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Truth in Advertising
29 January 2001
What is "advertising"?
Consider some product P which you desire with an amount D, D causing you to be willing to pay a sum of money M to acquire it. "Advertising" is the activity of some other party such that either:
Your short skirt, your boots, your thighs. The shelf of your breasts. Your smile as you stepped into the room and I saw your thighs, your breasts, your smile and you, in one convincing campaign and united message, for the first time.
Naturally, the advertising is carried out by the one who hopes to profit from the difference between your perceived value (M) of the product P and the real value (R). The cost of advertising should not exceed M minus R. Where M minus R is as large as possible.
And the difference between real and perceived is hard to measure. Where the measurer of the real is but a subjective perceiver, just like you or me. And sometimes the two measurements can become confused.
And when I caught your eye, and then later, when we kissed. And then later still when we shared our minds: M minus R became N minus R and you became valuable in my eyes because as I wanted you, you wanted me. How then was I to know my measurements were confused, your beauty was false, and that when you left me I would realise that your welcoming body and mind that dovetailed mine were lies, that the valuation was wrong, and that there is no truth in advertising.
But what is "truth"?
Let us pretend, for a moment (if a moment we have), that there is an objective universe, and there is also a world as we see it. If an object P has a quality Q, if the Q which is real and the Q which is seen are identical: we have "truth".
A quality may be seen in several ways, through my eyes, or through my ears via your lips. The objective universe can, on the other hand, never be seen only guessed at. We can therefore never tell where truth is to be found. Except with trust in our senses, and time to know what to trust.
At time T1 you perceive a quality Q, You perceive it to be "I love you", spoken from lips soft and warm, close to yours, late at night. Time passes, and you perceive quality Q has changed: how can there be love when there is betrayal? How can there be love when you leave me, without warmth and without explanation?
I see snapshots of my past. In time lapse photography, in a flickbook of events long gone, I see us meet and fall in love. I see us talk late into the night, a meeting of minds unprecedented in all of history. I see titanic forces pulling us together, a passion of souls, a mixing of spirits, a torment of love tortured because eternity isn't long enough for me to lose my life drowning again and again in your eyes.
I see your distance from me grow over time. I see myself falter, losing confidence, desperate to be with you and you desperate to love again. I see myself grasping for a love I know is ebbing away, pouring effort into a bottomless pit of silent misery, just as you pour your love into another. I see you lie to me, making secrets with this other, and me understanding more than you realise, but not saying anything because I never want to hear you say "No".
I see you shouting at me because I no longer understand, and I see me begging, bawling, please stay, please try again, please it hasn't gone too far for too long, all the time knowing that you could never live up to what I thought you were, and that I'd built you up too high, and our love had gone too far away and too long ago to be brought back.
I see myself knowing this but not knowing this, being taken in by my own idea of love, and you leaving one morning, finally, with no note and no conversation, to your lover who isn't me and your life which no longer intersects mine.
At time T2 I return to find your clothes gone, and I kneel on the floor crying, crying at every single CD that isn't there anymore, eyes red and raw for the toothbrush no longer in the bathroom, you no longer in my arms, and for the evidence of the lies, the deceit, and absence of love and the lack of truth which fill my being from the depths of the oceans to the limit of the stratosphere.
Then, what do we mean by "in"?
There is some item K and some item J. When K is part of J, or K is physically within J, or K is a quality of J: we say that K is "in" J.
And when the perceived value and the real value tumble together and become confused, when the quantity of advertising (L) makes N minus R an enormous quantity, such an amount that we're willing to overlook truth, or rationality, what does any of this really matter?
When I am K and I belong to you, when I open my heart to you, when I would walk the Earth for you, does the future or the past matter at all? When love is instantaneous, are the effects of advertising relevant?
In that second you walk through the door I see our futures together. I see you as you really are, and I see what I want to see, together, overlaid. And in the next second when our eyes meet all of time collapses to this single instant and just as I am certain that this is the most perfect love, I forget all our tomorrows, realise that there is indeed truth in advertising; and N, the time I would spend in purgatory for this single atom of time, stretches, stretches, stretches to infinity.