Saturday, March 05, 2011

Marketing and th Dark Night of the Soul

"In the real dark night of the soul," wrote F.Scott Fitzgerald, "It is always three o'clock in the morning."   On this line, I agree with Keith Humphries that watching TV in the middle of the night is a pretty depressing experience but I think he has it backwards.   We learn from such lugubrious inquiries, Keith says:
(1) You are not all right the way you are (i.e., you are fat, lonely, unattractive, out of work, poor)
(2) There is a product you can buy that will immediately make you all right
But watching TV at the lonely hour is not the cause of self-contempt; it is the consequence.  Nobody has to tell you that your life is screwed up;you knew that already or you wouldn't be here.  That's why you are a secure for a cure.

It all makes me remember the late Hugh Slate, LA lawyer and the proprietor of the first bankruptcy mill with which I was ever closely acquainted.  Some thought Hugh was a shyster and I recognize a fair basis for that belief: there is good reason to suspect that any lawyer who advertises on TV is a shyster. But I have another opinion: I think  was just an early master of mass marketing and economies of scale.   I do remember his ads, where he'd repeat, with his rich Tennessee accent (as a commentator remembers it): "we make bill collectors leave you alone, and that means leave you alone."


Got it? Now go and get some sleep. And call me in the morning.

Afterthought:  I suppose the counter would be the idea that "three o'clock is not a good time to start anything, whether morning or afternoon."  And BTW, yes, Keith said four o'clock, not three, but same difference.

Defensive Update:  You were watching, Buce?  Got some self-contempt issues, have we?  No, not really, but I've always been a patchy and inconsistent sleeper. 

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