15 September 2007

On the government PR and dinosaurs' fate

This story illustrates the usual backwardness and futility of government's (any government) PR activity.

Officials in the Russian province of Ulyanovsk urged residents on Wednesday to take the day off work and make patriotic love, with prizes for producing a child on the country's national day nine months hence.Sergei Morozov, governor of this province 900 kilometres (560 miles) east of Moscow, dreamt up the idea as a way of helping to pull Russia out of its demographic crisis.
The Ulyanovsk folks have gone for the PR in a half-hearted way. Done professionally, such a special day could have brought volunteers galore from all over the world. But leaving the volunteers aside, even the citizens of Ulyanovsk were not persuaded:
But some residents were sceptical, including 16-year-old Dmitry Fyodorov. "When one teacher started talking to us about sex this morning I asked her what there was left for us to learn," he told AFP. Nineteen-year-old student Nadezhda Teryokhina objected that "the governor can't push us to make love when he wants. It's up to free people to choose."
Notice the issue of free choice, which doesn't leave me a choice but to tell you the real story behind the extinction of the dinosaurs. The mass media feeds you from time to time by new versions of the "real" reason for that calamity, each new one being even more far-fetched than the last. So here goes (are you listening, Matt?) - the recording of the fateful dialog between the male dino (M) and his spouse (S).
M[hopefully]: So dear, what do you say?
S: Go away...
M[nuzzling]: But dear...
M[agitated]: But darling, we'll be doomed to extinction if you persist!
And so they have become extinct, and if there isn't a mighty powerful lesson for the residents of Ulyanovsk, I really cannot be of any assistance then.