It doesn’t happen often, but on occasion, when I am in deep thought about all the important, life altering work I’m doing right now, I watch a little daytime television.
If you want to know the state of our culture, you need only to watch the commercials during daytime TV. There are lots of schools; apparently we’re all either uneducated or educated in the wrong profession. For example, as I understand it, computers are going to be a big thing. You heard it here first! You should sign up now to go to, uh, “computer school”, so you can be a “computer technologist” or some such thing. I think mainframes may be coming back.
America is getting older so health care is big. You can train to be a medical specialist, whatever the hell that is. All I know is that classes are starting soon and financial aid is available. Doesn’t sound enticing? What about when the announcer says “Wear scrubs! Look important!” Now you’re into it, am I right? No need to actually be important, just to look important.
Weight loss programs, pills and magical potions are of course a mainstay of daytime advertising. If you weren’t a slug, you would get off the couch right now and spend the paltry balance of your bank account on diet pills that would make you not just thin and toned, but also smart, funny, talented, loved and respected. You would also have a pool in your backyard and you would wear a bikini every day, year-round. Your smiling children would play quietly behind you. You would fake-smile sympathetically at fat people who neglected to buy the pills.
There is also an incessant parade of commercials for personal injury lawyers. One ad shows greedy insurance company lawyers leaning over a hospital bed asking the groggy patient to sign her rights away while she’s injured and under heavy sedation. Don’t sign! You can hire your own greedy lawyers! The worst part about these commercials is that I am saddled with the knowledge of certain bar rules regarding advertisements for legal services, and things like “if you have a phone, you have a lawyer” are questionable to say the least. But hey, I’m not one to obsess over this stuff and I am certainly not frantically thumbing through my ABA Model Rules (insert nervous, obsessive laugh here).
If I was an anthropologist, or even just played one on TV, and was asked to draw conclusions based on daytime TV advertising, I think I would at least deduce that:
- You are not important and no one loves you unless you go to school and/or wear scrubs
- If you’re saddled with debt from a crappy technical school and still can’t get a job, a good way to make money is to get injured and go to the hospital
- Either way, you’re either a bikini model or a fat slob