Sunday, January 29, 2017

Another episode of Verizon's Not-So-Brave New World....

Watching the idiots in this ad act as if the world is coming to an end because they can't watch television on the train or are experiencing several entire seconds of "unconnectability" is either rage-inducing or sad, depending on how much coffee I've gotten in to me when I watch it.  That guy on the train looks like his head is going to explode if he goes much longer without spilling mindless crap into it.  Oh noes, he's alone with his thoughts!  Hit the fricking panic button!

And then we have the countless scenes of people standing on their cars, on their bathtubs, frozen in one place on the street, frantically trying to get a signal...instead of just moving on with their lives and doing something else for now or going somewhere else to find a signal if "doing something else right now" is just too bizarre an idea to contemplate.  And what is that jackass doing with those cats?  Oh, of course- he's making an Awesome YouTube Video millions will Like but will add absolutely nothing of value to anyone's life, but will cost those millions several minutes that they'll never get back. 

But the very worst part is when we see the  jackass "parent" in his son's treehouse, who for some reason can't just be having fun with his offspring in the backyard because....he can't get a signal?  Why?  Oh, let me guess:  the plan was to sit in that treehouse and watch a movie on the phone, right?  Because why else would you build a treehouse other than to have another place to watch tv?

Anyone really want to live like this?

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The nation I live in, according to radio commercials

If you listen to Sirius/XM Radio for an hour, you could fairly come to the conclusion that in the United States,

1. Millions of Americans are carrying at least $10,000 in credit card debt that they "can't" pay back,

2. Millions of Americans have been ducking and dodging the IRS for years because they owe huge amounts of money in back taxes or have not even filed their taxes in like forever.  Presumably they need help because they can't afford Donald Trump's lawyers. AND....

3.  Millions of Americans use CPAP machines that they don't know how to clean properly.   Maybe this is the case- for the first six years I traveled to Louisville to grade Advanced Placement exams for Educational Testing Service I was randomly assigned a roomate, and TWICE the person I was paired with used one of these devices.  That's a remarkable coincidence, or these machines are more common that I could have ever imagined.

I realized last November 8 that I didn't know the United States nearly as well as I thought I did.  But Sirius XM Radio is constantly reminding me what an outlier I am....

Friday, January 27, 2017

And all from the comfort of your couch!

"Forge your own Empire.....on a computer or TV screen.  You know, instead of actually doing something!"

And the best part is, you'll burn almost no calories or mental energy doing it.  So just settle in which a crate of Cheetos and a few cases of Red Bull and kiss another weekend goodbye.  Enjoy your expanding wasteline and dead brain cells, they are the best friends you've got outside of Facebook.


Thursday, January 26, 2017

If Kid Cuisine was actually made OF penguins, it might be more nutritious.....

I guess all the penguin stuff ("made by pengueens?"  Wow, we aren't even trying here, are we?) is meant to distract us from the fact that this is greasy non-food disguised as Decent Nutrition and Good Parenting.  It fails because if the child penguin - no doubt desperate to consume SOMETHING that wasn't actively KILLING him- didn't show up with a basket of peaches there would be NO nutritionally redeeming value to the "meal," which until the introduction of a dabble of fruit consisted of fried processed chicken parts and fried potatoes.

And then we get to see why the little kid is eating this crap- Mommy is a bit too busy on the phone to "waste" time making something that might actually help her offspring grow up to be a healthy adult.  Naw, just eat this microwaved fat instead, kid.   Mommy's got priorities.

"Made by pengueens" but fortunately not actually consumed by them.  We have enough endangered species as it is.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

McDonald's sets a very low bar for interns....

So the people in this office think that their new intern is "great" because he managed to go all the way to McDonalds and bring back the right coffees.  Uh-huh.

Personally, I'd pull the intern aside and tell him that McDonalds has these things called "lids" and they are available for the coffees with whipped cream as well as the ones without.  They are really helpful when you pick up coffee that is actually coffee and not obviously plastic.  As in, real life.  Which is what I think McDonalds was going for here....which means that this intern is not "great," but instead really, really stupid because he got lids for some of the coffees but not for others.  Even if the McDonalds he went to is on the main floor of this building, that's really stupid and not something any "great" intern does-- or anything anyone with two brain cells to rub together does.

So who is dumber here- the stupid intern or the employee who calls him "great?"

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Samsung's Gearfit and the Perfect Crime

Let's cut right to the chase, shall we?  This guy is clearly not used to physical exercise.  He didn't get that belly overnight, and it's not going to go away overnight.  He should not be attempting to jog down the street like that, especially if he's sweating and gasping for air after three hundredths of a mile.

It would make a lot more sense for him to start off with short walks, and quickly transition to longer walks.  Then start mixing short runs with his long walks.  Finally, if his knees hold up and his heart rate stays within a safe range, go entirely to runs.  Stepping out of the house and immediately breaking into a jog?  Not a good plan.  At all.

Oh, and I've got more bad news for you, sweaty fat guy- your wife is trying to kill you.  She's encouraging you to continue to do something you are clearly not ready to do and that no sane, licensed physician would recommend.  She's either got a boyfriend or you've done a great job keeping the insurance payments current.  You're welcome.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Spray Perfect- another Made for TV Gem!

Well darn, I was JUST about to order this AMAZING new product (just for my toes, of course- in my line of work, it might be dangerous to my paycheck to use it on my fingernails) when I scrolled down the comments and realized that the makers of this ad are engaged in a rather blatant form of Lying By Omission.  It turns out that the reason why the spray-on polish "magically" sticks to your nails and not to your fingers is because you have to apply a "base coat" to your nails first- oh, and you do that AFTER washing your hands very carefully to remove any trace of oils which might prevent the spray from sticking to those nails.

So when push comes to shove, spraying probably doesn't take any less time than applying polish the old fashioned way.  I guess you're supposed to find this out after you've purchased it and the makers of this junk have your money already.

I still might consider buying this- not for me, but for my students, if I find that the spray does not produce the same migraine-triggering stench that comes whenever one of the girls in my classes pops open a bottle of polish or polish remover.  I mean, I'd rather explain to the building manager why the desks are covered with spray paint than explain to the police why I had to throw that kid out the window for "forgetting" that Mr. Jamele can't deal with the smell of toxic chemicals, not to mention that Room 133 is AP History, not a freaking Nail Salon.....

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Verizon's "never explore on your own ever" crusade against humanity continues...

...or you could actually carry on a conversation, play cards, read books... you know, like non-lunatics did before it was possible to lose oneself in a phone or (ugh, someone kill me now) 3-D glasses which let you "see" what you're going to see before you get there...gag....

Hey, you know what else lets you see things in 3D?  Your EYES.  High-Def, too.  No, really.

Never mind.  Just put these things on and descend further into that isolating electronic cocoon you've allowed technology to build for you.  Sad, sad people.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

23andMe: The Ultimate Selfie

Or maybe it's just the Ultimate in self-absorbed, money-burning-a-hole-in-your-pocket naval gazing self-absorption?

There's a radio commercial on XM/Sirius for this company that basically screams "look how f--ing insane this product will make you, you bored jackwagons!" It features a couple on what seems to be their first date.  The guy tries to make small talk but his attempts at being friendly are constantly foiled by his date's obsession with her new 23andme report.  He offers her a coffee, and she declines, telling him that her 23andme report says she's more likely to be addicted to coffee.  He suggests a movie, and she replies that its a good idea because her 23andme report says she's more likely to be a night person.  When she says she has to run, she adds "and I CAN run, because my 23andme report says I am likely to be a good sprinter!"

Her date responds politely, which suggests to me that she's probably really, really hot, but I can't tell for sure because after all it's a radio commercial.  If he were me, I'd respond by telling her goodbye and tossing her phone number in the nearest garbage can, because looks aren't everything and I've dated more than my share of lunatics in the past.

As far as I'm concerned, 23andme (and and all the other Find Out Who You Are By Ignoring Your Actual Life "services") are just symptoms of the cocoon-society we find ourselves in. If you want to "know who you are" these days, you don't take classes or volunteer or write or do anything to discover and unleash hidden talents.  You just send a few drops of your spit to a laboratory or pay some internet company to tell you where your great-grandparents were doing a hundred years before you were born.  You don't build anything yourself- you just take credit for what some distant ancestor did in another country because after all, that guy passed his genetic material on through your family, well, that's about it, actually.  And you don't take responsibility for anything you do, you just find some chemical excuse for it- "I'm addicted to coffee because that runs in my family."  Oh, and you totally toss out the concept of Free Will along with your individualism- "I'm just a bag of germs mixed with DNA strands made up of people who came before- whatever I do is pretermined by that DNA."

This sounds good to some people- mainly those who are so bored and directionless and afraid of life that they need a security blanket and a map and big shove to get them through each day.  I thought that was what established religion was for?  Or are 23andme and just the new religion?  The Church of Me, anyone?

Monday, January 16, 2017

Verizon's idea of "Balance...."

One of the world's most successful drug dealers has noticed that some people are starting to spend all of their waking hours partaking of the drug being sold to them.  So that very successful drug dealer, having spent millions of dollars in commercials convincing its customers that they should never, ever stop using the drug and should not ever let anything else interfer with the use of that drug, decides to create a series of advertisements designed to convince the junkies that the drug dealer is really concerned that the drug has become a little too important and wants to offer a compromise.

Let's say your kid really wants you to be at his birthday party.  But you'd rather be taking your drug.  No problem- just physically be at the birthday party while mentally devoting all of your energy to the drug.  The kids won't mind- they'll look up and see you every once in a while, standing there with a big stupid look on your face, and they might even be able to convince themselves that those smiles are for them and not a consequence of your ability to feed your addiction while "attending" the party.

 It might add a little to the deceit if you could bring yourself to look up every once in a while, but hey, baby steps.

So here's how you balance "life" with "television:"  Go through the motions of being engaged in life, and just keep watching television, you drooling zombies.  Any other questions?  Ask Google.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Questions for the writers of this Even Dumber than Usual AT&T ad....

1.  Why is Lily just staring at this guy as he walks out of the store?  Her job with him is done.  There are other customers in the store waiting for service.  I know- I've been to AT&T stores, and I've never once seen a situation where a customer service rep is just waiting around to help someone.  It's always wall to wall customers and when you're done with one, you start with another.  But in these ads, Lily is always shown just shooting the breeze with the customers as if they are the only people in the store.  And other than nameless, faceless non-Lily employees, they usually are.

2.  At least the jackass walking out of the store doesn't do that "whaaaaaaaat?" sound out loud.  Man, is that played.  It's beyond stupid, it's "Cray Cray" stupid.  I really hate the 21st century, but it would be slightly less loathsome if we could ditch this brain-dead shorthand for language.  Why does that have to be included in this ad?  Because you hate me personally?

3.  This guy is really so infatuated with the "deal" he got (available to everyone, and certain to make AT&T a nice profit otherwise it would not be offered, moron) that he actually has to remind himself to stay calm until he gets out of the store, as if he's an f--ing shoplifter or something?  I can only guess this this is your image of the fantasy customer, completely euphoric over the latest "deal," convinced that he's put something over on AT&T by "negotiating" it, so giddy with the new toy he'll regard as an antique six months from now that he can't keep himself from walking into the freaking door?  Really?

4.  Why do you hate us so much?  Other than line up hours before the store opens to buy your latest gadget, what did we ever do to you?

Point of Personal Privilege: The latest "Star Wars" Movie.....

First, a message to those who don't know me that well: I am a huge fan of the original Star Wars films.  And by "original" I mean the versions that were released over the six year period 1977-1983.  Those are the ones I went to see in the theater multiple times each, the ones I first owned on VHS, and the only ones I really acknowledge as "Star Wars" films.  I don't really mind the "Special Editions," otherwise known as "George Lucas getting bored and going back to 'fix' things that weren't broken," except when they actually change the original story (Han didn't just fire first- he was the only one who fired.  He killed Greedo in cold blood.  Period.)  I skip over the "Han confronts Jabba" scene added to the original because it's not necessary and stupid and it didn't appear in the version I saw in the theater in 1977.  But I'm starting on an old rant, and that's not the point of today's blog post.

The prequels were just garbage, and better forgotten.  However, I do have to mention them today in reference to the film I saw last night:  Rogue One:  A Star Wars Story.

Here's what I have to say about Rogue One:  It was reasonably well-acted, the special effects were not overwhelming, and unlike the prequels and Episode VII it was not an  over-the-top bastardizations of the original series.  There were nods to the original film but they were subtle, not insulting, and they reminded me of my childhood rather than attempt to rob it like Episodes I-III and VII did.  The CGI was toned down and the characters were more in focus than in any Star Wars film since the originals (the most remarkable CGI was not used to create the battle scenes, which were obviously but not obnoxiously an homage to the final battle in Return of the Jedi, but in the recreation of the Peter Cushing and Carrie Fisher characters, which were not insulting or overbearing, but welcome and seemed natural.)   I don't know if I want to see Rogue One again, but I know I didn't leave the theater disgusted and angry like I've pretty much gotten used to since 1999.  I felt like I had watched a film made by people who really cared about the Star Wars legacy and were not JUST looking to squeeze another billion dollars out of the concept.

In fact, I'd say that an appropriate working title for the film might have been Rogue One:  A Missed Opportunity, because this film would have served as a far superior alternative to the putrid mess dished out to us as Episode III back in 2005.  It takes us right up to the minute the original Star Wars films start, which brings me to my only real quibble with a film I thoroughly enjoyed (I have to do some complaining, right? Well, here it is:)

Just before the end of the film, we see Darth Vader enter the rebel ship and effortlessly deflect the blasts of a dozen or more lazers with his light saber.  He basically single-handedly invades the ship and wipes out the defenders.  But in the original Star Wars which picks up minutes or maybe hours later, Stormtroopers have to fight their way into the rebel ship, losing a significant number of their own before overpowering the rebels, and only then does Vader enter.  If Vader was capable of wiping out the rebel defenses and capturing the ship without sacrificing stormtroopers, why didn't he just do that the second time around?  I can only guess the reason:  the makers of Rogue One needed to show Darth Vader using his lightsaber strictly for Fanservice.  Oh well, can't have everything.....

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Love- it aint what it used to be

With Verizon's new unlimited data plan, you can do more of what you love- as long as "what you love" involves staring at your stupid fricking phone as the world goes on around you.  As long as it involves downloading and streaming and sharing videos.  If it's all about you and your screen, Verizon's got you covered.

Have a great "life," morons.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Dear Dr Pepper: Get this guy back to the asylum in 2017, ok?

Anyone else had more than enough of this creep with his tray of Obviously Empty cups?  Is it just me, or is everyone else ready to say goodbye to Dr Pepper's current bad marketing idea?

Anyone else sick of this guy's loathsome dedication to his minimum-wage, no-health-benefits, seasonal job?  Christ, what are you, fifty?  And this is what's come of your life?  And you're just thrilled with it?  I thought that guy who was proud of his ability to fold Dominos pizza boxes was depressing.  This is worse.

(BTW, I've been to Major League Baseball Games, Major League Football Games, College games for both sports, etc....and I've never once seen anyone selling cups of Dr Pepper.  Maybe because nobody wants Dr Pepper when there's Coca-Cola and Beer available?)

Sunday, January 8, 2017

What's happening during this ATT ad.....

1.  A few more seconds of our lives are slipping away

2.  Several customers who have already been in the ATT store for an hour waiting their turn in the qeue are waiting a little longer because the ATT girl has decided that she'd rather continue to pointlessly banter with this jackass rather than just do her job- which is to herd as many customers through the feeding pen as she can as quickly as possible, not engage in non-profitable conversations with people who are already sold on the product but haven't put their signature on the contract yet.

3.  Millions of brain cells are committing suicide.

4.  Some witless ad writer is picking up a check because Stupid Sells.

Cheerios' disgusting "Make more babies 'cause Reasons" commercial

Ugh, Cheerios.  Really?  Besides the headache-and-epileptic-fit inducing style of this god-awful advertisement, the message sure seems to be "kids are fun, look at what you can do with them- you can pose them and put them in dangerous situations and pour something that I really really hope is chocolate all over them and then video them for the amusement of our dumbass audience!"  Like they are freaking toys and not human beings.

But I guess there are plenty of "parents" out there too thrilled at the idea of having their offspring appear for almost a full half-second in a Cheerios ad to worry about stuff like that, huh?

Getting desperate, are we, Cheerios?

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Probably the last Lexus December to Remember Ad of the Season. Hand me a tissue.

As we approach mid-January, we can expect these hideous Lexus December to Remember ads to dissapear from the airwaves for another ten months or so.  Every year we say "good riddance," but they managed to be even more repulsive than usual in 2016, because the agreed-upon theme moved beyond "disgustingly rich, privileged asshats give eachother luxury cars" to "disgustingly rich, privileged asshats ask children to ask Santa to give them luxury cars."

In this ad, Daddy has carefully trained his son to not merely ask Daddy for a Lexus SUV, but to make sure that the SUV he hopes will magically show up on his driveway has just the right entertainment system, with just the right number of screens.  My guess is that the particular mall Santa being dunned for this obnoxiously unneccessary toy is pretty used to such requests- the glaringly white mall/palace looks like it caters exclusively to the Trump kids in it's loathsome gaudiness.  By the time that kid is sixteen he'll be asking for a Lexus of his very own, and getting one I have no doubt.

Daddy is standing in line wearing his $800 coat, slacks and sweater from the Gap Eurotrash Collection and is thrilled that the kid managed to get through the carefully-rehearsed script, because never mind that from the clothes and the house we see at the end he can clearly afford to buy HIMSELF one of these socially irredeemable LookAtMeMobiles -- Santa granted his wish, because Santa never fails to forget the Most Fortunate among us during the holiday season, does he?*

*Actually, all of these "Ask Santa" ads come across to me as extremely wealthy people going through the motions of asking for something for free before just going right off and buying it for themselves because that's what they've been taught to do since childhood- "buy it, but only if you can't get someone to give it to you first."  That, and teaching filthy rich kids that asking Santa for stuff is still fun even when Mommy and Daddy can and do get you whatever the hell you want anyway. Welcome to the Trump Era.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Sift Away, you lost me with "Watch This."


And you can't sell me on the idea that "everyone loves cats" or whatever piece of bs you start this ad with.  I'm in the universe which includes everyone, and I have zero interest in having one of these little mammals in my house, stinking the place up with their sandboxes of stench-filled poo.  Yuck.

Of course, dogs are even worse- especially in the suburbs, where the Joys of Ownership include walking the things around and picking up their leavings.  Yeah, that's attractive.  Why stop at one- I want at least a dozen dogs.  The more the merrier, right?

Anyway, I hope that nobody felt compelled to watch this awfulness.  It was too good to pass up for this site, but I wouldn't even wish the ad on a cat owner.  This must seem all too familiar to you.  I don't understand you at all and I'm quite sure I don't want to, but I am curious- do you really think that if you just sift away the horrible clumps you leave behind "clean" litter your nasty little pet will be just thrilled to use again and again?  Really?

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

G-d damn you, McDonalds.....

1.  "Time after Time" was released during my first year in college and is my all-time favorite Cyndi Lauper song.  If you were going to use it to sell your fried junk, you should have hired Cyndi sing it instead of the twee nobodies you hired (who, by the way, should have their vocal cords surgically removed so we never have to hear their Adult Easy Listening version ever, ever again.)  If Cyndi told you to go to hell, you should have just moved on to another song.  I notice that Cat Stevens is willing to sell out these days.

2.  "If you care about your children," you don't care that the deep fried crap is all white meat, because you know that doesn't make it worth eating or in any way valuable nutrition for your kids.  Maybe the sentence should read "if you care about your children but not enough to avoid fast-food poison because hey, there's only so much time in the day and it's cheap, McDonalds uses all-white meat in its fried chicken parts.  Plus we sell cartons of milk."

Meanwhile, I'll never be able to listen to "Time after Time" without being reminded of this commercial.  "G-d damn you" is actually too polite, but it's the holidays, so....

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Quaker thinks this is cute

Haha, mom had to get a lawyer to negotiate with her son to clean his room, because her son got a lawyer lol that is just too funny...

Except, no.  It's pretty damned stupid, actually.  Especially the "on the grounds that I brought you into this world and it's the least you can do" line- really?  "I gave birth to you, so the least you could do to thank me is to clean your room?"  How about "because I'm your mother, and I said so?"  Anyone say this anymore?  If not, why not?  Anyone else think that this kid can start negotiating his chores when he pays rent?

Anyway, the "problem" between pathetic mom and disgusting jerkwad son is "solved" through a strategic application of the old Food Bribe- "if you agree to clean your room, you'll get a tasteless log of rice, nuts and honey holding the damn thing together."  But this isn't super realistic to me- if this kid has grown to be such an obstinate little brat that he'll hire a lawyer to avoid cleaning his room, I'm pretty sure he hasn't had to ask very often for the Food Used To Shut Him Up.  If anything, it seems to me that this woman has probably spent most of the last several years shoveling stuff at this kid to keep Peace in the Home.  The result is this nasty little toad refusing to clean his room without prepayment.

Gross.  But the YouTube commentators like it.  Go figure.