Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Aimed right at the 1%, and we know where the rest of us can go

For years and years (but not for quite some time now) getting a new car for Christmas, regardless of Make and Model, was presented as a pretty darned big deal, even in No Wish Is Too Big Land, also known as Television.

Starting around 2002, giving your overindulged, pampered, suburban princess/husband/purchased sex partner a Lexus was where it was at- oh, and that Lexus had to come wrapped in a big bow.

Last year, Lexus raised the bar again- now, it's really not enough that you give the person who shares your bank account a Lexus, or even that it has a bow on it. Now it had to be wrapped in a big, home-made gift box, or a giant stocking. Or it had to be magically parked next to the fireplace in your all-marble home. Sick- but surely, that was as bad it was going to get, right?

Nope. Starting this year, anyone with the means to buy the person they are sleeping with a Lexus had better come up with some kind of cutsey, adorable way of hinting about it first. This means accessing the Lexus December To Remember Jingle- if you live in a freaking Penthouse, you arrange to have it played in the elevator on the way to the lobby, where the doorman has been tipped to keep the 99% from tearing it into spare parts. If you live in a weirdly glowing-white palace, you let the skinny, unshaven yuppie scum hedge fund manager you've sold yourself to listen to the jingle on your I Phone. In short, you had better add some imagination to make the presentation of a gleaming, 2012 Lexus an enjoyable experience- because the fact that it's a FREAKING BRAND NEW LEXUS just isn't going to cut it anymore.

Can I find the words to describe how much I loathe these ads? Here we are, just trying to live in a society in which 9 percent unemployment, stagnant wages, and growing holes in the safety net seem to be the New Normal. It's hard enough without being assaulted with these clips from Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Make that Rich, Famous, and Oblivious to the fact that the world economy is falling apart outside of their gated communities. Can Lexus please stop pretending it's the 1980s, or even the 1990s? I know you've got a product to sell, but come on- just a LITTLE sensitivity? PLEASE?

Oh, who am I kidding? Next year we'll see one of these super-privileged walking bags of refuse arranging for John Williams to perform the Lexus Jingle in the park across the street as Eternally Lucky, All-Deserving Recipient arrives home to discover that the missing element in his life has been provided for. And we'll be expected to be happy about it. That is, if we still have a television to watch it on.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Wanting a meteor to crash down and kill everyone in this commercial? So three minutes ago

There's not much I can say about his truly hate-inspiring 31 seconds of putrid, festering rubbish. Fat, unshaven zombies slouching in folding chairs at a tailgating party, staring at their cell phones, looking as if they'd lost their will to live quite some time ago and are just waiting for the inevitable pizza-induced heart attack to put them out of their misery (ours, too.) Not even looking up when new people arrive to make comments or ask questions- no, any response must be made in a muttered monotone which does not distract from gazing at those god damned screens. And of course we get the obligatory "of course we can do that pointless bullshit techno-crap (in this case, posting videos on Facebook)" scene, again delivered in a deadpan "this stopped being interesting or fun So Four Cell Phone Updates Ago" bleat.

Wow, turns out that I had more to say than I thought I did. Anyway, I really, really hate this ad, these actors, and everyone who had anything to do with this film. Maybe in the remake of "Public Citizen," Gerard Butler's character can track them all down and kill them in amazingly entertaining, gruesome and satisfying ways. Especially the dicks who responded to a question by videoing the questioner and posting it on Facebook- because respect for privacy was So Three Years Ago.

Never mind, I can't wait. Just bring on the meteor, please.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

What year does Tide think this is?

Sometimes I think that the advertising agency hired by Tide Detergent only just recently emerged from a bomb shelter after forty years, ala Brendon Fraser in "Blast from the Past." How else can one explain these "laundry is the natural domain of Women, so let's shock and amuse the audience by showing men doing it" commercials?

This guy prattles on and on about what most of us guys who live in the real world already know- that men are perfectly capable of adding detergent, moving the wash to the dryer, and ultimately folding it properly- hey, some of us even manage to put it away in the proper drawers without setting the house on fire, no fooling!! The vibe I get is that he expects some kind of freaking medal- or, at least, is trying really hard to convince us that he's still a Man ("I'm going to do crunches in the other room") despite the fact that he's doing "women's" work.

Seriously, Tide? Could you be just a LITTLE more condescending, insulting, and retrograde? I do laundry. I also vacuum and cook (and by "cook," I don't mean stir up a pot of Kraft Mac' n Cheese, either.) I don't have any kids- but if I did, I wouldn't refer to myself as a "Mom Dad" (I really want to hurt the dickweed who came up with that one) because "Dad" would work just fine. Probably because I wouldn't feel insecure about DOING MY SHARE. Ugh.

You know, it's easy to imagine the fungus down at the neighborhood bar reminding Mom Dad of the fact that he folded laundry and referring to it as the "second unmanly thing" he did that day. I'd hope he would respond with a not very polite rejoinder before getting back to his family- but judging from this guy's defensiveness, he'd probably just order a Miller Lite.

You'd think Tide would invest a few dollars in field research before approving junk like this- and "field research" does NOT include screening "Mr. Mom." I'd settle for the ad men who threw together this tepid mess crawling back into their bomb shelter. You won't be missed, guys- and I suspect that sentiment is shared by the women in your lives.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Tells us everything we need to know about the last forty years

Once upon a time (the Seventies, I think,) there was this nice-looking guy named Peter who found himself far from home on the holidays. Peter, you see, was working his butt off studying Medieval English Literature up at State University, and his job soliciting money for Clean Water Action just didn't bring in enough spare cash to pay for a plane ticket. However, at the last minute, and thanks to a Need A Ride post on the Student Union bulletin board, Peter got a ride to his front door in a rolling icebox with wheels (or what they used to call a Volkswagen Bug- what regular readers of this blog know was my very first car, btw) on Christmas Eve. It was a miracle worthy of a Hallmark Holiday Movie.

Peter was very quiet as he walked into the house, knowing that it was very, very early, but Cindy Lou Who heard him come in, and she came down to let him know that "everyone's asleep." Peter isn't all that interested in just crashing on the couch until Mom, Dad, Brother and Sister in Law (this is how I always saw it, anyway) want to get up, so he opens a can of really awful coffee and gets the automatic drip machine going. Showing very little common sense, he puts the lid-less glass carafe and cups out to get cold in roughly three minutes, but never mind. Everyone smells the coffee and gets up. Mom exclaims "Peter!," handshakes and hugs are passed around, yay Christmas.

Flash forward to 2011. The Volkswagen Bug has been banned for manufacture in the United States, so some overindulged choad gets to show up in plenty of time for the festivities in his new, $60,000 Audi. He pulls up to Mom and Dad's palatial winter palace. Instead of getting a greeting and a hug as he enters the house he grew up in, he finds that Mom and Dad have sneaked out behind him and stolen his car. Son is left standing in an empty living room, asking if anyone is home, while Mom and Dad are off on a freaking joy ride in Son's vanity purchase. Oh the joy. Oh the hilarity.

I'm really hoping that his next step is to call the police. When Mom and Dad are hauled in, he denies the relationship and files full charges. He spends the holidays at Mom and Dad's house, cranking the thermostat to 85 and leaving beer cans everywhere. When Mom and Dad are released on bail, he heads back to his brick townhouse in his Audi and changes his last name.

Oh, and then everyone associated with this commercial dies. Because this is not progress. This is just gross. We used to be kind of sweet, in a saccharine, cloying sort of way. What the hell happened to us?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I'm Thankful commercials like this are few and far between

It's not like there's nothing to snark on here. We could easily point out that Doofus Dad at the Store is so clueless that he needed an electronic list consisting of a whopping FOUR items, lest he forget "milk." We could snark on the fact that he is willing to do anything his phone tells him to do, and for quite some time refuses to question what The Phone is saying- so he allows himself to believe that at the last moment, the Wife remembered that she needed soda, coconuts, candy.....

We could even share stories about how often we've found ourselves behind the Not Quite Done Shopping guy, who normally has an accomplice running around the store grabbing stuff off the shelves while he is taking up our time getting his cart scanned. You know the guy- the one who thinks that it's perfectly ok to ask you to wait while the Rest of his Stuff shows up to be scanned. Because you have all the time in the world.

But I'm not going to do either of those things today. The fact is that I'm full of food and happy to have the day off to watch football, and even if I wasn't in a good mood, I'd find this a pretty darned cute commercial. I especially like the kids at the end- their expressions look perfectly legitimate and unscripted. So good for whoever made this ad- your only real fail is that when it's over, I don't know what you are trying to sell me.

But please, advertising agencies, don't try to make more good commercials like this. You'd put me right out of a hobby.

"Ummm...tastes ok. Now where's my Lexus?"

Ugh, almost a full thirty seconds of watching these grinning examples of the Whitest People To Ever Occupy This Planet go through what they apparently think is a super-cutesy way to present Mommy with this year's Just Because The Economy is Collapsing Doesn't Mean You Shouldn't Buy It stupid, super-indulgent little toy.

Mommy just LOVES her morning Latte. Well good for mommy- mommy also LOVES her suburban palace with the hardwood floors that is so damned big that she can't hear people come and go from her bedroom (oh, and check out the dimensions of the kitchen, too. Yes, I can SO relate to these people.) Mommy really LOVES her grinning, Brady Bunch-wannabee Husband and Child, who are so gosh-darned thrilled out of their freaking minds to be playing this Oh God Won't The Neighbors Love Hearing about this little joke on Mommy. I can't tell you how glad I am that this family had such a WONDERFUL time setting up the PERFECT way to provide Mommy with her newest little appliance, just right for that spot next to the SodaStream, Brewbot and automatic bagel slicer. And I don't even mind that it's clearly not Christmas morning- nope, this isn't a Christmas present, it's Just Because. Lovely.

I hope they find a way to describe all the freaking grinning that goes on in this ad. Jesus, even the woman of Uncertain Ethnicity at the No Longer Necessary Trendy Coffee Place Mommy Loves gets into the act, as Daddy and Child act like stealth yuppies, dashing in to grab a cup and lid (on Daddy's signal, no less) and leaving exact change on the counter (probably the only time in the past year Daddy has been careful with his money.) And back home, we simply MUST use milk out of freaking GLASS bottle, because otherwise, well, it just wouldn't be perfect now, would it?

Yes, it's all so Delightful and Nice and Cloying and I sure hope they show this commercial again and again and again in the next month, I really do. Because I just can't get enough of watching Rich White People get Every Single One of their hearts' desires fulfilled. Tis the season, after all.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Oh my God, tell me I am just imagining things....

What just happened here? What did we just miss?

Why does this woman look like she's just been injected with a serious cocktail of tranquilizers, or is just waking from a ten-year coma? Why does she look like she has not seen the sun in decades?

Why are these people outside in the snow, laying flat on their backs, looking up at nothing? Why does the guy think this is the appropriate time to hand this girl a rock?

And I'm sorry, I just have to say it- should these people be dressed? I mean, the entire vibe of this sixteen-second nugget of nothing is that something that can't be shown on non-premium cable has just happened between these two. How did they get back into their six layers of winter gear?

Oh and by the way, am I the only person out here who wants to track down the "artist" who wrote and sang the smarmy soundtrack and beat him to death with a heavy blunt instrument? I mean, Christmas is still more than a month away. And then there's Valentine's Day. Just think how many times we are going to be seeing and hearing this "all she wants is a trinket" garbage between now and then.

Between this and the ubiquitous Pretty White People Giving Each other Lexuses ads, it's going to be a very, very long winter.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Step Ahead of What?

Know what is really depressing about cell phone commercials like these? It's that they are becoming increasingly familiar and believable.

A few years ago, we couldn't really imagine seeing people walking around staring at their cell phones and muttering at the carbon-based life forms in the vicinity about what they happened to be looking at on their cell phones. A few years ago, we couldn't imagine snarking at other people because their phones were almost 3 percent slower at downloading information than ours. A few years ago (well, ok- maybe seven or eight years ago, now) we would have thought that the sight of two people eating lunch together but not looking at each other, and instead spending all their time and attention on their stupid f--ing phones was just plain silly, and totally unrealistic.

Not anymore. What we see in this ad is the New Normal- ditzy losers who simply cannot tear themselves away from their portable idiot boxes, constantly attempting to one-up each other in the field of "connectivity"- never mind that we won't see another population of less-connected losers until the next commercial for cell phones offering super-fast download speeds. Oddly, all this lightning-fast accessibility does is allow people to do what is basically Nothing, more Quickly. I have yet to see a cell phone ad which shows anyone's life being improved one iota by technology which allows for 24-hour availability and blink-of-an-eye downloading. In fact, all these commercials ever show me is how incredibly, mind-numbingly stupid and antisocial cell phones make people in tv land.

And in real life. Because like I said before, scenes like this are becoming more and more common every day. Not just in the exaggerated world of television, but in parks, libraries, restaurants, and everywhere else one has "connectivity." Which is just about everywhere now. Keeping us a step ahead- of actual conversations? Of exploring our own thoughts? Of taking a moment to enjoy the scenery? Someone, help me out here- why is this a good thing again?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Quick Soul Check

If you think that life is all about staring at a little glowing screen as you walk down the street, sit on park benches, ride buses and trains, or are supposed to be playing with your kids or socializing with that person you for some reason agreed to have lunch with, I feel really sorry for you- but even more sorry for the people who know you. Because your soul is suffering from a lack of oxygen.

If you aren't already angry at the idea that your life would be in any way improved by No Limit Data Downloading on your I Phone, it's on life support.

And if your heart doesn't break at the 21 second mark- if that final scene doesn't want to make you call Child Protective Services, or at least offer to settle for joint custody- you don't have one.

That's all.

"We'd LOVE to be handing you another big check?" Yeah, right!

Let me see if I get this straight- the State Farm Agent in this commercial (we know she's the State Farm Agent because her name plate says "Agent" on it- thanks, State Farm- we are pretty stupid) reminds her former client that HE dumped State Farm? This after she asks if "Jerry" wrapped his car around a pole AGAIN?

Come on- State Farm is an Insurance Company. That means, it exists to take premiums in exchange for a plastic card required by most state laws (mine is red and white and costs $1100 per year- it's like an exclusive club membership, except that it comes with no visible benefits.) It isn't interested in actually paying out. Insurance companies are like Casinos that way- they get big and successful when the money flows in one direction. It seems a lot more likely that "Jerry" had one too many expensive mishaps with his car, and State Farm decided to cut him loose.

That being said, "Jessica" is being sarcastic and more than a little vicious (but not too over-the-top for an AGENT talking to a CLIENT who cost the company MONEY) when she politely reminds Jerry that hey, sorry, you are some other company's problem now (I'm sure the "fifteen minutes" line is an allusion to Geico.) But not to worry, "Jerry"- you can bet that company will either jack up your rates or dump you as soon as it gets around to paying out. Try Allstate.

Or better yet, look into public transportation. Because you've clearly got some serious problems here. You are going to run out of companies willing to provide you with a policy if you keep doing this to your cars. Again- insurance companies are there to take your money and make stupid commercials, not pay claims. And you are what the business calls a seriously bad risk.

(Oh, and "DeClercq?" Really?)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

"However, none of my relatives are on food stamps. So Congress should feel free to cut that."

1. I'm sure Dad wouldn't mind if Deeply Concerned Daughter waited until she was in the hallway before she started to tell us how Dad is becoming a bigger and bigger burden every minute, dammit.

2. Concerned Daughter seems genuinely astonished that Dad needs MORE care as he gets older, and not LESS. I'm not sure what planet daughter lives on. I wonder if she used to become perplexed at her weird children who, against all expectations, grew larger rather than smaller as they aged.

3. Those eyes. Oh good lord, those eyes. Pained, Deeply Troubled Expression, direct from Central Casting. I get it, lady- you are losing sleep because Dad's upkeep is starting to take a bigger and bigger bite out of your household budget, and dammit you don't know WHAT you are going to do if The Government ever cuts back on the percentage of the bill it's willing to pay. Please, put those eyes away- they are pure nightmare fuel. And don't you ever, EVER show up on an Americans Against Taxing Anything commercial, or seriously, I'm going to have to hurt you.

I'm all for leaving Medicare funding alone. In fact, I'm for opening up Medicare for everybody who wants to buy into it (you know, like Barack Obama was, before he ran for President. Back when he was someone worth voting for.) No politician who votes to cut the deficit by cutting Medicare will ever, EVER get my vote, let alone a contribution. But this woman's exaggerated Gaze of Concern is just a bit too much. Jeesh, you'd think someone was asking her to pay another five cents per 2-liter bottle of soda or fruit juice.

Friday, November 18, 2011

I guess it's because I don't live there?

I don't know what's happening in this commercial. I mean, I know it's taking place on the Brooklyn Bridge, but I don't know why. I don't know why people are startled by the sight of this played-out insurance spokes-lizard. I don't know why the played-out insurance spokes-lizard is strolling right down the middle of what looks to be a two-way pedestrian walkway.

I get that at the very end, Geico's little Comes Cheaper than the Cavemen computer-generated image panders shamelessly to the people of Brooklyn. I don't get why that would make anyone want to check out the insurance. This thing also seems to suggest that there's no point in buying insurance if you live in Brooklyn anyway because there's no place to park a car- I mean, that is what it's saying, right? Does this make any sense at all- "don't buy our product if you live here?"

I guess I'll just put this ad into the file marked Went Right Over My Head. I'm sure it makes sense to somebody. And I'm not reading the comments, but I have no doubt that the Youtube knuckle-draggers are just crazy about the music. That's something, anyway.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Here's a better idea

Sure, I'd rather see people shopping at small businesses than Wal Mart, Best Buy, Target, Sears, JC Penny, Hecht's, and all the other huge box stores which have done an awesome job gutting America's economic base by running those small businesses OUT of business with cheap products and low wages. No question.

But beyond giving the middle finger to these bloodsuckers, I wonder why it really matters where we buy Made in China/Malaysia/Pakistan/Vietnam junk the Friday after Thanksgiving, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, or any other day of the year. After all, this ad isn't asking us to buy Made in America products- just the same junk being offered in an different, smaller venue. Does the local hardware store on the corner pay a living wage to it's cashier? Does the ice cream parlor up the street offer the girl who works forty hours a week health insurance? If not, why are they really any better than the Sprawl Marts of the world?

Here's a better idea- on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, STAY HOME AND OFF LINE. Don't shop at all. Sleep in. Play with your kids. Watch DVDs. Take out those old board games. Ask your neighbors over for coffee and leftovers. Go to the park. And leave your wallet in your pocket.

If this crashes the system, the system deserves to be crashed. Especially if that system thinks it can get away with cloying bs like this. Hell, they don't even tell you to use cash rather than credit- just another Buy Buy Buy commercial, wrapped in a flag. Enough already.

I strongly suggest that everyone just stay home the weekend after Thanksgiving. Maybe it will catch on- keep the money out of the economy the next weekend, too. And the weekend after that. And all the way through Christmas. Pop in a "Grinch Who Stole Christmas" DVD to remind yourself and your kids that the holidays DON'T require ribbons and boxes and tags.

Instead of Shopping Small on Small Business Saturday, how about not shopping at all- ANY Saturday? We really COULD make a big impact. Just not the one they are expecting.

We have nothing to lose but our VISA balances.

Monday, November 14, 2011

In this case, it won't bother me so much when all these jobs get outscourced to Pakistan

The official unemployment rate in the United States is 9%. When you calculate the REAL unemployment rate- the one that includes people who have simply given up trying to find a job, it's around 16%.

And that doesn't include the underemployed-- there are millions of part-time workers in this country who used to be full-time workers, and who are going deeper and deeper into debt because while their hours and benefits have been cut, their expenses have not.

And then there are the people who work very hard at unfulfilling, long-hour, low-wage jobs, because those jobs provide their only possible access to even mediocre health insurance. Because those jobs make it possible to pay the rent, the mortgage, the grocery and day care bills. Those jobs make a college education for the 2-year old who depends on them at least somewhat plausible.

And then there are these people, who are so appreciative of their employer that they just can't get enough of wasting time on their super-fast phones. And why shouldn't they be appreciative- their boss "gets" it, and even gives them encouragement in their determination to slack off.

I'm sure the overworked or underworked, harried or bored and desperate, worried and/or discouraged people watching football with the family when this ad comes on- again and again- share a good laugh at the antics of these wacky office sillies. They make employment seem so inviting, so easy, don't they? And they are just so darned grateful for the opportunity to stay off the Unemployment line- aren't they?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

It's never too early to set up the next generation of debtors

Or perhaps it should be "it's never too early to set up the next generation of debtors by providing them with unrealistic expectations concerning money. That is, that money can buy happiness, or that using a credit card to purchase thousands of dollars worth of junk in order to earn 'points' which can then be redeemed to buy a ticket to the most Overrated Sporting Event in World History is a good economic plan." But I didn't want to overwhelm the title box.

So instead, I'll leave the caption the way it is, and point out that this stupid old dick doesn't seem satisfied that his granddaughter is happy spending time with grampa and would just like a candy bar. No, he's going to buy her Everything Her Little Heart Desires under the guise of being "generous," when in fact he's just trying to accumulate "points." Gee, what an awesome message to be sending an impressionable little girl. Thanks, Visa. And thanks, NFL. For fulfilling our already very, very low expectations of you.

Can someone explain to me please what goes through the heads of people who might actually do what this guy is doing? I mean, how many synapses have to seriously misfire to convince a person that it's a good idea to spend thousands and thousands of dollars you don't have in order to accumulate enough "points" to buy something ELSE? Why doesn't this guy just BUY A FREAKING TICKET TO THE SUPERBOWL? This makes about as much sense as spending a hundred dollars throwing plastic rings on glass bottles, hoping to win a stuffed animal on sale at the gift shop for $15. What am I missing here?

And if this guy insists on living in a delusional little alternate reality where somehow accumulating gallons of debt in order to gain a shot glass of "rewards" makes sense, could he at least leave his innocent little granddaughter out of it? I mean, she's still young- shouldn't she be given a CHANCE to avoid being brainwashed into believing that the pretty plastic card is the key to happiness? Because this....this is just wrong.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

All that stuff about wanting Realism in Commercials? I take it back!

The pathetic thing about this ad is that it's really supposed to get us to want to run out and buy this service. Presumably because everyone would love to have a "family" like this one, in which

--Daughter paces endlessly back and forth, spitting textspeak gibberish (OMG!") into what looks like a phone, except that it has this white curly wire attached to it- what IS that thing, anyway?

--Son turns on the tv and is instantly delighted with whatever happens to be on.

--Dad does his best Ward Cleaver impersonation on the recliner, except that instead of reading the evening paper he's naturally gazing lovingly at the screen on his laptop.

--Mom and Dad exchange self-satisfied nods and eye rolls. I have no idea what they are supposed to signify. Is it "gee our kids are weird?" Or maybe "Gee it's awesome that our kids are so easy to please?" I have this sinking feeling that it's actually "isn't it great that we are all together." Because seriously...

This is what a "family room" is supposed to look like? Everyone doing their own thing, distracted by electronics, with the closest thing to actual communication coming from silent nods, glances and eye rolls? Really? This reminds me of a commercial during Christmas a few years back- before I started this blog- which showed everyone in the family "celebrating" the holiday by keeping to themselves, playing with some stupid electronic toy. Maybe that one was a little sadder because hey, it was CHRISTMAS. But this "family time" crap from RCN is just plain sickening- where's the "family" here? I just see four individuals doing their best to pretend the others just plain don't exist. And a soulless, heartless cable company trying to sell this as somehow wholesome and worth emulating.

And why is this family packed into such a small space anyway? No extension for that phone, so daughter can have some privacy and not drive everyone else insane with her pointless chatter? Is that the only television in the house? Oh wait, I forgot- this is the "family room" and this is "family time," which nowadays means nothing more than "this is the time when the people related to each other who live in this home must stay in the same room." Because the family that does unrelated things in the same room stays together, I guess.

I hate you, RCN. Almost as much as you clearly hate us.

Friday, November 11, 2011

I suggest a McAnnulment

Check out this "woman's" expression when she hears that the plane to Barbados is boarding, and tell me she's over fourteen. Not buying it.

And yes, her new husband is a fourteen year old. You didn't notice this during the dating stage, stupid? Maybe you thought he'd grow out of dressing like a teenaged slob? Or did you find that endearing? Made. Bed. Lie.

And didn't you realize that when you marry a little boy, you marry that little boy's friends? This particular bunch of jackasses KNOW they will sabotage the Honeymoon by sending the new hubby a photo of his favorite disgusting, greasy mess of a sandwich, once again Available for a Limited Time at McDonalds. (Quick aside here: why does McRib keep making these unwelcome returns from the grave every couple of years? I have no idea- but I suspect that every once in a while everyone's favorite junk "food" chain makes a deal for several hundred tons of Grade-C pork and several thousand gallons of ketchup disguised as barbecue sauce, and BINGO! McRib is Back!!)

Anyway, this guy realizes that if he goes to Barbados with his child bride he'll "miss the McRib." Setting aside the bizarre notion that a pile of pork swimming in grease between two slices of white bread is something that can be "missed," I gotta ask- how LONG is this Honeymoon anyway? I mean, McRib's sad intrusions into our already nutritionally deficient culture usually last for a month- what the hell? And he discovers that McRib is back because before the newlyweds even manage to board the plane, Hubby has already broken a promise and is checking his cell phone. I feel really good about this relationship.

Actually, everything will work out just fine if Child/Wife learns to shrug her shoulders, roll her eyes, look exasperated and memorize the line "what are you going to do, boys will be boys" and Child/Husband manages to forget about McRibs long enough to notice that Barbados has restaurants which serve real food- and that life isn't all about shoving crap down his cake hole.

Though personally, I think that the best possible thing that could happen here is that this dick's use of a cell phone during flight causes the plane's instruments to go haywire and the damn thing crashes to the Earth. Right on top of the guy's "friends." Leaving no survivors. Sparing Little Girl fifty years of life with a self-absorbed, rude, tasteless jerk. Sparing Little Boy those agonizing months of withdrawal between returns of the McRib. And sparing me any more obnoxiously loathsome ads like this one.

"We're being stupid guys on the weekend. What does it look like we're doing?"

This is one of those ads that just catches you right away. It's a barbecue. It's a backyard. A bunch of guys are playing football.

A woman walks up and asks "what's this?"

Maybe it's because I come from a family where playing football in the backyard is a cherished holiday tradition....but is this woman dense, or what? "What's this?" Um, it's a bunch of guys playing football. Bizarre, huh? Maybe you and your Seeing Eye Dog would like to join in?

And it--well, I can't say "gets better," so....I'll just say, it continues:

"We are giving (insert name of soon to be hilariously injured loser here) the NFL Experience* of a goal line stand. First of all, why? Is your friend dying? Second, no you are not- unless NFL goal line stands normally feature scruffy losers with no taste in beer. Second, let's be honest about what is happening here. Someone you allegedly care about is about to get hurt, and it's supposed to be funny. In other words, it's just another day in TV land.

Sure enough, Friend fails miserably at achieving the NFL Experience, and probably has a broken neck and back for the effort. Oh, the fun. I guess he should have been told that the "NFL Experience" can be achieved a lot more easily by pointing a cell phone at a label and pushing a button (you know, like every other experience.) Thank goodness for Bud Lite, without which Permanently Injured Guy might have just had a fun time playing an innocent game of football in the back yard. Boy would that of sucked.

"Did I make it?" "To the internet, yes." Now, I guess I should be charitable and assume asshole friend with cellphone is referring to the fact that he just entered his injured friend into some contest, and not that Funny Guy Gets Back Broken WATCH LOL is not "going viral" on YouTube. But I know what year it is, so I can't.

*Come to think of it, what on Earth would a crowd of Browns fans know about the "NFL Experience" anyway? Maybe to them, seeing people get hurt and having nothing to show for their labors every weekend IS the "NFL Experience."

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

"So how long have you BEEN a camera-hungry idiot?"

What's with the constant picture-taking? Where are these photos going to be published?

There must be thirty "reporters" jostling each other to ask this ditzy idiot questions. So they all work for competing media outlets, so desparete for news that a woman's witless comments about her new car constitute a "story?"

"Does this car reflect your personality"- this is the best the reporters can do? I mean, I understand they don't have a lot to work with here, but seriously? And what's with this woman's answer- jesus, could you be more full of yourself? Quirky, maybe. Smart? Not based on the answers you've come up with.

What's with the laughter after each of this woman's non-funny non-answers? Good lord, people. Could you wait for her to say something even REMOTELY amusing before bursting into fits of mirth?

I never thought I'd say this, but-- these ads make those Bud Lite Press Conferences look downright Presidential.

Monday, November 7, 2011

You Make The Call

What's the most obnoxious, pointless thing about this commercial?

That this guy tells us he got this credit card and "immediately began earning points?" "Earning points," of course, means "spending money." Earning= Spending. Horatio Alger must be rolling in his grave.

That this guy TOLD his friends that he bought the weather balloon with his points? "You bought a weather balloon with points!?" "Yes, I did." I can only hope that the next line, carefully edited out, was "jesus, what selfish dumbass you are - where you not aware that you could have donated them to charity instead of buying this stupid little toy?"

That the conclusion of this commercial is rife with the All-Too-Predictable shouts of joy and the most fake laughs I've ever heard from this guy and his equally-unshaven idiot friends?

That what should have been the REAL conclusion was cut out- the "Ok, Now What?" that at least ONE of these guys should have uttered after watching the video from the weather balloon's attached camera? I mean, seriously- where do these guys go from here? Hey, I've got an idea- head down to the nearest bar and order a round of Miller Lites. Put them on the card- gotta start building those "thank you points" back up, after all.

Actually, I'll offer this- the repeated "what is this song I love this song I need help what is this song I need this song" posts from the YouTube glue-sniffers. Which continue even after one of these drooling idiots posts the name of the song. Hey YouTube zombies- Literate Much?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

No, it's not PC. The word I'd use is "gross." Maybe "sad."

What's almost heartbreaking about this commercial is it's utter believability. This is a scene I've come pretty close to witnessing almost every time I take a long walk- "adult" glued to a screen which can now (unfortunately for the kids who, finding themselves mysteriously existing, haven't figured out that the large person who feeds and clothes them considered his/her job completed the moment they became zygotes) be brought along for "quality time" with the spawn. Hey kids- mom and/or dad are in the vicinity, shouldn't that be good enough?

Anyway, this guy wants to go out for the evening with the person he chose to fertilize eggs with. Fine, nothing wrong with that. Looks like they've got themselves a babysitter. But the barnacle babies aren't all that willing to let zombie dad go just yet- gee, maybe they are just tired of being treated like unwelcome virus germs who have no business interfering with this guy's life? Rather than just assure the adorable little ones that Mommy and Daddy just want some Us Time and will almost certainly be back when they wake up in the morning, Daddy sets up the next generation to treat technology like a pain-killing drug. No Daddy? No problem- here's Sponge Bob, on a convenient, transportable flat screen. A few short years ago, I guess, the hilarious solution would have been Daddy sticking a DVD into the machine- and I can't for the life of me understand why this is better, especially when you consider that kids are a lot less likely to accidentally download pornography from a DVD player....

This commercial reminds me of the one I did a few years back featuring Owen Wilson's brother, where he provides instant electronic entertainment in the form of a downloadable cartoon for the benefit of a harried dad who must (horrors!) entertain his kid for a few seconds while Mommy's in the restroom. Both are absolutely despicable in suggesting that the best way to deal with children is to hypnotize them with the newest version of the Idiot Box. Because hey, it works for the "adults" just fine.

Come to think of it, I wonder why these people even got a Babysitter. Or why, if they think that a Babysitter is so important, they don't bring her along when they take their kids to the park. After all, those annoying brats aren't going to be trained to do nothing but watch TV without some serious effort- and until that blessed day arrives, SOMEONE should be watching them while they do things like, I don't know, RUN AND PLAY.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Come to think of it, maybe they just LOOK like models compared to the other people in the barn

I guess the message of this commercial is that if you want to meet good-looking, handsome guys or beautiful, available young women, the place to do it is at an all-you-can-eat-for-$3.99 feed bin.

Sure, this makes sense. We all know that the really attractive, smart, successful people love to hang out at places which encourage them to gorge on carbs until they slip into comas. You might not be able to spot them, as they use the massive, sweaty, middle-aged, poorly-educated and Stupid With The Little Money They Do Have slobs also there as camouflage.

In this particular ad, we have the hot girls (one white, one black- this is television, after all) checking out the Zoosk-level guys making stupid decisions designed to rob them of their looks in record time. I have to admit that I had to watch this idiotic nub of an ad three times before I could figure out what Bianca was saying (I only understand English) but I finally got that she's brought her White Friend to Cicis to "find her a guy." (Yes, because hot blondes have to really struggle to meet guys.)

Ok, let's stop right there. Cicis is the place to find a guy if you are a hot woman in your early 20s? I had no idea. I thought Cicis was the place to find a guy if you were a middle-aged, fat welfare mom looking for a lonely, heart-disease afflicted middle-aged man with equally empty pockets.

"This isn't the first time I've been to the endless pizza buffet" assures Bianca. Well, that may be so, but I'm willing to bet you don't spend a lot of time actually eating there. The White Girl is super-impressed that the Black Girl can figure out what kind of pizza the guy they are staring at is going to take, using nothing but the fact that the guy has already stopped in front of that pizza. Wow, she should get a job at the Psychic Hotline. Well, this is a lot healthier than actually eating, so I can't snark on their little hobby all that much.

They speculate on whether the last guy is "taken" moments before he asks if the chair at their table is "taken." Naturally the guy is going to sit down and enjoy his pizza and pasta and cinnamon buns and all the other garbage Cicis has to offer in front of these ogling idiots. So he's figured out that Cicis is the place to find hot girls, too- hot girls who like hot guys who like to eat lukewarm crap. And are cheap. Wonderful.

And we can speculate that this guy will now offer to buy these girls a drink at the All You Can Guzzle Serve Yourself soda fountain. How sweet and romantic.

BTW, I don't care what this commercial is trying to imply- I'm pretty damned sure we won't be finding America's Next Top Model at Cicis. America's next Biggest Loser, perhaps.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Because there's nothing more annoying than steady work!

I can SO relate to this ad, and I'm sure most of my audience can relate to it as well. Who among us hasn't experienced the hassle that comes with being hired for a gig which ends up taking much longer than you thought it would?

And all the headaches that such a situation creates- bigger paycheck, longer time away from the unemployment line, time that could have been spent sitting on the couch watching tv wondering where the rent money was going to come from....I think we can all agree, days and days of work with it's attached salary is a royal pain.

And the unexpectedly extended bouts of non-unemployment always involve jobs like the one this woman has- on some glamorous, exotic foreign site, surrounded by actors doing really cool things. This is SO like every extra job I've ever picked up- well, except that my extra jobs always involve afternoons spent tutoring or proctoring an untimed SAT, but other than the lack of cool locations and interesting people and ships blowing up, it really looks just exactly like this.

Ok, enough snark. I really don't want to hear any more pathetic "oh thank goodness I have this credit card which won't penalize me if I can't arrange a monthly payment because I'm being paid to be on some tropical island longer than I anticipated" whining from this woman. Hey lady, almost ten percent of the freaking country is UNEMPLOYED, and even many who have jobs are having a hard time wrestling with their credit card balances. I'm guessing that your "problem" isn't really connecting with a lot of us, or generating a lot of sympathy. I think we'd rather hear you say something like "I am so grateful that what I thought would be a three day job turned into three weeks, this will really help my bank account!" Or at least "It's so cool that what I do for a living gives me a chance to visit such interesting locales and meet with such fascinating people!"

And if you can't manage that, I'd advise you to just STFU. I'd tell you where you can put your Chase "Simplicity" (groan) card, but I'm way too polite to go there.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

If your fingers are stained with Cheetos rather than blood and dirt....

Are actual predator drones being used to kill innocent civilians, with the occasional actual terrorist victim thrown in?

If the people on the screen get their heads blown off, do they reappear later without a scratch? Are they serving their third, fourth, fifth or sixth tour of duty?

Do the people on the screen have families back home living on food stamps and other government assistance?

Are VA hospitals being filled with amputees who, if they ever are released back into the real world, will find it extremely difficult to find jobs in a nation with 9% unemployment run by two parties determined to out-do each other in cutting benefits while spending billions on pointless wars?

Are those same hospitals- facing cuts themselves, of course- becoming overwhelmed with trauma and depression cases?

Does the result of the violence you see on the screen lead to grieving spouses, boyfriends and girlfriends? Does it create a population of orphans on two continents?

Is the action on the screen destroying the economies of at least two nations? Does it require that at least one of those nations make deep rends in the social safety net, including Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid in order to keep it going? In short, does what we are viewing require that one nation empty it's treasury into a bottomless pit, while another nation is returned to the stone age?

If you answered "no, of course not" to all of the above, then the answer is quite simple: This is not Real.

I swear, if one-tenth of you Gamer losers would drop your fucking joysticks and head down to the nearest recruitment center, we could conquer the world.