Monday, May 25, 2015

Honest Governance - If You Love Me

For the longest time, I lamented the absence of 1920s-1950s style advertising. You know the kind--the "forthright bastard" advertising model, where people made no bones about what they were trying to do. The gray-tone housewife stares into the screen, makes no pretension of a fourth wall, and tells you in a loud, clear voice, "This product is the best product ever invented in the history of mankind, and it will solve every one of your problems." Stuff like, "Only the ugliest woman on the street would be without a 1956 Hoover Model C," or, "Your life will fail if you don't drive a Chevrolet." Step right up before Step Right Up.

Ahhh, what a relief. Those were the greatest of ads. Honest governance by honest tyrants. No product placement; no charming vignettes; no university-funded "studies" claiming to prove something: just forthright statements of supremacy. If you're going to have another Reich, it might as well be a Reich that openly acknowledges its commitment to an arbitrary volk, rather than pretending it stands for higher principles or efficiency studies.

Naturally, then, I was charmed to see potential signals of a cultural shift in the form of this wonderful ad from a jeweler. This is my scan from an actual page torn out of an actual magazine, so it doesn't look as glossy and perfumed as once it was, but maybe it signals a return to honesty:

What a breath of fresh air...unabashed bastardry could be making a comeback. "If he loves you, he'll buy from us." How much more crass and disgusting could you get? It's a thing of beauty; it's like stepping into a time machine and finding out I've finally bypassed the era of false benevolence. Sweet Axom, but it's a relief. I was getting tired of the whole "your friend" charade.

Maybe this trend will continue. Maybe there will be no more elections, and instead, the beige supercomputer casing that contains Henry Kissinger's 1974 persona will just be rolled out onto a star-spangled stage, and inform us via cathode ray tube that we'll all be moved to FEMA labor camps to increase the acceleration rate of the gross domestic product. No more Game of Thrones or NFL, no more choosing from between thirty kinds of peanut butter...instead, in-between our work shifts, we'll just be bolted into metal chairs, eyelids stapled open, forced to watch clips of Hillary Clinton, wearing a short mustache and riding pants, marching around the Washington Mall like a cross between Adolf Hitler and Bobby Fischer, playing four simultaneous games of human chess to determine where to order her next nuclear strike.

All products will be made by Microsanto, my dog will be better than your dog, and finally, finally, we will be able to maximize efficiency by networking all our memories into the cloud, so that we'll never know when a troubling historical revision has taken place. Anyone who thinks an errant thought will receive a warning jolt from Columbia Central Command, the telescreen will teach all children how mustachioed Aunt Hillary dug the Panama Canal singlehandedly in 1913, and there'll be an end to this awful farce where the roving child molester pretends to be a kindly ice cream salesman.


  1. Why did they have to switch to indirect cajoling to begin with? This is pretty effective. I'd totally buy you shit from Georgios & Co.

    I suspect the main or only reason for softening up was the existence of the USSR, which, by all average person accounts was a great and optimistic place to live. The west had to pretend to be nicer to its own populations until the USSR was taken care of. Now that it is gone, it is fine to show some teeth again.

  2. =D

    Does that mean that pretensions of nicety, such as product selection varieties--say, the number of regularly-offered flavor shots for burnt chain coffee--will correlate to hegemonic status? If your thesis holds, then we should expect a contraction of flavor shots during U.S. dominance, and a corresponding expansion of flavor shots whenever BRICS achieves a success.

    I'm much as I'd like to see Starbucks offer less flavoring differentiation, I'd probably like to see Hillary forced to toss the occasional bread crumb to the masses...but that would mean Starbucks would do its part to fight BRICS by no longer offering merely "Almond," but also "Salted Almond," "Baked Almond," and "Stale Almond."

    The jury may be out a while on this one.

    1. ...also, there's an investment-firm opportunity here. You file a patent for the technique of predicting commodity futures based upon BRICS-meeting amiability, and when you get your first 8-figure client, I'll take a 10% cut.