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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Exercising the only thing I have left: Free Will

In this crazy corporate driven world we live in these days, there is really only one thing they haven't and likely can't take away from you. Free Will.
We could debate whether they can or already have taken that away, but I will stick to the premise that we still have it.
I went to the movies last night, and when I did that I knew what I was in for. A shitload of commercials. Then more commercials. Then some kind of pseudo commercial designed to sell more stuff to break up the endless commercials. Then more commercials. Followed by some advertising disguised as some Phone App game that give you a bullshit prize you can get online for free just by asking for it. Followed by more commercials. Then some movie previews that are sponsered in a way that give you more commercials. Then some previews and then another commercial, and then if you are lucky, the actual movie.
But in this case, they have decided to up the ante just that much more. 
Now there are commercials between the movie previews. Yes, more commercials. I would say we are well into 40 minutes of what they now like to call and spin as "preshow" or as I like to call it....upsell.
Last nights very intrusive commercial between the movie previews was brought to us by Toyota. They even tried to frame the commercial as some kind of romantic journey in their car that was "movielike" in tone.
I have bought Toyota cars before, and I was very pleased with them. I would certainly have considered buying one again. Until yesterday. The ballsy, arrogant attitude they take in thinking they can interrupt my film going experience by inserting a film-like commercial between the previews is just too much. Now, I know that I can't stop them from doing this.  They aren't breaking any laws and they are paying for the time they are using.
But here is what I can do. I can go out of my way to not buy their products if they so blatantly insult me by trying to get inside my head while I am just looking for some enjoyment. Enjoyment I already paid 25 bucks for. This isn't free TV,  where I get the programming courtesy of the Toyota's, Walmart's, Drug companies and the like. It isn't You Tube, where I have to watch some parts of ads to get to free videos. It isn't Facebook, where I have to deal with pseudo ads in my newsfeed to get that access for free. No,  I paid for what I was about to get. A movie, in which I agreed to some commercials before the movie, some previews just before the movie and all the annoying people who will attempt to ruin my experience with their selfish, ignorant behavior. I already accept that as part of the deal. I don't like it, but I accept it.
I don't accept any more than that. It has gone too far. To the point that the experience has been ruined. The fine line has now been crossed.
There are two culprits here, and my free will allows me to punish them both.
We have two factions here. Movie makers and theaters who are so hungry for more and more profit that they will just keep adding more advertising until they drive just about all the customers away. And secondly, we have companies who want to be in our faces 24/7. They are now in our newsfeeds on Facebook. They send e-mails daily to our inbox, even though we don't want them. They get on TV screens at the gas station when we can't move while we are pumping gas. They are on screens in elevators. And now, they are in movie theaters, almost completely ruining the movie-going experience. 
But this will backfire. For someone like me, who has the money to spend, the type of consumer they want, they are not only pissing me off-and not selling anything to me-they are now driving me away from their product. Directly away from their product.
Toyota...that is what you did last night. No matter what you produce from now on, I will refuse to buy it. You have lost me. And anybody else ballsy and stupid enough to try that will as well. It is exactly what you don't want to happen, and is exactly what you have done. 
And by speaking up, while I wont effect a result on everyone, or even many, I am putting that image in their head. That your company is going out of their way to ruin our fun experience, when you already have ample opportunity to do that in the "preshow" and on TV and countless other places. 
In this case, too much is too much. And most of us have had too much of what you are doing long ago. I certainly have. 
No, you aren't alone in that, but you are certainly included.
It seems to me that if you were wise, if you wanted to stand out from the pack, you would make a point of not doing that.
That is your free will. You choose not to exercise it. I just exercised mine.

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Daily profile about a specific artist,their life, their work and their impact