Every day I receive e-mails that promise to extend my life, give me an incredible sex life, make my hair fuller, my body thinner, my skin younger, my house cleaner, and on and on. Also included in this plethora of B.S, are sprinkled e-mails alerting me to huge financial windfalls that I could have if I reply to the sender who could be my great Aunt Bertha who died in a cult in Transylvania.
Let’s face it there have always been con artists but never have they been so prevalent. Part of the reason for this lies in the fact that the ability to share the above is prevalent in a myriad of places. Even movies have commercials now. What ever happened to cartoons before the movie starts? God forbid we should be allowed to laugh. No let’s assault the audience that paid fifteen dollars, with ads for Mucinex, a truck that can climb mountains, or toilet paper sold by a family of bears. Then come the previews and by the time the feature starts you’re exhausted from having your brain hammered with nonsense.
We have become a universe of sales pitches. No matter where you go you are likely to see an ad for something. I’m sure Madison Avenue has hired troves of individuals who are extremely adept at manipulating us into buying stuff either by scaring the living hell out of us, or showcasing a gorgeous model who has followed some magical routine. Urinary incontinence used to have models that were older. Not anymore. Depends now has a young model with the body of a teenager sashaying around her house in her new “hot” looking depends. Weight loss products are everywhere and are often touted as miraculous. Marie Osmond is probably a nice person but I wish she would stop saying, No more belly bloat”. Why is everyone bloated? I don’t think men get bloated, but I don’t know why. The drug commercials spend more time telling us about the side effects than about the value of the drug. The list of possible problems includes everything from headaches, hairy knuckles, pigeon toes, hair loss and death. Really makes you want to run right over to your local drugstore.
What we really need to do is start advertising common sense. My grandmother and mother had more than their share. They were like inspector generals. They were suspicious of any food that came in a can or a box, any gimmick that sounded like it could cure anything from ticks to tumors. Embrace your common it will tell you that if it quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck, then it’s a duck. Try not to turn it into a goat.