Monday, June 3, 2013

Magic Beans and snake oil

All right, it's true, I spend an inordinate amount of time staring at my computer screen.  I read a lot.  I research every topic that I write about, and I see stuff.  I see a lot of stuff on the internet, good, and weird.  And I am overloaded with ads for miracles.  The absolute miracle to loose weight, look and feel younger, harder and stronger erections, better sex, regain muscle loss, rejuvenate stagnate brain function, reverse bone loss, eliminate arthritis, uncurl your toes, stretch your fingers and empty your pockets of cash.  Oh, sorry, that last one is a side effect of the desire to fulfill any of the other benefits without proper diet or exercise.  I have news for everyone, there are no magic beans.  No snake oil, no benefits without work.  It just doesn't happen.

I suppose that if someone wanted to, and could find some medical professionals that have no scruples (shouldn't be hard) you could have them put you into an induced coma for 2 months and you would lose a lot of weight.  My old friend Gary went through that very thing, unintentionally, and he lost over a hundred pounds.  The bad part was the hanging saggy skin and no muscle tone so he couldn't stand up; but the thing is that it worked.  There is a magic bean, just not exactly a very favorable outcome.  I couldn't do it though, a couple months without watching the Big Bang Theory, that in itself would be a major deciding point for me.  Well, that and the not able to walk or even stand up on your own.  But this method has the same attractive marketing claims as many of the magic beans on the market, "Clinically Tested!"   Relax, fade away, forget about work, diet, exercise and lose weight like magic!  Indeed, the proverbial "Magic Beans" of life, weight loss without work, coma.

The thing is, that people actually believe all this stuff.  And it amazes me.  I have a friend that is addicted to pyramid schemes..  She has people tell her about them, she puts all her money into them, they promise her money in amounts that are hundreds of times what her investment was, and of course, she never gets anything out of them.  She has been in about fourteen of them at my last count.  FTC has shut down a few of them, the others just have these weird rules about if you don't recruit other people into the scheme, then they won't pay out anything.  Makes sense to me, that's how the whole Ponzi system works.  But she is ever hopeful, still holding out that the Hourly Revenue Share site will pay her thousands as promised.  And that the Travel Ventures International will award her the private jet.  And I still love her anyway, even when she tries to get me to buy the vitamin supplements from a company that she is an affiliate with that are three times the price of better and higher quality ones that don't sell through multi level marketing.  And all of her choices have all that incredible marketing tool added to their description "Clinically Tested and Proven"

Maybe it is all about marketing.  Advertising.  If you think about it, Chia Pets sold millions.  Chi chi chi Chia.  Who doesn't remember that?  I remember in my thirties, my mother giving me a Chia Pet as a Christmas gift.  I stared at it, and she then rattled off the theme song.  Sigh, my mom.  She would probably be putting all her money into pyramid schemes as well if she had ever looked at a computer.  When she was alive though, computers were far beyond her ability to experience the hype available.  Anyway, it must in fact be marketing that gets people to do things that are so blatantly stupid.  The visual stimulation of models of both sexes as they work out, play volleyball or whatever, and eyeball each other suggestively, is indeed mighty powerful stimulus.  And it is all possible by taking a tiny pill packed with tea extract and seaweed.  Or all you have to do is sprinkle powder on your regular meals.  All kinds of silly things that when done, will result in YOU being lighter, ripped, sexier, and never having to go to a gym or give up drinking coke or eating potato chips by the huge bagful.

Magic beans and snake oil.

Free money.

Buyer Beware, use your brains, magic beans and free money don't exist.  Chia pets still do though.

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