Thursday, September 29, 2011
Again- McDonalds is Not. Even. Trying. with these ads.
First, we have an insane little girl trapped in a woman's body who really should just never, ever open her mouth in public, ever. "Mr. Snuggles?" "Chipmunk?" I mean, what the hell IS that? And buddy- you're "smart enough to notice" that your favorite iced tea is now on the dollar menu (has been for years, btw- not that this saves his bizarre non-sequitor) but you're not smart enough to notice that the woman you are with is A FREAKING LUNATIC WITH ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT ISSUES?
Well, considering that she seems to enjoy being taken to dinner at McDonalds and being treated to the Dollar Menu (isn't this more of a grandfather/granddaughter thing than a boyfriend/girlfriend thing?) maybe you guys are just made for each other. How about this- you're smart enough to realize that you can't attract an actual adult female, so this little girl with her nausea-inducing nicknames but pleasingly low date expectations is about the best you can do?
Second, two other alleged "adults" are sitting in what looks like a pretty substantial kitchen, incomprehensibly making a meal of items selected from the Dollar Menu. Apparently one of them decided that a drive through the rain to purchase this junk was a better option than simply making a meal out of what is in the refrigerator, because we are informed by the male that aw darn, it's raining, so "we can't paint the garage."
And now the hate bubbles to the surface. Quickly, the Female must come up with a reason to make The Guy She Chose To Live And Eat Disgusting Non-Food With continue to regret ever meeting her. Like Chipmunk Child in the earlier ad, she's "smart enough to know" that all that crud littering the table cost a dollar each, so she MUST be able to respond to her sex partner in a way which reminds him that She's In Charge, right?
Yep- "Well, I guess we'll just have to go shopping for window treatments, then." Haha, got you, fat boy. Hope you enjoyed that five seconds you thought you had some say in what you were going to do with your life today. Thank goodness Woman You Woke Up One Day Chained To has set you straight- oh, can't paint the garage? Fine- get your ass in the car, we are shopping for window treatments. And when that's done? Don't worry, the Honey Do List is never ending. And by the way, your input is totally unnecessary. We don't want to hear it again, ok?
In both ads, it's strongly implied that there is humor at play here. We are supposed to find these scenes amusing. Maybe someone out there does, but I really doubt it- for one, even the YouTube posters, who generally find Everything LOL SO FRICKING HILARIOUS, want the people featured to just die, now. For the other, comments have been disabled- which is never a good sign. And man, if you can't get positive responses for your commercial from the gas-sniffing knuckle-draggers who post on YouTube, your commercials REALLY SUCK, McDonalds.
Is it too much to imagine that both these ads were written by men who really, really hate women? I mean, the guys don't come off as the sharpest tools in the shed by any means- but compared to the females they are with, they are candidates for MENSA membership and Nobel Peace Prizes. What is with these women? One is an immature, blithering idiot who acts like she should be heading home to her house full of cats, all of whom have "Mr." or "Miss" in their names. The other is a bossy control freak. Taken together, they make up one big lump of Unattractive.
And taken together, these ads make up one big lump of Vile. They sure don't make me want to head off to McDonalds to partake in the Dollar Menu. Admittedly, that would take quite a commercial. But these ads don't even make the effort. All they do is make me loathe the people in them, and the company that subjected me to these time-wasting nuggets of dumb.
(BTW, what the hell are "window treatments?")
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Sigh...first of all, "chances are you've probably...?" thanks, Kraft- you start right off the bat by butchering the English language.
And hey, I had no idea that the two creepy kids who have appeared in separate Kraft Mac 'n Cheese Kids v. Parents commercials were related, or knew each other, or whatever this situation is. I do now that it's the boy's house, because they've hired that same balding idiot with the five-days growth beard to play his dad, and the palatial estate he works hard to provide for his ungrateful runt of a kid looks really familiar.
(I mean, really- this f--ing palace looks roughly twelve times the size of my apartment. And I grew up in a big farmhouse, which I think just might be able to fit into this little brat's living room.)
I don't get why the dad here feels the need to stroll across the cavernous dining room to steal a forkful of warm yellow mush, dropping that fork loudly in a "I took it because it's mine and I'll do it again" manner. Maybe it really is just a hateful control issue. In any case, it's really stupid- but I don't buy the open-mouthed look of shock on the kid's face, because after all, he's explained to us in other ads that his father is kind of a dick (in one, dad banished him from the table for some minor discretion and proceeded to eat the kid's dinner- nastiness, cruelty and child abuse wrapped up in one neat package, thanks Kraft!) This mooching of food comes as a shock to the kid? Really?
Weird Little Girl Who Continues To Try To Channel A Young Christina Ricci quietly explains this thing called "Macsurance," which I guess assures replacement of "lost" Mac 'n Cheese. Well, whatever. If it works like every other type of insurance, the kid has to prove loss and wait thirty days for a claims inspector to explain to him why that particular forkful of fatty junk wasn't covered- and oh, by the way, his rates are going up another 30%.
Not to mention- who pays this kid's premiums, anyway? Does he have a job? If so- buy your own f--ing Mac 'n Cheese, you smarmy little prick. Better yet, buy some applesauce or a vegetable to go with that lump of gray something with gravy your Dad ISN'T interested in pilfering.
Then think about installing a bowling alley in your living room. Jeesh.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Actually, Strike One was your decision to hang around with these pathetic, judgmental beer whores. I mean, you seem to be able to find attractive girls on your own; why do you want to be with these dicks in the first place?
Strike Two was that weird squeaky noise you made when you tried to get one of your male "friends" to hit the restroom with you. No, it's not that going to the restroom in groups is a "girl thing," though I do have to question why any guy would express nervousness at going to a public facility by themselves. I assume that the joke is that girls go to the restroom to talk privately about the guys they are with and men, being men, simply don't do stuff like this. Fine. Regardless, that ain't Strike Two. Strike two is that high-pitched sound, which had no business coming out of anyone, male or female.
If you swing and miss at Strike Three, it won't be because you ordered the "wrong" Light Beer. Because (and we all know that this is the inevitable punchline the good people at Miller Lite missed,) guys who order Light Beer are the LAST MEN ON EARTH who have the right to question the masculinity of ANYONE. Hey, guys? What the hell do any of you know about Man Cards and the Proper Behavior of Males? I don't care if you HAVE managed to find hot girlfriends (lots of girls like to hang out with gay guys...not making accusations, just sayin'....) If you are drinking Light Beer, and worse, if you are sneering at another guy's choice of Light Beer, you really need to keep your cake holes shut when it comes to defining what it means to be a male.
And while I've got your attention, guys? Here are other activities that disqualify you from judging masculinity: Spending more than an hour a week fiddling with your fantasy football, basketball, hockey or baseball team. Spending more than ten minutes a day staring at your cellphone and running your finger along it's screen. Using that cell phone to find things whose locations are already well known to you. Driving a car which starts with the push of a button instead of the turn of a key. Gaming.
Here are some activities which actually confirm your status as a Man, in case you are interested: Changing your kid's diaper without dropping him to take a phone call. Doing your part to provide a home and security for your family. Treating your loved ones and the other people around you as if they are valuable and not annoying, smelly little appendages who mysteriously showed up in your house one day. Having respect for your friends and not questioning their sexuality because of what crappy, watered-down "beer" they choose to drink. Not driving a mud-splattered SUV, not going unshaven or with your shirt hanging out, not pumping a bottle of Round Up on every weed in your driveway on the weekends, and not drinking Miller Lite. Sorry it's not so easy.
Glad I could help.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
There seem to be two messages being delivered to the viewer here: First, Seniors are really, really out of it, finding technology and contracts and what-not really confusing- no, bewildering- what with the miles of paperwork and special disconnection fees (hey, come on- you guys are seniors- how many times do you think you are going to want to switch carriers anyway? Sorry, couldn't resist.) At least this is a step up from those "my mom was so intimidated by the idea of cell phones until I got her one that was roughly the size of a World War II field radio" ads I remember from a few years ago. Still, there's something rather obnoxious about the suggestion that senior citizens- you know, that population of people who AREN'T under water on their mortgages because they didn't leverage them or buy houses they couldn't realistically afford, who have file cabinets containing every warranty and every owner's manual for every appliance they've ever owned, and never, EVER pay full price for ANYTHING because they have a coupon for everything that could possibly on sale, wouldn't know how to manage a simple cell phone contract.
Second, that seniors are being left out of the Wonderful World Of Talking Your Ass Off About Anything That Pops Into Your Head At That Moment No Matter Where You Are, and here's this wonderful product which will allow Even People 55 And Over to entertain the rest of us with their pointless, idiotic conversations as we are just trying to get on with our lives WITHOUT being kept up to date on the non-lives of total strangers. No longer will Being a Total Anti-Social Dickweed be the sole dominion of the Forty and Under crowd- thanks to this new Senior-Friendly phone service, we may now expect to hear Grandma's cell go off in the middle of the movie theater, and continue to ring as she spends ten minutes fumbling through her knapsack-sized pocketbook to find it. (And if she's like most seniors I know with their cell phones, she'll then proceed to yell into it as if she's trying to update HQ on troop movements during the Normandy Invasion.)
And I won't even get into the "Hey, Handsome!" and "Hey, Ugly!" comments which bookmark this little lump of Dumb. I guess that's just some ad agency's idea of How Seniors Talk To Each Other. Somehow, I don't see my brothers and I addressing ourselves this way when we finally join the Silver Set- but we aren't adorable twins like these guys, so who knows.
Then again, the day I find myself having a "conversation" like this at high volume as I walk down the street, assaulting innocent bystanders with my pointless blather, I really hope that someone points out that I've become my own worst enemy- and theirs, too. Of course, by then, no one will notice my behavior, because everyone else will be doing the exact same thing. This is going to get a lot worse before it gets better.
Friday, September 23, 2011
Has the term "Techno-Dicks" been trademarked yet?
This guy's response to being ribbed by a crowd of obnoxious jerk coworkers for using a (gasp) pen instead of an I Pad is, naturally, to go on Ebay and find one for himself.
Not to defend his use of a perfectly good pen (which must explode in his pocket, of course. Because I Pads never, ever malfunction, fail to take a charge, get cracked screens, etc. etc. ETC.) Not to quietly point out that hey, I have a fucking BUDGET, and why should I spend money I don't have on a big, expensive toy which after all does nothing more for me than take the place of a fucking PEN and PAPER? Not to tell his coworkers to kiss off and maybe re-read the part in the employee handbook covering harassment.
No, the response to being mocked and ridiculed is to give in to peer pressure and join the crowd. What an awesome message, Ebay. Thanks for nothing.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Wow, this is so depressing.
First, we have a stereotypical twenty-something couple which mysteriously can't even manage to pick out a restaurant unless it can read reviews in the form of floating bubbles on a cell phone. Never mind that the restaurant they are looking for is right. Across. The Street. Hey, it's 2011- can't tie your shoes unless there's an App for it, right?
I don't even want to know what those kids are trying to accomplish as they run through a field with their glowing cell phones in hand. Seems like there is some kind of Locator Device or map on each screen- again, I don't want to know. I guess it's just supposed to remind me of trying to catch fireflies, which I somehow managed to do as a little boy despite my lack of "connectivity" to a "living, breathing machine" (ugh, get the fuck over yourselves please, AT&T.)
The only really familiar scene in this ad is that of the guy walking down the street staring at his phone as the world passes by. I just wish that, every once in while, this scene would conclude with the guy walking into a moving bus. Or a wood chipper. Because admit it, that would be really cool.
The scene in the ambulance, where the patient who has obviously just been in a terrible accident is locked into a stretcher, in a neck brace....and is being reassured by the floating head of a doctor which appears on the paramedic's cell phone (the paramedic must be thinking "I went to medical school to do this? To hold a phone over somebody's head? Really?") Or maybe he's not a paramedic at all- maybe we don't need paramedics in ambulances any more, because now we can have doctors "face to face" with patients thanks to the miracle of cell phone technology. Maybe we just need people capable of holding the phone above the patient's head.
And speaking of "face to face," I can't tell you how much I loathe the "stay connected with your family" theme illustrated in the final scene, where a woman's self-satisfied smile as she talks to her kid (she can SEE him, which is just as good as being there, if not better!) puts just the right touch of hate into the ad's conclusion. Son is doing fine without mommy, because he's not really without mommy, because hey there's her face on his phone. Carry on with your life, mommy! Son is just a phone call away- a phone call made possible by the "living, breathing machine" which is The Network.
AT&T's nonstop campaign to get us to Stop Looking Up And Actually Talking To People Ever is, in my humble opinion, nothing less than a war on society. One that AT&T is winning, with the help of a population of overgrown, spoiled children determined to find comfort and guidance in little glowing boxes.*
*I give the woman with the e-book a pass. E-books are not stupid, pointless little toys. They are books. There's a difference.
Monday, September 19, 2011
Hard to feel sorry for a woman who
1. Married a guy who is referred to as "G-Dog" by his friends,
2. Thinks it's ok to juggle changing his kid (guys in commercials like this always act as if they are babysitters with their first gig, or ten-thumbed morons attempting to assemble a ten-speed bike, when they have to do ANYTHING with children) with exchanging BS with a guy who really needed to be dumped as a "friend" right after the wedding,
3. Married a guy who uses the terms "I'm just kickin'" and "gotta bounce," and
4. Married a guy who is, let's just admit it, clearly an overgrown child who was not ready to have a wife and a child, and would much rather be "kickin" with friends who refer to him as "G-Dog."
So- sorry, lady. Put away the harried, "oh my God I was doing the laundry because you SAID you could do this one little thing" look for someone who can work up a little sympathy for your situation. You wanted the package- the guy, the house, the kid. Congratulations, you got them. Now, live with them. And dump the attitude- no one tazed, tagged and locked you into a relationship with this little boy (and no, I'm not referring to the one getting his diaper changed.) It's a little early for the "oh I suffer so with this moron I'm married to" bit.
Bed. Made. Lie. My guess is, you guys deserve each other. I just wonder how many times your kid is going to hit the floor because your chosen Sperm Donor decides to drop him instead of letting the call go to Voice Mail.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Here's the basic theme of this commercial: there are a lot worse things than yellowed teeth and fingers, bad breath, coughing up your lungs every morning, spending a hundred dollars a week on something that makes you a smelly social outcast, and the strong possibility that you will someday die of cancer.
Included in those worse things is the apparently endless, Would Be Laughable If They Weren't So Darned Depressing (depression is included) side effects you "may" experience while taking (or when you stop taking!) Chantix, a drug designed to help you break your addiction to nicotine which, if you really pay attention to this commercial, turns out to be nowhere near as bad as the "cure."
It tells you an awful lot about the Food and Drug Administration that Chantix has been approved for use by animals who are not lab rats. None of it is good. After all, Chantix MAY cause skin disorders, wild mood swings, depression, thoughts of suicide, agitation, hostility, rashes, swollen face and throat, mental disorders, nightmares, sleeplessness, and nausea, but it also MAY help you quit smoking, and do you have any idea how much money Big Pharma pours into Washington, DC in the form of campaign contributions these days?
Clearly, the Just Get The Damn Thing On The Market Mania still dominates the pharmaceutical industry. As long as you provide a long list of side effects, you've made the company attorneys happy. The addicts who desperately need real help with what is, in fact, a disease? Well, hey, Chantix hasn't been shown to cause cancer!
Ugh, can we please enact a moratorium on calling babies "miracles?" I mean, if babies are "miracles," they are the most common "miracles" in the history of the universe. If babies are miracles, miracles take place every few seconds everywhere on the planet. If babies are miracles, then miracles have become much noisier, smellier, and time-and-money consuming since I used to read about them in Sunday School.
Seriously, can we stop with this "miracle" crap already? Here's what would be a miracle- if these two people continuously had sex and yet never managed to produce a rather large-headed, pale, bald mammal that was not made up of DNA from both parents. If eggs repeatedly failed to fertilize despite being assaulted by sperm, that would be quite a "miracle."
I understand that couples tend to get a little excited when they manage to produce one of these things. Really, I get that. What I do not understand is their insistence on butchering the English language by consistently referring to their offspring as "miracles." Because sorry- unless you use the same term to refer to seedlings becoming plants, or your dog producing a litter of puppies some months after the neighbor's Best Friend got through the hole in the fence, you aren't making a whole lot of sense here. And you are really watering down the concept of "Miracle."
Maybe the real "miracle" here is that this commercial features a guy, his wife, and their baby, and the guy doesn't come across as a COMPLETELY worthless loser who appears perfectly capable of injuring the kid through his own cluelessness if left alone with it for five minutes. I guess that's something.
Saturday, September 17, 2011
As an ASPCA member who does not currently own a pet (I do feed a stray cat, but after two years of letting me feed her she still won't let me pet her or step inside my house) this ad just infuriates me, because it appeals to people who like owning cats and dogs but are looking for cheap shortcuts to taking care of their animals properly.
This Amazing Miracle Spray Crap is supposed to take the place of professional tooth and gum cleanings, which "are expensive" and oh by the way "are hard on your pet." Sure they are. In two weeks I have to get my own teeth cleaned. It's going to be expensive, and it's going to hurt, and I'm going to do it anyway, because I care enough about my health to go through it. No one could convince me that spraying stuff in my mouth could take the place of a good cleaning, or prevent gum disease. Why would I provide less for a dog or cat? If I did own a pet that I claimed to love, why would I be looking to save a few bucks by cutting corners with it's life? Jesus, the ad SAYS that plaque buildup and gum disease in animals can lead to or be signs of "Liver, Kidney or Heart disease." Anyone out there REALLY want to trade the services of a licensed veterinarian for a ten-dollar bottle of bleach?
If there is- how fucking dare you own a pet, you cheap bastard pigs.
"Your pets are relying on you to take good care of you" says "Dr. Perez" in the most hilariously wooden performance since John Agar retired from the film industry. Yes, indeed they are- so why would you betray that trust to save a few bucks? "Taking care of their oral health is one of the most important things you can do for your pet." Again- I totally agree. What does this have to do with spraying your pet with a chemical which changes the color of plaque buildup and disguises the damage, making you as a disgustingly selfish, heartless, cheap piece of shit pet owner APPEAR to care for your pet (check out the awesome breath!) instead of providing it the professional care it needs?
And here's Clueless Penny-Pinching It's All About Appearances Owner, telling us how "its easy to do- Right, Bailey?" (Bailey, being a dog, has no response, but his eyes seem to cry out "Oh God please rescue me from this insane drip!") "You just spray it in their mouth and you're done!"
Yes, you're done. And your pet is Finished. But hey, that's all right- when your pet dies prematurely of those awful diseases you covered up by spraying whitener into it's mouth, maybe you can walk the Crazy Critter toy (separate shipping and handling!) the bottle came with.
Better yet, just buy a fricking stuffed animal to pretend to love. Because if you fall for this pitch, you have no business having a real, living animal in your home anyway, you disgusting, soulless creeps.
Sorry if this seemed a little harsher than usual. I just really can't stand people who want to own animals, but don't want to be bothered to care for them. If there is a Hell, they occupy the hottest ring. So do the people who appeal to them with dangerous, stupid crap like this product.
The people who wrote this ad should be congratulated for their ability to jam so much anger-inducing garbage into such a tiny window of opportunity. Seriously, I got your beach right here, you smarmy jackanapes!
First, you've got this totally self-satisfied, smirking, glassy-eyed Business Class dickwad apparently lost in the haze of his own success, not halfway through his bottle of Corona before the Way Too Happy stewardess asks him if "everything's ok here?" Having all the time in the world, and not the least bit concerned that there might be anyone else on the plane who might like their FIRST beverage (like the woman across the aisle, for example,) letting said stewardess know that yes, he's very happy with his beer, his life, and his situation in general. And who wouldn't be?
Then we have the stewardess asking the woman who is Apparently The Only Other Person On The Plane Worthy Of Being Served if she would like something. Well, this is nice. The first guy to be waited on has already been served up a beer, but he was catered to before the woman directly across from him was asked what she wants for the FIRST time? Ok, whatever. In exactly as much hurry to let the poor stewardess move on to the other, Obviously Unimportant Passengers as that smarmy, possibly stoned dick enjoying his Carona is, this woman matches the guy's level of concern for the wants and needs of others by quietly replying "I'll have one of those."
And when she receives "one of those," she completes the implied connection with Please Please Please Be Allergic To Peanuts And Die male passenger by saluting him with her f--ing beer bottle. Oh, and please note that neither of these hateful idiots offers anything resembling a "please" or "thank you" during the entire commercial.
I'm not sure what the message of these Corona commercials is supposed to be- that drinking this crap allows you to indulge in the illusion of being on a quiet, private beach? That people who drink Carona are all spoiled brats who don't have the time or inclination to show even a modicum of respect for the people waiting on them as if they were royalty? That we, the viewing public, should want to slap around these people?
Because if it's Option C, mission accomplished.
Friday, September 16, 2011
A guy retrieves a baby's toy, which somehow
inspires a woman to slightly move a coffee cup (good deed quota fulfilled for the day!) which reminds another guy that he really ought to
help that guy who slipped and fell in the rain (never would have occurred to him if he hadn't been inspired by the Coffee Cup Moving Incident), which
convinces the guy who fell down to hold the elevator (again, this guy is going straight to heaven!) which
is just what the woman who gets on the elevator needed to be moved to save a motorcycle from being damaged. And it's a darn good thing because this woman later decides to play Nanny to a guy who is leaning over just a LITTLE too much in his chair. This inspires another woman to
save a guy from being crushed by boxes. Oddly enough, this encourages another onlooker to
let a guy cross the street (instead of running him over, which, I suppose, he would have done if not inspired by the selfless gesture of another person earlier.)
Anyway, this all ends up with yet another baby toy being retrieved by another Good Samaritan.
Two things about all this nonsense: first, are we really supposed to believe that common acts of human decency, most of which are carried out without any real thought (and why would they be?) must be inspired by the example of other acts of decency?
(Of course, discussing basic human decency in a conversation about insurance...bit of a stretch already...)
Second- it's more than a little hysterical that all of this is supposed to be connected to an INSURANCE company- the same vultures who wouldn't recognize a random act of kindness if it bit them in the ass (it tells me a lot about Liberty Mutual that they equate moving a coffee cup with saving a guy from being crushed by crates. It's all the same to any insurance executive- neither gets done, unless it's part of the coverage provided by the paid policy. If then.) How does all this "doing the right thing" bs equate into denying payment of a kids' root canal surgery because his grandmother had dentures?
Oh, and the smarmy, feel-good music- give me a break.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
What is it about Virgin Airline Commercials that makes me think that they should be followed by ninety minutes of Daniel Craig shooting at bad guys?
And what is it about Virgin Airline Commercials that just screams "you can't afford this, not that we fly to any place you can afford to visit, anyway?" In fact, what is it about Virgin Airline Commercials that tells me "look, these ads are aimed for you about as much as Lexus and BDO ads are?"
And why do I expect that this would make a lot more sense if I was drunk or high while watching it? Ice Cream, Shrimp and Martinis? Doesn't really seem conducive to a good night's sleep...
I mean, this is just weird. And I kind of suspect that that is the joke. Virgin Airlines has a lot of money for it's ad campaign. It doesn't have to do cheap crap like Southwest's horrid "Baggage Police" series. It can afford cool graphics and hot women- and since we are apparently never going to see another James Bond film, it can lift ideas from the opening credits of that series, too. I do wish this didn't remind me so much of Sheryl Crow's hideous title song for the equally hideous
"Tomorrow Never Dies"- ugh.
Just one request, Virgin Airlines: If you want to take this to the next level, ask Timothy Dalton to make a guest appearance in your next commercial. Connery is retired, Craig is ok but probably too busy- and I'm trying hard to forget that Lazenby, Moore or Brosnan ever played the character.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Know what they do at Jiffy Lube? They CLEAN!! (Wow!)
They CHECK! (What does this mean, exactly? I mean, how much does it cost to have someone "check" your fluid levels? How helpless are we?)
They INSPECT! (How is this different from CHECKING?)
Oh, and they sell you on the idea that you really need to have your oil changed every three thousand miles! And your tires rotated every time you come in! And your radiator flushed constantly!
And then they try to convince you that you need overpriced windshield wipers! And synthetic oil! And a heating and cooling system adjustment! And a whole lot of other unnecessary crap you can get talked into because you don't know one damn thing about cars!
And if you're REALLY ignorant, once you've emptied your wallet into the coffers of your local Jiffy Lube, you can hit the nearest Starbucks to blather on and on about how thrilled you are at how it only took an hour or so to get an oil change, plus a few little "extras" that added only 500% or so to the cost!
Just do me a favor, ok? If you do decide to head to Starbucks to share your amazing story, keep in mind that there are people in line behind you who aren't as enthralled with the Saga of The Easily Lead as you might think. And the faster you finish sharing, the faster they can proceed to give their ten-minute order to the "Barista" (snigger) for that Venti Carmel Orange Latte with four creams and two and a half sugars, extra whipped topping and a shot of espresso.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Off-camera, the guy who makes up the center of this manipulative nonsense explains to his kid that their annual trip to Disneyland is off- for the next five years- because this ancient truck happened to be in the background of a photo of the truck owner and grampa. I'm sure the kid- who, if he's like every other little boy on the planet probably experienced a few seconds of excitement over the prospect of daddy getting a new truck to replace the ancient eyesore he was being dropped off at school in every day to the delight of his friends- understands perfectly.
I'm sure Mommy also understands why Daddy can't just say goodbye to the rust on wheels which never fails to attract rolled eyes from the neighbors, followed by patented "what can I do, I thought for sure he'd dump this piece of crap right after Johnny was born" shoulder shrug from Mom. Actually, judging from what we see here, it appears that Mommy has precious little say in how the family money is spent. Obsessed-with-the-fucking-truck Daddy chose well when picking the mother of his child, didn't he?
I'm sure this guy is also State Farm's favorite customer EVER. No matter how badly beat up Daddy's Ride gets in an accident, State Farm is there thrilled to death that this guy is NOT interested in a check to cover the Kelly Blue Book value and get him on his way to another vehicle. Nope, Daddy is just going to keep pulling out that check book, determined to keep what apparently is the only valid symbol of his relationship with his (let's assume deceased) father burning gas and oil. No matter what the cost, dammit!!
I guess Mommy and Johnny should be thankful it wasn't an Outhouse in the background of Daddy's photo. I can just see this guy refusing to have indoor plumbing installed because it would mar the memory of his childhood. Weird.
Wait...the woman "presenting" Pillsbury Crescent Dogs (we of the great unwashed refer to them as "Pigs in a Blanket," and remember thinking that they were fun to eat- when we were around nine years old) at what appears to be an otherwise rather high-class function doesn't REALLY think the "impressive" comment by one of her guests was sincere, does she??
And does anyone else think that the last step to preparing and presenting "Pillsbury Crescent Dogs" at a party in which everyone is dressed to the nines* should really be to slap oneself on the forehead and mutter "oh jesus, what was I thinking?" before dumping the tray of junk into the nearest garbage disposal?
Come to think of it, it's hard for me to imagine an occasion where serving Pillsbury Crescent Dogs is at all appropriate. Let's see- when the only other option is that half-bag of frozen pizza rolls? When the neighbors you absolutely can't stand just rudely stopped in for an unannounced visit to discuss their plans to build a 7-11 franchise where their garage currently sits? When your husband- who PROMISED to make dinner because you had to work a double shift and it was his day off- reneged, and when you came home you found him sitting at the kitchen table, napkin tucked under his chin, with a fork in his hand?
Maybe. But a swanky holiday party? Please. Hey obtuse lady- when your guest said "Impressive," she was making fun of you. And when, for the next several weeks, you hear your friends muttering about those Pillsbury Crescent Dogs you served at your party, they aren't marveling at your inventiveness.** Get a clue. And a recipe book. And a Class Transplant.
*Upon further review, I see a guy in the background wearing an untucked, short-sleeved shirt. But let's be fair- these days, that's "dressed to the nines" for a twentysomething American male.
**And when they were raving at your Oreos and Whipped Cream Hors d'ouevres? Same thing.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
It's September, which means three things:
1. When I drive to school, I will have to maneuver around the SAHMs waiting at the bus stops with their kids as they give me dirty looks for committing the unpardonable sin of driving through THEIR neighborhood while trying to get to work,
2. Lee Corso will be back for another year of "College Gameday" on ESPN, spending each and every Saturday drooling uncontrollably over the athletic prowess of men one-fourth his age, and
3. Applebee's will be back with another stupid series of commercials featuring it's customers acting like morons in response to the sights, smells and sounds of cheap, fatty food.
In this particular ad, people with no taste buds, small entertainment budgets and idiotic friends are distracted away from their witless, pointless conversations by the roar of sizzling food ( I mean, how incredibly loud must that steak be sizzling for one woman to interrupt her engrossing "and then she said to the guy..." story? I sure hope she can remember where she left off when the plate has been moved out of earshot, or cooled down a bit!) I must say, except for the obvious exaggeration used here (no one believes that the steaks really emit deafening sizzling noises like this, right?) this is a reasonably honest commercial. I mean, there's no claim that anything being shown actually tastes good, just that it comes out of the kitchen sizzling in it's own greases. And just as Slim Fast is supposed to be "served very cold," perhaps the idea is that anything can be made palatable if it's too hot to taste?
I half expected someone to note that the food is way too quiet at The Olive Garden- I mean, nothing says "fun" like REALLY LOUD FOOD, right? Right?
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to watching Corso go into a haze while marveling at the athleticism of a guy young enough to be his great-grandson. Ugh, could you please just retire already?
Friday, September 9, 2011
"The dinner table is where I learned how to be responsible."
The dinner table is where you learned that it was a good idea to poison your family with cheap fat, salt and cholesterol-laden crud just because it could be prepared in a single frying pan inside of ten minutes? Really?
"Teachin' em right from wrong...it's my job!" Well, you are doing it very badly, lady. Here's some help: Teaching growing kids that mixing a package of chemicals to ground beef and elbow macaroni is a good way to perform the "work' that is supposed to go into making dinner is Wrong. When Mommy does this, she isn't doing her Job. She's taking what's called a Shortcut. And judging from the size of this house, she's not doing it out of economic necessity. She's doing it because her Other job- the one that pays her in money rather than fat, sick, malnourished kids- is more important than that Teaching Them Right from Wrong stuff.
"I used to be a track star, and I was fast...." Why do I suspect you weren't raised on Hamburger Helper, Mommy? And why do I strongly suspect that your kids won't be winning any track medals in the near or distant future?
By the way, what year is this again? Both "parents" in this commercial work outside the home. So why is it Mommy's responsibility- and ONLY Mommy's responsibility- to get "dinner" (using the term very loosely here) on the table? Shouldn't that be the job of the first adult to get home each evening, or, if they come home together, a job that's shared between them?
And don't tell me that Daddy isn't doing the cooking because Mommy's just so darned good at it. Because this....this is just wrong.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Ok, so the newest "important" innovation offered by the Dodge Durango is radar. It's installed in the front grille, and it can detect how close you are to the nearest car. And it communicates with the Cruise Control system, so I guess it automatically adjusts the distance to keep you safe. Or something.
"In this competitive world," our favorite unseen monotone self-satisfied Dodge spokesperson tells us, being able to tell people 'hey dude, my car has radar' is a "game changer."
And this is where the commercial loses me. First, what's the "competition?" Who am I competing with when I hit the road in my 2003 Honda Civic? What am I competing FOR? Is the narrator actually telling us that being able to tell others that "my car has radar" is going to get me-- what? Girls? Better parking spaces? That promotion? Survival? What? I mean, help me out here, please.
"The SUV is back." Oh, gee, that's great news. Hey Dodge, here's one person who never missed them. Last time I checked, gas prices were still hovering at just under four bucks a gallon. Do you REALLY think that radar-controlled cruise control, and not decent gas mileage, is what it'll take to get us back into the showrooms?
One more thing. I don't believe for one minute that innovations like radar in the freaking grille, rear-view mirror cameras, or cruise control do anything to make the drivers of these vehicles "safer." In fact, I suspect that at some point someone will issue a white paper revealing that all these "safety features" really accomplish is the creation of a false sense of security, not to mention providing a license to drive distracted. After all, the car is doing all the driving, right?
Maybe the narrator DOES mean to tell us that driving IS a contest for survival. It's me and my radar-free, cruise control-deficient, hands-on radio Honda Civic v. the guy in the Durango who has been told that he's basically just a passenger and should feel free to adjust the seat temperature and yak away on his cell phone, the car will let him know it's getting too close to me. Considering the size of those things, I don't like my odds.
Oh, and "dude?" Really?
Monday, September 5, 2011
I really hope that the woman in this ad is just an actress, and not a "satisfied customer" of WeFixMoney.com. Because anyone who thinks this is a good idea- well, as Gordon Gekko says in the only Wall Street movie worth viewing, "A fool and his money are lucky to get together in the first place..."
Ok, so this woman was faced with a bit of a financial crisis- she had a sudden car repair to deal with, and she found herself "surrounded by bills." Hey, it happens- especially if you aren't the "plan ahead" type. Or the "good enough credit to have a VISA card" type.
"I said, 'this has got to stop!'" Um, what is the "this" that "has to stop," exactly? The living on the margins? The lack of a rainy day fund? Turns out that neither is the correct answer- we know this, even though we never really do get a satisfactory answer to the question. Because this woman's "solution" was to accrue more debt. Not only that- but to add debt in the dumbest, most destructive way imaginable. She doesn't go to her bank or credit union (she seems to have a nice house there, or at least a decent apartment- something just doesn't compute here) or family. She goes online (she has internet access too- I guess the cable bill is in the "necessities" pile....) and finds WeFixMoney.com. She gets a short-term loan to tide her over till her paycheck shows up. Yay, problem solved.
Except, not really. Because these Payday loans are so expensive (can we spell Usury, boys and girls?) using them just puts you in a bigger hole than you were when you signed away your Common Sense for a fistful of dollars. Look, I get that there are these things called emergencies, and sometimes you can find yourself stuck. Sometimes, it's not even your fault. But this- this is not the answer.
If you've got any credit at all, you can carry a credit card for emergencies like a sudden car repair- and no credit card charges 300% if you don't pay off the balance inside of a month. I suspect that people who use "services" like WeFixMoney.com have already proven themselves incapable of handing credit cards, however. So I guess I really don't have any answers for this woman or people like her. Just pity. And disgust for the companies that prey on them- be it Aaron's, or Rent A Center, or CashStop, or WeFixMoney.com.
The little blurb included with the YouTube video says "Our Goal is to help you Navigate through Tough Financial Times..." Oh please. We know what you're goal is. Don't add insult to injury by embroidering it, ok?
Sunday, September 4, 2011
"Lets make 3D the next big thing..." Jeeesh, why don't you just come out and say it, Sprint? What you REALLY mean is "let's make 3D the latest excuse to throw away that perfectly good, State Of The Art Until Just Now phone you thought was really cool but which now looks like a piece of ancient crap."
Shorter Version: "When we say Jump, you reply 'how high,' idiot consumer monkey!"
In fact, the concept of 3D phones- and an ad campaign geared toward convincing me that I need such a thing- is so darned obnoxious that I actually have no real problem that it's being sold by the usual Get A Load Of Moron Dad theme. Indeed, I have to agree with the kids with the eyerolls and their Oh My God Dad You Are So F--ing Lame attitude -- they actually seem to GET that Dad's new toy is really, really stupid, and (Glory be to God!) seem to be more interested in just playing Ping Pong than participating in his desperate attempt to justify this stupid impulse purchase.
And I love the "you can share 3D videos with all your 3D friends" line used in a similar ad. I mean, that's just classic. First, it's true that all my friends come in 3D- though nowadays, a lot of people have "friends" who are NOT Three-Dimensional, as they exist as "friends" only in the Social Network. But the best part is the subtle little reminder that you can only share your amazing 3D videos of people doing amazing 3D things like playing Ping Pong with fellow losers who went out and bought 3D phones.
There are already several commercials featuring this doofus dad trying to explain to his kids why his 3D phone is SuperAmazingAwesome and the greatest invention since- well, this guy's last cell phone. Which probably featured Surround Sound. That was the most awesome phone since the one before that, which allowed him to project stupid commercials on to walls, allowing everyone in the area to share his interests, whether they wanted to or not. And that was the best phone since the one before that, which allowed him to download that video of the surfing squirrel five seconds before people who still had that phone he owned previously, the slow-adapting losers.
"Let's make 3D the thing which makes your last phone obsolete." I have a better idea. Let's stop playing this game, at least until someone comes up with an innovation which REALLY makes ditching our old phone for a new one worthwhile. Of course, for people like me, who use phones to talk and text, period (I'm such a philistine!) that's going to be quite an innovation. I suggest adding a taser which allows me to zap the hell out of people who update their cell phones every fifteen minutes just because Sprint tells them to.
Saturday, September 3, 2011
I grew up on a farm. Our nearest neighbors were about half a mile down the dirt road which went past our house. In between the houses were rolling fields, apple orchards, and cows. Or perhaps I should not use the past tense- little has changed since then. My parents are retired to that house, but the kids who used to play in that neighborhood have all grown up and moved away (except me- I've moved away, but I've never grown up.)
I remember wanting a Big Wheel, and then REALLY wanting a Green Machine. But by then I was old enough to ride a bike, so these two wonderful toys were never to be part of my life. Born too late, I guess. But enough about me. Can someone out there please tell me what the modern equivalent of a Big Wheel or a Green Machine is? What toy is being heavily marketed which encourages kids to spend large amounts of time in the great outdoors, working their legs furiously to get that breeze really blowing in their faces? What is being marketed for kids which encourages sweating, shortness of breath, flushed faces and a good night's sleep when the day is done?
I mean, I know that there are a lot of products out there which encourage children to sit their butts down on chairs and stare at screens. Fine motor skills are enhanced by hand-held controllers and keyboards. I can remember, clear as day, the afternoon my father brought home a kite for us to fly over the large, March-damp field across the road from the house. (One day, the string broke and we watched it fly away. A few days later, we spotted it on a neighbor's porch while walking home from the bus stop.) I can remember, like it was yesterday, the day my mother came home with my first bicycle, stuffed into the back seat of our Volkswagen Bug. I wonder how long today's kids will remember the day they got that PS3 or XBox. I wonder if they'll remember specific games they played, like I remember desperately peddling home from a friend's house, trying to beat the sun which, on summer days, I thought would NEVER set.
I think Big Wheels are still on the market- don't know about Green Machines. But if they aren't, I can't believe it's because they are no longer attractive to kids. I have to believe instead that they aren't as attractive to lazy, frightened, helicopter parents as the game system which keeps Little Hunter and Little Cody (actual commercial kid names) docile and "safe" in the family rec room. So Mom and Dad know where the children are in between feedings of Kraft Mac'n Cheese. And they know that the children aren't getting their clothes dirty.
They are, however, outgrowing those clothes. Quickly. Maybe I was born to late for Big Wheels and Green Machines, but at least I can be thankful that I was born too early to Storm the Castle with a click of a mouse. Because I can remember doing it with a snowball in my hand. Much better.
Come now- in real life, the woman in this ad is clearly miserable in her loveless sham of a marriage, and is looking for a reason- ANY reason- to bail. When her husband sticks his head into the greenhouse (could this be their personal arboretum? If so, is this woman really complaining about her husband wasting money?) to announce that he's just signed the family up for some great AT&T offer, she looks as if she's totally reached the end of the rope with this guy and his insane spending habits.
"I should have married John Clark" she mutters, loudly enough for her husband to hear. Instead of doing the sensible thing- telling her to go ahead and call a lawyer, get a divorce, and start preparing to spend the rest of her life making John Clark the most miserable man on the planet- her husband replies that the service is free, provided when he signed the family up for unlimited messaging (which the family obviously needs- you certainly never want the kids to stop messaging, ever.)
At this point, if I were this woman (and I thank my merciful God that I am not) I would have asked the question I think is kind of obvious- "well, Steve, how much does UNLIMITED MESSAGING cost?" Or how about starting with "don't you think we could have talked about this before you went out and signed us up- maybe I we don't WANT our kids glued to their fucking phones 24/7? Are we an actual functioning family, or what?" Instead, Wife is stunned to discover that Steve has, perhaps, avoided being a Complete and Utter Screw-Up, For Once.
I'm pretty used to cell phone commercials dripping with hate and contempt for human beings and society at large, but AT&T takes it to a new level here. As usual, there's nobody to sympathize with- idiot Husband made a rather important decision concerning the family's cell phone usage without consulting Wife. Wife made a bitter, nasty, and cruel comment in return before knowing all the facts. And all we, the viewers, are left with is the hope that these guys stay married forever, because really, this is damage that ought to be contained, and I think they deserve each other.
I THINK so. I'm not QUITE sure anyone deserves this woman. If I were John Clark, I'd change my name and cell phone number.
Friday, September 2, 2011
Anyone else sick of the same smug, self-satisfied authoritative voice giving us yet another twenty second version of "what the hell is wrong with you why don't you own one of these things already, you must be a clueless retard" while showing us a vehicle that Dammit As Long As Gasoline is Hovering at Just Under Four Bucks a Gallon we don't want?
Anyone else remember how cars didn't come with voice-operated GPS, seat warmers, OnStar, Hands-Free Cellphone service, Satellite Radio, and a thousand other things that needed tinkering with while we are just trying to get from Point A to Point B?
Anyone else thinking what I'm thinking every time I see this stupid little nub of an ad- that if you DON'T have someone riding Shotgun in your Dodge Whatever, you are going to be spending a LOT of time and energy doing things that don't involve keeping your eyes on the freaking road?
And getting back to my original point- anyone else sick of having Dodge all but say out loud that if you don't already have one of these things sitting in the driveway of your suburban paradise, you must be already dead, or just too f--ing stupid to take the hint embedded in Every. Single. One. of Dodge's "These vehicles are so awesome we really don't understand why we even have to advertise them, except that the American consumer is pretty damned clueless" spots.
Here's a tip, Dodge: Kill the attitude. Your cars and trucks aren't so very hot, and a lot of us simply don't need all those stupid extras, and sure as hell don't want to pay for them. And while you're at it, kill the spokesman, too, ok? Because the confident, bored monotone just isn't working.