Let’s Cut the Crap Apr 2024

Why do we do nothing about problems?
Looking around, it’s easy to find problems that need a solution. Many of the problems have trivial solutions. Often, the trivial solution is to simply discontinue the behavior. Shouldn’t this be easy?

Offensive ads and gimmicks everywhere

Ubiquitous billboards, signs, magazines, TV, internet

Easy solution: Ban the practice of visual marketing — allow words only

Expected result:

• happier everybody

Thank you gifts from charities

Charities and non-profits (public radio for example) beg for donations, then they insult the donor by offering thank-you gifts.

Easy solution for the stations: stop giving thank-you gifts.

Easy solution for the listeners: don’t give any donations until the thank-you gimmick is lifted

Expected result: more donations; no handling of gifts or interaction with the gift vendor (assume this is subcontracted); less production, proliferation, disposal of wasteful crap

Raffles by charities

Charities and non-profits (softball teams for example) ask for donations, try to ‘earn’ money for a tournament, they offer a raffle of some item as an inducement.

Easy solution for charity: stop raffling, ask for donations, and maybe do some work for a donation

Easy solution for the consumers: quit buying tickets

Expected result: maybe more donations, maybe fewer, but at least the lesson of an honest reward for honest work

Clickbait on news sites

Most every major news site carries clickbait throughout their websites, sometimes only at the bottom, sometimes interspersed.

Easy solution for the news site: eliminate the clickbait

Easy solution for the consumers: picket the site, boycott the site

Expected result: news site might reconsider the stupidity and regain a bit of credibility; otherwise, the news site might not correct its behavior, but consumers will not suffer since they avoid the site

Popups and other gimmicks on websites

No explanation required.

Easy solution for the site: simply avoid marketers and web developers who use gimmicks

Easy solution for the consumers: simply leave the site and never return, don’t buy from them, and write reviews describing the bad behavior

Expected result: fewer gimmicks; less business at sites with gimmicks

Cheap stuff at stores (tchotchkes)

Excerpt from the wiki …

A tchotchke (CHOTCH-kee) is a small bric-à-brac or miscellaneous item.

The word may also refer to free promotional items dispensed at trade shows, conventions, and similar commercial events. They can also be sold as cheap souvenirs in tourist areas, which are sometimes called “tchotchke shops”


Easy solution for the store: have some decency, refuse to sell it

Easy solution for the consumers: tell the store owner or manager how it hurts everybody to sell junk, walk out of the store, and don’t go back

Expected result: fewer gimmicks; less business at sites with gimmicks

Sportswear (team and celebrity wear)

Look at all the junk and what we are buying. The sports business is pillaging the economy for the extreme benefit of a few. Look at all the waste of time and money expended so that adults can play unnecessary games. From the pro college circuit to the traditional professional leagues, this is a waste of humanity celebrated by marketers.

Easy solution for the consumers: quit watching, quit buying, live your own life, emphasize the importance of actions over decoration

Expected result: happier people, better world

Awards shows

Oscars, Grammys, CMA awards, on and on

Easy solution: replace such shows with surgeon award shows, outstanding statesman award shows, or most effective school district award shows

Expected result: less distraction; better focus on real life

Movies with Guns and Violence

90% of movies

Easy solution for consumers: quit watching … everywhere … at the movies, on TV, streaming

Expected result:

• almost no movies … until somebody decides to make something without guns/violence as the main course
• better sleep, better behavior

Litter everywhere

Trashed out urban landscape

Easy solution: Require yard crews to carry trash receptacles and to properly dispose of trash

Easy solution: Offer a million-dollar design prize for the best ‘vacuum’ design — the reverse equivalent of a leaf blower

Expected result:

• cleaner streets
• far less blowing since removal eliminates the need to re-blow downwind or next week
• happier citizens

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