TV ADS

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Ads on television irritate most of us to a greater or lesser degree, though some viewers, I suppose, welcome them as providing potty breaks or a chance to replenish drinks and snacks. Of course some—a few—very few—are downright entertaining. I loved that one that has a baby discussing intricate financial deals from his crib or high chair. In general, though, TV ads are annoying. (Yes. I know: advertising is vital to our capitalist system.)

Especially irritating is the sound factor. Wasn’t there a law passed some years ago that forbade increasing the volume during commercials? Or did I just dream that up in a fit of wishful thinking? TV producers want you to at least hear that X brand of toilet paper is better than Y as you dash to the kitchen to grab another beer.

Then there is the repetition. We all know that repetition is a time-honored propaganda device. Hitler and the Swift Boaters provided excellent examples. Tell a thing often enough (and loud enough) and people will begin to believe it. Truth be damned! But the same ad over and over—as many as five times in the same show? Give me a break!

Political ads that purport to be informative but deal only in half-truths are dishonest, if not immoral. Repeat it often enough . . . Case in point: ads for or against that pipeline or those dealing with energy sources, renewable or otherwise. Just think what we are in for as 2016 closes in on us! How many people bother to note who has sponsored thus and such an ad—if you could even read the fine print whizzing by on the screen? Just imbed a loud half-truth in the collective mind of the public and . . .

Call me a prude, but I really object to afternoon and prime time ads selling remedies for dysfunctional sex problems. Take, for instance, those tasteless ads hawking a tasty lubricant to “increase a couple’s pleasure” or those assuring menopausal women that “intercourse shouldn’t be painful” or those telling men of a certain age that this little pill will have them performing as they did in late or post adolescence (though they must beware of “an erection lasting more than four hours. Say what??). The most ludicrous of these is that one ending with two people gazing off into a glorious sunset from their separate bathtubs. Good grief!

I often wonder what kinds of questions parents have to answer when these things are aired. And we ask ourselves why children today see themselves as sexual beings at a younger and younger age.

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