The other day I sat down to have some dinner with my wife and she decided to pepper me with questions about the difference between dinner, tea and supper. Seriously, if anyone has a good answer, get in touch! While I sat there trying to find a cohesive answer, I saw a Sainsbury's ad for ... I think it was money off. Or to say they are cheap. Or something similar. Either way, while the narrator was talking, there were the a selection of shoppers shopping in the background, some in the foreground. But what I noticed, was that all the shoppers were women. Then many thoughts started popping into my head about images we casually notice which aim to reinforce an image or perceived social norm, push a dream into or powerful subconscious minds, or simply to make up dream about the real and unreal. I also began thinking about how successful this is.
Interestingly, I meet many people who tell me they are not affected by this constant assault on our senses. In particular, these conversations normally happen when I questioned someone about their relaxation reading or viewing material.
"Oh, the stories in this are such sensationalist nonsense."
"I don't believe any of the stories."
"Well you have to believe at least some of them. Otherwise why do you read it? [Jokingly] You'll become a xenophobe ya know!"
"It doesn't affect me. I only read it to relax as it's entertaining."
... ? Oh the irony.
I suppose it's a Kyser Soze thing. Good writers, artists, advertisers, and media producers want to reach you without being too obvious about it. Those are the most potent ones. How many people have seen the UK plague that was the Go Compare, or We Buy Any Car. Who can honestly say they never once hummed or thought about the jingle?
One particularly acute example of being irreversibly, immediately infected by something sprayed on my senses - the new Muller Rice advert. Now, I'm a fairly relaxed guy most of the time. Most of the time. But when I saw a bear, grizzly, rapping improvised Muller Rice lyrics, to Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby", in truth, I felt like someone had sneezed in my face. A slow sneeze. Like one of those slow motion replays while you experience every single moment. No matter what I do from this moment on, no matter how I try to scrape my eye balls and wash out my ears with caustic soda and bleach, beyond neuron removal/reprogramming therapy, I cannot help but be affected by what I have experienced. My body's natural defences have kicked in to counteract the infection and subconsciously I have sought out positive inspiration like this one of famous glasses by famous people done by Frederico Mauro.
One way or another, we are affected by everything we experience, without exception. Now let me get back to trying to affect people.