Zaleski: We can do without this kind of stuff

A few things we can do without:

Personalized M&Ms.

Why, for heavens sake, would the Mars company mess with one of the most successful confections in the history of the world? I, for one (maybe the only one) have no interest in a personalized greeting or photo on my M&Ms. And frankly, one has to wonder about the psychological bent of people who would affix their photos or inane greetings ("Have a nice day!" Phooey!) on candy.

Maybe I've missed the marketing boat on this one. Maybe the pitchmen at Mars are on to something. We'll see. But remember, these are the same geniuses who added blue to M&M colors. They ruined the old rainbow. They should have stuck with "melts in your mouth, not in your hand." Now that was genius.

North Dakota Republicans whose learning curve is a flat line.


It's started early, that is, if it ever ended. Republican leaders are trying to breathe life into a dead theme: North Dakota's congressional delegation is composed of out-of-touch liberals, who are not representative of the state. Heard that one before, have you? Get ready to hear it again and again. Ho-hum ...

Let's see. Sens. Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan have been in the Senate for 20 and 17 years, respectively. Dorgan also served 12 years in the House. Rep. Earl Pomeroy has been in the House for 17 years. Before federal service, all three had long public careers in statewide elective offices. In other words, the people of the state re-elected those "out-of-touch liberals" more times than Republicans dare to count.

If the Republican strategy is to trot out the same tired campaign theme, the result will be the same: North Dakotans who have consistently voted in huge numbers for Dorgan, Conrad and Pomeroy will be offended when Republicans suggest voters have been bamboozled for decades. Insulting voters is not the way to win elections.

Don't believe it? Look at the results on the federal ballot since 1986.

TV commercials that feature men as buffoons.

OK, we sometimes are buffoons, but not as consistently as television spots portray. How about this one: Wife is eating a weight-control cereal. Hubby makes a comment that could imply wifey is chubby. She reacts. No, no, he stutters. She presses him. He says he should shut up. He does, she smiles wisely and he's the dolt.

Or this one: A Scotsman-like character uses a dipstick as a whip on young men who are not using the right kind of motor oil. The men are made to look like oil ignoramuses who cower like wet noodles as a vicious nut with a dipstick wallops them. It's a strange way to convince consumers to purchase the "right" oil.

Readers can reach Forum Editorial Page Editor Jack Zaleski at (701) 241-5521

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