Random Thoughts – Randocity!

Dumb Commercials Series: Unilever

Posted in commercials, entertainment by commorancy on July 6, 2021

Here’s a brand awareness campaign. I don’t really understand the need to create this brand awareness, but here it is in all of its highly annoying glory. Let’s watch… then discuss.

What went wrong?

As you may notice, this is ad #7. Apparently, Unilever has created a whole passel of these things. I’ve watched a few of them, but this version is the one that’s being heavily played on the channels I’ve watched. Like the GrubHub delivery dance before it, it’s now being played in exceedingly heavy rotation. Whenever this commercial comes on, I turn it off.

What’s wrong with it? The pseudo rap segment in the middle of this advertising is as annoying as fingernails on a chalkboard (i.e. equal to GrubHub’s delivery dance music). If you’re planning on adding a rap segment, at least hire someone who can actually rap. In fact, this commercial is so annoying that it completely undermines the message of “good” that Unilever is actually claiming that it is doing for nebulous “communities”. Statements like these can be easily made, but which don’t need to be backed up.

In advertising, annoying advertising is fruitless and undermines the message. Clever is what bring in customers, what people remember and reinforces the message. This commercial is not clever, not unique, annoying and, most of all, completely forgettable.

I’m not even sure what the point is to this brand awareness campaign? In fact, I’d suggest that it’s actually better to advertise Dove, Suave and Hellmann‘s brands separately in their own commercial ads, then attach a small Unilever portion discussing the “good”. This brand awareness advertisement makes me want to avoid all of these brands when shopping. I don’t really care how much “good” you claim to be doing, I don’t want to hear about it in what may be the most annoying “brand awareness” commercial advertisement of 2021.

Rating: 1 of 5 (annoying, undermining, lame)

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Dumb Commercials Series: Grubhub Delivery Dance

Posted in commercials, entertainment by commorancy on July 5, 2021

Here’s a commercial that, on its surface, seems like a great idea. It’s got cutesy computer animation, a potentially decent premise, but it’s all ruined in an instant by selecting the most annoying and craptastic soundtrack imaginable. The question, though, what does it ultimately have to do with food delivery? Let’s watch…

What went wrong?

Obviously, the music. That, and Grubhub paid to put this commercial into exceedingly heavy rotation. Nearly every other commercial was this ad when it played. Worse, it was played at every single commercial break everywhere including on TV, on streaming services and even on YouTube. This commercial received so much saturation that it became sickening.

Word to the wise. If you’re planning on this heavy of a rotation for a commercial, produce three different commercials with three different songs and three different dances. That strategy wouldn’t necessarily make this specific commercial less annoying, but having three would at least reduce the need to complain about this specific ad.

Note, Grubhub has now disabled comments on YouTube for this ad. I don’t blame them. When comments were still live, most comments were not at all kind. Almost every comment seemed to complain how annoying this ad is. Thankfully, Grubhub listened and this ad is no longer in rotation, yet the comments drove the need to disable the comments.

The problem is, just like Uber Eat’s disconnected ads about its food delivery service, Grubhub’s disconnected ad is oddly cut from the same mold. This ad is not clever, it’s not unique and the music is, well, crappy and annoying. This ad is pretty straightforward and family friendly when compared to Uber Eat’s oddly stalkerish concept with Simone Biles.

Rating: 2 of 5 (annoying, overplayed, cutesy, amazingly bad music) — one extra star for the animation

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Brilliant Commercials Series: Doritos Ultrasound

Posted in commercials, entertainment by commorancy on July 3, 2021

Here’s a Doritos commercial, though not starring Ms. Morris this time. This commercial is both funny and brilliant, though just a touch dumb. Obviously, you have to suspend disbelief to find this setup humorous as this scenario is really not possible. However, it is rather funny and clever. Let’s watch…

Well, she did say, “Any day now”.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 (brilliant, clever, but a bit dumb all at the same time).

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Brilliant Commercials Series: Yoplait (2008)

Posted in commercials, entertainment by commorancy on July 3, 2021

This commercial is a bit older, but again stars Jennifer R. Morris (noticing a trend yet?) This commercial is humorous, clever and brilliant. The seamstress is, well, kind of out of it. She never really catches on. Jennifer’s character keeps trying, nevertheless. Let’s watch…

Rating: 5 out of 5 (clever, brilliant, humorous)

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Brilliant Commercials Series: Verizon Wireless ‘Dead Zone’

Posted in commercials, entertainment by commorancy on July 3, 2021

This somewhat older commercial is, like Spectrum’s more recent commercial, brilliant and funny and sells the product in a subtle, yet clever way. The musical score completely sells what’s going on here in just a few notes. The commercial depicts a typical sort of horror setup where a couple moves into a home not knowing what horrors lurk within, but then it’s all debunked in an instant because of Verizon Wireless. The creepy neighbor is perfectly cast. The atmosphere which is set up here is brilliant and amazing, underscored by that brilliant soundtrack. It all comes together in just a few seconds and falls apart to instant humorous effect.

This one also stars Jennifer R. Morris as the ‘wife’. Jennifer can certainly pick these brilliant commercials. Though, her work in Spectrum’s more recent commercial shows exactly how great of an actress she really is.

Rating: 5 of 5 (perfect atmosphere, scary brilliant with a touch of perfect humor)

Brilliant Commercials Series: Spectrum Mobile

Posted in commercials, entertainment by commorancy on July 3, 2021

Here’s a commercial that is both funny and clever. The humor is spot on. It advertises the Spectrum product in a clever and unique way. The casting is perfect and the humor is timed perfectly. There’s nothing annoying about this commercial. The “genius scientist” (actress Jennifer R. Morris) is brilliant here. Jennifer has done a fair number of commercials in the past, but her work on this commercial is outstanding.

Rating: 5 out of 5 (brilliant and clever)

Part of the Dumb Commercials Series

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Dumb Commercials Series: Uber Eats

Posted in analysis, commercials by commorancy on July 1, 2021

Here’s yet another dumb commercial, but probably not for the reasons you might think. Let’s explore.

What’s wrong with this commercial?

The humor in this commercial stems from Simone’s, “Is that my leotard?” line. Let’s explore this line deeper.

This commercial is not only dumb, it’s disturbing. Here you have a white male wearing Simone Bile’s stolen leotard. Stealing someone’s leotard out of their locker is theft and could also be seen as a form of stalking. Clearly, this guy is trying to be just like Simone. A ‘clone’, if you will. That behavior, in and of itself, is disturbing. Combined with the stolen leotard, him attempting to recreate her routine and the fact that he copied Simone Biles’s Uber Eats order, that’s substantially “clone-ish” behavior. That behavior goes way beyond fan norms into stalker territory.

That Uber Eats decided to create a commercial that appears to depict a stalker showing up at Simone Biles’s practice session is quite disturbing. I’m not even sure how that entire behavior ties into Uber Eats. Is Uber Eats trying to say that it’s perfectly okay to exhibit this behavior towards a notable person?

Being a fan is one thing. Becoming a clone and stealing clothing from your idol crosses the line. That Uber Eats created a commercial that depicts this behavior simply to advertise their food delivery service is questionable. I don’t even see what one has to do with the other.

For the stalker reason alone, this is why this commercial is included in this series. It’s a bad commercial all around. It’s poorly conceived and written. It doesn’t have a point to make. It’s insensitive. However, it is professionally filmed. Regardless of hiring a professional commercial film company, there is really no point being made here that makes me want use Uber Eats to order food delivery. Just the opposite, in fact.

It Doesn’t Stop Here

There is a follow-on to the above commercial that proves that this guy is a stalker… Here, Simone’s, “I guess” line and brow-furrowing look proves that she’s not comfortable with this guy literally hanging around. He appears to have even stolen her leotard again.

Definitely an uncomfortable series of commercials. I’m not even sure why Simone would agree to being in these commercials considering her sexual abuse allegation with Olympics team doctor Larry Nassar.

And then there’s this one…

Rating: 2 out of 5 (depicts stalker behavior in an accepting way)

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Dumb Commercials Series: Eargo

Posted in analysis, commercials by commorancy on July 1, 2021

With this newest series, I will discuss the stupidity of various commercials and call out exactly why they are so stupid, even though it is the stupidity that also makes them somewhat humorous. I will also call out well written and clever commercials. Let’s explore.

This commercial has been recently playing heavily on some networks. I’ve seen it a LOT. Every time I see it, I also think how stupid it is.

American Pie

The commercial resorts to low-brow college humor to get its point across with oddly embarrassing results. The thing is, these two young people cannot possibly be this stupid!

First, why the hell would any couple begin talking about sex in such a blatant way right under their parent’s noses? The answer is, they wouldn’t. Without this, the commercial wouldn’t be nearly as funny. Unfortunately, the writers of this commercial thought that they needed to use this low-brow embarrassment as the basis for humor. There are many ways of crafting humor without resorting to such low-brow schadenfreude means to do it.

Second, who is the person with hearing problems in this commercial? Clearly, it isn’t the father.

To Whom Does This Apply?

The question regarding this commercial’s setup underscores yet another problem. Clearly, the father is wearing Eargo buds. However, her boyfriend/fiance/husband isn’t. If her boyfriend/fiance/husband at that age can’t hear her whispering the word ‘condom’, but her father can mere feet away, then her boyfriend desperately needs an ear exam. She would already know this. Also, if he can’t hear in a relatively quiet environment like that, he really does need a hearing exam. She would also compensate by knowing this fact about him.

In compensation for knowing her boyfriend/fiance/husband can’t hear well, why is she standing feet away trying to whisper-yell at him? It’s like she wants her parents to overhear how well her sex life is going. You’d think she’d walk around that counter, walk directly up to her boyfriend/fiance/husband and whisper it in his ear…. specifically knowing he can’t hear her. Better, wait until they are in the bedroom with the door closed. What’s the all fire hurry to know if he brought condoms right at that very moment? Was she planning on asking Dad for a few if boyfriend/fiance/husband didn’t have them? Ewww…

Unfortunately, this commercial doesn’t end properly by cutting back to the scene with her boyfriend/fiance/husband now wearing a set of Eargo with her whispering again, thus allowing him to hear every word. You know, to prove that Eargo’s technology actually solves that embarrassing problem.

The writers of this commercial lost their way even though it is professionally filmed. The only reason it gets more one more star than it should is solely because it is professionally filmed.

Rating: 3 out 5 (could have been a whole lot more funny and effective)

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Is it safe to drink soda left in a hot car?

Posted in Health, summer, tips by commorancy on June 29, 2021

This question seems like it should have a simple answer. However, the answer is more complicated than it would seem. Let’s explore.

Canned Soft Drinks and Beverages

Canned sodas are hermetically sealed and are bottled with bacteria free water. This means that high heat won’t grow anything undue. However, sodas have flavorings, artificial and sometimes natural colors and sugar or artificial sweeteners. Depending on these ingredients, sodas can deteriorate if left in hot conditions.

Canned sodas are “bottled” (or canned) in aluminum cans. While aluminum is heat safe, think about the aluminum foil you use to bake with, there is no problem with the aluminum itself. In fact, because the drink is fully sealed and not exposed to UV light, this method of storage with heat probably offers your best chances of retaining a drinkable beverage even after being exposed to excessive heat. If the aluminum were the only problem, this section would be over.

However, we must also consider the ingredients. The good news here is that artificial and natural colors are generally heat stable. Again, think about baking with food coloring. Colors don’t degrade under 350ºF / 176.7ºC baking temperatures, which is far lower than the heat your car interior should ever be.

The same goes for soda flavorings. Most flavorings are designed for baking purposes which also reach high temperatures needed for baking.

What’s ingredients are left?

Sweeteners and preservatives. Depending on the sweetener, it might or might not be high heat stable. For example, it is known that Aspartame (aka NutraSweet) is not high heat stable. As temperatures increase, Aspartame begins to break down into components such as methanol. Keep in mind that Aspartame is made up of 10% methanol, 40% aspartic acid, and 50% phenylalanine.

Methanol is a highly toxic substance that, when heated above 86 degrees F (as it is in your body), is metabolized into formaldehyde (embalming fluid) and formic acid (the poison in fire ants).

https://www.downtoearth.org/articles/2009-03/13/aspartame-potential-risk-lurking-your-cabinets

As the above quote states, at 86ºF / 30ºC is when methanol begins to break down into formaldehyde and formic acid. This temperature is well lower than the temperatures which can be reached inside of a hot car. During a hot summer day, temperatures in a car can reach temperatures 20-30ºF / 5-10ºC hotter than the outdoor temperature. For example, a 90ºF / 32ºC ambient outdoor temperature can see temperatures rise to between 110ºF-120ºF / 43.3ºC-48.9ºC inside of a car.

If a beverage you’ve left in the vehicle contains Aspartame, it may not be safe to drink if the can has reached these high temperatures. For canned drinks, it takes between 30 minutes up to 1 hour to heat a can up to these high temperatures once in a vehicle.

Beverages that contain other sweeteners, such as saccharine, sugar, stevia or agave, are considered heat safe sweeteners. Sucralose (aka Splenda) claims to be heat safe, but may or may not be. If a drink contains Sucralose, you might want to taste it first. If the drink is no longer as sweet as you expect, a portion of the sweetener may have broken down in the heat and it’s not recommended to drink.

Bottled Drinks

There are two different types of bottles: glass and plastic.

Glass

Glass bottles are safe to drink so long as it contains heat safe ingredients. However, if the bottles have been exposed to UV by sitting in direct sunlight, some of the coloring might have faded and flavors may changed. I’d be cautious if the bottle has been sitting around for hours in sunlight. I’d strongly suggest a smell and taste for any bottle which has been sitting in UV light for longer than 1 hour. If the bottle has been sitting for an hour, then it shouldn’t be problem. Always use the nose and taste test to determine suitability for drinking. If it doesn’t taste right, spit it out, then toss it out.

Plastic

Plastic bottles are different beast. Plastic bottles can leach plastic and chemicals into the beverage after sitting in a hot car. This goes for water bottles and flavored beverages. If your beverage has been sitting for hours in direct sunlight in a super hot car, toss it out. Don’t risk it. It doesn’t matter if the ingredients are heat safe. It’s the plastic leaching that becomes the problem with plastic bottles.

Wine, Beer and Spirits

Wine is a drink that is best kept at room temperature (i.e., at or below 78ºF / 25.6ºC). If wine bottles are exposed to higher heat, such as 85ºF / 29.4ºC or hotter, the bottle of wine can be ruined. By ruined, the flavors change, the subtle aromas are lost and the bottle may increase tannins, making the wine unpalatable. The longer the wine remains at a high temp, the more the wine may turn into a flavor resembling vinegar. If you open a bottle and it tastes of vinegar, the bottle is bad. This goes for all wines including white, red, rose and bubbly.

Beer, like wine, will also sour and go bad when stored above room temperature for long periods. Unlike wine, beer is carbonated. This goes for sparkling wine and Champagne as well.

If you’re paying a lot for your wine or beer, you want to keep it in your car near an air conditioning vent, then remove from the car as soon as you arrive home. If it’s an especially hot day and you need to do a lot of running around, I’d suggest bringing a cooler with you and placing these into a cooler with ice. That, or shop for these items last.

Spirits, such as Tequila, Vodka and even Liqueurs can go bad in high heat. This is especially true for liqueurs like Bailey’s Irish Cream, which does contains dairy cream. Anything containing dairy should always be stored refrigerated once opened. However, Bailey’s Irish Cream remains shelf stable if unopened and is stored under room temperature conditions.

Changing Flavors

Regardless of whether a drink contains high-heat safe ingredients, sitting in super hot conditions or subject to UV exposure for long periods isn’t good for any food or drink. If you accidentally leave a case of soda cans in your car for three days or longer, I’d suggest tasting one first. By tasting, I mean just that. Taste and spit. If it tastes at all funny, then the cans are bad.

When buying drinks, it is suggested to take them into an air conditioned climate as soon as possible. Sure, you can run around for a little while while shopping, but be cautious for how long. If you know you plan to shop the entire day for hours, then plan to bring a cooler and place beverages and food items into the cooler to keep them stored properly and safely.

Explosions

Carbonated beverages have one other problem with high heat. As more and more manufacturers reduce costs, they tend to make their product containers (cans and bottles) as thin as possible. These containers are safe when stored in appropriate conditions. However, under high heat conditions, these containers can weaken and burst.

As high heat creeps in, this weakens a plastic bottle or can, which can lead to an explosion. Safety is a concern when buying a case of cans or plastic bottles and choosing to leave then in a hot car. Glass bottles should be safer in regards to exploding, but the beverage itself may not survive high heat conditions.

Summer Safety Tips

Always store cans and bottles in a cooler, if at all possible. If you know you plan shopping at a number of stores, plan to bring a cooler with ice. This way, you can store cans and bottles in the cooler while remaining out and about. As our summers seem to be getting hotter and hotter each year, carrying around a cooler becomes ever more important.

If you’re buying expensive beer, wine and spirits, then you definitely want a cooler. There’s no danger in storing wine at ice temperatures for a short time, but there is definitely a danger from wine becoming too hot. Same for beer and spirits. For soda or bottled water, it’s fine to remain in the car for a 20 minute drive home, but if it needs to remain in the car for hours, then you’ll want plan a cooler for these as well.

As we move into the hotter days of summer, plan to spend for and use a decent cooler for those days when you need to be out and about for longer than a few hours.

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What is Critical Race Theory?

Posted in advice, racial divide by commorancy on June 24, 2021

Critical Race Theory is, as it is so named, a theory. The words ‘Critical’ and ‘Race’ define this theory, but not entirely. The handful of so-called academician drafters of this theory sought to explain the lack of improvement and standing from the mid-1960s into the mid-1970s for the continuance of societal inequality for people of color. Let’s explore.

What Critical Race Theory Isn’t

Too many people and so-called scholars believe that this theory encapsulates all law going back to the beginning of time. That’s false. Critical Race Theory was a theory designed in the 1970s to explain specifically why the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s didn’t bear much equality fruit for people of color… or more specifically, why that movement didn’t see changes to the body of law between the 1950s and 1970s. This theory is a thin attempt to explain why the racial divide didn’t shrink dramatically between these specific years. However, while CRT wasn’t intended to encapsulate every law in existence, there is certainly plenty of law to examine to determine if this theory might actually apply. In reality, it doesn’t apply to the word of law, but it may apply in other unexplored ways.

Complaint

In fact, Critical Race Theory is simply a complaint. It complains that the racial divide still exists and seeks to explain this continued divide simply by complaining. While the racial divide did shrink between the 1950s and the 1970s, those who put forth this theory weren’t at all happy with the overall amount of shrinkage in that 10-20 year span and, thus, those academicians penned this theory.

I’d argue the opposite. The Civil Rights Movement brought about significant change in the area of racial equality in that time period. No, the Civil Rights Movement results weren’t perfect. No, it didn’t give those of color the same standing in every single area of society that were afforded to white people by the mid-70s. However, anyone expecting that level of complete equality in that short time was honestly expecting way too much. Bodies of law simply don’t change that quickly. It’s a slow barge and it takes a very long time to turn.

Critical Race Theory, though, primarily seeks to offer a possible explanation over the existing body of law if viewed through a single solitary lens… a lens that is, by its every crafting, is already biased. However, complaints without solutions are also pointless… and here we arrive at the crux of the problem with Critical Race Theory. This article seeks to explain why CRT only complains, but offers no solutions.

Complaint Validity

Don’t get me wrong, complaints have a purpose, but only if there is some form of remediation attached to that complaint. For example, if you buy a defective item at Target and return it, the complaint is the reason why you returned the item. However, no one would head over to Target without said item in hand simply to complain that the item is merely defective. What point does that serve? The person you complain to doesn’t care about that and they’re not even in a position to do anything to solve your complaint. They’re there to accept exchanges and returns, not listen to complaints.

The one and only time filing only a complaint is useful is if injury or death is involved. However, you wouldn’t head to your local Target store to file that specific complaint. You’d file that complaint to a court in the form of a lawsuit.

No, complaints are only useful IF, as in the Target example above, you bring the defective item in for a return. Putting it all together, the complaint is why the item is defective, the remediation (or solution) is in the exchange or refund. The same goes for CRT. Simply that CRT postulates that law was created by “white” people for the agenda of favoring “whites” over “blacks” is merely a complaint. CRT doesn’t seek to change, alter or remediate that problem. It simply attempts to postulate such a problem exists.

Like the defective item returned to Target, a complaint over why the item was defective may not actually be true. For example, a so-called defect might, in fact, be simple user error. That the person using the product might not fully understand the use of said product. If you don’t fully read the instructions, you can’t know if the product functions in the way you want. For example, not all glues work on all surface types. If you bought a glue and assumed you could glue two pieces of Teflon coated plastic together and the glue fails, that’s not a defect, that’s user error. Even though Target will accept your complaint by calling it a defect and then exchange or return the product, that doesn’t mean the complaint is valid.

Likewise, Critical Race Theory doesn’t seek to modify new laws, change how laws are created or alter existing laws to “solve” a perceived racial injustice problem. Indeed, the complaint in CRT hasn’t really even been validated as a problem. It simply postulates that a problem might or might not exist.

Black Legislators

One issue with Critical Race Theory is that black legislators have been part of the body of lawmaking since at least 1868! Postulating that because “whites” have “always” crafted law and that law somehow disfavors “blacks” is, at worst, disingenuous and, at best, insulting to those black legislators who potentially helped craft some of that legislation.

That’s not to say that whites haven’t primarily been part of crafting and passing state and federal laws. However, few laws specifically include words such as race, creed, color or gender in its body of text. Most laws that actually touch on the topic of race are those laws which sought to free slaves or that specifically mandated such legislation as affirmative action.

Keep in mind that there are also many rules and regulations produced by private establishments that have nothing to do with federal, state and local laws. These rules and regulations are outside the body of law. While Critical Race Theory may be much more applicable to such rules and regulations, CRT reaches too far when attempting to explain (or rather, complain about) the vast majority of existing federal, state, county and municipal laws and statutes. While non-legal guidelines might have unfairly treated minorities, these guidelines were not issued by lawmakers, but by private owners and individuals. It can be difficult to establish where law ends and private rules begin.

Private Rules

Rules of private companies begin at the border of that private company, such as when entering a retail store (or even when using Twitter or Facebook). Every retail store has its own set of rules and regulations, some posted, some not. Every store adheres to these company chartered rules and regulations. For example, if a person enters with the goal of being loud, boisterous and with the intent of disturbing the peace, the store has every right to refuse service and eject that person from the premises. The difficulty comes not because the person was ejected, but the race of the person who was ejected.

If a white person is ejected, it would be seen as ‘fair’. If a black person is ejected, it will be seen as ‘unfair’. Herein lies one problem with Critical Race Theory. CRT doesn’t take into account this fair vs unfair argument, which is entirely subjective application of this theory. The store would then be seen as racist because they ejected someone of color, even though the store may have ejected just as many white people for the same exact reason.

Critical Race Theory then becomes less about actually being treated unfairly and more about ways to allow people of color to unfairly complain about racism in situations where they have actually been treated fairly. This also goes for application of laws.

Laws and CRT

Let’s get back to actual law. When a body of law is written, it is written and designed to solve a societal problem. Now, I won’t get into exactly how laws fail society simply because the philosophy behind law doesn’t actually do what it is designed to do… because that would make this article into a book. No. Instead, I’ll remain focused on a body of law as how people assume law functions.

Unless the verbiage of a specific law states that it excludes or includes a specific race, creed, gender or color, it doesn’t. That’s how laws work. Laws are written with specific words. Those words define the condition and resolution. Attempting to “read into” or “read between the lines” …. such as because the words may have been penned by a “white male”, that that situation, according to CRT, somehow makes the law biased towards whites and against blacks. CRT also doesn’t take into account that black and brown legislators may have read the wording of the law long before being adopted, and agreed with the text of it… even being given the opportunity to modify it if so needed.

Laws don’t work by reading between the lines. Laws should work as written. As I said, words matter. It’s all in exactly how the words are written. If no words define a specific condition, such as race, creed, gender or color, then no conditions around those qualities exist.

Critical Race Theory, nonetheless, seeks to apply its biased notion (complaint ), by reading between the lines across all laws regardless of how the laws are actually worded.

Legal Interpretation

With that said, CRT, in turn, fails to postulate legal interpretation. The written word defines the body of law. Unfortunately, it’s not the words that (fail to) do the job, it’s people. People must interpret those words into actionable content… and that’s where the police, attorneys and the courts come into the picture.

While words are merely words, people are free to take those words and twist the vagueness of those words into meanings that were not intended by the original author. This situation happens everywhere… with the Bible being probably the most prominent example of this. Part of the problem is intent. Because the Bible was written at a time and place that cannot be replicated today, anyone reading the text of a passage must interpret it with a current modern mindset. Today’s mindset didn’t exist when the Bible was originally written. Therefore, it’s almost impossible to understand a passage’s actual intent as written by the original author. That original intent has been long lost to time.

The same can be said of the body of law. A law written in 1870 might have been written for a condition which no longer exists today. The author of the law wrote it with a then existing mindset. In 2021, that condition doesn’t exist. Therefore, the law must be interpreted by someone to determine if a similar situation can be enforced today.

For example, there’s a California law that states, “You can’t pile more than six feet of horse manure on a street corner.” In the 1870s, horses were a thing. In that age, piling more than six feet of horse manure might have been a substantial city problem. Today, we don’t ride horses other than for recreation and not very often down city streets. Therefore, this law was penned to solve a specific problem using a specific mindset. That mindset no longer exists today and, thus, this law is outdated. Though, in some cities in California, horses might still be allowed down main thoroughfares even in 2021.

Mindsets and Words

With the above example in mind, Critical Race Theory was written in the 1970s under a 1970s mindset. Attempting to apply a 1970s mindset to every law that has come before (or, indeed, after) is both fallacious and disingenuous. It seeks to explain-complain about how laws may have been written. Though, laws are not about race, laws came to exist to solve a problem that may no longer exist today. The older the law, the more likely it is to be outdated. However, interpretation can read-into the word of law ideas which weren’t intended. It’s the vagueness of those written words which, unfortunately, allow these modern (mis)interpretations.

This is how CRT fails us (and how laws can fail us)…. not only in the fact that CRT is a complaint which offers no actual solutions, but because it attempts to apply a modern mindset and word definitions to much older laws… laws which may not even have applicable uses today. Unfortunately, both judges and attorneys alike prefer to find such nebulous and vague written laws which tie into and support their cases to uphold personal and legal convictions. Such laws may not have even been intended for such use, but modern interpretation lends itself to that agenda. This means that it is the people who are interpreting the laws and who may be adding racist intentions, not the laws themselves.

It goes deeper. Laws must start with police officers. Police are tasked to enforce laws, by force if necessary. However, because laws are written with words that don’t always express clear intent, too many laws must be interpreted. That means that, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” More specifically, because words are easily misinterpreted and because meanings of words can change over time (just check out Urban Dictionary), the current meaning of a word might not be the same as when the text of a law was penned.

Police officers are not necessarily hired because of their prowess with the English language. Instead, they are hired because they have the wherewithal to carry a weapon and put their lives on the line each and every day. However, because they are also tasked to enforce laws that don’t always have clear intent, they must interpret those legal words through their own personal lens. That means, once again, a potential for racism to creep in… not because of the words, but because a living breathing person is tasked to take those potentially vague words and interpret them in ways that they can enforce.

Is Critical Race Theory useful?

Critical Race Theory might have limited value in that it seeks to draw attention to the existing body of law in a way that shows that it needs oversight. However, it seeks to do so in the wrong way. Bodies of law, in fact, need both oversight and to be kept up-to-date. When laws become outdated either because the original intent no longer applies (manure doesn’t pile up on street corners) or because the condition no longer exists (we don’t use horses for general transport), these laws need to be stricken. In fact, new laws need to be written which enforces oversight upon the body of law and which can auto-stricken and invalidate outdated laws.

Unfortunately, such oversight is still missing in our body of law. This allows useless and pointless laws to continue to exist in perpetuity. This is the the kind of oversight that Critical Race Theory should attempt to put forward with functional solutions, but which it fails to do. In fact, having this entire theory named ‘Critical Race Theory’ both misnames it and turns it into something that makes it controversial. The word ‘race’ in its title automatically makes this theory divisive by the word’s very inclusion.

Though, I personally ignore that problem entirely. Words are just words. Just as laws are also just words. It’s the word interpretation by living breathing people where the words become ideas and where ideas can become a problem. It’s these misinterpreted ideas that are causing the problems, not the words. As long as attorneys, judges and juries all incorrectly agree on word definitions, then laws (even if not originally intended for a purpose) can apply incorrectly to situations unintended.

In other words, it takes people to interpret laws to determine if that law’s text applies to a specific situation. It is this interpretation where problems come to exist, not in the body of written law. Interpretation is the bane of human existence. It’s where people determine what is valid and what isn’t. To interpret, people must bring in their own prejudices, thought processes, teachings and values to reach a conclusion… conclusions which, yes, can become racist.

In short… It isn’t the body of law that’s racist, it’s the people who interpret those laws who are. This is exactly where Critical Race Theory fails us.

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