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.
Saturday, October 8, 2016
1. If you sit at a table at an AT&T store, look around very carefully, because you almost certainly are not in an AT&T store and if you are, that thing in front of you is not a table and what you are sitting on is called the floor, not a chair. AT&T stores are not food courts. You can tell by the lack of a Starbuck's.*
2. Never in the history of AT&T has a person in an actual AT&T store been approached by a salesperson and asked "can I help you?" In real life, what happens is this- you walk into the store and push your way past the crowd of idiots who already have perfectly good phones but know that something newer and shinier is now available to get in front of a keyboard and computer screen, where you can type your name in and see yourself on a list of people who will be spending the next hour or so in the store waiting for one of the three employees to sell you something you don't need, along with a data plan you don't need, all included in a 3-year contract you can't afford but that you'll sign because you've spent more than an hour of your life in the store and you would rather walk out broke than empty-handed.
3. The guy in this ad not only already has a phone with Siri, but he uses it while in the store to get information about the latest sales- he couldn't do this before he showed up in the store (you know, like a non-lunatic.) Had he done so, he would have walked right up to that computer sign-in station like all of the other drones who know what they want but are still going to have to wait forever for one of the three employees to sell it to them. Does the guy here look like he needs a new phone? Nah- but AT&T doesn't sell phones to people who need them. AT&T sells phones to people who bought phones last year but need to upgrade constantly in order to compensate for the fact that absolutely nothing of any value is going on in their lives. Lily to the rescue!
Thursday, October 6, 2016
This bit "works" because none of the weird suburban white people who walk past this lemonade stand think that the black guy in the lawn chair is capable of speaking for himself, so they treat him like an ornament and instead ask the two little girls who he is. Which makes the commercial "funny," you see, because he's a performer who decided to change his name to Ice-T. Get it? Me too. Think it's actually funny? Me neither.
Now that we aren't amused, let's move on to depressed and read the YouTube comments. This is a very, very sad country filled with very, very stupid people.
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
1. Hey, stupid woman standing there looking mortified as your boyfriend/husband manchild stands there making a total ass of himself in public for the 2000th time- nobody tazered and tagged you into this relationship. If you think you can do better, get that gobsmacked look off your face and walk away. There are worse things that being lonely for awhile- like being with this jagoff, for instance. But if you aren't going to walk away, then sorry, I'm not buying the mortified look. This is what you were willing to settle for because the world is too dark and scary to be without a maaaaannnnnn, even a little boy like this one.
2. It was almost cruel for AT&T this shapeless Poster Girl for the Word Plain actress to play the role of Gobsmacked Mortified Girlfriend/Wife and then have her pose motionlessly next to Lily the Cute AT&T girl, wasn't it? I mean, this is just sad. I wouldn't blame the guy for forgetting his significant other is even in the same room- but I sure as hell hope his "wrangling" act isn't an attempt to impress Lily, because that's even sadder.
Sunday, October 2, 2016
...sure isn't very inviting or attractive. In fact, it's basically imagining a world in which twentysomethings gorge themselves on carbs, cheese, meat and grease while sitting on their expanding butts using virtual reality glasses to pretend to be doing something cool as their arteries harden and life passes by right in front of them (but completely invisible, because of those virtual reality glasses.)
Well, at least the crap they'll be killing themselves with will come in cheap package deals. That's something, because they really will need to save their money for the diabetes medications and heart surgeries. Pardon me if I don't shed a tear in advance for these loathsome slobs.
Saturday, October 1, 2016
The conclusion of this ad would make a lot more sense if the "Not Gonna Happen" woman and the "My headache's gone so continue to destroy the house and scream, unsupervised kids" woman were one and the same. I could totally get "two is enough and I'm out of pills, even if you aren't" coming from THAT woman.
But as it is, this just comes off as another ad going for a cheap laugh. The "Not Gonna Happen" woman might as well finish her statement by letting the guy know that the whole "headache" thing was just an excuse to avoid intimacy and while she's perfectly happy to sleep in the same bed with him, he's to keep to his side at all times. Pretty cold, but it WILL allow her to avoid the fate of that other woman.....