Tag Archives: Ebert

Three Weekend Randoms

6 Apr

The Forgotten Midlife Crisis

I came across an article in Harvard Business Review on Friday on how marketers are missing the opportunity to target women over 50. It has been something I have been pondering as well. Not that I am close to 50 but having started early with the kids, I am in the category of women HBR is writing about. My kids are old enough and the hours that used to be occupied with soccer practices, chess, and playdates are now blissfully free. So how do I fill this time that I had forgotten exists? Other than writing blog posts, I have done art classes, French lessons, and short of buying a Porsche, other fun activities. None of them were marketed to middle aged women and, to be honest, that is how it should be. I am more interested in finding things to do on my own, and I am slightly terrified of activities that focus exclusively for the post-mommyblogging generation (my term is the born-again housewives).

cialisAt the same time, you would think that there would be more concerted effort to market and sell activities to this large group of consumers. Think about it – there are three types of commercials that show women between the age of 40-50. The first is about soft toilet paper (as if I have nothing more important to obsess about, even if my sole purpose of being is the comfort of my family). Then we have the commercials for depression or medications targeted at older women. Since everyone in commercials looks great, the women used to portray the arthritis-ridden older lady is actually 45. And the last is the erectile dysfunction series. The women in these are blissfully smiling, patiently waiting for the medicine to take effect before they float into a misty romantic dream (which if it lasts longer than X hours, requires a doctor’s intervention).

Just for the record – I also buy cars, go on vacation without the kids and work…

The Importance of Labeling

The New Yorker had a brief article about how the term “entitlements” came to be used in association with social security and health benefits. Entitlement implies something that you take for granted, that you did not work for to deserve it. Yet you have been paying for these benefits all your life. There are other examples where misfortunate naming taints the effort, initiative or idea. Supporters of abortion rights have come to regret the pro-choice term that defines them. You hear more and more advocates for gun reform distancing themselves from “gun control.”

It was just another personal reminder that you can rarely over-think a word choice.

Roger Ebert, an Example for Critics (of Anything)

Ebert died this week. “Thoughtful,” “respectful,” “fair” were the words repeated in many of the obituaries and opinions I read. He was not out to bury or denounce a movie maker even if he hated the movie. While his opinion was personal, his criticism was not.

People understand, forgive and respect passion when it is sincere and authentic, even if they do not agree with your opinion. More critics should consider following Ebert’s graceful style.

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