The human brain, constantly bombarded with commercials on TV, the internet and the radio automatically tune them out so as not to waste precious calories of energy paying attention to them.
However, though my brain has more or less made it so the stimulus from commercials never really gets past my brain stem, something went atwitter in my brain while watching my favorite TV show, Hogans Heroes.
It was daytime and the commercials were all of the daytime TV variant;
"Are you a loser? Then go to college at your local degree mill! We offer Phd's in just 18 months!"
"Are you struggling under debt? Then call the Dead Beat Debt Consolidation Program. Expert financial advisors are standing by now to show you how to not pay back the money you owe!"
"Injured or just willing to say you've been? Call Chitty Ays Lawyers at 1-800-GOEF-SOCIETY."
And so forth and so on.
However, what went atwitter was the sheer volume of these commercials and just what a high percentage of them were for losers. It's almost as if all people during the daytime are idiots and the marketing suggests it. But what was truly eerie was I started to take note of just what percentage of the commercials were for losers during the rest of the day.
These commercials are on ALL THE TIME.
Extract yourself, if you will, from the US and imagine you're from a more "responsible" or "mature" country like Finland or Sweden. You come over here and on the TV is nothing but commercials for debt consolidation, credit cards, worthless degrees and personal injury lawyers. We don't see it, because we're inundated with it, but that still doesn't mean it isn't happening, nor does it change the statement it makes about America. If you take the time to actually observe just what a high percentage of total commercials these "loser" commercials account for, it is a scary testament to the status of the average American.
It doesn't matter if it's daytime TV (although there is more of a frequency) these commercials account for a jaw dropping percent of total commercials. Yes there is the debt consolidation and 2 year degree mills, but can you remember the last time you didn't hear a damn commercial for Viagra? Or some commercial for another stupid, inane weight loss program (because that "eat less and exercise more" concept is so freaking hard to understand). Or a check cashing place?
When I started paying attention to the commercials, two I find particularly interesting because they are a testament to the deteriorating economic condition this country's in;
Cash for gold or "gold brokers."
People are hocking gold and personal items for cash, AND I HEARD THESE ADVERTISEMENTS ON TALK RADIO!
The larger point is this; commercials are a free market (and therefore very accurate) reflection of society. And whereas I would like commercials to be for things like personal F-16 fighter planes, documentaries on economics, encyclopedias, hovercars, surgeon school and other goods and services which would indicate a successful, productive and educated society, sadly it's the complete opposite.
Sex pills, means by which you can get "cash quick," weight loss, debt relief, lawyers, consignment shops, you name it, all point to a society that has not only lost its desire to be industrious, responsible and hard-working, but to a society that is on the brink of collapse.
Of course, again, I'm just the ole fuddy duddy. The curmudgeon that likes to spoil everybody's good time. The meanie that points out mean and harsh things (no matter how true they may be). But if you don't believe me, just try it yourself. Next time you're watching TV or listening to the radio or surfing the net, actually listen/watch/read the advertisements and see just what a high percentage these commercials are.
It really is eerie and depressing at the same time.