Blog News

1. Comments are still disabled though I am thinking of enabling them again.

2. There are now several extra pages - Poetry Index, Travel, Education, Childish Things - accessible at the top of the page. They index entires before October 2013.

3. I will, in the next few weeks, be adding new pages with other indexes.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Please forgive my cynicism

You may find this hard to believe but I used to be very cynical about the world.
You don't find it hard to believe?
I still am?
You should have known me back then. Trust me in this, I used to be considerably more cynical than I am now. Sometimes that inner cynic still pops his head up and looks around (and makes an acerbic comment or twenty), but he used to be here all the time.
It's nice, however to know that he's still alive and well, even if my cynicism is less scattergun and more specifically targeted.
This bit of random musing about my personality has been prompted, in part, by an article about an advert for the Smart car showing an elephant standing on the roof of one to demonstrate how strong the roof is.
Shock! Horror! It was... wait for it... photoshopped. Well I never! Who'd have thought it? I don't know if the advert has appeared in Britain and I don't know if the US has similar regulations to our "legal, honest, decent, truthful" code. I don't even know whether or not this advertisement would comply with our code.
I don't claim to have any legal expertise whatever.
I suspect that if the claim about the strength of the roof is justified then the elephant image would be treated as just a cute graphical way to illustrate (as opposed to demonstrate) the fact.

Where this ties in to the vestiges of my cynical nature is that I routinely disbelieve all advertising, be it on television, on posters or in magazines. Come to that I routinely disbelieve anything I'm told by a salesman in a shop, a politician trying to sell me his ideas and, most particularly, anyone who knocks on my door and starts his spiel with "I'm not trying to sell you anything".
I am firmly of the opinion that people who are foolish enough to believe what they see in an advert (created at great expense and paid for by the advertiser) probably deserve to be fooled. You might think that I am suggesting that advertising be viewed with a sceptical eye, but I'm not. That isn't necessary. I'm suggesting that, like me, you should choose to disbelieve all advertising on the principle that no one trying to sell you something can be trusted to be working in your best interest.

Just in two consecutive advertising breaks tonight I've seen the following (and I'm deliberately omitting product names here)

*eating a particular dietary supplement will lower my "heart age" - whatever that might be
*a supermarket is offering "top quality" wines for under £3 a bottle
*a new shape of tea bag will give me a better flavoured tea
*a group of clearly scripted actors pretending to be members of the public want me to use a particular price comparison web site
*playing some geometric games on a hand held computer will make me smarter
*two different supermarkets are both the cheaper than the other on most products
*a particular brand of high-sugar, high-salt, high fat fast food is healthy for me

Just looking at that lot, it's easy to see why I routinely disbelieve advertising.
Legal, honest, decent and truthful they may be (within the definitions of the regulations) but I find them impossible to believe so I don't believe them.
Please forgive my cynicism.

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