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February 17, 2014

We are beset with manipulative devices anywhere and everywhere these days, from those who seek our vote at the polls and those who seek our souls at the church house and on preacher TV to those merchants who seek to share our bank accounts by selling us goods and services either in big buildings or via the internet or even via such informal settings as those provided by newspaper ads and flea markets. Ads appear in the sky via skywriting and in toilets one attends. No place, it seems, is safe from the manipulative class. Some of the lucid (?) among us have even tattooed ads on their foreheads lately!
The manipulative class wants your money, your future (loans), your body, and even your soul. If you only accede to their wishes, you will be happier, healthier, richer, prettier and more socially desirable. If you will only do and act (and buy) in the manner and at the rate the manipulative class prescribes, your children will excel in school and be cinches for scarce seats in Ivy League universities and your neighbors will envy you your beautiful home, cars, mate and success in anything and everything you and your happy and successful family members endeavor to do. In short, if you agree to be manipulated by those who promise nirvana in exchange for your money and/or your name on a loan document for a house, car, annuity etc., well, heaven can wait. You and yours have already arrived to a state of eternal bliss.
So – irrational success guarantees or corporate drivel? I think it is both. How pretty was Abraham Lincoln? How happy are those rich people who commit suicide or live in a haze of drugs? As a lawyer I have seen the other side of the happy equation laid out for those who have been manipulated, like chapter 7 bankruptcies, like divorces of deliriously happy couples that have morphed into pure hatred, like kids abandoned to the clutches of welfare programs and foster parents, like criminal acts of formerly “happy” people who, for one reason or another, become embezzlers and robbers, and yes, even murderers.
Some of such people I have known and/or represented were victims of the manipulative class. Some whose businesses were failing and who lied to the IRS so they could keep the money they owed in taxes for their own happened because of their burning desire to maintain their pretense to success for their neighbors to envy. Others cheated on their mates; still others embezzled; and some even tried their hands at burglary. The manipulative class had given these people an impossibly high standard to maintain, and when their resources were insufficient to maintain such a standard, some of them proceeded to commit antisocial acts in order to pretend to be the happy and successful people the manipulators promised and their neighbors envied.
With such convoluted logic, the ends justified the means. Those manipulators who promised nirvana neglected to advertise the other side of their happy talk (like dangers to life, limb and even liberty) should their prescription for eternal happiness wither in practice. I can testify that it withers daily in practice, and with tragic results. Ordinary people will take enormous risks to maintain pretended life styles, and you and I are helping pay for it in terms of taxes paid for their criminal and other antisocial acts. Others pay as well; the kids are not going to Ivy League universities; next stop is juvenile detention.
So are there any good grounds for advertising? Yes, if informative rather than manipulative – an unlikely event, so let’s follow this old adage: Don’t believe anything you hear and half of what you see. GERALD E


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  1. billy1926 permalink

    . . . and may I caution that one should be cautious of old adages, e.g., “The early bird gets the worm.” Galileo’s early work on heliocentricity didn’t get him the worm; rather, it got him home arrest for the remainder of his life.
    A more recent one,”There’s no business like show business” must relinquish its accuracy to the banking business.

    • Old adages are certainly untrustworthy as philosophies to live by, but relative to the toxic stew put forth by those who want your money (or your life, since it takes time from your life to acquire money), I’ll risk it. When you understand that the old Soviet Union did not allow advertising, you wonder what a can of Bud Lite would cost if we didn’t see and hear Bud ads out the gazoo. Advertising that is informative is one thing; advertising just to boost volume is another and is not related to quality but rather to propagation of the herd instinct. Parenthetically, I read something recently that I though germane in this connection. The writer wanted to know why we advertised TP. Warm and sunny here. GES

      On Mon, Feb 17, 2014 at 4:39 PM, elderblogger wrote:


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