“Only in America!” isn’t exactly an ethics quiz. It’s more of an “Is this a great country of a sick country?” game that focuses on the values and strengths of the culture….or otherwise
Incidentally, June 17 marks the date when, in 1885, the dismantled Statue of Liberty, a gift of friendship from the people of France arrives in New York Harbor after being shipped across the Atlantic Ocean in 350 pieces. The copper and iron statue was reassembled and dedicated the following year in a ceremony presided over by U.S. President Grover Cleveland. The statue was designed by French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, who modeled it after his own mother, we are told—that woman was BIG!—with assistance from engineer Gustave Eiffel, later famous for, well, you know. It was supposed to be up in time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, but financing took longer than expected. Even ignoring the pedestal and assembly process, he statue alone cost France an estimated $250,000, or $5.5 million in today’s money). It, or she, finally reached her forever home on Bedloe’s Island nine years late. At the dedication, President Cleveland, said, “We will not forget that Liberty has here made her home; nor shall her chosen altar be neglected.” At more than 305 feet from the foundation of its pedestal to the top of its torch, the statue was taller than any structure in New York City at the time.
In 1903, a plaque inscribed with a sonnet titled “The New Colossus” by American poet Emma Lazarus was placed on an interior wall of the pedestal. Lazarus words, especially “Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,’ have caused a lot of confusion over the years, as many people and even some under-educated elected officials seem to think they represent official U.S. policy, hence “Welcome, illegal immigrants!”
None of which has anything to do with the issue at hand, which is this: In February, Ethics Alarms examined the weird story of Tessica Brown, who decided that the the perfect hair product for her needs was Gorilla Glue adhesive spray. Then, after the predictable result, she posted a video showing the world what an idiot she was, and threatening Gorilla Glue with a lawsuit, an idea the company quickly knocked down for the count. She lost a lot of hair, and even needed plastic surgery. Here’s angry Tessica in the video:
Now, we learn that Tessica has launched her own line of hair care products that will “hold a ponytail like glue,” but not like Gorilla Glue the company is called “Forever Hair,” and made for women who have damaged hair issues. You can view her products at www.tbforeverhair.com, and see things like this:
So the “Only in America!” question is this…Is Tessica’s transformation from an evident idiot into a canny entrepreneur proof of America’s greatness, where the intrepid and creative can make lemonade out of lemons, and no mistake is so dire that a citizen can’t use the wonders of capitalism to rise again? Or is this more proof that in the age of social media in a celebrity-besotted culture, any publicity can be monetized, and there are enough suckers who will buy hair products from someone who has proven beyond all doubt that she is an untrustworthy dolt that a cynical marketing scheme like this can succeed?