Monday, January 15, 2007

everything you thought was hilariously improbably is now true

Let's take a moment to admire cynical, pessimistic humorists, because they see the future so clearly. Or so it seems to me after reading a piece in the Times on the way advertisers are using every available space for advertising, including subway turnstiles and the actual eggs you buy in the supermarket.

I've seen this before, and it was in Mad Magazine perhaps 30 years ago. I can't remember what the title of the piece was, or the author, but it was talking about the next step beyond billboards, and there was an illustration in which everything had an add on it. The ads were probably more clever than the ones in the real world; I remember one company name was elegantly built into the metal grillwork of a bridge. But the idea is the same, and it is always fascinating when things that seem so extreme that it's funny suddenly become the norm.

For me the greatest example of that is still an ad in the first year of Saturday Night Live for what I think was called the "Track 3" razer. This was after the first two-bladed razer cartridges had come out, so SNL just made an ad similar to those for the two-blade cartridges but with 3 blades. Then, years later, 3-bladed razors came out, and now I think there are 4-bladed ones and for all I know 5-bladed ones. And before the were even invented, SNL perfectly summed up these future razors with their slogan for their fictional product. "The Track 3 - because you'll believe anything."

All praise humorists, because they see things so clearly in a world in which everyone else swallows bullshit whole and asks for more.

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