September 20th, 2011


The Midday Audience

Every now and then when I have lunch, I flip the TV on to watch the funeral plan commercials.

It's the strangest thing, those commercials. Primarily billed as life insurance, they feature actors of retired age discussing how they don't want to be a bother in death, how you can leave you family with a whole ton of costs that they never saw coming, and it is all narrated by a middled age man or woman who look like a middle class upright child of one of these elderly people, informing whoever is watching that they need not worry about bothering their family. There's something coldly calculated about the commercials, a presentation of mortality, a play on the emotions of the elderly who, I figure, are watching old episodes of MacGyver, which I may or may not find myself doing with increasingly regularity. Incidentally, there was recently a show with Nazi gold in it the other day. The other day was teen drinking and today it is UFOs. Not that I manage a whole episode, mind you, but ten or fifteen minutes is usually more than enough.

But it's midday television, and that is a strange land, aimed at entirely different people than myself. I'm only here by mistake, dropped here by how I run my business and the hours I work, and the commercials reveal to me the alien landscape.