Friday, May 05, 2006

A New Approach

Something in the workshop conversation yesterday made me remember the long-running commercial for Palmolive dishwashing liquid in which a housewife complains to her manicurist, Madge, that washing dishes gives her rough hands. Madge tells her about the therapeutic benefits of using Palmolive.

"You're soaking in it," she says.

The agitated customer jerks her hand from the bowl of green liquid.

"Relax," says Madge. "It's Palmolive."

I don't remember anything from my year of Latin. I grope for faint scraps of algebra. In fact, most of my schooling remains a blur. But I can remember stupid commercials from 20 or 30 years ago.

Close the schools. Everybody go home and turn on your television sets. You will be educated in repeated 30- and 60-second spots interrupting your chosen entertainment programming.

If someone complains that this seems too much like a mind-control technique, maybe we ought to scrutinize the advertising industry a little more closely.

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