Sometimes I Rhymes: Buy It?

I was forced to download and use Channel 4’s ‘All 4’ catch-up TV app so we could watch a program I’d forgotten to record for Mrs Bryntin. Watching a recorded TV program of course lets you fast forward the ads to skip them completely at x32 speed, the catch-up app disables that and makes you sit through them instead.

Also, in order to get the app in the first place, I had to fill in an online form which wanted the usual personal data. Generally I make stuff up for that. I’m normally OK at making stuff up but this was generally sensible sounding making up stuff which is somewhat rarer. Consequently Horatio B Ratio was born in July 1934, just in case you wanted to know.

With ad blockers on the web browser and being able to hurry past the ads on a recording of anything on commercial stations, it’s rare for me to see just how many ads are really around us all the time so I experimented by turning my browser’s ad blocker off.

What a mess.

It’s turned around from us looking at the world in wonder to being the part of world being looked at and the pervasiveness of forms to fill in to ‘sign up’ for newsletters and the scramble to take information about you in return for some new convenience or other is scary.


Funnily enough, with this sort of general attitude to ‘connectedness’ I haven’t subscribed to having to shout at a ball or other shape of electronics with a friendly sounding name to helpfully do, look up or order stuff for me.

I don’t even speak to Mrs Bryntin much and I just don’t get the point of having a plastic microphone attached to the internet listening to me fart and belch or list the possible locations in the house of Mrs Bryntin’s reading glasses which had the last known location of ‘They were right here.’

Yes, the EU and their GDPR is a good step but web companies seem to have made the opting in and out of various tracking and information supply conditions so labyrinthine that invariably people give up and just click ‘OK, I’m bored now, have it’.

And I know there are WordPress ads on this page… I’ll sort that out when I can afford it.

Anyway, I did a rhyme.


Buy it?

We know what you’re doing
Buy this, buy that
We know where you’ve been
Buy this, buy that
We know all your history
Buy this, buy that
And everything you’ve seen
Buy this, buy that

We know who your friends are
Buy this, buy that
And friends that are new
Buy this, buy that
We know who you know
Buy this, buy that
And who they know too
Buy this, buy that

Everywhere you go
Buy this, buy that
And everything you do
Buy this, buy that
We know what you like
Buy this, buy that
And the price of it too
Buy this, buy that

You think you’ve been clever
Buy this, buy that
When you block our ads
Buy this, buy that
But we have all your data
Buy this, buy that
Because we fund all your apps
Buy this, buy that

Call out to Alexa
Buy this, buy that
Give Siri a shout
Buy this, buy that
Or ask OK Google
Buy this, buy that
We’ll keep an ear out
Buy this, buy that

You could turn it all off
Buy this, buy that
But you don’t though do you?
Buy this, buy that
This is your life now
Buy this, buy that
Welcome to the zoo

7 thoughts on “Sometimes I Rhymes: Buy It?”

  1. I’ve paid a fortune over the years to Sky TV and last year, I’d had enough. I ditched Sky, installed Freesat and bought a NowTV set top box.

    The beauty of NowTV is that with all the box-sets on catch-up, is that there are no adverts. It’s very rare that I watch anything live nowadays.

    Advertising does pay for things, but it gets really annoying. There has to be a happy medium.


    1. Yep, a similar journey. I don’t ‘do’ TV much, possibly will do the Now TV once we are on faster broadband here – we are so rural that ploughing is still done by blokes with a pair of Oxen, we point at overhead planes with wonder and currently the internet is dependent on wind direction and how fast the carrier pigeons can fly.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Very funny writing, especially “I don’t even speak to Mrs Bryntin “.

    I very much relate to all of what you’ve said (I think this is why it’s funny!). I don’t watch much TV, and when I do and there are ads I moan about them all they way through or how annoying/dumb they are. Let’s not get started on all the hair product and make up ads…

    Watching a film on a commercial channel is the worst, and completely interrupts the flow and the spell, so I very rarely watch a film that isn’t a DVD. But even then you have to skip through ads for other films! I feel if I’ve paid for the DVD, that’s it, I should be free to watch the film I’ve paid for (and nothing else) without interruption.

    We use BBC iPlayer quite a bit for the kids, and in the last few weeks they’ve introduced a sign up. You can’t watch unless you follow the instructions of an annoyingly over friendly chap who once you’ve signed up smugly and patronisingly says “there, told you it was easy…”

    I have been known to stop following websites and blogs that have any advertising, again I just want to be immersed in that blog and enjoy the experience, not be hit in the face with an ad every half page. The worst are those where there’s the title of the blog post, then an ad, before you even get to the content, then it says “scroll down to read content”. No thanks, I’ll unsubscribe instead.

    I decided some time ago with my blog that it was worth upgrading to the personal plan at £3ish a month just to spare my readers the ads.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, TV is annoying and the internet worse. I don’t understand why people just give all their personal info away, unblinking and uncritical, in exchange for some insignificant fluffery.
      There’s something about the web where people think they have to do all the forms and fill in the right info… I like getting parcels in the post addressed to ‘A Gnome’ or ‘Norma S Shuffletits’


      1. The internet to many people seems to have a kind of automatically assumed authority. Like a faceless big brother figure that people feel they have to obey.

        I think part of this is due to the general fear and distrust and ineptitude (or perhaps more fairly lack of experience) people have with technology, though you might think that would make people want to share less, not more.

        Because people are not entirely confident in using the internet (or computers generally) perhaps they are more anxious about doing things “right” and following the rules, without questioning who is making the rules, and why they are giving their personal details.

        More widely speaking than this even, I think many people have difficulty managing the influx of stimuli and noise in their lives too. They want to be on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and signed up to a hundred email lists because they don’t want to miss out on anything, even though most of the noise that arrives via these channels is completely worthless and serves no beneficial purpose in their lives whatsoever.

        But they just can’t turn off, can’t say no…

        Ha ha, didn’t mean to get so deep, but it is a big topic!

        Re the parcels in the post, I nearly always use PayPal so my name and address is my real one by default, although on Amazon I have a number of names set up so I can order surprise gifts for other people in the household and they arrive with their name on the box. Which is fun.

        Liked by 1 person

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