- The Washington Times - Monday, January 31, 2000

Marketing boom

"We may all be tired of hearing about the Baby Boomers, but the Baby Boom was a genuine, and exceptional, event in American history, precipitated by and accompanied by cataclysmic historical events… .
"But … what's less often remarked is how, for the Baby Boomers and those who marketed to them, generation became a key means of market segmentation. One famous slogan captures that strategy in its early stages: 'Not your father's Oldsmobile.' …
"In the 1980s, as the Baby Boomers reached their prime earning and spending years, marketers discovered more and more ways to use their unique generational consciousness to create market segments. They turned to the pop-culture artifacts that had accompanied the Baby Boomers' adolescence, licensing everything from the Rolling Stones to Bob Dylan. These artists became totems for footwear and flavored water, less for their rebellious and prophetic character than for their ability to conjure up generational solidarity."
Andy Crouch, writing on "For People Like Me: The Myths of Generations," in the fall issue of Re:Generation Quarterly

Hitting the target

"When people hear that I spent five and a half years in prison in North Vietnam, they invariably ask, 'How did you do it?' Over the years … I have tried to answer that question in a way that will be helpful and encouraging to them, wherever they are living the story of their life …
"In Hanoi, the first thing we always did was to communicate. Our captors wanted us to be cut off, isolated in our cells, kept out of touch with one another. In your life and work, there is no plan to cut you off, to isolate you, to get you out of touch with the people with whom and for whom you work, or the people with whom you live.
"However, if I asked you, 'How easy is it for you to get out of touch, to lose contact with the people around you, to feel isolated or cut off?' you'd answer, 'Easy, very easy.' It is extremely easy to lose our connection with other people, whether at work or at home among our family… .
"Where does the burden for clear, accurate communications lie? I believe it lies with the sender. If an archer shoots an arrow and it does not hit the target, it is not the fault of the target it is the fault of the sender."
Dave Carey, from his new book,"The Ways We Choose: Lessons for Life from a POW Experience"

Call to believers

"There's no one God cannot bring to faith, but if we're honest, we have to admit we have a hard time remembering that in some cases… .
"Trouble is, we never know when God is going to surprise us. Case in point: Jane Fonda.
"From the 1960s on, no American may be more associated with the causes of the radical left than Fonda… .
"She … bankrolled or crusaded for practically every favored cause of the left, especially those centerpieces of the sexual revolution, 'abortion rights' and contraceptive handouts. To cap it all off, she married Ted Turner, who frequently (and publicly) announced his contempt for Christianity, a 'religion for losers.'
"But something started to happen as Fonda approached her 60th birthday a couple years back. For all her causes, she recognized a spiritual void in her life… .
"The most anti-Christian people you know … probably aren't nearly as steeped in their ways as the 62-year-old Fonda was… .
"God's call to believers is not to calculate the odds of witnessing successfully, but simply to witness faithfully. He does the actual work of conversion, and sometimes, when it looks most unlikely, He will surprise us. When that happens, it's well worth the wait. Ask Jane's friends."
Matt Kaufman, writing on "The Hound of Heaven," a Jan. 27 posting in the on-line magazine Boundless at www.boundless.org

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