Sunday, November 29, 2009

Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

This guy is cruising along in a luxury car, while the narrator tells us about all it's super-cool and obviously ESSENTIAL new bells and whistles, including "voice recognition technology."

Ok, here we go- in your car, you can pretend that you have some control over your joyless, hopeless life, which after all is just a mad pursuit for money so you can purchase cars with voice recognition technology and phones with pop-up maps of places you'll never visit. You can bark "Play Smashing Pumpkins! Call Office! Increase temperature of butt to 72.6 degrees!"

But this particular commercial ( I don't know what the make of the car is, does it really matter?) goes a bit too far. The driver sees a detour sign and makes an unscheduled turn. He commands his GPS system to "Update Map."

Huh? I have a Garmin GPS in my car. When I take a detour, pull over for coffee, or whatever, I don't talk to the little box on my dashboard. I don't tell it to "Update Map." It just does it. Doesn't that mean that the portable GPS in my 2003 Honda is superior to the pre-installed GPS in this luxury car, which apparently won't update your route unless you order it to?

I have a better theory, though. I think that the driver has just gone insane with power. Having the car respond to every command has gone to his head, and now he can't stop talking to the electronics. Pretty soon he'll be ordering the AP Network News guy to "give update!" or the batter at the plate to "swing at pitch!"

When he tells the wheels to "revolve faster!" as he presses down on the gas pedal, we'll know he needs serious therapy.


  1. I hope as he's heading for a washed out bridge the douche barks, "Stop car!" instead of pushing his foot down on the brake pedal.

  2. I feel the same way about the assholes who use the OnStar button to find movie theatres, car washes, or do quick "diagnostics" on their automobiles. Jesus, it's not supposed to be a substitute for the friends you don't have (there are APPs for that.) The helplessness of people in these commercials is getting a little bizarre.

  3. This is a little off topic, but I've been meaning to tell you--there's a new phone-map commercial that is seriously bugging me. Family is watching a football game, and one of them pulls out a cell phone. Of course his map pops up and, since his coverage is SO thorough, it blocks the TV. His apology to his family is, "Sorry, I was just checking the score." Uh, what? Isn't the score on the TV? Why are you using your phone to check a score that's displayed RIGHT in front of you?! I. Hate. Everything.

  4. The power mad car owner reminds me of an old joke:

    A horse trader sold a mule. He told the new owner that the animal was trained to obey two commands -- "praise the lord" to go and "amen" to stop. The new owner climbed on the mule and said, "praise the lord." The mule set off.

    Well, the mule began to go faster and faster and the new owner began to get worried. He wanted the animal to stop but he couldn't remember the key word. He kept saying "whoa" and "stop" and "halt" but they had no effect. Finally he remembered what the horse trader had told him and said, "amen." Of course the mule stopped immediately.

    The new owner looked down and saw that the mule had come to a halt right on the edge of a huge cliff with a 500-foot drop. Wiping his brow the new owner let out a prayer of thanks -- "praise the lord."

  5. Jessica, I've seen that commercial, and had EXACTLY the same thought you did- first, this moron sits right in front of the tv, to check the scores ON HIS PHONE. Why does he have to sit to do this? Isn't he already blocking the tv? THE SCORES ARE SCROLLING ACROSS THE SCREEN ALREADY. And NOBODY CARES WHY YOU ARE BLOCKING THE SCREEN, JUST THAT YOU ARE! Does this kid think "I'm checking the scores of the other games" is going to get him a "oh, ok, continue to block the screen then?" Asshole!

  6. This sort of crap is another reminder of how infantile and soft the admen think we all are; in the eyes of Don Draper's heirs and assigns, every last man and woman in America is the deluded adult child who thinks he's on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise.

  7. The world they made is one which says it's fine to plop your fat ass in front of the tv because you are "just checking scores," it's fine to sit on the train for five hours calling everyone you know and repeating the same story over and over again because you can, and that you need Twitter because how else can you let your friends know every move you make over the course of the day?

    In other words, it's ALL ABOUT YOU and your immediate wants, ALL THE TIME.