Every day you are bombarded with commercials for things you have to buy to avoid ending up bitter and alone in a pile of your own, reeking filth. You trust these products, because they are state of the art and one of a kind, and because you are an idiot.
Or at least, that's what the advertisers think. It turns out a lot of these amazing, cutting edge products are really bullshit. Not just bullshit, but bullshit you could make on your own, for next to no cost. Such as...
How They're Marketed:
The world of audiophiles is a strange and frightening one. For them, the actual song is bullshit. What really matters is the sound quality. Do you want to listen to t.a.t.u all scratchy and low fidelity, whatever that means? Fuck no, you want to hear it with such clarity and richness the pseudo-lesbian antics are practically tickling your eardrums right alongside every awful note.
And you can't do that with your shitty Walkman. You need high tech audio equipment. Shit like Pear audio cables. They fucking rule, because they cost thousands of dollars.
Pear stays in business based on the "holy shit" principle. As in "holy shit, those speaker cables cost thousands of dollars" or "holy shit, I breathe through my mouth, and these cables cost thousands of dollars, therefore they must be the best and I should buy them."
Pear's Anjou cables apply "rigorous consideration of applicable scientific and engineering principles followed by real world testing." That means they're so highly advanced that when you use them to connect your 8-track player to your speakers, if it happens under a full moon, Aqua may actually appear and sing "Barbie Girl" live for you. No shit. It's happened before. Twice.
It's not like they're doing anything else.
What it Really Is:
Like any audio cables, the Anjou cables--and other insanely expensive cables like them--are kinda sorta just cables. Pretty much a few pennies worth of copper and plastic. Not only do the expensive cables not make thousands of dollars worth of difference, they don't make any difference. To prove it, skeptic James Randi offered $1 million to anyone who could hear the difference between cheap cables and the high-end ones in a big, public "you are full of shit" throwdown.
Seriously, just take the blind hearing test, cheap cables vs. Pear, and if you can pick out the difference, you're a millionaire. As it stands, Randi still has his million dollars and you can get some decent cables at Wal-Mart for a few bucks.
How it's Marketed:
Toothpaste ads are quick to inform us that every time you smile you're forcing the world to tolerate your corn-filled shitlog of a grimace and no one anywhere is enjoying it. Indeed, the fact is no matter how much you brush with your tube of Sponge Bob Bubblegum flavored toothpaste, your teeth are still manky, stained pillars jutting forth like the decrepit fingers of the damned. Brooke Shields wouldn't be half the woman she is today if she was walking around with the Crypt Keeper teeth she was born with
Brooke Shields, 1983.
Fortunately, toothpaste manufacturers offer redemption via just a few weeks of vigorous brushing with their cutting edged whitening toothpastes! What a miracle of modern fucking science!
What it Really Is:
Whitening toothpaste, by and large, is regular toothpaste with grit in it. It can be anything from aluminum oxide, which is the main ingredient in chalk used for billiards, to calcium carbonate, the basic ingredient of many antacids. Basically, if it's gritty, it'll scrub shit off your teeth. They could use sand in whitening toothpaste and get the same effect.
Or you could grind your teeth on a big bag of rocks.
Another popular ingredient is hydrogen peroxide; that stuff that mom put on all your scraped knees that fizzed up like nobody's business. Peroxide does have bleaching properties, but in toothpaste is at such a low level its effect is pretty negligible. So your dentists formulated and recommended whitening formula's actual working components could be mimicked at home if you drop your toothbrush on the floor and simply choose not to wipe all the crunchy shit off of it before brushing.