Monday, June 29, 2009

Culture of hype

When the death of Billy Mays can lead CNN.com, you have to know that our culture has lost its way into inconsequential worship of D-grade celebrity. Mays may have been a great guy, but his cultural value as a penny-ante, grating, shouting cable TV pitchman for crappy overrated products was a net negative.

I only wanted Mays off my television, not dead, but god, is this what we've come to? At least Michael Jackson had real, honest-to-god talent to accompany his transcendent weirdness.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I never wanted this to happen to Mays. He startled me so many times with his yelling, and I would mute the TV whenver one of his commercial came on the air. I swore I would never buy anything he was selling, because he was YELLING. Now, in a strange way, a part of me feels guilty. Rest in Peace Billy.

TonySullySullivan said...

Billy May's "style" (if one can call it that), was a throw-back to a earlier, more primitive form of marketing. Yelling to make a point is such a turn-off that as soon as he came on the TV, I couldn't hit the mute button or change the channel fast enough. Of course, he looked like a Neanderthal, and which really goes nicely hand-in-hand along with his throw-back delivery. But, I suppose, if one considers the number of mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging people here in the U.S. I can see why his employers felt he could actually sell their useless, inferior products. And for the rest of us, we will still continue to be assaulted by his obnoxious delivery asthe greedy merchants vow to continue using the commercials he made just before he died.

Anonymous said...

At least there will not be anymore of his crappy commercials being made. Anything he sold I knew it was crap. Died his hair blacker than I've ever seen. I'm glad he is gone, every time he came on the TV it was painful.

Anonymous said...

Alas, ther WILL be more of his "crappy commercials". Read it and weep:

"Many Billy Mays commercials will be pulled until July 6, the day of his funeral. After that, they will air once again, including new ones premiering July 11."

When you're selling crap, the only way to do it is: keep yelling and hope that eventually, people will buy it - just to shut you up! His commercials should be buried along with him.

George Spelvin said...

Sincere condolences to the Mays family. For me, he was loud and ineffective. How marketers found him to make any kind of difference in their product, and now wanting to keep his unctious ads on the air is both morbid and telling about the marketing business in general.

When I see his ghost on TV in the coming months, I will look to Billy's spirit and ask, "Billy, help me turn the channel, please."...whenever my remote gets stuck. Billy, if there had been Oxyclean BATTERIES for my remote, I would have bought them from YOU...for that purpose.

globeisatrocious said...

He was incredibly effective, love him or hate him. My kids could care less about Jackson - music having turned over 17 times since 'Thriller' - but Billy Mays was more real. And his show, which I caught the first episode, and his appearance on Conan, made me realize he was nothing like the 'we'll double your order' guy. A real hustler who earned every dollar made. Viva capitalism! RIP Billy!

The Capitalist said...

He was rather significant if you think about it. Think about the billions he has generated in sales. He has helped inventors who have risked so much of their assets become very successful and reach their dreams.