Act now! Time is Running Out…
I am a connoisseur. Not in the traditional sense though, my expertise is far more commonplace. Some people can tell the difference between certain vintages of wines or can distinguish the region that a particular oyster came from on taste alone. My talent is a bit more pedestrian. I have a pretty encyclopedic knowledge of almost any infomercial. I can easily burn 26 1/2 minutes watching these “paid for” advertisements. There is something sickly fascinating about the people involved, the message being sent and the products being sold. I’ll admit it is weird, but I love infomercials, the are my (now, not so) secret lover.
I don’t subscribe to cable (or as it is known in Australia, FoxTel) so my viewing options are limited. When I am lounging on the couch I often pass channel 94 and most times I an unable to resist the siren’s song of shitty announcers rabidly hawking some product I have never heard of yet I cannot live without. I stumbled upon this gem this week:
Yes, my life has sunk to the point where I take shaky iPhone videos of infomercials. Go ahead, judge me, I regret nothing. I cannot even think about this clip without losing my shit. When did the idea of a dumpy looking Asian man faking an orgasm on a modified gun rack sound like a good idea? The rest of the commercial is an orgy of middle age men groaning as they get on and off the TrueBack(tm). If someone were in the other room as I was watching this they could only assume that I was watching an elderly gang bang.
Infomercials aren’t all just Asian men climaxing though, they are a combination of salesmanship, mixed with cheesy folksiness, layered in repetition with a steaming pile of consumerism dropped on top. Each sale predicates itself on a hole in the viewer’s life that the product magically fills. After a few minutes of watching they sometimes even have me questioning myself – “Why don’t I have a cookware set that I can melt plastic bags on without sticking?” or “I could really use a whole lot more dehydrated foods in my life right now.” The infomercial creators are sick bastards, they prey upon that timeless human longing for something more, something that is unfulfilled that gnaws at everyone’s soul. It is the core drive of capitalism and is personified by the talking heads of these commercials. They take that longing for control and the universal instinct of human yearning to leverage 3 easy payments of $29.95 out of your bank account. All of them have the same message – give us money and we will give you a quick jolt of happiness. I think after enough viewings even a Buddhist monk would eventually want a Zquiet(tm).
See what they did there? Not only did the plastic mouthpiece stop the users from snoring, it actually improved their marriages, moved them into a bigger house and got them a better looking family. These commercials try to show an easy way to satisfaction. I’m sure that this mouthpiece can probably help people with snoring in certain circumstances. This has to be true because “scientists” back them up, and there is a medical looking diagram of someone’s throat. Ithas to be true! Do you know what else can help with snoring? NOT BEING A FAT FUCK. That would require effort though, and most people would rather spend some dough on a shitty mouthpiece than actually put in a little effort to improve their lives.
Enough of my blog sermonizing though, lets get to my favorite part of these commercials - life without the product in question… *gasp*
First of all, whomever put that video together is an AMERICAN HERO. Second of all, these “dramatizations” are another example of the contempt that the purveyors of infomercials have for their audience. They see the general public as a conglomeration of juice-spilling, wire-tangling, tits-bearing, frizzy haired, disorganized fucking assholes. What kind of jerk-off cuts onions by limp-wristedly jabbing at them with a massive knife? What was the story with the woman who was trying to press her clothes by slamming the iron into her foot? Does she have Parkinson’s? I have so many questions…
The real draw to my habitual infomercial viewing is that I feel superior to the assholes on these commercials. I can watch them and know I am far too sophisticated to be duped by the hackneyed sales-pitch. However, this is the lowest form of life on the commercial mass media food chain. I know there are other aspects of my life that I am at the mercy the marketer’s messages. Why do I buy all of the things that I do? Do I really want them or am I just filling my eternal longing with a bunch of shit that I don’t really need? Most “extras” that I buy end up giving me a rush of satisfaction then get pushed to the side. They are the quick fix, but don’t provide any lasting interest. Infomercials are a simplified version of the more complicated messaging that bombards us on a daily basis urging us to consume, to buy something that will fill another hole in our lives. These infomercials and, by proxy, the people who buy from such marketing are easy to laugh at. The real question though, when I buy something I don’t need: who is laughing at me?