Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Importance of Being

Is it just the Bag Lady, or is anyone else sick of being constantly bombarded by advertisements for things that are supposed to make our lives complete?

"A 60 inch big screen TV will improve your marriage"

If you have a bigger television, or a better car, or bake yourself in a tanning salon, your life will be perfect.

The Bag Lady may just have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed, but she found the advertisements on the radio extremely irritating this morning.

All of these products that are designed to make things perfect are just one more example of the commercialism that pervades our lives. We are urged to buy, buy, buy. We are constantly exposed to images of beauty beyond attainability, and held up to some impossibly high societal standard. If you expect happiness in your life, you must remain young and beautiful and possess every gadget and accoutrement known to man.

Whatever happened to simply being? Every person is unique, and beautiful in their own way (gosh, that reminds me of a song....) And does a big-screen television really make men happy? What about love, good health, family and laughter? The ability to feed oneself, have a belly laugh, take a stroll in the evening, listen to a bird singing... none of these are good enough?

What was life like 100 or more years ago? Oh sure, there was advertising, but not every second of the day, filling the airwaves and pounding subliminal messages into our brains (You must read the Bag Lady every day in order to survive. You must read the Bag Lady every day.....) There were newspapers with advertisements like "Seven Sutherland Sisters HAIR GROWER AND SCALP CLEANER" or "All over the civilized world, the IMPROVED BOSTON GARTER IS KNOWN AND WORN" But it wasn't a constant bombardment like it seems to be now. Television, radio, newspapers, magazines, billboards, the sides of planes, trains and automobiles!! You can't even check your email without being exhorted to use the services of a dating website, or the latest credit card offered.

And listening to the news doesn't help, either. War, famine, strife, murder, robbery, mayhem. Oil prices and grain prices are sky-rocketing, people are starving. Greenhouse gases, carbon footprints, holes in the ozone, the ice is melting at both poles....aaaarrrgghh. Believe it or not, it reminds the Bag Lady of a joke (that only Canadians will appreciate, probably): Man holding a sign that says, The World will end tonight at 9 o'clock -- 9:30 in Newfoundland!

Okay, the Bag Lady is feeling a little better now. Sometimes, all it takes is a little joke to put things into perspective. She doesn't need to have a big screen TV; she's not a beautiful young thing anymore (hehehe, almost snuck that one right by you!), but she can still go for a stroll in the evening, enjoy a bird's song, or a good meal, and have a belly laugh, and none of these things cost her a cent. So her advice today? Turn off the radio, or that big screen TV, go outside, take a stroll and listen to a bird. (Make sure it's before 9 pm - 9:30 in NFLD!)

Sometimes, you just need to BE.


Hilary said...

Lard tunderin' jaysus, yer inna mood!

I know how you feel Baggie, just seconds ago I clicked on one of my favourite blogs and got bombarded by this CartSmart ad!

(ducking) ;)

Loved the 9L30 in Nfld. :)

Reb said...

So, does that mean you are going to give up your gas hog for a hybrid and install a windmill & solar panels for power? You can sell any excess power back to the power company these days.

I am with you wholeheartedly on the bombardment of advertising! The fact that they play to the lowest common denominator just makes it all that much worse. Bad credit - bankrupt, no problem, we can get you further in debt than you ever thought possible.

Good rant subject Sis!

Anonymous said...

I agree with you. I don't feel I need to go into debt for a big screen, HD TV when mine works perfectly well, or buy a new car when my 10yr old Toyota is still humming along. I may make less then most of my friends, but I am also in a lot less debt!!


Leah J. Utas said...

I'm completely with you on this. A need has to be met for a product to sell so the need is created for the product.
The last thing advertisers and product creators need is a thinking, satisfied public.


Love the NFLD joke. Gave me my morning laugh.

the Bag Lady said...

Hil - wondered how many people would see the irony of that...

Reb - Give up my TRUCK!!!? :)

Missi - Glad you agree

dfLeah - Thanks. And glad you got your morning laugh.

Emily said...

I still think the best things in life are free- we need to remember that!

the Bag Lady said...

Emily - that's so true!

Scrumpy said...

Oh I can hear you lady. I can't imagine trying to raise a kiddo in this day and age because of all of the gimme gimme culture.

I got my bag!!! It is absolutely adorable, I love it. Just the right size, super cute fabric. I also love the little maple leaf inside. THANK YOU!

the Bag Lady said...

SB - I know what you mean about raising children in this atmosphere.

So glad you got your bag - hope it works well for you!

Geosomin said...

You are too right.
I was out running and counting birds this morning while the sun rose and realised that I would have missed all that if I'd hit snooze and stayed in bed.
I think if people could be happy on their own they wouldn't need ot buy things to fill in the empty spots...well other than cheese.

the Bag Lady said...

Oh, yes, the Bag Lady loves her cheese!

Unknown said...

Oh my god YES! I was just writing a post along the same sort of lines (*cough* rant *cough*). I'd better not get myself started up again:)

Last night in snowed for the first time in weeks, and now it's all slushy and snowy everywhere, which made me think of you (you didn't send it over our way, did you?!). I'm looking forwards to some hot chocolate:)

the Bag Lady said...

Sagan - sorry - thought we should share...:)
And knew you wanted hot chocolate!!

Anonymous said...

amen amen amen.

sporting my BE PRESENT tank top today (lots on mind. want to be in moment with daughter) as I often need reminding of this and the fact that ALL THAT I HAVE is *plenty* and enough.


the Bag Lady said...

Miz - that sounds like a great outlook.
The Bag Lady has been living in the present today - had to go to town. Whew, glad that's over.

Sarah said...

And that, is why I don't watch very much television.. I HATE commercials!

And have you ever noticed that the majority of the time the volume of the commercials is SO much louder than the actual program? So wrong!

the Bag Lady said...

Sarah - I'm with you - I don't watch much, either. I watch the news, and an occasional program, but the commercials drive me crazy. And yes, they DO seem louder than the program most of the time!