Sunday, March 6, 2011


Collusion [noun] (kul loo zhuhn)
  1. Collaboration
  2. Complicity
  3. Conspiracy

I wish my Brain would stop acting in collusion with Reality.  The two of them talk, you see.  My eyes scan a glossy, register a fashion ad and my Brain begins to think.  But why should it do so on it's own?  It pulls out its brand new iPad 2 (because, clearly, my brain has obtained one - and has hidden it from me) and messages a trusted friend, Reality.

Brain: Hi, Reality
Reality: Oh, Brain! How r u?
Brain: Good, good.  Been looking at this magazine ad and was wondering if we should expect it to look good on us. [Pic attached]
Reality: WOW 0_o
Brain: So, you think we'll look like that, too?
Reality: Ummm...sure, sure.  BTW get that iPad 2 I sent?
Brain: Yeah, love it!  Thanks so much! But, do you really think we should get it?
Reality: You deserve it!  :-)
Brain: Awwww! Really? Stop it. 
Reality: Would I lie to you? ...
Brain: Too sweet!  Oops, need to get back.  TTYL!

My Brain then give me its input: "Look at how glorious that model looks in that chartreuse and mauve zebra-print jumpsuit!  If she looks so jaunty, surely we will, as well.  Get it!" In that moment, my expectations are high.  Why would my Brain lie to me, after all?  It is me.

And yet.
My Brain has also been seduced by the idea that Reality won't lie to it, thereby allowing said "friend" to slap this occasionally media illiterate gal across the face.  But I doubt Reality's only confident is my Brain - I bet many other Brains chat with it, as well.  Brains that gift it cruises and massages and front row Knick's tickets; Brains that ask it to conveniently forget to let other Brains know that chartreuse and mauve zebra-print jumpsuits look good on no one, save for well lit, overly Photoshop'd, and paid spokespeople.

Thankfully, with the influx of media literacy in schools, most of us take marketing with more than just a grain of salt - we grab the whole container.  Our Brains are trained to be weary, to analyze all resources, and then come to a conclusion.   However, even when we know better, we still do it: We trust.  We see past the make-up, the .12 cm font, the paragraphs of disclaimers, and choose to move forward with faith that it'll be different this time - this time it'll work for us.

This instance of trust in the advertising brings me to my most recent example of Brain/Reality collusion: 

An e-mail sent the weekend before my first Bon Jovi concert, urging ticket holders to "Arrive Early - No Opening Act." Be there at 7:30 "SHARP," it extols - we're starting with or without you, it screams.  Fast forward to March 1 at 7:30 PM: Nothing.  7:35 PM: Nothing.  7:55 PM: Ditto.  8:00 PM: De Nada.  Finally, after sitting in my seat like a good fan for well-over an hour and a half, the show starts at 8:15 PM.

The marketing lead my Brain to believe; Reality showed me otherwise.  Never again - until next time, that is.

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