One of the more shocking measures of our country’s “prosperity” is the fact that the United States spends more on trash bags (annually) than 90 other countries in the world spend on EVERYTHING… put that in your pipe and smoke it.
So I’m eating Rice Krispies and watching The Price is Right and I sort of have a déjà vu/ Requiem for a Dream moment.
Like, there’s this fat lady with short hair and huge Bob Barker tee shirt on. She has the chance to win a car: a Ford Escort. She’s screaming like an idiot and shaking herself all over the place. It really looks dumb; as dumb as a fat-ass gorilla, who’s been starved for days, just smoked weed and got the munchies. She stares at the shitty vehicle with wide eyes, mouth watering. She jumps up and down as if she’s trying to give herself a seizure. If she doesn’t win the car, she’ll win a patio set or a few dollars… but the whole thing where she’s hugging Bob and wiping tears from her eyes is a bit much. She hasn’t even won the goddamn vehicle yet. And even when she does, it’s a goddamn pine green Ford Escort. Honestly, I’m a little embarrassed for the bitch.
It’s not like she’s winning an actual life, with friends and stuff to do other than cry on The Price is Right. It’s not like she’s winning happiness, but she thinks she is. And so she goes and guesses her numbers… she’s all nervous and looking to the audience for support. And one by one, she almost wins the car, but fucks it up and looks down in shame. She won six dollars and forty cents. What a disappointment.
And Bob congratulates “Sue,” pats her back and gives her one last hug. And the show goes to commercial break.
Now I love The Price is Right, don’t get me wrong. But doesn’t the entirety of the show in all of its grandiose extravagance, in the plush red carpets, in the colorful flashing lights and displays, and of course ‘Bob’s beauties’ (the sexual Barbies—black, white, Hispanic and Asian… just to cover all the bases---clad in tight dresses who stroke and fondle material possessions) allude to a sort of new and improved life? You can win shit that you don’t actually need (and have to pay taxes on), and somehow that living room set… that camper… electric organs… trips to France and snow skis become the answer. They drive people to humiliate themselves on national television. Did I miss something? Have matching jet-skis and tacky garden gazebos been clinically, scientifically proven to significantly increase the quality of life?
There’s a black lady on now, who’s taken a time aside to start yelling about God and how much she thanks him and Jesus for the opportunity to be alive and be there on The Price is Right. For shit’s sake, if I was God or Jesus, I’d send lightning bolts to torch the set right there: put that idiot bitch out of her misery. Or frogs. I’d curse the show with famines or locusts to make sure all the moronic ‘lost souls’ like Delores knew that they were worshiping false idols; idols like old, leathery, white haired men and shiny new exercise equipment in shiny neon showcases. If I was Bob Barker I’d be like, “Shut the hell up. Ron Roddy and I are just trying to run a fun game, where the winners get cool stuff from The Price is Right corporation and not from any holy trinity- understand?” I point a finger at the TV screen pretending it’s a gun aimed for Delores’s face.
While the show is pretty entertaining, it’s also the epitome of making people feel like shit for not obtaining matching his and her lounge chairs or state of the art barbeques. But that’s not Bob Barker’s or even the producers’ faults. Ultimately, it’s the whole fucking corporate America system, farming generations of materialistic minds. We want stuff and stuff and stuff. That’s why people like Sue and Delores continue to flock to West Coast, like the Price Is Right is causing a modern-day gold rush. It’s not just desires anymore, consumerism is a way of life: a way of life that makes people fat and stupid and blinded by things like flashing bright lights and silicone boob cracks, like the ones on the carefully crafted Beauties….
I’m sick and tired of subliminal messages.
I don’t even trust my own opinions anymore. What do I really like? What do I hate? There’s too much shit going on to make any decisions. My pop-pop says we should go back to “the old days, when Coke was practically the only soda and prices were a tenth of what they are now.” Days I’ve never known: days when I didn’t exist… when The Price Is Right did exist… but probably the times Bob Barker himself grew up in.
As I watch the final round, contestants spin the wheels, like salivating rats waiting to “SPIN A DOLLAR!”, ready to jump on and start running. The society we have created to serve our needs is FEEDING OFF US. I don’t want to be a meal for white-collar fat-cats and corporate criminals…an unsuspecting idiot on TV. The costs of living these days are astronomically high and still growing. Is it worth it to live and work in a place where we are slaves to the economy the majority of the time, and barely get the chance to enjoy the fruits of our labor?
I squint at the masses of flashing lights and billboards, cough at clouds of pollution and ignorance… sink down on the couch, curl into a ball and wait for Bob to make his public service announcement about ‘spaying and neutering your pets.’ In measuring the pros to the cons, “it’s not worth it,” I think dryly, The Price we’re actually paying is Wrong.