Julescosby's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘irony’

Qui veut la fin veut l’Absurde

Posted by julescosby on April 11, 2010

Before we get too far, first you have to watch this video.

I saw this on television as we were leaving a Yorkville bar the other night. And I couldn’t look away. A later internet search showed me that I wasn’t initially hallucinating; that it’s already been watched by several thousand people, and commented on by just about as many.

When I was young I remember my father, after a hysterical hurricane of laughter, wondering how comedians ‘came up with this stuff’. I said it then and I’ll say it again: Dad, it’s all out there. They just have to pay attention to the absurdity that dances around us each and every day.

I have often said that the Absurd is made up of a precise mingling of chance, will, and entropy. Now we can add to this mix the Shake Weight.

One could almost imagine the first meeting between the manufacturer and the advertiser: “You want us to sell…what?” Personally, I find it hard to believe that even die-hard, cuthroat capitalists would fail to see the humour at play. However, maybe they genuinely missed the boat on this one, like when the former Canadian PC party merged with the Western reformers to create the Canadian Reform Alliance Party (CRAP).

Whatever their intentions, the producers of the commercial may have a point: in the age of Michelle Obama, if a woman wants to be fashionably trendy, she’d better damned well have arms to show. And let’s face it folks, the ends often do justify the means, even if the means consist of holding a throbbing phallic device up in front of your face for 20 minutes a day.

So does this product represent social satire, showing us the bizarre lengths that we go to remain fit in a world that seems hell-bent on making us all fat? Or is this just another drop in the sea of Absurdity, unaware of both its immanent singularity and the sea as totality?

I’m still reeling from an irony-induced hangover from living on Queen West, and so my perspective on the matter is still a little biased. I’ll leave it up to you to judge. As for me, summer’s almost here, and I’ve got to get toned. So if anybody needs me I’ll be in the bathroom with my brand new Shake Weight.

Knock first, please.

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