You know what else is annoying? United Way's print ad campaign. Again, or still. They've got pictures of people saying that they did certain things -- "I pulled 33,000 kittens from burning buildings!" -- and then it says it was through the magic of donating money to United Way. Except it's not 33,000 kittens. It's stuff like -- well, here are the examples I remember:
A bearded, long-haired guy in a leather jacket: helped preschoolers with their social skills
Two middle-aged women: built houses for the poor
(the latest one to spark my wrath) A Hispanic guy with a goatee: helped a bunch of kids get their teeth straightened out
Because everybody knows that those longhair freaky types shouldn't be allowed near children, and girls can't build houses, and Hispanics can't be dentists! Thanks, United Way, for allowing us to pay someone to have humanitarian skills we would lack if we were walking stereotypes!
As I was sitting at a stoplight boggling at a bus that had the one with the Hispanic teeth-straightener on its side, I saw that it had a set of wrenches in the background. So I think the idea was supposed to be, "Mechanics aren't dentists." But it came out, "Them Mexicans ain't dentists, but they'll fix your car up real good!" Oh yah. Much better.
I would like to send -- oh, let's say, all the women from my folks' church's Habitat for Humanity housebuilding team, plus all the Hispanic dentists and orthodontists in the suburb we lived in when we were in California -- after the idiots who came up with this campaign. The leather-jacketed shaggy people, being generally amiable, even-tempered types, can babysit for the housebuilders' and dentists'/orthodontists' kids while they go kick ad agency butt. "United Way: we will play on cheap stereotypes, so give us your money." Great. Thanks. Just what I wanted.