Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Mainstream media is less trustwortht than Pay Per Post

I notice that a lot is being said online again about false representation through blogs (Scoble's post is a good place to start). It's always worthwhile to expose people who are straight up lying but the earnestness of some people about the struggle for some "pure" voice in online communication strikes me as rather pointless for two reasons. One is that it's totally futile; you'll never find out everybody who's being paid to post comment no matter how hard you try, plus one person's definition of objective comment is not going to match another's. Two is that the mainstream media is completely bought and paid for so why the fuck should independent online media be any different.

The evil of mainstream media's blending of advertising and reportage was brought home yet again while enjoying dinner at one of my favourite el cheapo eateries the other night (drop me a line if you're visiting Melbourne and I'll shout you a $6.50 dinner special if you're lucky). While waiting for dinner I was flicking through a tabloid newspaper that was sitting on the table. I shouldn't have looked at it - I fucking hate this particular rag and this was the Sunday edition which, for whatever reason, is actually worse than their weekday edition. I don't know what it is about Sunday that makes them think they have to go out of their way to mentally rape you.

I thought I was making the right choice when I avoided the main paper and went for a "supplement" that was included. This seemed like it might be some harmless fluff that would be a temporary diversion rather than a source of enragement. I was wrong. It was titled something vacuous like "Body and Soul" and was full of so-called health and lifestyle advice. The content was 100% advertising although about 60% of it was made to look like articles - they might even have the audacity to say these pieces were actual reportage. They certainly didn't come out and admit that it was nothing but fluff to soften the advertising pill.

I could easily tear apart every single "article" in the supplement. They were all outrageously intelligence insulting bullshit. But, given the way my mind works, I'll limit myself to ripping on the one that obsesses over toilet germs spreading everywhere. To read this utter garbage, you would think that this is a bigger health threat than AIDS, ebola and the bird flu combined.

The whole piece was basically saying we're all going to die because we leave our toothbrushes lying out in the open in the bathroom. We are exposed to the ridiculous "fact" that every time we flush the toilet, tens of millions of germs become airborne and you just know they're all making a beeline for our foolishly unprotected toothbrushes. Of course, our only hope is to purchase this insanely overpriced "toothbrush sanitiser" which will protect us from this horrible fallout.

Apparently we desperately need to keep our toothbrushes in this enclosure that regularly steam cleans the brushes to kill germs. If we don't do this we will all die because everybody who doesn't have this has died horribly from infection via toilet-related germs. Oh, wait a minute...

Having seen my ability to get good Google listings for things I mention, I am sorely tempted to mention this product by name and follow its name with: HOW FUCKING STUPID WOULD YOU HAVE TO BE TO BUY THIS TOTALLY UNNECESSARY PRODUCT?!?!?!?! For god's sake people, think about it logically: the only thing that could make this product necessary is if we were all dying from toilet borne infections and if we were all dying from toilet borne infections we wouldn't be around to buy this fucking product!

That is the message I would like to be seen by anybody stupid enough to consider buying this product.

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