The internet, though it is a free-flowing river of social liberties, endless, creative pornography and clickable shopping, is no freer from the chains of advertising than television. I spent a little time this past week collecting some of my favorite banner ads that appear over my Yahoo Mail. Rest assured, I didn't save any of the banner ads that appear of all the sites I visit, or I'd be in trouble with some of my more conservative readers (Hi, Salt Lake City!)
We'll start with my favorite one:
Personally, I'm afraid to click on banner ads. I've never done it, and I'm reasonably convinced that something terrible will happen to my computer and/or my humanity if I do click on one. I was actually afraid just to right-click on them to save them to my hard-drive. I mean, does your brain get slow and sloppy once you start clicking banner ads? Do you become a fat woman named Gladys who sits in a fart-enrobed La-Z-Boy watching The Price is Right while Fritos adhere themselves to your ass dimples? I mean, I'm sure it's not an instantaneous process, but that's how it starts at any rate.
Lots of people love to give their opinions on things (scientists call these people "bloggers") and I'm sure that fat Gladys' the world over are thrilled to think that their opinion about a Jacko rebirth or Madonna's ill-achieved 1989 Diane Keaton look, and that they might actually receive something of value in return for their meaningless opinions. Which they won't. No Old Navy gift card for you, Bad Gladys! You'd just spend it on solid color t-shirts that you would sew together to make a hammock for your dimple-ass.
I mean, I certainly don't need Resveratrol. I'm a twenty-eight year old male. And I'm pretty sure that you don't need it either, whether you've got wrinkles or not. First of all, Dr. Oz likes this, so you automatically know it's bullshit. Second of all, if you have wrinkles, learn to love them-- they ain't going anywhere.
No, I don't have a flabby mancrush for Hugh Downs-- but I do always think I'm having a heart attack. I'm reasonably convinced I'm having one right now, actually. Will you pay off my mortgage in the event of my death?
I joke about the necessity for these heart attack symptom ads that allow Mr. Hugh Downs to continue to make his mortgage payments prior to the event of his death, but, evidently, there is a need, a real need for ads like his. Because products exist in this society that were invented, it seems, for the sole purpose of hastening our demise...
Other ads play to our insecurities and our competitive nature, by asking us, in much the same vein as "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader" if we think our intellect can best that of someone else's.