At war with the telly

At war with the telly


It sits there, day in and day out, laughing at me, mocking me and spewing out an endless cocktail of unattainable drivel based on advertisements that tell me, how to live my life. And, because almost none of us, let alone me, lead the lives portrayed in TV advertisements, it is easy to be left with lingering feelings of self doubt, worthlessness and a sense of bitter disappointment.

How many times have I seen someone appearing in a TV ad telling me that I’m unique and so special and then implying I’m a useless piece of garbage because I don’t possess a face that resembles the smoothest piece of porcelain ever made? I mean, I don’t need to see some 23-year-old model bragging about how wrinkle-free they are because they bathe themselves in some cream that costs a zillion dollars a jar, when we all know the wrinkles would not have set in anyway by that age and that the substance in question is probably as useful to humankind as the company that manufactures it.

If your face doesn’t fit, and it probably won’t because, according to those ads, it will require not only facial cream but plastic surgery or botox and a head transplant as well, you will not be invited to the endless party that the whole world seems to have been invited to, going by the images on TV. Once your face does fit, however, you can join that TV ad jet set who while away their time at fancy drinks parties, in sumptuous business class up in the air travelling between New York and Paris or brokering huge deals while wearing the latest from the fashion walkways of Milan.

Even cookery programmes are seldom about food these days. Food isn’t about tasty nutrition any more, it’s about lifestyle. So is drink. Coffee isn’t just a beverage, it’s a double decaff lifestyle aspiring latte to be drunk in the right place with the right crowd while tapping away on your blackberry in a plush branch of coffee-cup-price-rip-off.

When you begin to watch this fantasy world on TV, you might start out by being impressed by it all. If only I could drink champagne aboard some ongoing business class party-fest in the sky. If only I could get that power job with ‘million-dollar-deal-breaker, inc’.  But, after a while, being impressed turns to frustration because no matter how hard you try or where you look, there is a big ‘no entry’ sign barring your way to the world of easy living and shimmering, shiny people.

As my lost hope turned to frustration followed by harsh embitterment many years ago, I began yelling at the TV on a regular basis. I realised that the aspirations being sold to us are as catchable as a rocket speeding into a big, black hole, crushing the dreams of all on board.

Now, as I stumble about my lifestyle choice hovel that passes for a home, I have become extremely adept at muttering to myself about the injustices of the world and those advertising agencies that have conspired to ruin my life through the medium of that now smashed up TV that lies in the corner.

Anyway, why bother buying hugely expensive celebrity-endorsed luxury chocolate that encases some mushy substance that is as tasty as eating dead parrot? We only bought it because we were informed that it is 100 per cent ‘natural’ and made from the honest work of peasant folk toiling away with their cows herds on the slopes of the Andes. Yeah — right. As authentic as that bottled bacteria-ridden ‘pure mountain water’ that comes from the tap in the factory on the edge of town.

Goodbye cruel TV. No longer will I have to endure you stabbing me through the heart. No longer will you conspire to leave me lying in your trash heap of false dreams and broken promises.

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