Without Commercials

Most people are far more accepting of ubiquitous advertising than me. Resistance may be futile when it comes to Madison Avenue, but I’m not going down without a fight, even if I’m the last one standing. Not sure how to explain my intense anti-commercialism, except that it relates to my dislike of mindless consumerism more generally.

What forms does my quirkiness take? I can’t believe people don’t replace or remove the dealer’s license plate frame when they buy a vehicle. Why add advertising to my field of vision and provide the dealer with free advertising? If you think that’s odd, I also wonder why I provide free advertising in terms of my car’s badging. I’d remove my car’s badging, but I’m afraid I’d scratch the paint and leave holes. I’d love to overhear someone say “What kind of car is that?” In this same some-what demented spirit, I wish I could pay more for advertising-free versions of the periodicals I subscribe to. Of course if it made economic sense to offer two versions, one with advertising, one without, publishers would do it. More evidence I’m in a distinct minority.

Related to this, check out this incredible innovation. Thank you David Pogue for bringing that to my attention and to the creators whomever you are. My nomination for the Nobel Prize for Technological Innovation.

Readability is one salvo in the war for people’s attention when on-line. These days, when I click on “Gamecast” to see a sport’s scoreboard on ESPN’s website, I have to endure a 30 second commercial before the score and statistics are visible. Apparently, my preferred computer company has applied for a patent that will give them the potential to apply that same diabolical form of advertising to future devices. I’ll be very disappointed if that turns out to be true.

In related news, believe it or not, Mr. Late Adaptor bought a new television a few months ago. [In the background right now three teens are doing homework (mostly). They’ve just been joined by a fourth on a laptop via Skype video-conferencing. Best quote, “We should probably work.”] I can’t tell you the brand of my new television otherwise I might provide them free advertising. Let’s just say it rhymes with Supersonic. The picture is unbelievable and I’ve connected it to the internet via ethernet cable.

This is where it starts to get good. The Supersonic comes with Amazon-On-Demand built in. Created an account in 30 seconds and a few minutes later downloaded nine or ten episodes of Mad Men for $2.99/per or $3.17 with taxes. We can stream movies too. Soon I’m sure they’ll add Netflix. Now L and I can watch MadMen whenever we want without commercials. I repeat, without commercials. Twelve minutes of commercials times the fifteen or so episodes. Serious time savings, not to mention improved continuity. Another fam favorite, Modern Family. That was a form of advertising wasn’t it?

I can hear the early and middle adaptors laughing. I know, welcome to the 21st Century. For me, this represents a great leap forward in television viewing. Soon my preferred computer company will charge $30 or so per month for unlimited streaming. People will stream programming of their choice to their televisions and handheld personal devices. Sometime soon we’ll tell young people about how we used to gather together on Thursday nights to watch commercials with some Cheers, Seinfield, and the Office mixed in. I suppose we’ll still gather together in real-time for some sporting events, but I’m looking forward to this bold new world of commercial free streaming.

I’m not so naive to think the MadAve army is going to raise a white flag. But for now at least, it’s advantage A, L, to the Dizzle.

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