Thursday, January 31, 2013

Fios: We Get It. Can we return it now?

Check out these alleged adults, who are so delighted to tell us about the moment they "got it."  They are sitting in a darkened room with their kids, and every single member of the "family" is being hypnotized by their own electronic device.

Mom "got it" when she finally found something that distracted her kids from fighting which did not require a prescription.  Dad "got it" when he realized that he no longer had to get his ass off the couch and cart the kids off to the park to get (ewwwww....) "exercise" and "sunshine" and "fresh air."  They all Got It the moment they got their very own Connectivity Device which allowed them to disconnect from each other and connect with noisy electronic entertainment.

And what did they Get?  That it was possible to be in the same house- heck, in the same ROOM- without really being with each other.

Society is irreparably broken.  When did I get it?  When I saw this disgusting, sad commercial featuring disgusting, sad people who could not be happier that they no longer have to talk to each other "especially at dinner...when so much is going on" (seriously, what does this woman mean by this?  Husband and kiddies are even more mesmerized by their glowing best friends at dinner?  I have no idea what she's trying to say here, and I'm pretty sure I don't really want to know.)

I can't imagine ever wanting to look around and see my loved ones acting this way.  If I ever have little children, they sure as hell aren't going to be shoved off into a corner to stare at their personal screens, and sunny days were made to be spent outdoors, dammit.

Fios is playing a big part in the destruction of everything that used to make life worthwhile.  I Get It.  When will the rest of us?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

TD Bank worships at the Church of Small Business. So what else is new?

Let's see if I've got this ad all worked out- Small Business Owner and Therefore Would-Be Savior of the American Economy comes strolling into a bank five minutes before it closes.  He's told by a disembodied voice that the bank is about to close.

Small Business Owner and therefore King of Everything replies "Just have to make a deposit."  At this point, he kind of reminds me of that pig on the airplane who is told to put his little electronic game away so that the plane can take off, and replies "no, I'm just doing a little business here on my phone."  I know you think that you are Vastly More Important Than Anyone Else, Mr. Small Business Owner, but what the voice meant was "we are closing," not "we are closing unless you are Very Special, Which You Obviously Are. Naturally, We'll Be Staying Open for You, Just Take Your Time."

Small Business Owner sees the lights going off and protests- "I need to make payroll."  Again- gee, I guess maybe you should have thought of that before you sauntered in five minutes before closing, huh?  Disembodied voice suggests "please come back during normal business hours," to which Far More Important Than You Small Business Owner replies "but I'm at my business...during normal business hours...."*

Well, isn't this all very interesting.  Tell you what, Small Business Owner.  Tell me what your business hours are.  I'll walk in five minutes before YOU close, and I'll insist that YOU stay open for MY convenience.  When you bitch and moan about it, I'll remind you that you expected your bank to stay open because you are Way Too Important To Go To The Bank When The Rest of Us Trolls Do.  Because you are a Small Business Owner, and the sun obviously rises and sets on your ass.

When I was in college, I worked at a video rental store in a suburban Virginia mall.  I can't tell you how many times I was counting up the register, having closed the iron gate in front of the door, only to notice that two or three idiots were still wandering around trying to pick out just the right crappy 80s comedy to bring home for the evening.  THEY were on their way home after working their allotted eight hours, but I was supposed to just hang around and waste away my evening so they could read the backs of boxes in their own sweet time.  Because THEIR time was vastly more important than MINE.

Here's a tip, Mr. Small Business Owner;  the bank you expect to cater to your inflexible hours is staffed by Human Beings just like you (actually, I hope the humans working at the bank aren't clueless douchenozzles like you are.)  Human beings who want to do their work, and go home.  Human beings who don't give a flying damn that you waited until the last damn minute to get your payroll taken care of.  And if I work there, at least one Human Being who hopes that you and your Small Business are the target of the next Tunguska Event.

*Want to experience inconvenient banking hours?  Join the United States Senate Federal Credit Union, which in the last ten years has systematically closed every suburban branch, now requiring me to take the Metro to a Senate Office Building where I must pass through a metal detector to deposit a freaking check, and which has ridiculously truncated hours which do NOT include Saturdays, EVER.  But it's a credit union, and I'm not handing my money to Chase or Bank of America or (shudder) Wells Fargo or any of the other chain-store money-lender maggots around here, so what can I do?

Monday, January 28, 2013

I don't want to see anyone doing laps in my chip dip, either

The treacly faux-folk music, which sounds sweet and nice until you realize that the "you" the singer is "overwhelmed" with is beer, just can't make up for the fact that this ad ends with a shot of a guy who has decided to take a bath in said beer. Where is Upton Sinclair when you need him?

I don't care if Sam Adams is a pretty good beer (and it is.)  The idea that employees at the Sam Adams Brewery are swimming in the stuff before it's bottled and sent on it's way to my refrigerator doesn't make me more inclined to buy it.

I guess I'm just weird that way.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Extra-Strength version provides a quick, affordable lobotomy!

I think it's awesome that we get to watch one moron REALLY HURT HIMSELF by sticking a cotton swab in his ear not once, but twice.  "OWWW!"  My guess is, the first time this happened, MommyWife came rushing to see what the deal was.  The second time, she just rolled her eyes and started to pack.

I also love the "it's so quiet...listen!" line.  We really can't tell how loud the product is on tv.  Mechanical stuff NEVER makes a lot of noise in commercials.  In fact, if I took ads at face value, I'd have to assume that NOTHING (not Popiel Rotisseries, not cars, not airplanes, NOTHING) makes any noise at all.  Well, Kit Kats. They make a LOT of noise.  But that's it.

I get a kick out of the little kid getting his ears cleaned out by his Way Too Delighted To Be Doing This mommy.  For once, I buy the idea that the kid doesn't have a clue he's being filmed for a commercial.  This little guy looks 100 percent genuine to me.  The "Mom?"  Well, if you think sucking the wax out of your kid's ear is that much fun, I have to say- there sure isn't a whole lot going on in your life, honey.

I really enjoyed the part with the lit candle being held in the guys ear.  Omitted Scene: Idiots call their 80-year old parents and ask how ear wax was removed during the Great Depression.

I could have done without the graphics showing what CAN happen if you use those Lethal Weapons In Your Medicine Cabinet, the Banned In Most Countries cotton swab.  As the guy in the opening scene would say-- "OWWWW!!"  But seriously- who the hell thinks it's a smart idea to jam the damn thing all the way down your ear canal like that?  For the target audience, you'd think there would be a real danger of dropping the swab and having it rattle around in the skull until it found it's way out the nose.  "OWWWW!!"

Oh, and I didn't need to see the Easy Disposal of liquid ear wax.  I think I could have figured out that "putting it in an ice tray" or "tossing it in the fire" are not proper ways to dispose of ear wax.  I don't think that  if this scene was left out, people would be wandering around their houses with cups of ear wax muttering "what do I do with this?  Honey, did you keep the manual?"

Saturday, January 26, 2013

"How Was Your Day?" "Great- you weren't around." Ugh.

Except for the part where this guy is getting a shave at a barbershop (does anyone really do this anymore?) it seems to me that everything he does without his wife would be more fun with her.  I wonder why ad agencies insist on trying to convince us that married men and women spend a great deal of their time trying to get away from each other so they can have clandestine fun.

Well, I was married a while back, and I can't recall EVER feeling like this.  Whatever I do these days-whether it's taking a walk, watching a movie, reading a book, or whatever- I enjoy myself as much as I can, but in the back of my mind I often find myself thinking "it was more fun to do this with her than it is now, without her."  Not to be maudlin or anything, but I get the sense that the people who write these ads really don't like being married, and assume that most of us don't care for it, either.  People on tv are always sneaking off to do amazing, fun things and hoping that The Spouse doesn't find out.*   It's as if they are all bitter that they woke up one day tasered, tagged and taken, and now they are going to spend the rest of their lives trying to squeeze every ounce of Fun they can out of their Alone Time.  Is it just me, or is this more than just a little sad?

*And none of the Amazing, Fun things are really all that impressive.  Actually, they are kind of stupid and juvenile. This guy manages to get himself a few hours without the missus, and what does he do?  Rides around in a little car.  Eats a basket of barbecued ribs (I suspect MommyWife wouldnt' approve.)  Gets a shave at a barbershop (again....)  I still think most of this would be more fun if he did it with the woman he loved.  Or his wife.  Either way.

Friday, January 25, 2013

"Hey Dad, you're blocking my view of my future car!"

I guess the joke here is that Junior WON"T appreciate the fact that he had a Dad who was willing to spend a  lot of time with him tossing a ball around, even though Dad isn't very good at it and will show badly for the neighbors in the attempt.

Nope, Junior is just tolerating all this Quality Time crap, and will never once look back and recall how Dad didn't even waste valuable minutes changing into jeans and a t-shirt, but insisted on using it to play ball with his son.  Dad doesn't have the good sense to send Junior off to play with someone who can actually throw a ball and give advice on how to throw one, or suggest they go inside and download some piece of crud movie from DirectTV and do something Dad DOES do well- sit like a rotting potato staring at a screen.  But at least Dad's got this nice-looking car (jesus, it's a Passat, not an Audi or BMW- is this kid really daydreaming of the day 10 years from now when he'll inherit THIS?)

Sure, Dad likes spending time with his kid.  Sure, Dad isn't concerned that he's not athletic and looks pretty bad trying to throw a ball. Sure, Dad can't really pass on any good tips on how to throw a ball.  But check out the shiny Passat.

I'm going to assume that the people who wrote this commercial either don't have kids, or don't spend any time with them- and think that's just fine, because all kids really want from their parents is a college fund, a new cell phone every six months  and a hand-me-down car when they hit 16.  I've never been a parent, but I was a kid once- and seriously, I don't get this message.  At ALL.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Subaru Presents: A Spot I would have been more than happy to miss

What is this commercial attempting to sell us?  The joy of having intensely stupid kids?  Of living on a suburban street in which none of your neighbors notice what your intensely stupid kids are doing?  Of leaving your kids totally unattended for hours,* while also leaving your car keys within easy reach (or just leaving your car unlocked in the driveway of your ticky tacky All Look Just The Same castle?)

None of the above.  I'm convinced that this is actually an endorsement of going through life heavily medicated.  Having woken up one day to find himself living the Middle Class dream (which seems to always include two kids who look like Dad,) this guy has decided to keep himself on heavy doses of Valium.  Or maybe it's just Marijuana.  I mean, come on- there's something in between throwing a murderous fit which finally gets the neighbors away from their DVRs ("watch five shows at once!") and "here, let me help you finish destroying my car."

Love:  Accepting that your kids are morons who are basically on their own, which is going to result in them doing a lot of damage to your property.  Can I assume that each Subaru comes with a starter supply of Daddy's Little Helper in the glove compartment?

*Where's Mommy?  I don't know why, but I got the oddest notion while watching this that Mommy is sitting at the bay window with a glass of wine in her hand and a big smile on her face, watching all of this happen to Daddy's car.  But who am I kidding? The sequel will probably show harried, Had Been Off Doing Important Stuff Mom coming home, surveying the wreck of the car, and thinking once again "why did I think I could leave the kids in the care of that idiot, even for a few hours?"

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Discover Card presents: My Idiot Husband, Chapter 46,789

Here's a chapter in Discover's Oops I Missed A Payment ad campaign that rankles a bit more than the others.  It was bad enough when the credit card company was just trying to present itself as the Credit Card With A Heart because it won't triple your monthly interest charge and slap you with a $35 fine the first time you are an hour late getting your minimum payment in (the second time you are late, they take your house and send Rocky to break your kneecaps, but that's another story.)  After all, anyone who has ever owned a credit card knows already that getting the fine removed from your card generally requires no more effort than a phone call and a threat to change issuing companies- that works at least once.

But this one adopts the All Too Familiar "Men are Irresponsible Little Children Who Must Be Rescued By the Wise Women they Somehow Begged into Marrying Them" theme, and seriously, haven't we seen enough of this?  Calm, ever-suffering MommyWife is sitting on the couch explaining to the Understanding Because Hey I'm a Woman Too I've Got My Own Helpless Schmuck at Home Discover card rep that in a moment of weakness, she stupidly let her Idiot Pet Male have responsibility for the family credit card for a month, and wouldn't you know it, he Couldn't Even Manage to Make a Monthly Payment.

Well, what did MommyWife expect from the moron- she sent him out for milk once, and he came back with a puppy.  We must assume that she checks on Hubby regularly to make sure he hasn't accidentally set himself on fire or used his allowance to buy lottery tickets.   MommyWife and Understanding I've Been There Sister on the other end of the line share a We Are All In This Together moment as the elderly child MommyWife is attempting to raise rushes to get the puppy out of the house before it pees all over MommyWife's hardwood floors.

What the hell?  Why does anyone think ads like this are funny, or smart, or anything but manipulative and insulting and downright stupid?  Several YouTube posters congratulate themselves for thinking that this commercial is LOL awesome (later, they'll pat themselves on the back for refusing to see the racism in old Amos 'n Andy skits and loudly proclaim their motto to be "Lighten Up.")   I really wonder about anyone who thinks ANY ad featuring Helpless BabyMan and Wise Woman is any more appropriate than the old Wise Man and SuperKlutz Helpless Woman ads of the 50s and 60s.   Yes, they are very easy to make.  Yes, they sound way-too-familiar themes that aren't supposed to make us think about it too much.  But when they make anyone with a brain (I put myself in this category) react with "to hell with you, I'm not using this service because you have no respect for me,"  are they really accomplishing anything of value?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Oh, they'll end up Well Rounded, all right

1.  Who the hell talks like the guy in this ad? Who narrates their recent decision to purchase a breakfast at Dennys?  Does he think the kids give a damn how much it costs?  More likely, they are just happy that it's Daddy's Weekend, which means they get to eat at Dennys.  (Children like to go to restaurants and eat crap.  It's one of those things that make them Children.)

2.  Why does every Dad on Television act like a befuddled, clueless dumbass the moment a kid asks him a question about ANYTHING?  "I should have said 'Well-Rounded Meal.'"  Um, no- when you do that, you are just replacing one stupid, hackneyed, virtually meaningless line with another.  I'm not a Dad, but I'm pretty sure this is one of those "teachable moments," where you have an opportunity to teach your idiot kids something important about nutrition.  Instead, you just fumble around for another non-answer.

3. Of course, this might not be the best place to have a discussion on proper nutrition with the kids.  "By square meal, I mean it's got all the major food groups right here on one plate- Fat, Grease, Cholesterol,  Meat, and Sodium.  And look, I can wash it all down with a cup of Coffee.  See how responsible Daddy is?  Just remember, this is just Every Other Weekend Stuff.  It's not a plan for regular, healthy eating."

4.  Why does every kid of a certain age in every commercial have to talk like this horrible little girl?  I would rather stick nails in my eyes than have a "conversation" with this treacly little drip lasting more than five minutes.  How about letting Daddy eat the meal he just purchased and is now inexplicably giving a speech about, and stop reminding Daddy why Mommy loves these weekends so much?

5.  Why does Daddy call for the waitress at the end of this commercial?  What does he plan on asking the waitress to do?  Adopt his kids?  Tell them that Talking is Not Allowed at Denny's and if they keep it up, they won't get dessert?  Bring a sedative he can slip into the kids' milkshakes?  What?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Gun Lake Casino: Where the trolls come out to play

Seriously, did the makers of this awfulness go out of their way to find the most repulsive, unlikeable humaniods not already booked to appear in cell phone commercials to appear in this ad?  Because these ugly, nasty, stupid mutts are really beyond the pale when it comes to being just plain repelling.

"Everyone's winning at Gun Lake Casino."  Wow, really?  Well, I guess it's probably too late for me to get in on the action.  Gun Lake Casino must have gone out of business some time ago.  Oh wait, what?  The vast majority of people who play at Gun Lake Casino actually walk away with less money than they walked in with?  Well, I'll be darned.  How come they aren't hopping up and down and waving their arms and grossing me out in advertisements for Gun Lake Casino?

Oh, right.....

So instead, we've got mostly senior citizens "enjoying" their golden years by blowing their social security checks on slot machines.  All senior citizens LOVE Gun Lake Casino- even the ones that have no neck (what IS it with that guy?  Ugh.)  And to make sure that we don't think that Gun Lake Casino isn't just for seniors, here's a middle-aged-looking fat doofus woman telling us how much SHE loves it, too.  So if you go to Gun Lake Casino, it won't look and smell entirely like Leisure Village with cheap, watered down drinks and lots of noise.  Women like this stupid slob will be there too.  Boy, that sure sweetens the deal, doesn't it?

All this Separate Addicts From Their Money ASAP stuff is pretty lame and sad- maybe not as sad as commercials for CashStop and Rent A Center and LibertyTax and TaxMasters and all the rest aimed at the bored, scared and/or just plain stupid, but pretty close.  Sad, and irritating, because you know that the scumbags who profit from these things don't give a flying damn if their clientele can afford to lose or not.  As Mr. Burns once told us, Casinos have the perfect business model- people come in, spend money on nothing, and leave, generally without complaint.  And even when they win, they generally keep coming back until they lose.  Kind of amazing that there aren't more of these things- but that's a "problem" that is being remedied by revenue-hungry, cowardly legislators.  If you don't live near a Casino, just wait a few years.  You will.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Commercial Curmudgeon want all horrible Couchgating monkeys Go Boom!

Sometimes, I feel compelled to start off my blog post with an apology for subjecting readers to a god-awful mess of an ad that they might have been blessed to have missed.  In the case of this horrid commercial for fried chicken parts, I think that the whole damn post should be an apology.

I'm sorry I needed to comment on an ad featuring about a dozen of the most loathsome excuses for human beings seen on television since the last showing of The Phantom Menace.  (I mean, just look at these Smug For No Reason At All jackanapes.)  I'm sorry for the contribution I've made in spreading KFC's latest attempt to introduce a new tagline into the national lexicon:  Couchgating. As in Couchgating: To sit on your fat, lazy ass wolfing down a month's worth of grease and carbs over the course of three hours.   I mean, I always thought Tailgating was really stupid- but at least Tailgaters had to leave the freaking house. And Tailgaters tend to set up barbecues and toss footballs around parking lots while creating and nurturing social connections with other Tailgaters.  Compared to sitting like zombies watching a football game while cramming mass-produced poisonous junk from a magic (always overflowing, never goes down even a little no matter how many pieces of the crud are removed) bucket on the table?  Tailgating is the height of entertainment compared to Couchgating.

And I'm sorry that the image of that wretched, poor excuse for a female life form bleating "Game Day Bucket Go Boom" will be with your long after you've cursed my name and closed this page.  Here's something I'd really like to see go boom, lady.  Your intestines.  Your furnace.  Anything that causes you to keel over and never, ever pollute my television screen again.

Because I'm really not into apologizing, and hope I never have to do it again.  But who am I kidding?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Oh, and while you are over here, your parents are on Ebay trying to sell you

"You should go home right now."


"Because you aren't my problem, and I hate you."


"Because you keep asking 'Why?', but are clearly not interested in the answer."


"My guess is that it's because you are just an obnoxious, horrid little brat."


"Because your parents made you that way."


"My guess is that it's because Mommy wanted to have a kid right away, but Daddy didn't, and you came along even though Daddy thought they were still discussing it, so now every time daddy sees you he's reminded of what he considers a betrayal."


"Because Daddy remembers how awesome it was to be married to your mom when she was still slim and exciting and spontaneous and awesome in the sack.   Before you came along and ruined everything."


"Because that's what kids like you do. They ruin things."


"Because you are horrible.  Because you bother people, just like you are bothering me now.  Difference is, I get to tell you to get lost.  Your parents are stuck with you.  They hate that, but they are trapped.  I'm not.  Now, you have five seconds to leave."


"Because if you are still here after five seconds, I'm going to tell that monster in your closet to eat you while you sleep tonight."

Friday, January 18, 2013

The magic of exploitation (or "Capitalism: It's bigger than Humanity,") brewed by Starbucks

Now that Starbucks has put the magical journey of Sue's coffee-  from underpaid, underfed farmers living in conditions that would have been deemed horrific in the Antebellum Southern United States to it's brewing by "Barristas" (snigger) at overcrowded Starbucks where treacly, manipulative music plays on the loudspeakers and everyone in front of you wants some god damned complicated drink which may or may not actually include COFFEE and where brownies and bagels cost $5, let's see where else we can take this lovely little concept:

The origins of Sue's jacket- from a Pakistani sweat shop to the grimy, rat-infested docks to one of hundreds of Wal Mart storage warehouses and finally to the rack.  Accompanied by music, of course.

The origins of Sue's seafood dinner at the trendy (read: costly) little place near the pier (strictly for atmosphere) from the fishing vessels in the East China Sea to the stinking cannery in Vietnam to her plate.

The origins of Sue's I Phone 5, from the frozen fingers of the Chinese preteen working in an unheated factory in the middle of a town where the ONLY job is at said factory to the packing center where asbestos falls like snow on starving minions working 20-hour shifts and 80-hour weeks for wages that would make the Joads recoil to her own warm, well-manicured hand.  So she can check her Facebook page while stopped at a red light or download a concert while sitting on a park bench.  Heartwarming.

Yes, I sure hope this is the beginning of a trend.  It certainly would be educational.  Except, the reality is something most of us would rather just ignore, because it's a real bring down to realize how much blood, sweat and tears went into the little luxuries we simply could not live without, isn't it?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The customers Comcast REALLY cares about

I've pretty much reconciled myself to the idea that everyone in this country except me lives in a $3 million dollar home featuring kitchens twice as large as my apartment.  Homes with perfectly maintained hardwood floors.  Homes which just scream "Latin American Cleaning Crew Practically Lives Here."

And I've pretty much come to grips with the idea that everyone in this country except me has lightning-fast internet speeds which download pages before one has even finished typing out the address and streams movies to 40 different devices including the 80-inch plasma televisions mounted on every other wall, including the one in the bathroom large enough to double as a den.

What I will NEVER reconcile is the idea that people who live in these homes care about saving money on their cable/internet/phone service.  Seriously, how do brains like this function?  Thirty-year mortgage on a $3 million palatial estate.  $10 K on big screen televisions, including the one in the tree house.  Sunken living rooms and cleaning crews.  Oh, but Comcast is a slightly better deal than Fios- don't get fooled into signing a ruinous five-year contract!

Seriously, though, would it be so damned hard for Comcast to show us a commercial which is even remotely relatable to those of us who AREN'T snug and comfy in the 1%?  People like me, who use the package Comcast (without even a hint of irony) refers to as "Blast," which apparently translates into "Internet Service, Sometimes?"  I mean, I don't want to use my phone or laptop to look at my apartment wherever I go.  I don't want to adjust the heat or turn the freaking lights on from school.  I just want to be able to check my email, read the news, and write for my blog without endless freezing, cutesy "OOPS!" messages, and intensely unhelpful CLICK EASY SOLVE pop-ups (EASY SOLVE is Comcast's awesome, FREE service which provides terrific information like YOU ARE NOT CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET.)

To get any of those things, I guess I have to move into a $3 million home and start installing massive televisions.  Then Comcast will be interested in keeping me away from Fios.  Until then, I'm stuck watching the endless struggle of the Pretty Rich People dealing with the petty annoyances which keep life from being Absolutely Perfect.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Is there an App to help this woman discover where her life went?

So your adowable wittle daughter walks up to you five minutes before you are supposed to be bundling her into the SUV and taking her to school and announces that it's "Dress Like a President Day." You panic for a moment, before you remember that your other Little Helper- the one that doesn't come in a bottle and isn't prescribed by the understanding doctor downtown- can show you a picture of the eighth president in about three seconds.

So you find out what Van Buren looked like, whip open a few drawers, and in about ten minutes you've put together a passable costume for little miss Wait Till The Last Damn Minute To Get MommyWife To Do Your Homework For You.  She shows well at school and, more importantly, you don't look like a failure in fulfilling your MommyWife duties.  Adowable Wittle Daughter gets dropped off at school and you can get back to your medication and interviewing housekeepers.

Here's another option- "Well, honey, I'm sorry you didn't mention that earlier- I'm sure your teacher told you about this days or even weeks ago.  It was your responsibility to at least tell me about this long before now.  We might have had a very good time researching Martin Van Buren, learning about his life, learning about the  style of clothing of his period and, of course, learning what he looked like.  We could have gone to the local craft store and picked out just the right things to make our costume, and we could have spent a very nice weekend afternoon putting it all together."

"I guess now you expect me to just pull up an image of Martin Van Buren on my tablet, and a costume and makeup for you to wear out of my ass.  But I've got a much better idea.  I think it's time for Adowable Wittle Daughter to learn a little lesson in responsibility.  You see, Mommy has a lot of stuff on her mind every day- there's stuff to be bleached, there's meals to be cooked, there's cleaning staff to order around, there's shopping to be done, there's stuff to be bleached....Sob....."

"Sorry about that.  So you are going to school today in your regular clothes, and you can explain to your teacher why you totally forgot to plan for your Martin Van Buren costume.  I'm sorry you will look bad, but this is an important lesson.  I know it seems that Mommy lives to cater to you and your father's every goddamned whim and doesn't have a life of her own, or dreams of her own, or ANYTHING of her own....Sob....but it just isn't so."

"Where the hell did those pills get to?"

Monday, January 14, 2013

Never mind your day. You have NO LIFE

I'm a Red Sox and New England Patriots fan.  I'm old enough to remember the Buckner play, the Super Bowl Shuffle massacre, and Green Bay ruining what would be Drew Bledsoe's only chance to win a ring on the field.   I know what it's like to live and die with a team.

All that being said-- this commercial will always be my response to anyone who complains to me that people take devotion to a sports team too seriously.  The characters who "had a bad day" in this ad aren't crying because their teams lost.  They are crying because their Fantasy Teams lost.   Not actual teams- virtual teams they created.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the Biggest Losers in the History of Western Civilization.

Seriously, if you get emotional because your Fantasy Team ended up with a losing record- well, let's just say that being Pathetic is something you are very much familiar with.  This is beyond sad.

Earth to Dumbasses With Way Too Much Time On Your Hands:  Nobody in their right mind takes Fantasy Teams this seriously.  It's a Fantasy Team. That means it doesn't exist outside of your pathetic little circle of fellow players (I'd call you the Geek Squad, but that's been taken by Best Buy.)   So when you find yourself crying in the shower because your decision to be a desk monkey instead of the manager of an NFL team was just confirmed by your craptacular failure at assembling teams, well.....I really have nothing to say that could be of comfort.  You need a lot more help than I could ever give.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Discover another blatantly racist ad

Fat black women. Check.

Head wags.  Check.

Totally befuddled by technology- "I don't like talkin' to robots."    Oh, they are such SIMPLE people, aren't they?  Check.

"Girl."  Oh, they are such CHILDREN, aren't they?  Check.

Droopy, half-open eyelids and quizzical, "WTF-Ever" looks.  Check.

"I forgot what I was calling about."  Never seen this in a commercial featuring white people.  But why should I? Black people are SOOOOO FUNNY because they are SOOOO CLUELESS AND FORGETFUL  LOL!  Check.

Discover Card joins the "there's nothing funnier than African-Americans acting the way White People think that African-Americans are supposed to act" parade.  Hey, no problem, Discover- there's always room for one more monkey wrench in the gears of progress. I'm just surprised you didn't manage to get these women dancing.  You KNOW how musical "they" are.

K Mart Proves that Intensely Stupid is Intensely Stupid in any language

Have you ever been overwhelmed with a desire to just start punching people in the face?

If not, K Mart introduces you to an entirely new emotion.

Seriously, K Mart.  This crap has to stop.  Right now.  Because this-- this---Obscenity doesn't make me want to buy anything.  It just makes me want to hurt someone.  And to avoid your Big Box Made in China junk shop like the freaking plague.  

And keep in mind, this manic "excitement" is all about K Mart having Lay-Away.  You remember Lay-Away: that super-convenient innovation which allows people with lousy credit to overspend just like the rest of us.  Oh joy.

The mute button is currently the most useful part of the tv remote.  What we need now is a button which blacks the screen out until the commercial is over.  Not just for K Mart ads, but K Mart certainly does provide us with positive proof of the absolute necessity of such a button.

Wraptastic: For the terminally helpless among us

Would it be considered overdoing it if I used this Amazing New Product while wearing my Forever Lazy body wrap?  Just asking.

By the way, listen to this commercial very carefully.  I swear, it features more moaning than your average seventies porno film.  These people are REALLY frustrated.  Or turned on.  Or something.

And I love that if you order this thing RIGHT NOW, you get a second for free (give it to a very disappointed coworker at next year's holiday office party- giving to a loved one you aren't planning to divorce Not Recommended) AND a free roll of plastic wrap AND a free roll of aluminum foil.  You could pay HUNDREDS for these items (if you shop at Costco, and insist on purchasing a 300-year supply in one visit,) but the makers of Wraptastic are INCLUDING it with this offer if you CALL NOW.

I'm not quite helpless enough to order one (or two) of these things, but I can certainly see it's appeal to people who don't live on Taco Bell takeout and the McDonald's Dollar Menu.  And I've always kind of wondered why the people who make plastic wrap and aluminum foil never got around to making a box which actually allows one to smoothly cut the stuff.  Maybe they, and we, were all just waiting for Wraptastic to come around.

Still- all that moaning. That's just weird.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Beware of what is flashing on her eye. She's gonna get ya!-- Ace of Base

Wow, talk about desperate.

"This guy I just noticed at the table ten feet away might be the one who buys me a ring, installs me in a house, repeatedly impregnates me, and pays my bills for the rest of my life."

"But first, I have to get him to say 'hello.'  Which means, I need brighter teeth."

Good.  Freaking.  Lord.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Someone finally gave that damned duck the beating it deserves?

It's bad enough that the knuckle-dragging YouTube glue-sniffers think that this commercial is LOL SO FUNNY THAT DUCK IS SO CUTE LOL!  But just think of all the clue-starved navel lint gazers who are actually going to "send a card" to a digital creation which was really so very played YEARS ago.

Proving again that this has got to be the dumbest nation that has ever existed.  When we aren't laughing at commercials featuring "dentists" sneezing into people's mouths (I will NOT post on that monstrosity, because even I have limits, and they haven't invented the words I would need to express my opinion of it) or cramming mass-produced tacos and fried chicken down our cake holes, or rushing to the latest violence porn movie, we are eagerly texting our best wishes to a fucking cartoon duck.

(Want to bet that a good portion of the drooling troglodytes who manage to bang out a GET WELL I LUV U message to a COMMERCIAL consistently fail to get those Mother's Day cards in the mail on time?)

In case you haven't guessed, I'm not going to be manipulated by this entertainment-deficient crud into handing my email address over to AFLAC.  And I'm not going to be visiting to see what I'm sure will be thousands of posts, videos, etc. hoping that a threadbare commercial concept which was kind of cute and interesting and fresh TEN YEARS AGO "gets well soon."  I'm depressed enough at my fellow Americans already.

Monday, January 7, 2013

An Iconic Tribute to America's Sucker Class

Sometimes my disgust over a commercial is mixed with a certain amount of admiration for the impressive level of chutzpah displayed by it's creators.  This ad for a Not Gold, Not Old coin certainly reaches that Gotta Hand it To Them category.

I mean, the narrator spends several seconds showing us the beautiful, gleaming thing as it slowly rotates on our screens as he discusses an entirely DIFFERENT coin which existed in the last century and which is NOT being offered for sale in this advertisement.  Then he makes his pitch- we are being offered a rare chance to own this TRIBUTE to history- a chance to buy a coin which LOOKS like the one which contained .9999 ("that's four nines!") gold.  In other words, a practically worthless copy of a coin which was itself quite valuable.

Maybe I'm being cynical here.  Maybe I'm selling the American viewing  public short.  But I can't help wonder how many people miss the subtlety and are on the phone ordering their Maximum of Five Not Gold Coins before the dazzling thing has faded off the screen.  I wonder how many elderly, hard-of-hearing, even-harder-of-thinking suckers think that they are being offered an opportunity to buy antique, rare gold coins at ten dollars a pop.  I wonder how many realize that there is NO demand for junk like this in coin shops or anywhere else, and what they are buying is a silly little trinket that might be worth more if it were filled with chocolate instead of the junk metals it contains.

Now, of course, I'm sure there are a few people out there who think that it's high time we saw the release of a Tribute to a coin- especially one that includes a cool-looking buffalo and that "iconic" Native American image.  They should feel free to go for it.  If they want a conversation piece with no actual value, nothing wrong with that.  But I really don't think that they are the target audience here- I really think that these ads are aimed toward people who don't know what the terms "tribute" and "layered" and "clad" and "proof" mean.  And who probably really can't afford to be buying pretty poker chips for ten dollars each.  So while I can admire the boldness of the seller, I can't help but feel more that a little disgusted at him, too.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Four Years Later, Time for a Change?

When I started this blog on New Year's Day, 2009, I figured it would end up like 99% of all the other blogs out there- I would run out of material, run out of time, and run out of interest, after a few weeks or a few months, and it would just die quietly on the vine unwept and unsung.

Instead, I find that there's apparently no end to the stupidity running rampant on our television screens, and for advertising agencies the race to the very bottom apparently resulted in the bottom being hit, and the shovels coming out to create a New Bottom.  So I, and we, go on.

But over the past several months, many of my younger readers (as long-time readers of this blog are already aware, I'm a High School history teacher at a religious private school) have asked me to consider changing the name of this blog.  I've tossed the idea around for a while, but always thought it would cause more confusion that it was worth.

However, last year Google decided to pull my AdShare agreement, claiming some abuse, and denying my appeal roughly 20 minutes after it was filed.  At that moment, I decided to look for a new host server where I might be eligible to snatch up a little ad revenue.  If everything goes according to plan, I'll be moving this to another platform sometime this spring.  Plans are still in the preliminary stage, but I thought that maybe I could usher in the New Year by experimenting with a new name as well.

I am also taking advantage of the fact that my "followers" list is still very small, and not growing- I added exactly ONE new follower in 2012.  This could be a hassle if I ever got a decent fan base going; maybe it's a good idea to make major changes now rather than later?

Anyway, I'm going to give the new name a try, and see if it grows on me.  I'll keep the very few of you who are regulars here up to date about future changes; don't worry, the bitter, angry snark will remain intact.

Slightly-behind-the-Curve Unfrozen Cave Man Lawyer discovers Direct Deposit

Other things I've discovered recently that have made my life so much easier--

I used to have to take a pail to the barn every morning to milk the cow, so I could eat my breakfast cereal.  Then I discovered that there are these things called stores, which sell milk in plastic jugs.  What a time saver!

I used to drill for oil, refine the sludge which came up through my efforts, and put the refined product into my car's fuel tank.  What a hassle.  Then I learned that other people were storing fuel and selling it!  Now I just use rubber hoses to inject someone else's gasoline into my car, pay a nominal fee, and I'm on my way!  Yay, more time with my daughter!!

I used to grow cotton and raise sheep in my backyard, and whenever I needed new clothing, I'd have to take days off from work to create thread and spin it on my loom.  Then came the cutting and sewing.  It was a hassle, but what else could I do?  Then I learned that there were millions of Asian slaves who were already making clothes and selling it for a very low price right here in America, within driving distance of my house (especially now that I've figured out this whole Buying Gasoline thing.)  My life has gotten so much better!

But nothing beats out this latest discovery, courtesy of VISA- turns out that I no longer have to stand in line at the bank with my paycheck!  There's this brand new thing called "Direct Deposit," and I'm sure that in time it will stand with the Grocery Store, Gas Station and Personal Computer (still looking into that, might be just a rumor) as Great Inventions of the 21st Century.

(Because your technology confuses and frightens me, and because the prospect of "saving" isn't something I'm willing to look into yet- can only handle so much in one year, after all- I'm going to refer to Direct Deposit as "getting my paycheck loaded on my Debit Card."  Because it helps me understand this incredibly complicated, Obviously Magic phenomenon.  And because I'm really, really strange.)

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go to the movie theater and check out the Talkies.  What a world we live in.  Confusing and frightening, but wonderful all the same.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Desperately Avoiding Each Other, with the help of DirectTV

1.  There are "your shows," and there are "my shows."  There are no "our shows."  Which is pretty damned sad, because it means that these people are spending a LOT of their lives sitting in rooms by themselves- probably while the other person is in chat rooms with potential lovers, or surfing for porn, all the while muttering obscenities because they have to wait while Selfish finishes his/her Stupid Show.

2.  "Record up to five shows at once?"  And then what?  Stay up till 3 AM every night watching your recorded shows?  Well, I guess that would keep the Evil Specter of Intimacy at bay.  You get the feeling that couples who want this kind of "service" aren't that into each other- or, maybe, are desperate to avoid any more "accidents" which need regular dental visits and vaccinations.

3.  Why does everyone on television have a bathroom  larger than my apartment?  Never mind the massive television set- I get that it's really not supposed to be there- but seriously, you could install a freaking bowling alley in this thing.

4.  The hate--- ah, the hate.  This guy really, really hates the woman he's with.  Enough to want to stuff the DVR with His Shows, so that he can spend every waking hour he's forced to be in the house watching His Shows, or waiting for Her Shows to be over.  What else am I supposed to get out of his response to "I feel like this thing is watching me walk around naked?"  Are people who should be more worried about the relationship than they are about their freaking DVR supposed to be funny on any level?

I'll wrap up with a general observation- if you really find yourself filling the DVR with so many television shows that you run out of space, and you find this creating conflict with the other people who live in your home, isn't it possible that the FUCKING TELEVISION has become just a LITTLE too important to you?  Here's an idea- read a book.  Have a conversation.  Hey, idiot in the commercial- want to see this woman naked?  Why not hop into the shower with her?  God knows it's big enough to hold the both of you.  Leave your attitude and your all-encompassing love for sitting on your ass watching tv outside, though.  No bathroom is THAT big.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Irony, thy name is iPhone 5

So, to sum up:

The iPhone is equipped with state of the art technology to allow you to cancel out the annoying background  noise of other people blathering away on their cell phones and listening to music while you blather away on your cell phone and listen to music.

I guess that once we all own one of these phones and can use our own buttons to mute out everyone else, we'll be living in a perfect world.  Until then, the owners of the iPhone 5 are invited to be the biggest, loudest asshats on the planet, safe in the knowledge that they will not be subjected to a dose of their own medicine, thanks to that little button.  Awesome.

Actually, the perfect world will arrive the day every single owner of one of these new phones is so isolated and self-absorbed in their own little universes that they don't hear the (half-hearted) cries of warning as they fail to see the approaching trains which reduce them to the consistency of room-temperature pudding.  Not that it will be that big an adjustment.

So please- go out and buy an iPhone 5.  Push that button, shutting out the rest of the world.  And start taking that leisurely walk toward the nearest depot.  Nice knowing you. *

*Not really.

Coming to Formerly Peaceful Places Near You

Oh yeah, this is a piece of technology that is certain to make our lives better.  Now we can stop listening to garbled, semi-literate half-conversations and tinny music coming from the "old" hand-held sound systems, and start listening to booming sound coming from overpriced but (yay) portable stereos carried by 100 percent self-absorbed assholes who couldn't care less if you want to hear what they want to hear.  Who the hell are YOU, anyway?*

So when I go to Hampton Beach next year, I'm sure to be "treated" to someone else's taste in music in better quality and at a considerably higher volume than usual.  But I probably won't have to wait till then- I'll probably be "enjoying" the stunning music quality on the train, on the bus, on the bike and jogging paths, at the YMCA, and everywhere else I like to go (or, at least, used to like to go) just to get away from it all.  After all, your music is now so wonderful portable, you can annoy me whenever, wherever.  It's all about you, all the time- in case you don't know that already.

And it's all because Bose finally decided to join the Let's Get Everyone To Hate Everyone Else parade.  Thanks, Dr. Bose, for revealing yourself to be just another evil scientist who started off with a great idea but then twisted it into a detriment to humanity.  And then hired some jerkwad with a British accent to sell it to us, because that makes it sound so classy and desirable to us stupid yanks.

*In another of these ads- which I could not find on YouTube, young people are dancing around to lyrics which include "Everybody's looking they're looking they're looking they're looking at me...'cause I'm free."  Maybe, just MAYBE, they're looking they're looking they're looking at you because they wonder where you get off "sharing" your taste in music with the whole damned neighborhood, jerkwad.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

It's not Complicated: AT&T shows us a very, very bleak future

A very sad future, too.

After all, if it's going to be populated- and controlled- by creeps like these obnoxious little brats, God help us  all.  In less than twenty seconds, they manage to give us not one but TWO examples of how they've managed to absorb intensely stupid activities they've seen on the glowing box which is obviously raising them.

At least, I think that's what's happening here.  First, the kids go into some kind of dance while contemplating a big, big treehouse.   One of the kids says that one benefit to having a big treehouse would be that it could include a "Disco."  I'd love to know how any of these kids have any idea what the word "Disco" means.  I mean, jeesh, their PARENTS probably don't remember Disco. Yet these kids attempt a mockery of John Travolta's moves in Saturday Night Fever.  How the hell do they know what they are doing?

Turns out that they don't want a really big tree house just so they can put a Disco in there.They also want room for a big flat screen tv.  (And here's another example of cognitive disconnect- one of these adorable little tots describes having to "hold a wire" to get a picture on the tv.  So not only are these kids familiar with disco, they remember rabbit ears, too?)

Oh yes, I remember wanting a tree house when I was a kid- so I could use it to practice dance steps from forty years previous, and watch tv.  Uh huh.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure that these kids represent the next generation of pathetic losers whose idea of fun and economic sense is to take the week before Thanksgiving off and use it to camp out on the pavement in front of Wal Mart to score $200 off on a $499 HD TV.  At least, I hope so.  Because while I detest this kind of behavior from people who are SUPPOSED TO BE CHILDREN, I actually kind of like to mock them once they reach "adulthood."  I just wish they would stay off my Not Very Flatscreen television.