Sunday, May 27, 2018

Candy Crush's Salute to Lowered Expectations



My guess is that the fat doofus sitting next to you can totally relate to the feeling you get when you beat a level on Candy Crush, you pathetic, phone-addicted bag of skin.  It's probably a lot like getting to the next level on Cuphead or finally managing to eat an entire pie in one sitting- you are tempted to call your mom and tell her that you actually accomplished something, but you quickly change your mind and just tell your 4000 Facebook friends instead.

Meanwhile, you're still an overweight, directionless loser finding pleasure in beating a stupid, brain-numbing waste of time game on your bestest electronic friend.  And your significant other doesn't look like he needs more excuses to stay on his lazy fat ass either.  Maybe you both need to go outside and actually DO something that involves burning calories, getting some fresh air, etc?  You might accidentally accomplish something for realsies along the way.  You could give yourself BONUS points if that happens.

Candy Crush?  Oh, don't worry.  It will still be there when you start to feel short of breath and decide that the simple pleasures of a walk or other non-phone-related activity just don't cut it as they lack the instant gratification of bells and whistles and pretty colors, not to mention the image of a cartoon cat on a motorcycle OHMIGOD THAT IS SO EPIC LOL I HAVE TO POST HOW MUCH I LOVE THIS (just check the comments.  That is, if you want to lose your last shred of respect for humanity.)

Sorry to distract you from your zombie phone game, you losers.  Go tackle that next level!  Make yourself proud!

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Tasting Room goes after your toughest First World Problem!



Ugh, the White Privilege just DRIPS from this callow one minute flat of pampered dreck, doesn't it?  The "problem" this guy has is finding Just the Right Wine without spending hours and hours going to shops and using trial by error- you know, like pretty much every person who has ever consumed wine has done for eons.  There MUST be a better way!  There are only SO many times I want to take the SUV to Whole Foods per week, and that number is six!

So now you disgusting rich pampered jackasses can get tiny bottles of liquor in the mail to sample in the comfort of your own private palatial estates until you figure out which one is juuuuuuuusssst riiighhht.  Then you can order whole bottles of wine suited exactly to your taste which of course will never ever change, nor will you ever feel the slightest bit adventurous ("adventurous" to these people IS trying a new wine, when it isn't taking the family caravan to the Catskills to walk around for a few minutes filming the kids frolick, or dumping the kids with the nanny and heading off to Sandals for the weekend.)

Have I made it clear how much I hate ads like this which appeal to maybe one-hundredth of one-percent of the people watching because the other 99.99 percent aren't desperately searching for ways to spend their excess money that doesn't involve a charity or college fund?  Burn in hell, Tasting Room.


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Toyota Jan Presents: Stuff happening you might need a way to get to



There's stuff that happens during the summer, and having a car can help you get to that stuff.

Here's some of the stuff that happens during the summer- Mother's Day, which you may have thought happened on a Sunday in Spring, but Toyota Jan is here to clear that up for you- is an example of that stuff.  So is Memorial Day which, again, your faulty memory might have tricked you into thinking happened during the Spring, but nope, it's totally a summer thing.

There's also family reunions, but only for black people.  There's the beach and fishing and baseball games and the park if you're white.

There's all this stuff to do, and most of it isn't taking place in your front yard, so here's a vehicle with an internal combustion engine you can use to get you to the area where that stuff is happening.  Go check out your local Toyota dealer to purchase your very own travel machine thing to get you to places where stuff is happening but might be too far away for you to walk.  Do it now, while the prices on these wheeled people boxes is comparatively low, because Summer.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Drivetime's Insurance Commercials Don't Add Up



This is what Drivetime Insurance thinks a Mathematician looks like in the year 2018- a skinny old guy with long, gray hair and a wild look in his eyes using a chalkboard the size of a football field to do calculations.  Haha those people who do The Maths are so silly!  Such crazy old guys (no women of course, that's silly- women don't do maths!  That's why they can't manage a checkbook LOL!)  No laptops or projection screens for these crazy old men!  They'll be covered in chalk dust scratching out figures on green slate 200 years from now, just you wait and see, 'cause they're so weird with all their numbers and such!

Not sure what this has to do with insurance, but whatever.  Hey, Drivetime?  I personally know people who teach The Maths.  They actually use computers and projection screens now.  They also come in all colors and sexes, what a world we live in.  How about getting your brain out of the 1950s already?  Because this doesn't make me want to buy anything.  Certainly not insurance.  That's what your selling here, right? 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Is Root Insurance the Mark of the Beast?



A few years ago I bashed Progressive Insurance (and Flo) for promoting some kind of "safe driver" device that one could stick on their dashboard which would then record certain things concerning driving habits, which could then be used to determine how "safe" the particular drivers were and then determine how much those drivers should pay for car insurance.  My main gripe was that Progressive was pitching this Spy Box as a really cool way to get a discount by letting your insurance company into your car to watch how you drive.

Well, it seems that there's this new insurance company whose entire premise is based on watching its customers every move and only selling policies to people who convince it that those drivers will never need to actually collect on those policies.  It's a pretty slick idea, considering that there's only two reasons why people buy car insurance:

1.  To be covered in case of an accident, and
2.  Because state laws require it.

So if you want Root Insurance, you download the App, which then spies on you for a few weeks to make sure you live up to Root's extremely high standards.  If you "pass," you get to buy the insurance, which I assume is discounted because most people don't pass.  I'm also going to assume that if you get into an accident and file a claim, your insurance premiums are going to skyrocket or you'll be cancelled- after all, this insurance is for GOOD drivers and the whole point of this ad is to tell us that other insurance policies are awful because they cover less-than-perfect drivers (who at the moment don't need to be spied on by their own companies, though it's only a matter of time, isn't it?)

So go ahead and download the Root Insurance App and know that every move you make in your car will be judged by a company which has told you in advance that it only insures drivers who drive according to an extremely high standard and is ready to dump you overboard the first time you hit those brakes just a little too hard for it's tastes.  Don't even think about changing that radio channel or talking on the phone while driving, because you can bet that's a big no-no over at Root HQ.  Or you could just buy a policy from a company that doesn't insist on being a passenger on every drive.  Your choice, but this is just another reason why I don't miss owning a car. 

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Prager U- offering a PhD in Hate



This episode- err, "class," is presented by Douglas Murray, the author of "The Strange Death of Europe," yet another hateful, stupid polemic which argues that Europe becoming more brown and less Christian = Europe Dying.  In other words, he's a great fit for Prager U, the blog that thinks it's a school which dispenses ignorant propaganda it thinks is education.

Murray "explains" to us "students" that some decades back waves of immigrants came into Europe from the Middle East- "most weren't expected to stay" (he doesn't tell us whose expectations he's quoting.)  I guess Murray believes that people of particular skin tones and beliefs also have particular areas of the world they've been assigned as Homelands, and that any dark person who travels to Europe really ought to be made aware that they are "just visiting" an alien world and are expected to return to their "proper home" in the very near future.

Despite the "expectations" of someone, "many stayed.  And why wouldn't they?"  Murray goes on to complain that the "visitors" didn't "go home" because Europe foolishly offered two things- a better economy than the one they could find in their native land, and (of course) a stronger social welfare system.  In other words, the migrants stayed because they found more opportunity in Europe, Oh The Horror.  Never mind that Murray just described why millions of Europeans fled to North America for centuries, that's Different Because Reasons.

The bottom line of this rancid, steaming, putrid pile of xenophobic cow pie is that Murray is attempting to hide his obvious racism behind a defense of "tradition" (Europe has "always" been Judeo-Christian-- actually for centuries just Christian with the Judeo junior partner being viciously discriminated against, but never mind that inconvenient truth) and equating Europe becoming more diverse to "committing suicide."  What a disgusting Neo-Nazi (I don't use the term "Alt-Right," because "Neo-Nazi" fits just fine, thank you.)  And what a great fit for Prager U, the blog where brain cells go to die.  I guess since people watch this junk voluntarily, it is itself a form of suicide, isn't it?

Friday, May 18, 2018

CENTRIC - the channel for Black Women? We sure about that?



I'm the least-qualified person on the planet to argue what black women want in a television channel, so I'm not going to criticize an ad which suggests that what black women want is a channel which celebrates black women who are mothers, jet-setters, go-getters, "bad-asses," or just stare at the screen like they are trying to make my head explode with their minds.  White women have had Lifetime for years- if there's a channel designed to appeal specifically to black women, that's just fine with me and the last thing any black woman needs is a white guy telling them that what they want is really stupid and shallow and brain cell-killing unconstructive, pointless drivel.  So I won't go there.

But here's where I will comment:  I was on the elliptical at the gym the other day scrolling through the channels looking for something to watch until I reached my mileage goal and naturally came across a showing of The Shawshank Redemption.  I say "naturally" because it's a little known fact of television science that The Shawshank Redemption is playing on at least one channel in the television universe every minute of every day, it's just a matter of finding the right one at any given moment.  Thing is, I found it on Centric.

Now, again, I am not qualified to know what black women want in a television channel.  But The Shawshank Redemption does not feature a single black actress.  It includes exactly one scene featuring a white woman who has no lines.  It includes exactly one black male actor who spends the film surrounded by white male actors.  It's one of the most male, most white films made in the past forty years.  But there it was, on Centric, the channel for black women.

Here's what I suspect- Judging from the previously-stated fact that The Shawshank Redemption is on tv all the time, it's a film that is practically in the public domain, available for nothing or next to nothing to any cable channel that wants to chop it up, inundate it with seemingly endless commercials (mostly for the channel) so it's run time extends to three and a half hours, and throw it on the air to save the money original material costs.  Doesn't matter what the target audience is or the niche the channel is allegedly trying to fill- The Shawshank Redemption is just fine for Comedy Central, UPN, USA Network*, the SciFi Channel, the History Channel, whatever- it's a cheap gap-filler.  But even as a white male, I can see it's especially jarring when it's used for Centric.  Cripes, what's next- you going to run episodes of The Big Bang Theory or Friends on the Network for Black Women?

*Well, ok, not USA Network.  They'll never run out of episodes of Law & Order.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

What's FAIR? Nativism with cute animation, that's what.



Note that at NO point in this ugly, bigoted rant is the "why is it a problem" part of the title ever addressed.  Sophia comes to the United States for a better life, and inspires members of her family and their friends- a whopping total of 36 people over god knows how many years when you think about how long it takes to fill out the applications these days- and the negative result is....well, what, exactly?  That a nation of 300 million has added 36?  What is the crisis here "Fair?"

And check out the YouTube cretins, using the same arguments put forward against Catholics in the 1850s, the Chinese in the 1880s, Jews in the 1920s....the "arguments" which boil down to "I'm here, that's enough, my family should be the last allowed in, shut the door because these people aren't assimilating they are just retarding our wage scales and eating up our resources blah blah blah I wish I could say what I really mean but I don't want to get called the racist jackass I am....."

Oh, but I'm sure I'll get a response along the lines of "when my ancestors came they followed the rules."  First, that's exactly what these people are doing.  They are coming here legally, filling out forms, following the rules.  Second, what "rules" did your ancestors follow?  Until 1924 there were virtually NO rules for entering the United States and becoming a permanent citizen- your chances of making it through the screening process was about 97%, and the whole deal- from luggage inspection to medical check to intelligence test- took about 3 hours on average.  Your ancestors didn't jump through hoops to prove their worthiness to be American citizens, unless you think that standing in a crowded line for an afternoon constitutes a trial by fire.

Tell you what, you wannabee modern Know-Nothings:  Let's be totally FAIR and put the system your ancestors used to gain entry into the world's largest refugee camp back into place.  Oh let me guess- it's "different" now because America is really crowded and the world is really dangerous, right?  Well, fact is that we have a skilled worker shortage in this country, which is why your kids' doctor is very likely to be an Indian and why tech companies are begging the government to allow more educated workers in on at least temporary visas.  The world is really dangerous?  More dangerous than when Europe was embroiled in one war after another, which was probably when your own family arrived?

Kiss off, FAIR.  Stop producing the most nakedly anti-American hate propaganda not actually featuring Alex Jones already.  This is just crap, and you should be ashamed.  You should also read some history about the country you claim to support.  Because you clearly don't know anything about it.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Walgreen's Seriously Stupid Red Nose Ads scream "punch me here!"



First, to the person who decided to repost this commercial and include an intro:  "Important Notice: If an agency or product owner does not want any publishment, it is withdrawn back?" What the HELL does that mean?  Seriously, English Much? 

Second, does Walgreens even get that the only thing less funny than some random stranger on the street wearing a red nose is EVERYONE ON THE PLANET WEARING A RED NOSE?  Red noses aren't funny.  At best, they are banal because they are just red noses- if you think they are funny, you think everything is funny (see the next paragraph.)  At worst, they remind us of clowns, which are terrifying until we reach the age of four, mildly amusing until we reach the age of six, boring until we reach the age of 10, and then go back to being terrifying until we die (those three babies we see early in the ad would not actually giggle at the sight of a total stranger making faces at them while wearing a rubber nose.  They'd scream.  Guaranteed.)

Third, what is this red nose thing all about other than showing white people doing something really stupid and demonstrating that no white people have any sense of humor at all, and then showing that black people are perfectly willing to act like white people in the service of being really stupid and showing that they also have zero sense of humor?  I mean, come on- the black married couple just stick red noses on and get their photos taken so they can either cringe at those photos for the rest of their lives or skip them altogether when they look at the album.  You know, it's kind of rare when people do something they KNOW they'll regret forever at the moment they are actually doing it- but if this couple doesn't realize that sticking red rubber noses on before sealing the deal at the wedding isn't something they really, really wish they hadn't done at the moment they do it, they should not breed.  Like, ever.

Fourth, this was not the Walgreens Red Nose ad I was going to use for this post, but I couldn't find the one currently making the rounds which features a perpetually delighted pregnant woman, her perpetually delighted little girl, and their adventures prancing around with stupid red balls attached to their punchable, incredibly self-satisfied and smug faces. But this one will do, because it's every bit as pointless and stupid and cringey. 

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Wrapping up McDonald's "Speechless Thoughts" Trilogy....



This one with Charles Barkley is different from the others only in that Barkley isn't completely silent throughout, but instead treats us to a few "mmmm mmmm mmmms" at the very beginning.* Otherwise it's the same already-tired schtick we saw with Gabrielle Union and John Goodman- he just holds the cheeeburger next to his face while rocking back and forth and ocassionally pretending to take a bite by moving it slightly closer to his mouth.

I don't know why McDonald's made these ads.  They aren't funny, they don't make me hungry for a cheeseburger, and they sure don't make me think "wow, McDonald's is being very clever here."  I'm sure that at some point someone will comment "hey, you paid attention to it, and that's what advertising is all about," which is the inane drum solo of "gotchas."  I notice and pay attention to car wrecks, too, and the other day watched a flock of tiny birds attempt to save one of their own from a crow's beak.  Didn't make me want to buy anything- which IS the point of commercials.

I DO know why McDonald's locked out comments on all three of these stupid ads, however.  They know this is stupid trash, and they don't want to hear it, and they don't want to pay people to pretend they are funny or clever, and they know that by artificially inflating the "likes" when all the honest responses say the ad is crap is an old con everyone sees through nowadays. 

*I wonder if Barkley's inability to be completely "speechless" during a 30-second ad is supposed to be a "clever" take on his reputation for having a big, constantly-running mouth that can't even stop expressing itself long enough to do a commercial in which he's supposed to be 'Speechless?'  Still not clever, McDonald's.  I hope you are done with these things.  They won't be missed.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Episode II of McDonald's weird new Speechless campaign



In this episode of McDonald's bizarre new tv series Let's Watch Washed-Up Actors and Sports Figures Eat Cheeseburgers, the featured player is John Goodman because well, why not?  (Or, "well, what could better convince people to buy and consume McDonald's cheeseburgers than watching an elderly, obese actor eating one while making stupid 'I can't act at all' faces?")

I don't know why McDonald's thought this was a smart way to sell food, but I'm no marketing genius.  I know what I like, and this doesn't resemble that.  I know what makes me hungry, and this SURE doesn't do that.  Maybe Charles Barkley can do it?  Stay tuned.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

McDonald's cheeseburger ads leave me almost speechless. Almost.



The most horrible thing about these horrible, horrible ads is that they all feature actual actors, yet when tasked to do nothing more than signify pleasure in eating a cheeseburger all they can do is grimace and squirm and act as if eating that burger is an act of pure torture.  Leaving us, the viewer, tortured in turn.

I mean, look at this.  What is happening to Gabrielle Union in this ad?  Is she struggling to keep the burger down?  Is she tearing up?  Is she in severe need of a bathroom break and mentally begging the director to yell "cut" so she can make a b-line for the little girl's room? Is she sitting on a sharp rock?  Nothing about her facial expression is delivering the message "gee, she sure looks like she's loving that cheeseburger."

Anyone shocked that comments are blocked for these ads?  Not me.  I can only imagine that McDonald's produced them, showed them to a few focus groups, and responded to the feedback with "oh what the hell, we made these things and paid for them, let's just slap them on tv, don't know why we even make commercials for a place everyone already goes to anyway, but we've got this budget and we have to show something for it, so...."

Meanwhile, someone get Ms Union some freaking acting lessons.  The stand-in at any High School spring production could do a better job showing joy for thirty seconds than this "actress."  Just terrible.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Botox Treatments: When you don't know what you got till it's gone



The guy in this ad is a rich, successful architect with a big house and a beautiful child.  He has his health, as evidenced by the fact that we see him jogging through the woods.  Looks to me like he's got it all.

Oh, but he also has "moderate to severe" crow's feet and frown lines to go along with the gray in his beard,* and there's this young guy at the office he feels threatened by, so he's going to go through botox treatments which carry the risk of these symptoms:  Difficulty breathing, swallowing, eye problems, muscle weakness, all of which could be signs of a life-threatening condition.  Side effects may include "rash, welts, asthma symptoms and dizziness."

Oh, there's more you may have missed because it was partially drowned out by the punchy music:  treatments may cause some kind of pain I could not catch no matter how many times I listened, plus "eyelid drooping" and "eyelid swelling."

"The details make the difference, the man makes them matter" is the glorious punchline.  I have another one: what kind of cretin would be willing to make his little girl an orphan in exchange for a few more years of looking like a slightly younger Eurotrash version of his true self?  Hey, buddy- that little kid who loves and depends on you?  She doesn't notice your crow's feet.  She might notice all those horrible side effects you are risking because you can't deal with getting older.  Something to think about:  This isn't all about you.  Not anymore.  Not since you had that kid.  Dicktard.

*A simple hair coloring to take the gray out of the beard seems to be the last thing this guy considers- first, botox injections that might destroy his health, THEN Just for Men haircolor.  Yeah, this makes total sense.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Bullymake Box? BarkBox? Give me a break.



Look, I know that there are people out there who like dogs, even "love" them, for reasons I will never, ever understand and probably don't even want to.  And I appreciate that if those people care deeply for the little mammals they share a home with and take walks with and pick up the filth of and allow to monopolize the sidewalk and are constantly telling pedestrians like me things like "he's just being friendly" and "don't worry he doesn't bite" etc. etc. want to make sure that little mammal that does wonderful things like eat and walk and lie around and drop feces everywhere is as healthy as possible for as long as possible.

And I'm not going to go into a long lecture about how this barkbox or bitebox or whatever the hell this is is just another nail in the coffin for brick-and-mortar stores, because that's a lost cause and lazy point-and-clickers clearly don't give a damn that with every click they are helping to undermine the economy.  That kid who hoped to work at a pet supply store this summer?  Sorry, kid.  Go to Plan B (and I hope Plan B wasn't working at Staples.)

But seriously, if I ever found myself talking about ANYTHING in the giddy, lobotomized squeal that this narrator uses in explaining how this "service" provides endless boxes of fricking chew toys to pollute your house and neighborhood with, I'm willing to be put away and for my family to visit me every other weekend.  Because for cripes sakes people, they're dogs!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

In the uncut version of this Zillow ad, Daddy shows his son where he buried the Jehovah's Witnesses



So the scruffy Gen-Xer in this ad obsesses over his boyhood home while his wife regularly asks if it happens to be on sale- either this family is never going to buy a house unless this particular one goes on sale, or they are so damned rich they can just jump on this house the moment it goes on the market and move there.  Literally ten seconds after the damn thing finally does get listed- for $450,000, convincing me this palatial estate must be in the middle of nowhere, tough luck kid- the couple is totally into buying it.

Turns out the guy buried a time capsule on the property- a time capsule consisting of some knick knacks and including what's probably a very valuable set of baseball cards and a photo of himself and his father.  This stuff was put into a dented box and not wrapped in plastic but it's not ruined by water or anything Because Television.  Personally I think that the ad would have ended much better if when he opened the box it contained nothing but a lump of moldy paper that used to be rare baseball cards and an irreplaceable photo, but that's because I'm a jerk.

"Told you I grew up here" says the Dad, which is kind of weird unless this was a bone of contention with Son.  It sure wasn't a problem for Mom, who was perfectly willing- even eager- to move to an old house in the middle of Iowa because Dad Wants This House.  Maybe Son just wanted to stay in his old neighborhood, which was actually a neighborhood with neighbors that weren't corn stalks, and refused to believe that he was really being forced to uproot and move to Nowhere, Nebraska Population 0 Until You Show Up because Dad wanted to relive his childhood?

This is all super-heartwarming according to the YouTube gluesniffers, who are tearing up when they aren't asking what the twee music in the background is.  I suspect that they are like 99 percent of thumbs-up YouTube commenters, which is to say, paid whores for the company being advertised.  I sure hope so, anyway.  Because if you really get a lump in your throat from this banal, manipulative nonsense you are beyond sad.