Sunday, January 29, 2006

It's so nice to know that Tony cares.

About our relationships, that is. And how do we know this? Why, he tells us in a new piece of SHAM-spam sent to the faithful.

In fact, Tony "believes creating and sustaining an intimate, passionate relationship with your partner is so essential to your level of fulfillment in life that he has recorded new content for his acclaimed Ultimate Relationship Program! In addition to learning common sense strategies for strengthening your bond and rekindling intimacy with your partner, you'll discover how Tony and Sage keep the magic alive in their own relationship!"

Despite the soft-pornish overtones of such lines (you almost ask yourself: what kind of video is this, exactly?), Tony is presumably serious here, which is pretty funny, since if he'd written this copy a few years ago, the line about strengthening and rekindling would've read "Tony and Becky" instead of "Tony and Sage." In those days, in fact, Sage, who reminds one of Pam Anderson Lee (complete with bee-sting lips), was not Sage, but Bonnie, and the last name was not Robbins, but Lynch. SHAMblog regulars know that toothy Tony traded wife No. 1 for wife No. 2 under circumstances that remain a tad fuzzy. The whole affair (wink) became the heart of a sensational libel action in Canada, with Tony suing the Vancouver Sun for its gossipy implications about the timing of the two relationships. In fairness to Robbins, he ended up winning his case (though he declined to testify). But the judge awarded a modest $20,000 in damages. And, well, is that really the point here?

None of this will matter, of course. Like the hordes who buy diet advice from Dr. Phil or family-relationships advice from Dr. Laura (who didn't even know her own mother had died till some time later), thousands will order Tony's advice on sustaining the magic in your marriage. Me? I'm waiting for Ted Kennedy's book on emergency water-rescue, or the Michael Jackson book of bed-time stories....

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Clearle an attempt to compete with Dr. Phil's latest deal with Match.com and his so-called "Find Mind Bind" program...

Steve Salerno said...

Very good point that I hadn't thought of at first, "anonymous." These guys (and gals) are, first and foremost, marketers-extraordinaire, often locked in savage competition with each other...

Thera said...

I wonder if the shining examples of these seasoned hawkers are signaling the coming of affiliate-imitators flooding the market with relationship-tending and -grooming (yawn) books, tapes etc.

Steve Salerno said...

Thera, count yourself lucky for living in the Netherlands, because if you lived here, you'd be tripping over those books (and related products) on your way to work or whatever... There's no escape; SHAM's "relationships wing" is everywhere. There are now books and programs and "mentors" to guide you through every stage of relationship-being, from dating, to "deciding if he's the one," to marriage planning, to "enriching" your marriage, to getting a divorce, to "healing" after divorce, to "getting out there" again and starting the whole thing all over... It is an industry unto itself, and I see no end in sight. The (not so) funny thing is, in my view, the gurus themselves are no small part of what's gone wrong with love and marriage over the past quarter-century, as I try to emphasize in Chapter 9 of my book.... Thanks for joining us here; great to have you aboard!