Christiana Raymond-Pope, Ph.D.

If Christiana had a theme song for her life it would be “Mr. Popiel” by Alfred Yankovic.

Growing up in Columbus, Ohio, Christiana enjoyed time at many of Ohio’s 110 natural lakes. She frequently saw local anglers use what she considers one of benchmarks of 20th-century technological innovations, the Ronco Pocket Fisherman. It wasn’t the invention that so grabbed Christiana’s attention so much as how so many people bought it – from TV. Particularly that people would sit, watch a commercial for half an hour to an hour then purchase the product being pitched. Christiana quickly learned to use her family’s VCR to record and study infomercials. When she’d be out of town for a tennis competition, she’d program the VCR to record the infomercials she’d miss. From famous icon Ron Popiel and the infamously vicious Vince Offer/Billy Mays spiel off rivalry, she consumed it all.

Christiana would put to shame most hardcore infomaniacs, going so far as recognizing the various captive audience members and following them from infomercial to infomercial. She has categorized and followed 37 different audience members through various infomercials, often noting a particular audience member’s penchant for polka dot hats or octangular frames. Her knowledge of such minutia could be yours as well, operators are standing by.

Christiana holds forth a theory she’ll hotly defend, that insights into these late-night insomniastic programs to sell cultural detritus are prophetic in their prediction of national trends and financial upswings and busts. According to Christiana, if you watch the early iterations of the Damasu 950 infomercial, Bill and his co-host Karen’s references to Charles Keating precluded and hinted at the coming Savings and Loan scandals. But wait, there’s more, she claims, the popularity of the superhero movies are a byproduct of the influx the popular exercise regimens highlighted by such visionaries as Tony Horton and Billy Blanks. You don’t need to take her word for it though, as she has also collected testimonials of fellow late-night infomercial watchers and their movie-watching habits. This may be a reach, she’ll joyfully admit, but as these ideas aren’t available in stores, what do you have to lose?

She currently has over 1000 hours of recorded infomercials recorded and saved for her viewing. She is currently in the process of digitalizing her collection for future historians that she’ll happily distribute for 4 easy payments of $19.95. If you act now, she’ll throw in a copy of her dissertation from the University of Minnesota about clinical ACL asymmetry in relation to injury reinjury and muscle dysfunction at no extra charge.

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