CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith from a Place of Winter for the Years of Winter… ©
At first I thought the Snickers advertisement was a big mistake. It seemed backwards, negative, likely to accomplish the opposite of what it was trying to do.
The kinky-looking tattoo girl is working on the biceps of a big mean-looking biker type while eating a candy bar. When she is done, he looks at his arm with incredulity, because she has written on his arm, in permanent ink, NO REGERTS.
“Sorry,” she shrugs. “I was eating a Snickers.”
THAT is an adequate excuse for permanently disfiguring someone? Isn’t that an argument against eating the candy bar?
Well, yes, to the first question, and well, no to the second one, because the only thing that really matters is my pleasure in the moment, and eating a candy bar is a pleasurable moment.
Advertisers are often way ahead of the rest of us in understanding, and creating, the ethos of the time. The ethos of our time is: My immediate emotional satisfaction is all that matters—in family, sex, relationships, religion, politics, business, money, power… We relate and vote and buy on that one theme: what will satisfy me emotionally right now? Not what will be good for me in the long run, or what is good for others, or what is good for society or the environment, but what will pleasure me, right now.
So NO REGERTS is a brilliant advertisement.
To someone like me, to almost anyone at the rational level, it looks like it’s negative and will drive people away. Who wants to be part of a mistake? Well, it’s not a mistake if it makes me feel good, regardless of what happens to someone else. That is the message that comes across at the emotional level, at the level of the ethos of our time.
But it’s even more clever than that. It’s also saying that it’s okay to feel like that, to have momentary pleasure as life’s goal, because life should be without regrets. Subtly, although it’s misspelled, we’re told that we should have no regrets.
If you have no regrets, you are dead or a sociopath. You have done things you should regret, hurt people you should not have hurt.
According to Snickers, though, you get over that not by asking forgiveness or making amends but by getting the pleasure a candy bar provides.
The “place of winter” mentioned in the title line is Iron Mountain, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula [The UP], where life is defined by winter even in the summer! [This phrase is explained in the post for March 20, 2014.] Having met and married while at IU in Bloomington, IN, we became Bloomarangs in May of 2015, moving back to where we started, closing the circle. We no longer live in the land of winter, but I am in the winter of my years, and so I am still trying to understand Christ in winter.