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A Nation of Germaphobic Hypochondriacs September 21, 2010

Posted by Skippy in Popular Culture, Rants, Uncategorized.
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Fig. 1: Creating a nation of psychotic germaphobic hypochondriacs, one commercial at a time.

Children, I hate commercials. Hell, who doesn’t? It’s the reason the VCR and later, the DVR were invented. If there’s anything about contemporary American popular culture that is annoying beyond sense and reason, it is the commercial. Of course, not all commercials suck—the Old Spice “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” is an example of a commercial that not only doesn’t suck, but actually makes me think about buying their product. However, commercials for home cleaning products are the absolute opposite of any Old Spice commercial.

I’m convinced that the idiots in charge of producing home cleaning product commercials won’t rest until we have become a nation of psychotic, germaphobic hypochondriacs. They’ve taken a simple “wash your hands after going to the bathroom” into “if you don’t buy this product, YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT YOUR KIDS AND YOU WILL SPREAD PLAGUE!!!” Unfortunately, this subtext is an outgrowth of the ways in which commercials are completely gendered. I note that all these fearmongering commercials are commercials targeted towards women. I guess guys don’t give a flying fuck if their sons or daughters are carrying PLAGUE—probably because men in commercials are too stupid to even know where you buy antibacterial wipes, much less knowing how to use them. Women, on the other hand, are supposed to be utterly and completely obsessed about their kids and PLAGUE, since kids according to commercials are little Typhoid Marys just itching to destroy the world through PLAGUE.

To let all these antibacterial this and that commercials tell it, if you don’t use an antibacterial hand wash or whatever, you’re spreading PLAGUE. Can we please calm the fuck down about hand sanitizers? Now, everywhere I go, I see a damn hand sanitizing station. It is amazing to me how in just a few short years, we’ve become a nation of germ-obsessed, hand sanitizing obsessive compulsives thanks to media hype about SARS and H1N1. Remember those?

Fig. 1: If only he’d used an antibacterial wipe!

Yeah, the world was supposed to end, bodies were supposed to pile up in the streets and general chaos was supposed to happen. Next thing you know, everybody has those damned little bottles of hand sanitizer and are whipping them out left, right, and center. I have one in my office, Spock only knows why. I think it was given to me, but at any rate, it’s just been sitting there, completely unused. When I need to “sanitize,” I take my happy ass to the bathroom and wash my hands.

Fig. 2: Hand sanitizers are fun!

I guess it’s a function of my warp speed approach to middle age, but I don’t remember being this germ-obsessed when I was a kid. We had other things to worry about.

Fig. 3: A nuclear bomb will eliminate germs too, but you don’t see anyone advertising them, do you?

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