Monday, November 17, 2014

Are People Really THIS Dumb?

This being only a few weeks after the polls closed for midterm elections in the United States, I'm wondering how many readers are glad to see all the political ads gone.  Ugh.  I had to endure them from my newer home in Florida for a time, and then had to return to my old home in Massachusetts to experience even more.  The airways in both states were filled with those ads -- or should I say polluted, with most of them being pretty questionable in integrity.

In trying to be honest here, I felt that candidates from both major political parties were lying, or at least stretching the truth quite a bit.  And, while I lean towards the Conservatives in my later life, I am admitting that most of them could use some truth serum, too.

Anyway, while you might be spared for a couple of years, I and my hockey friends evidently can't escape more political ads.

What I'm talking about is a video that keeps getting recycled and recycled, with no relief in sight.

Actually, if one would check the comments listed below that video, he or she would discover that most hockey folks don't like its message.  At the same time, there's always someone seemingly swayed the other way by it, which has them posting it to one social media site or another.  (Did I say "Ugh" yet?)

With that, I'm going to show my readers that video, and then provide my own feelings right after.  Or, as the late Paul Harvey always said, I'll later tell you "the rest of that story"... 

Okay, here's the politics of that video...

America's governing body, USA Hockey, produced the video, mainly trying to promote their belief that little ones are better off playing on a smaller, scaled down ice surface.

If there's an initial thing rotten in Denmark, though, it's that USA Hockey has already forced that idea on its membership.  In other words, their youngest members are going to play on the smaller surface, whether anyone -- including member parents, coaches and administrators -- like it or not.  So, this being after-the-fact, all I can guess is that USA Hockey is trying to do damage control, or maybe continue to influence members that they're doing the right thing.

Now, as an aside here, my Minor Degree studies were in Instructional Media, which included a number of Radio & TV Production courses.  That was on purpose, because I planned to combine my Physical Education & Coaching Major with those skills to do a lot with video, including producing my own instructional videos (the analogue-type back through the 1980's, and digital versions for the years thereafter).  I say this because I know all the tricks when it comes to things like talent selection, scripting, and clever editing.  Ya, I know that stuff...
  • As for the talent selection, I'm hoping no one is dumb enough to believe that the group of players in that video just happened to be skating on a local pond when the camera crew arrived.  Geeeeeeeze...  They were handpicked.  Actually, I haven't been able to get an answer about whether they were either compensated or at least members of USA Hockey.  (Oh, someone might want to shoot my accusations down, just because I could be wrong on the latter.  But being wrong about that one point doesn't in any way negate everything I'll have to say here.)
  • Then, the scripting...  Give me a dawgone break.  The guys in that video may not have been given word-for-word scripts, but I can assure you there weren't going to be any anti-USA Hockey comments saved to tape.  As a matter of fact, if you go watch that video again, after hearing me out, perhaps you'll get the same sense as I, in that the commentary is as phoney as it can get. 
  • Lastly, no matter what took place on the day of the shoot, I can tell you that absolute miracles can be achieved in the studio.  In other words, if the idea of the final video was to give all the right testimony for forcing little ones onto smaller ice surfaces, that could be accomplished in the final edit.

Why do I go to such lengths here -- about the talent, the scripting, and the editing?  It's to liken that video to exactly what we've spent months viewing in those political ads.  Pure propaganda, I mean, with as much truth in that video as there was in either the MA or FL governor's races.

Non-hockey readers might like to know that I'm not going to go off too much about the hockey part of this, because that's not the idea behind my Diary.  So, while I could provide plenty of reasons why USA Hockey might rethink things -- from a learning-the-game standpoint, I'll only suggest here that most of their members don't like the idea.  Of course, this isn't the first time they've crammed unpopular rule changes down their members' throats -- since the body-checking issue is still fresh in my mind.

Lastly, though, I still have to ask my title question, wondering "are people really THAT dumb" -- to believe that video, and to keep posting it to their Facebook walls or elsewhere?  The answer, I guess, is "evidently so".