Television is more than a wondrous
box rectangle that bestows upon us hours of entertainment, information, infotainment, and entermation. It’s a metaphorical window on our own society, more so even than the actual windows that face outward to the real world (and, as a bonus, you can stand in front of the television “window” naked without running afoul of any pesky “laws”). Of all the gifts television gives us, the 30-second bundles o’ culture we call “commercials” are the most instructive.
I’ve learned much about myself and my own gender by watching commercials, particularly the more enlightened commercials of the past few years. Here are just ten of the valuable pearls of wisdom provided by these spots . . .
Lesson 1: Men are buffoonish and physically clumsy.
Lesson 2: Men are child-like in their approach to finances and are treated as such by their vastly more intelligent wives, whom men must consult for approval before so much as declaring they “like” something.
Lesson 3: Men are buffoonish. Wait, did I say “buffoonish” already? I meant “forgetful.” (See what I mean?!?)
Lesson 4: Men, being little more than animals, are easily distracted by basic urges and sensory information, such as the smell of food, as seen here. This phenomenon manifests itself in a manner that includes disregarding the well-being of ourselves and loved ones for the sake of obtaining, e.g., the food that smells good.
Lesson 5: Men get progressively more stupid as we move into adulthood, to the point that we are actually less intelligent than our own children. Also, again, we rely on our wives to cure our constant blunders.
Lesson 6: Men can’t cook.
Lesson 7: Even small household devices with a single button are beyond the reasoning abilities of most men.
Lesson 8: Although men are clumsy and inadequate (see above), we can nonetheless provide for our families by taking out generous life insurance policies on ourselves (or, more realistically, having our wives do it for us). Silver lining!
Lesson 9: Men are obsessed with sex (of course), but are nonetheless just as incompetent at that activity as they are everything else.
Lesson 10: In case this wasn’t clear yet – Men < Women.
The take-home points for me are, first, never get married. Although it could mean certain starvation if I ever find myself out of range of a fast food restaurant (or can’t manage to make it there without my car careening off the side of a mountain), I realize that male shortcomings such as meager intellect, shoddy fine motor skills, and poor financial acumen will all be exacerbated by taking a wife. As tempting as it would be to have someone in my life who would be willing to take care of all my many needs in exchange for nothing more than my tolerance of her perpetual but understandable eye-rolling, I refuse to spend my middle age and/or twilight years oblivious to the painful reality that my pre-teen children have already surpassed whatever diminished mental abilities remain not long after that little band of gold snuggles tightly around my ever-fattening finger.
Secondly, I realize I need to plan my endgame now – while I still can. And I have commercials to thank for that epiphany.
So, thanks, television. Thank you for the friendly heads-up about where I’m headed. Although there’s probably no avoiding the many face-smashing rakes upon which I’ll step, at least now I’m helpfully aware that the problem isn’t mine alone. Before I reach the point when I’ve become the balding, disheveled, can’t-seem-to-shave-properly jellyfish of a man I’ve seen in so many commercials, I hope I have the good sense to take that job as a fuse-tester in a dynamite factory.
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