Packaging: A Rant

First, they added cute slogans to the product to “empower” customers. Then someone fussed, so the slogans went away.

Next, they came up with different terms for the sizes and functions of said products. So you had to stand there and puzzle out if this is the new version of what you needed, or if that thing on the next shelf is the right one.

Then they changed the box so it is metallic technicolor. You have no way of knowing what’s inside, unless you already know what is inside.

As if that wasn’t enough, they changed how the package opens and closes, so it has a “new, convenient easy-close lid.” I turned the dumb box over and over until I realized that it now works like a Kleenex™ box instead of a standard box.

Come on, folks!

This is down with all the “zip to reclose – tear here” bags that can’t be torn, and then don’t cut evenly, and then the zip doesn’t work. Stop over engineering the container. Sheesh.

Bathos gets Boring

It often starts with a dark screen. The first strains of something dolorous or heart-wrenching come from the speakers, and images of . . . pathetic critters/starving children/people “cut down in his prime/just starting her life” begin crossing the screen. Depending on the piece, a plea for a donation may follow, or a news-reader may add solemn, understated commentary. The clip ends with the charitable group’s logo, or a jump to a commercial.

“Bathos” was coined (or at least first recorded ) by Alexander Pope, the poet and essayist, in 1727. It means an abrupt decline, “from the sublime to the ridiculous.” The attribution fits Pope, who could be sharp of pen and withering of criticism. It also fits his period in English literature, when evoking and excess of the wrong sort of emotion was considered a sign of low wit and Not Done. Continue reading