Sunday, July 31, 2011

The TV-less walk from the living room to the driveway must be a living hell

You know, it's not super-obnoxious that all these Xfinity commercials use stupid graphics that are fast becoming ho-hum boring been there done that what else you got in terms of keeping our attention. After a while, it's easy to just let your eyes glass over- especially when you realize that all these "cool" graphics are there to make a very simple point- that Xfinity offers the opportunity to avoid exercise, conversation, sex and everything else that makes life worthwhile while you watch Season 8 of "The Office" for the 23rd time.

I'd rather focus on one very painfully obvious, though not mentioned, little catch that goes along with the "watch everywhere, watch anywhere, watch all the freaking time" Xfinity theme: to use this Amazingly Convenient New Technology which allows you to pause and change rooms, pause and change rooms, pause and change rooms over and over again in a way which makes the Amazing Convenient New Technology at all useful, one must live in a house with a lot of rooms and have the wherewithal to purchase a lot of television sets.

I mean, I have a big apartment, but it's only one bedroom. Besides the one bedroom, I have a tiny living room, a den for my office, a tiny kitchen and a walk in closet. So if I got this Xfinity package, I would almost feel compelled to Pause and Resume my way around a place where I can see the Only Television I Currently Own from almost every vantage point right now. (In fact, I think that if I had four additional televisions installed, I would probably end up being able to watch at least two or three at the same time. Besides feeling like I'm Winston Smith in "1984.")

Or maybe Xfinity is so expensive, it's really only available to people who own big houses furnished with six big screen televisions already?

Ok, maybe this whole "now you can have more fun in your House With More Televisions Than Chairs" theme is what is really bothering me here. Why do these people feel the need to wander around like this? What is so hard about sitting in the ONE damn room devoted to television viewing? Is it Restless Leg Syndrome? Because You Can Syndrome? What?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

We Should Be So Lucky

First- I am in no way attempting to excuse the rude, disgusting behavior of the idiots in this ad. To me, libraries are still sacred places. The idea of people eating freaking candy bars while flipping through old books, leaving sticky fingerprints on books lovingly donated with the best of intentions or on PC keyboards- I mean, come on, some of us are still trying to have a Society here.

But you know what? I've spent enough time in libraries recently to know that if the worst that today's current generation of slobs could come up with is snapping Kit Kats and grunting "mmm" every few seconds, we non-pathetic library lovers would be quite appreciative. But it's not- not even close. Instead, over the past year I've witnessed

1) Full-throated conversations carried on at a volume better suited for subway stations

2) thoughtless jackasses listening to music on their I Pods. In the library. Again- more appropriate for subway stations

3) Any number of knuckle-dragging, clueless choads listening to rap music, speeches, and pretty much everything else on library PCs (I've asked librarians- "if you MUST provide internet access, why can't you at LEAST deactivate the volume?" They always look at me like I've got a second head growing out of my neck.)

So please, Anti-Social, Rude Pricks Who Insist on Putting Yourselves on Display at my Local Library- take a hint from this commercial and confine your stunning lack of common sense and dignity to breaking candy bars and letting us know that you like the taste. Because behavior that would have been almost scandalous a couple of decades ago would be almost a breath of fresh air these days.

But please- stay off the computers, and don't open any rare books. We can ignore the stupid, satisfied sighs- and in real life, Kit Kats really don't make that much noise when you break them.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Current Status: Clueless

Amanda is quite certain that everything that happens to her, anywhere, at any time, is worth posting to her Facebook account. And apparently she's become very good at finding Facebook "friends" willing to act as total enablers to her obsession with spending her life in the public eye- every. single. moment of it.

And now she's found a phone that fits her life (as if the words "life" and "Amanda" really go together. ) Here's a phone/camera/best friend in the whole wide world which allows her to post every stupid, pointless, vapid "activity" instantly on Facebook. I especially enjoy the way she provides her own soundtrack, which fits exactly with what I would expect to be echoing through that rather empty chamber she calls her brain case- "la de da da da...." If there is a woman out there with ditzy cartoon noises echoing between her ears, it has to be this dullard.

"La di da di da" is the perfect theme of a woman who has a real purpose in life- to buy stuff, and to show people what she bought, and to use what she bought to annoy the hell out of the rest of us. Personally, I think that letting Amanda buy this stupid little toy is like giving an arsonist a pile of oily rags, or handing an alcoholic the keys to the wine cellar. Because in my humble opinion, this weirdo needs help, not even more "connectivity."

And I think the Best Buy Employee would agree with me here- she also needs to be taught the concept of Personal Space. Hey, Amanda- the undereducated part-timer who happened to be roaming the floor when you decided to wander in and enhance your collection of electronic junk probably isn't really all that interested in getting "tagged" wearing her ugly blue work shirt by a total stranger with too much money to spare. She's not your "friend," and she's not an f--ing prop to be displayed on your homepage, ok?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Innocent Bystander at the Disaster Date?

I've gone off on online dating sites before, but I think Zoosk deserves it's own post, because the company seems to be specializing in creating relationships for what is a surprisingly large population of extremely good-looking yet oddly available extroverted sluts. Unlike eHarmony, Zoosk seems determined to sell itself as a site featuring only very hot, very sexually available young people who, inexplicably, can't seem to find dates on their own.

Oh, and it seems that Zoosks' clientele must be at least as stupid and vapid as it is attractive. Exhibit A is today's featured ad, which features a woman explaining to her friend how a little tryst at the office went bad. I guess.

Here's how the "office romance" worked- the woman in question could barely wait for the door of the copy room to close before crawling all over the object of her- umm, affection? Except for the fact that the instigator is a woman, this would make for a rather comical situation- in a 1970s sitcom. In the age of sexual harassment lawsuits, all this seems incredibly crass and retro and out of place.

When the two "lovers" emerge from the copy room, the woman looks like she's rather hastily dressed herself, and the guy has inky palm prints on his ass. Again- imagine the sexes being reversed here. Now try to imagine this ad running in the United States, in the year 2011. Not Likely.

Remembering this "comical" (actually "unprofessional," "inappropriate," "insulting," "degrading" all come to mind before the word "comical," but I'm trying to figure out what the makers of this mess were going for) scene, Our Heroine tells her friend "I think I'll just stick to Zoosk...." And now this all gets very confusing. From what we see, the Office Romance seems to have gone quite well- not only did she hit it off with her fellow coworker, but they did it in the office, on the company's dime. If it was a little bit awkward, that was only because of a stunning lack of foresight and common sense on the part of the frisky couple. There's no indication that she didn't have a really good time, or that she doesn't like the guy she apparently just banged on the Xerox machine. She doesn't look embarrassed (seriously, how could she, after all but announcing to the entire Sales Department that "me and this guy are about to have sex in here, people!?") Yet, remembering the reaction of her fellow employees, she decides that she is no longer interested in Jack from Accounting, and would have better luck hooking up with some anonymous creep posting at a dating website?

Or maybe she and Jack got canned five seconds after she walked out of the copy room with her blouse hanging out, and pissed-off Jack blamed her for the scandal which cost him his job?

Or maybe, in recalling this sordid little episode, she forgets to mention the six weeks of sensitivity training the office is requiring her to go through if she doesn't want to be hitting the unemployment line?

Or maybe, just after the climax, she noticed that ewwww Jack from Accounting has a small amount of gray hair, and is therefore Nowhere Near As Attractive as she thought he was?

I don't get what's going on here at all. If this woman likes Jack from Accounting, why can't they date (and by "date," I mean go out to eat, take in a movie, and have sex like normal people- in a bed, in private?) This woman actually acts like she's the victim of somebody else's bad decision- "I let down my hair, locked myself in the copy room with this guy, and we molested each other for about three minutes. Boy, THAT was sure a disaster- I'd better stick to Zoosk from now on!" What am I missing here?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Simple "No" would have been more respectful, jerk

This Television Dad has decided that he'd rather have his son think he's just a selfish, smarmy prick than have him think he's stupid and easily manipulated, like all the other TV dads.

Son wants to drive the car- hey, why not? Nice, empty highway, perfect driving conditions, and (apparently) several hundred miles ahead of them with no stops planned. Jackass Dad responds with a "deal"- Son can drive as soon as it's time to stop to fill up.

The joke is that this car consumes No Gasoline Whatsoever- it's a perpetual motion machine, capable of traveling endlessly on no fuel. So the sun crosses the sky and sets, the highway continues to unwind in front of this sad pair as they whiz by one gas station after another, and Son sits helplessly waiting for his turn. Perhaps the scene where Father and Son stop for a snack, or to use the restrooms, and Son is informed that technically they didn't stop to fill up and therefore it's not "his turn" yet, was cut. Or perhaps Father and Son are as amazing as the car, and don't need any breaks of any kind, ever, either.

So it's dark by the end of the commercial- and the optimal time for Son to practice his driving has passed (unless Dad thinks it's best for Son to take over the wheel when he's drowsy from hours of travel, and gets to deal with approaching headlights and limited visibility while Dad takes a nap in the passenger seat- very smart, dad.) I guess we are supposed to just assume that wherever Dad and Son are going, they will get there without having to stop for fuel.

And Dad knew this all along- check out the knowing glance this piece of human excrement gives his exasperated son near the end of the ad.

Message Received- Dad's an Asshole.

So what else is new in TV land?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

And after Fourth Meal, let's all drive our SUVs in circles for an hour or so

In Ghana and Chad, the average adult consumes about 1600 calories per day- roughly 67% of the number recommended for healthy weight maintenance. In the United States, the average adult consumes 3500 calories a day- about 140% of the number recommended.

Quick Quiz: In which country is a particularly vile provider of gross excess promoting the idea of adding a "Fourth Meal" to the daily diet? Hint: It's the same country currently being sold on the idea of making an "XXL Beef Burrito" (880 calories) part of that "Fourth Meal."

In 1970, the United States ranked #28 in average daily calorie consumption. Today it ranks #1. No, it's not entirely Taco Bell's fault- Taco Bell is not the only company pushing very hard to convince us that Oil, Flour, Beef, and Corn Syrup make up the latest version of the Food Pyramid. McDonalds with their sugared french fries and SuperSizing, 7-11 with their Extreme Gulps, and KFC with their (gag, I still can't believe this) Double Down "sandwiches" have to take part of the blame.

However, at the moment it's Taco Bell which is really hitting the "Big is Better" theme. Commercials featuring Europeans staring in amazement at massive packages of carbohydrates and greasy meat and wondering "what are we supposed to do with this?" (My suggestion- chop it up and serve it to about twenty people. People you don't like.) Loud-mouthed pitchmen explaining the importance of stocking up on 20-gallon jars of mayonnaise. And now this loathsome "fourth meal" ad campaign, which makes "Punch Dub Days" look positively charming by comparison.

Where's our social conscience, anyway? While a huge percentage of the planet wakes up every morning wondering where First Meal is going to come from, and accepting the idea that First Meal is probably Last Meal for the day, the fattest, sweatiest, most gluttonous nation on Earth is going to embrace the concept of a FOURTH meal-- why? Because there is something intrinsically evil about not being stuffed to the gills with fatty poison 24/7?? Because feeling hungry because your distended stomach is sending false signals to your brain and not responding by instantly shoveling garbage down your pie-hole is Un-American? Because YOU CAN??

How's this for a better idea- every time you skip "Fourth Meal," you drop the $5 you were going to spend shortening your life by consuming this mess into a piggy bank. At the end of each month, take out that money, deposit it, and write a check to Oxfam. Your clothes will fit better, you won't sweat as much, your heart won't scream for mercy when you walk up a short flight of stairs, and you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping someone, somewhere get to First Meal because you "sacrificed" Fourth Meal. You may even live to play with your grandchildren.

Just a thought.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

So much Depressing, in such a little Package!

As I watched this ad, I just assumed that it would end in a punchline that did not involve this woman being pregnant. Because, being naive, I just figured that while cell phone commercials have been celebrating coldness, and cruelty, and just plain banal obnoxiousness for years now, there had to be SOME limit to the depths the people who write these things are willing to reach.

I was wrong. The punchline I assumed could NOT come, came. This woman is actually informing her husband that she's pregnant- over the phone. It's almost comical that she demonstrates a concern for his schedule- "got a minute?" (Because I guess that's all it's going to take, five seconds after she informs him that what they've been "working on" for so long, that life-altering event they've been hoping for, has finally come to pass, he can get back to doing whatever he was doing) and their privacy ("are you alone?") before telling him- OVER THE PHONE- that she's pregnant.

Good. Freaking. Lord. I swear, this "sharing" crap has pushed us right over the edge and into the abyss. "Can you pick up some milk?" Sure, share that. "I'm at the airport, can you pick me up, please?" Sure, share that. "We are going to have a baby?" Yes, share that- FACE TO FACE, YOU DISGUSTING, TECHNOLOGY-ADDICTED SOULLESS LOSERS!!!!

I will say this in praise of the people who put this mess together- it usually takes a lot more than thirty seconds to unleash such a large amount of Oh Come On This Doesn't Ever Happen In Real Life bile into the Already Overflowing With Noxious Crap TV Universe. This little parcel of hate is at least delivered efficiently. Thanks for that, Verizon!

Now you can go back to destroying civilization, one little nugget of hate at a time.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

So the reason I'm poor is- I don't have a dog??


This is becoming a pretty common theme in commercials for investment bankers, "structured settlement" companies, etc: Dogs have money, or dogs worry about money, or dogs have terrific ideas on how to GET money. In this particular ad, Dog is deeply concerned because his Master has money issues (despite living in what looks to be a fairly substantial home in a nice suburban neighborhood.) Master's money issues are so bad, in fact, that Dog's dish is empty. Master can't live on his structured settlement, and Dog is going to die, I guess. I mean, that's the message I get.

Turns out however that Dog has other plans- it involves getting Master to sell his structured settlement for a lump sum. Because Master's crappy money management skills will be solved by killing the golden goose and getting a percentage of the cash all at once, right now. I can see where Dog is coming from- I mean, if Master is getting a million dollars spread out over 25 years, Dog will be long dead before the last check arrives, even if Master does manage to buy Dog food now and then. But if Master can get, say, $250,000 right now, Dog may just live high on the hog for the seven or eight years of life he has left. And once Dog is dead, what does he care if Master regrets surrendering the better part of the settlement and being forced to fend for himself (you know, like 99 percent of us do NOW?)

I don't have a dog- I feed a stray cat which, after three years, will still not let me pet it or bring it into my house (she lets the guy next door pet her though- I'm really close to cutting her off.) I can tell you that this cat has never offered me financial advice. Maybe she saves it for that other guy. Or maybe it's only dogs who know how to handle money. That's certainly the way it looks on tv.

But hey, Master- trust me, your Dog is looking out for himself here, all the way. Because unless you are really desperate, selling out an annuity for a settlement is about as bright as taking a Rapid Refund. Still, I'd like to at least sit down and discuss my investment options with a dog- they sure do seem to think about money a lot.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Dad makes an ass of himself, Part 6,789

Mom starts things off here by announcing that her family wants really good seafood. She's very excited at the idea of eating really amazing seafood, and hopes that of the roughly 80 seafood restaurants within driving distance of their home, there is one that is "serving up" the really amazing seafood she craves.

Dad jumps in to ruin everything, announcing that while really amazing seafood would be great, times are tight and he's really more interested in keeping the cost down. He wants the really amazing seafood for "around ten bucks." This is the common denominator in all Golden Corral commercials- sometimes the family wants baby back ribs. Sometimes they want "comfort food" like meatloaf and macaroni and cheese. Sometimes they want the Ultimate White Trash Thanksgiving. But they ALWAYS want it for Junk Food Money.

This time it's a massive frying pan that comes crashing down, eliminating the competition (which, most likely, makes perfectly good, maybe even great, seafood- but because it's quality, it's not available at ten bucks a plate.) And once again, the smarmy creep of uncertain ethnicity is the only one left standing with a stupid grin on his face, twitching his eyebrows in delighted smugness, knowing that he's about to have the "pleasure" of catering to yet another family of cheap slobs.

And I'm sorry, but while I'm used to stupid punchlines wrapping up these awful commercials, the one the writers handed the dad in this one really pisses me off. "BAM!" delivered in a manner so loud it startles mom- and probably causes every other customer to look up from their troughs to see what the hell just happened? Jesus, what kind of moron would ever do something like this in real life- not only shouting in the middle of a restaurant, but shouting something that has no utility to anyone at the table, and in fact does nothing but announce that Dad Is A Really Cheap Idiot With No Taste Who Gets Easily Excited Over The Idea Of Paying Very Little For Garbage?

"BAM!?" We really can't do better than this, Golden Corral? And I thought "That's Hot!" and "Glad we dropped in!" were bad. This is just embarrassing.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Apology Accepted

In these two cell phone commercials, each for a different product produced by a different company, we get the long-awaited confession from the cell phone industry: that their products, while useful for talking and texting, are now filled with pointless add-ons that you don't really need at all, but that they've been spending years trying to convince you that you can't live without.

In the first ad, the snarky narrator bleats some BS about downloading important sales charts and graphics and what-not in between admitting that what you'll really want to do with this phone is play a pointless, life-sucking video game. This company has so much respect for it's customers that in this commercial the narrator all but TELLS us that he thinks we are witless, drooling losers who may, for the sake of appearances, like to pretend that we are being productive, but in fact are only interested in playing games featuring cartoon birds throwing bombs at pigs ( I think this is what's happening in the game, I've only seen it played once. And that was plenty.) If this offends you, I suggest a good dose of cable news, where we are treated to regular comforting doses of "The American Worker is the Most Productive in World History" backed up by no statistics.

The second ad is confusing and pointless on so many levels, it's actually a little hard to get a handle on. A woman who is apparently auditioning for a spot on "Hoarders" has embarked on a career in entering radio call-in contests (what is this, 1975? Do stations still do this kind of thing?) and cheating by looking up the answers on her phone. Can someone explain to me why one would need a phone which allows you to talk and "surf" (have I mentioned lately how much I hate this century?) at the same time WHILE I AM AT HOME WHERE MY LAPTOP IS? What is this woman doing that could not be done by someone sitting at a home computer? What am I missing?

Also, the woman in this ad clearly gets zero joy out of winning these contests. She looks like her soul quit her body some time ago. She's already won all the cheap crap there is to win. She doesn't like what she already has. She doesn't want any of the prizes. So why does she keep calling in to answer the questions? For the thrill of competition? Um, no- because she CHEATS!! I mean, what the hell?

Maybe we should set aside the content of these ads and just appreciate the fact that cell phone companies are finally willing to admit that they make and market stupid, expensive toys for adults which have very little actual utility in the real world. It's been years since I've seen a cell phone commercial in which someone used a phone to do something important or even mildly helpful, one which made me think "wow, this product really DOES make life more manageable!" I've always suspected that it's because even the people whose job it is to pimp this crap can't come up with a practical use for the downloading, "video sharing," and "gaming" (ugh, can it please be the 20th century again?) capabilities they insist on adding to these phones in an attempt to justify their price and the monthly charges.

This calls for a celebration. Flash Mob at 12? Or 12:30?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Or just admit that you really don't want to leave your house, ever

This whole RV thing has always mystified me. I can't for the life of me understand the appeal of driving a smaller, more cramped, far less comfortable and convenient version of your house to National Parks, into the woods, etc. etc.

For me, there are two ways to see the country. If you are healthy, you strap on a backpack, lace up your hiking boots, and walk through it. You capture the glories of peaceful, unspoiled nature with a camera. You don't barrel through the wilderness, demonstrating Man's mastery over it by crushing it under the wheels of your SUV. And you don't drive your kitchen, living room and bedroom through it, parking it for the evening on some poor groundhog's den and then walk around bitching because trees don't come with electrical outlets.

The second way is if you are old and/or infirm-- you fly to specific sites, and you stay with relatives or in hotels. Hey, I like nature, but I also like to take showers and eat hot food which wasn't dehydrated and sealed in a bag first.

But you really shouldn't try to have it both ways. You want to get away, GET AWAY- leave the familiar surroundings behind for a few days. Don't clog up the highways with your painfully slow, petrol-guzzling mini-houses. Don't frighten the birds and animals with the roar of your gas-powered generators. And stop acting like turtles who can't travel without your fricking shells already.

Or just stay home. Even better.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Somewhere, a very beautiful woman I used to know is cringing...

A few days before I was married, My Intended went to what I think was her 87th fitting. One of her bridesmaids was manipulating a pin and pricked her finger.

My fiancee jumped about five feet away from her Best Friend in the Whole Wide World (it was 1991- nobody had BFFs back then) and screamed at her to keep her finger with the minute drop of blood on it away from her gorgeous, snow-white dress.

Flash forward twenty years, and V-8 gives us the truly preposterous scene of a bride to be going through her own fitting, in her own pristine, snow-white dress, guzzling a bottle of tomato juice and shouting "YES!" because it fits. And no one here thinks it's even the slightest bit MORONIC that a woman is trying to get into a WHITE WEDDING DRESS while drinking a bottle of TOMATO JUICE????

Every time I see this ad, I think of my fiance and her reaction to a pin prick and a drop of blood. I think that if anyone had come within fifty yards of her with an open bottle of TOMATO JUICE, she would have exercised her Second Amendment Rights to eliminate with extreme prejudice.

And this never occurred to you guys over at Stupid Ads Central?

Love is in the Air

From the people who brought us the indescribably (though I did try) stupid, pointless and utterly inane "It's a big deal, this boat" featuring a bitter, mouthy shut-in and her squatting toad of a husband, another "don't try to figure out what this has to do with insurance, we are so twisted and sad we think this is funny" slice of life. Awesome.

I'm sure someone out there can explain to me why this ad is supposed to be even remotely amusing- I Really Hope The Plane Just Crashes Dad, sitting at the airport surrounded by his unruly, jackass spawn, mutters something about how he can't imagine wanting to spend more time with the little creatures who live in his house and are apparently related to him. Clearly every moment spent with these People Who Share My DNA Doesn't Mean We Are Close Or Anything is pure agony. We can see the last of this guy's soul just oozing out of his body as he contemplates the bizarre actions of his neighbors, who actually seem to (gasp) ENJOY being with their kids, even to the point of being willing to drive across the country with them. The thought is absolutely horrifying to this man.

"We'd kill each other" he deadpans. Yes, and that would be a loss to whom, exactly? You sure look like you are ready to die. Your kids look like chips off the old block- disconnected little runts who have long since given up any hope of getting even the smallest amount of actual affection from you, dad, and are instead taking solace in the electronic devices you've tried to placate them with.

This is an ad for an insurance company that "understands the way you live." Ugh, really? So this commercial, and the one featuring "this boat," are supposed to be compelling because they cut through the happy happy joy joy BS that dominates most ads and shows people as they actually are? Well, ok, I'll give them that- I've been in enough airports to know that this is a pretty common sight. But that doesn't mean I find this level of sadness and despair (again, presented as somehow amusing) compelling or even slightly entertaining. I sure as hell don't find it funny.

Tell you what, guys: Show you really understand me by producing an ad explaining why I should buy your f--ing insurance, and spare me the "We understand you- you are a very sad person surrounded by very sad people, in a very sad situation which for some reason you want to protect from disaster, although let's face it, a disaster which shatters this reality would actually be quite welcome." Stop showing me people who really ought to be warmly contemplating the sweet embrace of the grave, and financially screwing over the would-be legatees who made existence a living hell. Because this stuff is just depressing.

(BTW, where's Mom in this ad? Hey Bitter, Soulless Dad- it doesn't take that long to get a latte at Starbucks. I think Mom's made a run for it!)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

It's rare to see a Fail this total

(Full Disclosure: I am typing this on a Toshiba Satellite. Last year, with my third Dell laptop falling apart, I decided to give Toshiba a try. No complaints, except that I wish the company would stop trying to sell me it's backup service, and that it's touchpad wasn't so damned sensitive. I also decided to ditch Dell because my fingers burn the letters right off the keyboard after about 18 months- something about the oddly acidic qualities of my fingertips. Very strange. But I digress...)

Ok, at first glance it appears that the entire point of this stupid, offensive assault on our senses is to convince us to pay a little (a lot) more for our Toshiba Laptops by purchasing an optional piece of equipment called an "Impact-Smart Hard Drive?"

So the potential customer is uncertain of the utility of this Not Standard Option- until he imagines a truly bizarre, Not Really Possible In Real Life series of events involving power outages, spoiled milk turning people into zombies, and an unnecessarily graphic, ugly moment of violence. His vivid imagination- not a sales pitch, not a practical example of what could happen if one's laptop gets damaged (loss of data- gee, I came up with that all by myself)-- is what convinces him.

So the actual message of this commercial is- Toshiba offers something called an Impact-Smart Hard Drive. It costs extra, and if you want it, it will delay shipping of your new laptop. And Toshiba can't think of a plausible reason why you'd need it anyway. So unless you are an idiot who thinks that drinking sour milk turns people into zombies, you are perfectly safe in skipping the option and getting your laptop at a lower cost, faster.

On the other hand, if you don't have a lot of money and don't Gotta Get a Dell, this company makes a pretty nice laptop to go along with their stupid, self-defeating commercials.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I bet they even gave him a FULL can of Coke, because after all, we LOVE our Vets!!

(Please skip to 0:53 to watch the commercial being panned.)

Here's another example of a company willing to latch itself to veterans like fricking sucker fish in order to sell the country on the idea of using it's product for reasons which have absolutely, positively NOTHING to do with the quality of the product.

Is Southwest Airlines a good company to work for? Who cares- check out the "patriotic" bunting. Is it easy to buy a ticket on Southwest Airlines? Doesn't matter- check out the red, white and blue balloons. Does Southwest Airlines fly to the place I need to go? Why are you even asking- can't you see the cheering crowds and the mini American flags? Whats' with all the questions- do you Hate America or something?

And this poor spokeschoad, forced to read (in stilted, obviously rehearsed fashion) the lame lines someone scribbled out on a card- if she wasn't such a tool, I might actually feel sorry for her. She actually thanks this ancient vet/pawn/willing backdrop for "honoring our country." What the hell does that even mean? She's thanking him for wearing his uniform and visiting the WWII Memorial in Washington, DC? Isn't thanking him for his service enough?

But if the lickspittle spokesperson isn't to be pitied for her job- imposing herself into every camera shot of the Quite Correctly Honored Veteran- the old veteran certainly is. For some reason, there's a big crowd of people with balloons and flags waiting for him at the airport when he arrives- assembled spontaneously, of course. Because we all know that the moment word gets around an airport that a Veteran Of An Actual Declared War is in the vicinity, we civilians get busy painting signs, arming ourselves with flags, and forming groups determined to Honor that particular vet- or at the very least, give him a smarmy, showy salute as we acknowledge his right to cram himself into a tiny Southwest Airlines puddle-jumping prop plane with zero overhead compartment space before us Lesser Non-Serving Peoples. (As if there's some advantage to be allowed to board one of their cramped coffins with wings first. Notice that no one has ever adopted the idea that maybe vets should have priority EXITING as well as priority BOARDING. Hey, patriotism can be carried only so far!)

Hey Southwest, thanks for not charging a baggage fee (for now. We all know that you'll cave at some point.) Thanks for providing a service which would be considered rather high-level if we still had PeopleExpress to compare it too. But please, leave the old men in uniform alone. Give them discounted tickets because you ought too, not because it's good publicity. Let them board planes first because- well, unless they are elderly, I really don't know how to finish that sentence. But stop acting like you deserve the freaking Medal of Freedom for doing it, ok?

Oh, and get out of the shot. This is not supposed to be about you (haha, who do I think I'm kidding?)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Yep, Old Navy went there. Shall we follow?

My faith in human nature is restored just a little bit (not too much, don't worry) by the reaction the YouTubers are giving to this insulting, nasty little overdose of poetic license from Old Navy. Almost universally, the idiots who usually confine their comments to "LOL!" and "I KNOW THE KID IN THS COMMERSHAL HES IN MY CLASS" and "What song is this?" express outrage at Old Navy's hijacking of "Our Country, 'Tis of Thee" to be used in the service of announcing some sale.

But I imagine that unless Old Navy is overwhelmed with angry calls and possibly a boycott, this is the harbinger of bigger offenses to come. So get ready for "Oh Say Can You See, by the glow of Bud Lite....." and worse. Because shame died a quiet death some time ago, and nothing, absolutely nothing is sacred. Heck, maybe even God Bless America- the song I won't stand for, and I don't give a damn how many angry stares I get- will be appropriated for use in selling Tacos, Cars, or Auto Insurance.

Actually, though- would that be so bad? Man, I hate that song. And at least if it was turned into an offensive commercial jingle, it might not be seen as an appropriate way to inject a little faux patriotism into perfectly innocent Major League Baseball games.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Just paint the bottles red, white and blue and get it over with

Ugh, I can't think of any company that has spent more time and energy over the last year trying to cash in on America's military adventurism, can you?

Miller's loud-mouthed, jackass beer delivery man (and arbiter of the proper use of watered-down Miller products) ostentatiously proclaims Miller Lite's love affair with "veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan." In a previous ad, this dick was satisfied with shaking the hands of one of these vets at an airport while admiring him with doe eyes. Apparently, the good people at Miller didn't think the message was received clearly enough, so it's been ramped up and amplified.

So this time, listen carefully, America:

Miller Lite LOVES THE VETS, OK? Not only LOVES THEM, but WORSHIPS THEM! Miller wants to salute the vets in every way possible, providing them "a piece of the High Life," and expressing appreciation in every PUBLIC forum available. But most importantly, Miller wants YOU, the VIEWER, to UNDERSTAND and APPRECIATE exactly how MUCH Miller Supports our VeteransTM. And they'll keep showing this appreciation- again, in the loudest, crassest, most over-the-top showy way imaginable- as long as we, the audience, keep sending in bottle caps.

As I said in a previous post concerning the same product- Hey Miller, if you were one-tenth as committed to "supporting the vets" and "giving them a piece of the High Life" as you were in wrapping yourself in the fricking flag and running for Most Patriotic Beer Company Ever in the hearts and minds of American beer drinkers, you'd quietly cut a check to the VA, pay for seats to sporting events, and provide cheap transportation for the Vets You Care So Very Deeply About. You wouldn't be pulling this More American Than Thou BS, and you wouldn't be so eager to use Our Vets as camouflage-clad backdrops to help you pimp your crappy beer.

On this Fourth of July weekend, a commercial exploiting America's soldiers is about as welcome as a Glenn Beck Restoring Honor rally, and about as sincere as an NYPD baseball cap on an obese tea-partier. Give it a rest, and save the flashy, cheap bunting for the car dealerships, ok?


This ad reveals the real agenda of cell phone companies- to get us to use our technology to become brainless sheep with only the mentality of the mob to guide our actions.

The poor idiot who is caught acting in a bizarre fashion in the middle of the train station because he thought the "flash mob" (oh yeah, that's productive) was supposed to be taking place around him isn't really the victim here. It's virtually impossible to feel sorry for him- it would be like feeling sorry for that girl who became an internet sensation (not nearly as hard as it sounds) because she walked into the fountain at a shopping mall as her eyes were glued to her cell phone. If you are going to let a piece of technology order you around, if you are going to let that technology manipulate and dominate your life, you'd better expect moments like this.

No, the real victims are the people looking on in disgust. It couldn't be more obvious to me that they aren't pitying this dope because he made a fool of himself. They are pitying him because he made a fool of himself through his poor choice of technology. You see, if he had a cool modern phone with updated connectivity, this never would have happened. He would have known to be a total ass at 12:30, not noon. What an idiot! Let's all give him a condescending look, and then move on. But don't forget- the "flash mob" is still on, in a half an hour.

Why are these people victims? Because they've surrendered. They have cell phones because they have been convinced that what was once a luxury is now a necessity. They are on Facebook because they would not have friends without it, and Everyone Else Is There, right? They accept Tweets because if they didn't, they'd be ostracized. And they willingly engage in "Flash Mobs" because- well, because if they didn't, they wouldn't be part of the Social Network. And what could be worse than that?

It doesn't occur to them that in every step of their devolution from Individual to Faceless Non-person On List that the chain wrapped around their necks has grown tighter, and the sharp yanks on that chain more frequent.

And what is the point of the "Flash Mob?" Does anyone even bother to ask? Or do the people who engage in such things REALIZE that they are nothing more or less than exercises in mass manipulation?

A few years ago, an announcement like "Flash Mob At 12:30" would have resulted in a mass of shrugs and "whatevers." Today (at least for some people) it apparently carries the force of a command. Where not too long ago, the response to a text reading "JUMP!" might have received the response "What For?" Now the more likely response is "How High, and When?"

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Willy Loman's home life was warmer than this

I suppose that this commercial is funny as long as you don't try to imagine for a minute that this might actually resemble real life for some people.

First, we have two soulless, personality-deficient potatoes referring to the time they didn't have cable as "the Dark Ages." Yeah, how horrible that must have been- you'd think it meant a year of talking, sex, taking walks, sex, reading, sex, and sex. Except...

We are "treated" to a scene of their life during the Dark Ages- zombie mom, desperate to find something- ANYTHING- worth watching so that she doesn't have to acknowledge her husband's sexual advances, scrolls through the offerings bleating "" Husband seems willing to start Life Without Constant Television, but Zombie Wife is having none of it.

And another scene which is not only sad, not only insulting, but actually draw-droppingly stupid: Mom and Daughter are trying to watch television, and Dad- having long since given up being anything to Mom but a Provider of Television- is on the roof adjusting the dish. In a rain storm. That's right- Dad is on the roof manipulating a large metal object, during a rain storm. And when he falls off the roof, it's LOL EPIC when Mom and Daughter don't notice. Well, I guess it's better than dad being FRIED by a BOLT OF LIGHTNING. Although if I was this guy, I might welcome the sweet release of death.

I'm not even going to comment on the "new use for the dish." I'm sure it's as LOL EPIC to the trogs who post YouTube comments as the rest of the ad.

So the message of this commercial is "life without television is barely worth living, because it kind of forces you to interact with your (snigger) 'loved ones.'" Super.

(BTW, how on earth was that daughter produced? Must have been a byproduct of another "Dark Ages.")