Saw an interesting TV ad this weekend. I don’t know what it was for, but it opened with shots of poverty, including a bankruptcy sign, and the voice over said something like, “We know times are tough and you’re worried about the future.” Then voice-over guy got happier and said something like, “But things are still pretty great today,” and the pictures shifted to fast cars, cool gadgets, and things like people skydiving: shot after shot of luxuries and fun. The word “today” was repeated many times.
Most TV commercials seem to be non-stop paeans to consumerism these days, but this is the first one I’ve seen that gave a nod to the feeling that’s spreading among the populace that maybe we can’t afford to keep the party hopping this way. And what was the message? Don’t worry about it! Things are still great, at least for today! Don’t worry about tomorrow! Don’t be a boring ant; have fun today, grasshopper! It’s been a few months since I’ve watched TV, so it kinda shocked me to see such a naked appeal: pay no attention to those rumblings; there’s plenty of time for more picnics before those clouds get here!
I found it heartening, in an odd way. When you hang out with unconventional friends and frequent dissident web sites as I do, it’s easy to start to think that “red pill” truths are spreading a lot more than they are. Usually, when I go out among the “normals” or turn on the TV, I’m depressed to see that most people still are firmly blue pill, believing what government and media tell them to just as they always have. So this was nice, to see that a red pill truth — that the economy is not recovering, that the party can’t go on forever and hard times are coming — is seeping into the general consciousness enough that the corporations that depend on profligate consumerism are starting to feel the need to combat it. Maybe we’re not always just preaching to the choir.