Commercial Woes

I’m not feelin’ so good. I’m feeling plavoxey. Or, is it crestory? It’s not the orange jelly beans, people, it’s Sunday Morning News programs. They are making me sick and, for once, it’s not the content.

It’s the commercials.

How many warnings about stroke, heart disease, financial ruin can a 63 year old girl take on a beautiful spring Sunday morning before she decides that being well informed is optional?

When a drug commercial has to spend half it’s time warning about the possible side effects–do they think we don’t hear them if they hire that smarmy doctor in the white coat to sit behind his wooden desk in a book lined office, reciting them in a sing-songy nursery rhyme voice?

This is what I hear regardless of what they say:

Doctor behind desk in bookcase lined office:

” Oh, yes, by the way, my sweet dumb consumer…oh, oh, excuuuuse me, I mean patient–there may be, just a tiny, tiny teensiest little chance your limbs may fall off after taking this drug. Your eyes, too, may pop out on to the table. In either case, consult your physician. Not me, of course, because right after you leave this beautiful office, I’m going on an all expenses paid world cruise sponsored by the Pharmaceutical company.”

(Now, seriously, who else am I gonna call if my limb falls off and my eyes fall out? Ghostbusters? My carpenter?)

If I turn it off and watch sports, then, pretty soon I think I’ve got erectile dysfunction and I don’t even have the right equipment for that.

It doesn’t matter because the effect of the commercials is that you begin to think that whatever equipment you do have is diseased.

Hello, Jon Stewart. Oh, yoohoo–Yes, you, Stephen Colbert. Make room for Pappy, all you 30-somethings. I can’t take it anymore.

Now, where are those left over orange Easter jelly beans? It won’t cure a thing but the blues.

©Pat Coakley 2008


4 comments on “Commercial Woes”

  1. I love your take on commercials how very true and sad, if they had their way we’d all be losing limbs so that they could make more money… perhaps it is not only the oil companies and religion that are incentives for the latest wars… once upon a time they were prescribing heroin, opium and cocaine… my times apparently change! Great post :)

  2. lol…i do agree with you. it seems these commercials are everywhere…you can’t run from them! how many drugs do we need anyhow?

  3. I’ve been to the US quite a few times and each time I’ve been struck by how the American population’s sense of well being is being constantly undermined by advertising.

    The subtext seems to be “spend your way to happiness”.

    Can’t find a man? Here buy this perfume and they’ll flock to you in droves!

    Can’t get more “arse than a toilet seat?” Here buy this car, the women will be throwing themselves at you in no time!

    Got the perfume, got the car, got lot’s of meaningless sex and heaps of other “stuff”, but you’re still not happy and you feel so empty? Here take this pill, it’s so powerful that we could shoot your mother in front of you and you wouldn’t care!

    And so on, ad infinitum.

    What people really need is a bit of exposure to philosophy to help them think and enjoy what they have and what is around them, not mindless and empty consumerism.

    Epicurus said that all we really need to be happy is freedom, food, friends, shelter and a life free of pain.

    It would seem that the pill pushers would have us believe we are in pain when in fact most of us really aren’t. Many of us just don’t have the mental architecture, due to poor education (and I’m not just talking about the three “R”s) to stride with ease through life.

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