Sunday, March 30, 2014
Bob woke up one day and decided to face death right in the face. To Bob, that meant living life to the fullest, every day. Which meant not having "the usual" at the local diner (so what are you going to have, Bob? Or did you just show up at the diner to impress the waitress with your willingness to-- um---"change up your life?")
It also meant turning right instead of left. I have no idea what this means. It's kind of implied that Bob used to go to some clinic for treatment which he no longer needs because of this awesome new drug. But if he doesn't have to go there anymore, why did he program the destination into his Garmin GPS? Is Bob so far gone that he told his GPS he needed directions to the clinic- just so he could tell it to "suck this, I'm making my own decisions, Garmin!" If so, is Bob really weird, or what?
At first, I thought Bob bought those flowers for his travel agent, who was also his mistress. Turns out I was wrong about that, and the truth is even stranger. Bob sits down with the oddly-still-employed agent (it's 2014- these things still exist?) and seems about to arrange a trip to FLORIDA when he suddenly notices a poster for NEW ZEALAND- and decides he wants to go there instead. Whatever this new drug is, it's turned Bob into a really impulsive person.
It's also turned him into kind of a controlling jackass, because we now learn that those flowers are for his wife, who gets the "good news" that they are heading for New Zealand. Ok, some people will find this very sweet and lovely and all that. I think it's kind of obnoxious that Bob decided on a major vacation destination without even talking about it with his significant other. Maybe she's his girlfriend and not his wife, and maybe Bob makes all the money in the family- doesn't matter. A reasonable person who gives a damn what she thinks makes her part of the decision-making process. Maybe she really wanted to go to Florida. Maybe she wants to see Rome, or Greece, or any of a number of other places I'd rather see than New Zealand. But apparently what she wants doesn't really matter- she's thrilled to be going to New Zealand, and that's a good thing, because that's where they are going. Bob has Spoken.
Maybe Bob is just determined to bleed to death in New Zealand. Good health care down there, I've heard. And I can certainly think of worse places to experience all these horrible symptoms. Still- what a jerk.
Saturday, March 29, 2014
In 1987 I landed a part-time job at a video rental place (named, without much imagination, Video Place) in Crystal City, Virginia. I was just finishing up college, looking at graduate schools, and wondering if my long-time college girlfriend was ever going to be interested in moving on to the, umm, next step.
That was a great job. The store was a little hole in the wall in an underground mall, next to a liquor store and directly across from a Waxie Maxie's (where my exclusive contacts managed to hook me up with a copy of Zelda II just in time for Christmas for my eight-year old nephew.) We rented portable VCRs and even sold a Goldstar on occasion (I'll probably have to do a few years in purgatory for that) but mostly we rented movies and music videos, $2.49 a night and a $1 fine if you failed to rewind (a fee I'm pretty positive we never once actually imposed- unwound tapes went into the car-shaped rewinder behind the counter.) We watched a lot of music videos -- Tears for Fears (Songs from the Big Chair,) Genesis (Visible Touch,) Janet Jackson (Rhythm Nation,) etc. We spent a lot of time assembling display stands- the one for Throw Momma From The Train included a computer chip which let you hear Anne Ramsey bleat "Owen loves his Momma, Owen loves his Momma" when you pushed a button, and some of us employees came pretty close to murdering the kids who would push it 100 times while their parents picked films off the shelves. We always had customers who wanted us to give them the displays when they were ready to come down, and we were generally willing to do so- except that the ones for Disney films remained the property of Disney and had to be returned to the studio. I sold 400 advance copies of E.T. and won a television set for selling the most 4-packs of Kodak VHS tapes (turned out that the blind guy who purchased most of them was a bootlegger who finally got nabbed by the feds.)
One summer the prudes who ran Northern Virginia came down hard on video stores and our company decided that we could only show G-rated musicals and Disney films on the store monitor- we didn't have much selection at the time, so we watched Calamity Jane and My Fair Lady pretty much every day until we were ready to go insane. Fortunately our regulars found it obnoxious too, complained, and we got back to music videos and PG films by Labor Day. I used to be able to lip-sync An American Tail.
I remember the Stock Market crash of 1987, the time volunteers for the Hart-For-President campaign tried to cut a better deal on bulk blank tape purchases, and the day my manager brought in his recording of Buster Douglas upsetting Mike Tyson and showed it for a crowd of people who were perfectly willing to be late to work rather than miss the ending. I remember the 30 days we tried to be a TicketMaster outlet, and how the machines never worked. I remember calling in credit cards to get authorization codes, and the time I had to stall an irate crook because the operator told me to hold his card until the police could get there and take him down.
In 1989 I became a manager, and moved to a downtown DC store. I was robbed at gunpoint twice, and on another day opened bright and early in the morning to find fingerprint dust everywhere- my assistant manager, closing the night before, had been robbed. I remember catching numerous would-be shoplifters and failing to catch many, many more.
In 1990 the owner of our 7-store chain decided to sell out, which meant the inventory had to be liquidated. I turned out to be a pretty good salesman, so I was sent from store to store running close-out sales. When I closed the store back at Crystal City I sold every single VHS tape we had available but one- a copy of Satisfaction ("starring" Justine Bateman- come on, Liam Neeson was in it too, and it wasn't THAT bad..) One guy bought every Disney movie we had- about forty tapes- for $200. Hope he enjoyed them.
In 1991 I left the video rental business for good, got my graduate degree, got married (not to that college girlfriend- she left for grad school without saying goodbye in 1988 and I never saw nor heard from her again) and moved to upstate New York. I didn't know it at the time, but I had spent four years in an industry that was staring oblivion in the face. In the following decade other chains would vanish, replaced by RedBox and Netflix and other online services, and the idea of puttering around a store trying to pick out a tape to watch on the VCR that night suddenly seemed as quaint and archaic as Drive-Ins. Want to buy a movie now? That's what Amazon is for.
Anyway, here's a heartfelt salute to an age that left us way too soon- and I think left us all a little poorer with its departure. For every awful customer who didn't seem to understand that "OPEN 10AM-7PM" did not mean "OPEN 6:30 AM- 7:30 PM" or thought it was perfectly ok to call every fifteen minutes to ask if a certain film had been returned and could we please hold it for him, there were far more fun regulars and great co-workers and overall good times. Even the robberies were fun after the fact. So goodbye Erols, goodbye Blockbuster, and especially goodbye Video Place- your contribution to my life and American culture in the late 20th century deserves more recognition than I can give you in this little blog. Every now and then, I'll rewind a tape in your memory.
Friday, March 28, 2014
1. Isn't it great that the black family in this ad have made choices that the white people in this ad approve of? And the black family looks so happy about it- I bet they run home and tell the neighbors how the awesome white workers at Walmart gave a big geeky thumbs-up to their ridiculous spending spree.
2. I'm impressed that two twenty-something white guys working at Walmart are actually enthusiastic and optimistic about the future. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be, were I them.
3. When sneakers are equipped with jet packs ARE available, you can bet the place to buy the cheapest version will be at your local Walmart. Of course, by then, it will probably be the only store within fifty miles of your house anyway.
Thursday, March 27, 2014
What do moms dream of? Nah, it's not a life beyond diapers and bag lunches and homework and cleaning and being a handmaiden to the Guy Who Made All This Possible. It's how to be "more fun."
Apparently the "answer" to "how can I be a more fun mom" is to be found in the wisdom of a Wise Kid (he's wise because he's got a beard and lives on a cloud or a mountain or something, get it?)
No, mom can't dance- but she can use a can opener. And we all know how much kids love soggy canned noodles, processed chicken cubes and salt-infused broth, don't we? (Jeesh, when I was a kid I liked Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup- when I was sick and couldn't keep down anything else. When I was a normal, healthy kid with a normal, healthy appetite? Yuck.)
So mom can change diapers, bag lunches, help with the homework, keep the house spotless AND heat up cheap soup. Boy, was she a catch. Not especially fun- but a catch nonetheless.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
When I was fifteen, sixteen years old my friends and I would occasionally ditch school. We'd hang out at a house where both parents worked and do what aimless kids who just didn't want to go to school that day did- played cards, watched tv, listened to music, and drank really cheap, nasty-tasting whiskey. That whiskey was Southern Comfort.
I don't remember much about those days, but I do remember the whiskey. We drank it because it was very inexpensive and one of my friends had an older brother willing to buy it for us. We sure didn't drink it because it tasted good, and I can honestly say I never acquired a taste for it. I've never cared for whiskey in general- I have about a quarter of a bottle in the freezer right now from a party in 2007. Always figured that if I found myself drinking it, something had gone terribly wrong in my life (not sure why I didn't drink it back in August of 2011, when a LOT went wrong all at once- maybe I forgot it was there.)
Anyway- somewhere out there is a photo of me sitting on a front porch with several of my friends, surrounded by empty bottles of Southern Comfort. Good times- but not because of that awful whiskey. In fact, I can't imagine why anyone with more than a few bucks would choose to spend it on that swill.
Sunday, March 23, 2014
1. "Women will happily act as waitresses and dishwashers for their fat lazy families, if at least one person in those families expresses bs throwaway gratitude in the form of a toast or compliment now and then. Because women are vapid little handmaidens programmed to serve." I hope Uncle Charlie's heart explodes before this Little Woman gets a chance to fry him up some of his favorite chicken. Tool.
2. "Your mom's almost here? The dishes aren't done yet- tell you what, get your worthless ass in her and you do them while I greet here, dickwad. I know you've never done this cleaning-dishes thing before, but I'm sure with a little practice you'll get the hang of it."
3. "See, honey? I'm doing you a FAVOR by 'letting' you do all the dishes- they keep your hands wonderfully soft. You are so lucky to have all those dirty dishes to yourself- I wish I could find a way to keep MY hands creamy smooth and young-looking. Well, sucks to be a male, I guess!"
Universal lesson: Whether it's 1973 or 2014, cooking and dishwashing is strictly women's work. Ugh.
(By the way, I don't think that woman in No. 3 ever leaves that kitchen- it's so disgustingly clean, it's practically gleaming- I think Adrian Monk would happily move into this house. Why are kitchens in these commercials always look like germ-free laboratories and not places where people actually do any cooking?)
Saturday, March 22, 2014
Back in my salad days (no, I don't know what that means either- I just know it's used in situations like this, so there you go) I used to manage a video store in downtown DC. It was a fun job (when I wasn't being robbed at gunpoint, which happened twice- you get used to it) in which I got to watch a lot of good movies and (it being the 80s) even more really bad ones. For every E.T. and The Verdict there were many, many more Look Who's Talkings and Police Academy flicks. But hey, it was a job which involved watching movies, and it paid my way through Graduate School. So no complaints here.
Pretty Woman was one of the biggest hits of 1990, my last full year working in the video rental business. It is also one of the most ludicrous, disgusting piles of maggot dung ever assembled by Hollywood. I could write many pages about how it basically plays out the Beautiful Clean Hooker fantasy which had already been hashed out in countless movies and television shows long before this putrid mess hit the big screen (I don't need to remind anyone my age that Brooke Shields, Phoebe Cates, and Jane Seymour- possibly the three most stunning women of the generation- all played prostitutes at one point in their careers.) Instead, I'd like to just skip all that and take a moment to just laugh at one scene which always really bugged the hell out of me.
When Julia Roberts' prostitute character meets Richard Gere's businessman character, he's driving a Lotus and looking for directions back to his hotel. Gere hires Roberts to get him there, and then strikes a deal for her to come up to his penthouse suite for what she figures will be a quick, lucrative toss in the hay.
So she gets to his room, which is of course massive and lavishly furnished. Gere orders champagne and strawberries, but instead of realizing that this guy could be an easy mark and clearly has money to burn, Richards acts as if she's kind of anxious to get out of there (wait, this makes sense compared to what happens next.) Gere then suggests that to ease her mind about all the opportunities to get screwed by other total strangers she may be missing out on, he just pays her to stay the night. And here's where it get really stupid.
Roberts replies "The whole night? You couldn't afford it."
Um, seriously? Lotus-driving, penthouse-dwelling, champagne-and-strawberries ordering businessman "couldn't afford" a hooker for the evening? You don't want to think this over before making that statement, Julia? Not even for a moment?
Guess not, because when Gere insists that she name her price, she replies "Three hundred dollars." Which he accepts, instantly (no duh. I seriously can't believe he doesn't burst out laughing- or begins to wonder if this woman has a problem she's not telling him about.) Three hundred dollars? For an entire night? What did Roberts' character usually charge for her normal hour or so? $20 and car fare back to the alley?
And Gere's quick acceptance doesn't teach her a thing about negotiating- the next day, he asks how much she'd charge for entire week, and she comes up with the figure $3000. Jeeeeeeshh......for the 1990 version of Julia Roberts? Come on.....who wrote this dialogue? At LEAST add a zero to that figure, PLEASE. I know it's 1990, but give me a break.
By the way, did you know that the original ending for this flick had Gere dumping a devastated, sobbing Roberts- who goes right back to being a prostitute? Proving that, briefly, the writers intended to infuse a LITTLE reality. Maybe they should have stuck with it- because "rich guy buys beautiful woman on the cheap" should never be the "feel good romance of the year," ever. Not even in 1990.
I guess the message here is that this kid would have had his skull smashed in, badly burned, and basically mauled in a hundred ways if Dad had not been standing right there to keep him from doing really awful damage to himself.
The more disturbing message is that by doing so, Dad raised an obtuse knob who as a young adult is living as if someone will always be around to pull his ass out of the fire just before it touches him- or before he uses it to do injury to someone else. This kid with is cruising around in a two-ton vehicle fully capable of ending someone's life in an eye blink but lets himself get distracted by the cute girl with the cell phone*- but no problem, now his car will remind him that there are other people on the planet before he kills them with his Learned Asshattery.
An even more disturbing message- Hyundai thinks it's audience will think it's kind of cute and endearing to watch a little boy come within an inch or a second of being really badly hurt, over and over again. I mean, seriously- that brick wall looks deadly, and crashing into a grill filled with white-hot coals? That's years of reconstructive surgery. Not really anything to chuckle about. And I don't even have one of these little mammals.
*Why does Cute Girl have a cell phone? Does this seem a bit gratuitous to anyone else? Is it that the makers of this ad couldn't conceive of a girl walking along without a cell phone in her hand? Or did the Extra hired to play the girl refuse to put hers down for her 2-second part?
Friday, March 21, 2014
Personally, whenever I go to the dentist, by the time the ordeal is over I'm just glad to get the hell out of the chair and be on my way. People in these ads always look so damned delighted to be there and so interested in their freaking teeth, I wonder if my dentist skimps on the happy gas.
As for this bubbly airhead--
"My teeth feel so good after a cleaning! I wish there was some way I could make them feel like this all the time!"
"Well, I suggest you brush twice a day and use this Crest rinse...."
"I brush my hair every morning, doctor! Can't you see the shine?"
"No, I mean your teeth. You should brush your teeth twice a day with..."
"Brush my TEETH? Seriously? I don't think my brush would even FIT in there!"
"Um...no....you see, there are these special instruments called 'tooth brushes.' You apply this minty cream to them and then you..."
"Brushes for teeth!? What a world we live in! I'll give it a try...what's this rinse stuff you were talking about?"
"Never mind. Let's start small."
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
If you are the narrator of this awful 60 seconds of brain-dead stupid, I know several things about you::
1. You have way, way too much time on your hands.
2. You have have a severe shortage of friends. Go make some. Because- well, see No. 1
3. In case No. 1 and No. 2 aren't clear enough- seriously, get a freaking life. There's more to it than this.
4. You aren't from Cleveland.
Monday, March 17, 2014
It's the same rule used by every radio advertisement- when you have very, very little to say, pretend it's very complicated and needs to be repeated over and over again.
The difference is this: you can't picture the people mechanically repeating the name of the webpage over and over AND OVER on the radio- "what was that again? Findmoney.com?" "Yes, Findmoney.com. That's Findmoney.com. Findmoney.com" or making absolutely positively sure that everyone has that toll-free number burned into their brains. On TV, we actually get to know and hate the douchenozzles who treat us like little children who need to have everything spelled out for them- over and over again, because Seriously We Really Didn't Get It The First Four Times.
In this ad, the delightfully ethnic tools won't be convinced that whatever deal Vonage is selling here covers both their home phone (seriously? People still have home phones- with cords and everything?) and their cell phone (the phone they actually use in real life) until the hipster doofus who looks like he just crawled out of a dumpster or a 70s porno movie repeats assurances to every. Single. Person. who asks.
In real life, spokeschoad would just throw up his hands and say "oh to hell with you knobs, you are way too stupid to get what I'm saying." I also kind of hope that in real life, there are plenty of Indian-Americans and Hispanic-Americans and African-Americans who are more than a little pissed at the condescending nature of an ad which features a white guy patiently explaining a very simple concept to non-whites who Can't Quite Seem To Grasp The Concept.
"Crazy Generous?" Gag.
Their clients "need a lot of attention" and "we're working deals all day," yet all five employees of this real estate agency decided to drop everything and spend the afternoon at the local AT&T store to negotiate a phone deal. Yeah, that's practical.
BTW, are Real Estate Agents still easy "go-to's" when commercials want to stereotype zombie, fast-talking, money-obsessed habitual liars and cheats? Actually, I'll buy that. I've never met a Realtor who hadn't gone through a very obvious soul removal surgery. I rented a basement apartment from one who objected to turning the heat on when it was more than 60 degrees outside and tried to withhold my security deposit because the rug got ruined by flooding caused by torrential rains (this was my fault, somehow.) So yeah- realtors are scumbags. I get it. But they generally aren't time-wasters. I just can't see the entire staff of CenturyGoToHell piling into the company SUV for a field trip to the AT&T store, sorry.
I still don't think that it takes five to work out a phone-sharing deal, though. The woman who does all the talking looks perfectly capable of "closing" all by herself while the other four are back in the office fucking people out of their money, like a good Realtor should.
Sunday, March 16, 2014
What is WITH this guy? For absolutely no reason I can see, he suddenly launches into a monologue concerning the amazing Voyage of Discovery leading him to adding yet another very expensive, side effects-laden drug to his regular routine. I don't see anyone ask him a question about his medication, or show any interest at all in his decision to add yet another set of chemicals to the pharmacy that is coursing through his veins in a sad attempt to keep his non-life going for a few more years.
I can only imagine that his long-suffering spouse gave a hopeless little sigh and eyeroll when her self-absorbed twat of a husband started his totally uncalled-for story with "...but I wondered: Could I Up My Game?" Uh huh. Know the difference between me and you, buddy? I don't wonder out loud.
Apparently not getting that he's already broken the Shut Up Nobody Gives A Damn meter, he proceeds to read off his Not At All Personal He Doesn't Mind Sharing Hey Where Are You Going reasons for convincing his doctor to prescribe Eliquis in the clunkiest, most unconvincing manner possible: "One.....Two.....Three......." Is Spouse supposed to be taking notes here? Will there be a quiz later?
Mercifully, this guy has a son who convinces Dad to stop with the Commercial-within-a-Commercial and shoot hoops before mom totally loses it and runs off with the slightly less insane jagoff from the Crestor ad.
In another ad for the same product, a woman bleats pretty much the same speech, except her tagline is "Change my focus." Hmmm....not quite as effective as "Up my game," but we can't expect the people who write this crud to actually put thought into the stilted lines they have these "actors" bleat now, can we?
Saturday, March 15, 2014
Maybe before the 21st century is out, we'll actually be treated to a commercial which recognizes that men vacuum, use paper towels, and change diapers too? Maybe? Any chance at all?
Until that time, here's the Oreck Magnesium R2D2 Super-Amazing Magnum Force Infinite Suction More Bells and Whistles Than The Space Shuttle And More Aerodynamic Too Vacuum Cleaner. It's just perfect for the Little Lady- switches from hardwood floors to rugs with just a push of her delicate little finger, and she can carry it upstairs to keep the upper floors of the House You Put Her In So It's The Least She Can Do just as clean as the lower ones.
And do it quickly, too- after all, there are those spills to be cleaned up, and those diapers to change. Not to mention getting dinner on the table for the Man Who Made All This Possible. If she doesn't do it, who will?
So guys? Sure Christmas has passed, and so has Valentine's Day, but her birthday and that anniversary must be coming up somewhere down the road. Chocolate Diamonds are nice and all, but nothing beats a sparkling clean cage--- errr, home--- for the little missus, right?
Make it extra special- stick a red bow on the thing before you give it to her. She'll be even more grateful.
Seriously, if you don't want to hunt down and kill every single one of these smarmy geeky "yay let's get rich doing absolutely nothing" rejects from the Clinton Era by the end of the ad, you are a far, far better person then I am.
"Start ups?" Being organized in what looks like the top floor of an abandoned warehouse, complete with exactly one table, four twentysomething dreamers (dreaming of nothing but lots of money coming from no actual work,) four PCs and one dream? A team of gushing, drooling dickwads who are about to discover that they really, really should have stayed in school where they might have learned that the Start Up Bubble burst more than a freaking decade ago?
Here's what would make this commercial reasonably entertaining: If it turned out that it actually WAS taking place in 1998 and it was revealed that the SuperAwesomeStartUp being celebrated here was Boo.com. Or it ended with a massive meteor crashing into the "office" and vaporizing this entire group. Either way.
Friday, March 14, 2014
Does this pig do anything with it's life other than date cute girls and check his insurance status on his Iphone? Seriously, he's ALWAYS updating his account, checking his payment status, checking a claim status, etc. etc. etc. And letting people know how cool it is. Doesn't matter if he's on a date, or in a plane, or at a football game. He's got one App and he's determined to let everyone know he knows how to use it.
If I knew someone this obsessed with his insurance policy, I'd suspect that he was planning on burning down his business and cleaning up. I think that's called "Pulling an Issa," isn't it?
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
When I wasn't being mortified and nauseous, I was trying to understand why Son is giving Father a condom before Father goes out on his fourth date with "Sheila."
Is it because Son has done a little E-Verifying and has discovered that "Sheila" has been around the block more than a few times, so Father better be careful not to pick up something unpleasant from his Lady Friend? Is it because Father is dating someone half his age, and Son isn't interested in seeing a new Heir to the Suburban Mansion popping up nine months down the road? I mean, what the hell? Until Son pulled out the condom, I was pretty sure this was going to be an ad for Just For Men Hair Coloring. That would have made sense (because we know from watching tv that grey hair is Very Bad And Wrong.)
I think I'll stop trying to figure this out and just go back to being mortified and nauseous.
Monday, March 10, 2014
1. Can I assume that in the extended cut of this ad, we saw the woman here apologizing for giving her husband a sermon on carelessness she realized that SHE was the one leaving Orange Retirement Money (yeah, whatever) in her jeans? Because...
2. We all know that if the sexes were reversed in this ad, it would not end with the guy simply slinking away. We'd probably see him doing something to make up for the fact that he dared suggest for even one moment that his wife was the one who was careless with money. Come on, what were you thinking, Doofus Hubby? Everyone knows she's the brains holding this family's financial future together!
3. Anyone else think that the whole "Orange Money" thing is really, really stupid? Ok, so there's money they are spending, and money they are saving. When it's in cash form, it's just money. When it's time to buy the groceries, what happens if all you've got in your pocket is Orange money? Do you put them back on the shelf? No? Then shut up with the Orange Money crap.
Sunday, March 9, 2014
1. Why did two twentysomethings pick one of the most blatantly twee songs of the 1980s as "their song?" Seriously, this is one of those ear-bleeders that had anyone with taste frantically twisting the dial of their Sony Walkman the moment the first chords made it identifiable. "Our song?" Ugh.
2. Moron doofus thoughtless choad sharing a romantic moment with his two best friends- his girl and his phone. Check. Seriously, what kind of douchenozzle can't put his f---ing phone in his pocket during a dance? It's called addiction, buddy. Get help for it.
3. Girlfriend asked boyfriend if he remembered this was their song- she didn't ask him to sing it, and once he starts to, we can certainly understand why. I guess that's part of the joke- hey look people, not only is this guy thoughtless (can't remember* he and his girl have a song) and rude (holds his phone in his hand during a dance) but he has the worst singing voice since that guy screeching "This Magic Moment" in that Google ad. Wow, what a great catch, lady.
*Or maybe he's just trying to forget that his girlfriend picked out this truly atrocious, cloying lump of decaying gush which really should have been left in the dumpster thirty years ago.
Saturday, March 8, 2014
1. Jake didn't "realize" anything, it's just a cat. All Jake knows is that at some point it's owner stopped feeding it cheap takeout pizza and potato chips. Which means Jake is still alive. If Jake understands this on any level, Jake is Grateful.
2. And now Jake is wondering why there's this delicious-looking slab of salmon sitting there in the fridge, and he has to settle for this dry stuff. What the hell?
Friday, March 7, 2014
Watch this ad closely, and the not-very-subliminal message becomes obvious:
A) Guys are expected to find and buy houses for the Little Women they convinced to marry them.
B) If the Little Women actually let the Guys do this on their own, however, they will fail miserably. Because they are clueless assholes who generally can't find their own butts with both hands and a flashlight. In other words, because they are Guys.
C) Therefore, the best plan is for women to just take yet another job out of the hands of the stupid Guys They Inexplicably Gave Themselves To and go find their freaking dream homes themselves. Sure, they could just sigh and pout as the Stupid Idiot tries to explain why he failed to do that part of his husbandly duty which did not involve getting her pregnant, but that doesn't get them a house now, does it?
D) It's not a matter of money- the makers of this ad know that you've got more than enough to buy a home. It's just a matter of picking out the right one. "Jeesh, honey, why didn't you know that these houses were available so we could just go get one? Must be nice.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Everyone agrees that the babysitter is acting unethically here by raising her rates when she realizes that her customers have so much money coming out of their ears that they drive a Pompousmobile with every bell and whistle imaginable. Personally, I think she might have noticed that they can afford to pay a little more when she looked around and saw that they live in a house larger than some Nigerian villages.
I don't disagree that this is the wrong thing to do....sort of. I mean, employer and employee made a deal, right? On the other hand....the mom in this ad seems to go out of her way to impress babysitter with her wealth in the most ostentatious way possible. What's with the pop-up screens, Facebook, GPS, etc? She's driving the kid home, not retracing the Lewis and Clark expedition. She might as well just announce "hey, check out how filthy rich we are, babysitter monkey. Easily rich enough to hire teenaged girls to take care of our pampered spawn. When I get to your- umm-- 'house'- I'll find two twenties gathering lint at the bottom of my purse."
So while I kind of go along with the "she needs to stick with the agreed-upon salary" argument, I can't build up any sense of outrage either. The fact is the mom can easily afford to pay more, and if she's going to toss money around on tricked-out SUVs she might as well be pushed to pay her hired help a decent wage. I hope the word gets around and they end up paying every babysitter $40 an hour - or just staying home with the Crown Prince.
Sucks to be rich sometimes- or so I've heard.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
1. Who asked for a sequel to the very weakest installment in the Marvel Comics Parade of Avengers? Thor was a plotless, CGI-dominated boring mess featuring a cast of characters no one could possibly give a flying damn about. The humans in the film who interact (sort of) with Thor could not have been more colorless, and the "story" could not have been less engaging. Sequel? Really?
2. When I first saw Thor, my reaction to seeing the main female lead was "what the hell is Natalie Portman doing in this?" Now I see she's in the sequel, and my reaction is exactly the same. What are you doing, Miss Portman? Every time I think your acting career might actually take off, you take a huge step backward. I understand your wanting to wash the stink of the Star Wars prequels off your resume, but playing the love interest of a mannequin with the acting talent of a caterpillar is not the way to accomplish that. Heck, that's what you were doing in those Star Wars prequels!
3. I thought that the whole point of releasing an Avengers movie every few months for a decade was to build up interest for a movie featuring all of them. We got that, in 2012. It was called The Avengers. It was bloated and busy and boring, as dull characters engaged in dull conversations in between fights with some bad guys whose motivation was never made at all clear (or maybe I was asleep by then.) It made a billion dollars, Mission Accomplished. So what the hell- you are going to keep subjecting us to the "adventures" of the individual avengers now? What's the point? I didn't even bother with Iron Man 3- you think I want to see Thor and Captain America and the Hulk in their own movies after the Big Splashy Get-Together? Jeesh, that's about as pointless as rebooting Spider-Man....oh wait.....
Sunday, March 2, 2014
You see, there's this thing called "Facebook" which was invented primarily to feed the desperate need of some people to believe that the world would be interested in what they were doing if only they could be informed of it. Constantly.
So what you do is, you take a lot of pictures of yourself and your friends and pretty much everything else, and you download them to your Facebook page, where you can admire them and pretend that people appreciate being able to see them and then think that you are somehow interesting because hey, check out these pictures.
Then you contact everyone you've ever had even a passing acquaintance with and try to guilt them into "friending" you, because your worth as a human being is now determined by how many "Facebook friends" you have. Needless to say, you don't ever actually "unfriend" anyone, because that would bring your counter down and make you a Less Valuable Person (see below for exceptions to this rule.) Besides, you wouldn't want to deny anyone an opportunity to look at all those awesome photos you put up or to check out all those links you're positive are super interesting to everyone and not just you.
Now of course, there are a few exceptions. Sometimes you "friend" people and then you really, really wish you hadn't, because it turns out that even though quite a few years have gone by, the scars haven't quite healed and you aren't ready to be in communication with that person- and you certainly aren't ready to find out that that person is doing perfectly fine without you. Needless to say that you aren't ready to pretend that you are perfectly fine with that.
Then there are the people who are so obnoxious about drowning you in inane links and photos and "I'm going to brush my teeth now!" updates that Unfriending seems to be a very civil alternative to what you would like to do to express your disgust at the vapid dimwit who thinks that you really, really need to see another picture of My New Toaster Isn't It Awesome.
And then there are the people who "friend" you that you never hear from after accepting their---umm--- "friendship." These people are certainly worth "unfriending," because guess what? When they said they wanted to be "Facebook Friends," what they meant was they wanted to add you to their "friend" counter. In other words, you are being used. For people like this, "unfriend" really doesn't cut it- there really ought to be a stronger "kiss off" option. But that's not how it works, either- and it requires that you don't care about your own "friends" number.
Anyway, Esurance Lady, I kind of like your strategy better. That's a nice wall you've got there, and anyone who comes over to see it is probably a real friend, whether it's supposed to work this way or not. I admire your ability to live in your own world, according to your own rules. If you contacted me, I might even "friend" you. My counter is a little low.
1. Why bring your entire family with you to pick out a phone plan? Do we really need Junior's input? When he bleats "10gs?" to confirm that the supervisor said "10gs," I want Dad to remind Junior that Dad is going to be handling this and that Junior needs to keep his ugly yap shut. Unless, of course, Junior wants to pay for his own goddamned phone.
2. Then again....considering that Dad is so knob-stupid that he actually thinks that the purchase of a phone plan is "going to bring this family closer together," maybe Junior should be in charge of the whole operation. This has never been explained to me- how exactly does giving everyone in the family a phone which allows for unlimited talk and text bring that family "closer together?" Does Dad really believe that his wife and kids are going to be using all that "connectivity" to actually connect with each other?
3. I guess it's supposed to be funny that this family is lined up according to height and nods and moves it's hands in unison. Unless AT&T's message is "we think our customers are easily-manipulated, vapid robots, like these people," I just don't get it.
4. Are all the "yeps" at the end supposed to mean anything other than "we had no idea how to end this commercial without making these carbon based barely-life forms look like drooling suckers for whatever the supervisor tells them, so here you are?" Or was this supposed to be funny again, and I just don't get it because I'm not intelligent enough to pick up on the biting satirical wit?
Saturday, March 1, 2014
It's not that it features a talking baby. That bit is so old, it's encrusted with liken. It's so stale the birds won't peck at it. It's so....well, anyway, it's not the talking baby. Ad agencies love talking babies. They don't cost anything, and the mouth breathers simply cannot get enough of them- check out the MENSA members who commented on this commercial on YouTube.
It's not that the talking baby is over-the-top rude and that it's impossible to imagine how revolting it will be when it grows up, considering how unbearably awful it is at six months. Obnoxious Before Their Time talking babies are just par for the course. Commercial babies are always commenting on the stock market, automobiles, cell phones- why not insurance?
It's not even the mime- mimes are easy go-to's in ads like this, never mind that they went extinct more than 30 years ago (the last mime died in captivity in 1984, cause of death unknown. Nobody cared to investigate.) It's not even that the talking baby knows what a mime is- talking babies know everything, remember?
And no, it's not the "I have a weird talking baby whatareyagonnado?" look Mom gives her Not At All Adorable Or Funny Little Tyke. That, too, is to be expected in ads like this. People are always shrugging and responding quizzically to their disgusting idiot spawn instead of doing what I'd think would come naturally- abandoning them in alleys or sending them off to military school. Hey, you made it, Mom- deal with it. Just don't expect me to laugh at it, at least until it says something legitimately funny, which I imagine will be shortly after next Never.
Nope- the most depressing thing about this State Farm Baby Ad is the fact that it features a State Farm agent inexplicably going over insurance options with a prospective customer in an outdoor cafe, as if he's trying to sell her on an investment opportunity or time share. On what planet do people arrange for face-to-face sit-downs to discuss home and auto insurance? How is this in any way cost-feasible for State Farm? Is this woman looking to take out a $5 million policy, or what?
Actually, if the baby had said "anyone think it's weird that my mom is discussing insurance over coffee at an outdoor cafe? FREAKY!" it would have made a LOT more sense. But it still wouldn't have been anything approaching funny. Because- talking babies? Please.