Windows on the World of Raymond Plank
Founder, Apache Corp
Vol. 2013 No. 6


The cover page of Bloomberg Business Week November 10, 2013 features the partial face of Barack Obama, with the following cover message (in large black letters) “Crashed – One year – and one epic fail – into his second term, Barack Obama needs a reboot,” (three full pages 14-16).

Page 14: “How the iPod President crashed,” (by Ezra Klein) continuing in heavy print, “Barack Obama promised to make Americans believe in government. The failure of healthcare may do the opposite.”

Page 15: “The iPod destroyed a lot of companies. Actually creating an iPod government would be no less disrupting.”

Page 21: “Obamacare was intended to be the model for a 21st century social program, not a replica of programs built in the 20th.”

Well worth reading.


The second referral is to an essay written by Courtney “Harrison” Leduc, age 15, tenth grader at Red Deer, Alberta Canada.

Remarkable to me are her age, learning and reading habits, skills from age five she has advanced from her commitment to learning. Having known and admired three generations of Harrisons, and applauding their diligence, intelligence, and work ethic, I’m still captivated by the depth and perspective of Courtney’s analysis.

Courtney goes well beyond the more dogmatic analysis of the Bloomberg cover story, noting the unhealthy degree to which youths’ minds can be and often are polluted by media advertising overdosing their audiences on products they seek to sell, in a thoughtful, considerate, yet manipulative way.

By calling attention to serious problems in our society they reach out to minds, an important introductory step, which leaves the active steps to the reader. One could note that the action steps to be taken are left to others, or were one optimistically hopeful; the tide would rise to a point where the call to appropriate action would prevail.

I’d bet if Windows readers liked Courtney’s thought process and how she expressed herself, she’d be encouraged at this stage of life; you may contact her at

Merry Christmas!

Ray Plank



by Courtney “Harrison” Leduc


Sara was a happy 10-year-old, full of jubilance and glee with not a care in the world. This vivacious perspective changed when she received her first cell phone. What Sara did not understand is that, by owning a cell phone, she had just become the newest victim of the media’s paradox of innovative regression; now her life will never be the same. The media perceives that they are being innovative and assisting the world in moving forward when, really, the influence of the media has tampered with people’s self understanding, leading to increased insecurity and impeding individuality. This supremacy diminishes free minded people and, overall, restrains our innovation.


One of the major problems that occur with media influence is how the media bombards society with an increased insecurity within themselves. When people see models in magazines or in advertisements, we fail to realize what process the photo went through to make it look the way it does. In this time and day our technology is so advanced that we can alter almost anything about someone’s appearance; therefore what needs to be brought to people’s attention is the awareness that when we see those models we are not actually looking at the real image, we are looking at a disoriented and counterfeit version of it. This distortion is evident when you see photos of Victoria’s Secret model Heidi Klum. The editors use Photo Shop to remove and cover any impurities, such as wrinkles or pimples, and they also alter her body to make it look perfectly shaped and flawless. No one is perfect. The media wants you to believe that the edited and photo shopped stars and models we see are what we should perceive as perfection which brings us to the conclusion that you have to be slender and wear an abundance of makeup in order to be beautiful. The models that are on the runway and are in the ads in magazines have probably had to malnourish and abuse their bodies, which could lead to developing severe eating disorders. Eating disorders are dangerous, and, in some cases fatal. The media facilitators may change the mindset of the victim into one that makes people see themselves as insufficient. An exemplar of this is evident in Jenna Morrows essay ‘Hollow, An Unpolished Tale ‘when she says, “I am forever engaged in a silent battle in my head over whether or not to lift the fork to my mouth, and when I talk myself into doing so, I taste only shame. I have an eating disorder.” This statement shows how the victim’s mind becomes poisoned and their perspective becomes altered by the expectations of society.


Another effect of the influence is how popular culture impedes our individuality. The media makes us believe that we have to conform and be like everyone else in order to be accepted; advertisers try to put us under the impression that we will never be good enough. The media executives do this by making us compare ourselves to one another. For example, we look at others in envy when they have higher brand name clothes or the newest Apple product. We are constantly surrounded by reminders that these products are what the media, and the company executives want us to feel we need. The pressure put on us to be what the media wants us to be is substantial, it’s like falling into a river and having to swim against the current, but no matter how hard you swim, you don’t succeed. The current is too powerful. This is how many of us feel; we feel as though the power of the media overwhelms our independent opinions and taints our thoughts. When our thoughts become tainted to the preferred thoughts of the masses, we are put into a mindset where the executives find us vulnerable to fit in.  People sacrifice their morals and values such as, valuing quality time with your family or holding academics as a high priority; but they tend to discard these ethicalities commonly to just ‘fit in’. In the excerpt from Charles de Lints ‘Happily Ever After’ he says; “We're so quick to cut away pieces of ourselves to suit a particular relationship, a job, a circle of friends, incessantly editing who we are until we fit in.” This theory shows this same viewpoint that people in today’s society are too worried about fitting in that, they fail to worry about how their actions impact who they are. If adolescents do drugs or drink every weekend because that’s what the masses are doing then that will produce long-term effects on their morals and perspective on the world. They fail to realize that their actions are much more severe than they appear and they show the world a false copy of who you really are. This is very troubling. If everyone is in symmetry with one another then what sets us apart, what makes us unique and innovative?


One may argue that media is what we need to innovate and move forward; which is a way for the world to share and obtain information easily. However, I believe that it is also what is setting us back.  Innovation to me is taking something, improving it, and making everyday life easier and more efficient. Yes, media does this in a way. It allows us to contact one another and spread news in an accessible and proficient manner such as, Facebook, Instagram, Hotmail, Google etc. but it also causes many problems for all of us. The influence of the media is so massive that you cannot escape it. They can infect you through cell phones; televisions, radios, computers, billboards and so many other media influenced outlets. With all of the media influence surrounding our youth, the young minds are numbed from producing ideas, therefore making our innovation stagnant. We need free minded and unique thinkers in our society and the media diminishes them and makes them believe that their way of thinking is wrong; they do this by diluting their ideas with ones that they see as much more proficient. They see the need to control people as much more of a priority then catering to the happiness and overall success of the people affected by their influence. The producers do this when they show advertisements that are false; for example a new cream fore women that would erase’ all of their wrinkles and impurities and they spend hard earned money on the cream only to find out that the cream was fraudulent and their money had gone to waste. Leo Tolstoy outlines how freethinkers approach this way of thinking: “Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking....” This shows that in order to innovate further, we need a generation that looks at the future in a unique way. And until we begin to realize that the media is the reason why the populations of these types of people are dwindling then we are not going to be able to innovate to our full potential because we will not be able to see the world in a different perspective if everyone were told how to look at it in a certain light. If people are steered toward the common path when out on an adventure then how are they supposed to engage in discovery.


            In conclusion, the media is a highly influential source in this day and time. It has the power to manipulate our society into believing whatever the masses desire. Although the media is positive in some ways, the counter negatives are much more substantial. The influence of the media has manipulated people’s morals and values, concluding in an increased insecurity and conformity among our society. This influence affects the young generations, causing their free thinking minds to be tainted with the domination of the media, therefore repressing us from our full potential of innovation. I believe, that in order for us to continue to walk forward into innovation, we need to take a few steps back and think about the true Impact that media inflicts on society, and consider how our lives would be dramatically improved without the media controlling and restraining our way of thinking and our actions.