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OK. Yes. I know: advertising is vital to capitalism. Madison Avenue ranks right up there with Wall Street and Main Street as a pillar of the American system. But, really, does it have to be such an obnoxious element in what is probably our most important means of entertainment? (Well, generally, anyway. MY first choice for diversion is still and always a BOOK.)

Why on earth must TV ads be so LOUD? You tune the program to a level that is tolerable to your ears and then the ads come and blast you out of your comfort zone. Was there, or was there not, a law passed a few years ago that forbade that practice? If not, why not? And if so, why is no one (FCC?) seeing to its enforcement?

We all know that REPETITION is one of the basic principles of propaganda (and of education). TV producers are famous for gearing their programming to the level of twelve-year-olds, but even twelve-year-olds just tune that stuff out after the second or third repeat. Pause for commercials and you get 10 to 12 ads and often as not the VERY SAME AD at least twice in a two-minute ad cycle. And then in case you dummies didn’t get it before, you get the very same stuff during the next pause! If I have to watch that poor man eat that one piece of kale one more time, I think I will throw a shoe at the TV. (A slipper, mind you—I still want to see NCIS.)

I heard or read someplace (Facebook, probably) that the AMA or some other group of doctors had come out against ads on TV for prescriptive MEDICINES. Hear! Hear! “Ask your doctor . . .” but be sure you ignore his or her advice and insist on thus- and-such a miracle medication. Then the ad goes on to say don’t take this medication if you are allergic to it or its ingredients. For God’s sake! What sane person (even a twelve-year-old) would knowingly ingest something to which he or she was allergic?!

Madison Avenue’s primary stock in trade is SEX. There seems to be absolutely NO product whose sales cannot be increased by adding some sort of sexual allusion. Buy this brand of toothpaste or kitchen wrap and he or she will find you irresistible. Yeah, sure. Of course those ads for erectile dysfunction and feminine itch are beyond the pale. In prime time yet! On “family” shows yet! Arrgh!

Why don’t state legislatures—any legislative body—take up some of these issues instead of trying to close down Planned Parenthood or trying to circumvent gay marriage rulings?