Saturday, July 05, 2008

People Who Watch Buck Rogers Are Stupid

Well, I'm watching it right now, actually. "Buck Rogers in the 21st Century." Gil Gerard! Erin Gray! Either Lorne Michaels, or a close enough facsimile thereof to make no difference! A penis-headed robot who says "Bee-dee-bee-dee-bee-dee" all the time despite the fact that he is clearly capable of normal speech! What's not to believe?

Well, to start with, it's the commercials. The first one was not too bad: just a bunch of people sipping champagne and telling you how they started out making $5,000 a month and are now making $18,000 a month or more!

They don't really get into what they do.

The second ad is worse just because it does get into what you do. You sell crap, including, apparently, highly tasteless green-glass mass-produced leaping dolphin sculptures which people even stupider than the people who watch Buck Rogers (because that's you, remember? You forgot, didn't you??) will put on their mantelpiece, in flagrant defiance of every law of good taste ever known to man.

That's not what's bad about the second ad. No. What's bad about the second ad is that it tells you how all this works. And the way all this works is that you get to use a giant sales, marketing and warehousing network supporting all the crap you're selling, so you can make all these sales and build your personal fortune, right? And they show you the warehouses, and the customers, and the crap; but where it all falls apart is that they also show you the workers: a big panned shot of a vast cubicle farm full of purchasers and marketers and telephone operators who are showing up at 8am every day just to bring everything together so you, dear Buck Rogers viewer, can work from home and make a small fortune. Maybe even a large one.

I bet they don't even get dental.

This is where, unless your brain was completely liquidated by the aerosol fumes of the mid-to-late 80s (and I wouldn't be at all surprised if the advertisers had taken this possibility into consideration), the record goes scrrrriiiiiiitch!!! And you say, hey. Wait a minute.

If I can make $15,000 a month or more, selling tasteless crap, presumably the people working for me in the cubicle farm are aware of this fact. Right? So - why, again, are they content to work full-time jobs in a soulless cubicle environment to get you rich? Are they ruined Ginsu investors? Survivors of Richard-Simmons-induced cardiac arrest?? It just doesn't make sense.

Again, when you look at some of the stuff that science fiction has thrown at us, faster-than-light travel doesn't seem all that improbable.

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