When opportunity knocks, open up… even if it’s a dead guy

I find it interesting that when some sort of tragedy occurs, someone will undoubtedly use it his or her advantage.

Some examples:
• After 9/11, vendors popped up all over the streets of New York City to sell Ground Zero merchandise
• Matt Shepard’s funeral was used as a tool by the Westboro Baptist Church to push their anti-gay agenda
• Con artists pretended to be Katrina evacuees to cash in on social assistance.

I’ve been pretty fixated on last week’s Greyhound murder. It’s been a combination of the beheading (the barbarism of it), that the killer snacked on his flesh and that Tim McLean was trapped inside the bus with his murderer with no hope of rescue. He was just a young guy on a bus.
It’s unspeakably sad.

Now factor in the selfish cretins looking for a plug, and you have got one tragic story.
We’ve come to expect that Westboro Baptist (again with the infamous funeral picketing) will use their abundance of chromosomes to make a scene, so I’m not going to waste much time on them. I do, however, take huge issue with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ (PETA) reaction to Tim McLean’s death (see ad below).

My first question is who was the person watching the news and thinking “Bingo!”? In what mental space does one have to be to not only find personal affirmation in an innocent man’s death, but to also move forward with such a tasteless campaign? That sort of behaviour, to me, screams antisocial personality disorder.

My second question is about the purpose of the ad. Was it to persuade? Are there new membership spaces opening up? If that’s the case, I think their copywriter will need to find a new job, because PETA did nothing else but confirm that they are completely out of touch. I understand the point that PETA was trying to make, but the fact is, that they had no place in even making a point. Period. A death is not the time to make an argument.

I know that the capitalist mind is fixed on getting ahead-believe me, I’m in marketing-but I’ve always thought that death was the definitive up-shutter. Why? Because it’s is absolute. Tim’s not coming back. To his family and friends, that reality is still in the process of sinking in.

PETA is an organization with a clear agenda, and they leveraged Tim McLean for their own devices. Especially from people who preach against cruelty, it was poor form. Frankly, I think animals (let alone Tim McLean) deserve better people watching their backs than this self-serving group of freaks.



2 thoughts on “When opportunity knocks, open up… even if it’s a dead guy

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