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Rated: 13+ · Other · Cultural · #1430885
Advertising is everywhere. Is it possible to cram it into any other facet of our lives?
Dear Mr Meanor:
I just went to see a movie and had to sit through 35 minutes of advertising. Not previews, but actual advertising. What is going on?
Watching TV at the movies

Dear Big screen TV viewer:

We are constantly bombarded with images begging us to buy everything that we can afford and a lot of crap that we can't. This is mostly accomplished by advertising, which along with puppets, cats, and California is a product of pure evil. Advertising is also just about as old as evil itself. For as long as there have been people with something to sell somebody has wanted to buy it, even if they didn't know it yet. That is the theory of advertising, at least. The reality is that people don't actually NEED it, but they can be persuaded that they do. This is what is so evil about advertising, but more about that later. We will now explore a brief history of advertising.
The first things people made went to enrich their immediate group, family, clan, or whoever they happened to be with. Soon these groups met up with other groups who had things that they wanted, so they killed the other group and took what interested them. Soon people settled in large villages and cities that had rules against killing people and taking their stuff for some reason. So people had to find some other way of getting what they wanted. But with all of the stuff out there, how do you find what you need? Somebody realized that other people might be looking for the stuff that they had to sell, so they sent someone out to tell everyone they had it. This worked well when you could yell and be heard at the other end of town, but soon there were larger settlements and yelling didn't cut it. So some bright soul invented writing. That way you could write something on a wall and everyone who passed by would see the message. This was promising until the bright soul realized that everybody might see the message, but nobody knew how to read it. So the bright soul bribed the local king with future profits (even then intelligence didn't pay the bills very well) to start schools to teach everyone to read. Since only people who had money bought things on a regular basis, the rich were the only ones interested in learning to read. Everyone else was busy making babies and trying not to die of the plague.
This worked well for a few thousand years. Then the Renaissance hit and along came print media.(I'm compressing time just a little here). Once again only rich people could read but that was OK because poor people were still making babies and trying not to die of the various religious wars. Printing was expensive, though and Gutenberg realized that he couldn't make enough money to continue. He was about to give up when the church announced that they would pay him to print bibles. Gutenberg's friend Gideon was in charge of putting them in hotel rooms and he happened to be running for Pope that year. Gutenberg decided to help him out by putting his name on the front of the bibles. (Yet another example of advertising!) So many of these were printed that people assumed that they were as natural to hotels as heroin addicts were to fashion runways. This was the formation of the advertising axiom "If you make something common enough, people will not be able to live without it". Of course, the Bible was kind of a monopoly, but this was an early try, so they can be forgiven. They continue to be printed to this day in the hope that people will read them and not use them for scrap paper to jot down the number of the escort agency.
Soon, the Industrial Revolution happened and everything started to pick up.
Manufacturers heard about all the amazing things that were happening with radio, telegraph, and everything else. Once they realized all of the people they would reach, they did things to themselves that the Catholic Church would frown upon and that I really can't talk about in a PG rated piece. Let's just say that it's sticky and a former president got in trouble over it. Unlike cleaning up their messes, making money is a process that can't wait until they are sued over it and business was in from day one. Marconi's first message over the wireless telegraph was interrupted by a message for "Dr. Sween's Toothache Drops: Now with 30% more cocaine!". The rest, as they say was history, which is being brought to you by Steve's Rice Cakes. "Steve's Rice Cakes: They almost don't taste like Styrofoam."
Radio provided a gold mine of advertising that guaranteed a captive audience. After all, there were only two radio stations in any given location and they usually played the same thing, much like TV today. Commercials were much simpler back then. The actors doing the radio show simply read whatever the manufacturers had given them and then started the show. The advertisers then helpfully suggested to the actors that they take a break every so often while they took over. The actors said no at first, so the advertisers had them fired and replaced with more spineless people and then began their takeover of the Earth.
Today advertising is EVERYWHERE and there is practically no escape. Billboards on the highway, signs on buildings, ads in magazines, we even view vintage advertisements as art and hang it in our homes. Not only do we have to contend with it outside our homes, we have even been convinced it looks good enough to hang on our walls. We even have TV shows dedicated to funny and unusual commercials. (The weird thing is that they even make time for commercial breaks. Now, if that is not evil, I don't know what is.) A lot of advertising has a bigger budget than some small third-world countries and lasts longer than some of their dictators. Speaking of long lasting, infomercials have come to dominate late night and early morning TV with claims of better looking skin, male potency, and other things that children and old people don't really need to see. (Mr. Meanor doesn't need to see them either, but he has to wake up at 4:00 AM and has to deal with it) People even get paid to get a tattoo on their face and embarrass their family and friends until the end of time. It will eventually end with advertisers being able to beam commercials directly into our brains. Unfortunately this process will be discovered by a lunatic with a supervillain fetish and he will go on to conquer the world by driving everyone insane with unintelligible ads for something that nobody is ever clear on. Until that happens, Mr. Meanor is glad to bring you information that you need. This message was brought to you by "Mr Meanor-Smart, cute, and funny. What more do you need?" (Neat, huh? It goes on a billboard next week)

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