Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Awkward, Creepy Way I Met Your Mother

It used to be so hard for stalkers to ply their trade. Before the age of GPS and Internet-connected cell phones, one might spend days or even weeks carefully watching one's Object of Obsession, making crude maps detailing her daily routine, scribbling notes into hand-held ledgers, etc. And just when you thought you had it down to a science, she'd do something out of character, like jump on a train or point you out to a cop. Stalking was an art.

Now, thanks to modern technology, anyone can become a stalker on a whim. Check out this commercial- guy notices a cute girl on a train; specifically, he notes that he can stare at her without her becoming repulsed at the gawky, scruffy creep standing on the platform. With the touch of a button (perhaps using the same magic service that idiot who left his presentation in the taxi did in an earlier commercial- you remember, the guy who managed to access an unfamiliar copying machine and send the presentation to it in roughly six seconds flat) this clown adjusts his itinerary so that he can leap aboard the train and park himself next to the poor girl, who really needs access to the same service so she can adjust HER travel plans, and quick.

Where's the train going? Doesn't matter- this girl is on it. And when she gets off the train? So will he. How adorable. I guess.

Ah, but this is just the beginning, it turns out- the start of a relationship which ends with this couple raising "The 57th President of the United States."

First of all, Barack Obama is the 44th POTUS. Let's assume he's defeated in 2012, and of the next dozen Presidents, half serve two four-year terms, and half serve only one. Let's also assume that none die in office or resign. This would result in the 57th President of the United States taking the oath of office on January 20, 2085. Well, ok- I guess that's plausible- the couple meets in 2010, dates a few years, gets married, and has the future Leader of the Free World a few years later-- does the guy we see waving to the crowds at the start of the commercial look to be seventy years old? Maybe. Do his adoring parents, shown beaming in the crowd, look anywhere near 100? Absolutely not.

Second of all, as a friend pointed out after seeing this ad, isn't it nice to know that when the peddlers of pointless "essential" technology sought out a guy to play "the 57th President of the United States," they immediately thought "gray-haired, slim, non-ethnic looking white guy?"

It seems that while our stalking technology can be expected to continue to grow by leaps and bounds in the coming decades, we'll be going right back to our old habits when it comes to electing Presidents as soon as the Age of Obama is over. Thanks for letting us know, AT&T.


  1. 知識可以傳授,智慧卻不行。每個人必須成為他自己。.................................................................

  2. It's as if their definition of democracy is the same as Dave Barry's; as I recall, he'd derived it from the Greek 'demo' meaning 'white men' and 'cracy' meaning 'in blue suits.'

  3. Clearly this weird era we are in- where African Americans and women are viewed as perfectly viable Presidential candidates- is just a short-term phase we will grow out of, according to AT&T.

  4. I don't get it either. There is still plenty of white guilt left to elect another Obama and clearly nobody cares if anyone actually lives up to their campaign promises.

  5. Really! Leaving out the presidential number idiocy, would it have hurt to have a female president as the offspring?

  6. Well, thepapers, all I can say is, I didn't vote for Obama out of any sense of "white guilt." After supporting Hillary in the primaries, I voted for him because he was clearly the best of the two remaining viable candidates for the job.

    That, and Obama is hardly the first President to backtrack on campaign promises after getting elected. I'm disgusted by our Iraq and Afghanistan policy, mortified that Gitmo is still open, angry that the stimulus didn't include more for infrastructure and green technology, and deeply disappointed at what became of Health Care. I don't think any of the broken or bended promises has to do with the President's skin color, however.

    I'll almost certainly feel compelled to vote for him again, but it will probably be a vote against the other guy, just like last time. I've been cynical about politics for a long time, and certainly don't see anything coming down the road likely to change that view.