Commercialism: "Eventually our refrigerators will be sponsored and make suggestions."



Commercialism is everywhere, which is the reason for another snark-filled guest post by the one, the only Will Durst:


These days, the only thing harder than making money is hanging onto it. Easier to protect dandelion fuzz in a tornado. Everywhere you go, everyone wants a taste. Their only job is to get a grip on your money. And some of these folks are pretty darn good at their jobs.

Solicitations. Donations. Hand-outs. Charges. Taxes. Commissions. Percentages. Invoices. Expenses. Billings. Licenses. Permits. Compensatory Remunerations. Honorariums. Balance due. Ante ups. Shipping fees. Handling fees. Entrance fees. Exit fees. The way we’re getting nickel and dimed from every angle is like being nibbled to death by ducks.

You know that phrase: “The best things in life are free.” Popularized by rich people to keep the rest of us from getting too curious. Besides, nothing’s free anymore. Fast food condiments cost extra. Bags at stores are no longer gratis. Gas stations charge for air and water- setting an ominous precedent.

Banks used to reward people for handling their money, not anymore. Now customers pay for everything. There’s a charge for using a teller. There’s a charge for not using a teller. There’s a charge for telling the teller where to stick the charge.

Airlines have figured out how to make money off of food, blankets, legroom, checked bags, aisle seats, in- flight entertainment and it’s only a matter of time before the bathrooms, seat belts and oxygen masks require prepaid activation codes. “Oxygenated air or non- oxygenated air?”

TV and radio used to be free. Now all the premium content is on cable or satellite. Then after purchasing comes the maintenance fees. Upgrade fees. Squeeze you like a turnip fees. Convenience fees. For whose convenience are these fees? Not mine.

Microsoft and Adobe have moved to a subscription model. Netflix is 10 bucks a month. Third world orphan rescues cost 10 bucks a month. Dating services, cheap gyms, music apps- 10 bucks a month. Everybody wants 10 bucks a month. You know what: ten bucks here, ten bucks there. That stuff adds up. We’ve moved beyond nickel and dimed to death: this is more like sawbucked to death.

There’s a free trial period, but we need your credit card number for processing. And the expiration date. And the super secret code on the back. And your social security number. And your PIN number. And how many moles on your upper right thigh? And what time of the day is best for our Nigerian prince to contact you?

And yes, you’re right. This column is written every generation. Our parents lamented the passing of full service gas stations. Our kids will probably bemoan the loss of free water in public rest rooms. “Used to be, you could let the water run right down the drain until it got to be the exact temperature you desired. No, I’m serious.”

Even when you do buy something, you’re immediately harassed into acquiring other useless stuff, no matter the location. Commercials at the checkout counter, gas station pump, in elevators, cabs, movies, ballgames. Ceiling screens at the dentist are next.

Eventually our refrigerators will be sponsored and make suggestions. Until finally people are convinced to sell naming rights to their children. “Did you hear? Clear Channel Schultz is going out with Enron Nelson. It’s a match made in heaven. And Texas.” Speaking of which, might as well prepare, there will be Geico commercials in Hell.

Will Durst is an award- winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Go to to find about more about his new CD, “Elect to Laugh” and calendar of personal appearances and for info on the documentary film in which he's an integral piece.

  • Once again, Bill is funnier than the comedian. Emphasis on the word comedian. You do understand that this is a humor piece, right?

    You seem to enjoy finding controversy where there is none. It might do your psyche some good to laugh once in awhile. This is a running theme with you, taking things more seriously than they're intended. But if that makes you happy, keep up the negativity. It gives the rest of us a chuckle.

  • "Fast food condiments cost extra." Not where I buy fast food, or I won't buy there. "Bags at stores are no longer gratis." At my store they are. As soon as they aren't it will no longer be my store. "Gas stations charge for air and water." Mine doesn't, that's why I still buy gas there. "There’s a charge for using a teller." Not at my credit union.

    "And how many moles on your upper right thigh?" Nobody forces you to buy useless apps that do for you what you can do yourself. Quit spending money out of sheer laziness.

    "Even when you do buy something, you’re immediately harassed into acquiring other useless stuff," No, you're not; you're faced with advertising which you are free to ignore. You are not forced into doing anything. If you cannot resist advertising, that is your problem, not the fault of the advertisers.

  • RepublicanSwine

    Let's not forget our politicians. Especially since CU. I expect to see GOP wearing Adelson & KOCH sponsorship jackets and Knee-pads soon.