“To be or not to be” That may have been the question in 1599 when Hambone, oops I mean Hamhock, no it’s, (sound of person thinking) Ham Sandwich… maybe? I got it. It’s Hamlet! Hamlet was the one pondering his existence in 1599. But what about today? Is it still THE question four-hundred plus years later in a time with pizza, cell phones, and where we talk Good English, not that Olde crap?
Nay I say. (Ere I go on, please befindan [notice] I used Olde English. Amasian [confusing] isn’t it?!) I say the question of today must be something more like “To lie or not to lie?” That is the question for a society where coffee is a craft beverage, and people pay real dollars for coins which don’t exist, where even reality is virtual. Lies are everywhere, and everyone uses them. Most, I admit, are harmless white lies, such as when I tell my wife I remember her dress size. (I value my extremities where there are thank you very much.) People are also constantly lying to their children, like when we say, “Of course you’ll use Algebra in later life,” But that’s called parenting, not lying, and is socially acceptable. Modern human beings even lie to themselves. I mean, there are some people who truly believe the Cleveland Browns will win eight games in one season. Telling mistruths is so prevalent the president claims all media reports are falsehoods whether they are or not. Sad.
Some of the worst dishonesties are told by advertisers and marketers. What’s worse than that is that we believe them. Spoiler Alert. Not every person in America has an idealistic perfect body and is constantly thinking about sex. However, if you look at any magazine you would think they are. Today, I even saw an old golf, yes golf, magazine featuring an LPGA superstar on the cover wearing a nightie. Of course, we all know the stereotype is not true. people are obsessed with scandal sheets as well.
Television commercials would also have us believe everyone smiles all the time. As I sit here drinking coffee in an over hyped coffee conglomerate, and glance around at the other morning customers, almost none of them have the slightest grin on their face. Yet, in all the advertisements for this very place, they all have huge smiles on their faces.
At this point, it dawns on me, maybe these ads aren’t giving me the whole truth. Who’da thunk it? So, I put on my deerstalker, (that’s a Sherlock Holmes hat), grab a magnifying glass, and start nosing around. Immediately the game’s afoot, as I quickly discover a perfect example of this.
One of my local groceries currently offer a personal shopping service for busy people who have no time to breathe, let alone shop for food. The shopper shown is a pretty young lady, sporting a green polo shirt, who is knowledgably and efficiently selecting the freshest produce, lovingly covering each apple in bubble-wrap, and bagging each along with goose-feather pillows to prevent bruising. Next, the self-same shopper carefully wheels the completed order to the customer across the lot, adroitly avoiding pot-holes, small children, and road-kill. They then load the groceries in the trunk, clean the windshield, and pass out breath-mints, all while singing a happy song worthy of the Smurfs. Well, I saw one of these shoppers the other day, and, I hate to break it to you, this is not the case.
The personal-shopper was wearing the iconic green polo. This is where the similarity ends. First, the lady was middle-aged and vertically-challenged. I am not judging at all, but again the advertiser would have us believe all people look perfect, like some Brave New World ideal. Next, while she was working efficiently, she was simultaneously filling four orders. When I spoke to her, she informed me, that the store was divided into several sections and every order is filled by any number of folks, depending on what was needed. Lastly, completed orders were placed in a special location for the customers to pick up at their leisure. Now, I’m not knocking the service. It actually seems like a fine idea, for busy people. I’m just saying, the image portrayed has nothing to do with what actually happens. In other words, more lies.
Then there are those products claiming to be one-hundred-percent juice. This misleading statement is not truly a lie, but if you read the label your strawberry-kiwi is mostly apple juice. When I found that out I cried for a week. That is until I actually juiced strawberries and kiwis. The flavor was completely overpowering. Adding the apple is a great idea flavor-wise. So, we see in this case, the omission can be a force for good. My brain hurts.
These are just some of the conspiracies, I have uncovered. How many others could there be? This realization, is really upsetting my universe. Next, they’ll be telling me Spiderman isn’t really protecting the citizens of New York, while trying to complete a college degree for the last forty years. Don’t judge, fighting super-villains takes up a serious amount of study time. And you can’t write a quality thesis while swinging from building to building. But, where was I? Oh yes, I was saying the media might not always be truthful and make ridiculous claims. The next thing they’ll be telling us is Star Wars didn’t really happen long ago and, in a galaxy, far far away.
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