policy, the percentage of adults that reported using cocaine at least once was only 1.9%. Even marijuana use in the Netherlands (19.8%) was far lower than the US (42.8%). The sad fact is that the United States leads in virtually all categories of alcohol, tobacco, and drug use in the industrialized world while we spend more money than anyone else. How can this possibly be? My point is that what is right for you is not necessarily right for me.

    We all have choices and when the time comes we will decide based on our wants and needs at that time. Fact: Sex has always existed and people will continue enjoying it. Stop demonizing sex and those that enjoy it. Fact: Drugs exist and people will continue to get high. Instead of pushing those that like drug use into the shadows, bring it into the open and control it through legalized sale and cut the legs from under the often violent black market. Honestly if you don't like the commercials on television, then turn it off and pick up a book, the bible perhaps. If you want to make your own commercials and advertisements then perhaps you can start a Christian themed jean company. Your ad slogan could be WWJW? What Would Jesus Wear? :p

    -- Posted by nathan.evans on Fri, Aug 22, 2008, at 10:25 AM
  • -- Posted by nathan.evans on Fri, Aug 22, 2008, at 10:29 AM
  • Somehow, I am not getting my point across. We are continuously more permissive about EVERYTHING. Would someone answer my question about the example I gave of using pedophilia as a way of advertising children's clothing. Is that OK in your eyes? If not, where is the line drawn?

    I love numbers. You can do anything you want with them to prove or disprove anything. A great example is seeing how political candidates use them. If Wikipedia was used aqs a source for mentioning that preganancy was at an all time high in the 50's, it would be good to read the whole article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teenage_pregnancy. In 2006 adolescent births started to increase again after a 14 year decline. "The teenage birth rate in United States is the highest in the developed world, and the teenage abortion rate is also high."

    The overall population has increased significantly since the 50's and so has the U.S. population. It will be a statistician's dream to work through all the variables on that, but I would bet that no will say that the increase in suggestive and provocative advertising and sitcoms has helped reduce the figures. Better information distribution, yes, but it would be a reach to say that this Levi add was educational.

    I believe many would say that California is quite liberal in their societal approach, especially compared to Tennessee. Their teenage pregnancy (from only one source) http://www.thenationalcampaign.org/state-data/default.aspx shows California with a 13.7 percent of the national average to Tennessee's 2.9%. Would most agree that Tennesseans have a more conservative social structure than California or most big cities?

    When it comes to drugs, we are talking money and I would bet the U.S. has a big red target on its back for drug dealers. Where else to sell but in a society that has money. Does this mean our ads should reflect and glorify drug use?

    I would totally agree that what is right for one is not necessarily right for another, but where does that stop. What is the essence of our society in the U.S.? In some countries women are property to be treated or disposed of as the man sees fit. If I believe that, do you have a right to tell me no? Why do states, cities and other government bodies now restrict smoking? I would guess it is because they decided it was bad for their society in several ways. I refrain from giving too many examples, lest I be analyzed as having a hang-up about that topic, but where is the line drawn?

    I am not sure how I am demonizing anything, but that is the beauty of this country and having free will, we can interpret things anyway we like and I interpret the advertisement as trash.

    By the way WWJW is a neat idea. I hope someone picks up on that. He might have even worn Levi's in today's world but with the way they are marketing their product, I would somehow doubt that.

    I am not trying to FORCE ANYONE into thinking my way, but blogs are for opinions. This is mine and yours are yours. Isn't it GREAT?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Aug 22, 2008, at 12:58 PM
  • I don't object to sex.

    I DO object to people being uncaring and irresponsible.

    Promiscuity cheapens sexuality and the people who indulge in it.

    Even those who don't think a legal,life-long committment should precede coitus might pause to consider whether the risk of STDs,crimimal assaults or just getting involved in a dysfunctional relationship are balanced by the chance to have a few moments of dubious pleasure.

    (One of the good things about "saving oneself" for the right person is that it doesn't matter whether or not there are skyrockets with each kiss.

    Ordinary,G-rated activity can bring extraordinary delight.

    But,will a society built around constant stimulation at all costs learn to enjoy mere satisfaction and contentment?

    Will they become ever more frantic,selfish and desensitized?)

    If we aren't willing to go so far as to honor the sacred in our world and in our relationships,maybe we should think of how boring,impractical and destructive a superficial,self-indulgent lifesyle can be.

    The cavalier attitude is damaging on many levels-not just sex.

    The more it permeates our culture,the more the things we have viewed as sad aberrations are perceived as the norm and,perhaps,even desirable.

    Perhaps,we should brush up on our Marshall McCluhan and look into the messages that surround us.

    I've been known to find PSA's,product placement,etc. self-serving,obvious and annoying.

    I don't think we need to be force-fed a lot of moralizing.

    But,I don't like our being bombarded with the destructive and IMmoral,either.

    IF products and services are going to be associated with a good,then maybe we ought to come to a consensus as to what good is.

    Love of country? Fine.

    Jingoism? No.

    Confident sexuality? Sure.

    Licientiousness? No.

    We could lose avarice,bigotry and a few other forms of corruption,too.

    Would it hurt to have a little subliminal support for honesty,dedication,respect and caring?

    Could we see hope and faith as something other than self-delusion and ambition as a positive trait?

    I wish I were more of an idealist and cock-eyed optimist but I can't help but recall how dear Mr. Gable's bare chest hurt the undershirt business and the fad for chlorophyll died when this rhyme appeared:

    "Why reeks the goat

    On yonder hill Who seems to dote

    On chlorophyll?"

    If a little publicity and peer-pressure can undercut our benign habits,why couldn't a similar phenomenon hinder some of our bad ones?

    Why couldn't a few ads,some charismatic role models,etc. remind us of the good things we can do for ourselves?

    Instead,we get propaganda designed to create self-hated and convince us that we can't have anything better than the lowest common denominator but buying enough Brand Ecchhhs will dull our spirits enough that we won't know or care.

    If the first step toward crippling us was convincing us that everything happy and rational was sinful,the second must be insisting that everything dangerous and degrading must be a treat.

    ("Are we having fun yet?")

    Enough with the resignation and feeding our souls with empty calories.

    Let's extract some things from our popular culture that will help us be our best-not surrender to the worst as if that were our only option..

    -- Posted by quantumcat on Fri, Aug 22, 2008, at 1:11 PM
  • When talking about teen pregnancy the numbers I used were not important. What is important is the fact that even in the most conservative of times, teenagers still had a strong desire to have sex. I was only trying to show that regardless of what advertisements are placed on the television or what movies are being played in the theaters, teenagers are going to have sex. Teaching your kids the consequences of reproduction and promiscuity is important, but also teach them the importance of contraception and protection, just in case. They are only human and the desire to have sex is a normal human behavior.

    -- Posted by nathan.evans on Fri, Aug 22, 2008, at 2:52 PM
  • It was really not my intention to offend anyone. If I thought I would have, I would have kept my thoughts to myself. I guess I was very opinionated in general last night. I probably need to go back and see if I stepped on anyone elses toes. Maybe I was having a bad day.

    Steve, I was not attempting to analyze you. Please give yourself some time and then re-read exactly what I wrote instead of focusing on the parts you found objectionable. Unlike you, I have never studied anything at the pre or post graduate level or psychology at any level. I do not mind admitting that I have a very limited education, so I was certainly not impersonating a professional. I was just pointing out my own observations regarding the subject. Also, I was really only addressing you specifically in the first part when I addressed your earlier comment. The rest was directed to society in general. I do apologize for my perceived transgresses into your personal life though. It was not my objective at all. Also, just to make things clear, while it may have read as an attack on another commenter, I was mostly (at least halfway) joking. I am not in a position to diagnose anyone, much less an entire society. They made a joke and I replied with sarcasm-dry as it may have been. I guess I was naive enough to think that I could make my comment and no one would feel forced to be defensive as it really was not an attack on anyone personally. To show my remorse, I will refrain from further defending my position which is very hard for me to do at this point, as I could write a book to reply.

    I would rather take one of quantumcats comments about Brand Ecchhhs a step further and ask a question. Why do people not complain too much about the ads that tell our youth that they will be great athletes if they wear a certain kind of shoes or be very popular if they eat a certain type of food? There are also very few complaints about the commercials directed to the adults that tell them they are not worthwhile if they do not drive a specific car or drink a certain beer or have this newest electronic toy. We are bombarded with these messages everyday and they invariably appeal immediately to the baser emotions. Why does it take this particular Levi advertisement to upset anyone?

    I do not know if I am as optimistic as you regarding the public airways. I always thought they were public only in the sense that they are owned (controlled) by the government and leased (in a manner of speaking) to corporate broadcasters.

    -- Posted by memyselfi on Fri, Aug 22, 2008, at 4:47 PM
  • I have no personal issue with your comments memyselfi. I think it could have been taken personally but you and I are fine. However, I appreciate your concern.

    Voice your opinion. If I can't take it, I will drop off. I would much rather do that than get into a P*****g match. It never seems to accomplish much.

    Not that I align myself with the Rolling Stones but I seem to remember lyrics in "Satisfaction" song that related to your comment about other ads. I went "out there" and found it.

    "When i'm watchin' my tv

    And that man comes on to tell me

    How white my shirts can be

    But he can't be a man 'cause he doesn't smoke

    The same cigarrettes as me"

    I do talk to the TV at times when I see some of ads that irk me. Some amuse me and some bring about the response that started this blog.

    Ads influence and that is why cigarette ads were pulled, liquor sales controlled to a certain time frame and they may soon change the face of food ads as well. Big Brother must have felt that the cigarette ads influenced smoking, so ads about reckless sex could also apply, could it not?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Aug 22, 2008, at 5:04 PM
  • memyselfi: I did not take your comment as a personal attack, I made the joke first. If I can't take the heat I'll get out of the kitchen. Difference of opinions is what makes this interesting.

    -- Posted by breezy on Fri, Aug 22, 2008, at 9:11 PM
  • Steve, using the website that you provided I discovered that the teen pregnancy rate in California was 8.8% while the teen pregnancy rate in Tennessee was 8.7%. While Tennessee does have a teen pregnancy rate lower than California there are some other factors related to race that I imagine would factor highly in California's pregnancy rate being so high. Here is a link to the figures I used to calculate my numbers: http://www.thenationalcampaign.org/state-data/advanced-search.aspx?state1=tennes... Please let me know if you find an error in my math.

    -- Posted by nathan.evans on Fri, Aug 22, 2008, at 11:07 PM
  • Unfortunately the numbers provided in the database for teenage pregnancies comes from a different source than the population data used.

    -- Posted by nathan.evans on Fri, Aug 22, 2008, at 11:12 PM
  • Also California does not report data based on race, but when you consider that the teenage pregnancy rate for Hispanics in Tennessee is more than double the rate when compared to Caucasians and that California contains one-third of the total teenage Hispanic population in the nation one would have to believe that Tennessee has a big advantage in the teenage pregnancy category when compared to California.

    -- Posted by nathan.evans on Fri, Aug 22, 2008, at 11:22 PM
  • I must be confused about how to read the numbers so I will put the numbers I used and see what I did wrong.

    Teen Pregnancy Data

    Number of Teen Pregnancies United States Girls 15-19, in year 2000

    Tennessee 17,070

    California 113,000

    Total for the U.S. 821,810

    I then divided the number from each state by the total number for the U.S. and came up with a percentage.

    17,070 / 821,810 = 2%

    113,000 / 821,810 = 13.7%

    What am I seeing wrong. What figures are you using?

    Like I said before, numbers are great tools to prove either side of a point. The trick is understanding what the numbers are and how they are applied.

    I may be looking at this all wrong.

    Also if they numbers are counting legitimate 18-19 year old who are married or get married to the father, these figures are not relevant to me.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Aug 23, 2008, at 9:23 AM
  • I like the Rolling Stones, but I never knew the lyrics to Satisfaction or what they meant. Big Brother does know that propaganda works, but only to an uninformed non-thinking population. Propaganda will not be successful at changing views, but can be very good at forming them.

    The problem with the numbers is that you were not figuring in the variable of the states populations, just the percentage of the US pregnancy rate. When California has such a larger population it does not accurately represent the percentage of each respective state so that the percentage can then be used to compare them. It should have been figured more like this TN Teen Preg. / TN Pop. Relative to CA Teen Preg. / CA Pop.

    -- Posted by memyselfi on Sat, Aug 23, 2008, at 10:32 AM
  • Thank you memyselfi! You are absolutely correct. The method you provided is the method that I used to calculate my rates.

    -- Posted by nathan.evans on Sat, Aug 23, 2008, at 10:39 AM
  • Just for clarity in case anyone gets confused:

    TN Teen Preg./TN FEMALE Teen Pop.

    CA Teen Preg. / CA FEMALE Teen Pop.

    -- Posted by nathan.evans on Sat, Aug 23, 2008, at 12:01 PM
  • I just hooked up my turntable to the stereo and listened to Satisfaction and I like the song more than before, I didnt catch all the lyrics, but understood more just by having those to go on. I do not know why you wouldnt align yourself with them. They were before my time, but that is okay.

    Statistics and numbers are good, but I do not put much faith in them. They, and the comments surrounding them can be heavily manipulated. We very seldom ever get the whole picture from them anyway. For example Steve mentioned he would like to exclude the married 18 & 19 year olds and nathan.evans noted a discrepancy in sources. I (as a teenage parent) would rather see statistics involving the health and well being of the children in question contrasted to the norm as all the teen pregnancy numbers in the world would not make a difference if it could be demonstrated that there are negligible negative long term effects and that the cost to society would be insignificant as opposed to the teens having waited 3 or 4 years.

    breezy, I didnt think what I wrote would really hurt your feelings, but it could have been taken in the wrong way.

    -- Posted by memyselfi on Sat, Aug 23, 2008, at 4:09 PM
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