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I’ve noticed that it is almost impossible for me to read through a blog that has advertising in it. I’m not sure if the advertisements are so much of a distraction that my eyes wander off the reading material, or if it’s something deeper in my mind that is telling me to hightail it off the website as quickly as possible.

I think it’s the latter. I get claustrophobic as those ads and announcements close in from both sides of the margins.

When it comes to blogs I can easily read Buffalo Pundit and Buffalo Geek but not so Buffalo Rising, even though their “advertising” is almost exclusively public service announcements. North Coast Online may be a little heavy on things for sale but is generally readable. The Buffalo News blogs – which should be great jumping-off points but fail miserably in this regard – have just enough distractions to, well, distract me. I wish this weren’t so, as these and many other well-written blogs contribute significant feedback to local, national and world events.

My consumption of television has dwindled to almost nothing – watching “24 with my son, The Daily Show, an occasional Scrubs episode and some Sabres’ games – mainly because I can’t stand to watch all the commercials; so much so that if I can record these episodes and watch them later to skip the ads, I do. (Of course, I might record them, but rarely do I watch them later.)

Advertising’s reach has become a real turn-off and has colored my tolerance of television, newspapers and websites. I find most advertising evil even if it is necessary in a society that takes shopping, spending beyond its means and not saving as a way of life. Advertising has become a corruption.

Imagine the day when advertising creeps into the margins of schoolbooks. It’s right around the corner.

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