Coping: With “Truth in Advertising”

There’s an old firehouse saying I was brought up with:

Say what you mean and mean what you say.

I have no idea why, but this popped into my head one day last week when I was in town for something, or other.  No, come to think of it, it was Wednesday morning when I met the mechanic down at the airport.  After that, Chinese food was comfort food.

Anyway, the point is I was at my favorite Chinese joint having the big buffet ($6.09) and watching people because it’s fun to do that, now and then.

The mood of the restaurant has changed very little over the years.  One change is they are now showing CNN instead of Faux, at least on the big screen easily seen from my favorite table.

So there I was and I notice the number of people who come in wearing sports-branded shirts.

By the time I was done, I concluded that more than likely, the independence-mindedness of a person could be determined by going through their closets and inspecting their cars or trucks.  It wouldn’t take but a minute.

You see, branding controls us.  If you wear a brand and you don’t own the franchise, you are chattel of the franchise.  A capital asset and that makes you less free and more owned.

One lady had on an “Elkhart Football” Jersey.  Which the logical brain explained, since the woman looked to be mid 40’s – that she wasn’t the football player.  Son, or nephew, more likely.

And then came the lunchtime procession of working males.  About an even mix of white, black, and latin.  (Capityalize all or none of those labels – depends on how well the Political Correctness Franchise has you imprinted.)   More than half the working males were wearing sports franchise or beer shirts.

I found myself wondering:  Do these people have any idea what they are doing?

Free advertising OR (the even worse possibility) actually telling the world that deep down in their deluded minds that they could even carry the water for a major sports team.

Consequently, I’ve come up with a proposal called the “Truth in Clothing” law.

The law would provide that if you wear a shirt or Jersey of any kind, you have to be able to prove some kind of legitimate connection with that franchise.  And, except for current and past direct employees (who have been paid by the club and have tax receipts to prove it), they would be required to identify their role that they are advertising.

For example, the fellow with the Oakland shirt on would have a patch that said “FAN” and the fellow with the beer shirt on (Corona) would have a patch called “USER” so innocent bystanders would know the proper thing to think.

People don’t realize how much their personal “branding” gives away. 

For example, say you’re a cop.  You pull someone over for erratic driving – they touched a line, say.

Who would you be more inclined (if even at the subconscious level) a breathalyzer test to? 

Candidate A)  Someone wearing a Boston Marathon shirt or…

Candidate B)  Someone weather a Corona beer shirt?

Maybe it is because I’m sensitive to branding, marketing, this thing I’ve been writing about lately on the PEOPLENOMICS.COM side of the house – THE FRANCHISE – but seems to me that many people don’t look in the mirror before they go somewhere and ask a very simple question:  “Am I dressed for my role?

Works on cars.  If your car has a dealer named license frame, you are “owned” bitch.  If you have a dealer decal on your car, you’ve been imprinted with their brand on your ass….and are too sleepy to get it.  WTFU/.

Me?  I like to be low key and to be the most unremarkable fellow in sight.  Elaine, no matter what, always ends up looking like a movie star,, and every so often people look at me with the “What’s she doing with him?”  look.  That’s OK. But she does have a few things with “branding”:  A Hooters T-shirt (though she qualifies, lol), a DKNY top and a Fairbanks sweatshirt purchased?  (You get three guesses…)

At least when I walk out of the house, what I am wearing is real.  I own  exactly two logo pieces of clothing.  And one, which I am not “connected to” would be thrown away except it’s a “blend in.”

If you do own a lot?  I suppose my “Truth in Clothing” law would have to exempt outfits like the Seahawk’s 12th Man group.  Everyone is supposed to know that’s a fan organization, although I can’t be sure.  Just a guess based on 11 people on a side and the 12th person would likely be the fan who pays for the other 11, or so it felt like last time I went to a football game.

I quit going to sports events for a laundry list of reasons:  The ticket price, beer price, fan behavior, parking prices, parking lot rudeness,  long lines to pee, people standing up in my sight lines and so forth.  Not to mention the stupid assault on my senses from too much branding.

Were it not for the occasional research trip to see such technology breakthroughs as bottom-filling beer cups, and the current crop of cheerleaders (I’m old, not dead)  there’d be no reason to go anywhere near sports.

Same thing is true for concerts.  I’ve been to a few concerts and many clubs when we lived out in Burbank.  But the truth is, most sound systems slap you with +120 dbm sound and since we have a recording studio at home (along with our own low-power FM station so we don’t need to listen to commercials) we much prefer sound levels at 85 dbn for most music so we don’t have to scream over it.

Even when we’re playing along on drums or doing karaoke, we usually hold well under 95 dbm.  Why should we have to scream to be heard? (See my hobby site at and no, not kidding about any of it.  In fact, the price of a basic audio meter to measure sound intensity is down to $15 bucks, can you believe it?  GM1351 Digital Sound Noise Level Meter 30-130 dB/Auto Backlight Display with Tripod Mounting Option.

On this concert thing:  Again, people don’t think.  Which car will get the canine unit called to sniff for drugs?  The slightly overweight old man with the movie star looking wife, or the guy wearing the NORML t-shirt?

Just saying, there are two reasons to rid your world of brand clothing.  I only buy a product with a brand on it if it’s the cheapest thing and disposable.  I had to buy a hat on a trip recently and the only convenient hat I could find has the stupid checkmark on it.  I didn’t care:  It was $6-bucks. 

I’d forgotten to pack my Beechcraft hat, which has a couple of FAA WINGS program tacks on it.  But that is not false advertising because it’s real, as are the “endorsements.”

I must be the odd duck, though, because no one else seems to give a rip.

Maybe it’s because I don’t watch enough TV and therefore have not been adequately “imprinted” with the Nanny State and Consumer Crazed Society.

Or because I’ve read too many books like Jerry Mander’s Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television.  On our cruise next week, I’ll be paging through his The Capitalism Papers: Fatal Flaws of an Obsolete System.

(Mander sees the same problem we deal with on the Peoplenomics side, namely that a constant growth model (except on market days like today, lol) doesn’t work out in the long term…you end up with so many people and so much junk the planet ends up barren as the monkeys kill themselves on coke overdoses experiments show the bigger apes do the same thing.  We just do it with cars and styrofoam and shit and laugh at them.  It’s quite insane.)

This is all only a first step.  One we get Truth in Clothing out there, then we can move on to Truth in Politics, which would begin by moving the Federal Trade Commission so it reports to the Supreme Court instead of the lobbyist-infested other two choices.

Then the FTC would be given the mandate to make politicians vote and legislate the way they represented in their campaigns or go to prison.  Think how much of an economic stimulus that would be?  Can you imagine how many special elections we would end up holding?

None of which will happen, of course, because Jack Nicholson was right in the great line from A Few Good Men.    “You can’t handle the Truth.”

But we do hope you have a better time handling Monday.

Note From Dream Land

Two weird dreams last night. 

In one of them, a 45-year old male type male (dark hair)  comes back from lunch an an assistant is emptying his desk out.  He has a ceramic vase wrapped with a rough twine that is designed as a weight for balloons and such.

Since the only “day residue” I can come up with on this vase and balloon thing for the desk would be the local NASA Balloon Center and the fact that you only need Pi to 39 places to calculate the width of the Universe (don’t ask) it could just mean that a “high level resignation or firing” of some kind should be along in headlines shortly.

The second weird  dream was through the eyes of someone who was cleaning up from the storms this weekend.  They normally have a creek that flows across the south part of their property, though some kind of low (2’) seawall, or such.  And it backed up and overflowed the back yard and the wind ruined a plant which has 12’ stalks (many) which broke off about ground level (rotten) and will be hauled away this week.

No day residue I can think of there except that I need to mow the yard before the Landry’s get here Friday and we take off on our cruise to Jamaica, etc. next weekend…

How’s that for an odd start to a work week, huh?

I’m going back to bed since I’ll be on Coast to Coast in the wee hours of tonight into tomorrow morning…although there will be some show notes posted around 10 PM Central tonight since we will be talking charts and such.

Write when you break-even,



Coping: With “Truth in Advertising” — 20 Comments

  1. I never wear branded shirts except for working on stuff shirts I get from Goodwill. I personally do not understand the amount of energy put into team sports.

    On the Chinese and Japanese bond deal. They blackmailed us for decades. Every time we talked about unfair trade they would dump a few billion on the market and the GovCorps would panic. A savvy fellow would notice that they could only dump all their bonds once and while it would hurt for a little while we would get over it and the our trade situation could be handled with no more retaliation as they buy little from us anyways.

    An even deeper thought is why are we even trading cash for debt to the FED anyways. All the Governments on the planet are essentially buying each others bonds with their private banks raking in the interest. If the gov. just printed the money at least when they got too liberal with it we would have inflation immediately instead of piling debt on the Grand kids.

  2. When I get thrift store clothes for ranching, welding, caving, or mechanic work, I really don’t care about the logos. They’ll be unreadable after the first few hours of wear, and there’s nobody around to see them anyway.

  3. Back in the seventies and eighties when my old man changed cars (only Fords and always secondhand) his first project was to de-badge it. He would take off all the chrome badges, make and model, putty up the holes and re-spray. He said Ford didn’t pay him to advertise their cars. And he loved Fords. Dealer number plate frames and any decals were stripped off first.
    Branding is where narcissism blends with herd mentality. A very lucrative marketing opportunity, as proven.

  4. Branded clothing hell! How about clean and neat clothing?

    Oldest Son has returned home 6 mo early after his first adventure with a BFF room mate went sour. We had just gotten the upheaval put back in order from his departure when here we go again. Dude has a pretty good little job and when the owner and I have talked he tells me he really likes him. Has taken pretty good care of him too and keeps giving him more responsibility and raises. Well knucklehead likes to jump out of bed 10 minutes before his start time on Saturday morning and was rushing out the door in his Company Polo and a pair of jeans that looked like they had been run through a shredder, I could see his drawers hanging out the back. When he got home I asked him WTF you knucklehead. He says no one can see him from the waist down anyway. Your Boss can and you better start showing him a little more respect than this or you’ll be living in a van down by the river.

    Yes, we are what we show you.

  5. I feel the same way about branded clothing and try to avoid it if at all possible, I do not like wearing things that other people make so that I advertise for them with my body.

    The only exceptions I have made are when my jobs make t-shirts for all the employees; I will wear them, and then use them while painting, gardening, and odd jobs AFTER the jobs end.

    Plain hats, pants, and shirts are still sold thank goodness.

  6. Seriously, is Jerry Mander a real person? Because in OZ it is a joke name. A gerrymander is a way of stacking a voting district to ensure the result that you require.

  7. I refuse to buy branded clothing because I’m insulted that they think I’m dumb enough to advertise their stuff for free. If they want me to be a sandwich board, they should give me the item and pay me to wear it.

  8. just returned from our cruise to Alaska. Great trip on the Ruby Princess, great food and good entertainment, especially Steve Moris the comedian, he had us “rolling in the aisles”.

    Did a whale watching tour out of Ketchacan Got some very good clips of whales. Saw the Mendenhal glacier and others.

    Our friends the special forces colonel and his wife was with us.

    It’s good to be home and catch up on life and of course read your blog in the mornings.

    Hope you and yours enjoy your cruise as much as we did.

    We are planning another cruise, this one. a 15 day cruise to Hawaii out of San Francisco.

    Best to you


  9. G,

    I concur. My husband and I just had to replace both of our vehicles (after buying them used and driving them for 12 years). The first thing that comes off are the dealer stickers – they come off pretty easily when you first get them – add a bit of rubbing compound for the residue and you’re good to go. Oh, and the plastic license plate holder – to the dumper.

    Even when I was a teen I wouldn’t wear any clothes with words or logos on them.

    Keep The Faith,

  10. 1 – I too have a hard time with sports team clothing. I partially agree in a
    with you on branded clothing. However I think the wearer should be reimbursed for carrying the add. Sort of like the old signs over the shoulder.
    2 – You confused RF with audio. Should be dBa, not dBm.

    • sthe hazards of insufficient caffeine loading – I know that…just not until after 4:30 AM, lol

  11. Don’t get too excited about the things people advertise on their shirts. I wear shirts for church fundraisers and other various groupie type events that are usually years old because they come from Good Will for fifty cents each. Don’t look at who I’m advertising for when I put the shirt on, just wear it. Who cares?

    • Likewise. I bought a slew of very nice polo-type golf shirts at the thrift shop for hubby — they all had little embroidered pocket decals on them about the golf charity matches they had been issued — things like UCLA Invitational, Berkeley Boosters, and what not, and people, knowing my husband played golf pretty well, put two and two together and assumed he was a more prosperous, connected benefactor of the community than he actually is. People who know him well weren’t really fooled, but it got laughs.

  12. Regarding your ‘truth in clothing’ proposal, I was a little surprised that you put the onus on the wearer to show the affiliation! I have always believed that the if someone is wearing a logo, they should be paid a fee from the logo/brand owner for advertising their brand! How about a class action suit for the reimbursement! Thanks!

  13. George when are you going to mention the huge sell off of T bills by China to the tune of 200 billion +, and how this will effect the economy in the near future.