I started working on a song for the highway section of the Luff story. It has to do with Luff facing what he doesn’t like doing. This is a metaphor for several points in the story. It is about facing fear and stress, deciding whether to follow the rules or make one’s own not knowing the consequences or rewards of doing so and about having to stay on the road, because it is the path that others before and around you have established as the way to go. Luff sticks with just trying to get to his destination at for now. Among traffic he turns on his radio, hears an advertisement, a DJ and listens to a song.

The song questions why things have to move so fast. Are we ignoring forces that are manipulating us? Can’t we slow down and take a look around and make sure that this is where we want to be going?


[Highway Traffic sounds, tuning of a radio, stopping on an advertisement.]

[“…in the box. No matter what you use for you personal security, you head is safe and secure in the official aegis box of your city financial. Call us today.”]

[“Its gonna be another scorcher out there today,
so if your in your car,
fighting traffic,
like we know you are,
just keep those windows up
and that air conditioner blasting.

That’s the only way you’re gonna be able
to keep those ROAD RAGE demons at bay,
except maybe for some music
from your favorite station.

An starting us off for this hour,
let us help you manage that highway
and keep your life in control
with a new tune from The Tailgators.”]


Here you are again
Heading out of reason
Wanna feel control
But that’s out of season

Every now and then
You look beside you
Someone else is shifting gears
Whispering in your ear

You have the wheel in your hands
Moving fast as you can
You have the wheel in your hands
But are you being driven?

Gotta make a change
Wanna make a difference
And what you have to say
You feel that no one listens

Every now and then
You look beside you
Someone else is shifting gears
And yelling loudly in your ear

You have the wheel in your hands
Moving fast as you can
You have the wheel in your hands
But are you being driven?

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Journal Notes for P5

Journal notes as one PDF.

P5 Journal

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G1 Packet 5

G1 Packet 5 in PDF format.


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Song 2: Risk To The Wild

This is a transition from Luff’s safety zone to the wild. Luff takes a risk and leaps ahead in an attempt to start looking for answers to his questions about why he must keep his head in the box. He is tumbled and washed away from his comfort area and emerges in new territory. It is new in the sense that he has not been there with this intention. It has been so long, since he has looked at things here, that they are unfamiliar and strange.

He has been shaken by his decision to change and finds himself questioning that choice. He eventually makes it through perceived and possibly real dangers and finds out something new about himself. He leaves some old parts of him self behind like a dying carcass or the shedding of skin and moves forward with a little more strength, if given only by leaving behind some unneeded baggage.

Risk to the Wild

Maybe I
Should go back
Back to forgetting
Don’t Remember
Maybe I
Can’t go back
Back to forgetting
Maybe I
Should go
No more forgetting

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Are We Really Creatures of Habit?

JCPenny recently tried to create a new marketing strategy company wide. Originally, they had prices that were quite high, but at the store there were big sales on everything. Sales that offered thirty, forty, fifty and even sixty percent off. The idea was that a pair of jeans  listed as ninety dollars, really only cost forty and the customer would feel good getting such a deal. Under the new method, the jeans that cost ninety dollars discounted to forty now cost, forty. Still the same price, but no faux savings.

I am also extremely baffled at consumers and being one myself I can laugh at them and me. I have no proof other than my own experience and listening to others talk, but it seems that consumers spend more when they think they are getting away with a great deal, whether it was or not. I can hear  someone saying, “I just bought a ninety dollar pair of jeans for forty bucks. It was a really good deal.” At a store down the road, the same jeans cost, forty dollars with no sale price.

I have caught myself feeling the same way about some deals, but it didn’t take long for me to realize what was going on and now I check out prices in other stores before shopping. I look for the most convenient store, with good customer service that offers reasonable prices.  I stay away from sales unless they do add a value to the purchase.

Do we have to have gimmicks before we choose to buy products at a particular store? I am reminded about reading of a time prior to 1920 when consumers purchased products based on need. Marketing also advertised to consumers the value of the product based on the technical quality of the product. This was prior to public relations and Edward Bernays. Afterward public relations and corporations began marketing to desire rather than need and changed consumer thinking. Could this be why we as consumers refuse  to change our habits? One consumer said, speaking of the changes at JCPenny, “I haven’t really tried to educate myself, but then I shouldn’t have to.”1

The same article suggested that consumers have been “conditioned to expect blockbuster deals from Penny”.  The change was from blockbuster deals to “predictable pricing”. JCPenny says that they are going to communicate the benefits of the new strategy in ads. One of the things that they said they have learned from this is that coupons are a drug and that it drove traffic to their stores.

Do we have to have coupons and pricing tactics to feel that we have made a good purchase or should we be like the one commenter who basically said we shouldn’t have to work at it or in a sense, “I don’t want to have to think”? In some ways the troubles are partly our own, because as consumer we seem to need a gimmick. Isn’t this just snake oil selling en masse?

There are a number of articles that highlight the troubles that JCPenny is going through because of their marketing changes. I have listed the two that prompted this post.

J.C. Penney’s shares in free-fall after 1Q loss

JCPenny Strategy Backfires

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30% More

It still amazes me that these tactics work. I guess they work. If they didn’t work, why would companies keep doing it. This tactic is to use large text to attract you to the product.

The text reads, “30% MORE!” and in smaller text just below that, “Compared to our 5oz. Bag.”

This photo shows the ounces of the bag that the 30% More tactic was on.


Is this an effort to get you to buy the larger bag? There were no other size bags in the store any where near this one. This makes me scratch my head as to the person who approved this.

What do you think the 30% more was intended to do?

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Forces of Influence

What are some of the forces that influence our choice and our lives daily? Individually we are affected by many different forces, but there are forces that affect us in larger and small groups.  Many we can’t control, but there are some which we can.

Of those which can be controlled to a lesser or greater extent , which of them affect you the most on a daily basis? Which of these forces has exerted the strongest influence to this point in your life?

  • Internal Psychological
    • Emotions
  • External Psychological
    • Intimidation
    • Manipulation
  • Physiological
    • Hunger
    • Pain
    • Disease
    • Age
    • Gender
    • Race
  • Marketing & Advertising
    • Is this external psychological?
  • Political/Government
    • Legal
  • Economical
    • Status
  • Social
    • Class
  • Nature
  • Ethical
  • Technological


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