April 20, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Television: All the World’s an Infomercial:

It’s starting to look like we as a population are really just a monumental nursery with perpetually bottle fed infants hooked up to a wildly prolific nipple. Okay, so maybe that is a tad dramatic, but the fact remains that we are heading fast toward being literally immobile. And why not, I mean, what else is there to do but sit and watch TV? It’s not like we only go around once. The moment, as it were, is overrated. We’re here for one purpose: to spend beyond our means.Remember back when the internet first started and everyone was saying there would come a day when you could watch your favorite television shows interactively and simply click on a piece of apparel or a car or a chef’s knife or a board game or even furnishings for purchase? Well, we’ve inched closer to that reality with the new website Starstyle.com. At Starstyle.com you can now look just like they do on TV, thereby making the false reality in that little box spread its beauty to the rest of us schlubs who shop at places like Ross and Nordstrom Rack. Oh, come on, who are we kidding, we shop at Big Lots! Starstyle.com doesn’t just sell things to us unsuspecting, mind-numbed consumers; they offer helpful tips on how to wear the right clothes for you body type (wardrobe consultants), podcasts, videos, and behind-the-scenes looks at set and prop design. The site is designed to let viewers buy anything they see on TV and they call this process “reverse product placement.” Kind of makes you want to copy Madonna’s no TV rule, doesn’t it? Isn’t it bad enough our kids already know all of the brands to buy, associate themselves by those brands (“I’m a My Little Pony girl but Brandy is a Bratz girl and Sherie likes Barbie”) and sort of know how to find ways to buy them already on the internet? And the answer to that question is, yes, it is already bad enough.Imagine a world where your little one was plunked in front of a TV with a remote that has a shopping button. It’s just one tempting little button and he’s just a finger click away from purchasing that great cell phone they just gave away as a reward challenge on “Survivor.” What do they need a cell phone on a deserted island for anyway? Who cares, isn’t it cool? And look mom, it’s free with a $49.99 a month plan!Television is going to tell us how we should dress, what we should look like and what we should buy so that we can all exist in a happy little feeding frenzy of consumerism.Okay, so maybe it all really isn’t as bad as all that. After all, I clicked on Starstyle.com and was immediately taken in by a dress some character on a soap opera I never even watch wore one day. What a gorgeous dress! Too bad the link took me to a site in England where it was around 400 pounds. So basically double that and you have dollars, give or take a buck or two. See, that’s the core issue here. For people like me who will buy things if they can any time they can this is a very bad thing. I can only imagine what it’s going to be like when Rachel Ray can sell knives and skillets right off her “Thirty Minute Meals” program. She’ll get a kickback of course just by doing what she’s been doing all along. Or will she? Will this new landscape of reverse product placement mean that Rachel Ray will tailor her utensils to make a buck or two? You bet it will. Get out your debit cards, folks.

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