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    Tuesday, April 20, 2010

    Captioned Thoughts - Social Awareness, Or Arrogance?


    It's been going around my mind allot lately, and i've talked about it with allot of my friends, and it seems that there is some sort of pattern..

    No, it's not about me confessing to my stupidity, that dark day is still far in the horizon, as if it exists.. But it's this new awareness campaign the Police authorized, that just marks how disconnected they are from people, and how some of their judgements (if not most of them) are nothing more than arbitrary and utterly retarded (there isn't a better word to describe it, so am keeping it simple)..


    If you drove around the country, specifically here in Jeddah (around the southern parts of the city, and upper mid parts) you're bound to come across something that goes along the lines of this picture..


    It's right next to my office, and it's the 3rd billboard i see every morning coming to work, and the first billboard on my way back from my wife's college.. For those who can't read arabic, it says "Feras just got a son, he might be around you.. Be careful from the mistakes of others"..

    At first i thought it was annoying that Feras looked like Ahmeddein Nejad, but something really annoyed me about the slogan (am not THAT easily annoyed, despite the nation-wide misconception)..

    Think about it.. You're driving down the street, and a billboard is telling you, "See that guy next to you? he might just had a baby and he's a bit too excited" or "See that other guy? his team just won, and he might just slam into you in a thrill ride"..

    Not only does it alienate and deepens the paranoia cracks ALREADY existing in society, where its common to think "everyone is an idiot", it sends this annoying message.. You're sinless, mistake-free, be careful of those who aren't.. And if you're that stupid driver they're warning me about? You're not even worth the money spent on the awareness campaign, because apparently YOU'RE NOT THE DEMOGRAPHIC..

    I mean, what kind of an awareness campaign that tells you that others might put you in harm? Unless this is Palestine, and they're warning me from Israelis, they should warn me about MY mistakes..

    Don't text and drive..
    Don't dial and drive..
    Don't drink and drive (this goes out for the 60+ year old jackass who slammed into my parked jeep)..

    However, just reverse that chain of thinking to fit the campaign..

    Be careful of that person who's texting and driving.. Despite his mistake that we should tell him to quit it, you should be warned, god knows you'll pay for it..

    And I wish it was warning me from Text'ers, CellPhoners or Drunk drivers.. They're warning me about Happy people.. Happiness causes death in Saudi Arabia..

    You just had a baby? You're bound to have an accident..
    Your favorite team won? You're bound to have an accident..

    And it doesn't stop at that.. To actually think that alienating certain drivers based on a stereotype? Isn't awareness campaigns supposed to WARN and BREAK stereotypes?

    What's next? Be careful of that African woman picking PEPSI cans, she just dropped a can in the middle of the street.. BE WARE OF HER MISTAKES!

    Maybe am looking too deep into this, and maybe am just thinking way in between the lines regarding what i saw in those ads.. But to see a campaign that over-saturates an already disabling social phenomena "Drive and consider everyone an idiot driver" is just putting our social ethics to it's lowest, whether we notice it or not..

    If my team just won, i should be careful about my driving..
    If i had a baby, i should be careful about my driving..
    If it's anything, i should be more responsible as a driver, and look after the other citizens, not hide and hope they crash into a wall instead of my car..

    With this campaign? You can't blame me, because they're not warning me, oh no am free to do whatever, am already a mistake-combo-meal.. YOU are warned not to come in my way.. The hospital, the police, or god can deal with me.. Why spend money on my awareness, since you're worth it and am not?



    Saudi Arabian Police (with the help of Ewan Real-estate development).. I just have one question..

    What the *bleep*?



    ..what do YOU think, my potentially-hazardous friend?

    Yours,
    Lou..

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