I was watching an old silent black and white movie last night. It was only for a minute or two (before I took my tired self off to bed), but one 1921 actress got my attention with a single statement. “Get your hands off — this (blank) is too good for you!”
How often do we get the chance, in today’s society, do we get to hear that something is too good for us? We may say something like that to someone else, but how often do we hear it ourselves? We hear a lot of messages, but not this one. We hear “you deserve it”; “isn’t it about time?”; “you should treat yourself” and on and on and on it goes.
All these imperatives certainly get our attention, but what are they supporting? Do we need this type of bolstering or is it hampering us in more ways than we might be willing to recognize?
We cannot answer these questions unless we inquire into what these things are truly spoken for and what is the goal behind their loud declarations. Are we being blasted with the truth or lies that are necessary to accept in order product sales to be maintained? What I mean is, we must investigate why an advertising campaign says what is says and what response its message is designed to elicit.
For example, if a car company wants to sell cars, it will advertize in such a way that you will not only be informed about the cars they are selling, but that you will want to by it. Well, that form of advertizing seems a little retro, actually. The type of advertizing employed today insists that we not only realize that a certain product is worthy of desire, but that we also realize that the desire itself is god. If the desire is god, it must be obeyed or there will be consequences: The god will destroy us.
So, we pacify the god–we give it what it wants. But, in doing so, we forget that the god we are serving is our self. Worse, the will has bowed to the emotions and the emotions are as changeable as the temperature on an early spring day.
There is a war going on all around us for the permanent possession of our souls. You may say that adverting and the many other things that go along with promoting the world’s way of life just concern what we buy, own and enjoy, but it is so much more. It concerns our beliefs about ourselves and what rules us. It leads us to choose who shall be our God.
I don’t know about you, but I would like my God to offer more than (in the case of one popular product) just the ability to get me around places–especially if I must supply the gas and the maintenance, and replace it when it dies. Just a thought.