The Car, the Lake, and Other Things...

by Jules Vitali

...''drive'' in my mind no way equals ''love''. It was a commercial that tried to tell me it did. Chrysler PT Cruiser. It involves lies, romance used for the practice of deception, and blatant car theft. When the commercial ends, the young man has been deserted, left alone on the doorstep and apparently thrown over for his wicked cool driving machine, now in the hands of his estranged date. A one-liner appears at the end of the commercial that says ''Drive equals Love''. I have to tell my nine-year-old daughter that ''drive'' does not equal ''love''. I tell her that love usually DOES equal a strong enduring commitment to another that involves sacrifice, sharing and understanding. I was also taught that ''things'' cannot be loved...only liked...but then, so much for agape. Welcome to the 00's, maybe aptly named for the sum total of it's awareness of being duped and herded.

So....what do I visualize as Nirvana in the cold world of commercialism? I can see it all now in my mind's eye. A series of commercials depicting people realizing they are being duped and commencing on a path of spiritual healing and self actualization. People starting to realize that the world does not necessarily have to be as cliche and mundane as commercials and sit coms make them appear. In this series of commercials people would learn to stop mimicking the absurd theatrics employed by these hollywood contrivances to solve life's arduous problems and learn to come up with their own solutions of getting through the ardors of life's day to day situations. They would learn ask for information such as the mechanical and economical specifications for that particular PT Cruiser and what it's impact will be on the environment once they are through with it They might inquire of the federal government what happened to it's proposal to cut back on the gas guzzlers that were using up the world's precious supply of natural resources and polluting the atmosphere and causing the greenhouse effect which is killing off whole species of living things so necessary to keep this planet running least to our collective way of thinking. A prospective customer might ask how long the vehicle is expected to last...y'know, not planning to dump it right after seeing a commercial in which the next car off the assembly line is so important to their image. A few discreet inquiries into how much of the vehicle is recyclable once it is thought to be ''used'' up. Is it worth 15 to 20 thousand dollars, plus tax, title, insurance?

Ricky Lake, and all other whatchamacallums of the ''sensational'' afternoon genre, have most of the aspects of a three ring circus noir. Her guests are probably some of the most commercial influenced that walk our streets and move amongst us. These are the people that scare me more than the most frightening horror movie I have seen or Steven-ish King book I have ever read in my entire life. I pray when I go into any social situation that I will never encounter any of these folk that she has for guests. You have to be careful because some of them are very hard to recognize. Case in point: Hannibal Lechter has taught me that cannibals can look like you and me. It's no longer just children that have to be careful about talking to strangers. Although if in any way accosted physically or verbally by these wonderful beings (except the cannibal, of course!) one could always bring a law suit against them; a practice quite common in this day and age. I would hire one of the law firms I see advertised on TV where the head of the law partnership is wielding a club or carrying a submachine gun or even having a name sooooo frightening that it evokes a paralyzing dread in any other lawyer who so much as even hears it spoken. I have noticed that in my particular geographical area that women seem to be above this practice, so there might be some latent 70's type macho residualness attached to this particular commercial scheme. Either that I'm not watching enough TV to notice if women do this or not. Either way I think Ricky Lake would be an ideal candidate for the series of new self actualizing commercials to air on.

I don't have anything out for the PT Cruiser in particular...only the way it is being advertised. I just don't want the big corporation who makes them to send one of them lawyers with the fear invoking names to my house and force me to do community service labor as a guest on the Ricky Lake Show.

Uploaded to The Zephyr Online January 16, 2002

Back to The Zephyr