Thursday, November 29, 2012

John Hancock presents the endless saga of the whiny Investor Class

Ah, yes, we all feel for you guys, we really do.

It must be so hard.  There you are, sitting in your enormous living rooms, in front of your roaring fires, with your SUVs sitting in the garages and twinkling holiday lights adorning your palatial suburban estates.  To the clueless who don't "get" your situation-  the overworked and underpaid who can't save a nickle because wages peaked in the 70s but inflation continues unabated- life looks pretty damned good for you.  Shows what they know.

After all, they don't have anything close to the headaches you have.  Like, deciding between the Aspen or Switzerland ski vacations.  The crowds over at Fresh Fields Market.  Keeping an eye on the cleaning lady (and calculating her Social Security deductions, if you decide to go the Hiring Only American Citizens route.)  Getting Cody to Tai Kwon Do and Keira to ballet and swim lessons.  Interviewing Au Pairs.  Seriously, it never ends.

And they really don't have a clue about the hassle of Disposable Income.  They are the lucky ones- they have to spend every penny they get.  They don't know about Investments and IRAs and Portfolios.  They might worry about paying the electric bill and keeping the heat turned on and getting enough food on the table for their kids, but they've never tossed and turned wondering if that $30K you dropped into Hog Futures is going to pay off, or maybe it would have been better to put it into that Lexus Cody has his heart set on.  They know they are going to work until they drop, and if they DO retire because they are so broken down no one will hire them, they've got that very limited, very easy to manage Social Security check as their sole means of support- simple.  They'll never have to juggle several Income Streams, manage multiple homes, or set up annuities.  Not to mention 401(ks)-- the tax implications alone can drive you straight to the chardonnay and brie.

So thank you, John Hancock, for giving the vast majority of us yet another reason to feel Thankful this Holiday Season.  Maybe we've got student loan bills.  Maybe we are overworked and underpaid.  Maybe we don't even HAVE jobs and aren't quite sure where the next rent check is coming from.  But at least we aren't getting the kind of ulcers reserved for the Most Productive.  Man, my heart really goes out to THEM.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Me too,Crazy Wal Mart Lady. Me too.

I live 550 miles from my parents and siblings, but I make it back for the big holidays most years.  This year I made Thanksgiving, and I'll be back for Christmas too.  Lots of traveling, lots of expense, but it's worth it.

A few years back, we gathered together to give gifts- and three hours later, we were exhausted, surrounded by paper and boxes and trinkets of affection that made several of us more than a little queezy with the excess of it all.  So the following year, we decided more than a month in advance- NO GIFTS.  Just being together was enough.  And every Christmas since then has been much less stressful, much more relaxing.  Sure, we are partially responsible for gutting the economy, but too damned bad.  This is better.

So, Crazy Wal Mart Lady who thinks that she's actually spreading happiness by purchasing hundreds of pieces of cheap crap made in China, putting herself in debt to continue the vicious Stuff=Happiness Cycle-- you fail, utterly.  The neighbors were right- you really are a loser.  That's why you find triumph in your ability to waste money and raise kids to think that Christmas is all about temporary pleasure found in shiny plastic crap purchased with shiny plastic cards.  I'm glad you're done, until next year.  When you can relive this empty triumph all over again.  Have fun.  I will- with my family.  Sans Junk.  Takes all kinds, I guess.

(BTW: Check out the banner in the background:  "More Christmas, Less Money."  Yes, because the amount of "Christmas" you have depends on the number of gifts you hand out.  Disgusting.)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Add "Being a Chef" to the list of things AmeriTrade doesn't have a clue about

On the first day of his new job, Joe's boss gave him two pieces of advice:  "Cook what you love, and save your money."

Very interesting.

Joe took his boss at his word- and proceeded to make beef stew with dumplings, and apple pie.  Because that's what he loves to cook.  And when the boss tried to remind Joe that he's working in a Pakistani Restaurant, Joe got very confused.  "Remember that hackneyed, bumper-sticker advice you gave me?" asked Joe.

When Joe's boss replied "Um, no.  I'm sure I was just talking out of my ass, because I had nothing to say that was actually constructive" Joe proceeded to remind his Boss about the whole "cook what you love" crap.

Boss's response was "umm...yeah, I guess I did say that.  But I say a lot of really stupid things.  What I MEANT was, cook what the customer orders."

Joe tells his boss that he now no longer has any confidence in the Boss's integrity, since he keeps changing his message.  It was bad enough when that asshole at the next table dumped flour on his head (an email has already been filed with Human Resources) but now Boss is going back on HALF of all the advice he gave on the very first day Joe was an employee!

Boss then asks "what was the second half?"  Joe responds "you told me to save my money."  Boss replies "now THAT was good advice.  Because if you make one more pot of beef stew and dumplings, or one more apple pie, you are going to be on the unemployment line."

"And here's some more advice- stop taking my BS as gospel.  Because if I knew anything about being a chef, I'd be cooking, not sitting in my office in the back trying to figure out how to get my waitresses down to ninety cents an hour."

Of course, all this could have been avoided if TD AmeriTrade had bothered to learn even a little bit about what it's like to be a Chef.  It's not Rocket Science.

(BTW, is there any place on Earth where people "work their way up" from busser, to waiter, to chef?  What does one skill have to do with the next?  When I notice that a familiar waitress is no longer at my favorite restaurant, should I assume that she's now behind the scenes, cooking?  Because I always thought she had just moved on to a different job.  Have I been wrong all this time?)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Chevy Steps All Over Its Message in this one

This is one of Chevy's more honest ads- sure, they exploit the whole Santa as a Car Salesman thing for roughly the 400th time, but at least they admit that their Cars Crashing Through the Wilderness and Big Strong Dirty Guys NEEDING Trucks to do Man Stuff ads are basically bullshit.  That's something.

In this ad, Stupid Not Very Good Car Salesman Santa ( who btw can come up with TWO items of praise for this truck- that it's "Dependable" and that it's "Long-Lasting, too"- which sounds a lot like one reason to me) doesn't get that when unshaven slob Alpha Male Wannabee says "I really need this truck," the proper response is "let's get to work on that paperwork so you can go about your rugged, masculine business, then" not "oh really?  And exactly why does a guy with a wife and three kids who lives on Happy Cherry Lane in Levittown "need" with a truck again?"

Because you see, Stupid Car Salesman Santa, it's your job to sell these pointless Man Toys, not talk potential shlub customers like this ugly doofus out of buying one by interrogating him about his non-existent hunting and fishing until he breaks down and cries on your shoulder about how pathetic and civilized his life is.   And it is pathetic- not because hunting and fishing is pathetic, but because this guy thinks that he needs to impress a fat oaf in a white beard by exaggerating what he thinks is the measure of his masculinity.

Personally, you'd think the guy would be satisfied with having even a small part of the package- he's scruffy, unshaven, and at least showing an INTEREST in buying a rugged Man Truck.  It's better than crying, which no real man ever does.  Right?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Droid's weird concept of time and space makes my head hurt

Sometimes commercials are so full of stupid, it's pretty much impossible for me to figure out what route to take in snarking on them.  I honestly have no idea what is happening at any moment in this advertisement for this month's Must Have Phone, the "Droid Razr," which is Cool Because There's No E in Razr.

This guy uses his phone as an alarm clock (hey, I can do that with my phone, it's Droid Razr-Like!)  He apparently gets out of bed fully clothed, including shoes.  Then he uses the phone to- watch tv?  Operate his sound system?  I don't know what he's doing.  You'd think a shower and shave would be higher priorities than Making Sure The Phone Does Everything You Used To Have To Do For the 200th Time Since Yesterday.

And then it seems that he's "trapped" in his bedroom, which has no roof, and which features what look to be rather easily-scaleable five-foot walls.  Because he's got some intensely juvenile game on his phone, he can blow a hole in the wall?  Or is this weapon an actual, downloadable App?  Again, I really don't know.

So I'll ignore all the Stupid which leads up to what I don't think is supposed to be a punchline-- "The Droid Razr.  Now, more than ever."

"Now more than Ever?"  The Droid Razr was introduced in alllll the way back in November 2011.  That's an entire Year Ago.  A YEAR.  The Droid Razr HD was introduced in SEPTEMBER, 2012.  Two months (or three versions of the Kindle) ago.  "Now more than Ever?"  Really?

Monday, November 19, 2012

What's on that Samsung Galaxy Video

Take your pick.  The video Mommy made for Daddy that he's not supposed to watch on the plane is

A)  A streaming video of a recent Sixty Minutes Report on the shocking discovery that more than half of all passenger planes have faulty cargo doors that tend to pop open at 20,000 feet, sucking the plane's contents into the stratosphere, or

B)  A Dear John Video- as in "Dear John, while you are away on yet another 'business trip' with that whore secretary of yours, I'm emptying the bank account and running off with the guy from the Samsung kiosk.  The kids are with your mother.  Don't call."  Or

C)  What we are supposed to think it is- an X-rated video this woman made to....umm..."entertain" the guy while he's away.  Which means she's not his wife, and those aren't her kids.  She's the babysitter.  Because married women with kids don't do this.

Whatever it is, her warning isn't going to do any good, of course.  Because it doesn't matter how inappropriate the video might be in an non-private setting.  We all know that owners of phones like this don't give a flying damn who is listening to their conversations (I have heard far more about the personal lives of total strangers through their phone banter than I ever wanted to) or who is within earshot of their music- they SURE aren't going to start caring about who is watching and listening to Babysitter be what she thinks is sexy on a video.*  So good luck, people who are sitting within three aisles of this guy- you are going to get an earful.  And if you crane your neck a little, maybe even an eyeful.**

*Yes, I'm going with Option C on this one.

**What I REALLY hope is that Babysitter is sick of Daddy and knows he's a clueless, inconsiderate douchenozzle who WILL watch her video on the plane- and the video consists of her yelling really loudly "I DID WHAT YOU TOLD ME TO- I PLANTED THE BOMB IN YOUR SUITCASE!!  ALL PRAISE TO ALLAH!!!"

(BTW, anyone else think that look Babysitter gives Daddy just after she says "don't watch it on the plane" is far more Creepy than it is Cute or Sexy?  Brrrr.)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Wal Mart, Black Friday, and the Triumph of Greed over Humanity

In case you hadn't heard, at Wal Mart "Black Friday," that annual celebration of gross excess and the unlimited power of marketing and corporate greed, will once again begin on Thursday Evening.  That's Thanksgiving Day.  You know, that secular holiday where the Banks and Schools and Post Offices are all closed so that we can all get together with our loved ones (or our families) to share our gratitude for getting through another year safe and sound.

Which means it's time for our friends over at FOX to send out the regular parade of scum-sucking, corporation-worshiping, subhuman pigs to rant against the GALL of minimum-wage workers wanting to (gasp!) spend an ENTIRE DAY with their families every last Thursday in November, the lazy ungrateful bastards.  Spencer Hughes over at Ultimate Corporate Whore Radio (XM/Sirius Fox Channel) is especially talented at this, raving that the shelf-stockers and floor cleaners and greeters and cashiers who are "lucky" enough to have a job at Wal Mart should be "grateful" for the opportunity to work, considering that so many people don't have employment at all in These Hard Times, and they'll Never Get Ahead if they don't give up their Slovenly Ways.  Hughes likes to call such people, who have the nerve to have Family Values like "I want to have dinner with my family like everyone else instead of rushing off to help people load 45-inch flat screens onto carts like I'll be doing for the next month anyway" even though they are are struggling to keep their heads above water "pathetic whiners," and then strongly encourage their Betters at Wal Mart to fire their useless, bitching asses.

Hughes and his braying ilk may take a call now and then from an informed citizen who tries to question the morality of a company which is owned by six siblings who were Productive and Hard-Working enough to accomplish being the spawn of Sam Walton, each of whom will make more money in unearned interest every month than most people will see in a lifetime of toil, squeezing even more unneeded profit out of  their tired, discouraged wage slaves by forcing desperate, frightened employees to cut their holidays short every Thanksgiving.   They'll respond by calling the questioner Jealous, Lazy and-- always-- Ungrateful.  The message will be received, and the next five callers will agree that the Waltons should just can all these losers and replace them with people who understand the virtue of hard work and unquestioned loyalty to the Boss- and then regale us with their own Rags to Riches story, and how they Worked Very Hard Since The Day They Were Born and how Nobody Ever Gave Them Anything and how they Earned Every Penny They Have.

Oh, and "Obamacare."   Just Because.

I'm not sure why these hosts don't include the sound effect of a whip cracking in the background during their "oh boo hoo you can't have dinner with your family, next year start a business and get rich like you are supposed to if you don't like it" spittle-thons.  It would certainly fit.  I mean, think about it- they are glorifying the success of a corporation built on the product of Chinese slave labor, sold by Americans they can pay next to nothing because of their success at Union-busting.  (Please, don't get these people started on UNIONS. They killed American business- which means, they killed America- you know.)

I wonder if, when these soulless dicks watch A Christmas Carol with their deductibles-- err, children-- they pause the DVD at the part where Scrooge complains that Bob Cratchit wants Christmas Day off and explain to the family how the scene would play better if Cratchit fell to his knees and kissed Scrooge's ass to show his gratitude- and how Scrooge would have been perfectly justified in just tossing Cratchit out into the snow (no Socialist Unemployment Insurance back then, either- ah, the Good Old Days!)  My guess is that they just explain that Cratchit is just like those lazy, stupid, 47% Takers not Makers who work at Wal Mart yet for some reason think that they are entitled to Holidays like everyone else, even though They Don't Even Pay Taxes.  The nerve. They clearly don't get that the Waltons are more deserving of another several hundred million dollars they can never spend than the workers are of a few more hours with their families.

Coming next year:  Wal Mart's Huge Enormous Can't Be Missed Post-Christmas Spectacular starts at Noon, December 25.  Better get those gifts unwrapped quickly- you are expected on the floor.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Fidelity to what, exactly?

This woman has managed to land herself a very nice house and has socked away what I'm going to guess is a significant pile of loot, but she can't get the nasty little reminders of her fertility to shut the f--up for a few moments while on the phone?

Or she considers the future of her nest egg to be so unimportant that it's perfectly ok with her if she can't quite hear everything the Fidelity guy on the phone is saying because those stupid kids are running around the house (while the sun streams through the windows) tossing toys all over the place screaming their asses off?

And what's with the "can you hold on a minute" bit?  She "uses" that minute to walk five steps, pick up one of her kids, and move him off the green line which has magically appeared on the floor.  Why does she do this? And what's with that kid, that he needs to be picked up and moved, and can't just be asked to step off the freaking line?

Personally, I think this commercial works much better as an ad for a dating service.  Desperate, harried, "Oh crap what did I get into" woman, watching her children rob her of her youth day by day, calls It's Just Lunch, hoping to meet a nice guy who can sweep her away from all this.  A green line appears on the floor- the green line to freedom.  Just move the kids out of the way, drop the phone, and head out the door, lady.  This is the first day of the rest of your life.

Fidelity?  With THESE kids? To hell with that.

That is a tv-typical spacious house, though.  I guess that was the honey that baited the trap.  Old story.

Friday, November 16, 2012

McDonalds gives me a threemendous headache

Well, it certainly appears that the "I'm Smart Because I Buy Off the Dollar Menu" campaign is over at McDonalds.  It won't be missed.  Unfortunately, it's been replaced by commercials for something called the "CBO."  I think it's a Cheddar, Bacon and Onion burger, which sounds pretty good until you remember it's from McDonalds.

Because it IS from McDonalds, it must be sold to us by the most intensely stupid-looking non-actors the-- ahem, "restaurant" can find.  These non-actors must be willing to bleat the most god-awful, juvenile lines to each other while keeping a grin on their faces and holding- but never actually eating- whatever warmed-over pile of dreck McDonalds is peddling to our impressionable youth this month.   Very often, it's only one line, and this time, it's only one word.  One Non-Word.  And that non-word is "Threemendous."

McDonalds would like the non-word Threemendous to become lodged in our brain and create irresistible images of fried ground beef and pork and cheese and onions which cannot be removed until we've all rushed off to the nearest--ahem, "restaurant" and snatched up one of these life-shortening sandwiches.  Won't take long, since nobody in the lower 48 lives more than ten minutes from a set of golden arches.  Lucky us.

Oddly enough, I don't get an image of fatty, salty, oily, sugary, artery-clogging junk when I think of the non-word "Threemendous."  Instead I envision a pick ax, and me driving it into the skulls of everyone responsible for this abomination.  And then wondering why nobody at McDonalds seems to have a soul,  because that annoying little appendage might actually convince at least a few people over at Corporate that with this whole obesity epidemic going on, maybe peddling this crap might be....I don't know...wrong?

At LEAST McDonalds could be as honest as Golden Corral is in THEIR ads.  Golden Corral shows us actual customers- bloated, clueless, tasteless pigs swooning over the Amazing Chocolate Wonderfall and Cotton Candy machine.  McDonalds shows us freaking models enjoying their putrid crud.  In reality, I'm the only good-looking person who EVER walks into a McDonalds.  And that's just to get coffee.  They've got good coffee.  It's not Threemendous, because that's not a f--ing word.  But it is good.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Marie Callender's: The Best Reason to Get Out, Fast

Kids don't just grow up fast on a steady diet of Marie Callender's fat-and-salt-laden crap; they grow OUT fast, too.

And maybe they wouldn't grow up so fast if they weren't so damned anxious to get out of the house while they still had a few functioning heart valves left.  Seriously, it's amazing how many of these kids of Clueless, Lazy-ass parents managed to GET to adulthood, considering the warmed-up junk constantly being shoveled at them during their formative years.

And the final "touching" scene of the Prodigal Son coming home for a surprise visit, and instantly being reminded why he left in the first place- Mom and Dad immediately "treat" him to-- another serving of Marie Callendars.  I want this guy to respond "Jesus F---ing Christ on a Pogo Stick, did either of you EVER consider cracking open a fricking COOK BOOK, even ONCE?"

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Santa has traded his Norelco for a Mercedes Benz. And we like him a lot less

Well, it seems that Santa has done rather well for himself in the past year, doesn't it?

We've got unemployment at just under 8% as the "new normal."   We've got college becoming an out-of-reach fantasy to more and more young adults every single year.  We've got a President who is concocting what he calls a "Grand Bargain" involving taking a machete to the social safety net, accepting the bullshit talking point that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are the principle drivers of the deficit and must experience "sensible cuts."

Oh, but he's going to "ask the wealthy to pay a little more," so it's all OK.  WTF-ever, buddy.

We've got wages which peaked in the early-90s and costs which continue to rise.  Subsequently, we've got a  large population using credit cards to buy groceries and gasoline.   We've got families who are REGULARLY in debt, with monthly payments to VISA as automatic as the electric bill and mortgage.  We've got kids being raised by schools and by other kids while Mom and Dad both work full-time jobs (if they are both fortunate enough to HAVE jobs.)

Ah, but someone is thriving in this Brave New World.  Santa has a car collection that would put Jay Leno's to shame.  Warms the heart, doesn't it?

I can just guess who Santa voted for this year.  He almost certainly cast his vote for the Corporate whore who worships at the Shrine of Business and lets Wall Street determine the economic fate of the nation.  Or maybe he voted for Mitt Romney.  He certainly didn't vote for Jill Stein or any of the Non-productive Whiners Who Want Nanny Government And Cradle To Grave Care.  Fuck THOSE losers.

Oh, and Merry Christmas.  Ho Ho Ho.  The first Lexus Wrapped in a Red Ribbon commercials appearing on a television near you in 3.....2.....1.....

Sunday, November 11, 2012

McDonalds commercials are disgusting and stupid in any language. Why am I not surprised?

Well, it's good to see that the rest of the planet is not being left out, isn't it?

You don't have to know the words to this song (I didn't check- can I assume a lot of YouTubers want to know what the song is and where they can get it?) to see that this commercial might as well be the trailer of the most predictable, asinine, fill-in-the-numbers teen angst movie ever made.  I mean, it's got "Can't Hardly Wait" smeared all over it.  I guess I'd like to know what the little girl found so mesmerizing about this little boy her mom weirdly decided to hook her up with when she was six years old- but on second thoughts, not really.  We see that despite a steady diet of sugared french fries and hot fudge sundaes from the world's biggest pig trough, Cute Little Boy and Cute Little Girl grow up to be reasonably healthy-looking human beings (seriously- where's the acne?  Where's the flab?  Where's the flushed complexions and sweat and shortened breath?)  Cute Little Girl found herself another guy (in true celluloid style, she Never Realized That The True Love Of Her Life Was Right In Front Of Her All AlongTM.)  In REAL life, Cute Girl isn't really expected to stay attached to Cute Boy She Met One Day At McDonalds when she was at that age where girls generally haven't made sex distinctions or, at most, think boys are Icky.  In Hollywood/McDonalds Ad Land, this means they were meant to be.

Cute Boy shows he's not ok with Cute Girl having actually grown up, breaking the Hollywood rules, and moving beyond him by dipping his french fries into his hot fudge sundae.   This is supposed to stir something in Cute Girl's heart, I guess.  Again- in REAL life, Cute Girl respond with "ick, what the hell are you doing?  We used to eat bugs, too- are you going to do THAT in front of me?  Grow the f--k up!"  In Reel Life, all the---umm, "feelings" that Cute Girl felt for Cute Boy back when they still believed in Santa Claus come rushing back, and Cute Girl dumps the guy she's only known for a few months, not when she was wetting the bed over the prospect of lunch at McDonalds.

See?  Told you you didn't have to know the words to this song.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Why didn't Microsoft just go with "Shallow?'

It's cheap!  It's plastic!  It comes in pretty colors!  It's mostly disposable!

In other words, it fits in PERFECTLY with the modern American lifestyle!

It's called "Surface," and incredibly, it's NOT a parody product reviewed by The Onion.  As near as I can tell, it's a flimsy, thin piece of electronic junk which is JUST cheap enough to convince you that when it inevitably cracks and breaks it's no big deal, just pitch it into the nearest garbage can and get yourself another one.  And if you don't break it in the first two or three months of ownership, well- BONUS!!  It's been upgraded to be even thinner and lighter and fragile!  Yay!

I can see this becoming the next Must-Have product for a generation that has grown up with cell phones which go from being the Kewlest Thing Evah to Outdated Junk in less than half a year.  I can see kids with huge college debt and no jobs somehow managing to justify owning this shiny, rather inferior substitute for a laptop (or, better yet, a fricking notepad and pen- that was more than good enough for me when I was in college, which no was NOT fifty years ago.)

And I fully expect that around this time next year, I'll be seeing plenty of these things scattered along the side of the road as I take my day hikes (26 miles today, new record, yay me!) crowding out cell phones and beer cans for space among the piles of rubble.  Because there's no overestimating the stupidity of the American buying public.  Microsoft is, as always, banking on it.

Discover another reason why Death is not such a bad thing

Why a sudden, massive heart attack which leaves me cold on the floor would be welcome right about now:

1.  This commercial played during every commercial break of the Pittsburgh/Notre Dame contest.  Every. Single. One.

2.  The guy who wrote this commercial thinks he's clever.  You just know he does.  Douchenozzles are like that.

3.  The guy who narrates this commercial badly needs an iron spike applied to his skull.  Right now.

4.  The good people at Discover Card who signed off on this ad need to be huddled into a small, cramped room and made to watch it for 24 hours straight.  Because you know they'll never watch it voluntarily.

BTW, check out the "comments" from the children who populate the YouTube world.  For some reason only one of the drooling chimps who live over at YouTube could explain to me (and no, that isn't an invitation,) several posters felt compelled to type out the script of this god-awful, painful pile of steaming dreck.  Well, at least none of them are asking "what is this song wats the name of this song lol I love this song what is that song?'  At this point, I really have to thank God for small favors.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sonic: this is how you die young, fat and boring

I've often wondered why Sonic commercials always feature two guys sitting in their cars holding food instead of consuming it in the--- ahem-- "restaurant."  I've never been to a Sonic- are they intensely filthy places?  Are they Golden Corral-ugly, with Golden Corral-like sweaty pigs ruining any sensible person's appetite shoveling greasy crap down their cake holes in between slurping thick gum-based milkshakes?

I mean, if you aren't in a hurry- and the guys in these commercials never seem to be, as they skirt around their sexual identity issues by obsessing over the fat and carb delivery systems they've just shelled out for at the drive-thru- why would you sit in your hot, cramped car to eat this crap instead of in a booth where you can spread out, loosen your belt, and most of all dump the paper and plastic the stuff came wrapped in right there instead of tossing it in the back of your automobile to attract bugs?

But I'm willing to continue to wonder about all that, if someone can explain to me-- Cheesecake bites?  Really?  Cheesecake bites?  Look, my life isn't exactly what I hoped it would be.  I'm lonely a lot of the time.   If it weren't for my students, I'd have a hard time some days getting up in the morning.  Sometimes I still have a hard time.  But I've never been so depressed, so disgusted with my existence, so devoid of interest in my future (such as it is) that I would consider ingesting something called "Cheesecake bites."  Things are going to have to get a lot worse than that.

The flatmelt sandwiches look pretty good though.  Ah, the power of television.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Nutella presents another episode of "How She Uses her MRS Degree"

Thank goodness for MommyWife and her ability to hold what is left of her soul and her brain together to be of regular service to her family!

In between singing the praises of Nutella, MommyWife astonishes one kid with her quick recital of the capital of West Virginia.  We aren't told why exactly Daughter needs to know the capital of West Virginia at this moment- we don't see her write it down, and God Forbid she reply with a "thank you."  And bubble-headed MommyWife, half her brain cells burned out of her skull by ammonia fumes and boredom, doesn't know why she has that nugget of information jingling around in her practically-empty cranium (some teacher probably taught it to her once, when she was a little girl and had some dream that did not involve chirpily spreading not-peanut butter on toast and bleating random factoids to idiot spawn.)  Daughter just gives Other Daughter a look which probably means "Told you Mom would know that," and MommyWife can add "knows state capitals" to "can spread Nutella on bread" and "am fertile" to her list of assets.

Another kid wants his backpack.  Naturally, MommyWife knows where that is.  She doesn't know where those old dreams are, she doesn't know where her soul is, and she hasn't been out of the house except to go shopping or to cart someone to soccer practice or swimming lessons in eight years, but she knows where the backpack is.

And here's the guy who made All This Possible, providing MommyWife with a suburban palace to keep clean, a new washer and dryer every few years, a different last name and a big SUV to park in the driveway in exchange for her personality and youth.  He's somehow managed to find the kitchen (probably followed the singsong voices of people asking about West Virginia and backpacks) long enough to get the lowdown on all the things he's forgotten because it's just so much easier to let MommyWife remember things for him these days (that's what she's there for, after all.)  MommyWife hands him his own slice of bread and Nutella, and the whole crew is off to do fun and interesting and educational things, leaving MommyWife to her Tide detergent and Swiffer.  We kind of hope that she goes running for the shelter of mother's little helper now and then, because at least that would be evidence that there's an actual human being somewhere behind that frozen smile and those zombie eyes.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

And what a great message- "Say No to Sharing." Inspiring!

Ok, so apparently the intensely ugly little knob of a commercial featuring the intensely ugly, nasty family of an intensely helpless dickwad dad was such a hit with some focus group which needs to burn in hell forever that it's been turned into a series.  Lucky us.

Now that we've gotten the pilot out of the way, we move to Zany Sitcom Situation Number Two- Dad, who has already proven totally incapable and even more totally uninterested in being an actual Parent, has hired a "Data Coach" to follow the people living in the same house with him ( I don't think that the word "family" really works here) and order them to stop using their phones foolishly.

Naturally, Data Coach proceeds to stalk the kids, barking at them to shut their fucking phones (which they do not pay for)  off.  He catches mom hiding in the car, trying to get off a quick text to her lover without Mean Husband and his Data Cost Obsession breathing down her neck.  And he interrupts absolutely nothing by walking into Husband and Wife's bedroom to yell at Hubby to put his phone away.

It's all supposed to be very funny, but comes off as really pointless and stupid and a sad commentary on this "family's"  total failure to show even the slightest modicum of respect or understanding for each other.  The Dad acknowledges that there is this problem with high data charges.  Mom is pissed that Dad keeps bringing it up instead of just taking an extra shift at work to pay for them.  Son and Daughter don't give a flying damn how much it costs to use these phones, because as I noted before, it's not their money and they would rather die than stop texting and tweeting and talking and downloading and streaming.  (I'd rather they die, too.)  So Dad's answer is to bring in a total stranger to act as Surrogate Enforcer, accomplishing nothing except making him appear even more the unreasonable heavy- and even more a clueless douchebag who exists to ruin everyone's lives with his penny pinching.

As I've noted before- I don't have kids, so maybe I'm just out of line commenting on these ads, it really so impossible for parents to work together to establish simple ground rules when it comes to the family budget?  Is it really inconceivable that the answer to high phone bills might be something other than Unlimited Data Plans?  I can't even imagine enabling my kids to use their phones nonstop like this- hell, I can't even imagine buying my kids cell phones that could do anything but actually CALL people.  (Oh, and if this makes them show poorly for their friends, let me demonstrate my tiny violin-playing skills. And hand them the Want Ads.)

Anyway, I really hope that this series gets the axe now, because I don't want to see what Dad tries next, I really don't.  And I don't want to keep getting told that the "solution" is Unlimited Data, and not a badly-needed lesson in moderation and budgeting.  But I'm nothing if not a realist, and I'm smart enough to know that this is probably going to get even worse, and will continue the downward slide until the people in these ads are happily gazing at their phones 24/7 with glazed-over eyes and drool dripping down their chins.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Oh and by the way, if you live in an Apartment, you must want the terrorists to win

Along with the treacly National Association of Realtors commercials which show happy, well-adjusted kids who will succeed in life because Mommy and Daddy did their duty and signed up for 30 years of payments to the local Megabank downtown (which sold the mortgage before their signatures were dry, but never mind,) here's another Real Americans Own Suburban Palaces ad.  Yay.

The message is blindingly obvious:  If you care about your country, if you care about putting people back to work, and if you care about maintaining the veneer of Middle-Class happiness symbolized by leaf-littered lawns, giggling children, Big Wheels, Speed Bumps and Lawn Sales, you'll get your ass down to the credit union and sign half of your next 3000 paychecks away in exchange for four walls, a garage and lifetime membership to the Home Depot Herbicide of the Month Club.

After all, Home Ownership is what being an American is all about.  That, and feeling permanently locked into your cubicle because hey, those mortgage payments are just going to keep coming for what feels like forever.  And nobody promised you (in writing) that the biggest purchase of your life was going to increase in value, or even stay stable.  So when you don't get a raise for the third year in a row- just zip it, House Monkey.

Hey, at least the kids are happy, even though they don't know why.  And speaking of whom, better get yourself some term life insurance.  Because it never, ever ends, this Being a Good American thing.   I'll have to try it myself someday.

Friday, November 2, 2012

SelectQuote presents: The most boring family in America!

I've been looking for this commercial for a long time.  A few months ago I actually gave up trying to find it, and instead referred to it in a post featuring another SelectQuote Commercial.

But now, at last, here it is:  Jim and Diedre and their Three Great Kids, sitting on the grass, doing....something.

What ARE Jim and Diedre and their Three Great Kids doing?  Well, Jim is smiling appreciatively as one of his Great Kids tosses a plastic hoop on to a plastic peg, which MAY be as much as 18 inches away.  This is so much fun that when Jim removes the plastic hoops and gives them back to the kid, the kid doesn't grimace and turn away, but goes right back to tossing the hoops.

Wait, it gets better.  Jim's daughter, who actually appears to be OLDER than the little boy who seems to be enjoying this mind-numbingly dumb, incredibly age-inappropriate, non-stimulative dreck of an activity, actually wants to join in on the "fun."  She quickly gets her share of plastic hoops and proceeds to lean forward slightly so she can drop them on the plastic peg.

Good lord, Jim.  Maybe you and Diedre should reconsider feeding your Three Great Kids exclusively on paint chips.

And what is Diedre doing with the third of the Three Great Kids (the only kid who looks young enough to actually get something out of the "put the plastic rings on the plastic hoops game?)  She's tossing a ball with him/her (how many times do you expect me to watch this?)  That ball is being tossed roughly the same distance as the plastic hoops.  Somehow, this is delightful fun to Diedre and her kid.  Good lord, what is going on with these people?

Anyone else think this looks a lot more like "keep smiling for a few more seconds, the photographer from White Christian Family Today Magazine will be done in a moment and then you can do whatever you want" than an actual family having an actual picnic?  Do the people at SelectQuote really know families that it any way resemble these chuckleheads?

Anyway,  Jim decided one day that all this was worth insuring.  Diedre the fertile idiot and their three pathetically uninteresting children.  Yes, we must make sure that if something happens to Jim, All This gets preserved.

After all, someone has to catch that ball, and someone has to take the plastic hoops off the ring so the game can start all.....over.....again.  Zzzzzzzz.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

My kid with crappy eating habits can beat up your kid with crappy eating habits

A lot of YouTube posters watched this ad and thought the same thing I did- "why isn't this pompous, smug idiot's kid playing soccer wearing a Pediasure costume?"

I mean, if "you are what you eat," and if that fact turns her kid's fellow soccer players into french fries and donuts, why isn't her daughter a jug of milk, water, and sand?

That being a question that is not going to be answered by the good people at Pediasure, I'll ask this one instead- why isn't Pediasure Princess getting her ass handed to her by another little girl who started her day with oatmeal or whole grain cereal and a glass of orange juice?  Because in real life, that Pediasure would leave the spawn of My Child Doesn't Need Fiber gasping for breath by halftime.