Earlier this year I crossed a boundary with the dog.
I’d eaten some godawful fried thing or another, and feeling a buildup of gas, I leaped over to the dog, crouched directly above his face, and knocked a king-size fart across his nose.
Triumphant, I turned to face the dog, expecting adoration for this generous gastric flotilla. Instead, the dog regarded me with a reproachful look, the kind I expect people receive when they jiggle their comatose grandmother’s breast for a family photo.
“What’s the matter?” I asked the dog in plain English, as though he would reply in kind. “Don’t you, a dog, enjoy the smell of shit?”
All at once the truth hit me. I had become the thing I hate. The dog might enjoy the smell of shit; that doesn’t mean he wants some asshole blasting him in the face with it, to gain his approval. I had patronized the dog. I was dogist. I had profiled the dog according to my perception of his species. Not only that, I taunted his disapproving and honest reaction. This is the kind of shit that kicks off international incidents. I insulted the dog on the nature of his dogness. Not a smooth move of any measure.
I thought back to the years I spent working in the shopping mall. One entered through the “anchor store”; Macy’s, Belk, et cetera. Meaning, to get to the mall interior, you had to exit through the front of the department store, where there was about a 90% chance you would be sprayed with exotic fragrance by some lady.
I honestly don’t know if they still do this; I stopped going to malls around ten years ago, which helped my blood pressure immensely. The practice probably isn’t permitted anymore. Whether you consented or not, you would invariably stride through the moist cloud of aerated ambergris that caught the last poor sucker. Perfume counters smelled about as good as the current perfume allowed. If you have a super-sensitive shnoz like I do, it can really put a hurt on your day.
And here I was, spraying “perfume” at the dog, and chiding him for disliking it. Just like the poofers in the mall.
Just like the ads before videos.
I know you’ve used YouTube, or something similar, and I know you have five seconds to skip the ads they slap in front of videos (if you’re given the option). This advertising is analogous to the perfume-poofers, and lo and behold, here we are rushing to wave it away in seconds.
Wincing, as though it’s a fart in the face.
Why are these ads necessary? Are they? What do they pay for? Every goddamn one I see is for car insurance; I haven’t owned a car in a decade. They try to be clever about wasting my time, with quirky bits that play on how I’m rushing to skip the ad. It’s like closing the door on a Jehovah’s Witness doing a Vaudeville act. The ads are literally begging me to watch them. That’s no longer advertising; that is fucking indoctrination.
YouTube has tried every trick in the book to get people to pay for an adless version of their site. All the average schlub wants to do is pull up a song and listen to it. Is that really worth slapping an ad on the front? Water meets its own level; wherever people can conveniently listen to what they want for free, they will go; that’s why they came to YouTube in the first place. I know, we’re all fucked up because we used to be able to turn on a radio and hear music we liked. Even back then, we bitched about deejays talking over the songs, and the commercial breaks.
Believe it or not, there once was a time when the previews that came before a movie were fun to watch. None of the productions were co-opted; the worst you had to deal with was Disney’s 70s dreck. First exploitation became a problem, then everything was Star Wars rip-offs, then suddenly we were watching commercials for Coke.
In a theater, where the idea is, no commercials. Where we had already purchased Coke, as well as tickets to GET IN.
Who the fuck does that make sense to? Why do I have to skip ads for a phone company I’m PRESENTLY USING?
There IS no reason for it. That is both the problem and the solution. There IS no reason to fart in someone’s face, either logical or metaphorical.
Other than it’s funny, I mean. It’ll always have that advantage over advertising of any kind.