Sunday, September 30, 2012

The car to drive when you really shouldn't be driving

Honda knows you. Honda knows you push yourself too hard. You drive when you are half-asleep. You drive distracted, pushing buttons, blathering away on your BlueTooth, adjusting the seat temperature every few seconds, and barking orders at your sound system in between checking the GPS for updated directions to places you've been to a thousand times and could find blindfolded.* So here's a car which gives you permission to drive when you are running on no sleep, have had a bit too much to drink, or are such an incredibly self-absorbed asshat that you really don't give a flying damn that you share the road with other people who also have lives they would like to extend beyond today despite your willingness to be a danger to yourself and everyone else out there. Sucks to be them, I guess- or maybe you think they should be grateful that hey, sure you drive impaired on a regular basis, but at least you've got this car which beeps and lights up just before you are about to kill someone with it.

 Last Friday I said goodbye to my AP history class, jumped into the car, and started the 540-mile drive to my boyhood home in Vermont to spend fall break with my family. At 9PM I was approaching Albany, with about 180 miles to go, and it was dark and drizzly and I was hitting the wall in terms of energy. I suppose that if I had one of these tripped-out Hondas, I would have ignored the warning signs and just kept going, assuming that my Car Knows Best and would let me know before I ran over someone or something important. But because I drive a 2003 Civic with nothing more advanced than a Garmin GPS and a CD player, I decided to pull into a Best Western and play it safe.** Maybe Honda should use me in an ad- "see, John could have driven another three hours and made it home that night safe and sound, if only he had the 2013 Honda. What a loser." Something like that.

 I'm frankly getting a little tired of these "don't worry about the actual 'driving' part of driving, your car's computer will do that for you" commercials, because I really don't want my life in the hands of a fricking chip embedded into the dashboard of a Japanese import. And I'd really appreciate it if Honda, Acura, Lexus etc. would stop sending the message that if you buy their upscale vehicles, you can act like a passenger instead of the manipulator of heavy, fast-moving machinery. If you are tired, take a break. If you can't drive without becoming distracted, DON'T DRIVE. Because "I thought a light was supposed to go off before I plowed into you" isn't going to sound very comforting as they are scraping me off your grille, believe it or not.

 *Honda's 2014 models will compensate for people who really like to drive blindfolded. Only kidding- but it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if it turned out to be true.

 **"Playing it Safe" at Best Western means avoiding the Make Your Own Waffle option at the continental breakfast. In fact, the safest move is to avoid the breakfast, period. The coffee is ok, though.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Actually, you are more You than usual when you're hungry

I know this ad is supposed to be funny- watching Joe Pesci get verbally abusive because a chip on his shoulder the size of Noah's Ark has been wobbled by a cute girl who isn't giving him 100 percent of her attention 100 percent of the time- I mean, what could be funnier than that?

 Well, here's my take- "He isn't himself when he's hungry" is right up there with "you should see him when he isn't drunk" in the Encyclopedia of Excuses for Abusive Jerks. If the character in this ad is a touchy prick who throws a temper tantrum because a girl he just met at a party glances away from him while he's speaking, well, ladies...if you really like the guy, you can chalk it up to He Was Just Hungry He's Usually Really Nice You Just Have To Get To Know Him. But please don't come whining to me when it turns out that wow, what do you know, he's kind of a controlling, obsessive ass even when he HAS a Snickers bar.

Because people ARE themselves when they are hungry, drunk, tired, under stress, worried about That Promotion, On Edge Because It's the Playoffs, etc. etc. ETC. They are their TRUE selves. When they are sober, full, calm, satisfied? That's when the mask is securely fashioned. It's EASY to be a rational, polite, thoughtful human being when everything is just perfect. Thing is, in real life, there's never actually a time when everything is just perfect. Or anything. So, Pretty girl at the party? Consider yourself fortunate- because for some reason the host decided to invite people to her house and then not put any food out, and as a result, you got a good look at this guy at his honest worst. Based on his attitude concerning your unwillingness to lock your eyes to his as he's speaking, I'd say you dodged a bullet. But if you want to ignore the fire alarms going off around you, I suggest you keep your handbag well-stocked with candy bars. And what passes as your brain equally stocked with "he only hits me when I provoke him" excuses. Good luck with that.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

AT&T sticks another knife into the heart of basic decency

Totally forgotten in this ad is the predictable yet stunning stupidity of a man trying to reason with a Mountain Goat, carefully explaining that the sandwich the goat has found in his bag isn't the goat's property. Seriously, the fat scruffy doofus is one step away from attempting to explain the philosophy of Capitalism the clueless, dumb animal. No, not the asshole with the phone. The goat. Yet, we easily forget Mr. Brilliant's attempt to negotiate the return of his sandwich, because of what comes next.

Check out how this phone is sold to us: It's a really cool device to own for those times when your "friends" do something stupid, because not only can you take video of them being humiliated, but you can take a picture from that video and "share" it with all your friends, and all his friends, making a minor, embarrassing and maybe even funny moment in the guy's life into an opportunity to make him a laughing stock for the entire planet. Because in the age of Shareable Data, this is what sells phones: The easier it makes it to take a moment of Fail and use it to mock the victim, the better. In the old days: "We went on a hike, and it was really cool because this mountain goat stole a sandwich out of Tim's bag. But then it kicked his bag and it fell down the mountain, so Tim had to climb down and get it, and it turned out that some stuff got broken. But he got back his wallet and his keys so it worked out ok." Nowaday: "LOL check out this video, Tim loses his bag ROTFLMAO can you believe it and he had to climb down the rocks to get his bag back check out this video he keeps scraping his hands on the rocks and ends up all bloody LOL!!!" Gone Viral. Liked. Shared.

Tim? Mocked by thousands of people he doesn't even know. Because he made the poor decision of hiking partners. Whatever. One day, being a rude prick with no sense of empathy and a total willingness to invade a "friends" privacy and hold him up to ridicule in front of everyone became both funny and normal. I must have been in a coma. Anyone have any ideas on how I can get myself back there?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Crush this, Corona

I'm sure we were all rooting for this yuppie pond scum to "crush" the sales meeting, convince Company A to buy Company B's product, and ensure that five people in a corporation employing thousands get big nice juicy bonuses which allow them to actually go on exotic vacations like the one the rest of them can only experience vicariously by drinking Corona beer. With lime.

 Personally, I wish that the other people at the table had responded to "Crushed It" a bit more honestly- by asking him if he ever had any aspirations beyond being a total corporate whore whose life consists of begging other people to give his bosses money so he can keep earning a paycheck which allows him to head off to the Chestnut Tree Cafe to pretend he isn't incredibly depressed and to drown what is left of his soul in watered-down swill. Spiked with lime.

At the very least, they could have responded to "Crushed It" with "look, I don't have enough Coronas in me to pretend to be happy for you. Give me half an hour. But please don't ask me what I think about it in an hour- because by then, I'll have enough alcohol running through my veins to tell you exactly what I think of your three-day beard, your moussed hair, and your 'I accomplished something worth celebrating today, and I'm really only here to bask in your admiration and drink beer until I fall down' attitude."

Of course, I'm only guessing what this guy "crushed," but since every twenty-something guy in commercials who wears a tie works in Marketing, I think I'm pretty close to the mark. This guy didn't crush nailing down funding for the homeless shelter. He didn't reach that kid in the back of the classroom who never thought she could keep up with her peers. No, he just managed to convince Company A to buy a certain amount of what Company B is selling. Congratulations, buddy. Celebrate with a quality beer. Or a Corona. Take it easy, though- remember, you have to get up tomorrow morning, put that tie back on, and head to the office to do it all over again. Here's the good news: When you die, it's quite possible that neither you nor anyone else will even notice.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The title notwithstanding, this film is NOT about the people who stood in line for days to get the latest iPhone

I saw the first "Taken" movie and for it's genre, I didn't think it was half bad. I mean, it was better than "Commando" or any of the Steven Seagal films which use basically the same script. And at least it had a few cool sets, unlike "Under Siege," "Under Siege 2," "Passenger 57" and all the rest of the One Guy Kills Everyone Else One By One Until they Are All Dead Roll Credits Movies.

Me being me, the only two parts of the original "Taken" flick which really pissed me off took place in the first 15 minutes of the film, and the last two. The woman who plays Neeson's ex-wife was such a noxious Rhymes with Witch for those first fifteen minutes- every other word out of her mouth is an unnecessary put-down, and how the hell does she retain custody of their daughter after lying her spoiled ass off about their daughter's plans to follow U2 around Europe in order to get Liam's signature on a legal document? Man I hope she dies horribly in the sequel.

(Not to mention- but what kind of craptacular job did these people do in raising a teenager who would want to follow U2 around Europe? Unless this film takes place in 1988- come on!)

In the final two minutes Daughter- who was kidnapped, drugged, no doubt molested by countless guys while handcuffed to a bed--whose best friend was brutally murdered days earlier-- is a beaming, happy, perfectly stable teenage girl because she's being introduced to her favorite pop star Not Brittany Spears and will receive voice lessons and possibly a recording contract. Happy ending--?

As I've implied, the rest of the film is ok, just stunningly predictable. Liam tracks down his daughter's kidnappers and shoots them, breaks their necks, tortures them to death, etc. etc. etc. He experiences no injuries to himself until the very end, when he receives the standard Non-Fatal Flesh Wound (actually two- a sprained ankle which allows him to perform the required Final Moments Limp, and some kind of shoulder strain caused in the only competitive fight of the film, naturally coming at the very end so the injury sustained has ZERO impact on his ability to kill the Sheik from Central Casting.) Then we get the Way Too Happy ending.

Except, four years later, turns out we DIDN'T get the ending. Hollywood has decided that it left a few loose ends to tie up. Maybe we need to know if Liam's daughter became a pop star. Maybe we want the Bad Guys to get a shot at the ex-wife (I can see that.) Or maybe "Taken" cost so little to make (no writers, no acting) and made so much money following one of the smoothest paths available to action filmmakers, they just couldn't resist giving us another one. Maybe Liam decided he might as well pick up some extra cash in between voicing Aslan in bad Narnia movies. Either way, I'm a bit ashamed to admit that I'll probably go see this junk. Because what the heck- it's stupid fun, and maybe that awful ex will get her just desserts this time. Man that would make it so worth it.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Never mind "Neutering." Ask her to explain the economics of leasing a freaking BMW.

Ok, let me see if I understand this: Mommy wants to get the family pet neutered. Good for her- very socially responsible, and all that. She lives in a community which has a generic Neutering R Us, I guess, because it's pretty clear she's never been to the place she's going to take that family pet. Let's cut her some slack and assume she's checked it out on Angie's List, or it's been recommended by neighbors, or something. Mommy is taking the Creepy Little Copy of herself she and Daddy made along for the ride to have this surgical procedure done on the dog. CLC puts on her most affected, cutesy face and reads her one line- "Mommy, what is Neu-ter-ing?"

Mommy isn't into the whole Teachable Moment thing, so she just sits there like a freaking zombie, a bit overwhelmed by CLC's precociousness. Or maybe, Mommy doesn't know what Neu-ter-ing is, either. In any case, wouldn't it be a great time for Mommy to say something like "it's when a doctor helps our dog be healthier and happier. I hope you ask the doctor what it's all about, and why it's important?"

Here's where it gets really stupid, never mind that it's a punchline we saw coming from at least ten seconds away. The dog jumps out of the car and runs off. The dog, you see, knows what Neu-ter-ing means. Which means that the dog is more literate than CLC. I get that commercials often require as suspension of disbelief, but when it takes place shouldn't it have a bigger payoff than THIS banal little lump of dreck? Come to think of it, maybe Mommy really DOESN'T know what Neu-ter-ing means. After all, we already see that she's too stupid to find Quick Snip And Release on her own. Plus, she's shelling out what some people pay for a small apartment every month on a car she'll be giving right back to the dealer in three years.

Hey, Daughter? You might want to direct this and any future questions to someone with a few more IQ points than Mommy. I suggest you try the dog, once you get him back in the Google-equipped BMW.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Because you can't find your ass with both hands and a flashlight- Droid Does

No, my phone doesn't have the battery life (or Apps, or streaming video, etc.) which would allow me to hypnotize my kids into staring at it on a rainy day in the woods. That means I'd have to talk to them, tell them stories, or demonstrate the amazing fact that water is not deadly poison and we can actually walk around in it without dying. No, my phone will not allow me to bleat "Call Cab 4 Me" as I walk out of a store. That means I'd have to actually lift one of my arms to signal for a cab. Or take a bus. Seriously, I wonder how I've managed to survive this long. No, my phone will not bleat Meter By Meter directions as I drive down the highway. That means I have to pay attention to the road, checking those helpful (retrograde, Pre-Droid) signs to determine where my exit is. Or I could just do what I do now- leave my (also retrograde, Pre-Droid) Garmin GPS on.

No, I do not own a Droid Razr or whatever this Tool for Stunningly Helpless People is called. Which means that I actually have to do very basic, elementary things all by my little self. Until I saw this commercial, I had no idea how amazingly difficult those very basic, elementary things really were. I mean, check out these apparently functional people- they look like they would just crawl under a rock and die if they had to do anything more complicated than blow their nose without consulting their shiny, brilliant little friends.

In the breakroom the other day, I heard two math teachers discussing the problem created by eighth-graders armed with calculators: More and more often, the teachers discover that these students can't work out the simplest equations unless they have one at the ready. Their brains are simply not being trained to do anything other than punch the buttons corresponding with the numbers in the equation, letting the calculator do all the real work. Why does 171+133= 304? Because the screen says so. How did it come up with that result? Who cares?

All of these commercials for "Let Us Help You With That" Droids, SmartPhones (thank goodness the phones are Smart- they'll need to be, as our brains atrophy into pudding) encourage us to stop trying to think through or do anything ourselves. Don't look around for a cab, just bleat into this. Don't look up information up or start a conversation- just consult Don't think- let that thing in your hand do your thinking for you. How this results in anything other than a shamefully helpless population of Weebles (except that when we Wobble, we'll fall down- and ask our phones for detailed directions on how to get up again) escapes me. How this in any way represents "progress" is way beyond my feeble grasp. And I can't even ask my phone to explain it to me.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

It's Pepsi: The Movie!

You know, I could probably go on and on about how stupid and loud this commercial is. Or how the producers must have looked at dozens of twenty-something actor wannabees before picking out the scruffy doofuses they found to perform the CGI-enhanced "stunt" which is supposed to be entertaining. I would probably include a line about how these guys are at a concert with what looks like thousands of people, yet the only refreshment available is to be found in a solitary Pepsi machine on the other side of cavern. Bullshit Alert: Concerts never lack for opportunities to purchase $8 bottles of tepid water and $12 bottles of beer. In real life, these guys would be standing in a line 30 yards long to shell out for their drinks, not stepping on heads to get to the Pepsi Machine. I invite anyone who is a regular concert-goer to write in with their own Bullshit Alerts concerning this ad. I'll just wrap up with the impression left me at the end of this commercial, and at the end of all the recent Wow Pepsi Is Hip and Cool commercials- the fact that the producers think they are so wildly entertaining, so much fun to watch, that they think we'd appreciate a little montage of Our Favorite Moments of The Last Twenty Seconds at the end. Um, gee, thanks, Pepsi. I loved the moment when the one guy pointed at the Pepsi machine, and I'm soooo glad I got to see it again in the wrap-up. Whatever.

This will bring your family "closer." Sure. Sure it will, AT&T

I've seen this commercial two dozen times, at least. I get that Mom has a Smartphone, Daughter has a Smartphone, Son has a Smartphone, and Dad has a tablet- in other words, I get that this is Over-Indulged Suburban Family Model 46-D and its spent several thousand dollars on disposable electronic junk which will be deemed "obsolete" by each member of the family inside of six months. I get that after spending all this money on these stupid gadgets, the "parents" of the family need to rationalize the ridiculous expenditure. And I get that right now, there are kids out there trying to get their parents to accept the idea that there is some value to be drawn from maxing out the credit card buying this crap to keep them happy for-- well, like I said, about six months.

Here's what I DON'T get, no matter HOW many times I see this commercial. I don't get how ANY of this junk makes the life of a family "easier." My parents had FIVE kids. Five kids, and not a single cell phone, SmartPhone, I Phone, or Tablet. Somehow we managed to find each other when it was time for dinner, time for a picnic, or just Family Time. Without any of that mechanical crap. Oh, and we managed to Share. Without buttons, glowing screens, or electronic "connectivity." We were so amazing, and we didn't even know it.

The really laughable part of this ad, like all the other "Share Everything" ads featuring parents and their children, and the part which I'm sure has kids stifling giggles all over the USA whenever it appears on TV, is the idea that what teenaged kids really want out of all this electronic garbage is a way to "connect" more easily to their parents. "See, mom, if I had a SmartPhone, we'd talk more! I could share photos with you! And you'd be able to let me know when I needed to get home!" Yeah, RIGHT!!!

Hey, Idiot Parents who at least need to be sold on the idea of breaking the bank on disposable beeping devices rather than automatically shelling out when Son and Daughter yell "JUMP!"-- when your wonderful kids show you this commercial, and then try to use the arguments I just summarized, they are playing you like a violin. They don't want SmartPhones so they can keep in touch with Mom and Dad, trust me. They want to download and watch TV and deepen their addiction to Facebook. But don't take my word for it. Go ahead and indulge them some more, while indulging YOURSELF in the fantasy that you are just a few major purchases away from knitting what you thought was supposed to be a family back together through the miracle of Connectivity. My guess is that you'll figure out your mistake about 72 hours later, and respond by purchasing the Unlimited Data Plan.

Friday, September 21, 2012

A Few Modest Proposals, from me to Sprint

1. Stop showing us families anxiously attempting to negotiate with their children things like "sharing data plans" and limiting texting and talking time. God Fucking Damn It, I am NOT a parent, but I have some passing acquaintance with a few, and I'm PRETTY SURE that there are still stable, functional, happy families out there in which Mommy and Daddy act like the adults of the house and set the rules for the spawn. Without begging. Without negotiating. It could go something like this- "Your mother and I have actual responsibilities, so we need to use the phones more often. We get that you guys like to download music and talk and text nonstop, but that's just not going to happen until you are willing to pay your share of the bill." Better yet- "you guys aren't going to be using your phones nonstop anymore. If you don't stick to the limits we've decided on, you will lose your phones entirely. And if you roll your eyes at me one more time, we won't wait for you to go over the limit, you'll lose them right now."

2. Stop showing us Dads making stupid suggestions which instantly demolish his credibility with anyone within earshot who has two brain cells to rub together and doesn't already think that dad is an All Talk, No Walk doormat we can easily talk over or ignore. "How about the most time goes to the person who has fathered the most children?" Who the hell would say such a thing in front of two teenagers? So, Dad- are you telling Son that if he wants a larger share of the data plan, he should get off his ass and start shagging fertile girls? Are you aware that Mom and Daughter are physically incapable of "fathering children?" If daughter gets pregnant, does that count toward her Data ration?

3. Stop showing us Moms who instantly take the adversarial posture against Dad. It takes the woman in this ad roughly five seconds to undercut Dad's very important point- not only does she undercut him, but she does it with a nasty, "you're bald you know" brand of cutting snark which suggests that she sees the family as four equal individuals fighting with Dad for control of the precious data time- and being one of the individuals, she's going to take her shot early. No wonder you've got two pig children who have no respect for dad, lady- they've spent enough time watching you stick daggers into him, right in front of them.

4. Stop trying to sell us on the idea that talking and texting and downloading all the time is perfectly normal, productive behavior for ANYONE. Each and every commercial for Unlimited Data and Unlimited Talk and Text promotes the concept that obsessively playing with your phone to the neglect of everything else in your life is just A-OK; the only "problem" is the cost, and here's the solution- Unlimited Talk, Text and Data plans! What a super message for both kids and adults- never budget your time, never learn how to do without something that really isn't that great for you anyway, NEVER STOP USING YOUR STUPID PHONES.

I know Sprint isn't going to take any of my advice, because after all, they may not have created this monster, but their bottom line depends on it being fed continually. So we may expect more hateful dreck like this, with People Who Happen To Be Related And Living in the Same House negotiating everything from cell phone minutes to control of the remote and car usage. Because...actual parents? If there were more of those out there, Sprint would have a much harder time paying off those quarterly bonuses.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ignore the glowing- it just indicates the end of Civilization

Don't be concerned that you are glowing, guys. Be concerned that you live next to thoughtless, obnoxious, clueless pricks who have no respect for your privacy and who are perfectly comfortable with the idea of taking photos of you and posting them on the internet without your consent. Once upon a time- it was almost yesterday, in fact- this would be considered stalking, or at the very least almost unbelievably rude. Today, it's played for a laugh, and if you have a problem with it, Lighten Up It's 2012 Loser. I'd suggest that maybe if the roles were reversed a bit- if the ad showed guys taking unsolicited shots of women and posting them to Facebook without permission- there would be a public outcry, or the ad would never be aired, but I'm not that naive. My guess is that there are already half a dozen such commercials out there already, I just haven't seen them yet. One of the first ads I snarked on here, before I was even embedding, featured a guy taking a shot at the backsides of women as they passed his table at cafe. The women turned and smiled appreciatively at the attention they were getting from the guy- and the girl sitting with the guy responded only by texting "U R A PIG." There was also that adorable Pepsi Zero (or whatever) ad where the Pepsi truck driver gets a shot of the Coke Truck driver drinking Pepsi and instantly puts it on YouTube. That was supposed to be funny, too. Because anyone who gives a damn about basic human decency and privacy in this day and age is so lame and square, after all. The only silver lining I can see in this particular ad is that maybe, just MAYBE, the glowing action of the phone increases the amount of radiation being pumped into the user. Now THAT would be funny. Not to mention, poetic justice.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

It's What He Does. It Ain't Much

Somehow, this AT&T ad which features a guy who never, ever puts down his phone, no matter what else he's doing, where he is or who he's with, is supposed to convince me to buy my own AT&T phone with 4G or something. I really thought I had the whole commercial concept nailed. I thought that all commercials were designed to convince the viewer that that little something missing in the viewer's life- that something which was keeping the viewer from being absolutely, blissfully happy- was right there on the screen- so buy it, and Be Happy.

But this-- this doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. The doofus ugly schmuck I see on my tv is just looking at his phone. It's summer, and he's staring at the screen. Winter- staring at the screen. At the beach- more quality Phone Time. And on and on and on. Even though I'm aware that there are people out there like this, it's still not an honest ad- because it's clear that a full year goes by, and dumbass phone zombie is still using the same phone. Didn't someone tell him that it's gone through three Upgrades since the beginning of the ad, and the phone he's enjoying at the end of the commercial is really old and slow and will make him show badly for his friends, assuming that he still has any?

I guess I'm just too old to understand commercials like this. All I see is a guy lucky enough to find himself in a variety of cool-looking places, unable to enjoy any of them because he's addicted to his stupid phone. He's even managed to land himself a cute girl, who manages to distract him (at least for a moment) at the end of the ad. I imagine that she predates the addiction and when push comes to shove, he chooses the phone over her. By the way, when push DOES come to shove, I really hope it happens at the top of a jagged cliff. And that she manages to hold on and take him, and his phone, with her. Because I do know people like this. And I really, really hate them.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

They needed the world to know: They are in Xanadu. With an Ultrabook.

Ok, when I first viewed this ridiculous mess, I actually thought that it was SO damned stupid, SO damned pretentious, SO overflowing with awfulness that it was immune from snark. But because I'm kind of a trooper who views every challenge that does not have anything to do with my job or making money as something worth tackling, I decided to watch it a couple of times and see what I could come up with.

 Here goes: This ad seems to be taking place during the Hollywood Version of the Middle Ages, when kings never took off their crowns and everyone wore glittering robes and lived in gigantic castles and bleated overwrought lines like High School students auditioning for the big spring production of "MacBeth." Or maybe "Braveheart." Except- they are all using laptops and projectors, while in the real Middle Ages any technology more advanced than a Zippo lighter would probably get you accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake. Anyway, King Vitamin is trying to explain some sales chart (why is the King doing this? Never mind) but the Not-Magical Internet Connection or processor speed or whatever is soooooo sloooowwwww that everyone is getting bored and frustrated. By "everyone" I mean the people in the commercial as well as we in the audience, who have already gotten the joke, dismissed it as very unfunny, and just want to know what Amazing Can't Do Without It piece of glowing junk we will ultimately be told to buy, if we are just a little more patient.

Wench walks in and announces the sales figures without even averting her eyes or asking permission to speak (better nip this in the bud, ye Lords, no telling what it could lead to in the- ahem, "future.") And here's where it gets really stupid (no, really- everything up to this point actually makes sense and is perfectly reasonable compared to what's coming next.) The "King" and his Merry Band of Sales Zombies-- errr, Knights of the Round Table-- are absolutely astonished by the "sorcery" displayed by the Fair Maiden's Ultrabook.

Because having 2011 technology in the 13th century is no big deal. But 2012 technology? BURN THE WITCH! For any of this to make even the slightest amount of sense, all of the people in this ad must be Renaissance Festival Organizers who have finally snapped after years of playing dress-up while traveling from town to town to juggle and wave plastic swords and be ogled at by the local yokels guzzling "mead" and eating giant turkey legs while enjoying the "Medieval Experience" (which apparently included plastic axe throwing, face-painting, and Shakespeare Scrum. Man, it must have been fun back then. Why would anyone give that up for something as iffy as "Progress?")

Audi poaches from Kraft, and the result is this crap

When in doubt, when completely out of ideas, no matter what you are trying to peddle, you can always go for the Cutesy Wittle Tot Looking Into the Camera and smothering us with her adorability as she innocently Gets it Wrong.

This time the guilty lazy party works for Audi. Cutesy Girl Who Apparently Failed the Kraft Mac' n Cheese Screen Test tells the camera that she has "proof that daddy is a Space Alien." Groan. Maybe it's because I'm not a parent, this really endearing to anyone out there? Are there people watching who are getting a chuckle out of this because "my kid says stuff like that all the time" or "she reminds me of my little Brittany?" Am I the only one who finds this cloying and manipulative and about as subtle in it's sledge-hammer huggability as "Three Men and a Little Lady?"

Anyway, what really convinces Curly Sue that Daddy is a Space Alien is the fact that he drives a car with all these overcompensating bells and whistles. Daddy can order the sound system to play his favorite music. Daddy can demand directions without feeling smaller about it. Daddy can have his ass warmed by his seat and can multitask to his heart's content and, so far, manage to get Shirley Temple to Mom's house before visitation ends and the cops are called without being SO distracted that he wraps the spacecraft around a tree. Little Miss Dimples wraps this mess up by repeating that Dad's a Space Alien, because even though she's barely six she's been in enough cars to know that this stuff is not common equipment.

In other words, Mom got ripped off in the settlement and is driving around in a very un-spaceship like vehicle which actually has buttons she has to push to change the channel, how lame is that? I know it's a forlorn hope, but wouldn't it be great if ad agencies left these little moppets to peddle ice cream, Disney World and other products that kids actually might have a legitimate opinion about? Because maybe Daddy bought his Audi to impress his little girl- more likely, he bought it for the same reason everyone else who buys an Audi buys an Audi- because he COULD, and it was the best way to let the neighbors KNOW he could.*

No, Little Girl Who Is Not As Cute As You Think You Are, Daddy is not a space alien. He's just a guy with warped values and insecurity issues. If I were you, I'd be less impressed by Daddy's ride, and more concerned about your college fund.

*And if you think that's bad, I'd like to remind you that another round of Rich Young White People Who Live in Palaces Giving Each Other Lexuses for Christmas is right around the corner....

Another As Seen On TV Solution-- to a Problem I was Unaware Of

I've lived on this Earth for quite a few years (how many? None of your damn business!  Fewer than you'd guess, to look at me, I can promise you that!) but I have to confess, I've never heard of these things called "Skin Tags."  Did they used to be called something else?

I've seen a lot of naked people too (not as many as I'd like- but that's none of your business either!  I've got a full schedule, and I've been in a bit of a dry spell lately-- like since the 90s- but it could happen to anyone, so back off, ok?) but I've never seen one of these Skin Tag things, either.

So what's the deal?  Is "extra" skin a common problem I have somehow manage to avoid experiencing, seeing or even ever hearing of?  I'm a pretty worldly guy- how could something as simple and blatant as "Skin Tags" get past me?  Do I just need to get out more?

And if "Skin Tags" are so common, do I WANT to get out more?

By the way, is the endorsement from the American Homeopathic Institute For Not Actual Medicine or whatever that was Hysterical, or what?  I mean, that made the whole commercial worth viewing.  Well, almost.

Skin Tags.  Really?  Sigh.  Ok, I guess I really do need to mix more with my fellow humans.  When they aren't wearing clothes.  Next thing you know, I'll be seeing ads for Extra Elbow Removal Products, like that Digit-Off stuff Victoria Jackson used to peddle on a Saturday Night Live Parody commercial.  And everyone watching will know someone with the problem being addressed- except me.

(BTW- If "extra skin" is a genetic defect, why hasn't KFC managed to isolate the gene causing it, and inject it into it's chickens?  Because knowing my fellow Americans, I'm sure "Extra Skin" would be a huge selling point at everybody's favorite Buckets and Buckets of Fried Chicken Parts restaurant.)  

Friday, September 14, 2012

Bethel, Alaska: Where the population eagerly awaits the welcome balm of Death

I sure hope this ad is a put-on by our friends at Taco Bell.  PLEASE don't tell me that there is actually a town in Alaska which is SO pathetic and SO sad as Bethel is portrayed here.

Please don't tell me that the population of Bethel, Alaska is SO lacking in a reason to wake up in the morning that the rumor that a restaurant specializing in piling greasy hamburger and limp onions and lettuce on top of over-sized Doritos sends the whole freaking town into an ecstasy of anticipation.  Please don't tell me that when this balloon was punctured, the town collapsed into mass despair not felt since the county outlawed hunting moose from helicopter and Sarah Palin lost the Vice Presidency.

I  mean, there's no way this town's happiness could hang on such a slim thread- is there?  I lived in Buffalo for four years in the early-90s.  Except for my beautiful wife, there wasn't much in Buffalo.   There were bars, and bowling, and a football team that made the Super Bowl every year, but couldn't win it.  That's about it.  But I don't even remember if there was a Taco Bell around- if there was, I didn't notice.  If there was, it didn't make me happy or make life more worth living.  I guess I just don't get this.

Anyway, Taco Bell makes Everything Better for this town full of hopeless losers by delivering a load of disgusting non-food disguised as tacos, and the hicks naturally react with appreciative cheers and gorging.  Ugh.   Taco Bell gets a commercial, the townsfolk get to eat a lot of junk, and the town of Bethel, Alaska gets to be the laughing-stock of the civilized world.  Congratulations St. Cloud, Minnesota- you've finally managed to get out from under that--err, cloud-- you created for yourself when you decided to whore for Serta matresses.

Except- this didn't REALLY happen, did it?  Because if it did-- once the trucks filled with spicy, fatty crap have gone, what are the people of Bethel, Alaska going to do?  Erect a shrine to Taco Bell?  Sacrifice a virgin once a year to Bring the Tacos Back?  What?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Well, this century's version of "Humans," anyway.

It understands you.

It won't talk back (or, if it does, it will talk back in a voice you approve of, because you selected it.)

It won't question your motives, your ambitions, or your use of the very little time God gave you to be on this Earth.

It won't disappoint you (or, if it ever does, it won't complain about being turned in for an Upgrade.)

It's your friend.  When all of the people who used to be your friends got sick of your pathetic obsession with electronics and decided to hang out with actual human beings who would look up every once in a while.

It knows you.

It loves you.

It's your friend.

It's all you need. 

It's only Human.

And that this makes sense to some people is only very, very scary.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Today's Big Thing, Tomorrow's Lame, Out-of-Date Junk. Get used to it.


Once upon a time, cell phone commercials were aimed at people who did not already own cell phones- people like me, who were clinging to land lines like security blankets, and simply would not assimilate into the world of walking and talking and texting and talking and texting.

Those days are long, long gone.  For many years now, cell phone commercials have been aimed at people who ALREADY own cell phones, and are designed to convince these people that the phone they were told (by television commercials) was absolutely State of the Art and Uber-Awesome six months ago is now a retro, lame piece of crap that causes you to show badly to your friends and leaves you out of the "fun" that can be yours if only you Upgrade.

It's All About The Upgrade now.  By the time you get your new phone out of the box, there's another, slightly better model being put on display in the store you just left which renders yours Ok for Now but Just Slightly Behind the Curve.  This kind of thing- buying expensive technology which stays fresh only slightly longer than that quart of milk in the fridge- used to annoy people.  It wasn't all that long ago that a rather large population of idiots threw a hissy fit when Apple dropped the price of one of it's phones five minutes after that rather large population of idiots had handed the company their paychecks to Get It First.  I doubt that would happen today- more and more people seem to accept constant "Upgrades" as par for the course, even though it means that they are ALWAYS one step behind---well, somebody.

Of course, the makers of these things has the answer for you- just keep trading in your "old" phone for the Latest Thing.  Constantly.  Sure, it means Upgrade charges (that's the idea.)  Sure, it's just another spin on the hamster wheel called Keeping Up With The Herd.   Sure, it means landfills stuffed with "old" phones, seeping mercury into the aquifer.  But check out the slightly faster downloads, the slightly clearer screen, and the latest bell or whistle (they seem to be added One Upgrade at a Time.  They are on to their public- no more "big" changes, just tiny, subtle tweaks- more than enough, they've figured out.)

Or, just stick with your "old" phone- and be mocked by your Way Cooler Soon To Be Ex Friends.  Your choice.  Loser.

Last week, my little Nokia died.  I replaced it with something called an LG Expression.  I imagine that if I did a little research, I'd find that my new acquisition was the "It" phone for two weeks in February, 2011.  I'm not what Samsung or AT&T or Apple would call a Model Customer- but I'm getting there, right?

(Oh, and to this commercial- where is this woman hiding during the wedding and reception, where she's missing all this stuff?  Could she let me in on her trick, because whenever I have to attend one of these affairs, I'm always trying to find a place to hide until the whole horrible ordeal is over.

-Not to mention- is this what happens at receptions these days?  People take pictures nonstop and then look at them on their phones?

Oh, and-- "I get all my friends' pics as soon as they take them?"  This is something I should want?  Really?)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

What does "Little" have to do with KFC, anyway?

First- the day some psychopath starts spitting chicken parts at me while giving some bullshit pep talk,  I get up and walk out.  I don't give a damn if you just bought me "lunch" (more about this in a minute.)  I don't get paid enough to have your greasy spittle showing down on me while I'm looking at this disgusting crap you just handed out.

It's called eating, swallowing, and then speaking.  Most of us learn this at the dinner table, before the age of six.  You, sir, are a pig.

Second- I actually can't believe that it took this long for KFC to come up with mini-sandwich called a "Chicken Little."  It seems so obvious, it's a wonder why it didn't make the original menu (then again, NO sandwich made the original menu, so maybe I shouldn't be all that surprised.)

Third- we all know damned well that thirty seconds after the brains at New Product Development came up with the idea of wrapping a tiny bit of pressed chicken parts held together by deep-fried batter and slapping it on a bun, the other brains at Corporate came up with the idea of Super-Sizing the "little" sandwiches.  I'm willing to bet that if I drive over to KFC right now, I'll find Chicken Little Value Meals- maybe 3-4 of these things and a gallon of soda for $5.99 or thereabouts.  Don't try to tell me that they actually expect the greasy flab brigade which makes KFC a part of it's regular routine is actually going to be popping in for one $1.29 mouthful of chicken hiding in a bun.  No WAY that's happening.   Like being "little?"  Don't eat at KFC.  Tossing down this crap might make your lifespan slightly smaller, but that's about it.

Meanwhile, this jackass could at least pass out umbrellas before he launches into his pathetic rant.  Pointy ones.  Because-- "little boy pants?"  Really? 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Day in the Life- of a phone, and the people who love it

Dear Diary,

Mommy Daddy and I had the most awesomest day today.  First I asked Daddy  to take me into the woods so I could look for frogs.  Daddy said he had a better idea he found video of frogs on his phone and I looked at that for a while it was pretty cool.  Then I said I wanted to play a game with him, but he didn't really want to do that so he found a game on his phone where I drove a car that was pretty cool too.  I ran around with the phone for a while then I sat on the stairs and played the game and Daddy watched I think, not sure 'cause I had to keep watching the screen so I wouldn't crash.

Then Mommy and Daddy let us go outside and I splashed in the pool with some friends.  We wanted Mommy and Daddy to come in the water too but they said no we'll just take pictures.  We were kind of sad so we waved and splashed to show how much fun it was so they would come in but they took movies instead.

Mommy made dinner later on and I wanted to help but Mommy was on the phone talking to someone so she couldn't hear me.  After dinner we sat around in the living room with some other people and I wanted to talk to Mommy and Daddy but they wanted to play music on their phones and told me I should dance.  I kinda would have rather played a game but not that car game, like a board game or something but Mommy and Daddy said they were tired and they wanted to talk to their friends and show each other their phones so I danced a little bit.  Then they wanted to take more pictures with their phones.

Anyway when I went to bed they were watching stuff on their phones and taking pictures and sharing them when I woke up the next day Mommy showed me she took a picture of me when I slept and shared it with like a million people, I told her I didn't sleep well 'cause she didn't tuck me in she said that was cute and she made me say it again to the phone so she could send the video to like a hundred people.  Later on I took out a board game and asked Daddy if he would play with me he said he was crunching the numbers or something but when he was done I could play that car game again I said no thanks.

I didn't like it when I got a baby sister 'cause Mommy and Daddy gave her a lot more attention and it was like I wasn't even there anymore.  Now I wish Mommy and Daddy had never got that phone they never put it down and they never stop taking pictures and they never play with me any more I hate it.  I hope it dies.  Never mind what I said before it wasn't really an awesome day.

McDonalds Presents the simple joy of being a butt-kissing brown-noser

Ok, maybe I'm piling on a little when it comes to snarking on McDonalds, but no one asked them to make it so easy.

This guy gets the news that one of his poker buddies, a supervisor or something, is in position to give someone a big promotion.  I'm going to ignore the fact that he, his supervisor, and all the other fellow wage slaves seem to be playing cards on company time- that's just par for the course when it comes to depicting the workplace in American Commercials.

Instead, I'll just focus on what flashes through his brain a moment after he realizes that he might just get that promotion, if he plays his cards right (bad pun unintended.)  He's a "smart guy" for the reason people in these ads are always smart- because he was able to figure out how to buy a thousand calories of fatty, sugarly, salty, oily, life-shortening crap with just a few bucks (gee, why does he need a raise if he's got this kind of brain power?)  Because he's so smart, he knows that if he lays down his four queens and wins the hand- umm, what, exactly?

Oh, yeah- the supervisor is such a pompous, self-important windbag petty tyrant that he'll deny the promotion, and give it to someone else (presumably, someone with a better concept of the practice of Kissing the Boss's Ass.)

Because Mr. Mensa wants that promotion, he's more than willing to fold, beginning what I guess he hopes is several decades of stroking the supervisor's ego in similar disgusting, humiliating, dehumanizing ways.  Because it's all about the money, I guess.  So we should congratulate Brainiac for successfully launching his career as a Lickspittle Doormat, always careful to walk two steps behind his boss, losing every card game, bowling tournament and fantasy league to this guy until one of them is eligible for Social Security?

Hey, McDonalds- I get that jobs aren't exactly falling out of trees these days, Promotions are hard to come by and money, while not really all that important in the long run (when we are all dead, after all) can come in handy when you want to buy things.  I wonder if YOU get that there's nothing especially funny about watching the Birth of a Boss's Pet who thinks he's being Smart and Political but is actually just showing the world how soulless he is.  Bah, whatever- if he thinks that economizing at the Dollar Menu is a good idea, his career as a toady isn't going to be all that long, anyway.  At least that's something.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Easy Decision: the most annoying commercial of the year. Thanks, Hyundai.

I know the year isn't over yet.  There are all those ads for something called The Hopper, all pitched by fat idiots with bad Boston accents.  And football season has just begun. 

Still, it's hard to imagine (scary, too) that it could possibly get worse than this.

If you managed to get through this entire ad without mentally punching this woman in the face, you are a much, much better person than I am.  If you wondered why Hyundai thought that a minute and fourteen seconds of this garbage was necessary to sell the ad's "idea" when twenty seconds would have done just fine, well, join the club.

If my mentioning the word "club" planted visions of battering the geniuses who wrote this crap into a bloody too!

If you found yourself wondering why the guy playing the soulless, "this is the job I could get, my life is over before it even had a chance to begin, please stop making it worse" salesman doesn't just tell Idiot Not Funny At All Woman that he's going to get the paperwork going and she can get back to him when she's decided on a color, mumbling "damn time-wasting loser" under his breath as he walks away, well, he IS just an actor in a horrible car commercial, after all.

Tis the season to buy the 2012 models left on the lot, to make room for the 2013s which will be peddled to us in obnoxious, cringe-worthy ways next fall (surely those ads won't be as bad as this one, right?  Can't possibly, right?)  We'll be hearing a lot about low low low monthly payments, available to anyone with a decent credit score and the willingness to hand the dealer two years of lease payments up front. We'll be immersed in a smothering sea of stupid.  But all will be forgiven if we never, ever, EVER see this wretched "actress" doing her bit again.  Because congratulations, lady- all by yourself, you managed to elevate this Hyundai ad above all the McDonalds and Verizon and Sprint Mobile and Apple commercials I've seen this year in overall suckiness. 

Take a bow, and exit the stage.  And don't ever come back.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

You saw the punchline coming from a mile away, didn't you?

It's the year 2012, and this is a commercial featuring a male and a female who also happen to be a couple.  In other words, it didn't matter HOW carefully the male concealed the phone from the female in the car.  It didn't matter HOW quietly he spoke to the mechanic.  It didn't matter HOW quickly he got the hose re-attached to the carburetor.  There was simply no WAY that

A)  The male was going to get away with (gasp, horrors) getting mechanical advice from a (bigger gasp) mechanic, or

B)  get credit for having the intelligence to call said mechanic and USE said advice.

Nope, no way.  Everyone watching this commercial who also happened to be over the age of six  knew all along that Big Stupid Male would pretend that he fixed the car His Own Self Without Any Help From Any Other Males, because that's what Impresses Females.  And everyone watching this commercial who had watched more than a total of thirty minutes worth of commercials over the past five years was equally certain that Wise, All-Knowing, Never Ever Passing Up An Opportunity to Needlessly Bring Down said male would call that guy on his own harmless BS.

Which leaves us to wonder two things- first, why did they even bother to make this ad?  Oh, right- because while men on tv never miss an opportunity to act like boastful overgrown children terrified of having to admit that they need help doing anything, watching them get cut down by their women never fails to delight and entertain the viewing audience.  After all, would it really have been SO DAMNED DIFFICULT for the male in this commercial to say "hey honey, I called my mechanic and he told me what was wrong, and I fixed it" and for the female to respond "awesome, honey- that's a great service you have on your phone, great thinking in getting it?"  Only in the land of commercials, I guess.

Second, while we weren't looking, mechanics apparently decided that they no longer wanted anyone to call for tow trucks, bring cars in for repairs, or avail themselves any of the very lucrative services provided by said auto mechanics, and instead would be providing free mechanical advice via video  from now on.  Remind me to sell my stock in Meineke and Pep Boys.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ally's Dishonest Salute to Honesty

Sometimes, I find myself talking back to commercials.  Usually it's because the ad's messages is so damned stupid, so obviously insulting, so f--ing manipulative and so blatantly appealing to the knuckle-draggers who believe everything they see on tv.  This commercial for Ally Bank- "trust us, because we think you are all idiots"- definitely falls into this category.

So Ally asks a "random" passer-by to watch a briefcase containing $100,000.  For some reason, the random passer-by says sure.  Then the Ally spokesman walks away.  A camera is trained on the sucker who agreed to watch the briefcase.  And we Bigger Suckers are supposed to be impressed that he doesn't take any of the money.

Groan.  Where to begin?  First, no one with two brain cells to rub together would agree to accept the job of watching a briefcase filled with money without asking any questions beforehand.  Deep questions like "when will you be back for it" and "what am I supposed to do with it if you don't come back for it" and the very basic (seems to me) "why do you want me to watch this briefcase?"

Second, NO ONE would take ANY MONEY out of the briefcase because it would be patently obvious to a mentally ill box turtle that THIS IS A COMMERCIAL and I AM BEING WATCHED DUH!!  The shock would have been if Ally had managed to find someone stupid enough to open the case, take out money, and stuff it into their pockets- or just walk away.

My bottom line with this ad is:  Ally thinks people are really stupid.  Ally wants customers, but has no respect for them.  And the advertising firm Ally hired to make this insulting waste of my time is so devoid of talent that it decided to use a "Candid Camera" gag to attract those new customers.  Besides thinking that we are way too stupid to understand the concept of No Fees banking without being hit over the head with a rubber mallet.

Here's what I would do if an Ally spokesman every asked me to watch a briefcase full of money:  As soon as the idiot left, I'd open the case and start tearing the bills into pieces, one by one.  When the guy suddenly jumped out of the bushes to ask "what the hell are you doing?" I'd reply "hey, I'm watching the money.  What is your problem?"  If he protested, I'd explain that this is exactly what you should expect when you do something as dumb as handing a huge amount of money to a total stranger and then just walking away.

Monday, September 3, 2012

In the world of McDonalds, who ISN'T "smart?"

In the some faraway land I never want to visit, being "smart" means being able to read the Dollar Menu at McDonalds, figuring out that each item on the Dollar Menu costs $1, and buying stuff off that Dollar Menu.  That and being able to come up with dishonest crap responses off the top of your pointed head at a moment's notice.

This guy is sitting on a park bench, trying to enjoy his breakfast in peace in the typical McDonalds customer style- he's got a steaming hot coffee with no lid, and unwrapped food sitting there on the bench next to him getting cold.  If there is one common denominator weaving it's way through each and every one of these McDonalds Dollar Menu ads, it's the apparent determination of the actors sit like zombies with their coffee but never drink it, and never touch their food until it is ice cold.   Whatever.

Anyway, his blank, dullard Waiting For My Coffee To Cool and For the Flies to Find My Food time is suddenly interrupted by the approach of a cute but breathtakingly pretentious newcomer who feels compelled to ask him if he likes the sculpture staring him in his face.  Naturally, the question bowls him over and leaves him grasping for a good reply- not only that, but also convinced that the keen intelligence he displayed minutes earlier in making his food choices ought to now provide him with just the right answer for this person he's presumably never met.  (Personally, I don't know why "I have no opinion on the sculpture, I just sat down at this bench to eat my breakfast, you might as well ask me if I like the sidewalk because that happens to be right here too" would suffice.  That or "no, I don't care for the sculpture, but I wasn't willing to pick up this bench and carry it to one that I like more."

Instead, this guy decides that he's smart enough to vomit out some french phrase he's heard in a hundred different movies and thinks will make him sound intelligent- and because the woman is the pretentious phony I suspected she was, she responds positively to his obvious bullshit.  If I witnessed this scene in real life, I'd point out that before she assumes this guy has class and taste because he can bleat crap in another language, she really ought to check out his breakfast.  But my guess is that she's so desperate for someone to talk to, she probably noted the cheap junk he was (presumably) about to eat and thought "ooohh...brains AND taste!  I'm going after THIS guy!"

Sunday, September 2, 2012

That phone is the least of your problems, lady

Here's a woman who is obviously terrified of her little girl- specifically, terrified of being seen as a "parent" rather than as a "best friend" or, as she puts it, "the bad guy."

Because mommy/best friend is so scared of getting on the wrong side of her little girl (how old is this kid?  Ten?  Twelve?  And she has her own phone and unlimited talk and text?  What the hell was this woman thinking when she agreed to this arrangement? Oh yeah- "this will prevent an argument" and "Dad won't approve, and I'll be the Good Guy again."  Maybe she's worried she'll be dumped from her daughter's Facebook Account (you KNOW this little girl is on Facebook.  All the time.)  Maybe she just can't bear that "I'm not sure if I like you or not, Lame-Ass Mom" look Daughter Who Runs The House gives her whenever Mommy says something that does not include "of course I'll buy that for you, honey."

So cringing, frightened mom wrings her hands and reenforces daughter's entirely accurate opinion of mom- that she's a spineless, easily-manipulated asshat who can be batted around like a cat toy because she simply must be popular with daughter.  Awesome.

Somehow, I don't think a brochure from the good people at is going to fix this family's problems.  Maybe years of therapy, but not a brochure.  As a childless person, maybe I'm missing something, but wouldn't the easiest solution here be for Mommy to tell Daughter that she cannot use her phone as often as she has been doing, and if she fails to stay within Mommy's guidelines, the phone will be taken away?

Did I just cause heads to explode, or what?  Once again I find myself typing, "what am I missing here?"

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Here's a guy who needs fifty percent of his dignity back

This is, I believe, the 208th Capital One commercial featuring Jimmy Fallon singing the merits of getting "fifty percent cash back" for using a certain credit card.  "Who doesn't like fifty percent more cash back?" Fallon always asks.  And then we are given an example of a child who doesn't care about cash or credit cards or any of the things that Fallon thinks are important because he's been hired to read a script handed to him by Capital One.

Fallon's a pretty accomplished television star, and a somewhat less accomplished film star,* which makes me wonder why he needs to do crap like this.  Then again, we've got Michael Jordan, who is worth roughly 400 billion dollars, ripping talking tags off of the shorts of fat doofuses and tossing them on grills.  We've got Shaquille O'Neal pitching compact cars.  And let's not forget Magic Johnson urging people to sign on the bottom line and empty their wallets into their nearest Rent A Center.  Still- does he really need this kind of money?

Especially since these ads are kind of counterproductive- I see them every day, and with each viewing I am reminded that if Jimmy Fallon is this annoying in a 30-second commercial, he is probably downright intolerable in a 90-minute feature film.  Therefore, I intend to avoid any opportunity to actually pay to see a film featuring Jimmy Fallon.

Not to mention that anyone who understands credit cards realizes that there's an even better way to save money than Capital One's Fifty Percent Cash Back plan.  It's to use cash.  Cash, you see, carries an unbeatable interest charge from month to month.

*I did like Fever Pitch, but I think that it was because of the subject, not its male star.