Saturday, June 30, 2012
Look, I am very careful about what I eat. I'm a nut for whole grains, don't touch alcohol or cigarettes, and eat very, very little meat. I get a lot of mileage out of snarking on Golden Corral, Denny's, KFC and the other purveyors of low cost, but essentially poisonous, crap. So I'm not going to go after the product itself here, though frankly I've never eaten a Kashi product that didn't taste like a handful of Rice Krispies, twigs and nuts held together by honey.
But I can't give this commercial a pass. Seriously, the Pretension meter broke ten seconds in (around the time where Whistful Obvious Pregnant Woman starts staring thoughtfully out the window.) Sorry, but the Kashi Will Save The World imagery is just a little over the top, don't you think?
I mean, I think it's great to encourage the Fattest People on Earth to eat sensibly- and to consume more unprocessed foods and less warm, meat-and-white-flour crud- but could the good folks at Kashi PLEASE get the hell over themselves already? This is a commercial for a line of products pitched primarily to yuppies who want to show well for their neighbors- never mind that most kids would undoubtedly prefer real fruits, veggies and whole grains to the bizarre combinations the mad scientists at Kashi manage to come up with. So please don't try to sell me on the idea that you are simultaneously re-inventing the wheel and saving the planet, ok?
Or should I say "the stupid, overeager, Was Never Taught How to Buy a Car customer of their dreams." Because man is this woman ever dumb, dumb dumb.
She practically sprints from the showroom to the lot, leaving a panting (and probably drooling, with cash signs replacing his pupils) "salesman" in her wake. She knows all about the cars, and she knows exactly which one she wants. She knows about the current deal, and she loves that, too. If she knows how to do the paperwork, the "salesman" is completely superfluous here. Except, he'll get the credit for the sale and the commission. For keeping up with this idiot woman, I guess.
What this poor customer really, really needed in her life was someone to explain to her how to go about buying a car without getting fleeced. You don't rush into the dealership with a manic Please Please Please Sell Me Something Right Now Show Me Where to Sign I Don't Care How Much it Costs demented look on your face. You look disinterested, maybe a little bored, and your attitude is Maybe I'm Open to buying a car today, but Probably Not. In other words, you look at what this dope does- and do the opposite.
Oh, and if your busy schedule permits, you take a test drive. This woman looks like she may well just drive off and forget to leave the freaking paperwork for another day, she's in such a massive hurry to be parted with her money. Moron.
On the other hand, if this is how it normally works at car dealerships, man do I have the wrong job. Because this looks like a sweet deal, no heavy lifting. In fact, every car commercial looks like this- customers literally knocking each other over to hand their money to the dealership, grinning like idiots at all the bells and whistles. I get that the car companies would love for all of us to act like this clueless mope. And maybe some of us do. Me? I was just walking past and thought I'd pop in to enjoy the air conditioning. Not really interested in purchasing today. Unless you can offer me something really amazing, and even then it's not likely. But give it a shot, I dare you.
Friday, June 29, 2012
Can someone explain to me the look of triumph on this woman's face at the conclusion of this pointless little nub of a commercial?
But before you do that, could you explain to me why this woman feels compelled to compete with her next door neighbor in what seems to be some kind of contest to achieve superior "entertainment" with her electronic gadgets? Why does she care so much that she can download brain-numbing television, movies, etc. etc. slightly faster than the guy she seems to be stalking across the street?
But before you do THAT, can you explain to me why these houses have been placed on exaggerated Monster Truck wheels, and why they end up taking part in some kind of "race," complete with screaming hick fans?
(I watched this commercial without sound. If I had actually listened to it, would it make more sense? Would I hate this woman's fist-pump at the conclusion a little less?)
Never mind explaining the stuff I mentioned above. I'd settle for an answer to this question- why, several decades ago, did a number of women go through nine months of illness and discomfort followed by hours of pain just to produce the witless maggots who would grow up to write this horse crap? Because they knew it would give me a headache, even without sound?
And I'm not even going to bother to ask if there are really people out there who measure happiness in the number of electronic devices they can watch junk on. Because I know there are. And it's really sad. Not as sad as equating watching television with "winning," however.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Ok, so puns are not my thing. I never said they were.
But please, Subway, enough with the dickwad adults and the oversized sandwiches and ESPECIALLY enough with fake "kid" voices and attitudes. First of all, this simply doesn't work- adults already act like stupid kids in every other ad for every other product. These commercials would make exactly the same amount of sense if the people in them just spoke normally. Adults in commercials routinely talk and act like rude pricks with zero respect for personal space or property, haven't you been paying attention at all?
I guess not, because you also haven't noticed that kids do not speak as if they've spent the last hour huffing on helium-filled balloons. I don't know what planet you are from, where kids have voices like the ones "humorously" used in your ads. But could you please go back? Like, now?
And only on television would it be even remotely plausible that a coworker would just steal someone else's massive sandwich and eat it in the open, without the least concern about being caught. You know, at least in previous ads, you had the sandwiches being snatched by manipulative women (with little girl voices, to up the creepy factor) who pretended to want to be "friends" with the pathetic guys who bought them. But now you've got grown men swiping lunch from other grown men. Unless you are implying that these guys are actually crushing on each other and the lunch theft thing is a juvenile, passive-aggressive way of making contact, this is really bizarre and stupid.
No, I take that back. This is really bizarre and stupid even if that was your intention. Honestly, I didn't think it was possible that you idiots could make me miss Jerad, but a few more of these ads might just do it.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Know what the worst thing is about these commercials?
It's not the ridiculous display of pointless, showy bells and whistles nobody with two brain cells to rub together would ever actually need. Use, yes- but not NEED. Hey, Lincoln? The reason why most cars don't come with all this crap is because they AREN'T space vehicles. And they aren't going to BECOME space vehicles, no matter how much fragile crap you jam into them.
It's not the graphics- I'm used to dumb graphics dominating all commercials these days, and at least ads for Lincoln don't show the damn things pushing buggies up sand dunes or saving passenger jets from crashing.
No, the worst thing about commercials for Lincoln, Audi, Lexus etc. is the strongly implied message that people who can afford to buy such cars really ought to be given their own lanes along with them, if not their own highways. Because really, where the hell do we, the great unwashed masses with our Hondas and Toyotas and Volkswagens, get off being on the same road with these Better Cars for Better People? At the very least, we should have the good sense to get the hell out of the way when our Betters are trying to pass us with their Well Equipped Superiormobiles.
Eventually- once every highway in the United States has been privatized- I'm sure that this sad situation will be rectified, and the pampered class will have those exclusive lanes and highways, so they can cruise along at 110 MPH while adjusting their seat temperature and chatting with their brokers without worrying about one us yokels getting in the way. When that happens, the Professional Driver Closed Course Do Not Attempt disclaimers can be yanked and it will be all gravy for the One Percent. As if it isn't already.
Sunday, June 24, 2012
My June Ritual:
1. Grade Advanced Placement Essays in Louisville, Kentucky for six days.
2. Come back to the DC area and give my students their final exams.
3. Get my report cards and other paperwork done, and say goodbye to school for the summer.
4. Take in a few Orioles games with my niece, then head to Vermont via Hersheypark.
This morning, I'm off to Hersheypark for the eighth straight year. I'll spend two days walking from one ride to another, holding my niece's purse and soda as she goes on all of them, several times. The only ride I go on is the one in Chocolate World- the one with the singing cows and the free sample when you are done. After the insane g-forces of that wild ride, I'm pretty much spent, and spend the rest of the day recovering. My niece has a stronger constitution (she's the only person I know who is younger than I am ;>) ) and is just getting started after the Chocolate Ride. Ah to be even younger again....
This is a nice, family-friendly place, and the crowds are never too intense. The people are friendly and the price is reasonable and the noise level is more than acceptable, even to a curmudgeon like me. I need a new lapel pin, and I need to get a certain someone a souvenir, and I need to buy my dad some sugar-free chocolates, but otherwise it's just a lot of walking around watching people being happy. Which I kind of like, in small doses.
The only reason I'm posting this is to let everyone know that I'll be away for a while- we expect to detour to Mystic, Connecticut to check out the Maritime Museum after we leave Hersheypark on Wednesday morning, and should arrive at my boyhood home in Vermont very early Thursday morning. So enjoy the week, everybody, and look for my next post on Thursday. I'll be having fun at the Sweetest Place on Earth :>).
Here are two ads I saw BACK TO BACK while watching a high-quality movie on cable Sunday afternoon.
Well ok, actually it was Blue Lagoon: The Awakening, on Lifetime. Look, there was nothing else on, ok? And I was cleaning, so it was more like "listening to background noise" than "watching."
The first commercial is obviously aimed at America's female population. A skeletal model-type with pipe-cleaner arms, sunken cheeks and pronounced cheekbones (seriously, she's just screaming "FEED ME") sends a shout out to all her sisters who have made a line of alcohol products called "Skinnygirl" a success (I wish I was kidding. I wish this had turned out to be a parody. I really do.) These alcohol products are low-calorie, so women who like to drink can continue to do so without worrying that they might gain weight and therefore be unattractive to the highly selective Males. So we have a breakthrough in alcohol technology. Now all we need is a breakthrough in stupid, sexist "when it comes to women, less is more" technology.
The second commercial is obviously aimed at America's male population. It's an ad for take-out pizza. No, the pizza is not low-carb, low-fat, or low-anything else. In fact, it comes with cheese sticks and dipping sauce. There's no mention of calorie counts, and why should there be? Men don't worry about stuff like that. We can be as disheveled, unshaven, slovenly and soft as we want.
Skinny? That's for the chicks.
Maybe I'm being a bit oversensitive here. But it strikes me that in the year 2012, we should be able to do a little better than this. Do we REALLY need to continue the hideous, destructive message that women are more attractive if they cast a smaller shadow? Would it be so horribly wrong to show women drinking the same damn alcoholic beverages as guys do, and maybe even scarfing down a few slices of pizza along with them?
Would it be so damned awful if every woman in every commercial featuring food didn't look like she was a prototype for the next Barbie doll (there's a Katniss Everdeen barbie now, which I find especially heartbreaking; it's cool to be a tough survivor and a huntress, girls, but it's even cooler if you can fit into slinky outfits and turn the heads of the boys.) We almost elected a female President four years ago- but women can't drink the same vodka as the guys because if they do, they might not be stick figures who could make SI's Swimsuit Issue?
What the hell is the matter with us?
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Here's what almost all these DirectTV commercials all have in common: They are almost all arguments for getting rid of your television, because getting away from TV ultimately leads to you actually going outdoors and doing really cool things.
This particular guy feels "helpless" because his cable bill is too high. Funny, when I felt that my cable bill was too high, I didn't feel helpless. I just cut out the premium channels. Now I kind of wished I had felt helpless, because if I had, maybe I would have
A. Gone outdoors. Always a good idea.
B. Taken a karate class. Nice social activity. Good exercise. Another good idea.
C. Become the Fist of Goodness. This just sounds cool. And who doesn't think being the Fist of Goodness isn't a better deal that sitting at home staring at the glowing idiot box as your body turns into a mushroom?
Sure, you might not do a good job on your costume. I don't think this guy's outfit is terrible- it reminds me of Peter Parker's first effort in the original Spider-Man movie. But he could have done worse, and may do better in the future.
Sure, you might slip up and crash through a skylight and interrupt a dinner party. But so what? That comes with the territory when you are a Super Hero, doesn't it?
Once again, the message here is supposed to be "if you don't have 300 channels in HD, you are going to end up doing something really stupid and destructive." The message I keep getting is "if you get off your ass and stop watching television for a while, you might end up meeting cool people and doing interesting things." Maybe DirectTV needs to go back to the Hoarding Cats guy, or the jerk whose daughter married an "undesirable" (grrr, that ad still pisses me off to no end....)
I wonder if Fist of Goodness is trademarked. Because, as usual, there's nothing good on tonight.
Friday, June 22, 2012
1. When did you decide that being the channel of choice for seniors and shut-ins who just want inoffensive, non-threatening music in the background while they get Weather On the Eights every- well, eight minutes-just wasn't good enough for you?
2. What the HELL does "Pyros" have to do with the weather? I almost don't even want you to try to answer this question, because I can only imagine the twisted, insane logic your spokesperson would use to try to justify this crud. Fireworks? Detonation switches? Big explosions and colors and hicks moaning "oooooohhhh" and "ahhhhhh?" This is Weather? Really?
3. How on earth did you pry this junk out of the hands of the History Channel? Because it looks right up their alley. And I bet that their spokeschoads could make a better case for sticking this in between Axe Men and Ice Road Truckers (as a break from the usual Ancient Aliens and American Pickers marathons) than the Weather Channel could for running this crud when all we want is to know whether we need to bring an umbrella to work tomorrow.
So The Weather Channel is going the way of the History Channel, MTV, and all of the other niche market providers who have decided that their original mission statements needed to be tweaked. For our benefit, of course.
Which leaves us stuck waiting until the latest Not Weather show on The Weather Channel wraps up, so we can get a report on.....the weather. Oh, it's coming- but only after we watch Stuff Blowing Up. Thanks for nothing.
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Jeesh, I really hate this guy.
The week he brought his ugly spawn home from the hospital, he took "about a million pictures" of it. First, you can't hold a baby and take pictures of the thing at the same time. Which means he was spending a lot of time holding up his phone and snapping pictures and not a whole lot of time actually interacting with his kid.
In other words, this dumbass's definition of "being a father" is a lot different than mine. And when he says he "never liked anything so much as being a father," I can only assume that he means that he never enjoyed taking photos with his phone so much until he was able to take photos of this little mammal that came out of his wife.
When Dickwad was done "taking about a million pictures" of this kid's face, fist, wrinkled feet, etc. (because you can't get enough of those, can you?)* he left his phone in the back seat of a taxi. Which means that for a few minutes, he thought that he left his "million" pictures of his kid in that back seat too.
Except......he continues his yawn-inducing narrative with "I've lost about a million phones," and at this point, what I've lost is any confidence that this guy understands the concept of the term "million." He's taken a million pictures. He's lost a million phones. I'm guessing now that to this dope, the word "million" actually translates to "three." Which actually makes his obsessive photo-taking a bit easier to take. Maybe he's shot THREE pictures of his kid. That, I can understand.
Anyway, the "happy ending" comes when he, and we, learn that the million or three photos doofus took of his ugly little offspring are safe and sound and stored away by Google. Anyone else find it a tad alarming that when you use this phone, all of the stupid, spur of the moment photos you take are tucked away in some virtual vault, courtesy of Google? That all of those photos you looked at the next day, realized that you should not have taken, and quickly deleted are still available- probably forever and ever- in the Cloud (if that's not a trademarked term?) Oh sure, maybe you can go into Google and delete them- or maybe you can't. Maybe you just think you can.
Not that anyone's ever going to steal the pictures this guy took of his baby. I mean, who would want to? After all....
*It's just a baby, and it looks just like every other baby out there. Don't even try to convince me that it isn't virtually identical to every other white baby on the planet of the same age. Might as well try to convince me that it's a Miracle. And we all know that's not about to happen.
(By the way, the narrative style of this commercial really irked me. I don't know who this guy is. I don't care what he thinks is important, or how he found himself living a life in which he finds very little to care about. He sounds depressed to me, but why should I care? And why should I care about how many photos he took of his kid or how special he thinks being a father is now or how many times he's lost his phone? What was I supposed to get out of this?)
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
A lot of people are posting all over the internet comments about this commercial, accusing it of exhibiting a certain level of racism. I can understand why- if you think that black women are routinely portrayed as possessive, aggressive, controlling jerks determined to frighten their spouses into absolute obedience, I totally get why you'd think this commercial just screams Racism.
Personally, I'm too busy being stunned at the Sexism to notice the Racism. When I first saw this ad, I honestly didn't even notice the race of the couple with the horribly disfunctional "relationship." What I did see is a woman being an absolute tyrant and a guy cowering like a beaten dog in her presence, even to the point of hiding in the freaking bathtub in the hopes of enjoying a burger without wife/mom giving him a beating.
I also noticed that the abuse goes beyond the psychological. The guy in this commercial is legitimately afraid of suffering actual physical harm from this woman- and in the "hilarious" conclusion, we see that his fear is completely justified. We also see that the woman's repeated terrorizing of her boyfriend/husband/little boy is not out of concern for his health- when he has the temerity to politely smile at a cute girl, she attempts to damage his skull with a Pepsi can. She throws the can so hard that she takes out the cute girl, knocking her to the pavement. I can only imagine that the last few words uttered in this ad are lost to the hoots and applause of the glue-sniffers who think this kind of crap is even remotely funny.
Can we for a moment just try to imagine an advertisement in which the roles are reversed? Imagine if you will a commercial in which a woman cowers in terror from her husband as she attempts to consume something that has slightly more calories than a plain rice cake- and when she's caught, he looks for all the world like he's going to slap her around (for her own good, of course.) There's no WAY this version shows up on television. Maybe in the 1950s and 60s, but not now. Not a chance. And that's a good thing.
Here's what's NOT a good thing- that this kind of noxious crud is not only acceptable, but on some level FUNNY, to ANYBODY. Psychological abuse isn't funny. Physical abuse isn't funny. And people getting hurt- not funny at all.
Hey, Pepsi- Sleeping With The Enemy was not a comedy. Glad I could help.
Monday, June 18, 2012
"It makes me feel like a kid again." Well, you've certainly retained the same IQ score, haven't you?
"This must be one of those Golden Corral things..." yeah, that's a good guess- showy, cheap non-food inbred troglodytes like you are encouraged to ruin your appetite on instead of consuming the meatloaf, mac n' cheese, fried chicken and grade-B "steak" (which is also showy, cheap non-food, so I'm not quite sure what my point is here.) Sounds like Golden Corral to me, too.
Seriously- are Golden Corral commercials SUPPOSED to be funny? Each and every one of them features easily entertained High School dropouts and their drooling, idiot spawn who like nothing better than to spend an evening filling their plates with warm junk that's already been picked over by hicks who got there first. And last year, this All You Can Scarf feed pen introduced the "jaw dropping" chocolate "Wonderfall"- an endless river of Hershey syrup the fat yokels are encouraged to stick marshmallows, fruit and macaroons into instead of filling their plates with greasy junk for a fourth time. Apparently the CEO of Golden Corral decided that this thing wasn't saving his company quite enough money, so now America's Favorite Slop Trough has added a cotton candy machine- something else for the (literally) unwashed masses to stick their hands in and consume instead of meat, potatoes and assorted white flour carbs. Very appetizing.
Personally, if I were the guy picking up the bill for the herd enjoying (snigger) a night out at GC, I'd be pretty damned angry if my guests were spending all their time consuming chocolate-drenched cookies and cotton candy at $10 a plate. Then again, what would I be doing bringing people I care about to this place to begin with?
And so we leave these fat, ignorant, tasteless examples of America at it's Best to gaze in wonder at the chocolate syrup and the Just Stick Your Hand In There With Everyone Else cotton candy machine. Go to it, loathsome knuckle-dragging bottom-feeders. Sure, your eating habits are appalling and you are setting a horrible example for your children and you're putting a tremendous strain on the health care system. But at least you are finding a way to keep amused as the world falls apart without f--ing around with your cell phones. That's something, anyway.
Sunday, June 17, 2012
There are about a dozen "different" ads for this BS PC "protection" program called "PCMatic." I'm willing to bet good money that the product being sold is remarkably similar to CleanMyPC.com, FinallyFast.com, and all the other phony Anti Their Virus, Pro Our Virus downloads being offered on Cheap TV.
In this one, blithering moron daughter is clearly being paid a certain amount of money every time she manages to say "PCMatic.com." Seriously, she jams it into pretty much every other sentence. She knows everything there is to know about the product- how to get it, what it costs, and what it promises to do (except, she doesn't say it promises to do all this stuff, but that it DOES.) Dad is equal parts clueless about his computer and unjustifiably angry at the "kid" at the "computer store" who loaded his actual, non-BS virus protection (more about this later.)
Dad's certainly a dunce here, and it's hard to get a handle on his level of computer efficacy. He's dumb enough to be quickly talked into buying and installing a Fly by Night anti-virus program instead of just going back to "that kid" who probably sold him a warranty too. But he's hip enough to have a Facebook page. Then again, his Facebook name is "Gramps27." So let's leave dad alone for now and get back to Idiot Daughter.
Slobbering, scary-eyed daughter chirps manically about this amazing "new" program that finds viruses which are not there and then installs new viruses sponsored by PCMatic.com. Ok, she doesn't actually say any of that- that would be too honest. Which makes us wonder what she's got against Dad. Because while she's babbling away like a wind up toy she's also downloading a world of hurt on to poor Dad's laptop. I'm sure he'll thank you later, honey- that is, if he decides to blame all the PC issues you've just handed him on "that kid at the computer store."
The commercial ends with Dad rushing off to the "computer store," presumably to tear "that kid" a new one over his ridiculous insistence on installing Norton Anti-Virus protection instead of REAL security like PCMatic.com. Which means that Dad is about to become the laughingstock of the "computer store"- that is, after "that kid" and his coworkers quietly explain that Daughter has just voided the warranty on Dad's PC. And after they quietly offer to clean the mess PCMatic has just left all over Dad's computer- for a price.
And now I'll sit back and wait for some spokesperson from PCMatic.com to accuse me of exercising my First Amendment Rights. They hate when that happens.
(BTW, Happy Father's Day to all the real dads out there. Count the fact that this woman is not your daughter among your blessings.)
Saturday, June 16, 2012
First part of this commercial is distressingly familiar- upon announcement that the flight's departure will be delayed, everyone on the plane whips out their cell phones.
Actually, let me take that back- this isn't familiar at all. The plane is sitting on the ground. The passengers have not been asked four times to turn off their phones. Yet, not one of them were yakking or texting away when the announcement concerning the delay came over the intercom. That's unfamiliar and weird- until we realize that all of the passengers on this particular flight are AARP members.
What the hell? Why is everyone on the plane an old person? Suddenly I'm deeply concerned- how many restrooms are on this plane? Shouldn't they all be lining up now? And shouldn't the stewardess immediately begin offering the free beverages? Unless the flight is six hours long, she's not going to have time to get to all the seniors, who will each demand to hear the free drink menu four times before making a decision.
Anyway, they all open their quaint, No Bells or Whistles phones the moment they learn that the plane won't be taking off right away. Which means they all learn at the same time that nobody has been trying to reach them. The four of them who know how to text also learn that they have no unread messages. The other thirty-three are trying to remember how to check, or don't know that "texting" is an option.
One of these little busybodies immediately reaches out to the person across the aisle and chirps "what did we do before cell phones?" Hmm....maybe what my parents do now- read books and magazines, start up conversations (which have nothing to do with cell phones,) nap? You know, stuff that's still not a bad idea even now that we HAVE cell phones.
"Two tin cans and a string" is the "comical" response from one curmudgeon. Oh, really? There was nothing between tin cans and a string and a cell phone for this guy? So he was in a coma from 1880 until the mid-1990s, huh? But of course, he gets an appreciative chuckle. I seriously can't wait to acquire my Old Person's Sense of Humor, so I can spend the day thinking every little bit of nonsense I hear that is not uttered by Dennis Miller is funny (Nobody lives to be THAT old.)
There's a few more seconds about how AARP helps dopey, blithering old people get access to cell phones so they can shout into them while sitting in planes, strolling through museums, blocking access to stuff I want at the grocery store, etc. etc. etc. Making life so much better for everyone, don't you think?
Where IS this plane going, anyway?
Friday, June 15, 2012
As near as I can tell, this commercial features a grandfather and grandson who are perfectly willing to hurt each other in order to get the side dish they want to choke down alongside the Kentucky FRIED Chicken they expect to eat that night (I get the vibe that this is KFC Night for the family. Which means eating fatty, life-shortening sludge is a regular event for these guys.)
Because it's TV, these idiots naturally live in a massive suburban palace, with 20-foot ceilings, which looks like it's regularly maintained by a six-person cleaning crew. There's something Beverly Hillbilly-ish about seeing these tasteless jerks wrestle in the living room of a gleaming multi-million dollar castle, don't you think? I get the feeling that if the commercial had continued another ten seconds, we would have seen this family using pool cues to pass pots of possum gravy around the billiard table.
All this "funny" angst is over whether the Free Side included with the overflowing bucket of chicken parts (which is Magic, in that the number of pieces in the bucket never goes down, no matter how many people we see eating this junk.) Kid wants Mac' n Cheese. Grampa wants mashed potatoes and gravy. Billy Bob Thornton wants french fried potatoes with mustard-- oh, sorry, I'm thinking of something else. Thornton doesn't actually make an appearance in this ad. Good for him.
The "punchline" is that Stupid Kid and Fat Slob Grampa both get exactly what they want, because when you buy a bucket of KFC Dismembered Chicken, you get two free sides. That's a good thing, because obviously the family living in this mansion can't possibly afford to spring for an extra side dish. Whatever.
Here's what I really don't get- in the final scene, we see a bowl of green beans on the table. Two quick questions-
1. Since you get two free sides, and potatoes and mac 'n cheese are the two that were chosen, did the Mom and Dad who picked up the...err...."food" always include green beans with their order? So they get a huge bucket of chicken, a side order of green beans- and then let either their male kid or Grampa pick the other side? What kind of weird Control Issues do mom and dad have, anyway?
2. Do people really order green beans with their bucket of oil-infused bird parts? If so, isn't this kind of like ordering a Diet Pepsi to wash down your Buy One Get One Free Double-Down Sandwiches? I mean, what's the point? Who the hell do you think you are kidding, people? Like the fat in the chicken isn't going to take one look at the limp nutritional value of the beans and laugh itself- and you- to death.
1. Leave your sound system, with it's wall-and-windows shattering "realistic" sound, in your luxurious penthouse apartment. Don't let anyone install it in their SUVs or trucks so they can come by my house at 3 AM blasting bass-centered "music" at a volume loud enough to set off earthquakes along unstable fault lines.
2. Enjoy your sound system. Crank it up. Let the sound engulf you and drown out everything else- especially your cell phone. So you don't get that call from your agent asking you to fulfill your contract obligation for that sequel to Gigli.
3. Give one of these sound systems to Ben Affleck. Why? See No. 2.*
*"Gigli" and "No. 2" in the same post. Just makes sense somehow, doesn't it?
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
I was listening to Tom Sullivan the other day for some reason I can't quite explain, even to myself. Tom Sullivan is one of those bags of rocks who have nationally syndicated talk radio shows. There are about 1500 of them, by my own rough count.
Anyway Tom- who is not very bright, even when compared to his fellow right wing yakkers, decided to go on a little rant about how he always buckles his seat belts, and thinks it's stupid that some people don't buckle their seat belts. Because Sullivan must interject a level of Libertarianism into every show, he went on to argue that there should not be any LAWS concerning the buckling of seat belts- "if people don't want to buckle up, they shouldn't have to- if they get hurt, they have only themselves to blame," blah blah blah.
Of course, if you buckle up and you hit a car carrying someone who ISN'T buckled up, maybe that other guy suffers massive injuries which could have been avoided but will now cost an insurance company millions- the bill for which will be passed on to that company's other customers. And if wearing a seat belt is NOT the law, every insurance company in the country will jack up the rates in preparation for the inflated medical bills incurred by the morons who insist on refusing to wear them. Same goes with driving a motorcycle with a helmet. Which Tom Sullivan is also against requiring by law.
All the anti-seat belts, anti-helmet, anti-nutrition labels, anti-High Fructose Corn Syrup hyper-masculine wannabees always come back to something they call the "Nanny State." They think that whenever the government requires us to do things wear helmets, buckle up, stop at red lights, drive less than 95 on the turnpike, etc. it's treating us like an overprotective, tax-sucking parent, depriving us of our God-given right to die in our choice of many, many stupid ways. Same goes for Evil Overbearing Regulations which prevent the Most Productive from creating jobs by requiring Union-Mandated Luxuries like fire escapes, minimum wages, and machines NOT made entirely out of whirling razor blades. Damn Unions.
All this being sad, I think the world would be better off- and quite a bit smarter- if we just let dopey gasbags like Tom Sullivan drive as fast as they want to with no seat belts, while holding a beer in one hand and texting with the other. If we could just be assured that they would only smash into each other, I'd sign on to that deal in a heartbeat.
Monday, June 11, 2012
I have a few questions for the guy with the sad mustache and the sadder devotion to a perennially bad baseball team- better questions than the ones he's being asked by his boyfriend errrrr....I mean, Former Close Friend Who Has Become an Insufferable A-Hole Since His Team Broke It's Own Curse. *
1. Would you give up sitting in a dusty, dank bar in the middle of a day nursing a beer while your team was playing on a television set you aren't even watching? I mean, check out the bright windows- clearly the Cubs are playing one of their traditional day games (and suffering one of their even more traditional losses) as these guys mutter at each other.
2. Would you experiment with showing emotion- any emotion at all- while talking about the team you care about so much? The deadpan responses the Cubs fan gives are, I believe, supposed to be funny. I think they are pretty darned close to depressing.
3. Would you stop pretending that THIS- sitting in a dank bar, exchanging "pleasantries" with an idiot whose team you are supposed to despise- is somehow a productive, reasonable way for an adult to spend a sunny afternoon?
4. If the Cubs won the World Series, would you spend the rest of your life rubbing it in my face, reminding me of all the afternoons I wasted sticking knives into your soul, reminding you of all the things you promised to do if The Unimaginable finally happened? Or are you willing to admit that the following summer would find you right back here, in your favorite wooden chair, nursing a beer with a morose, lost look on your face, as you realize that the Cubbies winning the Whole Thing didn't make your life any more worth living than it was when they sucked (which was pretty much every other year, except 2003.)
*Full disclosure: I'm a life-long Red Sox fan. I never promised God or anyone else that I would exchange my fingers for sausages or shave my mustache (never had any) or any of the other stupid things the stoned White Sox fan comes up with in this ad. And I never thought that my life would Suddenly Become Amazing if my beloved Boston could just once have an October that did not end in heartache. I just thought I'd be very, very happy for a short while, and then everything would go back to normal. And that's what exactly what did happen. Because I'm a realistic adult whose life does not rise and fall on the fortunes of nine millionaires playing a game.
2007 was very cool, too.
Saturday, June 9, 2012
I have to admit, this is a tough commercial to snark on. You see, I have lost many, many friends to tragic Looking for Soap accidents. Whenever I get a chance, I warn people to please, PLEASE make sure they've got plenty of soap (four or five bars, just to play it safe) before stepping into the shower. And if they forget and realize that they don't have any soap, please DON'T be a hero-- just chalk it up to bad luck, turn off the water, dry the entire shower floor carefully, and take your time (10-15 minutes ought to do it) stepping out of the shower. There will be other opportunities to wash yourself in the future, and take it from me- those things are death traps.
In fact, my long, heartbreaking experience with Lack of Soap incidents (why, oh WHY don't they look? It haunts me) has made me kind of an evangelist on the issue, constantly reminding people that sponge baths are a perfectly acceptable alternative to traditional, death-inviting showering. And if they MUST risk everything by doing it the old fashioned way, at least invite a friend over and keep the bathroom door unlocked, so they can come in and perform a rescue when the inevitable accident takes place. I tell them they'll thank me, but like most people who refuse to see danger until it's too late, they just look at me strange and stop inviting me to their parties. Or answering the phone when I call.
This device, at least, gives me a little hope that I won't be spending more than a few days in the next year attending the funerals of old friends who simply could not remember to check for that damn bar of soap before turning on the water. This wonderful gadget, which ought to be listed right up there with the smallpox vaccine as inventions which dramatically increase life spans of people smart enough to use them, holds up to SEVEN bars of soap and comes in two colors. And it's so easy to use- even people too dumb to remember that soap does not last forever can probably manage to install and operate one of these things. I'm going to get all my friends one, and stock them with the maximum seven bars before handing them over. That should be worth at least a couple of months of peace of mind- and what a relief it will be to finally get a decent night's sleep, not worrying that one of my close acquaintances isn't moments away from falling to her death in the bathroom because she didn't check the soap dish first.*
Here's the odd thing, though- no Special Offer attached to this particular item. No second SoapAway Absolutely Free of Charge Just Pay Extra Shipping and Handling. Kind of odd, because it breaks the Late Night TV Commercial rule. Shows you how seriously the manufacturer takes the product, clearly. This is something you MUST have, and should NOT be equated in any way to Eagle Eyes Sunglasses or Magic Diamond Non-Stick Frying Pans. SoapAway, after all, is the only thing standing between you and a slow, agonizing death on your bathroom floor.
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to take a shower- and since I don't have one of these things yet, that means I have to start calling my friends to see if anyone is willing to come over and sit in my living room listening for a thump and a scream. Wish me luck.
*Yeah, I have male friends, but I don't think of them in the shower, thanks anyway.
On the next step of his "epic journey" (their words) across America, the Geico Gekko finds himself being honored in a "parade for the veterans" (a parade for the veterans which seems to be taking place in Anytown, USA circa 1966, by the way.)
The Gekko seems genuinely uncertain at the idea of horning in on a parade for people who actually went off and fought and risked their lives for their country. Well, we can hardly blame him, can we? On the one hand, we've got what looks like surviving members of Tom Brokaw's Greatest Generation, men who as boys left their moms and dads, picked up guns, and went off to save the world from Fascism. On the other hand, we've got a cartoon lizard with an Australian accent.
And yet- the Gekko IS being honored in this parade, which is of course staged by Geico. It's not a REAL parade, it's a mirage invented by an insurance company and using old men and about thirty extras as props to sell that insurance. The "veterans" (wouldn't it be awful if they were REAL veterans, asked to "star" in this ad?) are just part of the joke, the mask used to justify a blatant attempt to link a FUCKING CAR INSURANCE COMPANY to Patriotism.
All this is supposed to be funny, somehow. Can someone explain how to me? Is it the In Your Face attitude of Geico in exploiting the soft spot most of us have for our fellow countrymen who were willing to risk everything? Is it the huge, blatantly obtrusive Gekko float, which dwarfs the actual human beings who AREN'T in the business of selling us something? Help me out here, please.
There are a dozen or more of these Mormons Are Really Cool Just Like You Think People who share Your Religion Are ads out there, most of them conveniently located on a YouTube channel nobody ever looks at, but some of which actually make their way on to regular television to compete with My Life Is My Phone commercials. I can't help but think that their sudden appearance just might have something to do with a certain right-of-center political personality aiming for the White House this autumn.
No, not the President. The other right-of-center guy- the one who is a Republican. Wait, that doesn't work either....I mean, the white guy.
All of these commercials have the same theme- a Daddy and his Child are having an awesome time together playing some game which requires use of the imagination and not an X-Box and also requires that they be in the same room at the same time- so far, so good. They are sword fighting or fighting space aliens or exploring new worlds or whatever. Ultimately they are interrupted by Mom, who wants to let them know that dinner is ready, or that they risk waking up the baby- but unlike in pretty much every other commercial for stuff that has nothing to do with being a Mormon, Mom is not upset or irritated at their play (for one thing, she's too busy feeding the baby or cooking the food, which is all mommies are supposed to be doing when they aren't producing the next generation.)
I think that the message here is supposed to be "Mormons are Normal." Except if it is, these ads are all total fails. Hey, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints- if you want to present Mormons as being Just Like The Rest of Us, here's what you do:
Show dad doing something really stupid while ignoring his kids which are, after all, Mommy's responsibility.
Show kids talking and texting and watching videos on tiny screens. While rolling their eyes at their parents (that is, when they deign to acknowledge their existence at all.)
Show Mommy- well, actually, you've got Mommy down pretty good here. Maybe tone down the Delighted to be a Mommy Look just a bit. Have her sneer something hurtful at Daddy. That would be a bit more realistic. Otherwise, you are doing fine.
And good luck with the whole Romney thing, too. Because my opinion of Political Parties matches up with my opinion of Organized Religions- they serve as security blankets for some, a way to break people into tribes and give them a reason to hate each other for others. The parties are just a little younger than most, that's all.
Friday, June 8, 2012
Instead of this guy casually issuing orders to his private team of movers- "adjust the flat screen tv just a smidge"-- as he settles into his vast, bright new palace with it's 20-foot ceilings, only to suddenly decide that he doesn't want to live there after all because it's not a "FIOS building," I have a few suggestions.
Unfortunately, I know kids who read this blog, and all my suggestions involve shoving foreign objects into spaces where foreign objects really shouldn't go. Accompanied by pain. Lots and lots of pain.
They also involve a lot of swearing and calling this person names I really don't want them picking up from me, or anyone else. After all, they are good young ladies who should remain that way, and should not be corrupted by their evil-minded history teacher.
So I'm afraid that this time, I'm going to have to keep all the mental imagery where it originated- in my head. I'm not going to describe the movers turning that flat-screen tv into a hula hoop over the privileged, noxious little jackass. Nor am I going to share my fantasy of where that remote ends up (hint: to turn the channel, he'll have to get inventive with his diet.) Nope, not going to do it. Because some people I really like and respect read this blog.
So my detailed description of how this guy gets beaten into a bloody pulp by the furniture movers, with the remains being left to the dogs, and then has his non-FIOS castle burned to the ground to complete the Viking funeral for this sorry waste of skin is going to have to stay in my own imagination. I'll leave you guys to use your own. Sorry I couldn't be more help- but with this particular commercial, you probably didn't need any, anyway.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Let me see if I get this straight.
Husband is standing in the middle of his driveway in his bathrobe, cradling a box of cereal in one arm and using the other to eat a bowl of said cereal.
Weird Colonial Indian Guy With British Accent strolls by and engages him in conversation about how the cereal eater's wife doesn't believe that the cereal, called FIBER ONE, has fiber in it, even though it's called FIBER ONE and has this big label which says 33% DAILY ALLOWANCE OF FIBER on the box.
Somehow the guy is going to get in trouble because there's the Wife, standing behind him with a nasty look on his face. Can I assume she's angry because her husband is standing in the driveway in his bathrobe eating his cereal instead of doing it at the kitchen table like a normal person who is not driven out of his home by his wife's refusal to accept that a cereal that comes in a box which has the word FIBER all over it?
(Anyone here know the impact of fat idiots eating cereal in their bathrobes in the driveway on the suburban housing market, by the way? I can tell you I wouldn't purchase a home in this neighborhood.)
Can someone explain to me what happened here? Did this guy and his wife have an argument over the fiber content of the cereal which caused him to flee the house? Did he get so insulted at Wife's attitude that he decided to take his box of cereal and seek comfort and affirmation from the guy he saw stocking the cereal at the local Giant Food? Did hubby take advantage of Wife's momentary absence from the kitchen to snatch a few precious moments of peace in the driveway? What?
Monday, June 4, 2012
This commercial needed a personalized rewrite, and I was more than happy to oblige.
Scene I of I: Father and son sprawling on massive couch in massive living room in typical Suburban Palace.
Narrator: "Life Insurance Protects your family."
Son: "Daddy, what's life insurance?"
Me: "I'm so glad you asked, son. You know how Daddy goes to work every morning very early and comes home very late, usually really tired, and Mommy and Daddy have the kind of loud talk that parents have in the kitchen, while Daddy's dried-out dinner is being warmed in the microwave?"
Me: "Well, you see, Son, when Mommy and Daddy got married Mommy suddenly decided that she wanted to stay at home as soon as she got pregnant with you, even though she said something very different when they were dating, and Daddy had to take extra hours at the office in order to make up the lost income so we could still afford to pay for this house, which she picked out before she decided she wanted to stay home."
Me: "Well, it's not enough that Daddy works his fingers to the f--ing bone to pay all the f--ing bills so that Mommy can do whatever she does when she's not interviewing new housekeepers and somehow using a tank of gas in the SUV every three days. You see, it's very important that Daddy also sends money to a company downtown so that when Daddy drops dead of a heart attack at the age of 45 because he worked himself to death, You and Mommy and Mommy's New Male Friend can continue to live in this big, beautiful house with the paid-up mortgage after dancing on Daddy's grave."
Son: "Um....are you going to die soon, Daddy?"
Me: "Oh, don't worry, I won't die until the policy matures. That's my life in a f--ing nutshell. The day it kicks in, I'll probably make my exit. But don't worry-- like I said, you'll still have your big room and tv and X-box and Kraft Mac'n Cheese and weeks at the beach and DisneyWorld and your mom will still have her jewelery and her shopping and everything will go on just like I was still here, except Mommy will have even MORE time to do stuff other than keep my house clean and make dinner like she promised she would before she took the mask off, five minutes after we got back from the Honeymoon."
Son: "I'm glad we have insurance."
Me: "Of course you are. I would be too, if I were you, or Mommy, or anyone else but me. Now shut up, the commercial's over and Daddy would just ONCE like to watch the game in peace, which we both know is going to end the moment Mommy walks in the door."
Sunday, June 3, 2012
1. What does "Computer Broke" mean? That's certainly the first question I would ask if I were "IT Mom." Does it mean you knocked it off the table? You picked up a virus trying to get around the filters to look at porn? You spilled milk all over the keyboard? The internet is down? What?
2. Has anyone, anywhere, ever uttered the words "Mom, Computer's Broke?" First of all, isn't it safe to assume that any kid between the ages of 6 and 16 knows two thousand times more about computers than any mom aged 35 and up? Isn't a kid asking an adult for help with the computer kind of like an adult asking a kid "did you notice where I put the warranty for the new washing machine?"
3. IT Mom has quit, because now there's Staples. Which means that while IT Mom has quit, Made of Money Mom is still on the job. Which I'm sure is just fine with the kids, since the computer was more than a year old and therefore hopelessly out of date anyway and really lame anyway.
4. Tell me this isn't a commercial letting kids know how they can get a brand new computer out of Made of Money But Clueless When It Comes To Technology Mom in about fifteen minutes flat. "Hey Mom, Computer's broke- and here's the car keys and your purse, meet you in the Caravan." Well played, Staples.
*btw, I almost didn't even notice that this is Totally Absent Dad Mom Does Absolutely Everything When It Comes To The Family Ad # 987,435. Not only does it no longer faze me when a commercial allegedly featuring a "family" does not show a man old enough to be married to the featured Mom, but I really don't even expect to see him anymore. I mean, these are commercials, not sitcoms. If they were sitcoms, Dad would be an essential part of the picture, there to look and say something really, really stupid for Mom to roll her eyes at and kids to snark on. (In the slightly longer version of this ad, he's probably revealed as the guy who "broke" the computer. Stupid dad!)
Friday, June 1, 2012
...and wow, are they ever proud of it.
Get a load of these smug assholes. Each one "created" some pointless, time-and-life-sucking phone add-on designed to create a billion or so witless zombie addicts who simply can't go more than thirty seconds without whipping out their stupid phones to do SOMETHING. One of them "created the first text message." Another invented the camera phone (thank goodness, because actual cameras are so big and bulky, not to mention how IMPOSSIBLE it is to transfer photos to Facebook, after all.) Another added that awesome "innovation" in which your New Best Friend talks to you in a bland, flat yet mysteriously popular digital voice.
Did they all get massively rich off their Amazingly Inventive And Oh So Very Necessary Improvements? I don't know. Not necessarily- at the time that little light bulb went off over their heads, they might have been working for a corporation which held ownership rights over everything they came up with while f--ing around with whatever they were supposed to be doing within the four cardboard and fabric walls which made up their cubicle. I almost hope this is true, and the only real reward these Society-ruining asses can look forward to is repeated showings of this stupid ad.
Because, let's be serious- none of the junk these guys "invented" does anything to make life even a little bit better for anyone, does it? All these "innovations" do is make life just a little Dumber- life, and the people who seem to spend more and more of their lives squinting at the idiot boxes that fit conveniently in their hands. Providing "connectivity." Or something.
So- Modern-day Einsteins? You'll excuse me if I'm not first to nominate you for the Nobel Prize, ok? I'll be too busy adding your likenesses to my Museum of Worthless Morons Who May Have Gotten Rich Making Everyone Around Me Spoiled, Clueless, Helpless Dickwads. . Thanks for nothing.