Friday, 3 December 2010

Appealing for CALM

President Obama hasn't had an easy ride since that fateful night back in November 2008. Having inherited a shattered economy, a distrustful population and a bitterly divided political climate, he was never going to breeze through to a second term.

Almost two years into his presidency, Obama is now finding even his staunchest supporters turning against him, critical of his lack of action and unwillingness to address some of the key issues facing the country. Despite being elected a platform of equality and possibility, he's dragged his heels for far too long and kept his distance from the most divisive issues. 

But there's still a chance for Obama to secure that all-important second term. He needs to listen to the will of the people and take decisive action, once and for all. He needs to silence the noise that's deafening the nation. 

Weirdly, I'm not actually speaking in melodramatic metaphor - Obama literally needs to adjust the nation's volume knob. And turn it way down. 

Having already been approved by the House of Representatives and the Senate, the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act is now heading straight to the White House for 'final validation'. No longer will terrified citizens find themselves scrabbling for the remote control as a TV ad bursts onto the screen, with all the cacophonous fury of Brian Blessed yelling at a customer services agent. 

It's something we've all experienced - straining to hear the dialogue of our favourite TV show, only for an ad break to suddenly begin and send us leaping behind the couch, fearful of an imminent air raid. The tactic is a no-brainer - the advertisers want you to hear their sparkling dialogue and expensively acquired soundtrack while you nip to the loo or pop the kettle on. So they adjust the volume on their ads - that way, you can still hear it even if you've nipped to the supermarket to buy the teabags.

Let's all be thankful, then, for Rep. Anna Eshoo (gesundheit!) who introduced CALM as a way of forcing advertisers to lower the volume of their creative endeavours. If Obama approves the act, we might ultimately see similar legislation being introduced in the UK to save us all from premature hearing loss.

Barry Scott must be shitting himself.

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