After Her Plane Was Torn Apart


I am not against honoring the dead. Not at all. I think we living people can chose to honor the dead if we want.

I’m not all about honoring the dead because, well, they are dead. I appreciate the beauty and art and sounds and ideas that people who have long since died contributed. I appreciate that I was born in this moment of time because I’ve benefited in so many ways from people who lived centuries, or even just decades before me.

I am not offended or upset if someone ‘disrespects’ a dead person’s memory because while I might appreciate what they’ve contributed, their time is over and spending emotional energy on people who have long gone doesn’t seem beneficial in any way. I love going to cemeteries because they’re fascinating to me, but I don’t visit graves of loved ones. I don’t put flowers on graves because if I buy something beautiful for someone, I prefer that person not be dead so they can appreciate the beauty. Again, no judgement here, this is just how I feel about it.

That being said, I heard a commercial the other morning while driving to work that made me feel a little offended, because really, Amelia Earhart deserves better.

I don’t know if it’s the mega millions or the power ball that is up over 200 million dollars right now, but one of them is.

I listen to the radio driving to and from work and I usually flip stations when they play commercials or are talking. Especially the morning DJs talking. For fuck’s sake were they always that obnoxious and I just didn’t notice before now?

Anyway, a commercial came on and I neglected to flip the station. It started out with “Where would Amelia Earhart be if she had given up”?

My first thought was, well, she would have lived longer. 

Then it went on to compare people who buy lottery tickets to Amelia Earhart. As in, Amelia Earhart didn’t give up! You shouldn’t give up either! Keep buying those lottery tickets! Don’t give up!

Fucking really?

Amelia Earhart studied medicine, wrote books, toured on the lecture circuit, campaigned for women’s rights and broke and set aviation records all before disappearing from the sky in 1937. How is any of that like taking your hard earned money to a convenience store and spending it on bits of paper that will likely only be as valuable as the ink on the paper?

It was hilarious to me (and slightly frustrating) to listen to this: Don’t be a quitter! Be like Amelia Earhart. 

Or maybe I’m being unfair. Perhaps lottery ticket buyers are the same as Amelia Earhart. It’s reasonable to compare the desire to achieve great wealth without actually expending any effort (other than waiting in line at the convenience store behind other lottery ticket buyers) to a woman whose worked tirelessly and achieved international fame before succumbing to the inherent dangers of her passion.

I took a line from this song by The Handsome Family for my blog post title. I find listening to this makes me feel a little better about Amelia Earhart being disrespected by a lottery ticket commercial.

Or am I just being crabby?





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  • Did it have that steady rising movie winners music in the background though? That type of music can get me riled up for anything. This is why I don’t have cable, because I don’t have the mental power to resist stupid commercials like this :s

  • Ew…that is really depressing. It makes me feel like we’ve become very disconnected and desperate, and that there are no filters for what we see and hear while we’re just out and about. Who is in charge?!

  • My mother-in-law constantly talks about how her brother and dad “would have been such-and-such age today” and I feel like an asshole for wanting to say “no they wouldn’t be, because they died.” It’s done ad nauseum: they would have liked these flowers, they would be watching this Super Bowl, etc. It’s rough being a pragmatist! I WISH I were more nostalgic. And yes, that lottery ticket ad is horrible!!

  • I have a similar reaction when companies use songs to push their products in a way that implies the songwriters meant us all to buy X or Y. ANd for a real teeth gnasher, listen to how politicians use historical figures to promote an agenda. Grrrr Gnash

  • I totally get you! The commercials that get my goat (where the hell did that saying come from?) are those that use images of loved but dead for many years celebrities. Like Fred Astaire dancing with a Dirt Devil or John Wayne extolling the virtues of Coors. I tend to think both men would be too classy to sell out like that and they are probably rolling in their graves (again, where did that saying come from?) that their images are being used. I think it’s just tasteless.

  • I don’t think you’re being oversensitive at all. It’s not even really about honoring the dead as much as it being pure ignorance. I would be offended, too, if I’d heard it. Amelia Earhart was not just anyone who didn’t give up. She was a pioneer and should be respected and remembered as such. ::drops mic::

  • I sort of hate advertising anyway, and that commercial would piss me off. Would they say that to someone in a casino? The lottery wouldn’t be so bad if they used the proceeds to fund education like they’re supposed to, but they don’t. It’s really just a way to trick poor people into paying more taxes so rich people don’t have to. If Amelia was still around, she would probably kick their asses for making that ad.

  • When I read your tweet about this post, I thought “Well, at least we would know where she was. That’s where she’d be. She’d be there in that place.” And then I thought “Fucking lottery. Show a little couth.”

    I highly recommend 105.9 WNKU for drive-time listening, except when they are in a membership drive, or the lispy Kathy Costello is hosting. (Sorry, Kathy, I just can’t take it. It’s like you’re blowing in my ear.)

  • …and as often is the case I agree with every word of this blog
    What is worse is some ad. exec. got paid a shedload of cash for coming up with that.

  • *blink*

    Be like Amelia Earhart, and vanish.


    Huh. Never would use that as a selling point for anything. Unless we were talking in-laws, and then it would be YES!

  • hey, it’s better than… “Christ died on the cross and you should buy lottery tickets, cause… he died on the cross, right?”

    (I’m in agreement, thank god for college radio stations! In my area we have two which I listen to in between dinosaur rock… and what’s the deal with this whole ‘two guys who really think they’re both funnier than hell’ format? I am clearly of the wrong demographic)

    hey….hey! I just remembered a lottery ad in our area a few years ago, it was a billboard ad… I think what they had was one one half a college diploma = $40,000.00 and a lottery ticket = $1.00 and something about success in life (I also don’t tell jokes very well, but provide the pieces and most people can successfully re-assemble them into something funny).

    good post…I like your blog

  • I hate commercial radio, too. I always listen to NPR and my local public stations.

    I never bring flowers to the graves of loved ones either. It seems a waste. I do put solar lights on them, though. My granddaughter, who was five when she died in a tragic car crash (texting driver), is usually remembered on her birthday, because it’s hard not to imagine what she would be like now, or what she would be doing, especially since our other granddaughter is the same age that she would have been. It’s hard for her parents to be around her cousin sometimes. Just sayin’…there are reasons for remembering, and wondering.

    Love your blog. 🙂

  • And THAT is why you should only listen to your own playlist of music while driving. I can’t even pull out of the driveway until my phone is on Spotify and plugged into the car’s audio system.

    Commercials have gotten more and more ridiculous all the time. I barely paid attention but the super bowl was on last night, and some of the commercials bordered on offensive.

  • Instead of Amelia Earhart they should have used Mitch Hedburg, who has this hilarious bit about opening a yogurt container:

    “I opened-up a yogurt, underneath the lid it said, ‘Please try again’ because they were having a contest that I was unaware of. I thought maybe I opened the yogurt wrong. …Or maybe Yoplait was trying to inspire me… ‘Come on Mitchell, don’t give up! An inspirational message from your friends at Yoplait, fruit on the bottom, hope on top.’”

    Bonus points to you for quoting The Handsome Family. Now I’m off to listen to “Weightless Again” again. I never thought about it before but it could be about Amelia Earhart.

  • I don’t think you are just being crabby. Amelia Earhart has always been one of my biggest heroes and to hear this used to get somebody to gamble more which is a serious addiction is disgusting. Gambling to me is just as bad as alcoholics it can destroy lives. I’ve seen it happen and it’s not pretty.

  • The commercial’s comparison is just plain tacky. And like another reader commented, I think it’s tacky for commercials to use dead people like they’re still walking around today. It’s also creepy.

  • The odds of winning the lottery are something like a bazillion to one, right? Amelia Earhart’s odds of making that flight were way better.

    I enjoy a weekend in Vegas, but for those who really believe the lottery can change their lives, this is a problem.

    • Oh yes…it’s not like I NEVER play…sometimes…

      I was raised by a gambler and I know what damage it can do, so I probably have a chip on my shoulder (geddit? chip?) when it comes to gambling anyway.

  • Nope. You are not being too sensitive. The commercial was in extremely poor taste. Comparing Amelia Earhart’s determination and achievement to buying a lotto ticket is fucked up and unnecessary…and an insult to such an incredible woman.

  • Marketing people/advertising people have no souls. They will use anything to sell, sell, sell, without asking if it’s appropriate. I get really annoyed, too. I wish I could play you the radio ads for Mothers Against Drunk Driving… they’re hilarious. They’re not meant to be, but they are.
    I think it’s why ads are so easy to make fun of. Think of those great SNL fake-out commercials.. some of them were great. Happy Fun Ball, in particular.

  • So , would she have won a lottery if she had lived? And how does someone turn something tragic into a justification for something totally unrelated?
    Love your blog and uncensored views!

  • Yes DJs have always been that bad. I heard the commercial too, it is offensive. Do you think the people buying the tickets have any idea who she was or what she did? Unless they saw Night at the Museum most people have no idea about history.

  • ANYTHING to sell… that’s the rule. I think this is absolutely offensive, but sadly? People oh dear people… they buy it.

    They cater to the market of people that listen to ANY-THING. It just keeps getting worse. Sigh.

    I love the way you write. 🙂

By Michelle


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