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.


  1. EEEeeeeecchhhhh......

    Another ad that makes me want to start slapping people. It's sort of repulsive to know that the Patterswine are the Model Mobile-phone Using Family.

  2. Kids rule families now-a-days. I have a kid on the way, and he's going to be without a phone till he can BUY his own. I'm not going to be a parent who gives their kid an iPhone at five years old. Forget that nonsense! Parents have NO backbone anymore, John. I see these monsters bossing around their parents EVERYWHERE. And the parents do NOTHING. Makes me happy though, because those same kids are going to be the FUTURE consumers, RIPE for the PICKING. But yeah, another BRILLIANT post, John. I don't know if you've seen this abomination, but it's driving ME crazy!

  3. I'm not sure that commercial is even snarkable, Will, but I'll keep it in mind. Some ads are so repulsive, so forehead-slappingly stupid, they are kind of immune from criticism, because they seem so busy making fun of themselves.