Saturday, May 24, 2008

Hardly A Non-Conformist

So I went to bed last night for a few hours, and in typical fashion I set the timer on my tv for about half an hour, and rolled over the other way to start drifting off to sleep.

Suddenly I was jerked out of my semi-conscience state when I overheard something that I knew couldn't be true.

It was an ad for McDonalds, where the dickhole on tv was like "I'm a non-conformist, I eat at McDonalds!"

....I find this direction in advertising very discomforting.

Ok, first off, where the hell does Mickey D's get off on playing the "non-conformity" card when they proudly advertise that they've served literally BILLIONS of people since their inseption into Main Stream Americana back in like, 1955?

Bitch, your great-grandfather has probably eaten a McDonald's fish sandwich, is what I'm saying.

Has "non-conformity" totally lost it's meaning in today's society? People are so demanding of a non-conformist state, to fight back and bite the hand that feeds them, that it's now spread into the most conformist medium of all, advertising?

The very idea behind advertising is to get as many people as possible to "conform" to one idea or product. This is how companies generate dollars so that the people who work for these companies can drive home in their expensive cars to their expensive houses and get 'luded up on expensive prescription drugs.

In other words, advertisers think we're all sheep. And for the most part, they're right.

Another great example of the non-conformity trend in advertisement is that AARP or ... fucking... whatever Dennis Hopper's shilling for lately. Here's this iconic symbol of perpetual non-conformity in the form of an actor who got his start being the ultimate non-conformist in the film "Easy Rider," telling wisened baby-boomers to conform to a special interest group so they can save on medicine and afternoon movie tickets. All the while there's some catchy 60's pop hit playing in the background, and footage of some graying old guy carrying a surf board across the beach. I can only imagine the numbers of achy-jointed retirees being like "hey, I still got what it takes, I can get out there and show the world I'm not done yet! I won't conform to these standards set upon me by society in general, half expectant of me to slowly and quietly die in my own feces stained boxer shorts with baked beans running down my chin in my favorite Laz-E-Boy! No! I'll give them what-for!"

You and everyone else, grampa.

I'm just tired of this game that advertisers want to play with Americans because they (by and large) think we're collectively dumb bovines being lead to the slaughter floor. McDonald's is probably the most culturally significant icon in America and for them to say their customers (myself included) are non-conformists (all like, 80 billion or whatever) is ludacris. This makes as much sense as them selling customer's fucking salads.

Just stop feedings us lines of shit (both literally and figuratively) and come out and say "hey, if it was good enough for four prior generations of obese Americans, it's good enough for you too," and I'll be happy. It's not like when I was living in NYC that I never saw some skinny hipster kid eating a Quarter Pounder with Cheese...

There is no such thing as a non-conformer anymore. Everyone conforms to the same ideas because there's no new ideas to be had. No one thinks for themselves anymore. We're spoon-fed opinions by different media sources and we align ourselves with which makes us feel more empowered.

The other night The Lady and I were out on my porch drinking scotch and talking politics, which was uncommon, but probably due to our mutual inebriation. She brought up the fact that people no longer have their own opinions and that we collectively do what we're told by whoever. Sadly she's right. People don't take the time to digest information anymore. We're literally traveling down the road to a place where we're told what to think.

I'm serious.

The solution to all of this is that we need to stop not conforming. If the powers that be are happy to let us think we're all special and unique individuals, they'll keep pandering to us as such. If we can prove to them that we're one cohesive body with our own opinions (conforming behind one original idea or belief) we're a harder stone to push, and maybe America can un-stick itself from the toilet it's been trapped on as it tries to finish digesting sixty years of Chicken McNuggets.

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