Sunday, 24 July 2011

Better than = Good mentality

I noticed a cereal box just earlier this evening that said on the side that Plastic isn't widely recycled, but Cardboard is (recycling ftw?) and below that it commented that 90% of its box was made of recycled materials. That got me thinking. Here I am staring at a box and instead of reaching for the originally intended custard creams I think "...What about the other 10%? That's still 10% of waste that you're chucking out there."

Then it struck that 90% recycled materials is pretty good compared to some of the FAYZ-early-days wasters out there (custard cream to anyone who gets that reference...) and then that in turn made me realise just how weird it is. Though the cereal box didn't say so, so many products will say "We're cheaper than...", "We use higher quality ingredients than...", "We have giant parties involving dildo-wielding polar bears more than..." etc.. And that's supposed to mean something to us.

Most of us are familiar with the chocolate bar that says "10% less fat" (and doesn't neglect to mention the high sugar and carb content, et alia.) It's banal, but it works, apparently.

I just have to wonder at the fact that Better Than has become equivalent to Great, Fantastic, Bien, Wonderful, So Fucking Amazing That You Have To Buy It Now, etc. "We now slaughter 90% less puppies!" doesn't make the 10% puppy-killler company any better. Well, maybe if it was in China (kidding.) And anyone who says that they're Better Than anything is grabbing at straws, probably, to try and market their product. And it often works, to be fair. People don't think about what they aren't telling you. Neither do I, to be honest, but then, I favour particular brands anyway.

And sometimes, it's just a lot easier to take the custard cream than to give a shit about what the mediocre busineses are getting up to these days.

Edit: We see this all the time in the environment-saving circles, too. "Drive a Honda to save the environment" for instance. Well, no, you're still spewing shit into the atmosphere, just less of it.

Better than =/= good.

P.S. This was originally published Friday 27th May 2011.

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