The Infomercial Age, Not The Information Age

I bought Victoria a Slap Chop for our six month anniversary. How cute, I know.

I hope that wasn’t too big of a gift, it wasn’t that expensive. She loved it.

I know she has a thing for cheesy infomercial products, this was right up her alley.Lets keep in mind though, she also owns a Snuggie.

Multiple ones, she uses them often, and I have worn one.

I’ll go ahead and admit this, that blanket with sleeves is really warm.

Everyone loves snuggies, and everyone knows about Billy Mayes. Everyone knows about all these fancy images and people, some more than movie stars.

As a human being on the planet earth, we are exposed to disgusting amounts of media. It’s amazing, it’s mind boggling.

I call it the Infomercial age.

According to a University of California, San Diego survey released on December 9th, 2009- the average American consumed 34 Gigabytes a day of media. That’s a lot. That is an Ipod-Touch of media everyday.

When I mean media though, I don’t mean your typical television show or hockey game. I mean media in it’s multiple forms.

Signs, icons, billboards, symbols in your homes, icons all around you. On your computer, in your video games, on your socks, on your fridge, in your cupboards.

Everywhere. It is even within pop-culture -sewn into culture, sutured so well that we don’t even know it’s there.

You might even be living under a rock if you don’t know who the Sham-Wow guy is.

Everyone knows who that is, everyone recognizes that sham and something just clicks. And that click, that recognition that pops in your head, when your eyebrows raise, when you make that connection -it feels fucking good.

You saw the commercial, you saw it in stores -you laughed before, you will smile now.

And what is great is that these infomercials stay exactly the same. They are all so goofy, and so clearly rehearsed, but still, we enjoy them.

There is something to be said for comfort, just knowing this inside joke, knowing that that these things are stupid and they will always be stupid, it’s refreshing.

Everyone knows they’re stupid, but for some reason you still tell Joe-Schmuck next to you that they’re foolish. You smile, and continue on your way.

In the future, there is going to be more of this. More stupid commercials that make you smile. A clever product for the clever person. Consumers consuming media, buying those cool jeans, those cool jackets, the fancy shoes, and that dumb drink.

I’m not complaining, I am saying I’m a sheep like the rest. I’m pointing this all out. There you have it. Can’t you see now? Cut yourself off, go for a hike, get lost. We all need a break.

The best part is, I think most people are ignorantly blissful in their media world. Status updates, tweets, texts, stumbling, tumbling -blogging, and reblogging. We are all so damn happy in our little bubble.

Maybe this whole Infomercial Era junk is just as secret as the inside joke itself.

Does that make sense? Are we making progress, or do I have to flip through flame-hoops to get my message across? It can be arranged.

-Michael Burton

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    • Steph
    • December 14th, 2009

    Michael Burton,
    You rock my world.

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