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Something New is Waiting to be Born

 article about Something New is Waiting to be Born

This article belongs to BUSINESS MONTH: How do they do it? theme.

What came first - America's obsession with sex or Madison Avenues obsession with money? Hard to say, but what is obvious, is that the pornification of the United States (and the world) is in full swing and nobody rolls like a hardcore G like Obama. True, Obama is a nerdy metrosexual pimp, but a pimp none-the-less. Flying Air Force One to crack jokes with Jay Leno, playing b-ball with Kobe and giving trillions of dollars to his friends, Obama has ratched up the high bar on what it means to be a pimp.

Of course, Obama is just the latest in a long line of pimps that have led our country - the earliest, and groundbreaking pimp was George Washington. Did you know that Washington's teeth were not made of wood (a myth used to make him seem less like a pimp and more like an average guy) - but made of ivory. He spent 1/3 of his budget on booze to keep the morale of the troops high during those long NJ winters. He also had leopard skin pelts made for his horses, making him the first person to trick out his ride and setting the standard for the age - old game of Pimp My Horse. In today's money, Washington would have been paid $400,000. And he would ask for it all in singles - then it was straight off to the Colonial strip joint with John Quincy Adams.

"Hey Quincy, give me more of those dollars that have my picture on it."

You know you're a pimp when the money you're paid in has your picture on it!

How can any of us compete? Of course I would like a 500g iPod, a life-size flat screen TV, a bright blue Hummer, a 6000 square foot home, and three supermodel girlfriends. But this is just a dream sold to us by those cheesy marketing executives. Somewhere along the line, integrity was replaced with the mandatory appeal to become a Yuppie. Didn't we used to hate Yuppies?

I'm no comedy prude. I watch commercials and laugh, sometimes. Last night I saw an ad for Heineken, where women's squeal for a walk-in closet, was matched by men screaming in happiness for their friends walk-in refrigerator stocked with, you guessed it, Heineken. Thing is, I already knew Heineken existed. And cynic that I am, no actor's glee is going to make me run out and buy one.

And I think this is the crux of the matter - we already know. We already are familiar with all the products, all the services, all the new and improved crap that is on the market. We have been well fed on consumer culture long enough that we have grown into savvy participants in the world economy. STOP trying to sell us things!

What if every television, newspaper and radio ad was replaced with a public service notice, some inspiring fiction, a piece of artwork, an interesting photo - something that would benefit us as a culture rather than trying to strip our last dollar? True, the current model of business could not subsist on such a humanitarian effort, revenue would dry up, but that is the way of the wooly mammoth anyway - time for changes.

We are in dire need of new ways to see life, new approaches to the same-old-day-in-and-day-out BS that no longer works. We personally need to scale-down our desires and learn to be satisfied with what we have. I no longer want to live in a world where the news and entertainment have become the vehicles in which big business camps out, hiding behind a duck blind, waiting to blast my wallet out of the sky. The way I see it, the world belongs to us, not Wall Street, and it's time to take it back.

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