Sunday, June 27, 2004

Infomerical Hell

Remember way back, when great lengths were taken to discretely censor and protect adult related material from young impressionable eyes? C’mon, I’m sure everybody remembers as a child, straining up on their tippy-toes to sneak a peek at the mysteries of forbidden flesh with those black XXX stickers slapped on the cellophane wrappers that would be fanned out on the forbidden top-shelf of the magazine stand at 'Habib's Grocery & Malt Liquor' corner store like a bright tapestry of gravity defying perversions ~ a virtual adults ‘Peacock’s Plumage of Porno’ if you will. I’m surprised that most of us didn’t go cross-eyed after hours of straining our eyes secretly upwards while pretending to browse the latest 'Archie' comic. Now, you can just as easily pick up the latest edition of ‘Swedish Ass Bandits’, as you can the newest weekly 'T.V. Guide'.

Legitimate and credible publications such as 'Time', 'National Geographic' and 'News World' now share the same shelf space as other informative periodicals such as ‘Swinging Seniors’ and ‘One Bitch, Two Bitch, Red Bitch, Blue Bitch’. As a matter of fact, these once regarded taboos of society are more or less promoted and flaunted openly and without discretion nowadays, and we are not as quick these days to censor these issues and images from the innocence of youth as we once were. Minors today can turn on the 'E' Channel’s ‘Wild On’ series of travel getaway adventures with adult film stars, and follow along to get bikini waxed before taking a tour of the beaches of French Polynesia with a scantily clad Jenna Jamison. Hell, if you cross your eyes and stare long enough at the static on the scrambled cable channels you may just be able to make out some naked man whap out the drum solo to Phil Collin's 'In the Air Tonight' on the face and double D-cup breasts of some fawning female with his erect penis. Time changes everything, and as the very wise voyeur Chuck Berry once said: “C’est la vie, say the old folks. It goes to show you never can tell”.

So, what exactly is worth protecting from juveniles today? I believe that there is another rising plague of advertising that is already infiltrating our social mores and is threatening to corrupt today’s youth, way more than ‘Readers Wives’ ever did in our pre-teenage years. It’s a phenomenon that is turning minds against ethical behaviour, common sense, and decent living. It’s rotting the very fabric of human decency and rational thought, and it deserves to be regarded as the new Public Enemy #1, and treated accordingly. Also, it’s about as arousing as watching old people eat. I, of course, am speaking about Infomercials.

Infomercials have been society's scourge for years, sucking in the innocents and converting them into dribbling idiots who firmly believe salvation lies with a machine that can make jerky out of clam meat. These propagated media phenomenon lures impressionable minds to believe that there is an easy solution to all aspects of their ordinary lives that they are not completely satisfied with. How can someone doubt that something named the 'Helsinki Formula' or the 'Omexian System' could deliver anything less than total consumer satisfaction? Shit, it sounds like it was devised by specialized teams of doctors and physicians from the World Health Council! And more importantly, for no extra effort whatsoever, and 4 monthly instalments of $29.99 on their new credit cards, these Snakeoil salesmen are willing to peddle you the miracle answer you’ve been praying for. Why work constructively towards anything when you can have it mailed to you providing you can still make out the numeral impressions on your Mastercard or Visa.

There are ingenious devices that for a price will make even the easiest of non-effort chores easier and even less of an effort, like the ‘Amazing Quick Chop’, the ‘Perfect Pancake Maker’, the ‘Ab-Tronic’, the ‘Auto-Hammer’, and even a ‘Bread & Bagel Slicer’ for the terminally lazy! Personally, the day I can't slice my own bagel is the day I hope one of my friends will take me out for a hike deep in the woods and stab me to death with my handcrafted Ginsu Knife. Whatever your mental or physical deficiency happens to be, you can bet there is a 1-800 number and an easy payment instalment program for you!

This is not all to suggest that I am completely against gadgetry and progress. I’d be lying if I’d said I didn’t still cherish my Peter North authenticated ‘Penis Pump’ and the complete video volumes of the ‘Dean Martin’s Celebrity Roasts’ ~ but really, this all HAS to end somewhere! Should we really be taking dietary tips from someone who’s pigmentation makes Colonel Saunders look like Johnny Cash? Should we be seeking personal grooming tips from someone who sprays on their hair? Think of the injustice this will breed in our future generations and youth resources. Heaven’s forbid you should ever have to toss your own salad, or search out the actual light switch on the wall without clapping like a windup mechanical monkey. And I rue the day that I miss a single episode of ‘Batttlebots’ on the Discovery channel because I was working off my beer gut at the gym. Now, living healthy will never compromise my favourite sloth-like indulgences thanks to the amazingly easy ‘Ab-Flex Energizer’. And with my credit card and cell phone, I will be able to keep healthy and fit and never have to leave the couch apart from firing up the ‘George Foreman Lean Mean Grilling Machine’.

Even more so than adult related smut, these Infomercials need to be censored and protected from the innocent and the weak-minded, or else abolished all together. In an age where the peddling of easy answers is commonplace, I say we are slowly regressing back to our primeval tendencies and taking the more frequently travelled path of least resistance, instead preferring to believe in miracle cures, three-step programs, and ‘eye of newt’ style remedies. The overall resulting predicament of mankind will be both socially devastating and demoralizing, as well as leaving us completely open and vulnerable as an easy target for all universal super races of marauding alien beings. And just think what this Interplanetary Armageddon will be like if these alien invaders have been introduced to the ‘Tony Robbins Personal Power’ program as well? Man, there will be hell to pay, let me tell you!! And the only thing capable of saving us will be Suzanne Summers, armed with those amazing walnut-cracking thighs.


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