(originally posted 1/5/2017)
Maybe it’s my recent obsession with advertising that had me dreaming a dream like I dreamt. Maybe you should never read a story that that begins with the word maybe. Next thing you know you’re reading a sentence that includes ” dreaming a dream like I dreamt.”
I hate advertising. the 24/7 barrage of lame attempts to sell me something. To understand me. To relate. Every square inch of space pitching me. Every wavelength clogged with marketing.
Buy. Buy. Buy.
Look at yourself. How can you be happy with this?
And if that isn’t enough, when the commercial is over the TV show that’s starting is a show glorifying the very morons who make the damn commercials! Showing me how cool they are.
Are you fucking kidding me?
This is the rage I live with. The reality that keeps me at a constant simmer. The reason that when I finally lay my head on the pillow at night even my dreams get polluted by this nonsense.
But what glorious nonsense.
Maybe you can make something of this dream. I certainly can’t.
“Until recently, did you have problem acne?”
I’m listening to voice on the television and staring at a smiling teen face.
“Did it clear up recently? Of course it did … because you’re going to use RetroActiv.”
The face dutifully begins to apply a cream to her face.
“RetroActiv is so effective to clears up your skin weeks, or even months, before you even use it. That’s our guarantee.”
A cavalcade of freshly-scrubbed teens began appearing on the screen, one after the other, each happier than the previous one to exclaim the virtues of the product.
“Your skin is clear so march right down today and pick up your RetoActiv.”
The obvious question is “Or what?”.
Is it ironic that the expression “There’s a sucker born every minute” was attributed to P.T. Barnum when in fact he never said it? My life has become so bogged down in irony that I’m not even sure I’d recognize it if it were staring me in the face. Furthermore it is said that Mark Twain went on to add “There’s a sucker born every minute … and two to take him”. Well, it is said he said that but actually he never did. Perhaps it makes both quotes sexier to attribute them to big names, proof that advertising knows no boundaries.
Neither did RetroActiv in my dream.
How did they solve the “Or what?” dilemma?
A porcelain-skinned youth staring right at the camera and announcing “If you’re skin is clear then you need to use RetroActiv. Otherwise it would never had gotten clear.”
This was offered up with no shame. In fact, to drive home the point we quickly saw an image of the pizza-faced nightmare this teen was only a few short months ago and it was all I could do not to jump in the car and go buy a crate-load of the stuff, less my face return to an acne-ridden state.
Despite the fact I’ve never had acne.
Perhaps I will need to use RetroActiv for a few years to balance the scales.
So what did Mark Twain actually say?
“All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.”
He said a lot more obviously but I think the makers of RetroActive would appreciate this quote the most. The makers of RetroActive being my subconscious of course. This choice was, of course, determined by my conscious mind so I wouldn’t assume that I’m right about that.
The characters in Mad Men would have loved the dream. Sell a product where the results have already occurred and all you have to do is convince the masses to attribute that success to your product.
Fuck Mad Men. THE Man Men, the writers and actors and the people who sold it to the network, and ‘mad men’ everywhere.
What say you P.T.?
“Clowns are the pegs on which the circus is hung.”
Got that right brother. I just want my dreams back.