Marketing Makes Things Known, Sometimes Things You Don’t Agree With

It’s a sign of the modern world that one can hear about some controversy via image macros, or reactionary posts on social media, before even getting an inkling of what’s fully going on in the physical world. And I will not say that’s not impressive, that’s effective viral marketing, but it’s not a great sign for public discourse.

The most recent example I’ve seen is with, of all people, Bill Nye the Science Guy. And, again, sign of the times, my immediate thought was: “Oh, I bet he talked about climate change.”

And, yeah, he did. Among other things. Was also not the only politically charged idea he presented either. Now, I will remain neutral, not going to weigh in on the matter too hard. For or against Bill Nye. Because it’s not about him, really.

It’s about calm, measured responses.

Are we so soft-skinned that we cannot even deal with a fun, nostalgic figure agreeing with something we might not? The situation would be different if he was doing something illegal…

But this is a show on Netflix.

We may be taking things a tad too seriously. Or, at least, venting in an unhelpful way.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with having personal integrity, and not supporting groups you feel are not helpful, or plain destructive to your values. That’s personal ethics, and it is commendable. Nothing wrong with standing up for yourself.

But, with that said, it is untenable to not connect to anyone or anything, for example, that is from a democrat if you are republican, or vice versa. You cannot avoid the “opposition”. Unless you want to live in a media-free bubble, the marketing from companies alone, will make sure you experience differing ideas at least sometimes. And, furthermore, the attempts to block all opposing political viewpoints, and deny the existence of other general viewpoints, is how you get echo chambers and intolerance.

Marketing Contested Ideas Will Not Go Away, Nor Should It

So, my point is this: watch, interact with, surround yourself with whatever you want. That is your right. As it is for everyone. But, if you come across a piece of media, a piece of marketing, a piece of anything that simply has a differing opinion than yours, then perhaps pause, breathe, empathize, and consider what you’re doing before you blast them publicly?

I am trying to be tentative here, as there are so many exceptions to my general premise, but the backlash against media figures like Bill is reactionary and kind of ridiculous.

Yes, marketing and media and all other matter of stimuli do affect you, do affect kids—if that’s the concern, which it might be. Something being “corrupting”. But no one forces people to watch his show. Nostalgia is powerful, but not that powerful. There’s plenty of other media to consume even if you only use Netflix.

Silencing all polarized ideas is legitimate censorship. There’s a difference between someone having a different opinion and being an enemy worthy of attacking. And that’s a line we need to keep firm if we want civility in this country.

If you liked this article, you can read more of Brandon Scott’s work on The Hive, or at his website:

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