Monday, December 16, 2019


(Named after Seamus Malarkey who would not know the truth if it bit him on the his large Irish proboscis.) 

It started with advertising.

Remember “Wonder Bread builds strong bodies eight ways”?

They showed a body with eight numbers on it, denoting the “eight ways” Wonder Bread builds strong bodies, never saying which “eight ways” they were talking about.  Later, they expanded Wonder Bread’s magical capacities to twelve ways, adding four numbers to the body, never explaining how those four ways helped either.  (Or where they had suddenly come from.)

And we bought it.  Both the bread, and the advertising.  Likely the bread because of the advertising.  Why not?  Other bread was just bread.

Then there was,

Kent, with the micronite filter.”  (Which, it turns out, contained asbestos, so they were selling a product providing two lethal ingredients.  (People were so distraught they didn’t know which class action suit to sign up for.  “Why not both?”  “They only died once.  That wouldn’t be fair.”)

The spokesman wore a tweed jacket, so we went compliantly with Kent. 

You want a current example?

Try this.

“Do you have concerns about mild memory loss related to aging?”

Which, if it weren’t a commercial, would come down to

“Do you have concerns about aging?”

Because that’s what that is.  “Mild memory loss” is a consequence of aging.  It happens to everyone.  Are you kidding me?

“Do you have mild concerns about getting shorter as you get older?”

Cure that, while you’re at it.

I can’t believe it!  They used to sell that stuff that from the back of a wagon.

Now it’s on television!

And always has been!

Which is your problem right there.

As a result of “… and always has been”, two things happen.

You accept the malarkey and purchase the product.

But then, over time, having been lied to so often, you become conditioned to think that whatever they tell you is horse poop.

Making the “turn”…

Advertising has lied to us for decades.  (There is now a “Truth in Advertising Law” but it’s too late.)  As a result of this duplicitous onslaught, we now believe nobody.

So a guy tours a state, riding a bus with the words, “No Malarkey” painted on it, and due to our conditioning, the words “No Malarkey” scream, “Wonder Bread builds strong bodies eight ways.”

Another guy brays speeches filled with egregious “Whoppers”, and, again, due to our conditioning, there is this unshakable feeling – possibly bipartisan – do you recall, “You can keep your own doctor”? –

“They all do it.”

So there you have it.  One guy proclaims “No Malarkey” in a world used to nothing but malarkey,

The other guy says, “They all do it”, and then does it.

What happens?

The sincere “Truth Teller” sounds like a shoe salesman.  (“You look gorgeous in those ‘Pumps’!”)

And the congenital liar sounds honest.

What a world we live in. 

(A SATISFIED BENEFACTOR)  “I like it just fine.”

Me?  I am, as usual, caught in the middle.

I called an “800” number, ordering “Compression Socks” that claimed they were easy to pull on and to take off.

I’m not sure I wanted them.

I just wanted to believe.


To JED, Re: "Looking Behind The Curtain."  A "draft" is one pass through the material, from beginning to end.  I then rewrite that drafrt, and the process proceeds.


JED said...

Thank you, Earl.

FFS said...

Today’s takeaway. Earl reads the comments.