September 3, 2009

The Art Of "There's Nothing On"

One of my favorite things about infomercials is their extraordinary ability to make the everyday mundane activities we all carry-out with such reckless abandon appear to be hazardous and or life threatening. "Don't throw your back out trying to cut your nails!" "No longer will you have to suffer the pain of tangling your arms in a blanket while trying to reach for the remote and stay warm!" I think that's why they air these starting at 2am. The idea of your life being tragically brought to a halt by a potato slicer suddenly becomes something more than a possibility during these sinister twilight hours. I have to admit, somewhere between Family Guy and Sunrise Earth, I too have found myself mysteriously realizing the appearance of a void in my soul which could only be filled with a Sham-Wow and the complete DVD box set of P90X.

Below is proof that one day, not too long ago, these 30 minute-long, self-inflicted torture sessions were nothing more than hopes and dreams inside the infant minds of loud-speaking, bearded men. These patterns started as physical cards in a studio, on which a camera would focus when programming had ceased for the day. Also used for calibration, these cards have become symbols of a culture transfixed by television. After collecting these images and appreciating their nuances and character, I'm not sure which I'd rather look at at 3 a.m. - these patterns or Vince Shlomi's awkward squint. RIP Billy Mays... RIP.