Agreed, don’t blame the hapless lunch ladies. You know, the weeping women who wrenched trays of food from unsuspecting children at Uintah Elementary. Yeah, it likely wasn’t their fault that Salt Lake School District was operating on some backward policy that allowed kids to go through a lunch line only to discover that their parents hadn’t paid their bills. But consider this: civil disobedience. Is there no sense of morality, of conscience, that goes beyond corporate policy? Isn’t this how we find ourselves in a totalitarian society? We don’t ask questions, we don’t disobey—we just keep our heads down and do our jobs, not willing to stand for something if it means we lose our jobs. Instead, these lunch ladies lost their purpose—to serve and help kids.
Commercials. Apparently they are more effective than you realize. Two in particular have created quite a buzz this past week. The first resulted in a public apology from Paul Mero of the Sutherland Institute conservative think tank that said, oops, he just misread a nondiscrimination bill, but still blamed sponsor Sen. Steve Urquhart for his “appeasement” (meaning: political concessions to an enemy power). “Tell him to quit appeasing,” Mero tweeted. So Brigham Young University will still be able to ban gays and lesbians from student housing. The second commercial, which aired during the Super Bowl, was a UDOT ad that featured an apparently sleeping child who was actually dead in the backseat of a car. Buckle up, mom driver, or you’re going to fly into the back seat and kill your kid. Hundreds of viewers complained or applauded the ad. Got your attention, didn’t they?
Talk about overreacting. The University of Utah has decided to close its Red Zone apparel stores because they got criticized in a legislative audit. While the audit didn’t suggest that the U should shut down the stores, it did conjure up the conservative admonition about unfair competition with the private sector. Yes, we all have to be perfectly laissez faire in all we do these days. Actually, the audit only advised that the U not advertise its stores, because that $1.9 million in sales represents lost revenue to tax-paying companies. Never mind that this is a strictly niche market and that the stores do pay property and sales taxes. Oh, and the employees are mostly students.