Yesterday I was watching a show on USA and I saw one of the leads getting into his private car just moments after discussing his multi-thousand dollar suit, and his $500 hair cut. Immediately I began to question my lot in life and what I had. I had thoughts like:
- I want a private car.
- My suits don't cost that much. Do I look cheap?
- Who pays $500 for a hair cut?
- I'll never be able to live like that. I fail. What am I doing wrong?
- I should be a lawyer.
There is a war going on inside me. On one side is the strong knowledge of who I am and what I value. On the other is the media telling me their opinion of who I should aspire to be, and what I should value. As I consider myself to be a confident, secure person, this battle shouldn't last long. The world fires off their barrage of missiles, and like the third little pig I hunker down inside my truth shelter and weather the storm. Unfortunately, the storm doesn't end. I love TV and film so much that I am right back on the battlefront fast forwarding through the lies and praising God above for DVR. Like Rambo, the media never seems to run out of ammunition.
Somewhere someone is living like Harvey Specter but the reality is that most of us do not. As Tyler Durden said, "Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need." So in moments of clarity, in other words when I put down the remote and I am honest with myself, I realize the err of my ways. Still, I wonder why the media dangles the proverbial carrot so often.
Chances are you or someone you know really liked "Sex and the City", but do you realize how utterly unrealistic Carrie Bradshaw's lifestyle is? In a given episode, her outfit alone is more than a typical columnist would make in month, and let's not talk about her apartment, constant cab rides, drinks, and parties with friends. When your characters wear shoes that cost more than my rent, you have truly lost touch with reality.
And it's not just TV and film. Pick up a magazine. There are ads there for the latest car, make up, perfume, and/or cologne, all showing the lifestyle that you dream of and promising that their product will help you feel like you're there. Or if you listen to hip hop, it won't be long before you're inundated with (fake) success stories and braggadocio. I rarely listen to the radio but yesterday I turned on Power 106 and heard this:
Your Chick She So Thirsty
I’m In That Two Seat Lambo
With Your Girl She Tryna Jerk Me"
Perhaps Kanye and whomever else on the track can afford a $400,000 car but why is my broke ass listening to it? How many people listening are driving a Lamborghini? It's nonsense.
A steady diet of lies and misinformation can't be good for the soul. With this in mind I once again I defer to the gospel of Tyler Durden: "We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off."