Thursday, August 18, 2011

In a way, I miss being patronized.

Some time ago, I posted on a commercial for cell phone service which frankly admitted that all this guff about faster download times and "connectivity" sold to make the consumer more "productive" was just a big, steaming pile of crap, and that the advertisers understood full well that what they were really selling was an expensive, pointless toy whose main purpose was to make it easier for you to waste time. (Remember, all you REALLY want to do with lightning-fast cell phone service is get that "work" out of the way so you can "go back to playing Angry Birds.")

Well, I guess the "let's face it, we have nothing of value to sell" frank honesty has become a bit of a fad, because that is definitely the message of this Charter Internet commercial. Preteen girl wants Charter so she can surf stupid Youtube videos (because unless you are the author of a blog which slams commercials, why would ANYONE spend time on Youtube?) spend hour after hour chatting and adding photos on Facebook, and plotting to meet up with her boyfriend (good lord, is this girl 13 years old? Boyfriend? Seriously?) after Mom and Dad pass out in front of whatever piece of crap they downloaded on to the tv. TV parents being TV parents, they really don't need to be talked into providing another terrible example of Failure in Parenting 101-- they want Charter Internet too. And because this is a TV commercial, naturally if the parents want something, that means that Preteen Daughter has full access to it, too.

Mom is "on to" her daughter, and doesn't believe a word of her crap about using the internet to be a better student. She knows full well that faster download speeds means Daughter spends more time on social networking sites, listening to inappropriate music, and avoiding schoolwork. Mom simply. Doesn't. Care. And even if daughter gets the translation- that Mom KNOWS she's being lied to- what difference does that make? She's getting what she wants!

And Dad....oh, yes, we must spend a brief moment with Dad. If mom has stopped caring, if mom has decided that there is no point in trying to provide boundaries for Daughter, what are we to make of Dad's position? "Whatever your Mother Wants." Perfect. You fit right into TV land, "Dad."

The providers of Charter Internet want us to know that they they, too, are "on to us." They know that the Internet is basically a vast Wasteland of Dumb. And frankly, they are bored with playing the Look How Useful and Enriching It Can Be game. And really, who can blame Charter? McDonalds doesn't make commercials telling us about the nutritional value of Big Macs- they just tell us "hey, this tastes good. Eat it." Well, this is junk food of another type. I have to admit, I kind of like the honesty. I think.


  1. When I first saw this ad, I thought of you. I looked for it online to send it to you, just in case you weren't being inundated with it the way I was and I couldn't find it.

    I'm so glad you found it. And you said exactly what I thought you would.

  2. I've been wanting do this one all summer, Pahz. Finally found it and had to get it posted right away.

    This "family" really creeps me out- that girl should not be on the internet unsupervised, and those "adults" need classes on proper child care before they find themselves grandparents.

  3. When we first got the Internet, my three kids were online for an hour at a time- unless they were doing homework (actual homework, because this was before Facebook and MySpace). The computer (where I am right now) is in the dining room where I can see it from where I sit in the living room. When they got old enough (they were 9, 11, and 13 back then) to get their own emails or whatnot, I had all their passwords. They had to ask me before joining any website and when they joined, they had to use our default email as the registration.

    I rarely had to check up on them because they were good kids. But the first time someone found out that I had their passwords, they were shocked (as in they gasped!). "Why!?"

    Because you never know. Sure, my kids were good kids and even obeyed the "one hour only" rule even if I happened to not be home. But even good kids can be tricked, fooled or even just flat-out convinced to do something. Our default punishment became "you're grounded for X-number of days/weeks from the computer" (unless specifically homework-related).

    Now they're all over 18 (the youngest is a Freshman in college) and I don't have any of their passwords and they're still good kids and because I taught them how to behave and what not to do online, they'll always be good kids. Well, they'll be good adults. And when they have their own kids, hopefully they'll raise them right.

  4. I've never been a parent, and it looks like I never will. Still, I can't for the life of me understand why this is so damned complicated. You make the rules of the house, explaining WHY they are the rules. The kiddies deal with it. Sometimes, maybe, there are fights. But the kids are protected and learn boundaries. What. Is. So. Freaking. Hard about this?

  5. Oh, sweet smoking Judas, what is wrong with these people? Is there some law that says people in commercials have to be swinish porkers like this? And BOYFRIEND?? The little gidget looks like a prime candidate for completing her My Little Pony collection, not trolling for subpar clones of K-Fed.