See the short public service announcement (PSA) about emotional abuse of children, embedded just below. It’s in Polish but the video is easy to follow without understanding the language.
The PSA presents two scenarios. In the first one, a mother pushes away and criticizes her toddler, with a flash-forward of him as a nervous young man self-sabotaging before a job interview. In the alternate scenario, she praises and attends to him, with the result being that he approaches the interview confidently. In the concluding scene the narrator says “one day your child will spread his wings; it is up to you whether he will fail to launch (the Polish idiom is ‘be a flightless bird’) or fly like an eagle.”
Take a quick look:
The video is well done and the message is spot-on. But as is often the case when encountering something foreign, it’s the little details that make it an experience at odds with what you are accustomed to. For example, in this PSA:
- There are no distracting actors of another race, which makes the vignette a coherent morality play involving characters with natural relationships among each other. This homogeneity is psychologically satisfying in its harmonious simplicity.
- The people look right because they look natural. The mom is pretty but neither glamorous nor “empowered” looking. The prim, officious secretary is congruent with the archetype. There is no character engorgement that’s common to Western ads.
- The male narrator. Did it surprise you to hear him speak? In that PSA, a man represents society’s voice of authority. In American ads, authority figures are women, when they’re not disconcertingly reptilian blacks such as the Nationwide Insurance spokesman.
- Finally, the focus of this PSA is the well-being of a young White man. In the U.S., the establishment’s crocodile tears are shed for everybody except White men and boys.
Now that we’ve reveled in the normalcy of the Eastern European PSA, let’s take a look at an American one on a similar theme. You will recoil at the icy bark of an adult female ambushing a young boy:
The voice that retracted a thousand scrotums.
(UPDATE: reader Peterike provides additional background info on the LikeAGirl PSA in the comments.)
During the Communist decades, Eastern Europeans watched the free people of the West like through a prison window. Beautiful cities with bright cafes, people moving about freely, speaking freely, and they longed for that.
Today, we in pozzed West watch images of healthy social arrangements through our own metal bars, our thirsty eyes following a glass of cold, clean water, unaccustomed to a public affirmation that an institution of the state, and the talent that it harnesses, endeavors to secure a future for her native sons.