i haven’t really seen commercials for a long time. since about 2001 i’ve downloaded most everything i’ve ever watched. or i used tivo. so at best i’d fast forward through commercials.
but even shows i could watch on cable with commercials, like breaking bad or mad men, i’d download rather than dvr because i didn’t have to see the ads.
i feel oddball on this because i don’t have a lot of exposure to commercials. people often say ‘have you seen that commercial….” and i have to shut them down by saying ‘no’ or worse, i have to hear them recount the thing. the place i get screwed is at the movies. there you are a hostage if there’s a commercial.
anyways – commercials are what they are. and what can you do.
i stream the daily show and the colbert report on the comedy central website because it’s faster than waiting for the shows to pop up on piratebay. here technology screws me. here, like at the movie theater, i’m mostly forced to watch the commercial.
there’s this dr pepper commercial that they run right now that i absolutely hate.
it’s a hum-drum commuter day and this goofy, whiny song plays. a guy strips off his suit (the outfit of a slave working in the service of other people’s dreams, i guess) to show he’s wearing a purple tshirt that says ‘i’m one of a kind’.
a small revolution takes place wherein everyone strips to reveal that they too are secretly wearing tshirts, each one with a hip, cool slogan on them.
there’s a hot girl in a white shirt which says ‘i’m a rebel’ – although the rebel hottie is still slave to the wear-a-tshirt-with-a-slogan paradigm, apparently.
let me rant and talk about why this ad hits at everything that is wrong with consumerism in this digital age:
1 – burgers or pizza is not freedom. that is to say, variety is not freedom of choice. customization isn’t self expression, it’s walking death. it’s buying into the business-based lifestyle lie that you express yourself by the shit you buy
2 – everyone in this t-shirt revolution are all dressed the same. am i missing something? they all start out as individuals, all different to degrees of propriety and personality as people naturally are. but then, as they ‘gotta be me’ they strip down to reveal that they are all the same, save for a slogan. they all love dr pepper, that’s how they know they are free.
3 – in this socially networked, twitter snipped thought-pattern society, each person is reduced to expressing themselves not just in 140 characters, but in some cute way that fits on a tshirt. i was reminded of the line that the cop yells at the serial killer at the end of the movie seven, directed by david fincher: “you’re a fucking t-shirt, at best”
i was going to end this by asking ‘what would your tshirt read?’ but now that i think of it, nobody stupid enough to think to express themselves that way would be curious enough to be reading my blog.
below is the ridiculous ad.
i wonder what mr pibb is up to these days?