Wax on, Wax off

There are days I lament the stupidity my fellow man.  Today is one of those.  Like H.L. Mencken said, “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”  He did not actually say this, but it is a pretty fair summary.  Of course my favorite Mencken is Rachel, but I digress.  What else would explain the popularity (#1 in your hearts and #1 on the charts) of the Dukes of Hazzard, The Beverly Hillbillies or Manimal?  (Ok, Manimal wasn’t #1, I was just testing you.)

With the advent of the DVR, we aren’t forced to watch commercials like we were in the past.  I find this to be exciting and ground breaking.  By using the DVR to time shift our viewing, we generally get 18 minutes per hour of our life back.  With some minor effort, we can watch 3 hours of prime time TV in just over 2 hours.    While this exciting, it is not new; I have been viewing TV this way for about 8 years or so. 

Even with the DVR, sometimes commercials can’t be avoided.  Sometimes we all watch live TV.  Like the pregame shows before football during the playoffs. (You just heard Jim More screaming “Playoffs? Playoffs??!!??” didn’t you?) What is new is the shock of how dumb some commercials are.  And they must work, because I see them over and over and over.  I feel like a crash test dummy, being pounded over and over by bad commercials  As opposed to good commercials – there are a few. 

I remember seeing an old ad for some “space aged” and “futuristic” new cookware years ago.  It was made so food wouldn’t stick.  To reinforce the point, it showed several people cooking and ruining their food by burning it into the pan.  To be fair, this was akin to showing a Neanderthal or Troglodyte using rocks to make a computer keyboard work.  It was such hyperbole, it was comical. I would have thought the ads were better suited to MadTV or SNL.  On further reflection, I thought of my ex-wife.  She could burn water and did twice. Ouch. Good-bye pots.  Nevertheless, I do believe that might be such a small percentage of the population, that the portrayal is ridiculous.

From there it is really such a small step to the legacy of Ron Popeil and Ronco.  Do you want to shine a penny? Scramble an egg inside its shell?  Do you need a pocket fisherman?  We have come so far.  Or have we?  

Lately, my eyes are being raped by the commercial for the ear vac.  Seriously?  I’m sure you’ve seen the ad.  A guy uses a q-tip to clean his hear and scream, “OW!”  Who does that?  I think I’ve been cleaning my ears for over 43 years.  I have never pushed the q-tip all the way to my ear drum.  I’ve never screamed from cleaning my ear wax.  Who watches these things?  Who buys these things? Sadly, because the commercials run constantly, I tend believe someone is buying them.

Or perhaps it is a wicked plan.  Maybe someone somewhere wants to gather all the earwax they can.  It is hard to harvest it from the q-tip, but from a vacuum, that’s doable.  Perhaps they are not satisfied having the largest ball of rubber bands or a picture of the Last Supper on their burnt tortilla.  Their new mission might be a swimming pool filled with ear wax.  Or perhaps ear wax is the answer to the zombie apocalypse because they can’t resist it or digest it?  Perhaps aliens use it as fuel for their ship.

Maybe people are just stupid.  Not you, you are reading this.  But still, I wonder how rich the ear vac people are getting?

I vote for stupid.

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  1. I’m always amazed by how stupid most commercials think that people are. It’s not just a case of insulting our intelligence with the stupidity of the commercial. People in the commericals, who are supposed to represent the typical American consumer, are often portrayed as complete idiots.

    • I just noticed the other day in the WaxVac add that a woman using it is almost orgasmic in her giggle. I guess we must amend the phrase to say “Sex sells earwax vacs!”


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