Thursday, August 18, 2011
In a way, I miss being patronized.
Some time ago, I posted on a commercial for cell phone service which frankly admitted that all this guff about faster download times and "connectivity" sold to make the consumer more "productive" was just a big, steaming pile of crap, and that the advertisers understood full well that what they were really selling was an expensive, pointless toy whose main purpose was to make it easier for you to waste time. (Remember, all you REALLY want to do with lightning-fast cell phone service is get that "work" out of the way so you can "go back to playing Angry Birds.")
Well, I guess the "let's face it, we have nothing of value to sell" frank honesty has become a bit of a fad, because that is definitely the message of this Charter Internet commercial. Preteen girl wants Charter so she can surf stupid Youtube videos (because unless you are the author of a blog which slams commercials, why would ANYONE spend time on Youtube?) spend hour after hour chatting and adding photos on Facebook, and plotting to meet up with her boyfriend (good lord, is this girl 13 years old? Boyfriend? Seriously?) after Mom and Dad pass out in front of whatever piece of crap they downloaded on to the tv. TV parents being TV parents, they really don't need to be talked into providing another terrible example of Failure in Parenting 101-- they want Charter Internet too. And because this is a TV commercial, naturally if the parents want something, that means that Preteen Daughter has full access to it, too.
Mom is "on to" her daughter, and doesn't believe a word of her crap about using the internet to be a better student. She knows full well that faster download speeds means Daughter spends more time on social networking sites, listening to inappropriate music, and avoiding schoolwork. Mom simply. Doesn't. Care. And even if daughter gets the translation- that Mom KNOWS she's being lied to- what difference does that make? She's getting what she wants!
And Dad....oh, yes, we must spend a brief moment with Dad. If mom has stopped caring, if mom has decided that there is no point in trying to provide boundaries for Daughter, what are we to make of Dad's position? "Whatever your Mother Wants." Perfect. You fit right into TV land, "Dad."
The providers of Charter Internet want us to know that they they, too, are "on to us." They know that the Internet is basically a vast Wasteland of Dumb. And frankly, they are bored with playing the Look How Useful and Enriching It Can Be game. And really, who can blame Charter? McDonalds doesn't make commercials telling us about the nutritional value of Big Macs- they just tell us "hey, this tastes good. Eat it." Well, this is junk food of another type. I have to admit, I kind of like the honesty. I think.