There is beauty in simplicity
When simple things are true;
But solving complex mysteries—
There’s beauty in that, too

There are simple things, and complex things,
And mysteries and more…
Sure, sometimes you have favorites,
But it isn’t either/or

Ok, so I saw this commercial, and it really bothered me:

Do you want to hear about the chemical composition of the sun? Or simply feel it on your face? Do you want to talk about all the muscles it takes for two hands to connect? Or just enjoy that they can? Do you want to debate why an apple a day keeps the doctor away? Or just take a bite? Do you want to talk about what it takes to make a miracle happen? Or just look at one?

To have a kid’s voice say these lines is, to my ears, just horrible! Kids want to know the chemical composition of the sun, and are fascinated by how muscles, sinews, bones and skin combine to make hands work. The ad writers have the kid certain that apples work, and that babies are “miracles”. Kids are naturally curious–why on earth would you base a “simplify” commercial around someone who probably makes Rube Goldberg machines out of kitchen appliances, clothes hangers, and tape. Kids see the beauty in complexity–in stuff that takes a lot of work to understand. That’s one of the best things about kids.

I can see why a healthcare plan might want to simplify. But damn, this commercial just grates at me whenever I see it.


  1. rq says

    Well, my children, after feeling the sun on their face this summer, asked a lot of questions about what it was and what it was doing in the sky. Sometimes they stare at their hands and their feet and wonder what it looks like inside, especially when they move their big toe just so. They know apples are healthy, and tell each other about ingesting vitamins every time they eat one. I’m not sure about the miracles, though… we/they have never witnessed one to date, just a whole lot of wickedly awesome stuff that initiates questions, and questions, and more questions…
    So I’d have to agree with you, Cuttlefish, that children don’t crave simplicity – they crave complexity. They’re not satisfied with silly surface answers, until they’re taught to be satisfied with them.
    As challenging as it can be, I hope mine are never satisfied with simplicity (except maybe as minimalist interior decorators or something, but I sure hope they’d at least read about rococo before making up their minds).

  2. trucreep says

    @1 rq

    It’s amazing isn’t it :] I remember as a kid looking in the mirror and just being like, “That’s ME.” What does it mean? Who am I? Kids are incredible explorers and have that limitless imagination that drives them to ask why??

    I will say, as fucked up as religion is, I had a good experience with it as a kid – one of our pastors in particular, Father Mark, always encouraged the wonder that we had for the world. Haha he had a little puppet that was a black and white puppy called “Oreo” that would sometimes deliver his homily; we would get really excited when he made his appearance :P

    Another pastor I’ll never forget, Father David, always, always encouraged us to ask “why?” Transubstantiation was something I would always question, and he encouraged it.

    Well, just thought I’d drop some good examples of priests working with children, since we are too often informed of the sick shit they’re capable of.

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