Look at what all you can buy on television!

Like most everyone else, my first exposure to infomercial advertising on television came from Ron Popeil. Remember him? He sold everything from the Chop-O-Matic to the Pocket Fisherman, Mr. Microphone to the Showtime Rotisserie, and the Smokeless Ashtray to the GLH-9 hair-in-a-can for those male-pattern bald spots (I’m not sure about this product; it could have been left-over black paint in a spray can).

While I never ordered anything from the master of “But wait, there’s more,” I always thought he was a No. 1 salesman of the highest degree. I’m sure he could have sold the proverbial freezer to proverbial Eskimos.

Later on, TV advertising advanced to such products as the Bamboo Steamer. With this device I could cook an entire menu of food — small sections of corn on the cob, raw green beans, broccoli, carrots, onions, mushrooms, cauliflower, and so on — with the steam power from a pan under this revolutionary cooking invention.

I came very close to buying one of these but I couldn’t find my credit card (lucky for me, I suppose).

Those advertising pitches were in the past, however. Today is a different time. For example, with all of the satellite channels available to us, many of them are dedicated entirely to selling us stuff.

And I think what the Ron Popeils of today are selling us tells much about the state of our society.

In addition to virtually any kind of fashion items — such as clothes, shoes and accessories — it’s possible to buy jewelry of any description simply with a credit card and a toll-free number (or a website). From less than $10 to rings and watches in the thousands of dollars, it’s there for the buying (or, in some cases, the bidding, as in televised auctions).

There is one channel devoted almost entirely to selling jewelry and foreclosed property in Florida.

No kidding!

The winning bidder can go home with a house and some property in the Sunshine State, virtually sight unseen except for the pre-recorded footage the station broadcasts as part of the selling process to induce bids).

I would have thought that ... 

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