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Serenity now.

I just found Alan Watts and another reason to laugh at the world. (Also, alter is change and altar is a religious table. One letter, y'all.) In the Philippines, there are ads for skin whitening creams and lotions and various related procedures. In the States, there are ads for tanning lotions and sprays and booths. One side of the world that tans naturally wants to get paler, and the other side that's already pale wants to get darker. Seeking to change their very bodies to match those so different from their own? Humans are weird. Maybe it's because of the history in both places. In one place, hard labor may have meant time in the sun, while hard labor in the other may have meant time on a factory floor. Higher incomes mean increased leisure time mean activities that show up on one's skin, like tennis or chamber music. Maybe it's because of modern-day influences, where foreign introductions in both places change the ideas of beauty that exist within the indigenous culture. Or maybe I'm overthinking this, and it's all about the ads. I got curious about advertisements, these story snippets that signal the time for a bathroom break or prod the shoulder demon into demanding bad-for-you-but-eating-it-anyway-because-pizza. Who makes these ads? Where are these ad people, and what products do they make ads for? Ads are a reflection of the company they advertise, but they're not necessarily made by the company themselves. While some companies use their own people to make these ads (I work here and I'm happy ignore the pins holding my grin at the corners), many others use ad agencies to portray their products through any means that get people shopping with them. So what ad agencies devise (not device) these messages that prompt comedy monologues on medications' side effects and impulse buys of cars-clothes-makeup? There's a subscription service that collects information on which companies partner with which agencies. Wondering why ads for two different products use similar music and vocabulary? Are they from the same place (and does that place need a thesaurus), or are they different ad-makers getting script ideas from the same source? The answer to that is in the pay part of the site. One semi-PD purchase at a time, though. However, even without a subscription, there's still a plethora of information on the agencies themselves, organized by location and revenue, as well as on the companies that spend the most on advertising. Ads, like anything else, can be a good influence or a bad one. Someone losing her hair may choose to face that problem by borrowing an image of a woman with a shaved head (although she had huge hoop earrings, and I've never liked that look on me), or someone may choose one candidate over another, not because of qualifications, but because of what the competitor shows. Either way, thanks for the ideas. (And cats rule.)

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