Saturday, September 22, 2007

Enhancing nature?

WOW! I just finished my umpteenth viewing of “Bob,” the sophomoric shill for a natural male “enhancement” product, and I’ve only been viewing television for just over an hour.* What gives? Is there a real need for this concoction? Have we suddenly become a country of non-functioning male protuberances? Judging by the ubiquitous nature of these advertisements, we must have.

I submit that, no, we are likely just as virile in this area as we have ever been. So what’s different? Delayed maturity or prolonged adolescence. Choose your term, they both mean the same thing.

For humans, sex can be a lifelong activity, although there is nothing stating that it must be. The frequency of sex, however, does change over time as humans age due to common physical changes. Sex is just one part of human existence, and it is as subject to the immutable effects of aging as eyesight. This fact is inescapable. But, thanks to a society that worships youth and holds it up to be the highest ideal, this idea is abhorrent.

Enter the marketers, who have recognized this pathology in the Western world and, of course, developed a potion for it. Never mind that what they are offering in this case, as in many others, is decidedly unnatural. As long as a 35-year-old male is able to keep going all night (which is really what making love is all about, isn’t it?), or a 55-year-old male is able to even get started, well, that’s all that counts.

I guess I can’t really blame the marketers for trying to make a buck off of the collective stupidity of the American public. Many multimillionaires have been created from this cash crop, and it’s not some recent phenomenon. P.T. Barnum once said something to the effect that no one ever went broke banking on the stupidity of the American public. How else can one explain the short-lived popularity of that 1970s icon, the pet rock, which made its inventor rich?

Getting back to the prolonged adolescence thing, what can really be expected from a post-literate people who are bombarded 24/7 with images of youth as the be-all and end-all? Look at all of the expense and bother people go through in the elusive quest to capture and maintain a youthful appearance, always losing in the end, and in the interim often looking like buffoons.

Does this mean one should let oneself go? Not at all. A person should always do the best with what they have, but their efforts should be executed within the context of their age. This is what’s missing today, mainly because of the lockstep march of all forms of media in promoting youth, that small segment of a natural lifespan, as all that matters. As a consequence, many people have no idea how they should behave past the age of 27.

More’s the pity.

On a side note, it’s been said that there is no such thing as a perpetual motion machine, but I think I’ve discovered the closest thing to one as mankind is ever likely to find. Think about this: We are bathed in the message all of our lives that youthful beauty is where it’s at, which causes us to chase after and secure it by any means necessary, no matter the cost or hardship, which in turn shows the marketers that this is where our interests lie, which causes them to continue proffering these images as the ultimate ideal. What a system. What a scam.

Take care.

*The fact that these commercials are on television at all, especially at hours of the day when children can be exposed to them, is a subject worthy of a treatise in and of itself. I may speak to this one day, but for now suffice it to say that children have had enough of their childhood stolen by foolish, selfish adults. They do NOT need to be exposed to this type of product.

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