Sunday, February 12, 2006

Something to Chew On

Many of you are undoubtedly aware of the recent sentencing of Vanessa Jackson, an adoptive mother, charged with systematically starving three of her children. The case has been a double indictment against an uncaring foster-turned-adoptive parent and New Jersey Social Services, which will undoubtedly lead to an episode of Law & Order ("the following story is fiction and does not depict any actual person or event" which as Dad always said, means that it is). At the time of the children's 'rescue', the eldest boy (age 19) who weighed 45 pounds, was dumpster diving for food. It appears that Ms. Jackson routinely "fed" the children raw oatmeal, rice & grits, as well as pancake batter and other goodies.

I read of the sentencing (7 years in prison) and the lurid details of the crime on the New York Times website. Now just when I thought that I couldn't be more incensed, I noticed the Google ads at the bottom of of the page; they were for a "raw food nutrition" website, a "raw food culinary classes" site and finally, a "fat reduction for weight loss" site. I kid you not. Need I point out the ironies here? Need I ponder whether Ms. Jackson availed herself of any "raw food culinary classes" while she fed her sons raw potatoes, or considered the nutritional value of a handful of uncooked Cream of Wheat? Did the boys ever look at themselves in the mirror (perhaps while verifying how many teeth had fallen out that day) and ask themselves if it was time to go on a diet. I mean, what the fuck?!!

Not being a mega-webmonkey, I have no cunning insights into the way Google appends their ads to websites or what the NY Times practices are in searching for ads. I suspect though that they are randomly generated - these ads clinging to articles through a matching service of metatags and such. I hope this is the case, truly I do; otherwise, the New York Times & Google should be hanging their heads in abject shame. Nonetheless, perhaps those wonderful folks who make their cash off of the web should rethink their advertising practices. Just food for thought.


Blogger knarf said...

I suppose that Google's little ads are generated in response to some bot picking out out-of-context words on your page. Those insensitive ads may not be reason enough to get pissed at Google.

Google's involvement in China should piss us off, however, as their co-operation with those evil authorities actually involves them "naming names" (there's a Seinfeld reference for you, but this one's not funny). Yahoo does the same thing. You've probably heard all of this. Sadly, it'll probably result in my dumping my g-mail account along with my e-mail account in protest...

3:47 p.m.  

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