Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Truth in Advertising and Easy Solutions

Well, a new year is upon us, with its predictable round of advertisements for diet plans and exercise programs. It seems the beginning of the year is an ideal time to begin new regimes and disciplines that help us to be better individuals. For some reason in January it is easier to imagine ourselves as more athletic, thinner and with fewer bad habits. Be it electronic cigarettes or fast food, in January everything is somehow geared to make us better people. Among advertisements in this trend I noticed that one fast food chain is now offering "natural cut fries with sea salt," as if being naturally cut with sea salt actually makes them good for you.

Of course, one wonders what exactly is a naturally cut potato? Is it grown in a special place where naturally formed crystals share the soil and through some special happenstance of circumstance the ground apple emerges pre-cut like a honey-baked ham? And even if this were the case, it doesn't change the fact that once saturated in hot boiling oil, and covered in salt from sea or table, it's both a tasty treat and potentially deadly foe. But it's January after all, thus even french fries can somehow be good for you when cut naturally and covered in something as natural as sea salt, right?

I suppose we can't blame advertisers who take advantage of our annual desire to be better people. What we can blame is our willingness to be taken by easy solutions. Solutions can be simple, but seldom easy. The former requires creative and elegant thought that choreographs effort with willingness and imagination. When such a circumstance is achieved one imagines that a great number of problems we encounter would be simple to solve. The latter simply calls for a desire to achieve goals with little effort, implying a lack of genuine will.

I don't really make New Year's resolutions. It seems that for me, resolve comes once I've decided to act on my contemplations, and that comes in its own time. And as much as I desire easy solutions, I know I have to have patience enough for my imagination and will to allamande making a perfect geometry that will show me how everything eventually ends up in its rightful place.

Oh, Happy New Year.

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