Saturday, May 12, 2007

Why buy the product when you can buy the promise?

A hypothetical question:

Imagine, if you will, that you’re a man needing a new dress shirt. You go to the mens clothing store and rifle through the packaged shirts – each folded in the standard way and pinned to the standard cardboard and wrapped in the standard clear packaging. You find one that’s labeled your size and you love the colour and style. So you buy it, take it home and unwrap it – and you find that it’s not actually a shirt after all. It’s just coloured paper folded to look like a shirt and on this extravagant pin-striped piece of paper is an elaborate advertisement promising that such a shirt is coming soon – to a menswear store near you. You realize you’ve just purchased nothing more than an advertisement for the very product you thought you had just bought.

What do you do at that point? Is that the point where you finally come to terms with the complete and utter retardation of society? Is that the point where you sell everything you own and buy a king-size suicidal ball of crack or – better yet - a nice thousand-year cryogenic vacation package?

While browsing through used books yesterday I took a gander at some previously-enjoyed movies on DVD. One elaborately packaged title was The Animatrix and promised nine mind-bending short films from the creators of The Matrix. This intrigued me greatly as the movie The Matrix holds a very dear place in my heart being the one and only film to ever approximate my own living experience; my own relationship to humanity.

Imagine how impressed I was after popping in the DVD, watching a sixty-second advertisement for itself, struggling to figure out what was wrong with my DVD player that the menu revealed nothing but dead blackness, then realizing finally that all I had purchased – at standard price – was an advertisement for the product I’d just paid for. Imagine how joyful I was at this.

So – my questions are:

1. Who wants to buy my truck or my jewelry?

And 2. Do you have any message you want me to give to your great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great grandchildren?


‘Cause I’ve pretty much had it with this place. I’m ready for the rabbit hole.

4 comments:

I think you're crazy just like me said...

Holy shit, are you serious? Well that really sucks.

I can't really commiserate though. All I buy are 'toons and they have EVERY freaking minute of what they are supposed to. And then some.

Kathleen said...

NFW!! How on earth can they justify selling you an advertisement for a shirt for the same price of the shirt??? I don't understand this at all. Can't you take it back? I'd start with throwing it at the hapless customer service person and screaming WTF!?

Okay, I would not actually advocate that, but it might help you feel better.

Kathleen said...

Oh yeah, did Dave send you the beer bread recipe? I didn't have your e-mail, so I sent it to him and asked that he forward it on to you.

Fantasy Writer Guy said...

Kats: Slow down girl! The shirt thing was merely hypothetical. The real experience was the used DVD. The shirt metaphor was used as a more extreme example of the principle in order to make my point more forcefully.

Had the shirt thing really happened I'd already be dead from crack.

And no - Davy Boy hasn't passed on the BB recipe but I'll see him very soon I think. You may have noticed he finally posted again this week. Poor kid's ready to melt down over the whole business venture thing. I'm hoping I can play Dickensian ghost and drag him out of the funk and re-introduce him to some healthier perspectives on what is in essence - a very fortunate and blessed existence! Wish me luck!