Sunday, July 11, 2010
I always have been and ever shall be a TV person. Deplorable in many quarters, I know, but there it is. And, I'll say it, there's actually a lot of good stuff on TV. Lately I like American Pickers. Of course there's also a lot to be depressed about. The saddest, next to infomercials, is the network news- no, strike that, the commercials during the evening news.
"I got my Hover-Round delivered straight to my home and it didn't cost me a dime."
People born before 1940 are apparently prone to a certain kind of credulousness. Put someone in a lab coat and give her a stethoscope and they're sold. I also love how the perscription drug ads attempt to paper over the ominous side effects the government has forced them to reveal: "May cause internal bleeding, dry throat, blindness and death. Tell your doctor if you're taking any medications, including antacids, as this may cause a certain form of paralysis." These warnings are always accompanied by images of barefoot middle-aged people flying kites on a beach at sunset. I amuse myself by thinking of the gap between the reality of the people who are meant to go to their doctors and request whatever drug and the actors who fly the kites on the beaches.
Best of all (for purposes of the credibility gap) are the ads for exterminators and home alarm systems. In case you missed it, the super competent young-ish people of America have decided to forego careers at NASA or in Special Forces so that they can monitor alarm systems and keep bugs out of people's homes. E.g.:
Dear Dr. Granger,
After long, hard consideration, I am afraid that I am going to have to decline JPL's offer of a post-doctoral fellowship in Remote Sensing of Atmospheric Composition Ground-Based Spectroscopy. I know it represents a very fine opportunity, but I have been offered a position as a security alarm monitor by a national home security provider. So, despite my abiding interest in the measurement of atmospheric species and aerosols that affect air quality and ozone chemistry in Earth's atmosphere, I feel that I can better use my talents keeping my fellow Americans safe from intruders who are even more directly menacing than greenhouse gases. Thanks so much for your interest and best of luck in filling the position.
Dear Colonel Granger,
As you know, I have been mulling over whether I should re-enlist next month. I have been very tempted by the opportunity to fly a FA/18 Super Hornet Jet, and by the prospect of getting into anti-submarine warfare and mine countermeasures. However, after much deep thought, and prolonged counsultation with my family, I have decided to take up a new mission as a civilian. As you are no doubt aware, insects and pests of all kinds are, at every moment, attempting to penetrate food storage areas and otherwise hygenic areas of the homes of our countrymen and women. Terminix (TM) has offered me an opportunity to combat these waves of vermin and I feel I must not let it slip by. Plus, I prefer the Terminix (TM) uniform. Thank you for the confidence you have shown in me.