December 15, 2008

Hope and Change: A New Dynamic

I am no Luddite. I embrace change when it brings good to the world or more importantly to me. I am not in favor of change for change sake. I guess that is why I never fell under the swoon of The Obama. Hope and change needs to be a bit more defined before I jump on that bandwagon.

I recently picked up an important purchase at the local WalMart. Emblazoned on the package was a flashy banner promoting the most recent changes to the product. Why do marketing people feel the need to tinker with a perfectly good foodstuffs? I ask you, dear reader, do we really need hourglass shaped marshmallow bits in our Lucky Charms? Back in the day we had the obvious depictions of luck-inducing items: hearts, moons and clovers. The fine folks at General Mills added rainbows. Then they decided we needed horseshoes. I thought that was going a tad far, but at least they were symbols of luck. But an hourglass? What are you thinking, Lucky Charms guy?

I challenge you to name one culture that looks upon the hourglass as lucky. Was Dorothy pleased when the Witch dropped off that big-assed hourglass high in the tower? That red sand and evil portal to a grieving Auntie Em back in Kansas is the stuff of little kid nightmares. When playing Boggle do you view the hourglass as anything but an enemy as you frantically search the random letters for a word that no one else knows? As a child I was struck by the ominous voice of McDonald Carey intoning the mysterious "Like sands through the hourglass, so are the Days of our Lives". Time is not our friend. Tick tick we grow older every minute. The seconds and minutes turn to hours and days, a never-ending reminder of our mortality. Every grain of sand in life's hourglass is a kiss you missed, a hug, a laugh, a tear gone by. Nothing good or lucky comes from the idea of an hourglass.

I look at a handful of Lucky Charms -- the weird-shaped Cheerios rejects interspersed with the hearts, the moons, the clovers and the rainbows. I see the hourglass marshmallows and the questions nag my active mind. Why? Why? Why?

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