Ruminations on Advertising in the Still of the Night
Why I look at food photography, the Platonic ideal of any recipe, when I’m reheating limp leftovers in the dead of night isn’t quite beyond me: I’ve exhausted that day’s Globe and Mail and last week’s Economist. Yet the real takeaway from flipping through the glossy pages of Canadian Living at the kitchen counter an hour or two before the sun rises and birds begin to sing is a sense of sweat-inducing dread. According to the advertisements the unintended consequences of a relatively lengthy lifespan in a wealthy western country are aches and pains, disease, infirmity and incontinence; stuff I’ve no interest in taking back to bed with me.
Unsurprisingly, The Economist offers its readership an entirely different simmering barrel of advertising red herrings than Canadian Living even though they may rub covers in the same household - thereby bridging in a pithy way that awful personal chasm between aspiration and decline.
You never actually own a Patek Philippe.
Patek Philippe is Suisse, de Geneve. They don’t make watches. No, they create heirloom chronometers, an entirely different kettle of monkeys. And you’ll never actually own one because most people can’t afford them except for the impeccably groomed Eurotrash metrosexual depicted in the ad. His frail little replicant simply gushes a silent masochistic desire to be bullied in the hallway of the average Canadian school.
You merely look after it for the next generation.
But how do the rich procreate? Lonely, unfulfilled members of the Davos set utilize exclusive internet matchmaking services with sniffily prestigious home office street addresses in
New York and .
The grinning couple in the Selective Search (Executive search meets personal
matchmaking) half-page ad appear delighted enough in each other’s company. The
blonde in the bikini looking back over her shoulder seems proud of her dental
work. Her digital soulmate has a face resembling the UPS shield logo topped
with a thatch of black Muppet bristles – as if Ernie had spent every penny of
his London Sesame Street residuals with a
celebrity plastic surgeon. Their lottery-winning child will surely inherit a
well cared for Patek Philippe. Sometimes I think wealthy people should be
obligated to marry poor ones to better spread the cash around – as far as the
Periodic reminders of the fragile nature of existence are healthy. When the night begins to lift during those solitary kitchen minutes it’s critical to be reminded that who’s on your arm or what’s on your wrist doesn’t really matter. You will die. And you must inevitably die alone, with little dignity and lots of pain your only company.