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Truth in Advertising

29 January 2001
Matt is 95% fat free.

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:

  1. Your desire for the product increases to E; or
  2. Your desire remains at D, while your perceived value of the product - that is, the amount you would be willing to pay for it - changes to N, where N is greater than M.

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.


Previously on upsideclown


Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
23 October 2003. Matt writes: Topology
2 October 2003. Matt writes: Haunted
8 September 2003. Matt writes: The Gardener's Diary
21 August 2003. Matt writes: The Starling Variable
31 July 2003. Matt writes: Two stories
14 July 2003. Matt writes: What is real?
23 June 2003. Matt writes: Mapping and journeys
29 May 2003. Matt writes: Extelligence
5 May 2003. Matt writes: Religious experiences
17 April 2003. Matt writes: Seeing the Light
27 March 2003. Matt writes: Flowering
10 March 2003. Matt writes: Climax state
10 February 2003. Matt writes: The Role of Cooperation in Human Interaction
20 January 2003. Matt writes: The same old subroutine
2 January 2003. Matt writes: New beginnings
9 December 2002. Matt writes: Packet Loss
18 November 2002. Matt writes: Wonderland
31 October 2002. Matt writes: Having and losing
10 October 2002. Matt writes: Trees of Knowledge
19 September 2002. Matt writes: The online life of bigplaty47
29 August 2002. Matt writes: Divorce
8 August 2002. Matt writes: How to get exactly what you want
18 July 2002. Matt writes: Eleven Graceland endings
27 June 2002. Matt writes: Listopad, Prague 1989
3 June 2002. Matt writes: Engram bullets
6 May 2002. Matt writes: Sound advice
15 April 2002. Matt writes: How it all works: Cars
21 March 2002. Matt writes: Proceeding to the next stage
25 February 2002. Matt writes: Spam quartet
31 January 2002. Matt writes: Person to person
7 January 2002. Matt writes: All for the best
13 December 2001. Matt writes: Life
19 November 2001. Matt writes: Giving is better than receiving
25 October 2001. Matt writes: Ludo
1 October 2001. Matt writes: Gifts, contracts, and whispers
6 September 2001. Matt writes: The world is ending
13 August 2001. Matt writes: The Church of Mrs Bins
16 July 2001. Matt writes: Things I Don't Have
25 June 2001. Matt writes: Fighting the Good Fight
31 May 2001. Matt writes: Code dependency
7 May 2001. Matt writes: Up The Arse, Or Not At All
5 April 2001. Matt writes: The increasing nonlinearity of time
19 March 2001. Matt writes: Hit Me Baby, One More Time
22 February 2001. Matt writes: Space, Matter, Cities, Sausages
29 January 2001. Matt writes: Truth in Advertising
1 January 2001. Matt writes: Six predictions for tomorrow
7 December 2000. Matt writes: You must reach this line to ride
16 November 2000. Matt writes: The truth about the leopard
23 October 2000. Matt writes: Shopping mauls
28 September 2000. Matt writes: Heavy traffic on the road to Utopia
4 September 2000. Matt writes: Sixty worlds a minute
17 July 2000. Matt writes: You, Me, and Face-space

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