Sunday, December 30, 2012
The Falsity of False Falseness
DirecTV and had no antenna hooked up. Life was quieter, and not bad, though I did miss Baseball.
For Christmas I decided to buy a digital antenna and hook up my big TV; now I get four or five channels, and just finished with the last day of the NFL reg season.
As an American Human Being I have grown up watching TV; my first TV memory was the coverage of
John Kennedy's funeral, which made an impression because that entire episode was broadcast for days.
After my five month respite from TV, what struck my eyes was the proliferation of happy people in commercials, most of them gorgeous/handsome, interacting in some sort of blissful reality that seems to occur
every six minutes. You know what I mean-Football plays until a time out, and then the happy people come on, drinking beer (RESPONSIBLY!) or having emotional epiphanies because they are driving a sleek new car or powerful new truck.
Shiny happy people may make for a crummy '90's song, or exist in an altered reality ala "The Matrix" on TV commercials, but the facade`can be dangerous to your equilibrium, chum.
Of course, we know that the shiny happy people are merely shilling for products. We KNOW that we are being targeted for commerce. It's always been that way-tobacco companies in the far distant past encouraged Hollywood filmmakers to include smoking in their productions-a film critic recently remarked that 'no one smoked a cigarette like Aldo Ray'.
But many of the young people who took up smoking in an attempt to look as cool as the moviestars now have succumbed to lung cancer. Oooops!
The beer commercials which highlight happy drinking don't ever include 50 year old alcoholics whose lives have been ruined by drink. There's no old guy in the corner of the bar of beautiful/handsome young partiers who has just thrown his paycheck into the barkeep's coffers.
Likewise, the car/truck commercials, especially those shouting the news of a special 'sales event' never show the happy people making do with a ten year old van, like those of us in the real world drive. They also don't seem to have any room in the commercials for repossessed cars and truck sold to chumps who bought into last year's sales promotion only to find that, amazingly, their paychecks don't stretch far enough.
Someone made a lovely movie with the concept of the happy shiny people in commercials existing in our 'real' world. It was called, "The Jones" and the concept was quite interesting-to boost sales, fake family units were placed in high retail markets by ad marketeers to show the upscale chumps (consumers) all the happiness that could be theirs...if they had the same stuff that the fake families enjoyed.
Believe it or not, it isn't a comedy (I think). One of the upscale chumps who has tried to keep up with "The Jones" gets so far in the red that he decides to kill himself. How he does it fits the movie perfectly, and I wouldn't want to spoil it for you.