new and improved is getting old

Ta-daa!  tis the season for the new and improved!  Am I the only person out there that wonders what was so bad with the old and merely sufficient?  Don’t get me wrong, there are things that always need improving, like relationships.  But after a hundred or so years on the market how much better can soap flakes be?  If a product wasn’t as good as it could have possibly been I have just two questions… why did the FDA allow it and can I sue?  After all, I think I was misled and lulled into a sense of false security when I faced the world with a deodorant stick that might have failed me or a detergent that didn’t get my shirts “whiter than white”.  (which is what? bright?  I don’t remember that in the  color spectrum).

Maybe I’m out of sync with the rest of society (I hope so) but does it really make sense to be caught up in a buying frenzy on Black Friday when we know in advance there won’t be but about five of the advertised PS3’s actually on the premises?  After all, in a couple of months there will be plenty of them collecting dust on the shelves, I can be patient.  And I know that my PC is outdated by the time I get it home and take it out of the box, but won’t it let me surf the web just as well as the “new and improved” one that will be outdated as soon as I go to the store, make the purchase,  get home and remove it from the box?

There are such catchy phrases out there that totally stand without reason and the general public continues unawares.  Like did you know there is no Heinz 57 varieties?  This guy Heinz just liked that number and made up an advertisement surrounding it.  There are actually about 1100 Heinz varieties today (after decades of new and improved), but I imagine that isn’t as catchy as “57”.  Also, changing the labels every time a new product was added might be too confusing to the buyer, or we might realize what a huge conglomerate Heinz really is.

These days new and improved has made great headway in the automotive industry, which has always had our safety in mind when designing vehicles.  I found that out when the plastic calipers wore out on my brakes and my Chrysler dealer told me (as he replaced them with metal ones) that the reason plastic was used in the first place was for fuel economy.  How much more can metal calipers weigh than plastic ones?  And on my brakes? isn’t that like… an important component in the safe operation of my mini-van?  I could throw out the ashtray and compensate for the additional weight of metal (given the choice).  Remember the automotive industry refused to put seat belts and airbags in their cars until the government stepped in… then they became new and improved.

New features on telephones have got me riled, too.  Can’t I just make a phone call?  I mean, it is cool that I can store numbers and change the dial tone and play MP3’s and take pictures and clips with sound and down load and text message and surf the web and brush my teeth ( what! yours doesn’t allow you to do that?) but dude,  I just need to phone in my order for pizza.

I am mesmerized by the commercials on T.V.,  especially the one I saw recently about a men’s cologne.  It begins by showing all these really hot babes running and swimming and fighting their way to one location.  Hundreds of them, all determined, all focused, all clambering to the same spot where this one guy is splashing himself with this “new and improved” fragrance.  Who wants to be mauled, stretched, pulled apart and stomped to death by these rabid females?  Weird! It makes me wonder what the bottled stink before made them do, rappel mountains and hewn canoes out of logs to jettison themselves down treacherous rapids and over thunderous water falls with? 

Gee,  …that would have sufficed.

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