Am I the only one getting more and more annoyed at the fact that I pay to go see a movie and then have to watch commercials? It’s bad enough I have to sit through trailers of movies I’d never go to see with the sound track jacked up to ear deafening level. But then they have the nerve to actually show commercials. The same commercials I see on TV, only writ large against a big screen they seem twice as obnoxious.
Not only can’t I get up for a bathroom break or to let the dog out or to get a snack while they’re on, but I have now paid good money for the privilege of contemplating the joys of running shoes, cars and sugar filled soft drinks. And I resent that. I resent the hell out of that.
Aren’t theater owners and movie studios making enough money on their overpriced tickets, to say nothing of the $3 they charge for a bag of popcorn I can get for free if I stop by Animal Pet Warehouse? If I want to watch commercials, I’ll just wait for the movie to make it to the networks during their summer doldrums.
Maybe I’m over reacting to all this. But when I pay $20 to see a movie, get a soda and a snack, and don’t have enough left over to buy two hours on a parking meter down town, I guess I figure I shouldn’t have to be bombarded with commercials.
I am also probably reacting so strongly because of a new commercial I saw on TV recently that caused me to pull the plug and run out into the Anchorage summer screaming in horror.
It’s a commercial for a laptop computer. The people in the commercial are in a coliseum surrounded by the remnants of the glory that was the Roman Empire. The setting is gorgeous. The day is beautiful.
And what are the people doing? They are swinging around with their laptops held out from their bodies with a picture of the coliseum they are standing in showing on their screen. I couldn’t tell if the commercial was for some kind of camera that lets you take a picture of where you are and send it instantly to all your stay at home colleagues and family or whether it was some comparison of the reality with the picture to show how clear the screen was.
To be honest, I didn’t care. I didn’t leave it on long enough to find out. I got no further than those pathetic people swirling around the coliseum with their laptop as their dance partner when I pulled the plug.
Is this what we have really devolved to? Have we become so attached to things that we can no longer look at reality unless it is sifted through the prism of the computer screen? That reality, in fact, suffers in comparison with the picture we can pull up on our computer? That life is just one big commercial for something, anything?
In movie theaters, have we become so inured to the sales pitch that we no longer even notice it’s there? When I complain about the commercials to friends, they look at me puzzled. I am complaining about the inevitable and that is, apparently, a waste of time and breath. We are a nation of consumers, and if there were no commercials, how would we know what we wanted to consume this week.
Personally, I’ve decided it’s time to boycott commercials and advertising geared towards creating a need in me that never existed till some ad agency came up with a gimmick.
So before I bring my magazines into my living room, I rip out all those ads made on different paper stock that make the magazine awkward to fold and handle. I throw out the 8 million inserts that are otherwise constantly wafting to the floor as I try to read.
I hit the mute button the minute a TV show goes on break. As for the movies…well, I don’t control the mute button there but I control my feet and purse. And if I have to sit through commercials after what it costs to get in, then I think I’ll just wait for the video release instead. At least then I’ll control the fast forward button. And the popcorn supply.