The Insanity Virus

Want to know the real reason the polar ice caps are melting?  It’s not what you think.

It’s not carbon emissions, deforestation, solar activity, or any of the other reasons They want you to believe.  The real reason the polar ice caps are melting is because they are currently the staging areas for a microbial invasion force from outer space.

That’s right.  Alien pathogens from the planet Germanicus are right now massing at the North and South Poles and the combined heat from more than a googolplex of the little buggers is what’s causing the ice there to melt at an accelerated rate.  At least, that’s what my good friend Thurston Howard tells me.  Thurston lives just down the hall, in Apartment 9E.

How much is a googolplex?  Count all the grains of sand on the Earth, all the drops of water in the oceans too, all the stars in all the galaxies, add them all together and still you won’t even come close to the size of the bacterial expeditionary force amassing itself at both ends of our planet.

Do I believe it?  I believe Thurston believes it, and that’s good enough for me.  Despite his mad-scientist facade, Thurston is by far the most tuned-in person I know.  Thurston is also, unfortunately, a stage-4 germaphobe, which means, just like with cancer, there’s little to no chance for recovery.

Thurston works in advertising, not exactly the noblest of professions.  There’s an old saying: Advertising makes people who can’t afford it, buy things they don’t need, with money they haven’t got.  The truth is, it’s a lot worse than that.

I remember Thurston telling me about this focus group once.  In advertising, the focus group is everything, while original thought is pariah.  As the story goes, there was this focus group sampling the food from one of those TGIF or Shenanigans franchise restaurants, and when they were asked how the food tasted, the answer was not what the company wanted to hear.  Thurston says that one of his colleagues looked right at one of the people from behind the glass as they spit the food out and said, without flinching, “We need to ramp up the razzle-dazzle.”  You see, with advertising, the trick is not to actually make the product better, just to convince you that it is.  The power of advertising, like a good card trick, lies in the art of distraction.

In advertising, there’s no such thing as a lie; there’s only expedient exaggeration.  Alfred Hitchcock said thatBut what was true in 1959 still holds true today.  The only difference between advertising and prostitution is that prostitution is an honest living.  I said that.

But don’t get the wrong idea.  Thurston is not some kind of flim-flam man.  He’s on the creative team over at McMann & Tate, or something or other.  Moreover, he works with some of the largest corporations in the world.  At least, he used to.

Seems Thurston had his very own Jerry McGuire moment a few weeks ago and was promptly shown the door.  Here’s a little tidbit of advice: If you work for corporate America and all of a sudden come up with an idea on how to stick it to the man, keep it to yourself.  Perhaps you’re blood sugar level is low, or maybe you’re having a bout of indigestion.  Either way, you’re not going to get a standing ovation; you’re going to be shown the door by two large gentlemen and promptly thrown to the ground.


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