A car fire rages in the background. Her body slumps over the engine of her own broken down pick-up. She turns around revealing her shredded jeans and bloodied legs. The camera scans upward to show her matted hair, her blood stained shirt, and her gray and broken skin. Without warning, there is a yellow explosion on her head and the camera sets its sights on the junior army rangers who have just scored their first kill in this year’s zombie hunt.
This is the scene my eight year old daughter plays over and over in her head. (I’ll warn you, before you click on the link, my description doesn’t do it justice. It’s quite disturbing.) It renders her frozen in fear and strapped to my neck as she recounts the previous day’s nightmare.
12 seconds. That’s all it took to leave an impression. It is this same 12 seconds that will no doubt be shown dozens of times between today and October 31st, a mere 36 days from today. Ugh. I didn’t take her to any theater and she’s never been on a zombie hunt. She didn’t read about it in a book or see it on Netflix. All she did was sit with me while I watched the morning news. Morning. News. You know, the program shown from 7 to 9 am…in the morning.
First I was averting my eyes and grappling with the discomfort (no pun intended) of sitting in a room with my teenage son as the Osphena women spoke of vaginal dryness while seducing the camera. Now this.
I can’t imagine that the Osphena commercial plays to the same demographic as the zombie killing one. (Perhaps it does.) Morning show advertising must be on sale this month.
Here’s the irony, at the close of every morning news program, our local CBS affiliate, the very same one that has sold airtime for this nightmare inducing graphic display, airs a segment called Moms Everyday. This is a national organization geared toward providing moms with the tools to take better care of themselves and their families. Can anyone say, Oxymoron?
Although the commercial on my local network puts knots in my stomach, I don’t much care that it exists. Ok, I care a little bit, but I don’t plan on doing any zombie hunting of my own any time soon, so normally I could just ignore it. I do care though that it is shown at 8:00 am. I do care that I have to be vigilant about remaining in the livingroom, even though my other children are rising and needing help with breakfast, just so I can be sure to distract my eight year old, should the zombies surface again.
Yes, I could turn off the television. Yes, I could watch a different morning news program (although I doubt I would find the advertising to be much different.) But, here’s the thing, why should I have to?
Is there no time in my day that I can let down my guard, even a little? Is there no point at which I can turn on the television and not worry that a random 12 seconds is going to keep my children up countless nights? Is there no criteria by which we, as society, check ourselves on the idiot scale? Is there no time at which we look at what we’ve done and realize we’ve sold our souls and the souls of our children and are taken aback? Is there no limit to what we will allow our children to see?
I’ll be writing my local station. I’ll be making contact with Moms Everyday. And, while I might just be fighting a losing battle, I’ll be fighting. Care to join me? Watch carefully. I would imagine you’ll see a similar scene on your television sometime in the next 36 days.