Friday, October 30, 2009

Maxwell House likes to make fun of Mentally Ill People

I thought the Subway "Five Dollar Foot Longs" commercials were bad enough- two-minute parades of people elbowing each other out of the way to mug for the camera and chant "Five Dollar Foot Longs" before giggling uncontrollably. But Maxwell House has far less respect for its core audience, as demonstrated by it's new "Fresh Seal" campaign.

The idea is that Maxwell House Coffee now comes with a "fresh seal" plastic lid which keeps the coffee Fresh. Pretty damned simple concept, seems to me. But of course, we can't just have a spokesperson or announcer tell us that the lid keeps the coffee fresh. We have to round up all the village idiots to sit in little groups and entertain us with inane, pointless, insipid blather concerning- well, what we already figured out.

"The lid says fresh" one desperate-for-attention suburban mom tells us. She's quickly topped, though, by another woman who adds "you smell that coffee, and it's like mmmmmm.." Moron # 3 will not be deterred- "It's like MMMM- MMMMM!!!"

But wait, here's the winner of the Was It Really Worth It Just to Get Your Mug on TV? contest: One idiot keeps opening the plastic lid and pretending that the coffee is singing-- "Freeeessh! FREEEEEEEESSSSSSHHHH!" And the people around him giggle with delight. Oh yes, this guy is the Wit of the Neighborhood. Never, EVER throw a party without inviting him first. And if he doesn't show, apologize to your guests and shoo them out the door.

I mean, ugh. The plastic lid keeps the coffee fresh. I GET IT. I don't need to see people talking about it, joking about it, or feeling inspired to do a lame ventriloquist act over it. And Maxwell House? Making fun of the mentally ill is simply not funny. These people need help, not camera time. (So do the "Five Dollar Foot Long" tools, but I've done that snark already.)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

It's Hard to put Non-food on the Family These Days

That woman is back- you know the one, the rather stringy, tight-lipped, bitter looking Struggling Mom already burdened by Too Many Taxes who is ready to just EXPLODE if "Washington" decides to pass a tax on "Juice Drinks and Soda."

This time, she's in the Supermarket, pushing a cart which appears to have a pretty nice array of veggies and fruits in it. Her little son walks up with what looks like a DVD. "Can I get this one?" he asks plaintively.

"Son, we've talked about the Bad Times" mom intones. Oh jeesh, ,can we get more stilted dialogue and wooden delivery, please? How about "no, we are here to buy groceries" or "no, Christmas is around the corner?" I get the impression that mom pulls this "No, Son, like we talked about before, the Unemployment rate rose by a tenth of a point last month" every time her kid asks for a Snickers Bar.

"Yeah, I know- we're on a Budget" acknowledges son, mournfully turning away to put the DVD back. And now it's time for Mom to turn to the camera and issue her warning to "Washington" again- "we hear talk that Washington is considering a new tax on juice drinks and soda. They say it's just pennies, but those pennies add up when you are trying to feed a family. We just can't afford any new taxes right now!"

As the narrator tells us who to thank for this leaden, illogical crap, we see chastened but still hopeful son hold up a bottle of pale, pinkish fluid which I guess is supposed to be Generic Brand Soda. Mom nods in the affirmative (she has to feed her family, after all!) and pale, pinkish fluid goes into the cart.

There is so much wrong with this, it's hard to decide where to begin. First of all, if "Washington" imposes a federal sales tax on soda and juice drinks by a few pennies, do those pennies really "add up" when you are "trying to feed a family?" Maybe- if you are trying to feed that family on juice drinks and soda. Second, in two commercial appearances I have yet to see this woman with anything resembling a "juice drink." In both commercials, she's either about to purchase or already has purchased 2-liter bottles of Brand-X soda. Thirdly, please, lady, get the fucking chip off your shoulder- if its so damned hard to feed your children on your current family budget, then Stop Spending Money on Junk Like Soda!!! It's not like bubbly fizzy chemically-treated water is a necessity, like a cell phone with unlimited (and FRESH) minutes.

Oh, and spare us the final "comforting hand to the neck of sad child" scene as the ad fades to black. We've already seen your modest but more than adequate home in the suburban neighborhood, not to mention your SUV. I have no sympathy for a whiny martyr who burdens her children with her utter cluelessness about money. And I won't until I see this woman in a commercial in which she says "Washington. We just can't afford Unemployment Insurance Extensions, Infrastructure repair, Social Security or Medicare. Please, cancel those programs, right now. Because there's no WAY I'm paying another nickle for my family's weekly allowance of Mr. Pib and Shasta. We've got to feed our families, don't we?"

Monday, October 26, 2009

Another Wretched Anti-Health Care Ad- What a crappy way to start my week.

For some reason (oh, I remember now- because I forgot to bring in my XM from the car the night before) I find myself watching Morning Joe on MSNBC at around 7 AM. And on comes a commercial that basically ruins my mood for the day.

We see a grandson and his grampa, sitting on the couch. Little boy says "are you worried about your surgery?" Grampa: "Sure."

Grandson: "Is it going to be expensive?"

Grampa: "Doesn't matter. The government's paying for it."

Next we see Grandson put on a suit, get into over-sized shoes, and pick up a briefcase as the narrator intones "Government Run-Health Care has to be paid for by someone." Out the door goes the little boy with his briefcase, while Lazy-Ass Selfish Oh Boo Hoo I Want My Precious Surgery Grampa sits on his butt and stares into space.

Seriously, this is so incredibly weak. The old "burden on our grandchildren" bit? Is that really the best you can do, National Family Research Council? You really want us to turn against the Public Option because it "will put a burden on our grandchildren?"

Anyone else think that this "debating point" has been done to death? Notice how every time politicians try to do fix some major wrong, or cure some societal ill, a gang of drooling trolls on the other side pulls a Mrs. Lovejoy and screeches "Oh won't somebody PLEASE think of the CHILDREN??" Now we've got Grampa cast as the Bad Guy because he doesn't want to go bankrupt paying for his surgery. Which side is arguing "why don't you just die," again?

I could go on and on all night about this commercial, but I'll settle on making a few quick points:

The pathetic, lame argument made by this commercial could easily have been made about Social Security, Medicare, the GI Bill, and a whole host of other government programs when they were first proposed- "oh, our grandchildren are going to have to foot the bill for this." Yes, just like they'll have to foot the bill for illegal wars, massive tax cuts for the wealthy, and the gutting of our infrastructure allowed by the suddenly penny-conscious Right. Where are these pigs when it comes time to appropriate hundreds of billions of dollars to invade and occupy sovereign nations? Where are they when the Government decides to cut corporate tax rates or drop the taxes for America's richest 1 percent?

And one more thing- if the Family Research Council is really concerned about leaving a burden of debt on our grandchildren, it ought to get behind the Public Option. Because forty years after the passage of Social Security, there weren't a whole lot of people out there damning the Roosevelt Administration for pushing it through. Chances are, if we are condemned by our grandchildren forty years down the road, it will be because we listened to the tea-baggers, the Sean Hannitys, the Mark Levins, and the scumbags at the Family Research Council- and did nothing.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Heartbreaking Bait and Switch on Health Care Reform

I was too angry to comment on the newest incarnation of the "Harry and Louise" ads rolled out earlier this year in a stealth attack on real health care reform. You know the ones- where a now-elderly Harry and Louise gripe about how FINALLY, with a LITTLE LESS PARTISANSHIP, Congress may get to REAL health care reform. The one that made me scream FUCK YOU YOU SLIMY BASTARDS at the TV screen, as the two actors playing Harry and Louise played a rather important role in killing Health Care reform in 1993-- and how many people have gone bankrupt, lost their homes, and DIED due to the cost of medical care which has only continued to increase since then, you vicious cretins, may you burn in hell?

This new commercial makes me even angrier, but I just have to comment on it, anyway. Here's a sad-looking, middle-aged man sitting in a virtually empty house, packing up the last of his boxes of memories. He looks fondly at a framed photograph of a middle-aged woman, no doubt his wife and, once upon a time, his High School sweetheart and still the love of his life.

Then we see the sad man walk out of his house carrying a cardboard box. A "Sold" sign is on the lawn- ah, we are starting to get the message. This man has sold his house. Has the woman in the picture passed away, making living in this house too painful to endure?

Then we see the sad man walking through an apartment building, a rather confused look on his face, looking for the door with the right number. There it is- and he enters. Here's his new home, a rather shabby apartment with those cheap venetian blinds they all seem to come with. He sits on his box, and looks at the framed photo of his wife again.

Now he's in his car, and he's driving into a hospital parking lot. And now we see that the woman in the framed photograph is not dead- she's alive, and in a hospital bed, and so happy to see her husband and love of her life, though through her smile we can see her pain. At last, we get the point of the commercial- this couple has lost everything because one of them got sick, and her medical care has eaten away their savings. To pay for her surgery and her medication, they've sold the house they probably bought as newlyweds, raised their kids in, and hoped to grow old together playing gin rummy and watching movies on TCM in.

We are given what ought to be an obvious caption: "No One Should Lose Their Home Paying for Medical Care."

Very effective ad- for Single Payer Health Care, or at the very least, the Public Option. But what are we urged to do at the end? "Support Consensus Health Care Reform." Consensus Health Care Reform?? CONSENSUS HEALTH CARE REFORM?? What the hell does "Consensus Health Care Reform" mean? Why, it means Health Care Reform that can be supported by both Democrats and Republicans, of course. Which means no Single Payer plan, and never you damn mind that Single Payer works wonderfully in most of the civilized world. Which means no public option. Which means no caps on health insurance premiums. Which means no laws banning denial of care, no measures to allow the government to negotiate the price of medication, and no requirements that insurance companies provide affordable policies for people with pre-existing conditions.

In short, "Consensus Health Care Reform" means no reform at all.

So if your heart strings are tugged by the plight of sad man and the woman in the framed photo, you should support a bipartisan bill which will do NOTHING to help people who find themselves in the exact same situation? Come on. What kind of soulless ghouls could make a commercial which very honestly portrays a very real crisis, and then calls on viewers to support a "solution" that does ZERO to meet it?

I really hope this commercial backfires on the inhuman slugs who made it. "No One Should Lose Their Home Paying for Medical Care." I agree- so let's join pretty much every other Democracy on the planet and adopt single-payer. And actually solve the problem. Even if we have to "settle" for a Partisan (gasp, horrors!) bill which passes 51-50 with Joe Biden casting the tie-breaking vote. Because the proper role of Government is to solve problems, not seek some mirage of "Consensus" that leaves us no better off than when we started.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

But is it a Quality Life?

Steve's trying to call his friends, but he finds himself trapped in a bubble which is supposed to represent the limits of his calling plan. Sucks to be you, Steve.

"So Steve said 'toodle-oo' to his old calling plan, and switched to the Now Network...." Ok, stop right there. I find it very hard to believe that Steve actually said "toodle-oo," or that anyone who uses the phrase "toodle-oo" has friends.

Now Steve is no longer limited in the number of people he can call. "So Steve decided to call every person in the United States. He'll get done when he's ninety-three." And we see a white-haired, white-bearded and bent over Steve completing his life's mission, to call every single mobile phone in the United States. I guess he's white-haired, white-bearded and bent over because that's been the accepted symbol of old age at least since Washington Irving published Rip Van Winkle, some time around 1830.

So, what's this commercial trying to sell, again? The ability to call every phone in the United States? Who wants to do that? Is this a commercial warning the viewers not to fuck away their lives blathering away on their phones to total strangers (not likely- I think that's pretty much what they want us to do)? Is it just trying to remind us that cell phones can still be used to have conversations with people (because seriously, it's been a long time since I've seen people in a phone commercial using the actual "call" option)?

In a more innocent age, I'd say that this phone company is just trying to astound us with the unlimited access to other people's phones that they give you. But considering our culture's obsession with the stupid blinking beeping things, I really think that there ought to be a disclaimer at the bottom of the screen-Do Not Attempt.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Asthma is the least of your problems, lady

For a full five minutes, the silhouette of a shapely woman wearing high heels marches all over the screen, turning on a dime, changing directions, sometimes aggressively plowing straight ahead as if she's about to come right out of the screen into my living room, then turning left and crossing the length of my tv like the New England Patriots heading down the field in a two-minute offense, continuing to blather on about Symbicort even though she's no longer looking at the viewer.

Twice during this commercial, this silhouette woman defensively tells us that the facts she just bleated "make Symbicort right for me." Who is she arguing with? Why is she pacing this way and that, moving her hands nervously as she goes, while muttering things like "I know that Symbicort won't replace an emergency inhaler?" Why does she only appear in shadow, as if she's in the Witness Protection Program giving testimony on this top secret weapon produced by the criminal masterminds at AstraZeneca (which does sound like the kind of organization James Bond might be sent to destroy?)

Watching this woman's frentic movement throughout the entire commercial, I come to three possible conclusions:

1. This woman has gone insane, and is simply babbling to herself as she struggles vainly to discover a way to escape from the cage she has found herself in. She's like a cheetah displayed in some cruel roadside menagerie, forever pacing back and forth. For God's Sake, AstraZeneca, open a door and let her out already.

2. This woman is suffering from Restless Leg Syndrome, a nasty side effect that some May Experience from taking Symbicort, which is nevertheless Right For Her.

3. Constant movement is a required therapy in her daily struggle to combat Glowing Lung Syndrome. Did I mention that her lungs glow blue and red during most of the commercial? They remind me of the solar lights my parents installed around their pond, and they totally creep me out. Your lungs are glowing, and you are concerned about dealing with bouts of asthma?

And when she concludes by telling me to ask my doctor "if Symbicort is right for me," it sounds a lot more like an order than a suggestion. I guess AstraZeneca's theory is that if the actress is bold and scary enough, the viewer will feel threatened into calling the doctor-- "I'd better try this medication, because Scary Lady in Shadows who couldn't stop walking around and who had glowing lungs told me too."

And who is going to refuse a command by a woman with glowing lungs?

Monday, October 12, 2009

If you Want to Sell Out, Sell Out

We hear a hideous version of the Beatles classic "All You Need is Love," brought to us by Blackberry. Maybe in the 60s, all we needed was Love. In the year 2009, all we need is Love and a blinking, beeping box that we can use to download video, tweet our every move, keep track of sports scores and avoid developing actual relationships with the human beings around us.

We hear a not-quite-as-horrible version of the Cat Stevens classic "If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out" brought to us by some other cell phone company (at this point, who really gives a shit which one? ) I think that when Stevens (I know that's not his name anymore, but it was at the time) wrote that song, it was supposed to be a celebration of individuality and a call to reject the call to conform being pushed upon us by society. Now wanting to "be me" apparently requires me to get a phone that looks a lot like the one everyone else owns. I can't "be me" unless I have this phone, because this phone will allow me to express What it Means to Be Me. Or something.

It's not enough that cell phone companies want us to spend pretty much every waking moment of our lives staring at some little screen while pushing buttons. Now they are reaching into the past to find songs about how unimportant material things are and how beautiful each of us is, if we are only willing to show the world who we are, to SELL PHONES. More than that- we are being told that if we want to be loved, if we want to be creative and complete, we must own one of these stupid phones.

Well, I've got a little Nokia that I use because it's cheaper and more convenient than a land line. I can use it to check my email, but I never do. I guess I can't use it to Twitter, but I'm not sure, because I'm not about to try. I can't use it to download video, and I couldn't care less. So I guess I'd better reconcile myself to a life without Love, in which I never really learn Who I Am.

Sucks to be me, I guess. Doesn't suck to be Cat Stevens, though, who has apparently decided that it's all well and good to be devoted to peace and harmony with the universe, but business is business.

To paraphrase Thomas More: "Whatever may be done by Texting, you may rely upon me to do."

A young man strolling down a residential neighborhood sees the plaintive plea stapled to a telephone pole-- "Please Help Me Find This Dog." Being a thoughtful, warm-hearted fellow, he does the most helpful thing he can think of- he whips out his cell phone (oh, who are we kidding? He had it in his hand already, of course!) and takes a photo of the sign.

Using the Verizon Network, he then sends the photo to the people in his address book. And now we get to see the photo bouncing from phone to phone- one person after another sees it (one woman shakes her head sadly before passing it along) and sends it along, until pretty much everyone in town has seen it.

The Happy Conclusion to all this texting is that the original Young Man With a Heart gets a text- FOUND THE DOG!! And we see the sad owner's face light up as she arrives home to see Young Man sitting on her front stoop, releasing the dog to run into Now Happy Owner's arms.

Here's my rather obvious observation: At no point in the commercial do we see anyone actually LOOKING FOR THE LOST DOG. Just passing the buck-- err, text message- to other people. The assumption of every single person who receives this text is clearly "someone else will find this dog. I'm doing the only thing I am capable of doing, the only thing I can reasonably be expected to do, by passing along this message."

The dog is "found" because among a group of girls who are petting the dog is one who happens to get the message. Wow, what a logic-bending coincidence: Just as I am petting this strange dog, I get a text message letting me know that it's a LOST dog. What shall I do in response? Well, that's also obvious: Text back, so that the original dog-searcher can come and get it and bring it to it's owner. Because even though I received a photo of the poster, because even though I have the dog in my possession, that doesn't mean I should be the one to actually GET OFF MY ASS AND RETURN THE DOG.

Also- what happens now? Does a wave of "The Dog Has Been Found" texts start circling the planet? Naw, why bother- it's not like anyone was lifting a finger (off their cell phones) to search anyway. Wouldn't this commercial had been more effective if all this texting had resulted in an army of people actually LOOKING FOR THE DOG? Ah, but that would have distracted the viewer from the main message, which seems to be "Verizon allows you to pretend to be a concerned individual while playing with your cell phone. With a few clicks, you've done your good deed for the day. Now get back to playing that stupid new game you just downloaded."

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Falling Leaves, a Chill in the Air, and a dungeon full of screaming victims- it must be Autumn

I'm watching the Redskins-Panthers game, and I'm being assaulted repeatedly by commercials for Saw VI. People screaming. People begging for mercy. People chained or tied to all kinds of nasty machines designed to inflict slow, agonizing death. And now, back to the game.

Seriously, can someone explain this to me? Six of these films, in six years. By now, it's pretty clear that there will never be any kind of resolution, which I thought was the reason why people went to the movies- because in real life, we don't get a lot of conclusions we can look forward to, but in film, we get storylines wrapped up in a satisfactory manner (and if we don't, we think "that's a pretty lousy film.") I've never seen any of these Saw films, but you'd have to have something seriously wrong with you if you think you are going to see an actual "conclusion" to the story in the sixth installment.

No, what you are going to get is more torture, more pain, more brutality, more begging, more blood- and an "ending" that lets you know what you were sure of when you walked in- that there will be a Saw VII, coming to your local theatre sometime next year, probably in time for Halloween. Which means that if you go to these movies, you are going simply because you enjoy watching people getting tortured.

Ok, maybe that's your thing. Personally, I think that anyone who has gone to more than one of these pointless violence-porn gorefests ought to be required to undergo a psychiatric screening, but that's just me. I don't wonder why these films are made- they aren't big budget, and they rake in tons of cash. I'll stick to the commercials- why do they have to run during the only time of the week where I engage in extended tv viewing? Why do they have to run during a sporting event no doubt being viewed by kids who (allegedly) can't get into the theatre to see the film anyway? In fact, why do they have to run at all- I'm pretty convinced that there's a core audience of people who have seen Saw I through Saw V which will march like lemmings to see Saw VI, VII, VIII, IX and X, due for release in October 2013. So why bother with commercials? Does the studio really think that people are going to see the ad and think "gee, that looks interesting. I think I'll check that out."

If so, I hope that he has second thoughts later- "nah, I didn't catch the first five installments. I'd be totally lost."

Thursday, October 8, 2009!

The voice on the radio sounds like a slower-speaking version of Andy Griffith's megalomaniac narcissist character Lonesome Rhodes in the classic A Face In The Crowd, jus' givin' us nice listeners the low-down on what these busy-bodies in Wash-in-tun are tryin' to con us into believin' about this-here whole global warmin' thing:

"Turns out, scientists now agree that the Earth has actually been coolin' over the past ten years- in fact, the las' ten years has been the coldest ever recorded!"

Well, good points, except that A) Ten years is a ridiculously short period upon which to try to detect a trend in climate change, B) the last ten years has NOT been the coldest ever recorded, or even close, and C) "most scientists" believe exactly the opposite. Other than that, well done.

"But there is some good news-- now all those Global Warmin' Elites can fly their private jets around the world guilt-free!"

Haha, excellent points!

A) Global Warmin'= Socialist/Marxist/Fascist Lie created to deprive you of your God-Given right to create as much pollution as you want and leave the planet as damaged as humanly possible. Go ahead, dump that old oil into the storm drain. God wants you to- it's mentioned in Leviticus somewhere.

B) Elites= People with an Education who think they are smarter than you are, the smartasses. They think that just because they went to school, they are smart. If they are so smart, why were they taken in by scams like Evolution, Global Warming, and Plate Tectonics? Morons.

C) Private Jets= All Liberals fly around in Private Jets, all the time. That's so they can sneer at us workin' folks from high altitude and not have to risk sitting next to us by flying Southwest. Damn Elites.

"Support Soundbites at" Well, give them credit for truth in advertising- if you go to the website, you are indeed encouraged to donate money to pay for more awesome commercials like this one. The "Institute for Policy Innovation" also encourages you to read articles explaining other "scams," why Obama's Health Care initiatives threaten your right to privacy, why Keynesian Economics is and always has been an unmitigated disaster (damn that FDR! Damn the Progressive Tax System!) and other subjects geared to advancing the organization's mission statement, which is advocating smaller government and lower taxation (through the spread of simple-minded platitudes and rank ignorance, I guess.)

No thanks, Lonesome. I'm sure it's because I'm an East Coast Elitist (sans private plane, what is the deal?) but I just don't get your Common Sense Wisdom. So I won't be Supporting Sound Bites for now. I am looking forward to hearing you snigger about Evil-ution and Tree-Huggers and this stupid recyclin' fad in the future. And what's the deal with this heliocentric universe crap? Go to it, Mr. Rhodes!

lower taxes,
fewer regulations,
and a smaller, less-
intrusive government.

Monday, October 5, 2009

"Let's play the Quiet Game," or "Do you ever think anything you don't say?"

The Worst Commercials I see are the ones that work off the theory that not only is anything worth thinking also worth saying, but that a whole lot of things NOT worth thinking are nonetheless worth saying.

Confused yet? Well, let's look at Exhibit A, which hit me over the head like a bag of bricks while I was innocently trying to watch the Vikings-Packers Game, otherwise known as A Night of Appreciating Bret Favre, Brought to you by ESPN:

Two guys are splayed ("sitting" just doesn't describe their posture properly) on a couch, presumably watching a football game. One guy takes a bite of his Snickers bar and mutters "Wow. My hunger is completely gone."

(Quick Note: Seriously? Your hunger is gone with ONE BITE? What are you going to do with the rest of that candy bar? Why doesn't Snickers just make the bar smaller, since it's so damned satisfying that ONE BITE eliminates the hunger?)

Not content for having interrupted his friend's tv viewing with such a lame-ass, pointless comment, Snickers Guy continues his investigation into the growing mystery: "I wonder where all that hunger goes?"

At this point, any rational human being wonders where his life went wrong, to lead him into a friendship with such a clueless, brain-dead lout. Instead, it turns out that Snickers Guy's friend is just as vapid and boring as Snickers Guy, as he proceeds to indulge Snickers Guy's journey into the mundane and pointless: "I don't know...Germany?"

I'm not even going to comment on the scene where we see a fat guy in suspenders and surrounded by empty plates screaming something about being hungry in mock-German. And you should be thankful, M&M Mars. I'll stick to analyzing how thick the oatmeal that passes for your brains must be if you find yourself having a conversation like the one these two choads have. These guys make the "Hunger Pangs No Pains" couple at MacDonalds look like the fricking Curies.

Is it the endless tv viewing? The Twittering and Tweeting? The constant playing of video games on cell phones? Or can we trace this lack of brain activity to posture- not enough oxygen getting up there, perhaps?

Of course, we know what the real answer is: the total lack of imagination we see demonstrated by the writers of commercials these days. The idiot who wrote this one had absolutely no idea how he was going to sell the audience on the current version of "Snickers Really Satisfies." So he decided to start with having a twentysomething slacker making a comment and asking a question that would make a five-year old blush. Once you buy in to the idea that two alleged grown-ups could be so bored that they would actually engage in conversation over "where the hunger goes," the rest writes itself.

I wonder where the Stupid went. Oh, there it is! In a commercial for Snickers!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

My Questions for Tony Stewart

I don't care if Tony Stewart loves the Whopper.

In spite of my lack of interest, I learn that Tony Stewart loves the Whopper- loves it so much, in fact, that he's unwilling to participate in a Lie Detector Test unless he can do it while holding one to his side and slightly to the front, at mouth level.

I don't care why Tony Stewart loves the Whopper.

Again, my lack of interest doesn't prevent Burger King from telling me that it's because of the Flame-Broiled Taste. Or, at least, that the Flame-Broiled Taste is one of the things which explain why Tony Stewart loves the Whopper.

I don't care if Tony Stewart wears women's underwear. It's not a question I would ask Tony Stewart if I had him hooked up to a Lie Detector. And I have no reaction to the news that Tony Stewart apparently does wear women's underwear. I just don't care about Tony Stewart, period.

Apparently, I'm in the minority, because Burger King ends the commercial by encouraging viewers to send in questions they want Tony Stewart to answer, promising that he will answer (all of them? One of them?) in November.

I guess if I shake myself out of my apathy concerning All Things NASCAR, I would text two questions I would like Tony Stewart to answer:

1) Is there such a thing as Enough Endorsement Money?

2) Are you hoping to make enough money to buy back your soul someday?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Are we going to meet the extended family now?

Here's AT&T mom again, and here's asshole "I won't use old minutes" boy again, and here's silent-as-always younger son again, but something is different in this commercial. A new character has been added- Doofus Dan, a thirtysomething brother/cousin/Uncle/Who the Hell Knows Why He's Here who has joined everyone's Favorite Disfunctional TV family in the backyard for some reason.

Doofus Dan is chucking those stupid little clocks which represent "minutes" for his dog to retrieve. Mom calls him out on it, telling him to stop. Doofus Dan immediately launches into a Why Bother To Save Speech which I'm sure he was put up to by Asshole Boy, who spends the entire commercial sitting at the picnic table staring at Mom with this frozen half-smile on his face.

Mom then explains how the minutes are still valuable, blah blah blah we've all heard this a MILLION times over the past year, and Doofus Dan attempts to return to the pile the little clock retrieved by his dog. "You can use that one," she says.

I guess AT&T put together a few focus groups who agreed that we've seen enough of the endless, fruitless battle between Whiny Mom and Dickhead Son Who Won't Save Minutes And You Can't Make Him. So now they've introduced a clueless, overweight dumbass who has apparently been recruited by Dickhead Son to fight the battle for him. This works for me, if Dickhead Son recedes into the background until he ultimately vanishes altogether, because seriously, I've had more than enough of his stoned look and entitled attitude.

But, AT&T? Please stop here. Please don't show us the In-Laws next, or the neighbors, or grandma and grampa working to dispose of the family's extra minutes to the endless mortification of Mom. She's been through enough, and at times she really looks like she's going to snap already. And there's nothing especially compelling about this family that makes us wonder what their relatives and acquaintances are like, believe me.

Please, move on to a new storyline already. And if you can get GEICO to let you take their gecko with them, all the better.