Skip to comments.(Vanity) Give Us This Day, or, Lead Us Into Temptation
Posted on 01/04/2009 5:42:35 AM PST by grey_whiskers
"For all that is in the world the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not of the Father, but is of the world." (1 John 2:16)
I was watching TV last night with my family (if you are curious, it was The Smoking Gun presents: The World's Dumbest). The show is a "countdown" of video clips of accidents or mishaps invovling a common theme, punctuated by commentary from a bunch of B-list actors and ex-celebrities (Danny Bonaduce from The Partridge Family, Leif Garrett, Tonya Harding, Gary Busey and some others(*)). It has its uproarious moments, excepting that the comments can get pretty raunchy, even if bleeped out. Sometimes, for the sake of our teenagers, we have to change the channel.
But lately, it hasn't been the show which has concerned me. It's been the advertisements. Last night, during one of the station breaks, there was an ad of a middle-aged couple in bed next to each other, fully clothed. The man says, "We've been married twelve years" and the wife corrects him "Ten." No problem, humorous bickering, right? Wrong. It turns out to be an ad for KY Jelly. For those of you who don't know, this is used as a sexual lubricant. My wife turned to me and said, "I'm glad the kids left before this ad."
Yes, I know--I deserve everything I get, and what am I doing letting the kids watch this show anyway?
But then we got to talking about it. We have come to the conclusion that -- forget the shows, we always knew they were trashy. But the ads have gone completely downhill. In fact, we have decided that most of the advertising budget for television is spent promoting the Seven Deadly Sins.
Lust -- see most beer commercials, or the ads for Valtrex to suppress Herpes. These ads begin with a couple entwined together, where one person says "I have genital herpes." The other follows up with "...and I don't." And as my wife quipped to the TV, "It won't be long now."
Gluttony -- My favorite here is the Three Musketeers commercials which show svelte women indulging their chocolate cravings in a sylvan, elflike setting. It is especially entertaining when followed up by another commercial for weight-loss products.
Greed -- This is more subtle, since greed is not visually appealing. However, the online investing ads showing the baby talking about investing to earn enough money to rent a clown qualify. It is true that the Bible talks about being good stewards of one's finances, and even investing (the Parable of the Ten Talents), but there is also the admonition "one cannot serve both God and Mammon". You can also find this in the car commercials where the children are reminiscing about their favorite Christmas present, and then the scene changes to the present day, where they have given themselves a certain luxury car as a present.
Sloth -- This is not seen very often on commercials, yet, except as a humorous aside, as when the dog tempts its master out of bed with a tray full of breakfast cereal -- and then takes the master's place in bed.
Wrath -- This is usually inspired by the inanity *of* the commercials.
Envy -- This can be seen in many commercials, or at least hinted at. One can look at the perfume and fragrance commercials, which combine Lust, Envy, and Pride, complete with the husky intonation at the end, naming the exclusive Department Store at which you may purchase your perfume. (My favorite here is one by Britney Spears, which my son recently skewered by voicing over as such: "Infected. The new fragrance by Britney Spears."
Pride -- look at most of the high-end car commercials. The slow-motion clips of the oh-so-sophisticated, well dressed supermodel crusing through empty streets downtown at night, or the midlife-crisis lawyer with barely pubescent girl next to him in the passenger seat as he cruises the Pacific Coast Highway are very good. The main problem here is false advertising, since everyone knows what you spend MOST of your time doing in the car is honking at the person who just cut in front of you in the Target parking lot.
And the worst of it is, we are encouraged (at least we have been, until the meltdown this fall) to pay for all of these since on credit: violating the Old Testament restrictions on usury.
What would happen to our society if the undercurrents of programming were to encourage Chastitiy, Temperance, Charity, Diligence, Patience, Kindness, and Humility?
Maybe we'd have to re-write not just the ads, but some of the shows as well.
And those B-list celebrities would have to get different jobs.
(*) Including Ali Landry. I'm a *big* fan.
Supply and Demand.
If the ads didn’t work, they would disappear.
Turn off your TV programming.
I’ve turned off my TV except for sporting events, and a few history shows. I’d rather do more family oriented activities. TV is a waste of time in my opinion.
I always liked the genital herpes one with the woman riding along on her bicycle saying, “I have genital herpes,but it hasn’t slowed me down”.
It goes unsaid that she is spreading it around like a Christmas gift.
Another good one is the Bob commercial where all the women are saying that Bob is taking the enhancement pill and they all cant wait to get next to Bob .Horny broads.Where are they all hiding? I have never seen women act like that.
This author states a certain program that had these commercials, but in fact you never know when one of them may be shown, so what indeed can one do to protect children from them.? In fact nothing.
> This author states a certain program that had these commercials, but in fact you never know when one of them may be shown, so what indeed can one do to protect children from them.? In fact nothing.
You can get rid of your TV. After a couple months, they won’t miss it. There’s nothing on there worth watching anyway.
Good piece! I read articles and editorials on this subject to remind me of how much I appreciate not having cable or broadcast tv reception (except PBS, when the sky is clear and the wind is right). No surprises when you’re watching DVDs, although the shows we like feature plenty of Wrath.
A ten-minute wait in the doctor’s office is also good for another year without cable. I can’t believe people actually watch that morning-tv garbage.
Just stick to Law & Order: Special Letters Unit
I suppose because there are no kids in the house, I could laughingly sneer at a K-Y Jelly ad while making any number of pithy - to me, anyway - comments about who that ad should REALLY be targeting. The AARP - the Fearful Greedy Geezer Union - spots that have replaced Obama ads as the ones most quickly muted don't even have that dubious entertainment value.
The only time I look forward to watching live TV (and the commercials) is during the Super Bowl. One of the best nights on TV.
We have cut back the tv time in our house in a major way. We have begun homeschooling our children and once the ‘switch over’ to hd happens, we will be completely without tv. I long for the shows of the 50’s and 60’s (most I remember from reruns) but now have the selected ones on dvd. late night tv is nothing more than an infomercial with raunchy commercials of girls gone wild etc. I tell my kids as well as others that tv has become nothing but a gateway to hell (go see poltergeist)
I haven’t had TV in a year or so. I don’t miss it except for “The Dog Whisperer”.
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