Random Juxtapositions

Save the children: Eat more cupcakes!

Email inboxes juxtapose messages incongruously as a matter of course: one of the low-level bugs of the system, I guess. I’ve grown accustomed to seeing credit-card-use alerts interleaved with jokes from old friends; electronic flyers I didn’t sign-up for nestled among posts from blogs I did.

But this screen a few days ago definitely took that weirdness-so-routine-it’s-hardly-weird-anymore to a new level.

Save the Children, of course, is an international charity dedicated to helping children.

Every day we ensure children survive,
are protected from harm
and have the opportunity to learn.

Crave Cupcakes–for anyone who *doesn’t* get emails from them–is a family-owned bakery headquartered in Calgary, with storefronts in Calgary, Edmonton, and Saskatoon. And, apparently, a pop-up location coming soon to Regina: You heard it here first, I expect.

Only 8 days until our pop-up!

Their family does a good job of delivering good cupcakes to *my* family in Calgary and Edmonton when the occasion invites a special treat. What’s not to like about that? Nothing. Yet there’s something not to like about the random placement of a sweet-indulgences email right below the hungry-children-crisis one. It certainly made me uncomfortable.

Give until it hurts: That’s what they used to say. Then someone said: Don’t give until it hurts; give until it stops hurting. But here’s the thing. As an individual, I can’t give until the world stops hurting: The need is too big.

And that’s the point, I guess. If the need is too big, the answer isn’t to regret that I can’t fix it or, worse, to stop giving. In a world where I have such easy access to sweet indulgences and the means to enjoy them, the only answer is to be grateful for that and for the occasional reminder to keep giving to those who don’t have either of those.

And, maybe, just maybe, that random juxtapositioning in my inbox is a feature, not a bug, helping to remind me of what I have, compared to most.

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15 Responses to Random Juxtapositions

  1. Jim Taylor says:

    That kind of juxtaposition can be both humorous, and disturbing. When I worked in northern B.C., the only TV station — yes, the ONLY station; something to think about in these days of 550 cable channels — was running a movie, The Brave Bulls, I think. The screen was awash in blood. Dying cattle, bleeding toreadors… They cut away for a commercial. For a blood donor clinic.

    Jim T

  2. barbara carlson says:

    The internet’s insistent commercial pleas come at us like water out of a hydrant. Hard not to feel smacked sideways by it, then washed away.

    But.. I suspect after all these years we cope by not even seeing it anymore. When was the last time you looked or listened or bought anything advertised? (Other than writing about it.)

    • barbara carlson says:

      should be “come” not “comes” & “suspect” not “suspect”

      Why is there not a way to edit our comments?

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Barbara – I have made the edits you noted in your next comment. I don’t know why there’s no functionality like that for the poster. As for buying things advertised, I have bought toys for various grandchildren after seeing Facebook ads, but it’s been a while. But someone must be responding, otherwise the ads would quit.

  3. If the juxtapositions and impositions were only clogging my inbox, as I seem to recall was the case in the early days of owning a computer, life would be less stop-and-go and freer from aggravation. The importunate advertising has a stranglehold on Facebook that makes the platform almost useless to me. E-zine plugs flog my busy brain whenever I go to my browser, which is frequently every day. You Tube insists that I pay for ad-free listening, which I am resisting on principle, and has stolen my easy choices and personal playlists with “suggestions” scattered throughout the stuff “My Algorithm” permits me to hear based on my personal choices. It has made personal choices much more difficult by removing much of the browsing material that was far better organized than what now exists. Those pesky “suggestions” steal time and screen space, insult me, and last night refused to offer me a choice to never again see the ghastly electronic “music” and horrid anime with vacuous song lyrics. Whereas that set of choices seems to apply to almost anything but the most obnoxious intrusions. I couldn’t tell if it was a virus or another offensive ad for sound I consider damaging to body and soul. I suppose Google bought up tons of garbage and is trying to “sell” it. We seem to have reached a point where one Entity “owns” all of the recorded music in the world and intends to ration it for the poor and charge the rich for what they can procure by alternate means. Am I the only one who finds this situation disheartening?

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – Oh my, that sounds (no pun intended) miserable. I expect you’re NOT the only one who finds it disheartening, but that hardly points a way forward, does it? Back to CDs we go, maybe?

      • Perhaps. But CDs are expensive and prohibitively so for many of my clients. If I spring an App on the world, the music resources need to be available globally, preferably at no cost. Consistency is the essence of data collection.

        • Isabel Gibson says:

          Laurna – Ah, I see the context now. Yes, that’s past aggravating, then.

  4. Judith Umbach says:

    One of my favourite charities has the motto, “We can’t do everything, but we can do something”. Eating sweet treats does not interrupt that process.

  5. Mary Gibson says:

    Excellent! And I agree with Judith.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Mary – 🙂 And not sure where the thumbs-up icon is hiding in this platform . . .

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