Ok, I know that with the dawn of TiVo and DVR, people are forwarding through ads, there aren’t as many “eyeballs” and there are no ad dollars anymore at upfronts and internet advertising is a pain and blah blah blah but…“Send groceries online to Pakistan”?!!!! Give me a break. Really. You know that scary stalker feature on gmail that suggests to you something exactly related to your email argument with your friend the other day? Like say you were having a conversation about rape and somewhere there you mentioned Belgian chocolates, the next day Gmail would have a header on your email advertising the best “Belgian chocolates”. Well I sure had some twisted combinations of conversations and Mr AdMan had this horribly wrong idea that I wanted to send groceries online for my mother in Pakistan, who is still blessed to have hormones skip her fruits and veggies and eats chickens that genuinely still have a head and two legs and don’t add up to the size of a lamb leg.
I know I am rambling but I have just been paying attention to ads and getting infuriated. Everything is suddenly “organic”, “america’s favorite”, and since it is America’s favorite, must be the “world’s # 1 choice”, “the healthy choice”…like the other day, I was in Starbucks (I haven’t yet gone on a strike on all corporations…yet…though God grant me the courage to do so at some point in my life. At the moment I am feeling pretty shitty about buying into the car finance crap and paying Toyota my entire paycheck every month)…anyway…back to Starbucks. I saw this ad of Ethos water and how buying a..check this out…buying a bottled liter of water could give money towards a “great” cause in a third world country. So think about it. You pay money to a corporation that bottles water (don’t know specifically about Ethos but most of the other ones) by privatizing water lakes and taking a free public resource and hardly increasing the water quality and selling it back to you (for those who haven’t seen it, check out the documentary “F.L.O.W.”), so a company profiting on your free resources, a company stealing from your backyard YOUR property and selling it back to you is promising you that they will give a cut of their profit towards charity. Does that make their wealth halal…I don’t know! But WHY on earth would I give to Ethos and not directly to a charity that gives ALL my money to that specific cause and then just drink a nicely filtered glass of tap water? Beats me. Maybe because, “Ethos is helping children get clean water” by bottling it in huge corporations and taking it away from them where they could have had it in abundance for free. I know I am hating but it just feels wrong. You know the old, “trust your instinct” which I am a BIG fan of.
It is like, I could have gotten all my produce healthy and “organic” if these horrendously blood sucking corps didn’t come in the middle and hormonize all my food to multiply their profits. So now my only access to “organic” foods is twice the price of the generic stuff which is just unnecessary. And who knows what that “organic” stuff is anyway? How did we get here? So looks like capitalism is serving us really well. People decided to make businesses, these businesses got bigger, people got greedier and decided to increase profits beyond the normal, honest level and had to obviously cut something…so they cut quality, not caring a bit about the impact on population. They overtook all the supply chains so people had to depend on them. Now the smaller, honest, farmers and suppliers are competing with them and have to be more expensive to survive (or maybe they are cheating us too). I don’t know anymore. It just all feels wrong.
And then those radio ads…the ones that read an entire page of “fine print” dialogue in 30 seconds. WHAT IS THAT? Who came up with that. Can they say less and say it audibly or does all the legal jargon that still hasn’t seen an axe from the “paperwork reducing act” that has been in the works for all these government terms, not let them? I mean some things in America just plain shock me. They are sooooo foreign to me. Really. The first time I heard those speedy ads, I thought my radio had some wiring fault. But no. People really do that. Cram it down their throats. Let them figure it out. Throw volumes of junk mail in their boxes, insert millions of pop up ads, rack 52 types of bread on the grocery aisles, box everything to be confusingly similar to the next. Just let them figure it out! Let’s compete, surely they want choices. Who doesn’t like having all options?
But you know, too many choices can sometimes only confuse and stress. Like when I came to this country the first time and got my first mailbox, I was SO excited that I had been “pre-selected” for a special credit card from WAMU and I received a “special” rate on my cable. Can you imagine if I had not listened to my roommate and seriously followed up on all those pretty genuine letters (atleast pretty genuine to a foreigner)? I probably would still be on hold 9 years later with an intellectually challenged customer service representative who at first would be artificially friendly like she were a neighbor and then would repeat the same answer no matter what I asked her?
So Mr Ad Man, I know you are Uncle Capitalism’s twin brother, but please spare me the clutter, spare me my eyeballs. I need my time and space to….weigh my options, to make some choices!