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The dogs bark but the carnival moves on

by anna at 08:38 AM on May 08, 2004

There's so much that is troubling in today's world. Terrorist attacks, exorbidant gas prices, multiple high-profile trials where famous folk are charged with all manner of depravity, abuse of detainees, the existence of John Ashcroft and Michael Jackson etc. It's difficult to even think about perhaps the most insidious threat there is: the constant bombardment of product peddling that begins at birth and continues well past death. But it's been on most prominent display of late.

The Friends finale has come and gone. Leading up to it, NBC whores touted it as the Biggest Event since the Campbell Soup Crucifixion. 52 million people bought into that flawed notion, justifying the $2.5 million price tag for ads. For the record, these elitist snobs are not your friends, nor will they ever be. If you approached one of them, their bodyguards would probably break your jaw.

Those marketing geniuses formerly known as the Olsen Twins have released their first theatrical movie New York Minute. You can hardly escape pictures of their smiling mugs. Yup, they're everywhere you look. Yet, given the scathing reviews, you'd have to expect the film to disappear from theaters in a proverbial New York minute. Will it? Hell, no. Countless parents will shell out $20 for their pre-teens to see it again and again.

Let me just say here that I find it really creepy when DJs salivate about these young ladies. Ditto for the endless debate over which one is hotter or who they've had sex with. Anyone who does that should have to watch every episode of Full House in rapid succession.

Van Helsing may prove to be the biggest marketing bonanza ever. We're talking TV spinoffs, action figures (collect 'em all!,) deals with fast food joints and even a deal where the vampire-slaying star does a spot for the Red Cross blood drive (get it?.)

ABC once resorted to placing these talking gizmos in urinals to hype its flagging sitcom Norm, starring the relentlessly unfunnny Norm Mc or O'Donnell. You'd piss in there and this disembodied voice would go, "Catch the new hit comedy everybody's talking about..." Did anyone ever talk about it? Don't be silly. This isn't the first season of Survivor, after all.

Even sports has succumbed to the corporate marketing bug. Every stadium sports a corporate logo. Every kickoff and touchdown dance is brought to you by a company. Baseball has considered putting ads for Spiderman II on its bases. Only when both its aged fans groused did Commissioner Bud Selig relent.

Aside from the walking billboards of NASCAR, one of the biggest marketing juggernauts in sports is the LA Lakers dynasty. They've now got four future Hall of Famers in their lineup, provided 2 guard Kobe Bryant's career isn't derailed by a long prison stint. At the beginning of the season, some were suggesting that the season be cancelled. Just annoint them champions and be done with it. Well, right now the glitzy Lakers are on the verge of being eliminated in the second round again by the homely defending champs the San Antonio Spurs. Can you say small market Finals, boys and girls? Ha! (Same goes for those vaunted New York Yankees Featuring A-Hole and Derek Jeeter. Right now they're trailing the Red Sox and none of their players are among the top ten AL hitters. Money can't buy chemistry. There was more chemistry among guards and prisoners [not "detainees"] at Abu Ghraib prison.)

The only encouraging diamond in all this American Idolized rough is that guy who tried out for AI but was rejected for his godawful rendition of She Bangs. I think his name is Dennis Hong but I may be thinking of OJ's forensic pathologist on CSI. He's only gone on to record a top-selling album that people just seem to like. He's so bad he's good. Maybe there is hope after all.

But seriously, you do have to wonder what types of people we'd be if we hadn't been subjected to all this phony hoopla, hype and hyperbole all our natural lives. Probably more like Lajo or ChuckWoolery, neither of whom watch TV.

comments (7)

I completely agree about Friends, and the last four seasons blew chunks. Watched fifteen minutes of the last episode, then left.

by Andy at May 9, 2004 12:52 PM

Yeah it kind of wore thin when you half expected 20 somethings to have a standing appointment with their cardiologist.

by anna at May 9, 2004 9:08 PM

The only TV I make a point to watch now is HBO's Deadwood and Six Feet Under. Since they are on HBO, they have no ads.

I am completely exhausted by advertising. It takes so much energy to ignore it; spam, pop-up ads (the Google toolbar doesnít get them all anymore), billboards that demand more attention than road signs, prescription drug commercials, idiotic used car radio commercials, fifteen minutes of ads before a $9 movie, DVDs that wonít let you skip them at the beginning (I swear that Iím going to find a DVD player that I can hack to give me control), magazines that are half ads, that fucker who stands right by the building where I work every Wednesday trying to get me to take an Ad Sheet and then acts pissed when I donít take one, car dealership stickers on my car, WinXP bugging me to buy music, contractors who think your lawn is their advertising space while they work on your house.

Hell isnít just for lawyers, real estate agents and politicians. Thereís room for people like the guy who invented spam, the one who came up with infomercials, the committee who thought it was a good idea to rename arenas with their own corporate name, whoever figured out how to spam blog comments, and anyone else who repeats these things.

by MrBlank at May 10, 2004 10:08 AM

Exhausted is the perfect term. You don't realize the toll it is taking over the years. And don't think it isn't influencing your buying habits cuz these tightwads aren't stupid. They wouldn't be paying that kind of money without solid proof that it's working all too well. Bah!

But I don't mind the automated blog comments. Hell, they are comments, after all.

by anna at May 10, 2004 10:58 PM

That is why I like shopping at ethnic supermarkets... you don't find the same kind of lifestyle brainwashing on the labels Third World companies make. It's going to be a sad day when even they pick up on it, though.

I saw Van Helsing on Friday and it was really, really bad..

by jean at May 11, 2004 12:21 AM

On Super Bowl Sudnay my son and I were searching for a certain variety of pepper to put in chili. We wound up at Global Food and boy was that an eye-opener. We're talking ethnic big-time, like an open air bazaar. We tried to get asssistance but sadly, we only speak English. Ian's lame stabs at Spanish met with blank stares. So we went with the generic Jabaneros.

But I'll say this about Global Food: At least it isn't mind numbingly bland like Safeway.

by anna at May 11, 2004 7:44 AM

Really nice place u got here! Keep up the good work! Thank you for the info too!

by Thomas at March 7, 2005 10:17 PM

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