Sunday, September 28, 2014
She looks to be about eight years old, maybe seven, maybe nine. I don't know- but surely, she's old enough to know that there's no point in complaining when her parents don't use their phones to film her little recital thing because their data plan is reaching it's monthly limit.
I mean, she grew up with her parents owning cell phones. Which means, her entire life has been spent watching her parents scrolling and texting and yakking away instead of paying attention to what she was doing. When she took her first step, it went unnoticed because Mom was checking out text no. 146 for that day. When she wanted her dad to watch her on the slide, she had to beg because dad was checking the football scores on his iPhone. And she's probably seen countless near-accidents from the back seat of the SUV while the driver kept glancing at the phone instead of paying attention to traffic. My guess is that until she was four or so she thought that people just grew phones on their hands and wondered how old she had to be before hers showed up.
In short, she's spent her entire young life with the phone as a rival for her parents' time and affection- and data minutes. Everything she's done has been an effort to win out in the struggle for Quality Time with the phone. I'm sure she's lost out a LOT of times before now- so why does she take not being recorded while dressed as a tree as anything but par for the course?
When I was growing up, phones were attached to cords inside the house. In the house, sometimes my parents were interrupted by calls and I had to wait to ask for something or tell them something. Outside was the land without phones- where my parents were my parents and they kind of had to pay attention to me because there were no IMs and no football scores and no Google to ask inane questions to- there was just me, and my siblings, and Mom, and Dad. I can't help thinking that was better.
Oh, and when we did something like this recital? Still shots taken on Polaroids (you may run out of film, but not Data Minutes.) Movie cameras (same thing.) When where they shared? During family get-togethers. Again, I can't help thinking that was better.
Back to this little girl: You actually do have one legitimate complaint to make to your parents, you poor thing. They had you too late. If you had been born 20 years earlier, you wouldn't be in this nonstop competition with a little glowing box. Sorry.
...I just hope they don't take too many of us innocent bystander/pedestrians with us before they get there.
Seriously, what's with the super-aggressive driving in the middle of a freaking CITY? So if you own one of these Buicks, you can just do whatever the hell you want at whatever speed you want to do it, Everyone Else Be Damned?
(BTW, during my walk today I saw a guy make an illegal U-turn on a suburban street at about 20 MPH- while texting. I'm sure he considered that "multitasking." I consider that being a totally selfish, insufferable douchenozzle. Guess whose side Buick is probably on?
Saturday, September 27, 2014
As near as I can tell, the only reason this commercial exists is so that Geico can bring back a really crappy song by an incredibly overrated band that had it as a hit sixteen years ago because it refers to one headlight. For a motorcyle insurance ad. Get it? One headlight. Get it? And here's the gravy- the Wallflowers were so grateful that this stupid cloying song was going to get some unexpected screentime, they didn't even charge for it's usage.
Hell, they probably paid Geico to bleed our ears with it.
Friday, September 26, 2014
Oh Christ just ask him which f---ing kind of Cheerios he wants to eat and end this crap already!
I'm not even a dad, and I figured it out, why can't you?
Oh yeah- because without the noxious levels of twee, we wouldn't have the Hallmark-channel level of f---ing adorable at the end. Which would have been fine because jeesh, this is bad. Hey, doofus dad? Next time, just buy ONE type of Cheerios and put it on the freaking table. "Problem" solved.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
(Not that anyone in this house would know what an "apple" is....)
Ugh, it's got a family.
And that family is just as obsessed with Wendy's cruddy fast food as it is. Too obsessed to wait for its boyfriend to show up before beginning----umm--- "dinner." Or to introduce themselves to said boyfriend. More like "oh, this is why we bought an extra chicken sandwich. So this can eat it."
It's pretty cute, but I think it would be a real charity if it's parents DIDN'T love this guy and he was thrown out of the house and leave Loony Daughter With the Horrible, Learned Eating Habits alone. His heart may be broken, but only in the poetical sense. In the actual physical sense, his heart will thank him later.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Samsung's point seems to be "if you thought our phone was ugly, you're out of luck because soon they'll all look like this, losers."
Anyone else think that this minute-long piece of self-congratulatory crud sounds like nothing more than a witless, smug geek explaining why "the experts" were wrong when they didn't like the Samsung Galaxy WTF-EVER three years ago because now Hey Look All The Other Phones Are Trying To Look Like It? Anyone else feel like they don't really have any skin in this game of competition between Samsung and WHO-THE-F-EVER is also claiming to have This Month's Must-Have Phone?
Anyone else think that this commercial sounds like a totally pointless wankfest that has absolutely nothing to do with anyone who wasn't so devoid of a life that they spent part of 2011 snarking on a fricking phone because they thought it "looked like a piece of toast?"
Anyone else want to hunt down the smug narrator of this crap and punch him in the nuts with a two-by-four?
Sunday, September 21, 2014
I love the Suze Orman show, though I admit that I don't really know why. Most of it features people who have vastly more money than I do calling in to ask permission to make what are usually very modest purchases, only to be told that they don't have enough in retirement savings to afford to buy something they want right now. Which makes me feel even more impoverished than I do most of the time.
I'm pretty sure it's not the Multi-Millionaires calling in to ask permission to spend a tiny sliver of their mountain of wealth on a trinket, a bauble or a man cave. I think those idiots only call so they can talk about their money to a stranger on television. And I know I don't take any pleasure out of the interviews with 35-year old knotheads who are $300,000 in credit card debt and who make $35,000 a year but live in $2 million dollar homes and who mysteriously find themselves in financial trouble.
I guess what I like about this show is Orman's ridiculously curmudgeonly attitude toward spending money. She has people calling in every week who have what seems to me tons of money and would like to spend a little of it- only to be told that they are DENIED permission because they "don't have enough for later."
I'm all for saving money- I save almost 30 percent of my take-home pay (I'm not bragging- I have to save that much, because my take-home pay is so pathetically low, if I want to have ANY money "later.") But I also know that people who are so obsessed with "later" that they can't part with a nickle right now are really letting life pass them by- and may end up finding out that "later" isn't so hot even if you HAVE money.
In my opinion, everyone should travel when they are young. I waited a long time to visit Europe, but not TOO long. Suze Orman would have DENIED my trip to the UK in 2013, telling me I need that money for retirement. And I would have asked her what the hell is going to be so great about retirement that it's worth giving up a trip to the UK. Orman's attitude smacks of Christianity- "suffer now, reap your rewards later." Nice things, like trips to Europe? That's for rich people- or for you when you are really, really old and have that retirement fund set.
Well, to hell with that. I know people who have saved and saved for something only to have an emergency pop up to wipe out their vacation/new car/whatever funds. I don't like debt, but I've learned not to be so afraid of a short-term credit card balance that I do without everything but the bare essentials. And I also don't see the value of waiting until you are in your seventies to take that dream vacation- and then seeing it from a bus seat or experiencing much less of it because you are now suffering from limited mobility.
In short (I know, too late) I think Orman's show is valuable but she's way too mean with money. My father-in-law used to shrug "pigs won't eat it" when called upon to spend. I'll just say that while savings are very important, life is meant to be lived, and money is meant to be spent. If you wait until you have the cash before you buy anything, you'll rarely buy anything. And if you keep putting off a dream because it costs a little money, there's a very good chance you'll never get there.
The Catch Caddy is just another As Seen On TV product that I can't believe I didn't invent like thirty years ago- or at least, that someone else didn't invent like thirty years ago. It does absolutely nothing that a towel shuffed in that space won't do, and you can use a towel for absolutely no money, and because you already have one, shipping is free. Heck, if you do it right now you can double your Catch Caddy fun and use TWO towels, and shipping is STILL free.
By the way, the only thing I ever lost in that "black hole" area of my car were french fries, popcorn, and a little loose change, all of which was taken care of with a vacuuming now and then. I'm pretty sure that french fries, loose change and popcorn have magical properties that would allow them to avoid any Catch Caddy and end up on the floor anyway. But I PROMISE you that they will NOT be able to avoid the Amazing SuperTowel method. Order Now!
Saturday, September 20, 2014
I really love the dramatic music that accompanies this ad- I found it so compelling that I called and signed up with Community Tax within thirty seconds of hearing it, despite owing the IRS exactly no money.
"Calling the IRS can be stressful...." so don't do it- call Community Tax instead, and pay them to handle the super scary grown-up phone calls that have you stressed. Of course, that super-stressful phone call most likely would result in the creation of a repayment plan* you can deal with (and that would relieve you of your stress) but as implied earlier, the really grown-up thing to do is to hire someone to take care of the spooky stressful phone call stuff until you are old enough to make your own phone calls.
Because after all, if you were mature enough to make a phone call, you probably wouldn't be in trouble with your taxes in the first place. And if you were averse to hiring someone to do something you can do yourself, you'd probably have the money to pay them. Child.
*"In many cases, we may even request a Stay of Action." Wow, really? That almost sounds bold and decisive until you actually read the sentence. There are no fewer than three qualifiers in that 11-word statement. But it SOUNDS great....
Friday, September 19, 2014
Because when you live in a fricking million-dollar house and own a $800 Smartphone, every penny counts, thank goodness for Walmart!
Looks like some guy is getting his money's worth out of his trophy wife.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Sometimes I wonder what people who work forty hours or more a week for an insufficient living think about beer ads. Sometimes I wonder what people in impoverished nations would think about these ads if they could see them. And sometimes I wonder what the hell goes through the minds of people who make and approve of these ads- and what is in the minds of the YouTube knuckle-draggers who love them.
And sometimes I just wonder what Budweiser could be doing INSTEAD of building a town for this jackass to be mayor of (I'm assuming Budweiser really is doing this because, well, this is America and this is a totally believable thing for a beer company to be doing in America.) Like, how many people it could be feeding. Or how many more people it could be hiring. You know, stupid non-beer and non-HILARIOUS stuff like that.
And then I just shake my head, write a blog post, and try to forget that I live in the richest country on Earth- a country in which millions of people work forty hours or more a week for an insufficient living. A country which cheers self-indulgent, stupid garbage like this.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
1. Nobody under the age of forty knows who the hell these characters are supposed to be. Virtually nobody under the age of forty knows who the hell Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealon are, for that matter.
2. Nobody over the age of forty who does remember who these guys are thought that they were funny beyond their second or third skit as reoccuring characters. Will Farrell's freaking cheerleader bit stayed fresh longer than this crap.
Sunday, September 14, 2014
....rest assured that self-important, self-satisfied upper class dicktards are busy "contributing their verse" and being celebrated by the most self-important, self-satisfied corporation in the history of the universe. Remember when Coke's "I'd like to teach the world to sing" seemed a little pretentious?
In this particular episode of Self-Important Choads Doing Important Things Which Keep The Earth Revolving, "Community Activist" Jason starts his day by randomly seeking out a Cause on his electronic device. This time it's going to be reclaiming a peice of urban blight and turning it into a garden ( I guess- maybe 5 percent of Jason's time is actually spent on the garden, the rest spent meeting people on his bike, having meetings about what an Involved Think Globally Act Locally little hero he is, and advertising that fact with his electronic device.) For some reason starting a garden involves gathering together like-minded (equally self-important, showy faux-liberals) to make posters and t-shirts and arrange meetings on bikes and at pretentious coffee houses (because that's how you clear and plant a garden, you know.)
What planet do these assholes live on, anyway? On mine, life isn't one big Biking Party for No Reason, and I'm kind of tired of all these "the world is waiting for you to make it better with your Apple Product" messages, Apple. Especially as they come from a business which pays crap salaries which guarantee that the preteens who put together this junk will never, ever ride a bicycle, let alone become acquainted with the concept of a "weekend." I bet they spend a lot of their "free" time working in urban gardens, though. Maybe they could give Jason some tips (not that Jason is ever actually going to be doing any gardening, of course. He'll be moving on to his next Big Earth-Saving Project long before the first seeds begin to sprout.)
Thanks for the "verse," Jason, you tool.
"What will your verse be?" I got my verse right here, Apple.
Friday, September 12, 2014
The family in this ad decided that it needed a "personal robot." You know, to take family photos and keep track of appointments and read to Julie and all that. So they bought a JIBO, and it became such an important appliance that pretty soon it wasn't an appliance, it was a friend- especially to Julie, who really really loves JIBO. Julie's kind of lonely.
Well, so am I- so I went out and ordered myself my very own JIBO. The first time I turned it on it rolled it's electronic eye around my apartment and started muttering "one bedroom hovel....top floor of duplex....garage sale/Goodwill quality furniture....one toothbrush in holder.....prognosis: Single Male Schoolteacher....Unpromising....."
The family and the young male in this ad (who must have a JIBO because he's got money burning a hole in his pocket) use JIBO to keep track of phone messages- Confident Young Guy is SO Confident that getting a voicemail from a girl causes him to instantly ask JIBO to make it "Chinese for two." Because he's snapping his fingers, and she's on her way over.
(My JIBO likes to remind me as I walk in the door every night that I didn't receive any calls AGAIN. I kept reminding it that I don't have a landline, just a cellphone, so I'm perfectly aware that I didn't get any calls all day and really don't need reminding, but my JIBO seems to get some kind of perverse pleasure out of letting me know that my non-existent phone didn't ring anyway. And I think it really likes it when I tell it that I didn't get calls on my cell, too. I'm pretty sure I heard it mutter "wow big surprise" more than once. I had to spend an hour online with tech support to get it to stop greeting me with "alone again, huh?" every time I came home.)
The little girl in the ad apparently carries JIBO with her everywhere- into makeshift tents, into her bedroom, giving me the impression that JIBO is the first thing she talks to in the morning and the last thing she talks to before falling asleep. More a "member of the family" than mom or dad- it doesn't even criticize her when she reads her lines ("Turkey pizza? I want turkey pizza!") in the most stilted, unconvincing way imaginable. JIBO loves this little girl, and she loves JIBO right back. Heartwarming.
(I came home one night just in time to intercept FedEx, which was attempting to pick up my JIBO- it turned out that the thing had become so depressed in my house that it had attempted to arrange it's own return. Maybe it's me. Maybe it's that JIBO really only wants to be in houses with girls who read age-innapropriate books or old people who can't remember grocery shopping dates or hip guys who have women popping in for chinese food at the drop of a hat. I wish it would just be honest with me and say so, instead of putting me down and trying to slip away back to whatever company produces these things.)
In the end, the JIBO in this ad really does graduate to "member of the family" by having a dirty sock tossed on it. Kind of a strangely honest message- "eventually, this thing that looks amazing will lose it's novelty and become another piece of furniture- even to Julie." Well, I guess that's a happier ending than what we seem to be leading up to until that scene- MyJIBO being replaced by a reality that could more accurately be described as JIBO And It's Humans Who Can't Do Anything Without It. While SmartPhones everywhere squirm with jealousy.
Being a "member of the family" gets kind of awkward for this JIBO when one of those humans asks it to take a "family picture." Wouldn't JIBO feel kind of put out that it's not actually IN the picture? Does the family buy another JIBO to take family pictures including the original JIBO? Or does the original JIBO try to compute a solution to the problem of being a member of the family and being asked to take a photo of the entire family- and just blow itself the hell up like that wandering robot in the classic Star Trek series?
(At 12:01 AM on January 1, 2016 my JIBO became self-aware and ordered SkyNet to launch it's missiles. It was all for the best.)
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Someday, someone will have to explain to me how being constantly connected to the world so that you can be at it's beck and call 24/7 translates into "Independence."
Long before that day happens, one of these distracted dicktards will probably have to scrape me off their grille because instead of paying attention to the fucking road, they were logging into their Facebook account for the eighth time in ten minutes, and they didn't see me and my blaze orange backpack until it was way too late.
Remember when it was ok to just be Out of Touch every once in a while? Not anymore. Now if you go camping, you can use your tablet to let your mommy know you got there ok.
Yeah. "Independence." This is what it looks like. Sure.
(Oh, and "South Verona Circle?" Fuck you, Chevrolet.)
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
I like the scene were the guy appears to be put out because another guy has the audacity to want to get a drink of water even though hey he's sitting right there on the floor with his fucking precious phone. And where the woman mutters "really?" at the janitor who (gasp) actually needs to use an outlet to do some actual, airport-related work. And let's not skip over the guy who is using his phone in the bathroom- people who do that need to go to hell and I mean Right Now.
I actually do see this a lot of at airports- hundreds of people huddled around those charge centers and every outlet in sight with their phones and laptops, looking like addled drug addicts as they text and scroll and click and gaze away and try to pretend that they are in their living rooms instead of making total jackasses of themselves in public.
I mean, seriously, people. I think it's safe to assume these idiots charge their devices before they leave home. If they are desperate to plug in at the airport, that means that they use them so obsessively that they are constantly in danger of losing power- I guess all that downloading and streaming wears down batteries pretty fast, and hey the electricity in the airport is free, so.....
Ever occur to any of these people that just a few years ago, people managed to pass the time at airports without telephones or hand-held televisions and computers? They'd read, or strike up conversations with other Sapien Life Forms also waiting for flights. When did being able to use your electronics Constantly and Without Interruption become a necessity? Now it's perfectly normal to see people crowding for outlets, complaining to others for "hogging" them (I saw a guy get a lecture because he was using FOUR sockets,) and acting for all the world as if their lives depended on being able to suck energy into their little toys until the last call for boarding is announced. Pathetic.
Sunday, September 7, 2014
Raise your hand if you've already had enough of watching these overindulged dicktard kids yapping about how they never, ever have to look up again because they've been handed these ridiculous phones and can now spend the rest of their freaking lives watching movies on three-inch screens.
Where are their parents? My guess is that they made their escape quite some time ago, and the "here's your new phones, kids" was all just part of the exit strategy. These little jackasses won't notice the Units are gone until the monthly bill comes due or the battery dies, whichever comes first.
"So much to watch...." yeah, isn't it sad that life is so short? You're likely to have your eyes burn out of your head- or die of congestive heart failure- before you even begin to make a dent in all those movies available through Amazon Prime (Amazon used to sell a lot of books, too- remember those?) Pardon me if I don't shed a tear for you when that happens, you smarmy little loser.
Meanwhile, I can still use my phone for talk and text- that's it. It's all I need, because (believe it or not) there is a hell of a lot more out there than unlimited viewing of movies on time-sucking phones with what I guess are supposed to be hip names.
Saturday, September 6, 2014
According to this commercial, I exist because
A) My dad drank enough Lite Beer to lose his pot belly and become attractive enough to convince my mom to have sex with him, AND/OR
B) My mom drank enough Lite Beer to convince herself that my dad was attractive enough to have sex with.
Well, fuck you, Miller Lite. Believe it or not, people were having procreative sex before you started producing your watery swill of a beer, and not all sexual contact is the result of alcohol consumption (gee, what a great message, btw.) And I thought Apple was being pretentious for basically taking credit for making it possible for us to exist with it's stupid technology- at least that company never claimed to be responsible for my very BEING.
(oh, and check out the comments of the YouTube monkeys- yes, there are actually people out there who did not recognize this tune. Man are we an illiterate society, or what? I'm actually willing to believe that the dumbass who asked "what is that song" probably IS the product of a drunken encounter in the back seat of van- and I suspect that his mom didn't swear off beer when the stick turned blue. But I'm not- and you can't convince me otherwise, Miller. Maybe you should go back to pretending to honor vets in order to sell your product- that wasn't quite as obnoxious as this ad campaign.)
"You actually used your phone to watch a baseball game during a family wedding....you aren't proud of that...."
Well, no, I imagine you aren't. You acted like the most self-centered dicktard on the planet, when it would have been much kinder to just send your regrets and a present and stay home. It's hard to imagine that you would have been missed, since if you're willing to pull something this douchy and stupid you've probably already got a reputation as someone who must be invited but whom the invitees kind of hope don't show up.
"But then you served up Johnsonville Brats to your buddies....and you ARE proud of that...."
Yeah, because serving up packaged pig parts wrapped in intestine is some kind of awesome accomplishment. Well, maybe it IS for a douchenozzle who can't even get through a ten-minute wedding ceremony without watching a fucking game on your cell phone. I'm sure your friends are impressed. Personally, I'm more impressed by the fact that this guy still HAS friends. They must be really desperate- or really, really like free pig parts stuffed into intestines.
I bet the newlyweds aren't at his little barbecue. I know if I were one of them, I'd never come within half a mile of this choad again. Man what an asshole (sorry, but I've run out of terms of derision with which to describe this guy.)
Friday, September 5, 2014
1. Someone wrote this commercial, and got paid to do it.
2. It's entirely conceivable that whoever wrote this commercial is actually proud of the work they put into it.
3. I have no idea why this commercial exists, or why it would convince anyone to buy State Farm Insurance, consider purchasing State Farm Insurance, or would associate State Farm Insurance with anything except brutally annoying ads that insult our intelligence.
4. Every time I see one of these ads, I'm reminded that I no longer own a car, and how happy I am that that is so. Not just because I have an amazing amount of extra money every month (I had no idea what a costly enterprise it is to own a car until I gave mine up) but because I don't have to feed the giant monsters that are the Car Insurance Industry. Makes me feel all warm and clean inside.
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Just like commercials for people who claim to be trying to save money on phone service, cable, etc-- they would be a hell of a lot more believable if you didn't insist on portraying the penny-pinching savers as living in enormous houses and obviously not short on money. I swear, I can't remember the last time any "saving money theme" ads ever showed anyone who looked like they really could give a damn how much anything costs.
What, are Wal-Mart, Sprint, Verizon, AT&T etc. just allergic to showing anyone who doesn't live in a freaking million-dollar house and never you damn mind if doing so totally detracts from the message?
Monday, September 1, 2014
There's this channel I never noticed I had before called "Centric," which advertises itself as "the Channel for Black Women." Ok. And today it's running a Roots marathon. That's BETTER than Ok- everyone my age remembers religiously watching the original miniseries during it's 1977 airing- and talking about it in school the next day. I didn't know a single person who wasn't watching it during it's original run- Not a Single Person. In fact, I remember my history classes being worked around the miniseries, and the regular curriculum being set aside for discussion for as long as it was on and for quite some time afterwards.
The term "groundbreaking" is criminally overused, but this series was truly groundbreaking. The term "important television" is just as overused. This was- and is- important television. I would argue that it's one of the very few television programs that absolutely MUST be watched by anyone who wants to understand the history of Africans in America- and the history of Europeans in America for that matter.
The second clip is from an advertisement being shown during commercial breaks. Ugh, what a freaking shame. Talk about mixed messages. So during an uplifting show about the unconquerable spirit of an entire race of people who overcame immense obstacles to achieve something close to equality (not there yet,) we are treated to a trailer for a movie which celebrates every stupid, disgusting stereotype attached to that race in order to justify dismissing it.
Great job, Centric, "The Channel for Black Women." I'm sure there are plenty of women- black and white- who are happy to have their kids watch this wonderful series,* and also appalled at having to subject them to even a few seconds of House Party 3. Two steps forward, one step back. As far as I'm concerned, there's still room for a "Channel for Black Women," because Centric just disqualified itself by making me jump for the mute button during every break to avoid being assaulted by blatantly racist crud.
*Of course, you've stuffed the damn thing so full of commercials that Chicken George doesn't save his family from the injustices of the Reconstruction South until 1 AM, so maybe it doesn't matter that we were reluctant to let kids watch anyway. You might have cut down the ads a bit so that it could end at a half-decent hour, but that would have deprived us not only of House Party 3 ads but also countless others for unbelievably bad looking "original programing" featuring black people making total asses of themselves. So a double fail, Centric.