Thursday, January 30, 2014

Come on, admit it. This is just Tool Porn.

I don't know what I like most about this commercial- the dramatic music, the dramatic voice, or the timer that appears in the right-hand corner of the screen which I guess is supposed to make me think that this offer (and not just this ad) is going to vanish in 3....2.....1.....

Or maybe it's the intense sexual imagery flowing through the whole thing.  You can even pull four-inch screws out of soft, yielding more frustration!  Wow, I'm so hot right now.

Or maybe it's the mocking assumption- "if you can use a drill, you can use this..." If you can't use a drill (or don't own one?)  Well, what the hell is the matter with you?  At least tell me you are a woman or a small child, right?

Naw, I think it's that intense music.  I feel like I'm watching a movie trailer here, and there's a lot more at stake than extracting a steel shaft from a smooth piece of lumber....

And now I'm getting hot again.  I give up.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Thanks to Geico, these people just don't get it

This guy is the most pathetic human being in history.  How pathetic is he?  Well, let us count the ways:

1.  He is so devoid of personality, so lacking in something, ANYTHING to say to this woman in the elevator, that he goes with bleating the slogan of a 20-year old ad campaign.   Yeah, she's going to be interested in you for sure now, buddy.

2.  When he's rebuffed with a "everyone knows that, Parker" which to anyone with an IQ over 40 would interpret as "shut up, I am not interested in having a conversation with you" but Parker takes as "I know that already, do you have anything original to say?" he proceeds to pull some weird non-fact out of his ass.  Wow, if the ad quote didn't get her, that sure will.  You've got it made, buddy.

What am I missing here?  If I was ever in a situation where I did not know what to say to a girl (this has never happened) I know I could do better than this.  And if I ever got the vibe that the girl I was with just wanted me to shut up (ok, this has happened) I would just shut up.

Once again, I'm left feeling sorry for guys who are not me.  Poor them.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Oh, and if you think about it, please try to avoid running me over, dickwad

Remember when car commercials used to focus on things like gas mileage, warranties, leg room, and safety?  You know, things that actually had something to do with driving a freaking car?

Nowadays it seems like more and more car ads concentrate on letting you know that you can continue to blather away to family, friends, coworkers and the boss who never ever stops cracking the whip even after you are allegedly off hours while in your tripped-out techmobile.  Why hold off being distracted by phone conversations while cruising around?  Look how easy it is to pretend to pay attention to traffic and pedestrians while you babble aimlessly and scroll your fingers along a screen.

Now hold on a second, John!  I'm quite certain that these cars come with disclaimers to keep your eyes on the road while the car is in motion!  Uh huh, yeah, I'm sure, too.  And I'm also sure that every single person who buys one of these cars is going to be spending more time staring at that screen (it IS a screen, isn't it?  Well, you have a screen but you aren't supposed to actually look at it?  How are you going to touch the right icon on that screen if you don't look at it- and if you don't have 20/20 eyesight, how much time is it going to take you to find the right one?) than making sure they aren't sideswiping someone who is just trying to get home (while yakking away on their phones, no doubt.)

I've seen ads like this which show people scrolling down to Facebook.  No fucking kidding- Facebook.  Because it's super-important that you update your status while cruising around in your LookAtMeMobile- far more important than checking your blind spot (hell, there's special alarm for that, right?) or to see if someone with a blaze orange backpack is trying to cross the street in front of you.  Jerkwad.

It's almost impossible for me to believe that a few short years ago, people used to actually get into their cars and have absolutely no contact with the outside world beyond the radio for the entire time they were traveling.  Now I rarely see people operating motor vehicles who AREN'T chatting away on their phones (at best) or staring (not glancing) at a screen propped up against the steering wheel (at worst.)

Is this any better?  Several scrollable screens, a dozen different media offerings, and basically a plethora of  gadgets offering distractions all at the same time?  Here, listen to music.  Here, call your mom.  Here, check Facebook.  We strongly suggest that every few seconds, you glance up and notice that your car has moved three hundred yards while you were flipping through your options for the 86th time since you left your house nine minutes ago.  Just because you could.

Here's a better idea- keep your mind and eyes on the fucking road and stop pretending that you are so damned important that you can't possibly be out of touch for even a moment while you are in your car, Mr. Essential Person.   This pedestrian will thank you for it, and it might even be good for your soul to just say "no" to these stupid, dangerous bells and whistles for once.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Show me a skeleton in the driver's seat holding a glowing cell phone, and you'll make me happier than I've been in a long, long time


Maybe you picked up the wrong hitch hiker while cruising home from the classic car show, and he forced you to pull over into a swamp before slicing off your ears, gouging out your eyes, and leaving you to be leech food to the creatures lurking in the most putrid festering swamp this side of the Degoba system, but at least your radio entertained the toothless trolls as they waited to be discovered and offered their own show by the History Channel?

Thanks for the uber-creepy message, Interstate.  Nice to see that you are no better at finding good ad agencies than anyone else.  And at least you spared us a good view of that rotting corpse.

AAMCO: Come in and make a total ass of yourself for our entertainment

Advanced Warning: This video MAY be used to induce vomiting.

Another Advanced Warning:  This ad is more than two and a half minutes long.  You will think it's over several times before it is.  You will wish it's over LONG before it is.

My suggestion:  Do not try to watch this entire ad in one sitting.  Or any number of sittings.

No one does a better job making commercials that have your ears bleeding inside of ten seconds than AAMCO.   I'm pretty sure I'd rather spend an afternoon watching a Nails on Chalkboard marathon* than thirty seconds of one of these awful "haha check out how stupid our customers are as we engage in the fantasy that AAMCO is going to diagnose your car based on the screeching noises they make, and the even more laughable fantasy that your AAMCO mechanic will ever say something like 'no big deal' when 'that sounds like a very serious problem' will always have many, many more dollar signs attached to it."

Thanks, AAMCO, for making Punch Dub Days look like High Art.  And for once again letting us know that you think we in the non-mechanic world are a bunch of blabbering sheep who are not only totally mystified by these magical machines we call automobiles but are perfectly willing to let everyone know- in the most humiliating way imaginable- that this is the case.

*Coming soon to The History Channel.  Only kidding.  Or am I?

(BTW, is the guy with the problem car five years old? No? Then why did he need two people to go with him to AAMCO?)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

And in 33 seconds, Subaru kind of makes us wish they hadn't

This family survived a horrible crash because they were riding in a Subaru.  In fact, they apparently walked away without a scratch.  Good for them.  Good for Subaru.

Underneath the surface, however, the tiny fissures we can't quite see will soon widen and become cracks, which will then become chasms, and this family will come apart at the weakened seams.

First, we have the nightmares and the 2 AM screaming and the 7 AM soaked mattresses and the 3 PM therapy sessions.  Over and over again the images and sounds fly through Brittany and Cody's tortured minds- first there was mom's sneering, stabbing put-down which sent dad into a brief, offended silence which felt like a smothering blanket choking everyone in the speeding car.  It sounded like "you're driving too goddamned fast, what the fuck is your hurry?"  Then there was dad's frustrated, defiant pulling out of the cellphone, accompanied by an awkward, sudden jerking caused by his momentary failure to control the steering wheel.  Another stab by mom- "put your fucking phone away!"  The retort from Dad- "Stop telling me what to do goddammit you've been like this ever since you got pregnant with Cody!"  Screams.

Second, we have the black cloud of recrimination hanging over the entire house.  It hangs thickly over every silent meal consumed despite stomachs knotted with tension.  It manifests itself in tight-lipped smiles and tighter-lipped pecks on the cheek and in every "no, really, everything's fine" and every icy glance.  It whispers from every corner-- "you almost killed us because you were driving too fast and you weren't paying almost killed us because you couldn't let it alone and had to keep nagging me...we almost died because your phone was more important than we were....maybe you even wanted us dead because you didn't want Cody OR Brittany and you didn't want to marry me but I got feel trapped that's why you didn't care enough to slow down when I told you to...."

"The Subaru saved us from a quick we could live this slow one.   So we could die a little every day, so we could go through the motions of this sham marriage for the sake of the kids we are torturing with the fact that we no longer trust each other, taking comfort only in the fact that someday, we'll die for real.   Until then, here's your toast, here's your coffee, here's your peck on the cheek, here's another Christmas, here's another birthday, there's another line on your face and another gray hair on your head, when the kids are gone we can talk about what comes next, until then just suck it up because They Need Us Now. "

Hey, I bet you thought the TITLE of this post was dark!

Friday, January 24, 2014

I guess it's the house that she found so attractive

As usual, the people in this commercial are living in a palace which includes a kitchen larger than my entire apartment.

I guess that's why the sad-looking woman in this ad seems reasonably content with her lot in life, married to a car-obsessed idiot who thinks of nothing but hitting sharp curves at dangerous speeds in his Buick Regal.   She is so used to his obvious preference for his car that instead of just congratulating Dad for Doing Something Right For Once and getting his kid to eat his strained peas, she mutters "gee I wonder where he got that idea" when the baby appreciates the Cliche'd Car Noises.  She looks like she's about to cry- which gives me the idea that she's had more than enough of hubby's love of his car.

Then she goes back to washing dishes, or whatever she was doing as Her Side of the Bargain (along with popping out a baby now and then.)

Dad's share- providing the big house- has already been taken care of.  Now if you'll excuse him, he has to leave his family to go play Speed Racer on those dangerous curves, like the Man He Is.  Vrooom!  Vroom! Vrooooooooooommmmmmmm!!!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

This Magic Moment- when Dell stops torturing us with this guy's horrible voice

Seriously, is the singer in this ad someone's nephew, or what?

Every time this commercial comes on, I think of how lovely listening to nails across a chalkboard would be compared to the singer's weak, whiny, treacly voice.  And then I wonder who he's related to, to have landed this gig.

I mean, I can play the guitar every bit as well as the --umm-- "artist" here.  Not that that's saying much- this is not exactly the most complicated song he's playing.  And as for his voice- I'm no braggart, but I have a MUCH better singing voice that this guy.  Again, not that that's saying much- a rusted-out electric fan clogged with swamp slime produces better sound than this.

So spill it, Dell- who is this horrible, talent-less, tune-less non-talent you got to "sing" this already-awful song related to?  Whoever it is, congratulations- he is so BAD that he actually has me in the same corner as the YouTubers.  And whoever it is, please- stop punishing us with his cracking, straining caterwauling.  We beg of you.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Or I could just beat him to death with the straw dispenser.....

Notice how people almost never choke to death in fast-food restaurants?  I mean, you'd think that several thousand times a year, someone simultaneously shoveling greasy crap down their cake holes while bleating pathetic, brain-dead junk which can only be the product of years of shoveling greasy crap down their cake holes would have a piece of non-food go down the wrong tube and get lodged there long enough to cause the person to choke to death.

You'd think so.  But to the best of my knowledge, people jumping up, grabbing their throats, thrashing about and then just dying in a humiliating manner, sprawled across the grimy floor of one of these pig troughs is actually pretty rare.  Even people who slip into a McDonalds now and then for a black coffee (the only thing for sale at McDonalds that is actually worth buying) are very unlikely to see someone actually convulse away what made up his life because he thought he could give a speech and get down a McNotChicken at the same time.

Rare, but it must happen sometimes.  In this guy's case, could I get some advance notice?  'Cause I'd kind of like to be there.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Dear Ford: Snow Miser does not belong to you. My childhood does not belong to you. You are totally Shameless.

Proving once again than nothing that is truly important to me can't be stolen, repackaged and whored away by an evil corporation for the sake of making a few extra bucks.   They stole The Grinch and gave it to Jim Carrey (that wound still has not healed, and I continue to refuse to watch it.)  They mangled Horton Hears a Who and repackaged The Lorax so he could sell kids Breakfast at Denny's.  We all know it's only a matter of time before every single thing we've ever loved shows up selling everything from SUVs to KFC on our television sets.

They could at least have used the original song with the original artist, and not let some tuneless, talentless idiot rape it for the benefit of a truck company which has just shown everyone over the age of forty exactly what it thinks of our childhood memories.

For your benefit- and as a way to cleanse your damaged soul if you choose to sit through this monstrosity of an ad- I include the real Snow Miser and his awesome song.  Meanwhile, Ford?  Bite me.  Hard.

Let's see if I get this straight, Ally

So being ambivalent at the idea of handing over your money to a bank with no branches, where there will be absolutely zero chance of actually walking into a building and speaking to a real live person about a problem or question or concern, is foolish and silly and Just Give Us Your Money Already Don't Worry There Will Always Be Someone To Talk To Once You Get Through The Phone Menu and Hey We've Got a Website?

If this is really your message- and I'm pretty sure it is- why do you botch it up by showing us examples of what happened to this woman when she DID try new things- a scary robot vacuum (actually, not so new) and a robot dog (which she attempts to provide with water- jeesh, how did this woman get a job which allowed her to buy that house?  She has the IQ of a turnip...)  Seems to me that this would make sense as a commercial for a an old-fashioned Brick and Mortar bank- "here's what we think of banks with no branches- they are modernity gone mad, like robot vacuums and dogs.  They'll make a mess of your life.  Stick with simple.  You can walk into our bank and talk to a real person.  Doesn't that sound better?"

Of course, I fully expect that Ally's No Branches strategy is the wave of the future, and inside of 10 years or banks will have gone the way of bookstores.  It will be an easy transition for me- as a member of the US Senate Federal Credit Union, I've seen all the convenient branches in suburban Maryland systematically close down over the last decade, and now I have to take a train into DC (during very tight hours- the place is closed between 4 PM Friday and 10 AM Monday) and go through a metal detector to deposit a check.  Now, if I wanted to slip a little more money into the pockets of an evil, slave-wage paying cell phone company I could download a cool app that lets me take a photo of the check to deposit it...but I haven't reached the point where I'm willing to sell out like that quite yet.  I'll wait till they make me by closing down the last branch.  Won't be long.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Karma's a ----well, you know.

I never met my maternal grandmother, who died the year before I was born.  My paternal grandmother died when I was 19 which was....well, more than a few years ago.  I remember her well enough to know that she was vastly more honest than the stupid cartoon grandma on this stupid cartoon commercial.

I really don't get how a fascination with credit scores can meld so perfectly to a total cluelessness concerning how to find them.  Ads like this made it sound like credit scores determine everything about your life, but are also very closely-kept secrets that are hidden in a vault somewhere and which can be accessed only by those who have the Magic Key.  The trick, apparently, is to find someone who both has a copy of the key and a willingness to check your score and pass it on to you for free.

Which makes Credit Karma, Checkyourcredit, and all the rest prime examples of companies whose reason for being is to convince people to pay them for a product they can access for free if they just do a little freaking homework and ask a few freaking questions.  Other examples include all the Save Yourself From the Evil IRS tax "services" and Get Out of Debt schemes.  Their bottom line is- "you can't understand this (or you are too busy to understand this.)  We Understand It.  Let Us Handle It For You..." For a price.

Yes, for a price.  I don't care how many times Cartoon Granny tells me that paid good money to run an advertisement 400 times during an Ancient Aliens marathon out of the goodness of it's heart- at some point in the process of obtaining your "free" credit report, you are going to be asked to pay.
If actually provides a free credit report, you can bet it's part of a package in which you pay for one later- or, more likely, six later.   Because before you get off the phone with that operator, anyone convinced to call based on the assurances of a cartoon grandma will be convinced that if they don't check their credit report at least once every two months or so, it's going to explode and leave you living in a dumpster picking cheese out of discarded pizza boxes.

Here's another idea- want a free credit report?  Go to your freaking lending institution and ask for one.  If they won't give you a free report on a regular basis, pull your money and find one that will.  (I belong to a credit union which never charges for a credit report check- I've never asked for one, but my score was actually volunteered to me during a routine visit last year by a loan officer who practically begged me to buy a house.)  This isn't rocket science, people.

While we're at it- if you are deep in credit card debt, call your credit card company, explain the situation, and either work out a payment plan or offer a flat amount of money to wipe your balance clean.  I understand that most banks are generally willing to work with people the first time they get in over their heads.  Tax problems?  Call the IRS- they aren't hiding in your bushes (ask yourself why those companies on the radio don't want you to contact the IRS) and have counselors ready to work out a deal with you.   Oh, and don't know how to plan for retirement?  There are actual, licensed brokers who know how to maneuver money to your advantage.  You don't need a stranger on the phone from giving you exactly one option that will determine whether you have some level of comfort when society can't squeeze any more labor out of you, or you are in that previously mentioned dumpster.  Don't know how to start saving for college for your child?  Again- there are people at the bank who are experts at stuff like that.  You don't need to ask a baby food company for help.

Oh, and ID Theft?  It's the Shark Attack Scare of 2014.  The chances of your identity actually being stolen is almost zero, and drops even more if you just shred your freaking credit card bills and stop accessing your bank accounts while sharing the public WiFi at Starbucks or the airport, moron .

Ok, enough free advice.  You want any more, it's going to cost you.

Friday, January 17, 2014

And the Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse shall arrive riding a Perfect Bacon Bowl

This is the End.  It has to be.  Because seriously, unless the next quickie-cheap TV commercial I see is for Cheese-Coated Lard on a Stick, there is just no WAY it gets worse than this.

What's the matter, America?  Not dying of heart disease fast enough?  We don't have enough problems in this country that desperately need solving that a group of soulless money-grubbers came up with a whole new way to make eating four servings of bacon at once even MORE fun?

Remember when you thought the KFC Double Down "sandwich" was a crime against humanity (as a refresher for those of you who have-like me- managed to avoid it, it consists of bacon and cheese held together by two pieces of boneless fried chicken?)  Well, what are we going to call THIS monstrosity?

Thinking of having the gang together to eat four cheeseburgers each?  Well, forget the buns- just stick them into these crunchy "bacon bowls."  Not only are they fun, but they're also a time saver-you get three meals worth of calories in one sitting!  Thought that Mac'n Cheese couldn't possibly be more poisonous?  Well, that's because you never imagined that anyone would think to invent a Mac n' Cheese Delivery System made of pig fat!

(And you thought you'd never get your kids to eat Mac n' Cheese!  Now it's all they want!  Look, they are about to suck down four "bowls" each!  What's that, a pound of bacon and a week's worth of salt in one meal?  Mission Accomplished!)

And I thought the Perfect Potato looked dumb.  Jeesh, at least potatoes have some nutritional value and won't kill you (unless you drown them in bacon bits, sour cream and cheese, like the commercial tells you to.)  This thing has probably already been banned in New York City, and the rest of the country should follow suit before it's too late.

I mean, look at that guy about to break his couch- yeah, he needs bacon-bowl cheeseburgers.

(Bacon Bowl Ice Cream Sundaes....Ummm...hey, remember those microwavable milkshakes?  I never got to try one of those.  Why didn't they catch on?  Ahead of their time?)

Not exactly sure, but I know what it will include, iPad Air

Whatever my verse is, it will not be complete until I get to the part where I hunt down the pretentious, twee fraud who bored me to despair with this minute-plus of treacle and beat him to death with his own overbearing, unjustified sense of importance.

Oh, and I think the final words will include something about drooling losers who have managed to convince themselves that gluing their eyes to a glowing screen is somehow enriching their lives, and how when they are in their final moments, all the time they spent ignoring the world so that they could fixate on pixels will come back and bite them in the....err, haunt them with memories of lost opportunities.

Eh, who am I kidding?  When these stupid social misfits die, their final thoughts will be of the Games Not Played, Bullshit Art Not "drawn," and Tweets not Tweeted.   And who will alert the world that it has one less Facebook Friend.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Another Perfect Day in the non-lives of the Techno-Addled

I've used this line in a blog post for a similar commercial, but it's worth repeating- they sure don't make Greatness like they used to, do they?

I mean, here are grown men celebrating their ability to idle away the very short time they have on Earth living one childish fantasy after another (all of which involve killing people in "fun" ways or smashing cars- are these all Rated M For Mature?)  Naturally at least one scene must include the Gamer and Pathetically Proud Of It Moron delightedly firing some infinite-ammunition supercannon at an army of equally vapid, drooling couch potatoes.

But heck, why am I complaining?  Every hour these losers spend playing Big Sword or Gun Wielding Hero in Mommy's basement is an hour they aren't swerving from lane to lane on the highway scrolling through sports scores instead of paying attention to the other cars on the non-virtual reality road.  It's an hour they aren't blocking my favorite hiking path because they are checking Facebook on their iPhones when I just want to get past and keep my heart rate up.  In other words, in the long run, it's all good.

So keep swinging those big axes and driving those fast cars and shooting those awesome weapons at your friends, SuperLosers!  Your absence from the real world is more appreciated than you think!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What's the matter, the TV Tropes site is down?

Why do I suspect that the people who are checking out are just taking a break from "tracking their beer" on and would spend hours staring at SoapBubbleWhenWillItPop?.com if a stupid commercial asked them to?

Hey, losers?  You've got one life.  The time you spend rushing from site to site because the flashy visuals and/or calm voice on tv suggested you should?  You aren't getting it back.  Is this really what you want to be doing with it?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Is "being a stupid fat doofus" one of the side effects?

Besides the fact that this guy acts as if Crestor is his favorite hockey team and not the drug that is keeping his lard-infused heart pumping, it's apparent that he didn't get the whole "along with diet and exercise" part of his prescription.

Meanwhile, this guy looks just way too happy to be on Crestor.  Does it do more than lower cholesterol and "slow plaque buildup in arteries" with results that "may vary?"  Or is he just really, really excited at the opportunity to experience all or some of those awesome side effects?

Or maybe he just really loves taking direction from authoritative characters on huge flat screens.  Hey, whatever bursts your buttons, buddy.  Can't help but notice that your kid looks irritated that you are still alive, though....

Sunday, January 12, 2014

PayAnywhere- the ridiculously high price of convenience

This is just brilliant.

You know how it's such a hassle to write checks, or get cash out of the bank?  Well, here's the answer to that awful, life-ruining headache:  Get this PayAnywhere device, and suddenly your phone is a credit card scanner you can use to pay all debts public and private.

And it's so gosh-darned convenient- just swipe, and your bill has been paid!  Finally, no more fumbling for a pen or opening your wallet for those green papery things!  Our Long National Nightmare is over!

And there's no monthly fee- wow, that's awesome!  Not only does it make it even more convenient, but now I don't have to wonder if it's possible to pay for this "service" with the service itself!

Nope, no monthly fee at all- just a tiny, so-small-you-won't-even-miss-it-really 2.69% charge conveniently added to every use.  Two-point six-nine percent- wow, you couldn't even see that amount of apple pie if you could cut it, could you?  It's so very little, how could you notice it-- right?

Well, hmm, wait a minute here.  If I use this to pay off a $20 personal debt (SO much easier than writing a check, did I point that out?) I'm going to see a bill of 20.54 for this transaction?  And if I use it to "pay the lawn guy" (because like the people in this commercial, I for sure have a "lawn guy"- I mean, who doesn't?) I'm giving the providers of PayEverywhere 2.69 percent of- well, whatever a lawn guy gets, which I bet is a lot more than $20?  Maybe I need to rethink this a bit....

Sure, I can see this being really helpful if you are one of those people who really, really hate to handle that green paper stuff and gosh darn it it sure is a hassle to write out a check, I mean it can take upwards of 20 seconds sometimes (or five minutes, if you are the doddering moron in front of me in the checkout line) and it would be so much easier if I could just tap a few buttons on my phone...but I really want to give this company 2.69 percent of my transaction every time I need to exchange money for I missing something here, or does this sound like a really stupid plan for me and a massive cash cow for the owners of PayEverywhere?

I'm starting to understand why it's "free" and there's no monthly payment- why would this company put any obstacles at all in the way of getting these things into the hands of every single person on the planet as soon as possible?  Now this looks more like the coke dealer who hands out samples- money?  That comes later.  And in great, big, unearned buckets in the form of more than a quarter for every $10 moved.

Just imagine being the company that produces and markets this little device- and then sits back and takes a cut of every. Single. Transaction. stupidly conducted using it.   And all because Convenience trumps the sense that we really ought to have even if we never took Economics 101.

PT Barnum isn't spinning in his grave.  He's clawing his way out, because he's sick of being deprived his share of the fortune being eagerly tossed away by the Dumbest Generation.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

American Idol? Call back when you get some killer monkeys and poisonous fog.

First, the cloying little cards being held up at the beginning would be so much more honest if they were just decorated with dollar signs and nothing but dollar signs.   "I"m doing it for him?"  Yeah, sure you are, lady.  Keep telling your parents that every time you drop that baby off so you can stand in line for another six hours in another American Idol Audition City.   I'm sure they buy it at least as much as I do.

Second, why don't we just admit that this is just the currently legal version of "The Hunger Games?"  No, we don't get to see these sad idiots hunt and actually murder each other, but it's the best we can do under our current system of law- sure, they can't bludgeon each other with rocks or form temporary alliances with people they'll eventually be plotting to butcher when they are no longer useful (you have to watch Survivor for that) but at least we can look forward to another season of watching people being emotionally beaten to bloody pulps before being tossed into the waste bin of life.

Only until we finally get this Destruction of Society thing over with already (five years, tops) and can start building those "game zones."  Hey, at least we won't have to deal with pathetic losers who think they can sing just because All Their Friends Think They're Awesome.

And I'm assuming Jennifer Lopez won't be involved either.  Bonus.

Get a cannon ready!

Get this guy away from these kids, before he does even more damage.

"Let's say a friend called and asked you to come over and had a really cool pool.  What would you do?"

"Go over and swim in the pool!"

"Ok, now let's say another friend called right before you left and invited you to come over and swim in their bigger pool.  What would you do?"

"Go swim in the bigger pool!"

"Wait a minute- what about the first friend who called? Do you just blow them off because their pool is smaller and, therefore, lamer?"

"Hell yes!"

"Ok, now what if a friend called who didn't own a pool at all and invited you to visit.  Would you go?"

"No!  Only if they have a pool!  And I'll only visit if they have the biggest, best pool of all my friends!"

"Congratulations.  At the age of five, you are a shallow dickwad who picks friends based on what they can provide for you, and dumps them as soon as you find friends who have more to offer in terms of things like swimming pools.  You are ready to be an adult who embraces 21st Century American Values."

Friday, January 10, 2014

He IS going to die soon, right?

1.  I love the framed photo including the Family Patriarch, hovering over all.  Kind of creepy.

2.  Mom says everything will be fine once they buy Daughter some headphones.  I'm not sure what this means- does Grampa snore?  Is it so Daughter can still listen to her music and not bother Grampa?  If it's the latter, this still daughter's home, or what?  What else in our lives are we turning upside down to make life better for Grampa?  How about getting HIM some headphones and leaving Daughter Who Wasn't Asked If She Minded Giving Up Her Room And Moving Into the Basement alone?

3.  "Thanks for not putting up too much of a fuss over moving my incontinent, grumpy, doddering old fool of a father move in and disrupt our happy home until he's ultimately found dead on the toilet.  Here's your first installment of Shut Up and Deal With It By Sobbing Quietly Into Your Pillow and Hiding Alcohol Around The House jewelry."

4.  "This IS his home."  Sounds sweet, but my guess is she means "we thought getting him to cosign the mortgage was a good idea, but now it's come back to bite us in the ass, what are we going to do?"

Oh, and Jane Seymour Medicine Woman?   Who the hell asked you?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A talking plastic nightmare and "Forrest Gump?" This was the best you could do, Netflix?

Thirty-four years ago, Mrs. McDermott was browsing the local Dollar Store and found the most god-awful ugly Christmas angel to ever come out of a factory in China and inexplicably decided to buy it.

Turned out that this garish piece of middle-class kitsch had a nasal Jersey accent- not that it really mattered to the McDermotts, since it couldn't actually talk, except to itself.  Good thing, too- because it never stopped talking to itself, and the only thing it was interested in was creepily watching the McDermotts do whatever the McDermotts do during the holidays- like watch 20-year old films that everyone else has already seen a dozen times on Netflix, for example.*

During the holidays and ONLY during the holidays, of course- because it's safe to assume that this piece of nasty junk spends 49 weeks of the year sitting in a musty box in the attic, alone with it's thoughts (which, hopefully, don't include "someday I'm going to climb down from that tree and kill the McDermotts.")

*I mean, come on.  At least show them watching The Lone Ranger, or something else a bit more current.  Forrest Gump?  Who the hell would gather with their family on the holidays to watch Forrest Gump?  Maybe the plastic atrocity's memory is a bit off?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Verizon continues its assault on common decency

1.  I'm pretty sure that if the song that accompanies this ad isn't already our official National Anthem, it soon will be.  I can't imagine another with lyrics which more accurately speak to the hearts of the Better Off and Therefore Better Amongst Us.

2.  I'm also pretty sure that if Buying Stuff For Yourself isn't already our official National Pastime, it soon will be.  I can't imagine an activity which more accurately appeals to the hearts of the One Percenters, One Percenter Wannabees, and those who believe they are in the One Percent because Rush Limbaugh told them they were.

Instant Gratification- and your right to experience it- continues to be the guiding philosophy of the richest, fattest, most over-indulged nation on Earth.

Meanwhile, there's a soup kitchen down the street that had to turn families away last night while you were chanting (and living) "I want it, I want it, I want it RIGHT NOW" on your way to the Verizon store.  Dickwad.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Nissan? What the HELL is the POINT?

So the passengers in this commercial are concerned about being late- I guess because they don't know the power of the Nissan Rogue.

The owner of this car proceeds to show off a variety of CGI effects, accompanied by repeated "Do Not Attempt," "You Can't Really Do This" and "Fantasy" disclaimers (and a truly stupid "I do this all the time and it never stops being awesome" head-wag from the driver) to arrive at a parking lot and quip "are we early?"

The punchline, meanwhile, is "Commute Your Way."

So the viewers are expected to keep these two ideas in our heads at the same time- you can chart your own course with the Nissan Rogue, but you can't actually do any of these things we show the Nissan Rogue doing with the Nissan Rogue.  In real life, these passengers would have been late- just like they would have been late if they were driving a Honda, a Volkswagen, or a Ford.  Because in real life, the Nissan Rogue can't jump highways and disobey the laws of gravity.

So....what were we just watching here- and why?

Monday, January 6, 2014

KFC Presents 2014's version of "Family Time." Caution: May Cause Nausea

This is pretty sad, isn't it?"family" is busy congratulating itself because it'"together."

Actually,"parents" are being pretty straight with us- they admit that they just bribed their two idiot offspring out of their rooms by bringing home a bucket of everyone's favorite greasy fried chicken.  And that "being together" is good enough- the kids can continue to be isolated, rude douchenozzles with their cell phones and MP3 players.  Nobody expects them to put their electronic shit away for a few minutes to acknowledge Mom and Dad and maybe even have a conversation with them- nope, Mom and Dad are way, way beyond expecting anything like THAT.  Just being in the same room is good enough.

Um, is it way out of bounds for me to ask why?  As in, why can't these "parents" get their kids out of their rooms simply by announcing "time to come out of your rooms and to the dinner table?"  And once they are at the dinner table, what exactly would be wrong with "put your phones and music away, you are with your parents now?"  Why is this depicted as some kind of unreasonable, impossible expectation?

What the hell is this?  Mom and Dad have simply surrendered to the "inevitability" that their kids will act like soulless, rude jerkwads and are happy with the tiny crumbs of attention they are willing to spare the people who made the house, their rooms, and this chicken possible?  Again- am I out of bounds when I simply ask "Why?"

And while I'm at it, why is dad's "now, if their batteries die, we might just have a conversation" supposed to be anything but depressing?  What exactly would happen if Dad told his kids to shut their crap toys off for fifteen minutes?  Why are the electronics in charge here?

Was I just born in the wrong century, or what?  WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Ride Along for the further adventures of American Racism- and Sexism

Here's yet another movie made by black people to exploit every stereotype white people have of black people.  In other words, a movie in which intelligent African-Americans who really ought to know better (or care more) exploit racist white people and stupid African-Americans, and all so that a tiny handful of already rich African-Americans and already rich whites can stick a few more dollars in their pockets.  Awesome.

We have the surly, tough-talking blacks and the screechy, bug-eyed blacks, competing for the right to make our ribs split with laughter because OMG Did You Hear What He Just Said ROTFLMAO!!  We have witless banter and (I'm quite certain) endless car chases.  We have situations which make sense to white people only if we assume that This Is Just The Way Blacks Are, and which make no sense to black people but Hey It's Just Fantasy So It's Funny.

Oh, and we have a nice undercurrent of misogyny as a major (THE major?) plot device- why does the protagonist need the permission of his girlfriend's brother to marry her?  Why does he have to pass some test of Worthiness devised by said brother in order to win the "right" to wed her?  If I were this guy, I'd remind her brother that she's an independent human being and not his property.  What Freaking Century Is This Anyway??

Then again, if Hollywood was willing to accept that this is the 21st century, it would have to stop spooning out blackspoitation crap like Ride Along.  So we'd better just buckle in and get ready for what I'm sure will be just the first installment of a billion-dollar (ok, maybe quarter-billion dollar) franchise.  It's going to be a very long decade....

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Kevin Garnett, Beats by Dre, and the Unbearable Awfulness of Life in 2014

Ok, now that I've seen the long version ( I don't get paid for this you know) I get that this is Kevin Garnett being criticized in ESPN for being "a little too over the hill" and then being treated like a mass murderer/child rapist by a population of racist morons transported in from the 1940s to throw eggs and yell horrible things at him as he takes a bus to...a game, I guess.

I get that this is all ridiculously exaggerated and that at most what the fans are really angry about is that Kevin Garnett is making more money per game than most of them will see in a year of hard work which is not performed in front of adoring fans.  And I don't get this at all- if you think Garnett is overpaid, he's not being paid with your money unless you buy tickets to see him play.  Wouldn't it be more effective to just not show up and keep your money in your wallet?

And I get that none of this bothers Kevin Garnett because he's got these awesome Noise-Cancelling Headphones.  So it's ok that a mob of goons basically wants to lynch him- he can shut them out by listening"music."  Maybe what they are angry about doesn't even really matter- the important thing is that Kevin Garnett is comfortable in his own skin, is confident of his own worth- and has these cool headphones that silence the raving lunatics who- again- sure look like they want to string him up and douse his corpse with gasoline.

I could ask several questions about this horrible, overplayed, overwrought nugget of an ad- for example, if the maker of these headphones is suggesting that the cure for criticism- or a scary, murderous mob- is to pretend it doesn't exist.  Or if we should all take comfort that Kevin Garnett doesn't give a damn what anyone thinks of him as long as he knows he's great- and is paid accordingly.  Instead, I think I'll just make one observation:

I spend a lot of time on trains and buses, and in stores and museums.  That means I spend a lot of time listening to people witlessly blathering away on their cell phones.  I also hear a great deal of other people's music bleeding out of ear buds.  I guess I could invest in a pair of noise-cancelling headphones and try to shut these morons and their thoughtless asshattery out of my life, but wouldn't that require me to be constantly listening to my own noise?  Sometimes "hearing what I want" means "not hearing anything at all."  And if I just want to enjoy some peace and quiet and do some thinking- is that just not allowed anymore?

(Oh, and BTW- yes, you can tell everybody anything you want, including "I'm a man I'm a man I'm a man, " but the last time I checked, being a "man" didn't mean sealing yourself off from criticism.  Maybe it's just me.)

The Perfect Potato, just a phone call away....

(Am I the only person who really hates this woman's voice?  Maybe it's because I'm pretty sure she's the same person who has been trying to tell me this junk for roughly 20 years now, but wow it's annoying...)

I think I could do a separate blog focusing exclusively on these Available Only On Television products.  They are all basically the same, falling into one of three categories:

1.  The Very Cheap Solution to a Very Expensive Problem.  Got a dent or deep scratch on your car?  Dulled headlights?  Pets with bad breath? The standard answer to these potentially life-ruining difficulties Could Cost Hundreds of Dollars.   But here's a quickie fix you didn't even know existed.  Don't pay a mechanic or doctor outRAGEOUS fees- just use this cream or spray, problem solved in seconds!   Now don't you feel like an idiot?

But wait, you can get double the amount, just pay separate shipping and handling!

2.  The Very Cheap Solution to a Problem You Didn't Even Know You Had.  How much television do you miss because you simply cannot hear it?  How many times a year do you just walk into that glass door, causing serious injury to yourself?  Driving at night without Miracle Eagle Eyes sunglasses is taking your life into your own hands- you'll probably get yourself killed one of these nights.  And speaking of getting killed- how have you managed to live this long without a Miracle Hose or Raptor Straps?  You could pay HUNDREDS for products that look just like this in stores.....

But wait- you can get double the amount, just pay separate shipping and handling!

3. The Very Cheap Way to Prepare Ordinary Food You Thought You Knew How To Make Already.  Everyone LOVES fried chicken, pot roast, scrambled eggs, bread, cakes, cookies, ice cream, pizza- but no one ever actually EATS any of these things because it's just Too Gosh-Darned Hard To Make.  (Not to mention that a box of cookies can cost you HUNDREDS of dollars in stores....)  You had no idea how incredibly hard it was to cook until you spent time watching the idiots fumble around a kitchen in these ads (hey, lady?  Those potatoes will cook faster if you stop OPENING THE FREAKING OVEN.)

But wait- you can get double the amount, just pay separate shipping and handling!

This particular commercial includes a feature I like to call "padding:"- having spent ten seconds giving us a bs explanation for how this potholder with a flap will cook our potatoes to fluffy hot perfection in four minutes, almost the entire remainder of the ad is devoted to showing us What We Already Knew We Can Do With Potatoes.  Cheese?  Sour Cream and Chives?  Bacon bits?  No Way!!  Does this thing come with a recipe book, because I'm sure I'm going to need help remembering these revolutionary serving suggestions?!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

What's this all about, Taco Bell?

Ok, I have no idea what is going on in this commercial, except that I think it's supposed to be funny that the dad with the look of total rage on his face is chasing a kid down the street, having come home early to catch what, exactly?

Seriously, what set the guy off like this?  Chasing a kid down the street with a look on your face which seems to read "I'm going to kill you?"  So what- was he banging the guy's daughter?*  How do the giant tacos come in?  This is maybe funny in comic strips (you know, like Andy Capp being a worthless, unemployed drunk ignoring his wife funny) but probably not- and it certainly isn't funny in real life.  I mean, think about it- if you lived on this street and saw this guy chasing some teenager down the street in the middle of the night with that look on his face- well, would you find this at all amusing?  What would you do- laugh?  Call the cops?  Child Protective Services?  Or shrug your shoulders and mutter to your spouse "yep, there's Bill, he's going to kick the crap out of one of his daughter's boyfriends again. Same old same old?"

Now, we do see this little grin appear on the kid's face, perhaps to let us know that this is all in fun- he's happy with his pizza-sized taco thing, and he's getting away so easily that he even takes a bite as he dashes down the street.  But that doesn't really make sense either- ok, so he's going to outrun this guy.  Great.  Then what?  Is he going to call later and find out if the girl he was not supposed to be visiting survived Dad's rage?  Because she's still back there at the house, right?

Getting back to my original question- the parents came home early, and caught this kid doing something so out of bounds, so against the rules, that he felt compelled to make a run for it, and Dad is determined to catch him.  What was it?

Here's the saddest part-  that this is 2014, and the image of an enraged dad chasing some kid down the street with a murderous look on his face is presented as comedy.   Like I said- I just don't get it.

*Song lyrics:  "Your daddy's got nothin' on me...."  Ok, it's official.  I don't want to get it.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Hashtag Idiot Loser Hashtag Dunkin Donuts Hashtag Too Much Time On My Hands

Thoughts for the sad, coffee-loving cat lady with no sense of perspective in this ad:

1.  This sure looks like it's your apartment- if you like Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin Spice so much, why don't you just buy more of it, so you don't have to fish around for it among the coffees you DON'T like?  You remind me of Homer Simpson repeatedly opening cartoons of Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberry Ice Cream, finding all the Chocolate gone, and yelling "Marge!  We need more Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberry Ice Cream!"

2.  "Best day ever?"  Um, really?  Even better than when you picked up your bestest friend, Mr. Smuggums, from the shelter?  Finding a k-cup of Pumpkin Spice beats that?  How depressing for you.

Tis the season to be Judgemental ;>)!!!  Sorry, crazy cat woman- but I can't relate to your discovery of nirvana in a coffee cup.  With a cat.  And then your feel compelled to share your Finest Moment with everyone out there in TwitterHashtagLand.  You know, I had such high hopes for Dunkin Donuts when they hired They Might Be Giants to do a few jingles.  Those ads were ok, because at least there was some nice music to listen to while you tried to ignore the crap on the screen.  What happened to that idea, Dunkin?