by Paul Big Bear
I remember watching Saturday morning TV; we had shows hosted by people that cared about us and wanted us to get an education, encouraged us to enjoy life, and they brought us cartoons that made us laugh, along with the Three Stooges (none of us ever thought of buying anything from ACME or poking each other in the eyes) we also watched commercials for breakfast cereals endorsed by athletes and the characters on the box who illustrated how good the cereal was and how good it was for us. Then there were the toys, especially around Christmas, dolls, doll accessories, bicycles, and cap guns that instantly made you feel like your favorite cowboy.
Today, with literally hundreds of stations to choose from, our Saturday mornings have few shows and fewer commercials for children. Today the available shows depict dysfunctional families, rude behavior, erratic behavior, but worst of all is the constant news broadcasts with reminders of the atrocities in the world, young athletes collapsing, senseless drive by shootings, hit and runs, commercials with one message; “If you” ate this, drank this water, used this pesticide, took this medication, used this powder, worked with asbestos, maybe you were stationed at this military base, and then they start with; if you took this prescription drug and suffer these side affects; from runny nose to head aches, rashes, irritable bowels, liver and kidney damage, dizziness, to life threatening conditions, you may have a lawsuit for big money. “With the right law firm you could be awarded huge sums of money.” Sadly the carefree days of childhood are fast disappearing. What messages are we being fed; BE AFRAID! But if you become ill call this law firm and we will get you compensation.
So you (or your survivors) can join a class action suit or bring your own suit for monetary compensation. Billions of dollars are set aside by pharmaceutical companies and large manufacturers to settle these cases. Apparently money can compensate anything, but what about those who need to be held responsible? Those who decide that the good their product does far outweighs the side effects. How are they held responsible? Surely built in corporation compensation money for anticipated damages cannot be considered punishment. How many products are harming our lives, our health, our air, water, the land itself and those held responsible laugh as they receive a slap on the wrist with a dollar sign. As I check the time on my watch that “takes a lickin and keeps on tickin” I see that it is time for me to turn in so I can wake up early and watch the old cartoon reruns while I eat a bowl of cereal that will make me a winner and then watch some old cowboy shows and practice twirling my authentic old west cap gun.