Darker Motives


 As a suspicious person, I can't help but question motives.    

Sometimes, that serves me well.   Like, the craigslist ad respondent who wants to paypal me the money up front.  See, he's buying for his son in Russia and will arrange to have a mover come pick up the item in the future.
I click Delete and move on.  If I'm feeling froggy sometimes I reply from my special Gmail account that looks like an official person. 

But, what of less nefarious, more subtle hidden motives?

The guy that friends you on facebook because he wants a job and feels you can make that happen.    The NRA robo-calls.   The seemingly helpful semi-famous photographers on social media who happen to offer training, ebooks, prints, iphone apps, camera accessories and cardboard stand ups of themselves for sale on their sites.

Look, I get it.  People gotta eat.  I don't hate commerce and I sell stuff too..     It is when that line between "content' that "commercial" get blurry is where my consumer spidey-senses begin to tingle.  I attended a webinar recently on photography as an art form.   It was a good webinar.  It was a paid webinar.  I enjoyed it, I got something out of it.  I like the person who put it on, I think he's honest and sincere, despite relative fame.
They had stuff to sell.  I bought some.   Everything was "above-board" and open.  I like that!

Then, I'm listening to talk radio the other day. Commercials start to take on the format of a "news desk".   "Hey, this is Art Artinson here from the Institute on Made-up made-upness.    This just in, there has never been a better time to invest your savings in a company that sells and processes information related to the acquisition of the details necessary to begin investing in Gold!!  Gold is at a 2,000/year high.  Not sense Cleopatra has gold been valued and as those evil democrats continue to kill our country, it will only go higher!!!!"

(I'm not a democrat or a republican)

..and the ads don't stop there.   "Food Insurance, Hero Tabs, e-Cigarettes"... and all manner of nearly-scam-seeming items for sale.    The ones that really get me are the in-midst-of-the-content ads.    "Let me take just a minute to tell you about (blah).  I use it, love it.   I keeps me (happy) and makes life better.   Go to (blahblahblahDOTCom) and use referral code (TalkingHead) for a .01% discount".

I kinda shudder to imagine the closed-minded demo-republicrat hanging onto every word with their check card in hand.   That's probably not the economic stimulus we needed.

I had a guy, awhile back, friend me on G+ to push on me the merits of Islam.  I think it is great when people are excited about their beliefs and this guy was a well-meaning soul.   But what was his motive?  To follow my photography and programming exploits? Nope.  Every day, I'd get these notes on how in Islam you can astral-project to some other time or location or the immense sense of peace it brought to his life.   The guy was a living breathing brochure.

Hey, cool man. 

I'm happy with my vacuum cleaner, I can pray for myself and I'm not looking for magazine subscriptions no matter how badly you deserve to go to college.  I'm happy with my Tupperware and I know where to buy soap.  

The sad part is.  When my virtual doorbell rings and the person standing there is simply inviting me over for coffee, I will miss at least the first 5 minutes of our conversation while I size them up for potential commercial dangers...