advertisements - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
"Why get from A to B calmly when you can go mach one and arrive with your hair looking like a baby troll? We guarantee that while you can't speak because you can't breath, your soul will be tuned up to the max. Feeling alive never felt so good or so easy. Get on a hover board today and feel the exhilaration of total fear."
The adverts were games of word associations you never volunteered for. They took normal words and said the phrases over and over until you weren't much more than a biological robot, feeling as if their product was friendly and it gave you some emotional value that objects can't. Happy is a feeling within, a soft contentment and comfort with who I am. Love is a bond I share with people who love me back. Joy is a sometimes rise in emotion, a burst of love that makes my social bonds stronger. And so I wish these adverts would say those things, program my brain right instead of luring us all down the path that's hurting our Earth.
My life has never been like a TV commercial. I see them with their white teeth and perfect BMI. I see them always smiling, laughing and making good jokes. Their homes are perfect, in decoration and cleanliness. They drive a nice car and go on vacations. They purchase gifts for one another and expensive hair products because "they're worth it." They show love by spending money. Their children are angelic. They eat only the best food and have fulfilling careers. They aren't me and I'll bet they aren't you. But my life is beautiful. My life is worthwhile. I don't want them telling me what to eat, what to wear. If I want their product I can do my own research and then choose between their pitches. I am not inadequate. My house isn't too small. My car isn't too old. My kids are kids and they'll whine and complain sometimes and I still love them every day. My husband doesn't need to cave to your valentines day or purchase my love at Christmas. Figure out how to run your economy another way.
The house feels emptier than a crypt. I can't just sit here watching the walls, no matter how prettily I've painted them. I need to see real people, talk and laugh. I have to hear their stories and jokes. They give me an energy I can't get any other way. I don't care for television much, but a good drama and tub of ice cream happens sometimes. So long as it's prerecorded and I can skip through the adverts, I'm happy. Life is precious, who's got time for all those commercials? I think they've had enough of my time since I was three. My time is a strict split between responsibilities and play. They both feed my soul, I need the loud and the quiet joys of life, a bit of peace with plenty of wild times mixed in.
Grandmother tipped back her silver head and roared with laughter. Eric looked at her with surprise, the advert wasn't even funny. "Gran, what on earth are you laughing about now?" She turned her wizened head, and smiled.
"Oh, well, it was ridiculous! Did you see how 'happy' they all were?" Eric wasn't sure where the old girl was going with this one. Wasn't everyone happy in the adverts? No-one's going to buy a car if everyone looks like they just lost a pound and found a penny.
"Yeah, Gran, but you laughed like it was the best joke you ever heard! You're even crying!"
"Eric, tell me about a time you felt happy."
"When Terry came over for a playdate last week and we ate pizza, that was awesome." Gran nodded. Now how about when you opened your Christmas gifts. Compare them. Were you happy then?" Eric sighed, she was getting battier by the minute.
"'Course I was happy, it was Christmas wasn't it!"
"Think back to that moment when you looked at your pile of gifts and over at your sisters. In that moment was it the same kind of feeling you had when Terry came to play?" Eric frowned. He'd felt a little put out at the time, he'd thought Samantha had gotten the better deal. Come to think of it, didn't she always? Probably Mom had spent more money on her, that was probably why. But it wasn't good manners to whine, maybe then he'd get less next year.
"OK, Gran, there is a difference, but I like Christmas and I like presents, what's your point?" Gran sighed, perhaps Eric wasn't in the right mood for this lesson. But she'd tell him anyway.
"Eric, you bold, beautiful, wonderful boy. Good things feel good. When it doesn't feel good, there's something wrong. I don't know what you were feeling at Christmas, only you do. But bad feelings come from envy, jealousy, greed, emotions like that. We all have them, and they're useful. They let us know when we're on the wrong track." Eric smiled though his mind was already on his computer game, he had zombies to kill...
Benny flicked through the pages of the magazine, and as his husband watched, his scowl grew ever more pronounced. "What's up?" said Lionel. Benny closed it and curled it up into a tight tube, tapping it on his knee.
"Oh, it's nothing. Nothing. Say, you wanna go buy some protein shakes? We can hit the mall, get some new jackets, leather I think, shoes too." Lionel wasn't buying it, he knew Benny too well. But saying these things too directly rarely helped.
"Sure, Honey. Say, have you lost weight? You're looking good you know." Benny raised his eyes off the floor to meet Lionel's. He stopped tapping the magazine. His mouth twitched like he wanted to smile. "I can think of an awesome work out we can do together. Of course, if you'd rather go shopping?"
"A work out?" Benny gave up hiding his smile and grinned in that way that melted Lionel's heart every time. "I want to hear more..."
The advertisements showed such well manicured and secure people, all of the them happy and successful. Just how super did you have to be to sell toothpaste anyway? Are we so emotionally deficit we'll buy their product just to elevate ourselves? Is there some retarded part of our brains thinking "If I buy this I'll be a bit more like the people in the commercial"? Are we no better than Neanderthals trying to wear more fancy bone-necklaces for social elevation?
The women's magazine cover is one band of lightweight cloth away from being pornography, but it's shown at the eye-level of every child at the candy-counter. Bold text proclaims that you can "achieve better orgasms than ever before," and that you can "blow his mind."
Sex between true lovers is a beautiful thing, but is the magazine an agent for women's liberation or part of a culture that exploits women? Does it make women more objects of lust than sentient beings capable of deep and faithful love? Does it exalt women as just as deserving of honour and respect as their male counterparts or does it drag them down to a strip-club guttural mode of thought?
There's nothing shameful about physical love, but it's supposed to be an intimate act between two people who love one another with deep commitment, not something akin to a funfair ride... roll up and grab your ticket, hop on for the thrill of your life, now on to the ride and the next... gratifying physical senses to the detriment of the soul.
An advertisement begins. I can have a new car apparently. My neighbours will be jealous, but way too expensive and not on my radar, thank-you. The next is shampoo, my locks will garner me the attention of the opposite sex, shining like molten amber in the sun, making my eyes look all the more blue. My hair is black, my eyes deep brown, I like my shampoo, no need to change. The next is for chocolate, always good but I'm watching the pounds...
... (the next morning, all adverts forgotten)...
My hair looks so dull today, matt instead of shining. The ends could do with a trim too. I turn this way and that, flicking it, changing its position. Nothing satisfies me. Rhonda's posted a gorgeous new profile picture, hair looks awesome. Yep, no doubt about it, my hair is the problem. I'll get an appointment, maybe look for a better shampoo at the store...
Adverts, gotta love'em, the new found market place. The stall holders don't yell about cut price apples anymore, they employ Ivy league shrinks to help them get in your head. Super. Just super. Time to switch on mute and make a cuppa, no better time.
The advertisements drift by igniting my mind in all the wrong ways. I like to look good, feel pretty, have some pride in myself, but all they do is rouse my feelings of greed, envy and narcism. They take every outward focused thought and bring it back to me, me, as if I want to be like a child again with myself at the centre of my own universe.