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August 28, 2013

By Dean Steinberg

I find myself watching less and less television every day.  TV used to be the great available disconnect for me. Mind numbing escape into the wonderful world of the N.Y. Sex crimes unit, or experiencing who's getting wacked on whatever mob show or movie I'm watching for the umpteenth time: Goodfellas, Sopranos, Casino, you've seen ‘em.  But the risk, while tuning in to my idiot box, of hearing a commercial, lately, has been keeping me away.  Yes the lovely women slinging their dreck at me, (always women right, because the men want to screw them, and the women want their slender hips), broadcast at volume levels far louder than your regular program lest you are not paying full attention, you might miss a chance to better your odds at being perfect, whole, and complete. Somehow, the advertisement, which is in no way limited to television ads, has become a guide to helping society understand their FAR from perfect lives are in someway lacking, and purchasing whatever is being sold—toothpaste, a car, a shoe, even a vacation—will not help those in need of reaching perfection, but one will be that much closer to being perfect than they were prior to obtaining said product. How do we get perfect? Well, simply buy the next product advertised: a couch, a shampoo, maybe a different type of kibble (garbage, road kill) for your dog and low and behold you will be that much closer. Get it.

The problem, however, is that we are all (well, most of us) spiritual beings, and spiritual beings cannot be limited to the shallow solicitation of computers, phones, beer, or soap, as a way to help us evolve. That is done through connection to others. Through empathy, compassion, friendship, and attachment. That is why you can visit a community, (usually outside the U.S.) and see a low-income area where people are happy. Children are playing, adults are laughing, and these guys didn't even know the iPhone 5 was available. But wander down Stone Canyon Dr. in Bel Air, and your bound to hear some wife throwing their brand new Lladro Vase at her husband’s head.

The funny thing is, it seems that most ads are geared towards women. Even the ones for masculine products. Why? Because women have the power, and especially the buying power in the relationship. The inundation of women's handbags on consumers over the last decade has been nothing short of paralyzing. But it is all a mistake, either that or only advertised for Lesbians. Because women, if you’re spending three grand on the latest Louis Vuitton bag thinking it will help you grab a man, I've got the cheat sheet for you; those men you want to grab, it’s not your handbag that they’re looking at when you walk by.

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