As Seen On TV

He used to do surgery for girls in the 80’s but gravity always wins.

Radiohead

Fake Plastic Trees

I occasionally browse the WordPress Dashboard to see what the hot posts are all about. It’s not so much checking out the competition, as an earnest desire to see what others have to say on a wide range of topics.  Some of them (like the anime ones) seem like they are written in another language.  Generally, though, I find something interesting among all the celeb gossip and political outrage.  This post is one such piece.  Although the change in law will only affect the United States, I think it is a positive step towards improving the messages we see on TV.  As someone who undertook a weight loss project earlier in life, out of a desire to be a better athlete, I know how difficult and challenging it is not only to shed pounds, but also to be comfortable in your own skin.  Surely any kind of pill, diet, or machine that circumvents the necessary process is very attractive.  When I went from 225lbs to 175lbs 6 years ago it took a full year of eating properly and exercising daily to get there. It has taken 6 years of maintaining a similar regimen to stay in the shape I am in (and when I get gassed 10 minutes into a basketball game I curse myself for not working harder).  Believe me when I say that I know weight loss is hard.

Pitchmen has long made outrageous claims about their products, and TV has allowed them to trot out seemingly convincing testimonials about the greatness of their products while including that “results are not typical” as protection against anyone who would rightly call them liars.    I welcome any law that prevents shameless people from exploiting people’s hopes, dreams, and insecurities.

I must add one last note.  The only aspect of this development that will be disappointing is the loss of outrageous infomercials.  In a previous post I mentioned that I love those 30-60 minute paid commercials.  The ridiculousness and hyperbole makes me laugh.  Unfortunately, far too many people, out of hope and naivety hand over their money to unscrupulous hucksters. I should add that not all infomercial producats are bad. In fact some, like the Ronco Food Dehydrater, apparently com as advertised. But there are far too many weight loss, vitamin pill, colonic, and money making schemes that baltantly deceive the consumer.

Please also check out the linked post for another, albeit similar, perspective.

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