Credit Card Nation

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 1:14 pm

Seen this ad yet?

This has got to be one of the foulest lies, one of the most unlikely and shamelessly misrepresented corporate depictions of reality ever foisted upon the American videocracy. Worse even than the Call of Duty 2 debacle. This is just pathetically, monstrously wrong.

Where to begin? Well, let’s first address the bizarre environment presented to the viewer in this commercial: busy little worker bees droning away at their food-service tasks, with swarms of consumers lighting just long enough to purchase their freshly-minted insta-meals before buzzing off to their next task. Perfectly meshed cogs in a vast, thrumming machine of nourishment-based commodity exchange. The poor denizens of this world seem to do everything but follow actual scent trails to decide where they should be going.

The more you watch it, the more disturbing it is. Other than the poison-dart-frog-bright colors of everything (including the food), the whole thing has a creepy, slightly dystopian air to it, like the movie Brazil with a slapped-on false color palette of toxic paint.

Throw in the apparently compulsory use of a credit card—that traceable, analyzable, 100% privacy-free form of currency—and the scenario grows creepier still.

Woe to the poor citizen who should elect, against his better judgment and all social convention, to fumble out his wallet and pay for his yummish foodlike comestibles with (click the play button below)cash.

What’s wrong with this guy, anyway? Too high and mighty to have his every purchase logged and analyzed by his credit card provider, is he? Well, lah dee dah! Isn’t he just all special and King-of-France-like with his *snort* legal tender.

In fact, ya gotta kinda suspect someone who is unwilling to have the details of his every purchase routed to Visa’s central mainframe. What has he got to hide? Is he a drug dealer or something? Ooo ooo, maybe he’s a terrorist! He does have suspiciously dark hair and eyes, after all. Got a little of the Sunni Triangle in you, fellah? Well, think again, Osama; not in this nightmarish vision of an information economy gone wild! ‘Round these parts, you either pay a 25% APR on your purchases along with a $24.95 per year user fee, or you’re against us.

And as for Ms. Supercilious Q. Rolleyes behind the counter there, lemmetellyou folks: no real merchant out there in the world would ever turn up their nose at cold cash, because unlike the credit card it doesn’t come with a 1 to 5% merchant surcharge attached to it.

No, the only way you’d get that kind of reaction out of a vendor would be if the vendor were actually in the direct employ of the card provider.

Which is really the point of this ad, isn’t it? The whole weird scenario takes place in a credit-company CEO’s fondest (and wettest) dream: the United States of Visa. Where voices are joined in perfect harmony, gumdrops fall as rain from butterscotch skies, and every person on the planet is tied to your corporation by chains of insurmountable debt.

Keep dreaming, Mister CEO: a few more years of business as usual, and you may very well see your vision come to pass.

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