Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Running from the Grift

My three year old son beholds me offering him a cupcake.  No reason.  Free treasure.  Except that even at three years old, he knows better.  It's a bribe.  He doesn't even want to know what I want from him.  He does know, after only a handful of months of remotely significant cognizance, that this is a misdirection for the purpose of robbing him of something.  He sniffs out the con and tells me he doesn't like cupcakes.  It's a lie and a clear one, but it protects him from my grift.  It protects him from my lie, and he loses nothing.

The video up there is kind of funny in its way, and I would be willing to bet that it is being passed around the internet by the thousands, presented by people to their internet audiences as some laughable satire.  In the shallowest possible consideration, that's true.

"Don't take everything so seriously,"  you'll be wanting to tell me.  Well, to not take something seriously is a far cry from being defensively dismissive, the latter being so often misidentified as the former at the moment of insult. It's easy to pretend it didn't happen, especially when it sucks so much to admit that it did.

We're old and we're stupid enough to watch that video and think it's funny.  Maybe it's just some kind of fatigue, leading to the inevitable resignation.  Or maybe decades of the lies have simply worked.  It hardly matters.  We're dog-paddling in the middle of the ocean with our iPhones, trying to get amazon to air drop us some ankle weights.  After all, the vaguely Asian fellow in the commercial said they were made in a carbon neutral factory where the employees drink fair trade coffee.  I think I see a shark.

My boy is only old enough to have been paying any real attention for about a year now, and he's wise enough to know that when he sees the carrot, that just means there's a stick.  But he's even better because he doesn't stop there.  He knows that if there's a stick, there's a hand at the other end.  Always attack the hand.

(I want to note that I get just about everything, including the video above, from Gerard at American Digest.  He runs a fantastic website, full of everything from the most commonplace Right Wing fanaticism to the most subtle and beautiful bits of our culture that you would be a better person for viewing or reading.  He has been very good to me over the years, and is primarily responsible for what very tiny fame I accrued at my previous blog.)


  1. I didn't think the vid was as much funny as it was TRUE. I don't watch all that much teevee but the little bits I do watch have ads that universally conform to the "standards" spoken to in Generic Brand.

  2. There was certainly a time, probably not long ago, that I would have laughed this off. It startig to become obvious that it actually matters, though. Commercials are evil stuff. We just canceled cable entirely. We get all our watching from Netflix and amazon instant video, and I do Gamecenter live for hockey. I haven't seen a commercial in a couple of months. More importantly, neither have my kids.