This morning I finished my writing for the next edition of Simply Youth Culture, the great little resource we’re now doing with our friends over at Simply Youth Ministry. One of the things we include each time is a culture image. It’s something from/in the world that we can look at to not only understand the world, but to spark discussions with our kids. This time I focused on an ad from Diesel’s Be Stupid campaign, a marketing strategy that includes a heavy web and print presence.

The ad (seen below), contrasts smart and stupid by drawing a disturbing and unnecessary line between practicing creation and critique, leaving the impression that we are to avoid the “smart” nature of critique, while embracing the “stupid” life of creation. The ad appears in print in a portrait format, while here you see it in landscape format. Because it’s creative, it must also be stupid! . . . which in this context, is a virtue.

The ad must be seen in the overall context of the campaign, which is laid out with the crafty two-minute video that lays out the credo our kids are to embrace and live. As with everything else, there’s a mix of truth and lies, good and bad.

Diesel is a company that has never failed to stretch the creative envelope – yep, they live by their own “Be Stupid” credo – thereby serving to both map out and mirror the culture of our kids. For that reason, this is one campaign worth looking at, dissecting, and talking about in our youth groups and with our kids. The video and a whole series of visual ads can be found on the Diesel homepage. The ads should provoke thought and discussion on a variety of topics including critique, the creation mandate, wisdom, authority, narcissism, and what makes for “successful living” . . . which is the tagline incorporated into the Diesel logo.

3 thoughts on “Stupid? Or Smart? . . . .

  1. Well Walt, I was just working up my confidence to post this a couple of months ago due to you allowing controversial comments,but then you abruptly stopped them so I backed off. But now with your excellent post of March 24 I feel a little confident that you may accept this. If not,so be it.

    I searched on your site for “gay”,”homosexual”,and “queer”. Nothing. Not one post in twenty years! How can you legitimately call your organization CPYU when never having confronted this critical yet least talked about issue? The issue of parents understanding their gay children.

    Don’t fool yourself,there are plenty of us miserably suffering in the Church. We have totally intolerant and non-understanding parents. Parents which make our lives a Hell on earth.

    Try to imagine the agony in living a secret life and denying who you really are,everyday. You have no idea the self-hatred we feel from parents who think our sexual desires are disgusting,perverted,vile,and the most egregious sin.

    Despite your failure to confront this most critical issue I do sincerely thank you for your response to the intolerant church member concerning the “Day of Silence.” It says so much about the intrinsic goodness within you.

  2. Walt, our thanks and utmost respect for your loving response to the woman wanting to spend such negative energy in trying to stop the Day of Silence. It was a courageous stand. The epitome of WWJD. I literally got goosebumps upon reading it. A sign of a true and strong leader is one who is willing to take an unpopular stand that runs contrary to his/her supporters. And in as much as you may not desire to being described as a leader,you are.

    Jacob, my husband and I can relate to you 100%. We agree it is a glaring error on CPYU’s part. But let’s not forget the inner strength and openness that Walt shows in being able to publish harsh comments concerning CPYU and even of himself personally,in a not too long ago post. Those actions are quite commendable and an example to be copied.

    Unfortunately, we treated our son James Jr.(yes,even at birth we were unable to recognize him as his own person) as a deviant,instead of a God-made individual with a God-given preference,different than our own. Sexual preference is NOT a choice. A truly heterosexual male is physically incapable of “choosing” to consummate a homosexual engagement.The choice does not exist. The attempt would be diametrically opposed to his biological proclivity. Likewise for a homosexual male.

    During a time period of over two years we subjected James to pastoral counseling, psychological and psychiatric therapy, Exodus International and finally a Christian boot camp, in trying to force a change which was biologically impossible. It all came to an end one merry Christmas Eve. Upon returning home from church we discovered his horrific and gruesome suicide.

    We were slowly killing James so he cut it short. He succeeded in destroying us as we had destroyed him.

    To our knowledge Jesus spoke thousands upon thousands of words. Yet never,not once,did He even speak of homosexuality,let alone condemn it. He didn’t speak of a lot of divisive issues spoken of in the Old Testament.

    Perhaps it wasn’t an issue that needed comment. Matt. 22:36-40

    Parents,please,please,do not make our mistake.

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