Saturday, December 31, 2016
Lexus is assaulting us (there is no other word for it) with these Thoroughly Revolting People Who Already Have F--ing Everything Getting Santa to Give Them Luxury Cars commmercials which pop up during Every. Single. Commercial Break and have pretty much convinced me that I simply can't watch any more bowl games this season.....
They are all pretty much the same, but in this one Disgusting Entitled Aunt who doesn't like kids agrees to take her neice to see Santa because despite the fact that she's clearly got money coming out of her f--ing ears and appears to be an adult, she thinks that the best way to land herself a Lexus this Christmas is to ask a fairy tale for one. Loathsome Aunt helps set up the Next Generation of Mammon-worshippers by bribing her neice to do the asking- and the moment neice agrees and runs off to see Santa (no line, I guess maybe Aunt bribed the other kids to take a hike) Aunt crosses her arms and looks thoroughly convinced that this is going to work.
Not only does Santa grant the little kid's wish, but Aunt doesn't even have to wait till Christmas morning- they drive back to the girl's house in the Lexus. So Santa was so damned taken with the little girl that oh hey sure of course, here are the keys? Or was there an exchange of "gifts" between Santa and Aunt off-camera (sorry, but there has GOT to be more than meets the eye here.) At any rate, I guess the Audi they came with was just left in the parking garage?
As is the case in every single one of the noxious piles of steaming crud, the commercial ends with a heartwarming scene in which white people stand in front of a $3 million house and gaze in appreciation at the latest f--ing bauble in the driveway. Meanwhile, Timmy on the other side of the tracks didn't get those new boots to replace the ones with holes in them because, well, priorities. I'd tell Lexus to go die in a fire, except that I think they go out of their way to make these ads as horrible as they can because they are aimed at people who are constantly looking for ways to engage in conspicuous consumption and who enjoy being entitled asshats. So if their commercials infuriate me, mission accomplished.
Now go die in a fire, Lexus.
Thursday, December 29, 2016
Can someone please explain to me why, after the ugly-as-hell potential customer tilts his head and juts his jaw out, he spends the rest of the commercial acting as if his feet are nailed to the floor? Seriously, he seems convinced that he'll step on a landmine if he moves one inch in any direction, so he just stands there weirdly tilting his body (after doing that weird "big" move which I think has beeen banned in at least eight states.) It's especially awkward at the very end, when he apparently attempts to LOOK at the saleschoad's ring tone by leaning slightly forward- mustn't move those legs!
Is it about being paralyzed until one feels "Festive?" Because his significant other jumps two spaces the moment she buys in to the whole holiday cheer thing. She even gets her own cup of hot cocoa and a new wardrobe. And she didn't have to say a thing to do it. It's implied that her husband/whatever is the buyer- does he get to be transported two feet, change into a stupid costume, and hold his own fake cup of plastic only when he agrees to sign, or what?
Seriously. What the hell, Hyundai?
I watched this commercial all the way through twice, and that's the most I'm going to put myself through, because I really hoped that in two viewings I'd figure out what these self-absorbed, self-congratulatory rejects from any self-respecting karaoke bar are declaring their independence from. But the best I can come with is that when they "sing" (using that term VERY losely) "you don't own me," what they are referring to is the basics of safe driving they learned back in High School. They are screeching that they are no longer "owned" by the society's suffocating demand that they pay attention while driving, that they keep their stereos at a level which allows them to hear other cars, including emergency vehicles, that they are alert for sudden changes in driving conditions- rock slides, ice patches, children chasing basketballs, etc. You know, the rules of the road that us Lessers are still shackled to, poor us.
Anyway, if one of these commercials ends up with each and every one of these caterwalling jackasses screeching "you don't own me" to Gravity as they plunge down ravines in their brand-new Toyotas, I'll consider my Christmas present delivered and received with great joy and appreciation. Not holding my breath, though (hey, another idea for these losers I find preferable than having them continue to try to sing!)
This is so rank, I can't believe there isn't a punchline at the end of it instead of just making me want to punch someone.
The final scene, where the "dad" responds to seeing his son in a spacesuit by asking Google "what's on the calendar" is the real breaking point for me. Dude, your son is standing right fucking there. Why can't you just ask him and break up your morning of Ignoring the other Homo Sapiens in the house?* If Google replied "nothing is on the calendar for today," would you think your son had just gone nuts? If your son had responded "it's space day," would you have believed him? Would you have even recognized his voice? Would it have helped if he had spoken in a robotic Google voice, because you've trained yourself to believe that Google Knows All?
Is this what we really want? Anyone?
*The one time "husband" actually addresses a human being in this ad, it's to ask "wife" if a package on it's way is for him. Why didn't he just ask Google? At this point, why would he believe his wife would have more knowledge about a package she ordered than The Google does?
Monday, December 26, 2016
I used to think that only a Sociopath would want phone speakers which would allow you to share your particular taste in music with people three blocks away, but since its apparently become perfectly normal to be a self-absorbed asshat with absolutely no respect or consideration for anyone else, I guess we have to come up with a different word now.
Introducing the iPhone 7 with stereo speakers- just in case you weren't positive that you were the most loathsome human being on the planet, here's something to seal the deal.
As for this particular ad- too damned bad if you were taking a nap poolside, or reading a book, or just communing with your thoughts, because for as long as it takes this disgusting old twat to climb those steps and jump into the pool and climb back out, you are going to be listening to his ridiculous salute to himself, courtesy of his iPhone 7 which has better speakers than my last Honda. It wasn't really all that long ago that you'd expect someone to reach over and shut the damn thing off, or even chuck it into the pool, in response to this douchenozzle's "I am the only person in the universe" attitude. But the other people at poolside don't even blink at the phone blaring music so loud that it's causing the table it's on to shake. I guess they think that's cool now- never mind that if even one more person had that phone and the same idea, they'd be drowning out eachother, besides making what used to be a nice, calming experience a living hell for the people who just want to get a little sun for chrissakes.
Merry Christmas, Apple. May you be visited by several ghosts tonight who show you the asshattery of your ways.
Saturday, December 24, 2016
1. It's "German Engineered." This "fact" is repeated ad nauseum throughout this and other commercials for this stupid razor. When did "German Engineered" become a mark of quality, anyway? I wonder if ads in Germany hawk products as being "American Engineered?" The way the announcers breathlessly proclaim the Germanness of these razors, you'd think that the superiority of German shaving technology was just a given. Am I completely out of the loop, or what?
2. The blades are coated with a "Non-stick surface," because we guys all know what a hassle it is when our ordinary razors stick to our skin during shaving. Seriously, though, has this EVER happened to ANYBODY? I half-expected the announcer to tell us that the razors double as frying pans. Non-stick surface? Really?
3. The German Engineering of this amazing groundbreaking discovery provides a blade which lasts...a month. You know, like pretty much all blades, including the ones you can buy at the CVS down the street which come with a razor and which cost around ten bucks. How do we know they only last a month? Well, the freaking ad comes right out and TELLS us they do, by providing twelve razor cartidges and calling these "a year's worth." Points for honesty, but come on- if they only last a month, they aren't any better than the ones I own and use now, and they aren't even "German Engineered" as far as I know....
4. William P, non-paid Spokeschoad, tells us that he was spending "twenty or thirty dollars a month" on razors before coming across this offer. Oh, you have got to be kidding, Mr. P.. I just randomly researched popular razor blade brands online, and the MOST expensive version I could find was for the Gillette Mach 3-- a razor and twelve cartidges for $23.99. If you are going through "twenty or thirty dollars a MONTH" on razors, your skin must be made of freaking balloon-quality silk. Or you are a pampered brat who refuses to use the same blade more than two or three times before tossing it in the garbage (in which case, these In No Way Superior Except for Being German Engineered blades are not going to solve your tragic problem.) Yet he's backed up by Dr. Joseph D (who is a cardiologist, and therefore knows a lot more than you or I about shaving) who agrees that $20 gets most guys a month's worth of shaves- so most guys go through twelve cartidges a month...what the hell....)
5. The blades aren't just "German Engineered," they are GERMAN. Maybe everything German really is popular in the United States these days. 46% of us voted in our very own Fuhrer after all, and we didn't even have to burn down the Reichstag first.
6. The spokeschoads never really tell us that they get their best shave ever, or even a superior shave- they just say things like "good shave" or "nice shave." More points for honesty.
7. The usual seal-the-deal-with-add-ons ploy comes when they toss in a nose-hair trimmer which may or may not be German Engineered (seems unlikely, though, since it's not part of the pitch.) You can even get a Free Bonus Caddy (piece of plastic to hold your overpriced, overhyped junk) but only if you take the Deluxe Offer, which I'm guessing involves taking the nose-trimmer for free Just Pay Separate Shipping and Handling scam.)
8. Bret Favre. This is what he gets to do while Peyton Manning continues to stink up television during actual football games doing commercials for Nationwide. I'd say that this illustrates the difference between one ring and two, except that Peyton was a ubiquitous presence on commercials before he got his FIRST ring and Tom Brady doesn't show up on tv despite having FOUR. Television is weird.
Thursday, December 22, 2016
It was a King Arthur's Castle made in West Germany, and it was freaking awesome. I put it together in about twenty minutes and spent god knows how many hours playing with it over the course of the next several years. I loved it so much that when I happened to come across one on Ebay about fifteen years ago I bought it again, and it's sitting in my apartment right now.
I wonder how long the jackasses in this commercial will remember the Very Special Christmas when someone bought someone virtual-reality headsets and the family spent the next hour experiencing the Virtual Reality which was so much better than the Actual Reality of being with family during the holidays. I imagine that the most memorable part of the experience was all the stupid shrieking and jumping done by the person wearing the glasses while the rest of the family, unable to experience what the person wearing the glasses was experiencing, looked on.
"Remember when mom jumped? That was funny. Can't remember what she was looking at when she jumped. But she jumped. And when dad tried them on, he laughed and yelled once. That was fun. Who ended up with that headset, anyway? Well, whatever."
All my snark notwithstanding, I'm sure that this is someone's idea of an awesome Christmas. Maybe because it's slightly more interactive than everyone talking on their own cell phones? But we see one of these people using his phone to video someone else's experience with their headset- isn't that kind of doubling down on the isolation? I mean, seriously. What the hell?
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
"Daddy, how big is a Blue Whale?"
Before Google: "I'm not sure, let's write that down and go to the library tomorrow to look it up. We can stop for ice cream on the way home. I'd like to find out, too."
After Google: "Google, how big is a Blue Whale?"
"This is where mommy does a big whale noise."
Before Google: "Ok, tell me what she sounds like when she makes it, and I'll try to do it too."
After Google: "Google, what does a Blue Whale sound like?"
"Do whales sleep?"
Before Google: "I don't know- lets put that on our list of questions to answer during our adventure at the library tomorrow."
After Google: "Google, do whales sleep?"
I have to wonder why this girl is even asking her father- the stupid Google Answer Machine is right there on the table. Did the makers of this ad think that it would just be a little TOO obnoxious to have her interrupt her father by directly asking the stupid magic Google Answer Machine? Could it be that she just wants to have a conversation with her father to spread out this daddy-daughter moment, but the asshat just keeps sabatoging her efforts by instantly asking his Electronic Substitute for Brains and Initiative?
Could we be just a little more helpless and pathetic here?
Monday, December 19, 2016
One kid is outside, doing what kids have been doing for pretty much as long as there's been snow in winter- having fun with a sled.
Four lazy-ass, clueless, stunted morons are inside with their g-d damned phones and tablets, standing at the bay window waiting to record the one person in their family who is actually doing something...do something.
All of this is supposed to encourage us to contact Verizon so we can start "living" like these digusting twats. Pass.
(Thumbs up to the kid who actually bundled up and went outside to do something that didn't involve texting, tweeting, streaming or "connecting" with anything except the concepts of fun and exercise. He should do himself a favor and stay outside until a family not made up of clueless brain-dead lunatics offers to adopt him.)
Sunday, December 18, 2016
You know, I'm going to skip some of the obvious points I could go for in this stupid, overlong ad- like how the barber guy could possibly know what the next best move is in a chess game being played across the freaking room from his chair, or how annoying the zoom-in-and-slow-down bit is when the writers just want to slap the "Tresiba Ready" label on the screen and play the little jingle, or how that barber shop guy uses an acronym I don't recognize and don't think I should be expected to know.
That's because I'm too irritated at how freaking thrilled to death the woman in her late-fifties seems to be to have a job waiting freaking tables. It's ok that she maybe enjoys her job a little, or is a naturally cheerful person, or just very good at swallowing her resentment at the really crap hand life has dealt her. But her attitude in this commercial makes me wonder if Tresiba is just a combination of pixie stick sugar, caffeine and illegal uppers. Take it down a notch, woman! You'll get your freaking tip! At least the delivery man hauling big-screen tvs to rich white couples in the posh suburbs in the middle of the freaking night doesn't look like he's impossibly thrilled to be doing it. And the barber shop guy looks like he might be managing his own business and setting his own hours and not working all that hard, so he's got SOME excuse for the ridiculous Permanent Grin of Insanity.
Oh, and I don't know what this medication is even supposed to do. Just that if I'm prescribed it I can take it any time of day- so maybe it really was developed for people who have slave-labor jobs like two of these characters. Yay Tresiba.
Saturday, December 17, 2016
(None of these are disputable, btw. So don't give me any crap, especially about the Prequels. I may have to put up with having a Fascist in the White House but I don't need to deal with prequel apologists.)
1. There Have been Three Star Wars films, and there will never be more than three Star Wars films. Those films are Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. There's no such film as A New Hope (and if you don't believe me, just watch the original scoll embedded with this blog post.) There are no "prequels" and there aren't any "sequels," either. The Star Wars franchise opens with the Empire eliminating the last of the Imperial Senate and it ends with the overthrow of the Empire and restoration of the Republic. It's basically the history of Rome with a happier ending.
And yes, this means that to be a Jedi you have to be pure of heart and a willingness to devote your life to defending the citizens of your universe. That's why they are called "knights," dammit. You don't need little bugs in your bloodstream. Because there aren't any prequels. And in the end freedom is restored and Darth Vader has redeemed himself, the end. Because there aren't any sequels.
2. There have been Three Indiana Jones films, and there will never be any more than three Indiana Jones films. Those films are Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. There's no Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, and I know this because I saw the film when it was released and I used to have the original poster. And don't even get me started on that rumored "fourth film" which does not exist.
3. There was one Rocky film. It was called Rocky. It had a great story which did not lend itself to a sequel at all- a loser who has never dared to reach for his full potential is placed in a situation which gives him one last chance to prove to himself that he's not a loser. He achieves this by going the distance with the undefeated, invincible heavyweight champion of the world- and now he's shaken off the weight of a wasted, directionless life and can go on to a happy life with Adrian. He doesn't get a rematch (he doesn't want one at the end of the one film, and neither does the champion) because Chuck Wepner, who inspired Stallone to make this movie by coming within seconds of going the distance with Muhammed Ali and knocking the champ down in the process didn't get a rematch. He sure as hell doesn't win the damn title.
No second film. And don't even get me started with Mr. T or Ivan Drago. Those guys don't exist. Because this Oscar-winning film was a stand-alone.
4. There were two Terminator films, period. They were called The Terminator and Terminator: Judgement Day. The second film tied up all the loose ends and assured that Skynet would never exist, so no nuclear armageddon happy ending all around. If there were any more films- and there aren't- they would totally wreck the point of the two films and probably erase the timelines as well, because that always happens when time-travel films don't know when to stop beating a good idea to death. If they kept making Terminator films after the two they did make, they'd probably end up completely bleaching out the original story and have Sarah Connor meet a protective Terminator as a child or something really insulting and stupid like that. Man I'm glad that never happened.
5. There was only one Iron Man movie. It ends with Tony Stark, having realized that his life has been a shallow pursuit of earthly pleasures leaving him a vacant waste of skin, tossing aside his old habits in exchange for a life dedicated to repairing the damage done by his blood-drenched weapons company. He received his epiphany when facing imminent death in a cave in Afghanistan and watching a total stranger willingly sacrifice his life to aid his escape. If there were any sequels, they'd probably completely forget Tony's growth and have him go right back to being an obnoxious, spoiled playboy obsessed with his own shallow desires and responding to slowly dying by becoming a morose, "I don't give a damn" peevish brat. That would have been awful.
If I think of any more Indeniable Truths concerning movies, I'll post them here because this is the kind of stuff bloggers do at the end of another year- I think it's the way guys respond to midlife crises when they can't afford a Lexus convertable or a girlfriend half their age.
For those of you who lucky enough never to be exposed to the wretchedness of PureFlix, a film company co-founded by fundamentalist actor/director David A.R. White whose catalog includes such cinematic gems as God's Not Dead (student uses Bible and strawman arguments to defeat evil Atheist professor,) God's Not Dead II (teacher uses Bible and strawman arguments to defend her right to preach the gospel in in a public classroom) and War Room (emotionally abused woman saves her marriage to an abusive, cheating criminal of a husband by locking herself in a closet and shouting prayers,) a film like The Christmas Angel might look like a piece of innocent, dumb fluff and a way to keep your kids occupied for a few hours during the holidays. As someone who HAS plumbed the almost bottomless depths of inanity and preachyness that these films represent, I urge you to stick to the DVDs of Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph.
I haven't seen this particular film, but I can glean the entire plotline from the trailer (it doesn't take a genius- go ahead and watch it yourself if you want to, and tell me where you disagree.) There's a creepy old house in a neighborhood made up entirely of Christians, all of whom except one family is white. The kids in this neighborhood have gotten the idea that if they make a wish and break a window in the old house, it will come true.
One day Kevin Sorbo (who played the Evil Athiest Professor in God's Not Dead but is still going to spend the rest of his life being That Guy Who Played Hercules) moves in to the house and, not being particularly religious, gets unreasonably irritated that kids keep breaking his windows (like I said, he's not religious, otherwise he'd understand perfectly.) His complaints against the innocent behavior of the Very Christian young vandals (who after all are just trying to get God's attention so they can have new bikes and such) are so unreasonable, it creates a wall between him and the community- especially when he goes so far as to use police tape to show that his house is a crime scene (which it is, but man what a jerk, he must hate God or something.)
Gradually, Kevin Sorbo's hard heart softens, probably because of the widowed mom of adorable, rock-weilding children who lives next door (surprisingly not played by Roma Downey or Valerie Bertinelli,) and maybe he's visited by a Might Be An Angel character played by Dela Reese (who else? Hector Elizondo?) The kids stop throwing rocks and write their wishes on pieces of paper to place in a box instead. What happens when these wishes don't come true? My guess is that this never comes up because, well, PureFlix.
Unlike the other PureFlix films I listed above, this one was made for television (Hallmark Channel- what else?) so it's hard to say how well it was received. The other films received wide release and made huge profits on small budgets (War Room, for example, made $70 mil on a $4 mil production budget, and was even the No. 1 film on a very slow weekend.) I wonder if David A.R. White isn't a little irritated with himself for not rolling the dice and putting this on the big screen. But I'll be sure to catch it on my small one now that I've seen the trailer. It looks treacly enough for some good snark, at least. Merry WTF-ever.
Friday, December 16, 2016
Am I to understand that a middle school somewhere decided to put together a big-budget production of Romeo and Juliet featuring nine-year olds who will, if they provide a faithful rendition of the script, commit suicide on stage at the conclusion?
Ok, I get that the quality is probably not that awesome, and the whole idea is that the iPhone7 is just so superawesomeamazing at taking movies that it will make kids being kids on stage look like they are in something produced by Kenneth Branagh (or even something good,) but this doesn't change the fact that these are very young children performing Romeo and Juliet. We're kidding here, right, Apple?
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Ok, so we have these quadruplets opening up identical boxes with identical phones and then proceeding with some of the worst line-reading I've heard in years- "I love you in that." "No, I love you in that." "No, I love YOU in that." It's all so stunningly unconvincing, it would have been just fine with me if they were actually holding cue cards to remind them what their ONLY LINES were.
And having "delivered" their lines, they each act as if they are completely relieved to have that over with so they can go back to staring at their wonderful new phones. Merry F--ing Christmas. Just a few questions:
1. How old are these girls? I was guessing teens. But there are no parents about- so who bought these phones? Assuming they didn't buy them for eachother, did they actually just open gifts from people who aren't there to share the experience?
2. How many rooms are there in this house? Why do they all sit on the same couch- it just magnifies their asshattery. I mean, think about this for a moment- these girls are obviously sisters. They all just got new phones, and then handed out stilted compliments. And now they are all crowding against eachother instead of, I don't know, maybe spreading out a bit? Or is this how kids nowadays pretend that they are sharing a moment- hey, they are all in the same room, so they are all together, even though they are all staring at different screens?
3. When they bleat "I love you in that" they aren't looking at eachother, but at their phones. So what are they responding to? Do their screens magically have pictures of their sisters wearing different outfits? I mean, they were together before they opened those boxes. Why wait until they were distracted by their phones before complimenting eachother? Makes NO sense.
Sunday, December 11, 2016
This one's gonna take some work. Like frame-by-frame work:
"Hi, I'm Rick Harrison, and this is my Pawn Shop..." Rick Harrison is the "star" of "Pawn Stars," which I think is one of those atrocities The History Channel developed when it decided it was all done showing us "History." It makes a lot of sense to buy a watch from a guy who runs a Pawn Shop, because....um, Reasons, I guess.
"I knew when I introduced the American Aviator Watch, the public would like it...but it's actually becoming a Symbol of American Patriotism and Pride." Well, yeah, says right there- "Symbol of American Pride," right on the screen. But who is saying this? Who is being quoted? I mean, name one person who calls your cheap knock-off of a WWII-era watch a "symbol of American Patriotism and Pride," Mr. Harrison. Just one. And no, you are not allowed to include yourself, because you're kind of biased.
The Aviator Watch was developed as a precision instrument to be used by pilots so they could drop their bombs on their targets. That watch is not being made available by Rick Harrison through this commercial, just his version of it- which, I gotta say, doesn't look a hell of a lot like the original. Seriously, it's a totally different watch; I'm surprised we get to see them side by side. Maybe Mr. Harrison wasn't fortunate enough to have multiple old veterans coming in to his shop to pawn their watches so he could examine them more closely and make his knock-offs more authentic-looking?
Ah, but they cost "a lot less money." Adjusted for inflation, I guess?
Then we get the sad old veteran (I suppose) tell us that when he sees a non-veteran wearing one of these pieces of cheap junk, he sees it as a "wink and a nod that he cares, and that he understands, and that he gets it." Um, really? Not that the watch owner just saw this commercial, thought that the watch looked pretty cool, and ordered it? How exactly does buying a watch make you more patriotic or knowledgeable about veterans, again? Later another vet will tell us that wearing this watch shows "you know what it means to serve your country." Seems to me that all it shows is that you know how to give your credit card number to Rick Harrison, but what would I know, I'm not a vet...
And then we get another sad veteran- "Dean R.," who isn't quite proud enough to share his entire name so he comes off like the people who give testimonials for Publisher's Clearing House or Sham-Wows. Dean is proud to have served his country in Desert Storm, which he seems to remember as including a lot of crawling through wheat fields. He's also proud to have this junky watch. which "honors our American servicemen"- again, no idea how.
Ralph M, a veteran of the Korean War, tells us that not only will he wear his knock-off of what was probably a cool watch from now on, but that he'll "always stand for the National Anthem." Um, thanks for your service and for the non-sequitor, Ralph. Or are you saying that owning this watch is just like standing for the National Anthem- if you don't do both, you are Un-American and don't care about sacrifice and should just go back to Russia? What the hell?
Then Rick Harrison brings us back into very familiar territory, telling us that we "could spend a thousand bucks for a watch like this." Yeah, and I could blow my paycheck on scratch-off tickets, too. What's the point- that your bad copy of a classic watch isn't as expensive as other people's bad copies? Anyway, this thing costs $39.95 plus shipping and handling and comes in a "classic collector's case" (a cardboard box with a picture of a plane and the words World War II on it) plus a brochure he probably copped from a museum somewhere. Oh, and an official certification to assure you that this is a genuine knock-off. Oh, and Mr. Harrison doesn't quite have the guts to admit it, but they throw in a keychain flashlight, too. What, no Ginzu knives or ID-safe wallets?
Well, there you go. Almost two solid minutes of "if you're a real American who loves the troops you'll buy this watch, oh and you'll stand for the National Anthem, too." I'd like to say I was surprised that after all this "support our vets" blather we don't find out that a portion of the profits goes to organizations which actually support vets- but I'm not. I'm sure Rick Harrison figures he's doing more than enough by selling the watch. I mean, it's got a laser-etched American flag on the back and I'm sure Mr. Harrison has a Support Our Troops bumper sticker on at least one of his cars. And after all those cars, like Freedom, isn't free!
Saturday, December 10, 2016
Or maybe "laid to waste."
I mean, let's slightly rewrite the narration for this ad: "Here at Quaker Oats, we take berries, honey, oats, raisins, and other good, wholesome food and pound the living crap out of it until it's reduced to thin, dry, utterly tasteless wafers which can be stacked, wrapped in plastic, and packaged for all you posers who absolutely refuse to make the effort to search out and eat real food but instead seek out this processed crud - not only seek it out, but actually manage to get it down because you think you're doing something good for yourself. For you, here are New Quaker Flats- quite literally, dried-up and mass-produced fiber chunks held together with honey which might, if you don't think about it too much, be a passable snack if consumed with a very hot, very strong cup of coffee."
I'm always amazed that there's a market for six dollar boxes containing a few cents worth of food, but then I remember- there's always people like the ones I described in the first paragraph. Lazy, Niave morons looking for a short cut brought us Carnation Instant Breakfast and Eggo Waffles. This stuff fits right in.
Friday, December 9, 2016
Nothing about this ad makes even the slightest sense.
First, what's with the 1980s video football game? Is KIA trying to reach the fiftysomething car buyer with this ad? Maybe so, because Second, what the heck is Bo Jackson doing even attempting to play football here?
Third, the electronic version of Bo Jackson in the game looks like he has a pretty good shot to go 95 yards for the score, but instead decides....to cheat by running out of the stadium, getting into his car, and driving it on to the field? Now we've moved beyond "makes no sense" and are deep into "this is really, really stupid" territory.
Fourth, why are the other electronic players attempting to tackle Jackson's car? Why is Jackson carefully weaving his car around the players as if he's concerned that it will get tackled? I don't care how big NFL players are nowadays, they aren't taking down a freaking SUV.
Fifth, what is Bo Jackson celebrating at the end? That he managed to drive across a football field in a car without being tackled? That he's still marketable enough to be in an ad and that's a good thing even if it's one as dumb as this? That he's in an ad and at least it isn't for Five Hour Energy?
Why do I think about this stupid crap so much?
Thursday, December 8, 2016
Ostentatious competitiveness. Surly looks. Drag races which endanger the lives of the Not One Percenters who might be trying to cross these urban streets. Concluding with a reminder that hey there are even more self-satisfied prigs willing to trash their Christmas trees if it means they get to show off the fact that....um, their cars go forward when you press the gas pedal.
Yeah, this is somebody's idea of what the holidays are all about. "Somebody" being pretty much everyone who writes commercials to be broadcast in the month of December. Because I'm not kidding- as I was watching the Ravens-Dolphins game Sunday afternoon I couldn't help noticing that at least nine out of ten of the ads broadcast featured the message that the best thing you can do for yourself this holiday season is to buy a car you probably don't need but will make you the envy of the neighborhood and in the end, what else really matters?
Merry....Um, something. I guess.
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
1. The grandparents, who follow their grandkid's twitter account and respond to the bitchy, spoiled-rotten "oh I have to spend a few hours at a house with no WiFi or Netflix just because it happens to contain elderly people I guess I'm related to" tweets by forking over god knows how much money to update their internet and cable system because Everything Must Be Made Perfect For Precious Granddaughter.
2. Wretchedly spoiled little monster grandchild, who publicly considers an afternoon without WiFi as "entering the gates of hell" and begs her Twitter followers to "pray for her" because oh my freaking god, she's going to have to survive several hours without indulging in electronic addition---err, entertainment. Horrors, an actual conversation with real people who may not be around next holiday season might result. Wouldn't that be a nightmare.
3. The company that is so craven that it sells this as a heartwarming tale of grandparents so determined to show well for Granddaughter that they invest in an upgraded service and If You Loved Your Grandkids You'd Do The Same And Then Maybe You'd See Them More Old Fogies. Sick, Xfinity. Truly Sick.
I didn't think it was possible for a commercial to make me long for a Lexus December to Remember ad, but this one comes pretty close. What a nightmare the modern world is.
Sunday, December 4, 2016
1. Is it fair to assume that if Samuel L Jackson was acting in a Capital One Commercial set in a library or hospital, he would still be yelling at me about the benefits of the credit card he's whoring? Seriously, what is it with this guy? The only films I can remember seeing in which he doesn't yell his lines are the Star Wars prequels- and a little yelling instead of his constant non-action and scenery-chewing intraspection might have really helped there. In this ad, it's completely unnecessary. Al Sharpton doesn't yell as often as this guy does.
2. Yes, the malls are full of stuff to buy, and I suppose that one reason why people cut back on their holiday spending is because of a lack of credit. But that's now what Mr Jackson is barking at us about in this ad. He's suggesting that we are holding back because the cards currently taking up space in our wallets simply don't provide enough rewards points to make buying something an attractive option. Um, in whose universe do people think like this? Samuel L Jackson's, I guess. When I use a credit card, I think of the interest I'll have to pay if I don't send the bank the full amount at the end of the month. The one percent apparently think more about how they are going to spend those awesome points they are tossed like crumbs from the table as rewards for accruing more debt. Good for them.
3. If Samuel L Jackson weren't in it, this would be the whitest commercial I've ever seen. Hell, even with him in it it's got to be in the top ten. My retinas are burning.
Saturday, December 3, 2016
Can we agree that Subway really knows construction workers?
For the past two weeks, the street outside my apartment is being torn up. This is the second time in eight years there is major work being done on the same section of street. I wonder if the same company is doing the work, and if anyone asked them why it wasn't done right the first time (or is it just par for the course for streets to need major work every eight years?)
Just like 90 percent of the "workers" out on my street, the guys in this ad are doing nothing resembling actual work. The people on my street are wearing hard hats and yellow and orange jackets and heavy boots and safety glasses because I guess that makes standing around watching one guy operate a piece of heavy machinery slightly less dangerous. The jokers in this Subway ad aren't even going through the motions of pretending to earn their $30 an hour- they've got their backs to the site, blathering away about Subway's jingle.
I guess I should be glad they just acting like lazy morons and not making lewd comments at women as they pass by. If they did that, I'd be convinced that Subway went out and found actual construction workers to star in their ad.
(Oh and BTW, in the outtakes one of the guys in the ad offers to "sign my sandwich" if I happen to bump into him at my neighborhood Subway. Um, seriously, buddy. Get over yourself. No one knows who you are and that's not going to change because you were a total tool in a Subway ad.)
Friday, December 2, 2016
....is when you realize that it's for dog food. And that it's not an SNL skit or some other form of brilliant snark.
Nope. The big buildup- the woman either being thrown out of the house or breaking up with her significant other or whatever that is, her quest for a hotel which takes pets (which fails on the first night, requiring her to sleep in the car,) her driving for what seems to be hundreds of miles, her finally finding a pet-friendly hotel after having a bitter, fruitless conversation with (presumably) her significant other which ends with her dropping the phone (and she's using a payphone, which I guess is supposed to be even more dramatic, besides marking her as the only adult in the United States under the age of forty who doesn't have a cell phone).....concludes with her opening a can of Cesar dog food and feeding it to her bestest friend. Two minutes of this. Two minutes of my life I'll never get back because I was curious enough to see how this ended up, at the end of which I was half-convinced it was going to be a pitch for the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints because it sure looked like that. But it's a dog food ad. A dog food ad which is really, really ripe for parody for anyone who wants to take a crack at it. Won't be me, but someone just has to.
And by the way, "Road Trip?" Really? This woman acts as if she is fleeing an abusive relationship and except for her dog, her whole life is going to hell in a handbasket. That's what Cesar calls a "road trip?"
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Actually, if your beer has your team's name on it and this is important to you, that makes you a pathetic tool, and about as far from a "legend" as you can get.
And in THIS commercial for the same product, the utter stupidity of going for beer because the company that made it also bought the rights to use the team logo is actually demonstrated when one of the actors sticks a can into a beer cozy with HIS team's logo on it. That's right, folks- you always could carry a beer with your team's logo, long before this dumb idea was greenlit by Bud Lite. It didn't even have to be a Bud Lite (even better.) You just needed to invest a dollar in a foam beer cozy.
"What if?" Yeah, what if? Not answered. Probably because "who gives a damn?" is a better question.
Oh but please acting like a moron with zero life or taste in beer, scruffy loser Steelers fan. Catch that beer passed to you by one of your equally vapid friends. Then please, open it immediately and let all that awful watery crap spray all over your face. Loser.
Sunday, November 27, 2016
1. I guess it's supposed to be "funny" that the guy unloading boxes from his trunk got a black eye from Black Friday shopping. Because being assaulted going for bargains- or any reason- is just f--ing HILARIOUS, especially during the holidays. Ugh.
2. The message here is that all of that awful violence and hassle could have been avoided if.....the injured guy had just done his Black Friday shopping at Buick? How does this make sense in any universe? So he wouldn't have been beaten up buying presents because that kind of thing doesn't happen at the Buick Dealership....but neither does buying presents for anyone, except maybe yourself.
"I found a way to avoid the hassle of Black Friday-- I went down to Buick and bought myself a new car." Um, what? Huh? How does this go over with the wife and kids? If this commercial was a scene in a bad sitcom, I'd suspect that the douchenozzle who bought himself a Buick might be in line for a black eye after all, he'll just have to wait for Christmas morning when he tells the people who live in that house with him that the Buick he came home with the day after Thanksgiving is the only present he bought because....well, Black Friday is dangerous.
I'd say this is going to get worse before it gets better, but seriously- how can it?
Saturday, November 26, 2016
Hey look everybody, it's another Lexus December to Remember, in which we are treated to two months of watching people who already have everything see their dreams of Just A Little More come true.
In this ad, two alleged adults have decided that having a massive house and tons of money are really really nice but what would make them really happy is a new Lexus sitting in front of that massive house on Christmas morning. Why they don't just go out and buy a new Lexus instead of attempting to con a fairy tale into giving them one kind of escapes me....but what do I know, I'm still mystified that people could be so immensely shallow they'd flip over a Lexus anyway....
The punchline of this ad comes when Barron Trump pops in on the people who Ooopsed him into existence, sees that they are appealing to Santa Claus, and apparently threatens to veto the request unless a puppy is added to the list. He does this in an adorable way which makes his parents think that if they don't obey, they are going to end up in the cornfield. This is all super adorable and also very relatable to the viewing audience, right? We really want this nasty little creep to get a puppy from his shallow, materialistic, greedy pig parents, right?
Anyway, because it's the holiday season and because people like this always get exactly what they want, come Christmas morning Mommy and Daddy have their $60,000 car and Barron has his puppy, and the rest of us are shopping for deals on a new television set because we just tossed a heavy object through the old one. Thanks again, Lexus.
Hey look, yet ANOTHER new YouTube Channel featuring obnoxiously bubbly young white people with way too much time on their hands and who share a dream of getting rich without effort by producing videos of themselves doing obnoxiously bubbly white things!
And they even have an awesomely hip and totally with-it names and a super-clever name* for their group- they're the original Three Musketeers!
And you can bet that over the next several weeks they'll be making a hundred or so superawesomeamazing videos in which they endlessly mug for the camera while prancing, playing, cooking and taking selfies while also endlessly reminding us how young and hip and free-spirited they are By The Way Please Don't Forget To Upclick They Really Really Want This To Be Their New Career!
My guess is that they did a quick survey of YouTube and saw that reviewing movies has been done to death, the market cornered long ago by people who know how to do more with a camera than just point it out themselves before downloading to YouTube. Ditto discussing Religion or making instructional videos. Plus, they aren't really talented at anything other than being young and perky- so they'd thought "hell, we've got $100,000 each in college loan debt and no skills to show for it- let's try cashing in on this whole interwebs thing- we already love to use Twitter and spend most of our lives looking at OTHER people's videos, how hard could it be?"
Good luck, kids. I won't be watching this version of "The Three Musketeers" but I'm sure that having a job and friends and a life and a functioning brain, I'm not part of the target audience anyway. And I really don't want to meet anyone who is- because that would be really, really sad.
*Come on, Effort is hard!
(Editor's Note: Turns out that these three "kids" didn't "spontaneously" decide to start their own YouTube channel Because What The Heck We Love To Have Fun, but are instead the hosts of a show being funded by M&M Mars. So this is basically the Mickey Mouse Club for candy bars. I'm going to keep my original comments though, because the "kids" are still total tools.)
Thursday, November 24, 2016
It's not actually about questioning "sanity" or questioning "motivation" for me. It's more like questioning priorities. As in, why do the people in these ads always choose to feed their colossal egos instead of, I don't know, handing over a little of their obviously overflowing bank accounts to people in actual need?
I mean, think about it. Every single one of these North Face "Question" ads features some unbelievably self-absorbed white person reflecting on how the world (or, more likely, their tiny and rapidly diminishing circle of friends) simply can't understand their "need" to climb that rock or ski that mountain or do any number of ego-stroking stuff they can do because they have enough Capital One Awards points saved up. The local food bank? Meh. Nothing but losers with lame ambitions there. Ugh.
(I also like the "can't do this" cry from the woman trying to climb that rock- how about "I shouldn't be doing this, this is really stupid" or "why aren't I doing something more productive and beneficial to society with all my 'determination?'")
Anyway, I thought this was a good ad to feature on Thanksgiving- god knows the people in this ad have plenty to be thankful for. Like being able to give the middle finger to the rest of us, who wonder why it's always the most shallow people who have the most disposable income.
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
1. Hey, wait a minute! They are already using this song in a Three Musketeers Commercial! I JUST posted about it! WTF????
2. "Owning a dog brings out the best in people?" Um, seriously? Then why do all my interactions with dog owners include these people saying things like
"Oh he's just being friendly" (as the damn thing jumps on me,) and
"Oh don't worry, he doesn't bite" (oh then there's no problem that he's growling and baring those teeth he doesn't use, thanks for letting me know...) and
"Oh he barks to warn me, that just shows he's a good watchdog" (never mind that if a dog barks at everything, his bark is absolutely f--ing useless as a danger detector, you STUPID KNOB!) and
Not to mention that dog owners just love to walk their dogs on twenty-foot leashes which seem designed to make me trip and which allow the pair to take up so much damn room I have to walk into the street to get around them. And how so many dog owners prefer transparent bags to carry their precious little bestest friends waste around (seriously, what the hell is the matter with you people?)
I guess the "best" in me will stay hidden away until I own one of these things. Which is to say, forever.
Monday, November 21, 2016
This woman is very clever- instead of just being honest and telling us that she wants to keep her kid occupied while she entertains other adults, she pretends that she's doing the kid a favor by letting him have "me time" with his stupid electronic game. Because he can't have "me time" when it's not the holidays and family isn't around to visit- he can't be asked to adjust his precious game-playing schedule in any way whatsoever because, well, family. God Freaking Forbid.
So instead of talking to aunts and uncles and grandparents he probably rarely sees, Little Tommy (or whatever the hell his name is, I'm not watching this crud again) just zones out and wastes the entire day staring at a screen while his relatives attempt to form a bond- ANY kind of bond- by offering him tips on how to "win" the pointless nonsense game he's playing. His response is to glare angrily at this invasion of the "me time" promised by mom. My response is to lose just a little more hope for the future of humanity.
Oh, and the mom has a daughter, too. She's in another commercial, with another toy she's obsessing over 24/7 while mom bleats something about "boundaries." This is a very sad tv family.
Sunday, November 20, 2016
As long as we are going to use the tagline "give a little more...."
1. What's the average wage you pay your overnight cleaning crew and shelf restockers?
2. What does a cashier at Kohl's make? How about a manager?
3. What kind of health benefits does Kohl's offer? Are these benefits available to part-timers and temporary workers (like the ones you hire to work between mid-November and early January only?)
4. What is the official corporate position at Kohl's concerning an increase in the minimum wage?
5. Is it fair to assume that you rob your employees of a break period to make them watch this commercial before asking "ok, team, every week we are going to ask you to document something you did to 'give a little more' to a customer over the preceding seven days. Your continued employment here at Kohl's will depend on how well you respond to our 'give a little more' challenge....?"
Do these questions seem a bit intrusive? Well, just asking- I mean, you're the ones who decided "give a little more" was a message which really seemed appropriate for the Holiday season, after all. So I don't think it's all that unfair to ask if Kohl's, Inc. is into "giving a little more," or that's just something you celebrate when your employees do it (not to mention thinking that it would be just fine if the customers adopted it, especially while shopping at Kohl's....)
Saturday, November 19, 2016
Fifteen seconds in, I'm pretty sure this guy wishes he had just taken himself to IHOP and left this latest mistake from Match.com at her home.
Tomorrow morning I'm going to IHOP, by myself, and ordering three or four of these Seven for Seven meals. Not because I want to eat them. I just want to see the look on the waitress's face when she takes my order as I sit there all alone. My guess is that, this being America, she won't bat an eye. This is the land of Golden Corral and Cici's Endless Pizza and Frosted Fried Dough and Supersized Sodas and Taco Bell's Fourth Meal Campaign,* after all.
Friday, November 18, 2016
Ok, do schools really ask new kids to stand up in front of the class and introduce themselves? I've been a teacher for 22 years and I've never once requested that any new student put themselves in the spotlight like this...I'm pretty sure this is kind of a no-no, and that in real life it's much more common for new kids to be matched up with two or three "old-timers" in their classes who guide them through the classes and help acclimate them to their new surroundings...right? I mean, nobody really does this Leave It To Beaver-level awkward stuff, do they?
Oh, who the hell am I kidding. That's all I got. This is actually a very sweet commercial with a very nice message and in fact doesn't annoy me in the slightest. It doesn't even bother me that they use a Depression-era Spiritual for background music, because it works here. I guess if Mars is going to make a commercial for this candy bar every thirty or forty years, it ought to do a quality job of it, and they do with this effort.
Anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis (all half-dozen of you, from the looks of the counter) knows that I really don't throw out a lot of praise for commercials. That would make me like that idiot who decided to start posting "What's Great About..." reviews for movies on YouTube (who the hell wants to watch that crap?) But I've got to admit, this is a good ad. There. I said it.
I won't make a habit of this, I promise.
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
"So feel free to let your mind wander as you cruise down suburban streets in your KIA, confident in the knowledge that if you start to drift out of your lane, your car will wake you out of your irresponsible fantasy world with an electronic beep and a tiny indicator light on your driver's side mirror."
"Of course, this little safety feature will do absolutely nothing to save the child who darted in front of your daydreaming ass, but hey we at KIA can't do everything, and that's what high-pressure hoses and dent-repair shops are for, right? So please, continue to be a totally irresponsible douchenozzle with your car, endangering the lives of everyone around you because you simply can't be bothered to stay alert while operating heavy machinery and thought that you were being safe because you were driving a KIA and hey at least you weren't texting or watching a movie on your phone."
Explanation for the court and comforting words for the grieving parents of the kid you ran over while indulging in your childish daydreaming not included.
Sunday, November 13, 2016
1. At first, I thought that the "thank you" might end up being ironic/snarky, as in "thank you for using that ridiculous piece of machinery and spewing noise pollution while pointlessly consuming precious resources instead of oh, I don't know, a fucking broom which would work practically as quickly but wouldn't require ear protection and might not make me, your neighbor from two blocks over, aware that you are 'working' in your driveway."
2. So because this guy is spending all of fifteen seconds interrupting the conservations and reading and sleeping and just plain being alone with one's thoughts with his Clearly Invented By a Sociopath leaf-blowing apparatus, he'll be able to take tomorrow off and watch football? Seriously? Because I can see the driveway and it's pretty damned obvious that fifteen seconds might be on the generous side when trying to determine how long it's going to take to clear it of leaves. Does it take a lot longer on Sunday? If so, why?
3. "Don't get cocky." Yeah, don't. Because you're still a total douche who has bought in to the idea that because you've got yourself a suburban spread and a postage stamp of a lawn, you must stock your garage with ridiculously unnecessary pricey junk which allows you to pretend that the "upkeep" of this financial anchor is in any way a drain on your precious time. After you've spent fifteen seconds blowing the leaves off your lawn, you going to take the gas trimmer out and manicure the hedges again, aren't you? Because you can't quite justify putting the lights up quite yet and can't bear being in the house with the wife and kids, huh?
4. The commercial isn't even for the product being shown. WTF is that all about?
Saturday, November 12, 2016
Never mind the computer being slow. It's a lot more disturbing that Michael Phelps can't even be bothered to get dressed before rushing to the internet to do- well, whatever. Seriously, Mr. Phelps. You can check out the video of yourself swimming after you change. It will still be there.
I'm sure what's really contributing to Michael Phelps' murder face is the fact that he's being stalked by a geek with a laptop who feels the need to sit three inches from him despite the fact that they are the only two people in the freaking stands after his swim. It's called PERSONAL SPACE, you creep!
Friday, November 11, 2016
Remember all those Pepsi commercials which suggested that the key to all Good Times was popping open a can of sugary battery acid?
I had to go to YouTube to find out that this was a commercial for Jeans and not just a Great Big Celebration of Pretty Wealthy Young White People Doing Stuff with all their free time and money. Because seriously, what the hell does any of this have to do with jeans? We've got skiing and helicopters and glamourous locations and models dancing around and smiling and enjoying the carefree life and all that- would it really matter if they were wearing something than Hollister Jeans? Really?
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
This commercial has often been compared to the classic 1956 French featurette The Red Balloon, in which a balloon forms a bond with a young boy and follows him through the streets of Paris. Generally the comparison goes like this- "The Red Balloon was a magical, daring, groundbreaking adventure in cinematography. This commercial really sucks."
In fact, other than featuring a red balloon, the only thing the commercial really has in common with the film is that it feels thirty-five minutes long. At least.
Sunday, November 6, 2016
1. You're still Jeff and Susan. Now you're just Jeff and Susan with a baby. Get the hell over yourselves.
2. Maybe Susan should be driving the car, least as long as Baby is along for the ride. Jeff acts as if he couldn't find his ass with both hands and a flashlight. I also can't look at Jeff's face without thinking "holy crap, this guy had sex with that woman?" Money. Is there anything it CAN'T do?
3. They didn't do a good job baby-proofing the house. The baby got in easily. MY house? That is TOTALLY baby-proof.
Saturday, November 5, 2016
So in this ad, Hulu basically decides that it's one gigantic freaking joke that Americans have become disgusting television addicts, incapable of going anywhere without glowing screens to stare at, no longer able to carry on conversations with fellow humans, just taking in electronic entertainment while their brains atrophy. Yeah, this is super funny. The joke's on us, but it's super funny. Right?
And to add to the joke, Hulu is giving us even more to waste our time on, because it's all about tv all the time, forever and ever. Thanks to Hulu we will never ever ever run out of crap to glue our eyes to as the world continues to go on without us, all around us, totally ignored by us because Hey TV.
The final few seconds of this obnoxious crud is one of the loudest, angriest and most violent slaps in the face of society I have ever seen. Remember, this isn't about turning the f--ng tv off and getting outside and actually taking part in society by interacting with the world. This commercial is the equivalent of pointing and laughing at an alcoholic while handing him the keys to a wine cellar- and then laughing some more.
And in the end, some people watch this disgusting display and think "hey cool, Hulu looks awesome" because they are already lost. They already eat lunch "with" people but spend all their time on their phones instead of talking to the people they are "with." They already DVR hour after hour of tv and then binge-watch crap that does nothing but suck hours away they will never, ever get back. They are already the walking dead (another show they binge-watch and are proud of binge-watching) and they think that's funny, or cool, or perfectly normal.
As I've posted before, I never stop being grateful that I grew up before all this became normal. I can't believe this is a world anyone wants to live in. Yet this commercial is not a warning. It's an f--ing promise. And yes, it's actually supposed to be funny. Ugh.
Friday, November 4, 2016
"Screw this awful adult stuff; since we can't actually crawl back into the womb let's do the next best thing- retreat into a fantasy land in which we are space-bound warriors armed with laser guns!"
Well, if all you young white men were planning to vote for Trump, please feel free to bail out of the real world before election day and stay there until Cheeto Mussolini tells you to come out and exercise your franchise, November 28 or thereabouts. Your contribution to Democracy will not be missed.
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
"So one day I noticed that I had 60,000 rewards points built up on my Chase Ink Credit Card. Don't ask me how I managed to build up that many points running a barber shop without ever thinking of anything else I might actually use those points for, because if you ask me such a thing I'll take it as doubting my acumen as a business person."
"Anyway, I had a number of options how I could use those 60,000 rewards points. Maybe some new equipment for my shop? Maybe a vacation? Maybe I could even donate them to a worthy cause?"
"After very little thought, I decided that I'd spend the points on chicken wire and plastic ferns and take an entire day erecting a gigantic green fake mustache over my barbershop. Sure we had to close for the day to get this thing built, but now that it's done I think it looks really great. I think my staff agrees with me, even though they seem to be rolling their eyes a lot lately and I do hear quite a bit more whispering than I used to- stuff about no bonuses and why I cancelled the staff Christmas party this year or me having my head up my ass or something."
"Anyway, I think it was a great idea, and I can't wait to get home to tell the wife how I used the 60,000 points. She never bought the idea that I could be a good businessman- well, this is really going to show her!"
Sunday, October 30, 2016
What kind of freaking lunatic bumps into a someone in the park*- a total stranger who clearly has his hands full- and within seconds of saying "hello" insists that the total stranger holds his baby?
"Hold my baby?" Um, I don't even know you. We just freaking met. I have food in my hands. And you want me to hold your baby? Why? Why would I want to? Why would you want me to? Does this make any freaking sense to ANYBODY?
*(I guess the same kind of person who would date someone who asks "oooh is this the new boyfriend?" like he's a new purse or pair of shoes and not just talk to him directly. We don't even get a name here. Just Hey Nice To Meet You Here's My Baby Hold It Because. WTF-ever.)
Saturday, October 29, 2016
Yeah, I can totally remember back in the late-70s when I was Trick or Treating and my gang came across the odd house that wasn't offering snack-sized Butterfingers. We were a lot tougher than this cartoon ghost suggests we should have been- we didn't stop at TP'ing those Butterfinger-less houses. We'd generally set them on fire, but only after smashing a few windows and hanging a dead cat or two from the mailboxes for a few nights in a row afterwards, subjecting the inhabitants to our own special brand of psychological terror. At least that's how I remember it- though I might just be thinking of the plot of almost every second-feature horror movie I watched at the Drive-In as a teen....
Because Butterfingers are really that awesome. Right up there with Clark bars and candy corn* and popcorn balls** or raisins.*** Awesome enough to wreak horrible vengeance on any family that dares offer Milky Ways, Snickers, Peanut Butter Cups, Take 5s**** or any of the other 200 or so candy options available at sales prices in oversized bags this time of year. Uh huh.
*Anyone still handing this stuff out deserves to have their house TP'd. All the candy corn ever manufactured was produced in 1955 and jammed into a huge silo in Kansas which is emptied every October and then refilled with the 99% left unsold in November. Yes, it's 60-year old candy- and it was gross when it was fresh. You wouldn't eat it. Stop asking kids to.
**I can't believe these are still on store shelves either. Come on. Who wants to eat stale popcorn held together by cheap carmel (that is carmel, right?)
***None of the completely illegal and creepy actions I described above suffice to punish anyone who hands out raisins on Halloween. October 31 is not the day to preach Healthy Eating. Offering raisins on Halloween is like eating a salad on Mardi Gras. No.
****My students love these things. Why are they so damned hard to find in the month leading up to Halloween and virtually impossible every other time of the year?
Friday, October 28, 2016
I guess we are supposed to be glad that the drivers in this commercial own cars which warn them when they are about to hit something, because god forbid they get their heads out of their asses and actually pay attention to their surroundings.
The first guy we see takes a moment- literally, about a microsecond- to reflect on the fact that he was so distracted by a 30-year old Willie Nelson song that he nearly backed into traffic and caused a serious accident before turning the song back on because hey, he'll hear a beep if there's another problem, right?
The second driver is actually responsible for the safety of his wife- whom he presumably loves- and his daughter, whom he also presumably loves- yet he's too absorbed with the same fricking song to notice that he's about to plow into the car in front of them at high speed before the car beeps, saving his family and his own worthless life from his oblivious asshattery. This makes his daughter laugh. Because his daughter doesn't know that Dad is a moron who almost got her, mom and the people in the other car seriously hurt or even killed.
The third driver doesn't seem to be doing anything dangerous- he just sees that the apparently worthless "a car is passing you" light which shows up in the driver's side mirror (which also shows that a car is passing- so, what's the point of the light again?) and acknowledges that a car driven by Willie Nelson is, in fact, passing. For some reason, Willie Nelson feels compelled to beep at the first car- to make sure that the driver looks and sees that it's Willie Nelson? Because Willie Nelson can hear his signature song on the other guy's stereo? What the hell?
Bottom line: The message of this commercial is that it's perfectly ok to be a distracted dumbass if you drive a Passat, because the car will do the responsible thing FOR you. Great. As a pedestrian, let me say that in my opinion we can't get to self-driving cars fast enough, because clearly the concept that drivers need to kind of be aware of their surroundings while maneuvering several tons of steel and fiberglass is going away very quickly.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
I'm going to skip the more obvious theme of this commerical- that Jim Cramer is a money-obsessed vampire who sees absolutely EVERYTHING in terms of dollars and cents and that this is a GOOD thing- and instead focus on a piece of product placement which, if you think about it, actually fails pretty miserably.
In the original Ironman film in 2006, Tony Stark announces that Stark Industries is halting all weapon production. That night, we see Pepper Potts watching Jim Cramer discuss this decision on his headache-inducing show Mad Money. Cramer is ranting about how terrible this decision is and how his advice to stockholders is to SELL SELL SELL.
Moments later, we see Potts tell Tony that the stock had dropped 56 points on the news.
So Jim Cramer's advice to people who own stock in a company which has (presumably) always done extremely well and has a well-known genius as it's president is to dump the stock AFTER it has dropped 56 points- basically, to take an enormous loss? Not to see this as a fantastic opportunity to buy up stock at suddenly bargain-basement prices? Who would listen to this? Is Cramer totally on the take here, urging his viewers to sell to further depress the price so he can buy more?
Well, possibly. Cramer does sell this "opportunity" to find out in advance what he buys and sells, for a small subscription fee- he promised to let people know BEFORE he buys or sells, but big deal if "before" means a thousandth of a second before the deal goes through when he sells. But that's not the topic of today's post. It's the product placement, which seems pretty silly when you think about it- how is showing Cramer to be a panicky idiot any great advertisement for his show?
Then again, why is a commercial showing Cramer to be an obsessive creep about money a great advertisement for his show?
Monday, October 24, 2016
1. How did the conversation you had in the back seat of the car that got you yelled at by your parents turn into a good idea for a cell service commercial? When did "annoying" become entertaining? Oh, right- Jamie Foxx.
2. I get the whole idea of celebrity endorsement deals. But don't they only make sense when the celebrity has something- ANYTHING- to do with the product he or she is endorsing? Why the hell should I take Jamie Foxx's advice on cell service plans? I mean, could it be more obvious that he's bleating memorized lines in exchange for a paycheck? "Hey, I'm a famous, recognizable face. I'm here to tell you to buy this because I'm famous and recognizable. Ok, so Jamie Foxx telling you to use this cell service maybe doesn't make as much sense as Matthew McConaughey showing you how much fun it is to drive a Lexus because he probably owns one, but it certainly makes as much sense as Magic Johnson extolling the firtues of Rent-A-Center because while Jamie Foxx might actually use this cell service, there's no freaking way Magic Johnson has ever stepped foot into a Rent-A-Center!"
3. On another note, does anyone listen to the Sirius/XM radio show "The Foxxhole with Jamie Foxx?" May I ask why?
Sunday, October 23, 2016
Other than the use of a classic Steven Georgiou/Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam song to sell cars, there's nothing especially offensive about this commercial. It's message seems to be "be who you are, and show the world who you are by driving this particular vehicle and defacing it with a gaudy bumper sticker," which again is not especially offensive except for it's overbearing sickly tweeness. If you want to advertise that you think America is SuperAwesomeAmazing or that you're voting for Trump hey, go for it. Whatever.
But I still can't forgive the use of the song to sell Jeeps. I'd like to think that the song has fallen into Fair Use and Mr. Islam has no responsibility for this travesty, except that's obviously his voice....so, unless you've run into some hard times and need the money, shame on you, sir. This isn't the Cat Stevens I remember at all. Sad.
Saturday, October 22, 2016
The scenes of Not Caused By Humans storm damage didn't convince me to buy this 25-year shelf life Must Have Survival Food, nor did the happy scene of the extremely white family passing around bowls of hot Gourmet Survival Comfort Food while nuclear winter went on its merry way outside. I think what really sold me on this stuff was the crazy-eyed woman suffering from the collagen overdose. Really, will lip enhancement services be available after the apocalypse?
But wait- even if I do purchase the 25-year emergency food supply I NEED, how will I be able to hold on to it in a world where clueless niave tree-hugging hippies and Berniebros and supporters of Killery Lock Her Up Clinton didn't think ahead like I do? Oh right, I forgot--
Hey, NRA tool- I've got a message for every frightened, bed-wetting little boy who feels more like a man when he's carrying an AR-15 and who thinks that AR-15 is going to protect him from terrorist attacks and a tyrannical government which has nuclear weapons: Issues. Get help with them. Until you do, please stop donating and voting. We are trying to have a society here.
Friday, October 21, 2016
(First- yes, I am aware that it's actually not even for Mercedes Benz, but for a line of special cleaning products designed specificially to keep your Mercedes Benz looking Showroom-New. Doesn't help.)
Can we just start with the juxtaposition of the guy washing and waxing and shining up his car while his date is primping and preening HERSELF? She's not busy scrubbing her immaculate-even-for-television ridiculous glowing-white house. She's getting HERSELF Showroom-Ready. Meanwhile the guy isn't shaving, he isn't showering, he isn't applying deodorant and, as it turns out, he's not wearing the correct sneakers (I guess. Whatever. I don't get that part at all.) He doesn't need to- he could show up wearing bright orange shorts and black socks with white shoes for all his date gives a damn, because Let Me Step Aside So You Can Check Out My Ride.
And that's another thing. The guy seems to realize that he's ridiculously underdressed for his date with a woman who spent hours getting ready (always with a giant smile on her face, like this guy is a great catch- because he has a hot car? Really?) She's dressed to the nines and ready to go....somewhere glamorous, I guess. But he looks like he's ready for an afternoon in the bleacher seats at the Cubs game. Did they get their wires crossed, or what? If a mistake was made, it was cleaerly made by the GUY in this situation, as he sort of sheepishly acknowledges before reminding his date that Hey Once Again, Check Out My Ride- Does It Really Matter How I'm Dressed?
The bottom line here is that this woman spent all afternoon getting ready for a date- with a fricking car. I hope they are very, very happy together. Oh, and here's another bottom line- I've seen puddles far less shallow than these idiots. They totally deserve eachother- and I still don't know if I'm talking about the guy and the girl, the guy and the car, or the girl and the car.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
When I was a Freshman in High School, the Yankees won the World Series 4-2 over the Los Angeles Dodgers. I was (and am) a Red Sox fan, but a lot of my friends were Yankees fans (I had different taste in friends back then) and also big-time Reggie Jackson fans. We didn't talk about baseball much, obviously. We hunted and were on bowling leagues and skipped school together, but we didn't talk about baseball.
I wanted nothing to do with the Yankees or Reggie Jackson, but the Reggie Bar is my all-time favorite candy bar. It was just awesome- just a glob of carmel and nuts and chocolate; what a Take Five bar would be if they switched out the pretzels for nuts, maybe. It was about as uncomplicated as you could get in a candy bar. And it was plenty good enough for me to ignore the fact that Reggie Jackson was there on the package, in his Yankees uniform. Great candy.
Around the same time as I noticed Reggie Bars, Twix were introduced in the United States (they had been introduced in Great Britain in the 1960s, but in the world before the internet, who knew?) and I thought they were amazing, too. I eat one every once in a while now and I don't think they taste as good as they did thirty years ago; I wonder if they suffered the same fate as Kentucky Fried Chicken, which is considerably less fatty now than when I was eating it once or twice a year back in the 70s and imagining that I would live on it when I was an adult, or McDonald's apple pies, which used to have an awesome thick fried crust but are now slimmed down and contain more fruit- yuck. Or maybe I just don't find candy bars as tasty as I did when I was a fat little kid.
Whatever. Reggie bars were discontinued in 1981- interestingly enough, the year that the Dodgers turned the tables on the Yankees and beat them in the World Series, again four games to two. I am not sure I noticed- I don't remember feverishly looking for them in the two or three stores available to me in my home town. Maybe the end of the Reggie bar was so traumatic I've blocked the memory. In any case they weren't around very long and I've seen the wrappers- yes, just the wrappers- selling on eBay for anywhere from four to ten bucks each (or a signed one for $499. I'm not kidding.) Not going to buy a wrapper, and probably wouldn't buy a bar nowadays if they were rereleased because, as I noted above, companies can't leave recipies alone and they'd probably mess this one up too.
So here's to you, Reggie bar. Never liked Reggie Jackson, always hated the Yankees, but this was a nice candy bar. I wonder how many kids got them on Halloween and wish they'd kept the wrappers.
Monday, October 17, 2016
I just love commercials like this, they are so cheesy and fun and who knows, the products they offer might even work at least a little.
This one- for a trimmer head you can attach to that weed-wacker which doesn't work (I know it doesn't work, because weed-wackers, like electric razors, don't work.) It ends "accidental mistakes" (can I tell you how much I love that phrase? As opposed to "intentional mistakes?")
Then we have another spokesperson, Ghada Dergman, who is both a "Professional Landscaper" AND a "TV Personality" for something called the "Vanilla Ice Project" (how the heck did I miss that?) She gives us this wonderful line- "it is a great product because it allows us to eliminate both your edger, weedwacker, and your hedgetrimmer," using the word "both" to list three things before spinning dramatically to tell us "AND my guys love it 'cause it saves time!"
(BTW, do people really hire landscapers to do things like weed wacking? F--k you, lazy rich bastards!)
The thing is, if professional landscapers use this product, why isn't it available at high-end gardening stores and not just through cheesy commercials? Shouldn't I be able to find this at Home Depot? Shouldn't there be gas-powered weed wacker models which have this design built in?
Oh right, I forgot. Weed wackers don't work anyway (unless "cut for three minutes and then fumble with the fishing line release container for twenty minutes to get another two inches out before cutting for three more minutes" means "works.")- why make one with another feature which makes it not work even more? It's dumb enough that you have to attach a power cord or add gasoline to get them to not work. Putting a plastic ring around the trim line is like putting your electric razor in the charger- why bother? Works just as well when the battery is dead!
Saturday, October 15, 2016
"When it matters most" didn't include Game Seven of the 2001 World Series or the 2004 ALCS against Boston, I guess, because The Great MarianoTM wasn't particularly steady in THOSE moments, in fact totally choking them away. The Marlins and Red Sox fans are most grateful that while television continues to treat Rivera like he was some kind of god of relievers, he could actually gag with the very best of them in the playoffs.
Just imagine- in the not-too-distant past, this breakthrough in time-wasting, pointless, one hundred percent unconstructive and completely unhelpful mind-numbingly stupid garbage would have been technologically impossible. Someday we'll refer to that time as the second Dark Ages, perhaps.
Our stories would go like this- "there was a time in history when people had lots of really, really moronic ideas for sucking precious moments out of their lives, but those ideas never went beyond the momentary daydream stage because the technology did not exist to make dumb notions into sad reality. Then Google came along, and eventually teamed with Apple to make every fleeting non-thought something that could be acted out and shared with an incredibly disengaged, apathetic, and bored world."
Of course, nobody will hear these stories, because they'll be too busy watching their phones with their mouths hanging open to notice that a fellow mammal is trying to have a conversation with them, as if its like a million BG or something. Want to tell me something? Put it in a video or animation and send it to my phone, grampa!
Friday, October 14, 2016
Let's pretend for the sake of argument that it's not staged (of course it is, but let's pretend it's not.)
We have a woman here minding her own business, walking down the street drinking a bottle of Gatorade she presumably did not shoplift but actually purchased with her own money. She suddenly finds herself accosted by a total stranger who jumped out of a van in front of her, steals her drink, and then mocks her attempts to get it back. In real life, this results in a call to the police. Because this woman has by now figured out that she's being humiliated for the tv audience, she goes along and proceeds to act like a total tool, jumping up and down in an attempt to get her drink back as she is abused by the onlookers, not one of which yells "give her back her drink, you asshole!"*
Ok, so this whole thing is staged. Which doesn't make things any better, because it means that the makers of the ad think that the sight of a woman laughing hysterically as she attempts to rescue her drink from the stranger who came out of nowhere and snatched it out of her hand is not only funny, but will endear us to the product and make us want to buy it. Even the opening of the ad makes zero sense- apparently the woman has not "earned" her Gatorade because she isn't sweating, but the time to replace electrolytes is BEFORE you become dehydrated, not after you are already sweaty and thirsty. So you haven't "earned" your Gatorade until you've got sweat pouring down your shirt? What the hell?
What the commercial's messages- Assault is funny, humiliating people is funny, watching people humiliate themselves for a few seconds of facetime on tv is funny, you have no right to drink that Gatorade you purchased until you are already sweating- all adds up to me boycotting this junk. I'll just assume I haven't "earned" the privilege of drinking overpriced sugar water and don't want to risk being treated like a kitten chasing a spot of light for the benefit of jackass tv droolers. F- you, Gatorade.
*In all of the "Burn it to Earn it" Gatorade ads featuring males, the guy is forced to engage in some kind of sports-based contest in order to "earn" his Gatorade back. But in the ONE ad I could find featuring a woman, she's just supposed to jump up and down and giggle like an idiot. Hmmm.....
Thursday, October 13, 2016
Fifteen minutes after this "great idea" business got going, the last of the Liberal White People With Too Much Money Willing To Go In For Anything Once had tried the "make your own expensive smoothie" experiment and moved on, leaving a mess sitting in an otherwise empty back alley. The next day, no one showed up because even though yeah it was an interesting experience yesterday that doesn't mean this is something we are pretentious enough to want to do on a regular basis, especially when there are 200 smoothie places within walking distance where someone behind a counter will whip it up for us in about thirty seconds flat for a lot less money.
I'm not the kind of person who is going to shed a tear for the twat who decided to take Posing to a whole new level by starting this "business" and then discovering that the whole Pick Your Own Fruit Make Your Own Smoothie Pay Me For the Privilege thing was a bridge too far. I'm more like the kind of person who wonders why a meteor couldn't crash into this alley during the height of the Be Seen By Your One Percenter Friends Being Ridiculously and Overbearingly 'Liberal' By Making Smoothies in the Same Freaking Alley You Passed Out In Years Ago When You Were Still Alive craze.
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Here's how how it translates: "You like McDonald's All Day Breakfast, but you don't like that you can't get everything you want because McDonald's offers only a limited All Day Breakfast menu. But if it was McGriddles that you wanted All Day, now you can get that- so you have to find something else to complain about.
Meanwhile, if you wanted pancakes, or biscuit sandwiches, guess what? You still can't get those items. But to distract you from noticing that we actually created a commercial to announce that there is exactly ONE MORE ITEM on the All Day Breakfast menu, here's twenty seconds of headache-inducing stupidity featuring very stupid people behaving in very stupid ways."
Thanks, McDonald's. Get back to us when "All Day Breakfast" at your restaurant means what it means at Denny's and IHOP- the breakfast menu, all day. Until then, STFU with this crap, please.
Sunday, October 9, 2016
"Pizza Hut makes the best pizza in the Universe, but they won't tell you that"- no, they won't. Not even in their own commercials. Not like they just did, using a CGI "alien." Maybe it's because they realize that it's such an absurd claim, it can't even get past the usually infinitely gullible public. Maybe it's because we still have Truth in Advertising laws. Or maybe - again- it's because they actually just did try to say just that, through the use of a CGI "alien."
(Oh, and if it turns out that Pizza Hut DOES make "the best pizza in the Universe," we've been using the word "best" wrong. And is this a commercial to slash NASA funding. because that sounds a lot like "so there's absolutely no point in continuing to explore, because this is the best we can do?)
Speaking of "best we can do," we certainly are an amazingly advanced race, so advanced that we cannot be limited in the number of places we can find to stick greasy, life-shortening cheese. I'm pretty sure that when someone finally just cuts to the chase and introduces an all-cheese pizza (no bread at all,) that genius will be an American.
And yes, we are also a very advanced country, but not so advanced that we can find better things for fiftysomethings to do than eke out a living working at Pizza Hut. I wouldn't let Scott near sharp objects, if you know what I mean.