84 Lumber and the Reclamation of the American Narrative

It finally dawned on me not long ago that if you don’t control your own narrative, people will happily control it for you, and almost certainly to your detriment.  It’s true in day-to-day life, and it’s true for the larger social and political discussions.

Thankfully, some companies with marketing dollars to spend are beginning to get it.  Tonight, 84 Lumber stepped boldly and brilliantly into the fray.

“’Ignoring the border wall and the conversation around immigration that’s taking place in the media and at every kitchen table in America just didn’t seem right,’ said Rob Shapiro, the chief client officer at Brunner, the agency that worked with 84 Lumber to come up with the ad, told the Washington Post. ‘If everyone else is trying to avoid controversy, isn’t that the time when brands should take a stand for what they believe in?'” (via Heavy.com).

The unfortunate reality of 2017 America is that we cannot avoid controversy, because there are dangerous forces at work that rely on that tendency.  We have to speak out or our political system will be hijacked in the same way most institutional religion has already been hijacked.  Just because someone grabs the microphone and yells into it does not make him or her an authority or a spokesperson.  Let me be clear.  Franklin Graham and his ilk do not speak for me as a Christian, and Donald Trump and his fellow oligarchs do not speak for me as an American.

And it’s not even about liberals versus conservatives and other social constructs wielded like clubs to divide us.

I can understand why someone would not vote for Hillary Clinton (as I noted on my very possibly final Facebook post, I never thought I would).  I can understand why someone would want to be fiscally conservative (I would like to be, if joining that club didn’t come with so much socially reprehensible baggage), or even on the conservative side of moderate, overall.  What I cannot understand is how anyone could take an objective look at the way the Trump administration has governed in the first few weeks and think “yeah, this is what I voted for.”

You can be conservative and not be an asshole.  You can dislike Hillary Clinton and not be an asshole.  You can want change in our country, and not be an asshole.

But I’m beginning to wonder if you can approve of the job Donald Trump has done so far, and not be one.

Oh, and before I forget.  What a choke by the Falcons tonight.  One more example of how things never go my way in sports.  But the ads were good.  A lot of much-needed positivity and genuine patriotism.  And even though she is way after my musical period of interest, Lady Gaga killed it.