Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Television commercials are evil

Some of you know that we've gone four years now without being connected to any television source. We have a TV, but it's only connected to the PS2, which is really only used as a DVD player. And yes, in the spirit of confession, sometimes Karina and I watch a show or two via Hulu. Or, like recently, we've been catching up on Dr. Who via Netflix live streaming. So we're not complete Luddites. But still, we're pretty careful to filter what comes into the home.

Which is, I guess, why I'm always shocked when I sit down in front of a TV and spend a few minutes watching. And no, I'm not really talking about the Super Bowl; I knew what to expect there. Although it was odd to notice the theme of emasculated males working itself out in at least four different commercials. What was that all about?

I'm really referring to a night a few weeks ago when Doug and I were sitting in the hotel room in Denver, and I was trying to find something to wile away a few minutes before going to sleep. As usual, nothing was on that was worth watching.

But I did see this one commercial, which I shall henceforth refer to as "The Most Evil Commercial Ever." It was so ludicrous as to be almost unbelievable. Seriously. At least advertisers used to try to hide how evil they are; now they just come right out and admit it.

Here's the commercial:

Do you see why it's so evil?

Note how the kids playing outside look so somber and sad. Yes, kids, fresh air and playing in the park is so 1930s. It's so boring!

Note how the kids playing outside look with such envy on the happy kids inside the van.

Note the implication that being stuffed inside a van with free television is better than being outside on a sunny day.

Note that there are no adults interacting with these children. They're lost, lonely, depressed until the great god Television blesses them with Its presence.

Note the poor local children being blessed by the Shiny Blessed People, waving at these unfortunate souls like so many Rockefellers gazing down upon the huddled masses yearning to be free.

This is evil.

Let us renounce this evil by reminding ourselves that:
- play is better than television
- personal interaction is better than television
- outside in the fresh air is better than inside with television
- a slide is better than television
- a swingset is better than television
- a bike is way better than television

And, should you find yourselves in a vehicle with your family and friends, it's a wonderful opportunity to actually get to know them, create some fun and some memories. Do the human thing and interact.

If you really want my opinion, televisions built into vehicles are evil.

1 comment:

karla said...

we have the same set up as you. no tv, except the dvd player. our kids watch about 3-4 movies/week, but they are all carefully previewed by us. when they watch more than that, i feel like i can literally see their brains rotting away; their creative play abilities replaced by tv addiction. but i have to disagree with you about the car thing. if we are on a long trip (say 2+ hours in the car), i am in love with our dvd player. it breaks up fights, it entertains, it keeps quiet, it holds off bathroom breaks! :) With four kids under 6, I am completely endeared to that thing (or two things, actually). Pre-DVD player in car, i had a sore neck from craning around and playing yet another game of alphabet search or I spy. I literally had rug burn on my elbow from the amount of times I had to reach back and hand out snacks. Now? All is content in the back. Hardly any sound at all, what with the earphones and all! I am okay with that. It's vacation, after all. It should be my vacation too! :)