Wednesday, October 30, 2013
This show is produced and presented by The Weather Channel.
Seriously. No kidding. The Weather Channel.
Grizzled loser "prospectors" wearing dirty clothes and sporting frayed beards if they are male, dirty revealing clothes and someone less facial hair if they are female. Rock slides. No doubt an explosion now and then. Lots of mountain-climbing truck action. And yelling. A LOT of yelling.
I suppose that at least once an episode, someone will complain about the heat or the rain. You know, to wedge the topic of weather in there.
Otherwise, what the HELL is this? Why is it that none of the Specific-Content Channels seem capable of sticking to their original themes anymore? I thought that the point of HAVING such channels was to make it easier for the average couch potato to quickly locate what he was in the mood for. Now you really NEVER know what you are going to find no matter WHERE you turn. Though you can make some pretty intelligent guesses:
MTV: Vapid, Stupid, Lazy, Spoiled Idiots sitting around luxury homes yelling at each other.
AMC: Zombies, Mad Men, movies released 10-20 years ago that nobody not collecting a paycheck from AMC would call "classic."
The History Channel: Ice Road Truckers, Pawn Stars, Hillbillies and Crocodiles, Ancient Aliens
National Geographic: Doomsday Preppers (or Let's Pretend There's Something Cool about Thoroughly Creepy Nazi/White Supremacist Survivalists.)
TBS: Family Guy, How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, and God-Awful "Original" programming followed by "Family Guy."
And now The Weather Channel, which used to be very carefully targeted to the demographic which includes over-70 shut-ins and People Stuck In Their Homes During Blizzards, which I guess is going to be expanding to include Shows Rejected By The History Channel. And my question remains- WHY?
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Seriously, this is somebody's "NFL fantasy?"
Earth to immensely stupid people on my television: This is no way to waste the only life you have. Get away from your television. Enjoy the fresh air. Spend time with your kids. And while you are out actually functioning in society instead of engaging in crap like this....
think about how disgustingly shallow and pointless your life was when it was wrapped up in some millionaire running around on a football field every Sunday afternoon. Acting as if he had accomplished something of value whenever he got a ball or brought down an opposing player. Dancing like an exhibitionist freak who didn't get enough attention from Mommy growing up. Mugging for the camera every few seconds. A player who doesn't know who you are, will never know who you are, and will never give the slightest damn about you or your pathetic version of a life.
Here's another little piece of advice: Maybe it's time for you to return the favor. There's life outside your living room and the stadium parking lot. There's precious little life inside your living room, or in that parking lot. Your kids won't be young forever, and you won't be here forever. Stop wasting the gift of life your mom gave you by acting like an obsessed, directionless dweeb whose idea of fun is to fantasize about being with your favorite NFL player.
Because there is so much more than this, believe me.
Sunday, October 27, 2013
"You have the most god-awful taste in music of any dad who has ever lived. And you are perfectly willing to let my date know it."
"You think owning this car gives you the privilege of driving off the road and right on to the wide sidewalk my private school inexplicably decided to spend $100,000 building (along with the gaudy lanterns set up to assure that nobody could miss the impossibly vast entrance doors.) I am embarrassed beyond description."
"And then you give me a Please Punch Me In My Douche Face look as we are going into the dance. Yes, we get it. You are a dick who thinks your 14-year old daughter is a sexpot and not just going to a fricking school dance."
"Which makes you the one with the problem. Do YOU get it?"
Saturday, October 26, 2013
A man and his truck.
A man, his truck, and a broken fence.
A man, his truck, a broken fence, and a lost calf.
A man, his truck, a broken fence, a lost calf, and a truck which lets him search for the lost calf until....ummm, until he finds the lost calf, I guess.
A man, his truck, a broken fence, a lost calf, and a warm ride home in the man's truck for the lost calf.
A man, his truck, a broken fence, a lost calf, a warm ride home, and a safe return to the 4x4 bin which has been this calf's home since it was separated from it's mother to be force-fed hormones.
A man, his truck, a broken fence, a lost calf now found and safely returned to it's horror torture chamber of a life, and a contract with the good people at Hormel.
A man, his truck, a repaired fence, and a calf removed from it's cage to be forced on to a boxcar for it's first and last journey on a train.
A man, his truck, a repaired fence, a calf chopped into pieces and wrapped in plastic or packed into a can of Spam, and a check from Hormel which allows a man to continue to dress up like- and pretend to be- a Real Rancher Just Like In The Movies. Except they didn't have his truck.
Warms the heart, doesn't it?
Friday, October 25, 2013
I'm no fan of bullying, and I sure don't want to trivialize it's seriousness, but the girl in this old commercial needed a serious beating even before she sealed the deal with that stupid eyebrow twitch at the end.
Then again, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, does it? Dad (who is at least sixty, which means his car is the product of a mid-life crisis and his daughter the product of a May-September matchup- I wonder which he treasures more, the young wife or the flashy auto) has taught her the importance of showing well for shallow friends and total strangers by purchasing this utility-free status symbol in the first place. So maybe she really isn't to blame.
She needs a beating anyway though.
(BTW, yes I know that's Kristen Stewart. I can read. I just don't care.)
Thursday, October 24, 2013
1. At :10-- I guess the car would have sustained a lot more damage if this guy's garage door was made of something sturdier than tin foil painted white. Or cardboard. Or peanut brittle. I'm almost curious enough to ask what the ad makers used to create that effect. It would be a better question than the unbelievable "what is that song?" query posted by YouTube monkeys. (No, I'm not kidding. There are people out there who didn't know this song.)
2. At :15- either this car was parked on the sidewalk up against the building, or the owner of the AC unit tossed it from his window. Because it makes no sense that it would just fall out of the window on to the center of a car parked in the street, unless we can't see that the window juts ten feet from the building.
3. Can I assume that the guy standing on his car in the middle of a swamp is calling the police and not his insurance company? Because first thing's first, stupid. Get yourself on to dry land. There's plenty of time to explain to your insurance company how you lost control of your car trying to pop open another beer while simultaneously texting your girlfriend that your wife isn't going to be out of town this weekend after all.
4. My favorite part of all these ads is when we see the moron victim of the accident gesturing to explain what happened to the insurance agent. What on Earth is he saying? "Yep, this is where I forgot there were bikes on my roof...this is where I spent half an hour getting together my equipment, climbing the tree, and cutting the branch with my chain saw without once noticing there was a car underneath it...yep, I'm a complete and utter tool and I fully expect you to cancel my insurance now, because hey, who could blame you?"
Oh, and btw- "we" didn't come up with the Theory of Relativity, so "we" don't get to take credit for it. That was ONE human being. By the same token, I have no interest in taking responsibility when one of the clueless knuckleheads in these commercials destroys a car through utter carelessness. Get it?
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
I mean, look how utterly evil and thoughtless he is!
He didn't assume the little girl had a peanut allergy- or if she did, she'd let him know. I mean, how irresponsible can you get? It's bad enough that this restaurant even OFFERS food including peanuts on the menu. She could have died!
And then when she gives her mom a terrified "Oh my God it's a peanut what will I do I guess I'm doomed now" look, he acts all confused, as if he isn't perfectly capable of reading her mind! I mean, how many crimes is this guy going to commit? First he takes the girl's order, then he brings her what she ordered- he must have gone to the Pol Pot School of Waiting Tables!
Truly, this waiter is worse than Hitler. Leaving me wondering only one more thing- what on Earth does he have against this poor, innocent little girl? But you know, I don't even care. I just want him removed from society, before he has a chance to kill again. Monster.
Monday, October 21, 2013
If Mute Buttons had not been invented years ago, this commercial would make them absolutely necessary.
In fact, ads like this create a vital need for voice-activated mute buttons. As in "NOOO!!" or "ENOUGH!" or "SHUT THE F--UP!" instantly silencing this unbelievable awfulness.
Because why on Earth would anyone want to watch an "extended version" of the most agonizing horrible moments of our lives? As if we haven't all experienced socially-retarded douchenozzles yelling pointless, vapid drivel at high volumes into their phones while standing RIGHT NEXT TO US as we mentally brain them with crowbars.
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Before I went off to Europe last July, I called AT&T and purchased an international plan. I wanted to make sure that I could call home once or twice or get in touch with people if I got lost, and was made aware of these evil things called roaming charges. As it turned out, I spent an additional $30 for a service I used exactly twice, and probably would have been better off just leaving my phone off or paying the extra charge, but oh well...next time I go overseas I'm sure I'll buy the international minutes again, because who wants to think about stuff like that?
The people in this ad, as near as I can figure, have a son who is traveling around Europe wracking up roaming charges- $1200 worth after three days. I don't know how long he plans to be in Europe, any more than I understand why his parents aren't just calling him instead of sending him a video (isn't that a more expensive way of making contact?) But it seems to me that if they aren't willing to call him (or get a friend he might actually pick up for to call him) they are down to two options:
1. Let their idiot son continue to be oblivious, wracking up ruinous roaming charges. He's old enough to be traveling around Europe, he's old enough to deal with the massive bill when he gets back. What kind of moron spends a Maybe Once In a Lifetime Opportunity to tour Europe using his freaking phone, anyway?
2. Hire a hit man to take the stupid kid out. Probably cheaper in the long run than dealing with roaming charges.
Trust Me- when I want funny, D.L.Hughley and Michael Ian Black do NOT come to mind. I won't be watching.
Once again, TBS...
If you have to constantly tell us that your shows are "very funny," it's because their humor value is not obvious. I swear, you guys are like little kids who beg you to listen to their bad jokes- "no, really, this one is REALLY funny, I promise..."
When a show is funny, it's obvious. It makes us laugh. When a show is NOT funny, telling us that it's "very funny" doesn't make it so. Sorry. You fail.
My advice to you, TBS- stop trying to create your own lame, unfunny TV shows, and go back to doing what you do best- buying the syndication rights to comedies that are actually funny. Comedies we don't have to be told are funny, because we know it already, because we were watching them during their original runs, back in the nineties.
Not that it really matters- you've broadcast your last MLB playoff game of the year, and now they've moved to Fox, so no one with an IQ above that of a lame turnip and a more-than-bargain-basement cable package is watching your crap channel anyway. See you next fall- at which time, I expect that this "very funny" game show will have been cancelled for ten months or so. Unwept, and unsung.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
"You always know what's best for your family..." so you prevent your husband from making a total fool of himself by going out in suit his grandfather used to wear to the track back in the 40s (why does he even OWN that thing?) Good for you.
But "you always know what's best for your family..." so you serve them cheap, fatty, deep-fried and frozen chicken parts instead of actual, real food? I'm not buying it, lady. I think it's more like "you know what's best for you- spending less time in the kitchen and more doing stuff you like." I totally understand and endorse your philosophy.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Coming next year, Domino's phases out taking cash. Because that's more convenient for...um...the customers.
In other words, "we are pretty stupid here at Domino's- it's because we really only hire high school dropouts to answer the phone. Oddly enough, they are really bad at it, though truth be told if they had just spent a little less time on the phone when they were supposed to be concentrating on their studies, they probably wouldn't be working here."
"Anyway, because we are so damned incompetent, you people with good internet connections can just skip the phone and order online. It's a lot easier for us to get your order online, so we are going to do our best to convince you that it's a lot easier for you, too. Don't have good internet access? Well, of course you can still order by phone- but it's really kind of a hassle, why can't you just invest in decent internet access?"
"And if you do order by phone, don't say we didn't warn you- you can expect crap like you see in this ad- people failing to get your name right, your order right, your address right- and we couldn't figure out a way to portray the guy taking your call's total inability to ask legible questions or repeat your order back to you in a language which in any way resembles English without appearing deeply racist, but you can expect that, too. Hey, it's just going to be a mess. Chances are you aren't going to get your pizza if you try to phone in your order. If you get it, it probably won't be the pizza you ordered. It will probably come very late. It will definitely be cold."
"Let's cut to the chase. We really want to phase out phone orders. We know this means that we won't be providing a service to our poorer customers, but we are willing to sacrifice them because our studies show they don't order much pizza anyway, and we'll more than make up for the lost business in online orders from wealthier customers with that good internet access we've been urging you to get. Basically, order online or do without. Because in six months when you try to call in, you are just going to get a busy signal. You've been warned."
Monday, October 14, 2013
No, it's not that they are all vapid, techno-obsessed dweebs. Good guess though.
It's that not one of them- not ONE- is paying the slightest bit of attention to what their kids are doing on stage. To each and every one, it's far more important to record the action than to actually view it. And my guess is that all this recording will then lead to sharing and posting and tweeting, and very little (if any) actual watching.
Oh, and every one of them is the parent of a very, very disappointed little kid who would much rather be looking at Mommy and Daddy's proud faces than their stupid-ass phones and tablets.
Sunday, October 13, 2013
So you've gotten all the credentials you'll ever need to keep a job with "the company" for twenty years. And your hair has grown thin and gray, and your eyes dim. You look back upon your life, and you see the accumulation of money as the standard by which your success will be measured.
Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.*
Oh, I suppose your money-obsessed corpse will be dressed up in a nicer suit and displayed in a flashier casket and handled by a more prestigious funeral home and buried under a more impressive block of marble. Do you really think you'll lay more comfortably in your opulent little box? Or maybe you think that in your final moments of life, you'll be grateful for all the hours you put into trying to squeeze every dollar out of it.
I bet you never even considered this little nugget of advice:
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven....for where your treasure is, there your heart will be
Naw, I'm sure you were too busy blathering away with your Money Managers, sweating over every quarter-point and every dime. Hope you enjoyed yourself. Doesn't sound that much fun to me. Oh, but you don't know me. Let me introduce myself- I'm the guy who is going to die someday, just like you. I won't leave a pile of gold, and I'm sure as hell not going to be placed under a monument to myself and my ego. I'm going to be scattered to the wind while you wait to be eaten by worms. What do we have in common? Like I said, we are both going to be dead someday.
And that's about it. I don't care about money, except that for it's use as a way to bring a few moments of happiness to someone else. Maybe I'll get lucky and die rich. More likely I'll die poor. You seem to see a big difference. I don't see any, except that I'm not spending five minutes a day worrying about my money. As long as I have enough to buy someone a bagel and someone else a bag of candy now and then, I have more than enough.
And you? All your money won't another minute buy.***
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Because really- there is so much more to focus on here.
How about, "hey, I suddenly realized that I'm a very cute girl who has been spending every Sunday afternoon with an ugly, unshaven slob with a stupid face and no table manners. I can do SO MUCH BETTER than you."
Or how about "I'm getting really sick of just sitting here, decorating a table at this dive, watching you stuff your blank, moron face with junk. Why I am here, besides the fact that I help you show well for your equally worthless friends?"
Or "why do you always have to act as if you have not eaten for three days, or that if you don't clean out the basket of wings inside of three minutes, it will be taken from you? Is there something in your childhood you'd like to talk about (to someone who cares- not me?")
Or maybe "is it really necessary for you to consume three beers per glass while chomping down these wings? Just once, I'd like you to be the designated driver so I can have a beer. Is that a possibility for the near future?"
Or hey- if you really want to focus on the whole mixing-sauces thing- "I'm just curious- did it ever even occur to your disgustingly self-centered brain that I might like to use some of the sauce before you slopped it all over the table, not to mention considering that I might not want to eat sauce that has your saliva mixed it in, you ridiculous, revolting overgrown child?"
I love to take very long walks. It's my favorite form of exercise. It helps me unwind and unpack my thoughts. It's a good time to re-evaluate my life, and then pull out my XM radio and listen to music until I forget all the things that popped into my brain when I made the mistake of re-evaluating my life.
My record for a single, one-day walk- set last month- is 25 miles. I hope to break that this spring by walking the Mount Vernon Trail in Virginia. Get it? I love walking.
Anyway, I figured out a while back that I live only 4.5 miles from my school, and only 1.5 miles from a Metrorail station which will take me to that school in about nine minutes. And yet, I was paying through the nose for gas and insurance and upkeep for a car I simply didn't need. So a month ago tomorrow, I sold my car and I've been a happy hiker (and, when it's dark or rainy, a consumer of mass transit) ever since. Haven't regretted my decision at all. Not even once. Not even for a moment.
So this commercial really irritates me. Hey idiot- I understand that when you are used to dropping your lard-infused butt into a seat and rolling to work and golf and everywhere else, suddenly being inconvenienced can be kind of a pain. But I think it's kind of sad that you aren't taking this opportunity to re-evaluate YOUR life. If you weren't so obsessed with the idea that you MUST have your own wheels and you MUST drive everywhere, you might do a little research and notice exactly how far things are away from your little suburban palace. I bet you'd find that many of your favorite haunts are really not that far from your house. Maybe you could walk to work, at least sometimes. Failing that, I bet there are transit buses available. You could at least find out. I promise you that if I'm right, you'd save a heck of a lot of money. And your daughter would be able to keep her own car.
And who knows? Maybe you'd figure out that owning a car is really overrated. Maybe you'd drop some weight and find that you enjoy moving around on your own power. Maybe you'd discover that you don't really miss $3.80 gasoline and insurance bills and flat tires and traffic jams.
Just a few thoughts from someone who knew he wouldn't miss his car, and wonder why so many people are convinced that they can't live without one. And oh, BTW- if driving a pink car shamed you so, maybe you could have just skipped your little golf outing. Or asked one of your friends for a freaking ride. I mean, jeesh.
Friday, October 11, 2013
The Family Budget Act.
Because Golden Corral believes that the people who can't afford the Olive Garden but are really too wealthy to be seen with their entire families ordering from the McDonalds Dollar Menu have a god-given right to all the fried junk and cheap meat and fiber-and-nutrient-deficient warm mush they can shove down their cake holes in one sitting.
In August of 2011 I actually dropped by Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally on the National Mall (curiosity may not actually kill the cat, but it sure can kill an otherwise perfectly good afternoon.) When I saw the thousands of old, fat, pasty-white idiots sprawled like toads on their straining beach chairs listening (with their mouths) to their favorite Tea Party Prophet, I should have realized that the Family Budget Act was not far from becoming written in the books of the Law. I mean, the deficit is a disgrace and a crime (and has been since January 20, 2009) and the Kenyan in the White House is a SocialistMarxistMuslimBlack-
LiberationChurch Fascist with a fake birth certificate, but what they really wanted to know was where could they go after the speech to get a trough of orange mac'n cheese and a handful of cotton candy?
I'm pretty sure that when Obama signed this bill, he cut the legs right out from under his opposition and assured his re-election. "Hey, look- not only am I not including preventative care as part of health reform, but I'm assuring a regular supply of heart patients for the next generation of doctors!"
And thanks to the Affordable Care Act, being a regular at Golden Corral can no longer be counted as a Pre-Existing Condition.
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
I guess this commercial would be kind of cute except that
1. I wonder why this kid is being raised by an electronic box. When I needed advice, I knew I could ask friends, my parents and grandparents, a librarian, a teacher, or any number of other people in my life. At no point do we see this kid consult any human beings for help. In fact, the only evidence we see that this kid even HAS parents is a text from his mother and a quick shot of her gently putting away his security blanket----errr, cell phone.
2. If kids at this school are free to carry around their fully-connected devices from class to class, my guess is that this particular boy is worried over nothing, because nobody is listening to him.
3. Times certainly have changed. When I was a kid, cute girls didn't act like they wanted to jump boys just because they were smart and articulate. Damn it.
4. At the conclusion of this ad, the vicious cycle of the kid's life continues. He has another problem, so it's back to consulting the Google God That Knows All. Sorry, but this is pretty damned depressing.
Monday, October 7, 2013
Yes, I suppose that if you find yourself humiliated by your brutally cruel coworkers, who have absolutely nothing better to do while on the clock than to Google your name and then mock your online date profile, you might dump the idea of online dating and try "It's Just Lunch."
You might also consider a visit to Human Resources, where you could file a harassment complaint against the asshole choads who apparently never got their brains out of High School and think it's perfectly ok to goad and bully and shame someone into making adjustments in their personal life.
You might also consider dropping by the boss's office to ask why your coworkers have so much free time that they can just blow off their own duties in order to stalk you online. Pretty sure there are at least a few paragraphs in the employee manual covering garbage like this.
If all else fails, you might just punch the living snot out of the smarmy dickweeds who have the mistaken idea that they have the right to barge in and piss all over your life without expecting any consequences at all. After all, if they think that the kind of witless, cruel needling they engaged in on the playground is appropriate for a workplace setting (or adulthood in general,) surely they must concede that bloody noses are also part of the package.
Sunday, October 6, 2013
Ok, here's the plan:
YOU! Get out there and warm up the car! Don't forget to adjust the seats for more legroom; there's nothing worse than trying to do this on the way BACK from Wild Wings, when we are all fat and sweaty and drunk and can barely breathe because we've spent the entire day jamming fat down our throats!
YOU! Get there early and reserve the table closest to the big screen!
YOU! Order up the massive cheeseburgers with everything!
YOU! Make sure the baskets of wings keep coming to give us something to nibble on while waiting for the cheeseburgers!
YOU! Tell the waitress to keep the pitchers coming; the best way to assure that the food tastes good and that we keep ordering it long after we are full is to let us get a good beer buzz going!
YOU! Make sure you've got 911 on your speed dial!
YOU! Interrupt anyone who tries to talk about anything other than the game on the screen over the course of the afternoon. ESPECIALLY if they mention family, friends, or their jobs. In fact, shut up ANYBODY who says ANYTHING that is not an order for more food or a high-volume, football knowledge-deficient comment concerning the game containing at least one curse word!
YOU! Suppress any desire to even think for one minute about how incredibly shallow and sad it is that we feel the need to spend every damn Sunday afternoon filling ourselves with crap by rooting on a crowd of millionaires instead of being with our spouses and kids!
Saturday, October 5, 2013
Spending weekends picking out new chew toys, or picking up new dog dirt. The joys of pet ownership continue to elude me.
Pet Smart Commercial # 1-
Another huge, gleaming white house with hardwood floors....jeesh, I really think I am the only person in the United States who doesn't live in one....
Ever notice that none of these commercials for pet products never advertise worm medicine or pooper-scoopers or those little bags dog owners use to put their little "friends" leavings in? Ever notice that the dogs in these commercials are always immaculately clean and well-behaved?
And ever notice that the owners of these things are always blissfully happy in these ads? I mean, really- what is this couple on? It's a freaking dog.
Pet Smart Commercial #2-
I don't care how attractive they try to make it, I will never, ever want to share a house with one of these ugly, smelly, noisy, slobbering little attention vampires. And I don't want a dog, either.
Friday, October 4, 2013
Watching this guy constantly pop pills because he either can't admit he has a serious physical problem or considers it a matter of personal pride that he's never filed a worker's comp claim is more than a little depressing, don't you think?
I mean, just look at him. He looks like your typical, out of shape, middle aged blue-collar worker who, thanks to wages which have been stagnant since the Clinton Administration finds himself struggling to cover long hours doing a job which really ought to be left to younger, healthier workers (more than enough time for them to become damaged, sore pill-poppers themselves in a few years.) He GULPS down one over-the-counter pain killer after the other (loudly, of course- God forbid we don't CLEARLY hear this guy get his Tylenol down, we might think it was stuck in his throat, I guess.) He constantly grabs at his aching body parts- back, knee, whatever is hurting at that moment. And takes another pill. With a GULLLPPP.
And sees nothing really wrong with any of this, except gosh it sure is a hassle to keep having to take all these breaks from inflicting unseen damage to his body and GULP down another pill.
Hey, buddy? Here's a freaking clue: your problem is not that GULPING down a pill every few hours is cutting into your Good Productive Worker Drone time. The problem is that your job is freaking killing you, and you are trying to ignore it by masking your pain with drugs. Two Advil instead of Eight Tylenol? Yeah, I guess that's an improvement. But know what would be even better? If you took an entire freaking afternoon off and used it to see a doctor. A doctor who might explain to you that Pain, while nothing any of us would ever actually welcome into our lives, is actually a kind of helpful way in which our bodies tell us that something is wrong. And while there's nothing wrong with GULPING down an anti-inflammatory on the rare occasion, they really aren't supposed to be part of the freaking nutrition pyramid. There's no Recommended Daily Allowance for Ibuprofen, ok? And if there was, be assured that you regularly exceed it before lunch. Get some help, because really- life is far too short and livers are far too fragile for this.
Here's another "OMIGOD this car is AWESOME I don't even care how much it costs where do I sign?" commercial. Which means it's just like every other car commercial which takes place during a test drive or features a customer standing around a showroom.
As usual, there's no actual "selling" going on, and we are treated to the antics of a blithering nitwit who has clearly never learned Rule #1 of Buying a Car- never, ever show enthusiasm for the idea of possibly Buying Today. You are there because you've got some free time and you thought you might pop in to see if there are any deals. You are looking at a Chevy, but you've always purchased Hondas (insert the names of other brands to suit your particular situation) and probably will again, you thought you'd just check in here, for variety. When you take a test drive, the car is ok but you want to keep looking for a few more days. You never act like you actually need a car, or even want one, but what the heck.
You never, EVER act like the people in these ads, desperate to sign on the dotted line for a car you've spent thirty minutes convincing the salesperson that you really aren't good enough for.
So, the question remains: Which of these idiots is the seller, and which is the buyer?
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Look, I get that Layaway looks really attractive this time of year, especially to the millions of alleged "Christians" out there who think that the best (only) way to celebrate the birth of the Lord and Savior of the Universe who 33 years later was Crucified for Our Sins is to buy as much cheap crap as possible and wrap it in pretty paper and stick it under a soon-to-be-dead tree. But there is so much wrong with this concept. I'll just hit on a few things that annoy me the most;
First- as Christmas gets closer, the sales tend to get better. This happens because retailers get nervous as the Big Day arrives and realize that no matter how much they trim their profit margins, they are still better off doing that than trying to unload all this junk AFTER the holiday. So putting something on layaway in the first week of October is actually pretty damned stupid- do you really think that Walmart is going to run out of that item, or that it's price is going to go up? No, probably not, because that would require some actual thinking. Which brings us to....
Second, Layaway may have been invented with all of the best and most noble of intentions (yeah, like Aarons and Rent A Center were started because someone felt that people with crap credit had a "right" to laptops, living room sets and big-screen tvs.) But now it's really just a come-on designed to encourage poor people to overspend. Look, just pick out all the stuff you want but can't afford, we'll set it aside for you and you'll just pay a little per week! With luck, you won't even NOTICE the bottom line (and if you are an Aaron's or Rent A Center customer, you are already good at ignoring it anyway) and what you've done to your family's food and rent security won't really hit home until the second week in January (around the same time you lug that browning tree to the curb.) Bottom line- if you can only afford to buy something if you put it on layaway, you really can't afford to buy it. Sounds mean, maybe- but not as mean as convincing you to go into hock so you show well for your kids.
Finally- hey, people? This is Walmart. Everything except the big bags of candy and maybe the shampoo is crap. The low prices on electronics and clothing are covered with the invisible blood of the Asian children who slave to put it together so you can walk off with more stuff and the heirs of Sam Walton can afford another chain of South Pacific Islands and still leave enough cash when they're dead so that the next descendant who actually has to work for a living is born around the year 3500. How about celebrating the holiday by doing something other than reveling in the exploitation of people you'll never see but who (inconveniently for your soul's sake) exist nonetheless?
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
The good people at Apple decided that the best way to sell us on this month's version of the iPhone was to bury us with scenes we are all already very, very painfully familiar with: Morons with no interest in maintaining a society and no idea of the concept of privacy blathering nonstop into their stupid-ass ubiquitous phones.
Oh, and loudly. Because like I noted above, nobody really believes in privacy any more- and nobody seems to get that the whole f--ing planet isn't interested in listening to one-half of their---umm, "conversations." That woman on Amtrak didn't get it four years ago. That lump of dumb at the park didn't get it yesterday. I'm pretty sure that the first thing cellphones do to users is switch off the Social Sensibility function of their brains. The whole damn world is your living room, people- so yak away.
And as long as you aren't going to wait until you are not driving your car, or sitting in a library, or walking around a museum (and it's pretty clear to me that you aren't,) you might as well take your f---ing best friends into the surf with you. Samsung is pimping it's Idiot-Proof phone with a series of ads featuring the same guy finding ways to break his-- I'm sure it's only a matter of time before Apple follows suit, though I must say I don't know why they'd bother, since so many owners see their phones as disposable already.
And I know you don't really need this advice, but I'll give it anyway- please never, ever wait until you have something to say before you make that call. When you are in a crowded train or bus or a place where the last generation thought that quiet was kind of a plus, that's a perfectly reasonable time to whip out your iPhone and yell "WHASSUP" into it, don't worry if you've got nothing to add beyond that. You are providing a real service to the people around you, who might have been stuck reading, or listening to music, or just reflecting on the day if you hadn't jumped in and announced that you are the Biggest, Most Thoughtless Dick In The Area. We know you didn't do it to provide a service, but because the sound of the echos in your empty skull and the withdrawal symptoms you were feeling because you hadn't "connected" with anyone for several minutes in a row forced you to fumble for your idiot box, but we appreciate it anyway. Really we do.