Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Back in the 1980s I was a student at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC and at least once each year I used Amtrak to travel home to Vermont for vacation. I always traveled coach, and back then Amtrak not only didn't offer WiFi but it wasn't even really great at consistent lighting- if you traveled at night and tried to read you could expect to have the lights go on and off as the rickety train rolled up and down the Northeast Corridor- which means that unless you liked arriving at your destination with an upset stomach and headache, you probably didn't try to read.
And because it was the 1980s, you didn't yak away on your cellphone and neither did anyone else because hey, no cellphones. You were pretty much out of touch with the world while you were on that train. And oddly enough, this was ok.
During one trip- I think it was around Christmas- I was sitting in my seat on the train to Vermont when a young woman my age asked to sit next to me. She introduced herself and we ended up talking for hours. At one point she fell asleep on my shoulder while using my headphones (oh yeah, we had Walkmans so we had headphones.) We said goodbye when I exited the train at Montpelier- she was going on to Montreal. I never saw her again, though we did write for a while. Her name was Astrid.
Anyway, I don't have a problem with this Amtrak commercial at all. It looks like these kids are doing what I did on a regular basis almost forty years ago- taking a train home during a break in classes because it's still cheaper than an airplane ticket and can actually be kind of fun if you know how to relax and watch the scenery and enjoy being with fellow human beings. I don't even mind the selfies, because they aren't being obnoxious about it. I also like that they aren't constantly on those phones but are actually doing things like talking, daydreaming, taking in the scenery and napping. It's actually pretty cool.
Ok, back to being a curmudgeon next time. I promise.
Monday, July 16, 2018
...who don't want own the fact that they are lazy, illiterate twits and actually DO something about it instead of embracing this electronic crutch?
Anyone want to comment on the fact this college student is using Grammarly to write a term paper on "The Power of Words?"
Anyone want to comment on the fact that this college student seems completely incapable of constructing a sentence without resorting to cliche's, buzzwords, or outright plagiarism?
Will this college student ever admit that if she had been born five years earlier, her college career would have ended in the first semester because she's an illiterate doofus who has no business taking up a seat in a class which should be occupied by an actual student with actual writing skills, or at least someone who is interested in improving her writing skills rather than letting an online editing program do her writing for her?
Anyone else wonder why teachers even bother assigning research papers or any kind of writing that takes place outside the classroom when we've got programs like Grammarly out there? Unless the student is sitting right in front of you writing in longhand, how do you even know it's her work?
Is it time to admit that Grammarly is to English skills what the calculator is to Math skills, and that asking people to learn how to write is the modern version of asking them to work out calculations using a pencil and paper? I mean, in a world where "do research" means "Ask Google," what's the point of even pretending anymore?
Saturday, July 14, 2018
Seriously, this ad is running during every commercial break- sometimes twice- sometimes TWICE IN A ROW- of tonight's Red Sox v Blue Jays game. And I'm pretty sure that no matter how many times it hits me over the head, I still won't understand what exactly is going on here.
I mean, I get the message. Southwest has high consumer satisfaction ratings. Great. Cool. Whatever. I won't even point out that judging one airline against another in consumer satisfaction is like looking for the tallest dwarf in Narnia these days. Everyone hates the airlines, and for good reason. All the domestic carriers suck. Each and every one. The internationals? I have very limited experience there, but no complaints from me.
What I want to know is, what are these stupid grinning idiots grinning stupidly about? They don't look like they sit on the Board of Directors at Southwest. They look like stewards and baggage handlers and maybe pilots. What are they getting so excited about? And why are they incapable of showing excitement in a realistic, relateable way? I mean, Jesus- they look like they just won the freaking lottery, not that the airline they happen to draw a paycheck from is more popular than an airline they DON'T work for. Why does it matter so much to them?
I guess it's probably a good thing that I have never been asked to fill out a customer satisfaction survey by Southwest. The only time I ever used the airline was in June, 2017 when I had to fly to Tampa. The flight was fine. I liked not paying for my bag. But man oh man did I hate the "pick any seat" strategy. At least a dozen people in front of me on the line to board the plane were lying about their boarding numbers and cutting in front of people who should have been ahead of them. Then I get on the plane and NOBODY wants to sit next to ANYBODY- you walk down the aisle and get surly "well I guess you can sit next to me IF YOU MUST" looks. Very awkward.
Assigned seating, Southwest. It's not that hard. Get on it, will you? And until then, please tell me what the hell these people in your commercials are on, because I want a bottle of it myself.
Thursday, July 12, 2018
So I guess everyone this woman knows is sick of her ignoring her nasty red rash which causes her to scratch, or maybe a little sick of her "it's a horrible skin disease that I insist on showing the world by wearing strapless dresses and scratching constantly but just ignore it it's ok" martyr bit. So one of her friends responds to her "I'm suffering it's ok" drama queen act by whipping out a tablet and showing her a conveniently downloaded ad for Eczema Exposed, or something.
Clearly the friend has more than had enough of the whiny Not Suffering in Silence idiot who thinks that it's perfectly ok to suffer from ugly red itchy skin- and maybe even preferable to actually dealing with it if you can constantly blather about it to everyone you talk to. She's got her tablet and she's letting the idiot know that there are these things called "doctors" who can offer other things called "treatments" so maybe she should get her tired butt and her played-to-death illness down to the nearest heath care facility and check it out.
Or stop fishing for sympathy like an overgrown baby. Either way, the friend has put her foot down. She- and everyone else this woman knows- is done with this nonsense.
Monday, July 9, 2018
1. Remember when the first time you learned about a new action movie coming out WASN'T when you saw it being used to sell some unrelated product on tv? I can't, either. A few years back, I first learned that The Lorax was going to be totally updated and bastardized through a Denny's ad. More recently, I learned that the Jurrasic Park franchise was going through a reboot through a Dairy Queen commercial. Are these movies made JUST to provide cross-promotion?
2. Check out the comments under this ad, if you dare. The level of brown-nosing is almost impressive. These guys are literally having orgasms over a car they know nothing about, will never own- hell, will probably never even test-drive. Why? Because you can actually pick up a little money squealing like a pig on YouTube comment sections, and shame went extinct decades ago.
Saturday, July 7, 2018
You COULD stay hydrated and consume a balanced diet with an emphasis on fruits and veggies and lean proteins.
You COULD re-evaluate your schedule and be realistic about what you can get done in the time you have, taking into account that your body needs adequate rest and that the world's wants and "needs" kind of need to respect that- and will, if you make it....
Or, you could ignore your body and chug a little bottle of caffeine with sweeteners. You'll get a momentary little energy high that will allow you to be productive for a few more hours, and your body will just have to deal with the fact that you used this artificial junk to cover up it's natural warning signs because you're a Superperson after all and You Don't Have Time to be Tired because look at this work you have to do plus your kids want- sorry, "need" you to be at 100 percent all the time.
So pretend that your body is just like your cellphone- with the right addition it can be recharged super-fast with no ill effects. Just take a swig of this stuff and get back to work, monkey. Natural vitamins? Rest? You sound like your parents- you know, those people who are still active and healthy into their eighties because they understood that it was ok to take a break now and then. What dopes, huh?
Friday, July 6, 2018
Yeah, it's an invitation. It's an advertisement, and all advertisements are invitations to purchase something.
So, woman at a bar, if you take advice from coasters, "accept" the "invitation" to buy a glass of whiskey. Because your coaster has an ad for Jim Beam on it. And because Mila Kunis encouraged you to before bleating something about "making history." I don't think I want to know what kind of "history" this woman can make if she drinks a glass of whiskey, but whatever.
Meanwhile, Mila, I've been tossing coins into fountains for years, and we still aren't married yet. What the hell is that all about?