Saturday, September 21, 2019

You know, my daily 7-11 experience is NOTHING like this



What inspired this woman to drive like a dangerous maniac through her company's parking lot?  A cup of crappy gas station coffee and a premade sandwich picked up for lunch.

In short, there's not a whole lot going on in this woman's life.

Sidenote:  The next day this same woman drives a motorcycle to work and uses it to jump 22 cars before riding it right up the steps, using her coworker's desks as an obstacle course, and finally coming to a screeching halt in front of the boss's office, having found an extra hash brown at the bottom of her greasy McDonald's bag.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Sam Adams jumps into the Celebration of Addiction pool



So all the people in this ad are such sad alcoholics that they regularly drank beer despite the fact that they couldn't taste it?  What is it with beer ads these days that they are dropping all pretense at suggesting that their product is consumed because it tastes good and going straight for the "it's alcohol, you're life is crap and you need alcohol, so drink this crap constantly" message?

The ad starts with a public make-out session between two ugly people being interrupted by the sudden realization by one of them that she can taste her beer.  This astonishes her- she isn't used to being able to taste her beer.  She just drinks it because....she's thirsty?  No.  She just drinks it because if she doesn't the guy she's with isn't going to look good enough to kiss and besides, she's done spending evenings trying to pull those giant green spiders no one else can see off her face.

Oh, and check out the final few seconds of this commercial, where the scruffy loser wakes up his life partner- or the woman he found himself sleeping next to when he came out of his stupor- to let her know that he can actually taste his 2 AM buzz fix.  Better yet, check out that woman- she looks like she's not sure where she is, or who HE is.  Never mind "sad."  This is getting downright depressing.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Seize the Day at Taco Bell!



(Before we get started, note that these boxes have lids which we never see closed, are overflowing to the point where the lids clearly cannot be used.  In other words, we've got a case of Overflowing KFC Bucket Syndrome here.  Well, Taco Bell and KFC are owned by the same company, so no trademark violation anyway....)

These boxes have 1130 calories, they contain the following RDAs for an adult:

92% of total fat.
55% of saturated fat
85% of sodium

So basically once you've eaten one of these things, you're done for the day.  You've used up your RDAs for a pile of soggy chips and grease-infused beef nibbles from the hole in the wall down the street manned by high school students and an adult manager who wishes he were dead.  Pass.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

I guess "White Trash Nation" was taken



First of all, if we're all Superstars, none of us are.  I mean, do I really have to explain this?

Second- no, I'm not watching this.  And I mean, not ever.  If it isn't absolute brain-numbing crap, maybe I can be indicted for prejudging but I'll take that chance.  For the next several months, Friday Night is for College Football unless I have a date.  In other words, Friday Night is for College Football.

Not this....not this crap.  Because this....this just looks awful.  And not "The Connors" awful.  No, this is "The Masked Singer" awful.  There, I said it.

Week 11 is Steelers v Browns.* In other words, these TNF ads aren't going to get any better



Nothing more entertaining than watching the fans of two irrelevant professional football teams trash-talk eachother, is there?

Seriously, the only thing these idiots should be arguing about is how many dozen people outside of Nashsville and Jacksonville intend to tune in on Thursday.  I mean, it IS going up against Celebrity Family Feud with something named Tyler Blevins, after all.  And that's just ABC!

This woman especially is being awfully mouthy in her support for a team which is currently 1-1 as it prepares to go up against a team which is 0-2.  Meanwhile, the Jags fan seems pretty confident that his team is going to bounce back and win the conference....but that might be only because the Colts lost their star quarterback to retirement a few days before the season started?  Either way, no reason to be crowing, buddy.  And again, your team is 0-2. 

State Farm introduces it's next Consistently Failing in the Playoffs QB Spokeschoad



You guys in Green Bay and Kansas City ever get sick of seeing your Quarterbacks spending more time pimping for State Farm than they do in playoff games?  I mean, seriously- between these two guys I count 16 seasons of NFL football and exactly one Superbowl Ring.

Oh, but I guess that as Rodgers' career winds down and younger fans start to forget who the heck Peyton Manning is, State Farm must start to groom the next generation of Underachieving Star Quarterback spokespeople.  So welcome to your new career, Mr Mahomes.  Look on the bright side:  the Brady Era can't last forever, and when it ends, that window of opportunity will open just a little wider.

Aaron Rodgers?  Well, at least Max Kellerman still thinks you're better than Brady, even as he tells us Brady is the best of all time.  Sound like a contradiction?  Well, it's Max Kellerman.  Enjoy his adulation, and your State Farm paycheck, and your one ring.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Depressing that this College GameDay Commercial is 7 years old...



...because seven years later, Lee Corso is still sucking oxygen out of every Saturday morning with his nonsensical dribbling over young men one-fourth his age, regularly interrupting to spew disconnected cliche'd BS because for some reason ESPN thinks he's still relevant in covering a sport Corso coached until his retirement in 1984.  In other words, a sport Corso knows nothing about and has known nothing about for more than thirty years.*

Oh, but he's been doing this gig since the show debuted in 1987, so....well, no, that doesn't do it for me, either.  Like Joe Paterno,** Lee Corso is here every Saturday morning because he always has been, never mind that he no longer does anything except suck up time from the braying jackasses who are trying to establish themselves as solid TV performers before ESPN finally admits that it's become an irrelevant antique in the Brave New World of the Internet and they are forced to find cameras owned by profitable networks.   I guess he's just a familiar face- like Paterno, or Chris Berman, or (extending the analysis beyond football) Chris Matthews, invited back year after year because what the hell sure he's got nothing to say and no one can remember the last time he had anything to say but he's kind of an Institution and we viewers can always hit the mute button when he starts spitting stream of consciousness blather at the audience.

*Not that Corso knew a whole lot about football when he was a coach, unless you think that a lifetime record of 73-85-6 marks him as some kind of college football guru who ought to be given a 35-year-and-counting contract to ramble incoherently about the sport he had two good years coaching half a century ago.

**We all know that Paterno wasn't the actual coach of Penn State for at least the last ten seasons he had the title.  He spent some entire games in the freaking owner's box "managing the game" by phone, for chrissakes.  His absolute lack of involvement was his main defense during the abuse scandal.  Yet every week he was the focus of commentary during every Penn State game, as he accepted praise for work being done by his assistant coaches.



Make these Real Owners Not Actors Commercials Invisible. That would be much better.



"Ok Real Pickup Owners not Actors, this Chevy BlandMobile features the world's first invisible trailer."

Because all Real Chevy Owners Not Actors must act like mentally deficient box turtles whose moms lived exclusively on lead paint chips during pregnancy, one of them bleats "invisible," another remarks "so it isnt' the trailer sitting right here?" and yet another actually bangs his fist against the trailer with a "toldja so it's right here, I can see it and I just proved its right here you're gonna have to do that Chevy spokesman I got you this time" look on his punchable face.

Ah, but you see- it's not that the trailer is actually invisible, but that among the 500 camera options featured in Chevy's latest BS Electronics to Distract You From the Overall Crappiness pickup model is one that-- um--- basically photoshops the trailer out of the picture.  Well, isn't that clever because now you can....um....wait a minute, what exactly IS the function of this camera option again?

Well, if you've got it activated, you can back up without seeing your trailer, which is really helpful if...you don't want to know how much room you have and are trying to smash up your trailer.  Or if you're on the highway, it helps you forget you're hauling a trailer so when you change lanes you don't allow for enough space and you clip that car you thought you had ample room to pass.....

Come to think of it, I can't imagine why this Invisible Trailer feature would be anything but a stupid, dangerous option nobody in their right mind would ever activate.  But it's new so I guess it's deserving of a commercial.  And hey, it gives a group of camera-hungry choads another opportunity to kiss Chevrolet's butt for thirty seconds in exchange for a little tv time, so there's that, too.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

In real life, this Coke commercial only ends in three possible ways



1.  Assuming it's happening in 2019, this kid is told to shut his stupid piehole and stop trying to get himself on YouTube by blathering a cliche'-ridden pile of noxious drivel.   OR

2.  Assuming it's any time in human history, he's told to sit the f--k down because he's blocking the people sitting behind him who came to watch a game, not his fat face lecturing them on how to be good fans.  OR

3.  If this event is taking place in the 1980s, he's greeted with silence followed by the Slow ClapTM.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Ok, Coors is just trolling us now, right?



If not, can we expect to see the following commercials from Coors?

"The official Beer of waiting for the Ride On Bus."

"The official Beer of Drinking outside your daughter's daycare hoping to get a glimpse of her without your ex-wife finding out."

"The official Beer of drinking before heading off to church."

"The official Beer of drinking on your way back from the bathroom to the bedroom at 2 AM."

"The official Beer of Drinking before going in to the Funeral."

Let's just cut to the chase, go back to my original post on this awesome campaign, and call Coors the Official Beer of Being a High-functioning Alcoholic and get it over with, ok?

Sunday, September 8, 2019

This Coors commercial is NOT a parody!



Sitting down on the couch with your roomate, still in your bathrobe....and taking a beer out of a pocket of that bathrobe (which is where you always keep spare beers, in case you need one on your way back from the toilet in the middle of the night, perhaps?) and handing it to your friend before setting down on the couch for the 4-hour College Football Gameday show to start.....because fried eggs without beer is like waffles without vodka.  Just doesn't work!

Not only is all this perfectly fine, perfectly normal....but as far as Coors is concerned, it's a great opportunity to grab that important niche market of weekend alcoholics and get their brand nailed down as "the official beer of Saturday Mornings."

I wish....I seriously wish this commercial came with a disclaimer, or at least a laughtrack, to let us know Coors isn't serious about this.  But it doesn't, and they are.  Coors is the Official Beer of the Early-Morning Hangover, the Official Beer of the 48-hour Drunk, the Official Beer of the Two-Day Stupor on your Couch...let's just cut to the chase, shall we?  Coors is the Official Beer of the High-Functioning Alcoholic.  And proud of it.

Seriously, Coors-- can you guys just go back to funnelling money to Right-Wing Republican candidates for high office, anti-abortion initiatives, and Think Tanks with the openly-stated goal of banning gay marriage?  You know, like back in the good old days when of course you wanted more alcoholics but weren't willing to blatantly celebrate them in your tv commercials?  Because this....this is really too much.

(BTW, I almost never post comments on two commercials in the same day, but I have this sneaking suspicion that Coors is going to experience a backlash from this one and it will vanish from tv and YouTube in a short time, so I have to comment before it enters the realm of "did I really see that?" myth.)

The Cult of Dr Pepper is ruining my Saturday Afternoons



I guess the "joke" here is that the insane parents are becoming concerned that their son might be gay- I mean, what other reason could he possibly have for getting interested in Soccer instead of, you know, the only sport that really matters- College Football?

The lunatic mom even bleats some line about how it's "natural" for a kid her son's age to "experiment" with "other sodas," leading up to the nonsensical punchline- that the kid has been living in such a culty bubble of isolation that he was not aware that Dr Pepper was not the only soft drink on the planet.  I don't know why the parents didn't just skip to the "we're worried about you because you've strayed away from the True Faith, the Church of Dr Pepper" instead of mocking interest in the most popular sport on the planet. 

These "Fanville" commercials are a large and growing series on television these days, and they are especially ubiquitous during college football games.  I can't be the only viewer who finds college-football themed commercials during college football games more than a little exhausting.  Watching crazy graduates of Generic State bringing their sad desperation to cling to their College Glory Days to the level of badgering kids and neighbors to embrace unquestioning loyalty to State AND Dr Pepper (why are they connected?  Meh, who cares?) in between actual college football games which feature more shots of lunatic fans making asshats of themselves leaves me depressed and bleary-eyed long before mid-afternoon games have even kicked off.  Thank goodness for my XM Radio and mild walking temps. 

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Lulu, Lobo and Wells Fargo: Horrible Together



This is one of a series of commercials featuring these dogs and this bank.  Let that sink in for a minute.

Ok, depressed enough?  Then let's continue.  Lulu and Lobo are sitting at the entrance of a Wells Fargo watching their owner doing something in the building they aren't allowed in for some reason.  Because they are dogs, in real life they don't have the slightest clue what is going on or why there's this invisible shield between them and the other creature which feeds them because they have brains the size of walnuts.  But because they are dogs on tv, they are telepathically speaking to eachother in human voices.  And because they are dogs on tv in the United States, they are telepathically speaking to eachother in human voices speaking English.  And because CGI is a thing, one of the dogs is moving his mouth while he's telepathically speaking.  This is all happening mainly because Wells Fargo hates people so very, very much.

And because they are animals on tv they can deduce what is happening between humans in the bank- never mind that a six-year-old human child probably wouldn't understand, these animals know that the humans are negotiating a thirty-year adjustable-rate mortgage which will allow their human to move them into a house with a yard so they can live "the unleashed life" (please, just kill me now.)  They get all this just by staring through the glass at the entrance door which never opens because nobody else attempts to enter or leave the Wells Fargo during the entire negotiation which BTW is taking place right there in the lobby of the bank and not in an office because That's Convenient.  Oh, and the owner of these ridiculous dogs didn't bother to tie them up outside (or, better yet, just leave them home) but that's ok because they'll just sit there staring into the bank until she decides to come out (doesn't this mean that they are already living the "unleashed life?")

In the end, the girl makes the deal and she won't even have to explain it to the dogs (though I suspect he will anyway, because Dog Owner.)  I don't know what happens in the other Lulu and Lobo commercials and I seriously don't care, because of all the stupid commercial memes that have been done to death over the decades none has been done to death more than the Pets Thinking and Talking like Humans bit, and I'm just not going to subject myself to any more of this crap.  Instead, I'll just impose an instant boycott on every company which uses "talking" pets in its ads.  And wait for Wells Fargo to pull the rug out from under Lulu and Lobo's human by jacking up interest rates as soon as it's federally funded risky investments collapse again and we all get to party like it's 2009.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Bud Light + Game of Thrones = One Happy Ending



So here's the cross-promotion we've come up with:  A crappy, watered-down swill of a light beer only sad drunks on a limited income would ever buy on purpose, and an inexplicably popular HBO television series which finally ended roughly three seasons too late with a conclusion which left its most devoted fans simultaneously disgusted and outraged.   Dilly Dilly!

(Oh, and the happy ending?  Well, if you can get to the conclusion of this ridiculously overlong ad, you'll see that everyone in it dies horribly in a blaze of dragon fire.  This is the way ALL Bud Light "Dilly Dilly" commercials should end, along with all commercials featuring Chevrolet Real People Not Actors, Cell Phone service, the Geico lizard and Peyton Manning.  When the day comes that every one of THOSE commercials ends with the participants being roasted to death by a dragon, I'll be able to retire this blog.  Looking forward to it.)

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Random Questions about this stupid Geico Ad



1.  Why is this lizard intruding on a family camping trip?  Did they invite him?  And if so, why did they invite him?  I mean, if they've ever watched any other commercial featuring the lizard in the past, they KNOW that all he's going to do is harrass them about the benefits of the Geico App until they crush him with a convenient rock, which I really wish they'd just do.

2.  Why does this lizard think that the family would like to "manage their insurance" while on a camping trip?  Seriously, who thinks about managing their insurance while out camping with the family?  Do they even have a WiFi connection out there?  Because guess what, no matter how cool that Geice Insurance App is, it's not going to work unless you've got access to the internet.  And considering that I don't see anyone in this family using their phones here, I think it's a pretty good bet that there's no service where they are.  Because it's 2019, after all.

3.  Why does the Dad in this commercial care that the Geico's tiny bit of marshmallow is on fire?  I'd be more invested in getting it to shut the f--k up about insurance during Family Time in front of the fire.

4.  Is that Dad ever going to wipe that bit of marshmallow off his face?  I mean, seriously- I know it's just a speck of marshmallow, and maybe it's not even hot anymore- but it's still a sticky bit of sugary sludge he KNOWS is on his face.  Why doesn't he wipe it off?  Is he really that dead inside that he doesn't care about it being on his face?  Is he just so crushed by the lack of internet access that he can't work up the energy to wipe his face?  Seriously, what the hell?

Sunday, September 1, 2019

The only thing more depressing than this Gatorade commercial is the comment section that follows



What are the key words in this commercial?  Rivalry.  Hate.  Obsession.

What are these words in service of?  A company that sells flavored water in the guise of making children better "athletes," mainly by supplying that flavored water to every major league team in the country regardless of sport so that the brand name is prominent on every bench, box and bullpen and therefore burned into the viewers' brains before the official commercial (like this one) even arrives on the tv.

Want to be a better athlete, kid?  Well, here's my advice- find a Rival.  Find someone you think is as good as you at your chosen sport, or even better.  Psych yourself into hating that person, because you can be damned sure that person hates you.  Work harder- harder than you thought you could, because if you don't, that Rival is going to hurt you-- not just HURT you, that rival is going to BRING YOU DOWN and SHOVE YOUR NOSE IN IT.  Remember the Golden Rule- "Do Unto Others, Before they Do You."

Eventually, that Hate you've used to motivate yourself to work hard at something you once enjoyed as an innocent game (man you used to be a pansy!) will make you a stronger person, which will allow you to survive your competition with that person you've convinced yourself is out to get you.  Then you can move on from Hate to Repect (it's really natural and very easy, believe me.)  And you'll even eventually move on to Love that rival-- yep, it's a very simple evolution, that Hate to Respect to Love thing.  And all this will teach you about real life, because in real life, that's how relationships normally develop.

And remember, this is Advice coming from people who want you to see drinking large amounts of sugary water as a key ingredient to your ultimate "success" as an "athlete."  Sugary water, and Hate.

Now, if you want to really get your stomach churning, I dare you to read the comments and see how many viewers are super-inspired by this noxious schlock.  Don't say I didn't warn you.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

This Monster Commercial is not for a Depression drug. But it should be.



Monster is a resume-enhancing service which promises to make the user more attractive to potential employees- the idea is that people who use the service create resumes that are eye-catching, focus on the actual skills of the job-seeker, and avoid the worthless mulch that causes the resume scanners to give up and toss the things into the circular file cabinet.

But the little girl in this ad isn't asking about looking for a job, which can in fact be a sad, grinding, humiliating process that makes one question one's will to live.  Back in the early '90s I was working in the dairy department of an Upstate New York Wegman's while also substitute teaching and I went to dozens of interviews for a full-time teaching job which never ended with an offer of employment, and I can still remember thinking at times that I should just give up and look into the Manager Training Program at the store.  Ultimately I did manage to land a teaching position- in another state- and am celebrating my 25th year at that school this fall.  But I'll never forget the stress of resume-writing and interviews.   The little girl here is asking what it's like to WORK- and her daddy describes it as torture you just need to go through until you die.

Well, first of all, that's a really horrible message to send your daughter.  Clearly she's asking it because she regularly sees her father stumbling around in a defeated, shoulders-hunched daze looking absolutely miserable all the time, and she's at least healthy enough to know that it's not because being a FATHER is a life-sucking ordeal.  And his response is to let her know that "work" means "pain you deal with because you need money" and since everyone has to work, she should expect to graduate from childhood into her own lifetime of suffering somewhere down the road .

On some level I guess this all has to do with getting your resume in order so you can quit that job you hate and get a job you can actually enjoy, but that message kind of gets lost in this guy's horrible reply.  He clearly doesn't believe that there's any such thing as a Fulfilling, Rewarding Career- just Work.  If that's been his experience, I feel sorry for him- but he surely KNOWS of people who actually enjoy doing what they are paid to do and aren't defeated, deflated, all-suffering martyrs like himself.  He should invite one of those people to talk to his daughter about work, and keep his snarling pessimism to himself before he does lasting damage.

Friday, August 30, 2019

American Home Shield continues to prey on the poor and the distracted



1.  The client in this ad doesn't know what kind of insurance she has, or what it covers.  My guess is that she's insured against fire and severe weather damage and is enough of a dumb cluck to think that also means she's entitled to a new water heater when it wears out and stops working.  I'm consistently amazed at the people on tv who manage to make enough money to own homes but don't have Clue One as to how insurance works.

2.  The narrator tells us that American Home Shield does two things in exchange for the money they want you to shovel at it- it "helps" it's clients pay for repairs on "components" of major appliances.  Those are two enormous, flashing neon-light red flags (if you'll pardon the mixed metaphors) that are passed by in an instant when the viewer is supposed to be paying attention to the stupid woman, the stupid insurance adjuster, and the cartoon dragon.  The message you are supposed to get from this commercial is that an American Home Shield Warranty will repair or replace hot water heaters, air conditioners, washing machines, dishwashers, and all those other appliances which you live in constant fear of breaking down because their repair/replace cost is so high.  But that's not promised at all by the actual words in the commercial.  The WORDS IN THE COMMERCIAL only offer "help" (what's that?  Advice?  Assistance?  Maybe a LITTLE money?  Maybe no money at all) to repair "components" (what's THAT?  They'll "help" replace one part of the air conditioner but not another part, even if both need replacing?  Well, you'll find out after you pay the up-front Service Fee.)

Clearly the people at American Home Shield have learned a very valuable lesson from the big Pharmaceutical companies- when describing your product, dazzle your audience with colorful images so they don't listen carefully to what you're actually offering.  That way you can get them to give you money in exchange for very, very sketchy and limited "insurance" you'd be better off putting into a special fund to handle appliance issues coming down the road.  Too bad home warranties don't protect against Vampires- then you'd have coverage against companies like, well, American Home Shield.


Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Nissan Rogue is pompously sneering the world? Hey, that's MY job!



Here's another commercial which makes it's point in roughly fifteen seconds, yet goes on for an entire minute because

A)  the producer of this schlock has no respect for his audience and thinks we won't get the point unless it's anvilled into our skulls, or

B)  he is so proud of his Vision that he won't compromise that Vision by editing it down. 

Either way, I gotta say that no car company that offers WiFi, DVD players, Facebook, etc. etc. ETC as standard equipment has any business criticizing the world for being distracted by electronics.  As a pedestrian am pretty much never put into danger by other pedestrians staring at their phones.  Sure, they can annoy me- especially when I have to dodge them or they are standing in front of me at the crosswalk and don't notice that it's our turn to walk- but they aren't going to run me over.  But I am CONSTANTLY on guard for distracted DRIVERS, which make up maybe 1 percent of the distracted people in this ad.  Hey, Nissan- maybe the message should be "don't drive distracted" rather than "don't be distracted."  I'd really welcome seeing more people breaking their dumb phone addictions, but I'd settle for drivers just obeying the law- and using some common humanity- by simply putting those phones away while operating heavy machinery.  Baby steps, Nissan.  Baby steps.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Just for fun, let's look at the plot holes in Under Siege 2: Dark Territory!



Let me start out by saying that I love this movie, and I actually think it's superior to the original.  For one thing, we don't have a bimbo Playboy model running around trying to act tough (or trying to act, period.)  We don't have Ryback enlisting a support group to help him carry out his mission to Stop the Bad Guys from Nuking SomethingTM- except for a single porter, he's on his own, which is the way the best of these The One Guy They Didn't Count On Stands In Their Way films always plays it.  Eric Bogosian is actually more interesting as the computer-wizard bad guy than Gary Busey and Tommy Lee Jones were as they spent most of their time just chewing up the scenery.

I think I just like the plot better:  Crazy guy is going to seize control of a killer satellite and use it to nuke Washington DC and in the process collect $1 billion from America's enemies.  He knows about the satellite because he built it, strongly suggesting Timothy Olyphant's computer-hacker genius character in 2006's Live Free Or Die Hard.  I think I just like killer satellites.  So I'm sold right off the bat.

That being said, Under Siege 2:  Dark Territory certainly requires the viewer to suspend his level of disbelief more than the original does.  Here are a few head-scratchers (let's stick to the plan and call them Plot Holes, or perhaps Plot Canyons) I pick up every time I watch this film:

1.  Why a train?  Sure, that's where the security techs who have the password to the killer satellite are, but that's no reason to hijack an entire train and hold potentially hundreds (though it appears there are no more than a few dozen passengers) of people hostage.  These techs could have been kidnapped seperately and brought together to be tortured for the codes.  Bogosian's character (Travis Dane) attempts an explanation:  as long as the train is moving, the signal to the satellite is "invisible," ok.  But they could have just hired a yacht for the day and installed all this equipment on it, and skipped the potentially dangerous (and alarm-sounding) process of invading an army base, stealing military helicopters, and capturing a train.  Just seems like an overly complicated way of acquiring a moving vehicle.

2.  The entire operation is planned down to the last detail, but is almost completely derailed (no pun intended) because Travis Dane brings only one copy of the targeting CD with him.  When Ryback momentarily steals the CD, Dane freaks out that he's helpless without it, and even says "this train might as well be a thousand tons of junk without that CD."  The necessity of getting that CD back costs the lives of several bad guys, too.  But still- at any time, that CD could have been scratched or chipped, and then your entire $1 billion plan goes down the drain....because you forgot to burn another copy?

3.  The abilities of the satellite weapon increase dramatically throughout the film.  In the first half-hour,  Dane is asked to shoot down a passenger plane and he dismisses the idea as implausible before (rather effortlessly) doing it.  Forty minutes later he's using that satellite to target and shoot down Stealth bombers.  BTW, he shoots down one of those Stealths literally two seconds before it's about to destroy the train- so close that wreckage from the Stealth rains down on the train.  The pilot had orders to destroy the train, but didn't shoot when he was on top of it.  Is the range of missiles from Stealth bombers three feet, or what?  And why didn't the "earthquake" created by the satellite which destroyed the bomber have any effect on the train which was right underneath it?

4.  Dane tells his fellow bad guys that if he targets the Stealths he'll have to "unlock it from DC and "won't be able to get it back before it passes."   That "problem" is forgotten the moment the Stealths are destroyed, never to be mentioned again. Was Dane lying?  Is there an explanatory scene missing?

5.  The train is in the American West.  DC is on the East Coast.  So the satellite weapon can destroy planes in the West, and moments later is ready to destroy DC- does it travel backwards?  And why is the countdown clock never impacted by the constantly changing demands placed on the satellite?

6.  Dane planned for the hijacked train to crash into another train carrying a huge amount of fuel, destroying both trains and all the evidence and witnesses....approximately five seconds after he escaped the train in a helicopter?  Seriously, watch his attempted escape near the end- the destruction of Washington DC and the train was supposed to be simultaneous, I guess.  But considering that the destruction of the laptop controlling the satellite revealed the location of the satellite to the authorities, a miscalculation of a single minute could have sent Dane's plan right down the tubes.  Also, was Dane really going to be able to escape to the helicopter before the trains collided?  I don't see it.

7.  How fast do self-destruct signals travel, anyway?  The good guys get control of the satellite literally five seconds before it's set to destroy DC.  They push a button and the satellite, hundreds of miles above them in orbit, blows up.  Really?  They pull this instant-explosion stuff in You Only Live Twice, too, so it's not like Under Siege 2 invented this plot hole.  But it's still a pretty big one.

8.  Finally- Dane's plan is to destroy a secret nuclear power plant under the Pentagon and "create a fire from DC to the Carolinas" with the fallout from that plant.  Presumably this will wreck havoc on the US economy...but he wants to get paid in American money?  Not gold deposited in a foreign bank?  Really?  Why?

Ok, thanks for indulging me- lots of travel yesterday, pretty tired today, and back to school meetings start tomorrow, so I wasn't really in the mood to look for a commercial, and I kind of always wanted to rant about this movie for a little bit but wasn't going to start a separate blog for plot holes.  Back to commercials next time.




Saturday, August 24, 2019

Kristen Bell's experience with Enterprise does not extend beyond filming this ad, sorry



Just in case you were wondering, it turns out that yes, Kristen Bell is willing to pretend to be really into big trucks (to the point of being a braying jackass on tv) and renting cars and even reading a few lines about car sharing (as if she'd be into anything like that at all, I mean seriously please) if it means that Enterprise will give her a big fat check when she's done.

And it doesn't matter that even the most casual viewer can tell that she has zero idea what she's talking about at any point in this ad, or that it's beyond ludicrous that she's a spokesperson for a freaking rental car company at all.  This isn't QUITE as absurd as Magic Johnson shilling for Rent-A-Center or Shaquille O'Neill picking up a check bleating lines for The General, but it's pretty damn close. 

I know, I know, it's all about getting your face on tv whenever possible and picking up an extra paycheck while you can, but still....come on.  BTW, Kristen Bell apparently also does ads for Samsung Home Appliances- another thing I'm quite certain she knows absolutely nothing about.  If they look good I might get to them.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Auto Warranty 411- because funeral insurance and credit repair aren't robbing poor people of enough money, I guess



"Own a car?  Don't have any money?  Live in constant terror that something is going to happen to that car which is your lifeline to the world and without which you'd lose your job and your house and would be living on the street fighting the rats for the last scrap of pizza in the dumpster?  Well, you should, because a new onboard computer for your car could cost you upwards of $1600.  A new transmission could cost you $2000.  And since you barely own your car 'cause let's face it, if you fall for pitches like this you are probably very well acquainted with the Title Loan place next to the Dollar General down the street, there's no way you're ready to take on that kind of repair bill on your own!"

"Here's a Solution- and by Solution, I mean it's a solution in the way that Rent A Center is a solution to your desire for a big-screen tv or X-Box.  You can buy a piece of paper we like to call a 'Policy' 'cause it sounds official and then you can rest easy when it comes to car repairs. 

"But wait, you're thinking 'I can't afford an extended car warranty, I asked at the dealership and saw the cost and it's way out of my budget.'  Well sure but 411 Auto Warranty is BETTER than the manufacturer's warranty.  You see, with a manufacturer's warranty, THEY get to pick where you get your car repaired and THEY get to require a deductible, doesn't that sound so unfair?  With OUR service YOU decide where you get your car repaired- go to the licensed repair shop down the street, go to the dealership, go to the teenaged kid next door- we don't care, because it's not like we're going to cover any of the repairs!  And there's no deductible because, again, we aren't going to cover anything!"

"I feel perfectly comfortable telling you this because you aren't listening anyway- you're too busy looking at the black and white shots of scared, worried, anxious people (that could be you!) and then color pix of happy, pretty people hugging their cars (this could be you!  Why Not?  You could be happy someday and have someone take a picture of Happy You in front of your car!  Maybe that car is even in good repair and running! It's been known to happen!'

"So anyway, if you're already poor and scared and an easy target for vampire hucksters who want to take advantage of your economic vulnerability to squeeze money you really can't afford to part with into their own bank accounts, call this number and we'll have you signed up for easy small small small monthly payments and get that piece of paper that says Warranty and All Covered Repairs Will Be Covered and all that comforting but ultimately meaningless bs you're craving right now!"

"Because we care!  Really!"

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Lincoln's Summer Sales Event gives a small window of opportunity to us Lessers



Most people see a chair and think "there's a place to sit down."  And then are the Much Better People who think that unless a chair is made of leather and is constructed like it should be in a museum of abstract art.  Otherwise it's just for those loser people who a chair is just a chair.

Most people think that you can't be inside and outside at the same time while driving in a car.  But you know better, because you are better- you can push a button and open a moon roof which of course is only available in the fanciest, most luxurious of cars (not like my 1985 Toyota Tercel had one, for example.) 

Most people see a car as a way to get from Point A to Point B, but you figured out a long time ago that an automobile (or Driving Experience, please don't say "car" it's so crass and common) is a way of letting people know Who You Are and Why They Should Care and Want to Be You.  So you drive a Lincoln with leather seats and moon roof and windows which allow you to be inside and outside at the same time, sort of I guess.

And it's summer, which means that a Lincoln is slightly less insanely expensive for a limited time only, which also means that a slighly larger percentage of the masses can afford one if they take out another mortgage or ignore their economic situations or are prone to make really, really stupid decisions based on an impulse which in turn is based on the theory that fancier machines with internal combustion engines will make you a Better Person living a Better Life (please note that the woman is this ad is driving out of a desert in her new LookAtMeMobile.  That's symbolic.  Really.  If you don't get the symbolism, but can still come up with $50 G or so, you can still buy this thing.  But it's pretty sad you don't get the symbolism.)

Monday, August 19, 2019

Continuing with My Summer of Luvs



This time I'm dealing with :59 to 1:29 of this Luvs Diaper commercial collection.

So with the "first kid," Mommy is a loony germaphobe who spends what she occasionally refers to as her "life" doing things like boiling silencers (or teething rings, or whatever those things are being called these days, they are basically just Shut Up Bulbs) so her Precious Little Bundle doesn't get any germs ever.  She has time to do this because she is, after all, Standard Issue Trophy Wife and her brain is constantly searching for some level of stimulation or, to put it another way, a reason to continue functioning at all.

By the time Second Kid comes around, Mommy is secure in her position as Permanent Wife (might be a good idea not to be quite so confident there, Mommy) and is done obsessing over trying to keeping the Offspring germ-free.  Or she got her head out of her a## long enough to learn that it's kind of not a good idea to keep your kid sealed in a bubble until it's too late for their natural immune system to develop properly.  However, she is still aware that her value to Hubby is very closely connected to the heath of the Heirs, so she is going to take the worst of the germs on to herself by sticking that Shut Up Bulb into her own mouth first.  This woman gave up on being a person quite some time ago.  One Person in the house, paying the bills to keep a roof over the head of the Children, is more than enough thank you.  Being a Person is overrated.

Oh, and where's the first kid?  She MAY be eating sand.  Or, she may be toddling into the street.  Or, she may be accepting a ride from a nice stranger with candy.  Mommy really doesn't care anymore because no matter what that first kid is doing, it's nowhere near as interesting as what's on her friend's cell phone.  Uh huh.

Ok, that's enough with the diaper commercials.  I'll be back at school next week won't be watching tv during the day anymore so I won't be seeing them anyway.  So bye for now, TrophyWives!  Back to cell phones, drugs, trucks and all the other prime time goodness from tv land very soon, I promise!

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Weird Message framing from another Luvs Commercial



First, we've got a woman interviewing a potential babysitter who has a degree in Early Childhood Education but doesn't have a PhD and that's a problem, because to earn the right to be paid $6 an hour to watch a kid suck on fake car keys for a few hours you kind of need a PhD. 

But by the time this woman has her second kid she has no more f--ks to give and is perfeclty willing to hand that second kid off to whichever teen girl is willing to sit in her house texting her friends in the near-vicinity of that baby, or both kids, or whatever.

The unintentionally hilarious tagline is that "more mothers of second children prefer Luvs."  The strong implication is that FIRST moms are really, really concerned about their kids' safety and comfort, but women who are moms for the SECOND time are willing to settle for much, much less.  Luvs is the annomymous teen babysitter to the Other Brand's Early Childhood Education Degree. 

I wonder why they don't just put this message in the tagline- "Luvs Diapers:  When you realize that there's nothing special about kids and diapers are just diapers." 

Friday, August 16, 2019

Package of Luv's Commercials are going to keep me busy for a while....



I may do a "Part II" and even a "Part III" for this set of commericals, but for now I'm only going to comment on the first one, which runs for twenty-seven seconds of Anvilicious Stupid.

Ok, so in the first scenerio, we see a MommyWife engaging in a ridiculously age-inappropriate exercise of futility, attempting to teach her maybe eight-month-old spawn how to read.  She's doing this in the massive suburban mansion DaddyHusband provided as his end of the deal.  She's wasting her time but I guess as long as dinner is on the table on schedule and that house is clean, DaddyHusband's ok with it. 

BTW, where is DaddyHusband during all this?  He's walking around carrying a laptop.  I guess sitting at a table isn't an option?  Maybe he's afraid that if he's stationary MommyWife and Offspring will try to get him involved in all this?  In any case, he looks thoroughly disinterested in what MommyWife is doing.  You know, like I am.

For the second kid, MommyWife has decided to loosen up and just have fun with her children instead of trying to turn them into little Einsteins- as long as she's still doing the educational stuff too. 

DaddyHusband's still walking around with what I'm guessing is an updated laptop.  Still uninterested.  Me too.  What was this ad trying to sell again?




Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Lies and Sadness in this "Samsung Last Chance" ad



1.  We start off with a baldfaced lie from this "dad"- "we are a very connected family."

You know, just a few decades ago, that statement would have been a rather awkward way of describing a family that enjoys a great deal of warmth and communication, sincerely appreciates opportunities to do things together....as a Family.  You'd be more likely to hear "we are a very close family" or "we are a very tightly-knit family."  But "we are very connected" would have come off ok.

Today, of course, "we are a very connected family" means pretty much the opposite of what it would have meant just at the turn of the century:  what this dad is saying is that he and his "family" are "very connected" to the OUTSIDE WORLD.  Everyone has devices which allow them to retreat into an electronic cocoon and away from those other human beings they share a house with- even those little kids.  This is what it means to be a "very connected family" in 2019.  So much better, right?

2.  Then he hits us with the anvil of Very, Very Sad:  If this family's connections are disrupted or slowed down, the result is "chaos."  He's essentially telling us that the family suffers when it can no longer maintain that connection with the outside world at acceptable speeds.  The inability to stream a video, play a game, etc. creates a situation that is basically intolerable, because it creates a situation in which the members of that family might have to actually talk to EACH OTHER FACE TO FACE and stop consuming electronic media for a few minutes, an hour or (horrors) even an entire day.  Long-term, it might even mean that the family must make CHOICES concerning the consumption of that media, downright traumatic to people who are used to instant gratification from whatever glowing object they prefer to use at any given moment.

The "dad" in this commercial just wants peace in his house- which means, he just wants the zombies living under that roof to remain zombies, quietly living in their own worlds and - most importantly- leaving him alone.  A house filled with humans keeping to themselves is the dream he achieves with Verizon Fios and Samsung.  Why he wants this, I really don't have any idea- but I assume he's the same kind of parent who paid a lot of extra money for dual DVD players in the back seat so those zombie kids wouldn't talk to him while in the car, either, so this all probably fits into someone's idea of Paradise.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

When you decide to trade in your couch delivery system for a new one, it pays to be RAM tough!



Hey look everybody, three people are trading in their perfectly ok trucks for another perfectly ok truck they've decided is marginally better because they done seen it on the T V!

But the real entertainment isn't in watching these pathetic sellouts pimping for an exceptionally ordinary truck company as they chirp about how excited they are to be trading in their paid-for, completely functional, generally reliable trucks for years of car payments so the thing sitting in their driveway is a little shinier and without the dings, scratches, and dents which suggest regular usage.  Nope, the REAL entertainment is in counting how many people were willing to go to the comment section of this video to kiss butt for a truck that except for showmanship is basically indistinguishable from any other on the market.  Nice job, guys!

Friday, August 9, 2019

Another rant against SelectQuote



"Your paycheck.  Your family depends on it."

Considering the amount of money I get paid, that's really sad.  Maybe they should consider going out and getting their own jobs.  That way not only would they not be counting on my paycheck, but they would be taking some of the burden of providing that beautiful big suburban house, cars, soccer and swim lessons, and every other damned thing they want off of me for a change.  G-d d--ned vampires.

"What would happen if it just dissapeared?'  See above.  They'd have to get jobs.  You know, like the one I've had for decades.  Boo. F--ng.  Hoo.

But I'm supposed to "protect" my family from that potential disaster of having to fend for themselves because I inconvenienced them by dying by taking some of my hard-earned money and buying life insurance?  I want that money NOW to pay for a 7-11 hot dog or a (g-d forbid) a freaking MOVIE NIGHT OUT every now and then, but I'm supposed to do without so my family doesn't have to work after I'm DEAD? 

And what if I DON'T die?  Then who's gonna protect ME, HUH?

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Anoro's "Go Your Own Way" ad steals more of my youth. I'm fast running out.



The running gag in this god-awful insulting classic song-raping commercial is that COPD "wants" you limit your activities while Anoro lets you "go your own way."  It's a really stupid concept that is repeated over and over again because the pharmaceutical monstrosity which purchased the rights to use four words from Fleetwood Mac's classic (which I will now never be able to listen to again without thinking of these horrible people) decided that since they DID purchase those rights, they'd better use those four words like a freaking mallet to hammer the message into the viewers as many times as possible over the course of a thirty-second ad.

Wow, that was a long sentence.  Speaking of long sentences, that's what I would like to see everyone involved in the crime against humanity that is this commercial.  Especially the genius who thought that we wouldn't understand that Anoro is a drug that "in many cases" clears bronchial passages unless we got to see ugly people blowing away dust, wood chips, or whatever.  And the marketing guru who came up with the white-and-red color scheme for Anoro's Patended Delivery System and then splashed those colors all over the ad.  But an extra long sentence, please, for the callous jerktards who noticed that Go Your Own Way - or at least, the four words of the title and the tune- were available for purchase and decided to snatch it up and give it to some talentless pop band to butcher* in service of yet another No Problem The Right Drug Can't Fix Just Ask Your Doctor pharmaceutical commercial.

*check out the comments.  Someone was paid to say that they like this version.  Times are still tough, I guess.

Monday, August 5, 2019

More Fun with Febreze!



Seriously, who writes this stuff?  Every Febreze commercial features an obviously drugged-out-of-her-mind Trophy Wife who has obviously lost her will to live and is only avoiding suicide by breathing in clouds of toxic fumes being released from pressurized cans.

In this ad, the sad little mannequin who sold her soul for a house, a new last name, and a MRS Degree in Advanced Cleaning, Cooking and Taking Kids to Swimming Lessons is enjoying her regular dose of vanilla-scented poison right in front of her kids, who by the way sure look like they are late for the Village of the Damned auditions.  Thing One says to Thing Two "she's doing it again," to which Thing Two really ought to respond "Daddy says its ok, the hot cleaning lady does most of the work and he wanted to stop at two offspring anyway."

TrophyWife can't take a moment to reflect on what a horrorshow her life has become- she's so bored, so stripped of anything resembling a personality, she finds pleasure in being coated by antibacterial stew- because that might just be fatal, and Daddy isn't quite ready to trade her in for a newer, cuter model QUITE yet.  Still, that babysitter is available, and gets along great with the kids, and seems to like the big house just like TrophyWife did when she was TrophyGirlfriend, so who knows?

(Meanwhile, check out the perfectly ordinary, Obviously Not a TrophyWife woman using Brand X air freshener- clearly to her air freshener is just something you use in between cleanings, or in an odor emergency, and spraying it is just one of the ten thousand chores people have to do sometimes in between working, playing and actually Having a Life.  She gets no joy out of spraying chemicals around just like she gets no joy out of pouring Clorox into the toilet or reaching for a Bounty paper towel when one of the Spawn She Created as Part of Her Side of the BargainTM creates a spill.  She gets her happiness in life through her career, or being a good parent and life partner, or who knows what but NOT by breathing in fumes from a can.  Crazy woman, she'll NEVER be a TrophyWife with THAT attitude!)

Saturday, August 3, 2019

US Postal Service, delivering the....ummm...."future"



Thank goodness for the US Postal Service, delivering that latest pointless piece of Must-Have electronic junk to your mailbox in the blink of an eye!

Yes, thanks to USPS, you'll be wearing or looking into or talking at yet another blinky glowing bit of plastic and lights long before buyer's remorse can even begin to set in; you won't even have a chance to have second thoughts concerning whether you actually needed or could even use that flashy showy box you strap to your head or set on the counter or wrap around your wrist before it shows up at your door ready to be used for a few days before it's forgotten, replaced by that ugly, gnawing sense that you just wasted more money you really couldn't afford to throw away on a product you thought might make your life significantly better than it was before you saw the ad for the latest Everyone Has This Why Don't You gadget.

USPS:  Because Impulse Buying should be followed as quickly as possible by Impulse Having.  In the immortal words of Jeb Bush, Please Clap.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Febreze Presents: A Day in the Life of a Trophy Wife



What's a woman 20 years younger than her husband who was purchased for the sole purpose of passing the guy's genes on to the next generation (and showing well at parties) to do when Daddy-to-more-than-just-those-children is in his office all day?  Well, here's the answer: sit quietly in that McMansion he provided as his end of the deal (he rescues you from real life, gives you that cage/house and financial security you've been taught to believe is unattainable or just Too Darn Hard to achieve on your own, plus a new last name in the bargain) and sniff the air as the evidence that you fulfilled YOUR end of the deal plays quietly in front of you.  Why are you and your kids indoors on a beautiful, sunny day?  Why are you sitting there with that blank, zombie look on your face?  Only a Trophy Wife knows for sure!

Which is why only Trophy Wives can totally understand these Febreze commercials; only they experience the shame of having fellow Trophy Wives show up at the door and notice smells you've become immune to (like you've become immune to any sense of individuality, self-respect, or reason for being beyond serving the Lord and Master you sold yourself to all those years ago.)  Spray Febreze everywhere to cover up those smells, at least until the cleaning crew comes in and actually takes care of the real problem that doesn't involve the fact that you are just another ornament in someone else's house. 

Then go back to sitting on that couch, with that vacant look on your face, sniffing the air and trying hard- but not too hard- to remember when you thought that you were an actual person and that there just might be more to life than this. 

(I'll be at the beach from tonight until Saturday, so no posts at least until then- please enjoy the archives during my break!)

Sunday, July 28, 2019

An ear-bleeding Green Dot Card commercial I watched so you won't have to!



"Break free!  Break free!  Break free from big banks with actual brick-and-mortar buildings, set rates, and actual people you can talk to if you have a problem!  Break free and put your money on these infamous pieces of plastic (check out Ripoffreport.com for the horror stories of lost funds, blocked funds, endless games of Phone Menu with a computer, etc.) that may or may not have the money you thought you loaded on to them when it comes time to purchase something!"

"Speaking of which, Green Dot cards can now be used to load your tax refund (from Liberty Tax, no doubt) and regular Social Security payments (you just WANT to be poor, don't you?)  Break away from that Direct Deposit to Big Banks and Credit Unions scam that the Sheeple use because they don't know any better.  Stupid sheeple!"

"Break Away from the inconvenience of easily-transferable-for-produce cash!  Break away from credit cards with built-in, federally mandated safeguards!  Break away from anything resembling good money management and basic common sense and put your trust in these cards available at your nearest Dollar General because THAT tells you the quality of service you should expect!"

Saturday, July 27, 2019

What's happening in this Subaru ad? You make the call!



Throughout yet another smarmy, "your car makes your life possible" Subaru ad, I kept changing my mind about what I was seeing:

First, I thought "ok, this is a family that is out camping....in the middle of the desert.  They've got their cooler, they've got their kids, they brought their dog for some stupid reason (to provide food for the coyotes, perhaps?) and they are just dumping all this junk right next to their car because the car must remain in the shot at all times.  Eventually we'll see these people hiking and looking around and realizing that they are in the middle of the desert and this is going to be fun for maybe five minutes and then that little kid will start crying and it will be time to pack all that stuff back up again.

Then, I thought no, they are taking way too much stuff out of that car for this to be a simple camping trip.  Wait, they brought a Toddler Cage with them?  And those tables and balloons- ok, this is a family reunion being set up- in the middle of the desert?  Um, that doesn't sound very smart.  First thing I'd be asking is "where are the facilities?" 

Then I got darker.  These people have been evicted from their home. They are homeless.  They are in the desert because they've run out of options. 

Finally, I decided that no, this is just another of those stupid Subaru Takes You Through The Years commercials that plays on the idea that the car in the ad is so super-reliable you are going to own it for years and years and it's going to see some amazing things along with you, never mind that it's just a machine that will someday be a greasy cube in a junk pile and until then will just be something you use to get from Point A to Point B.  You are not supposed to think of your Subaru like that- it's more like a member of the family, like that dog who I suspect is either dead or very nearly so at the end of this ad which I did not watch all the way through because I got tired of Subaru's latest attempt to emotionally manipulate me into buying it's latest version of the StandardFamilyMobile.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Subaru triggers my gag reflex, again.



So the scruffy idiot and his obsessed-with-her-pregnancy life partner are driving around to all these cool places because Lunatic Pregnant Woman wants to "share" them with her fetus which is just sitting there in the pitch dark with absolutely no clue what is going on?

Apparently.  This woman feels compelled to go to the ocean, the forest, the desert, all kind of places where she can pose with a knowing, whistful look on her face as if by being pregnant she's performed some extraordinary universe-saving miracle and not something accomplished by roughly several billion life forms every single day for the past billion or so years.  HER pregnancy, you see, is so magical, so inspiring, so Very Very Important (really?  With THAT guy?)  that it must be shared with nature right now, not after it's reached it's conclusion and the sentient little mammal finally pops out and starts to consume the oxygen being produced by those trees on its own.

This woman is not just sharing all this with that fetus she's carrying around.  She's sharing all this with US.  With the entire PLANET.  And I really do think that she expects us to appreciate the enormity of her pregnancy as much as she does.  We are all supposed to see this as a momentous turning point not just in HER life, but ours, too.  Meanwhile the scruffy guy is just....there.   Waiting to be told to get back in the car and drive Amazing Earth Mother to another location for her to genuflect on the awesomeness of her pregnancy - and touch her stomach again, of course.

All of this has something to do with a 2018 Subaru which I guess these people are still driving a decade later when the fetus has become a child and Mom and Driver take her "back" to all those places they went while she was still in her sac just minding her own business.  The "adults" here will tell their Precious Miracle that this is her "second" visit to the ocean, forest, etc while Precious Miracle first looks confused, then asks When the Hell are Mom and Dad ditch their ancient old Subaru and buy something that shows better to her friends at school, and when is Mom going to take that stupid glazed-eyes look off her face already Seriously Are You High?

Monday, July 22, 2019

It took five seconds for Apple to convince people that actual passwords are a hassle. What took so long?



Or "Passwords, Smashwords."

Seriously, how far have we gone off the rails that anyone would think that this is a good idea- wait, not just a good idea, but amazingly beneficial technology that we should line up at the Apple store to purchase ASAP? 

Originally, cellphones didn't require passwords to "unlock" access to those phones because they were only used to make calls.  Kind of helpful in an emergency if you can use someone else's phone.  Sure, you could get encryption for your phone but why would you want that, it's not like your phone provided you instant access to bank accounts and other sensitive material.

Then, one day, we woke up and our phones were the little vaults that held all kinds of personal information, including very sensitive banking info like access to our hard-earned money.  Well then, passwords became kind of a neccessity.  If phones were going to be the key to our savings, checkings, mortgage and investment accounts, they were going to have to be super-secure. 

And now that we're living in the Age of Openness, where "privacy" is a silly, outdated idea and everything we do is done in the spotlight, where more and more of my students tell me every year that they couldn't care less if the government listens in on phone conversations or reads their emails because "I've got nothing to hide," we get this:  Phones you can unlock simply by looking at them. 

Nobody sees any potential problems with this, huh?  Everyone thinks that this tech was designed to make our lives easier- heck, even more "secure" (like maybe the old guy in this ad is still into security because he grew up in a world where Personal Information was still a thing,) right?  Nobody thinks that this is going to lead to endless cases of fraud- how long before you can just agree to purchase something by looking at a website, won't that be just another Super Convenient Timesaver?  Just like having an Alexa listening on everything you say, what wouldn't be great about a phone which instantly opens the moment you glance at it? 

And all because it's too much of a pain to touch four numbers on a screen.  Uh huh. s

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Dish TV's creepy "The One" Commercial



Yes, Dish TV offers thousands upon thousands of On Demand movies and television shows.  So many, in fact, that technically you could just sit on that couch and watch the television of your choice for the rest of your life and never have to repeat any of those shows. 

But Dish TV recognizes that it's not about being able to watch 4000 hours of On-Demand movies and TV shows, because who has time to do that (here's where we pretend that you want to do something other than watch On Demand TV and that television is not the Be All and End All to your life, it's not like you watch it on your phone whether you are by yourself or with someone after all?)  It's about watching "the One" show or movie that has a very special place in your heart because you're so stupid and sad that watching a show or a movie was a major turning point in your life.

And it gets even sadder with this couple, because first of all, the guy is sitting there on his couch looking for all the world like he's about to pick a movie to watch when his significant other walks into the room and instantly picks up the remote.  Wanted to watch something, buddy?  Well, too damned bad- She's walked in, and She will pick the show you are going to watch. 

Then, she sees that he picked Say Anything, and she freezes and gets all paralyzed with warm nostalgia over everyone's favorite John Cusack vehicle, the heartwarming story of a young stalker winning over the object of his affection and taking advantage of the fact that her father goes to jail for embezzlement to steer her away from her dreams of an Ivy League education.  In particular we have the heartstring-pulling scene where, fearing rejection, Cusack's character (Lloyd) stands outside his True Love's house with a boombox blaring the song that was playing in the background when they first had sex.  And then at the conclusion when, in true 80s-film fashion, we celebrate Lloyd's decision to "escort" his Meant to Be True Love Conquers All girlfriend to England to continue her education (and so that he can better continue his stalking.)

Yep, good fun all around, and available On Demand from Dish Network, and disturbingly significant to this couple.  For a moment I thought that the guy, by picking out this film, was reminding his Significant Other that no matter what she did or where she went, he would be there, with his boombox, demanding attention, just like Lloyd from Their Film.  She responds with a look of defeat and resignation and sits down on Their couch in Their house to enjoy His- sorry, "their" film. Again.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Owning a Subaru means never having to be responsible



Or you could, you know, actually pay attention to what's going on in front of you instead of being distracted by your stupid pet pig.  You know, like a responsible driver who was concerned about causing possible lethal damage to innocent people with their f--ng Subaru. 

That would almost be "love," dont you think?

Oh, never mind.  Get back to congratulating yourselves for buying a car more considerate than you are.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

I'm ready to Cart Witness for Glow Pets!



Children all over the world are discovering the magic of Glow Pets!

Glow Pets are soft and fluffy and light up with the push of a button!

Glow Pets are great for storytime, or just for snuggles.  Glow Pets are extremely rare- only one child in ten thousand will ever actually have a Glow Pet, as written in the Holy Scriptures of the Glowing Pet!

Glow Pets exist in jungles, space and even under water- but if you look for them and you can't find them, that simply means that you just Don't Believe Enough!

Glow Pets are the only source of True Happiness in the World.  Other toys, friends, parents-- those are all temporary, damaged, and superficial comforts compared to the Everlasting Joy that only a Glow Pet can bring!

Glow Pets love you, and demand that you love them back.  If you don't love them back, you are a horrible sinful creature who needs a Glow Pet all the more.  Open your heart to Glow Pets, who only want the love and obedience they deserve.

Go out and spread the Good News of the Glow Pets.  No child is complete without a Glow Pet of his own. 

Glow Pets are Jealous Pets.  They shall have no other Pets before Them.  To truly enjoy the love of a Glow Pet, children must throw out all of their other material comforts and embrace only their Glow Pet.

Glow Pets will Provide.  Have Faith in the Glow Pet.  Think nothing of today; This System will soon pass away, and then the true believers will be with their Glow Pets for eternity.  Those who rejected the love of the Glow Pet will suffer a fate too horrible to comprehend.

Have no Association with anyone who has turned away from Glow Pets, for they are no longer your brothers and no longer enjoy the graces of the Glow Pets. (Paul's Epistle to Walmart, 4:15)

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get started on my 70 hours per month of Glow Pet Witnessing door to door.  All Hail the Glow Pets!


Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Go away, Infiniti



This is what I need to see this summer:  Rich people racing around having an infinite amount of fun in their automobiles, just going about in their day-to-day enchanted existence like freaking Gatsbys without a care in the world.

Marie Antoinette would be resentful and jealous of these douchenozzles and their party-to-party lifestyle which seems to involve The Rest of the World just getting the hell out of the way so they can park their LookAtMeMobiles right in front of the 5-star restaurant, million-dollar condo or exclusive beach so they can engage in the next Great Adventure Because We Can.

Seriously, all of the rich, entitled Eurotrash in this ad need to go die in a fire already.  Then we'd spared any more of these heartwarming Scenes From Our Perfect Lives Made Even More Perfect By Our Awesome New Cars.


Sunday, July 14, 2019

Steaks and Shakes and Angioplasty



This commercial is not a product of The Onion.  It is not parody.  There is really a place out there that sells burgers topped with buns "slathered" with "real Wisconsin butter"- a LOT of it, if the depiction of butter application here is at all realistic.

(EDIT:  Just looked it up.  The burger depicted here contains 710 calories.  That's compared to 420 for a Quarter Pounder, 560 in a Big Mac and 670 in a Whopper, all  w/o cheese.)

I'm simultaneously horrified and hungry from this ad.  I want one of these burgers, and I also think they should be illegal.  I'm both relieved that there are no Steaks and Shakes franchises anywhere near where I live and also wondering if they do long-distance delivery.

These burgers look absolutely disgusting.  I'm sad to think I'll probably never get to try one.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Good to know, T-Mobile!



It's so awesome being with a network using state-of-the-art technology to make sure that I get all my downloads and can do all my streaming "faster" and without being "slowed down" by the little annoyances of poor connectivity.  It warms the heart to know that people racing motorbikes in the middle of a large city won't have whatever the hell they are being distracted with interrupted or even slowed down in the slightest by lame 4G So Very Yesterday service.

Meanwhile, I'm in rural Vermont for another five weeks with my T-Mobile phone, which can rarely find a connection at all and which I leave at home when I drive into the nearest town because I don't need constant No Network Coverage notifications when I want to check messages or, god forbid, make a phone call.  Well, that's the price you pay when you take your phone into a third world country, I guess.

(Two years ago, I used this same phone to make a call from the island of Capri, off the coast of Italy, as well as post photos to Facebook from the Vatican.  But I can't make a phone call from a living room in Orange, Vermont.  Thanks again, T-Mobile.)

Friday, July 12, 2019

What Colonial Penn Life Insurance keeps "forgetting" to bring up....



(Or "Benefits?'  Why are you talking about 'Benefits?' Sure you're going to die, but not for a long long time! Boy are you morbid!")

"I can't get life insurance, I'm too old!"

"Not true!  With Colonial Penn Life Insurance, you can get life insurance without a physical examination, regardless of age!"

"Well, I still can't afford it."

"Not true!  With Colonial Penn Life Insurance, you can pay as little as little as ten dollars a month!"

"Well, the rates will go up as I get older, so I still can't afford it."

"Not true!  The rates are locked in for life!  And as I said, you can pay as little as ten dollars a month!"

"Well, I'm not in great health.  No one is going to sell me life insurance with my health record."

"Are you deaf?  There's no physical examination.  I seriously just said that.  Quick, sign here before you can't remember your name!"

"Ok sounds great- oh by the way, what benefits are paid when I die?"

"We'll send you a super-convenient booklet where you can list your beneficiaries and last requests to your family, absolutely free!  Sign here!"

"Um, yeah ok- but again, what benefits are paid when I die?"

"Benefits are limited for the first three years.  It's that second dotted line.  Where I'm pointing."

"Limited to what?  And after three years?  I mean, if I pay premiums..."

"Which are locked and and can NEVER go up and your policy can NEVER be cancelled!"

"Yeah....if I pay the premiums and I die in say, four years, how much do my beneficiaries get?"

"Oh look, we're out of time.  See you in the next commercial for Colonial Penn Life! Tell your friends they can't be turned down and their premiums will never increase!"

Thursday, July 11, 2019

The weird message of Credit Karma ads



If your credit score is low, you live in a tiny apartment, drive a beater, and your life is generally hell on Earth.

But if you get your credit score up, everything magically gets better- you move into a much nicer apartment or even get a house, you trade up for a car that shows better for your neighbors, maybe you even take up mountain biking because that's a rich millenial's hobby.

I get that what Credit Karma is trying to tell you is that a low credit score keeps you from getting low interest rates on expensive stuff which- unless you are really stupid- keeps you from getting expensive stuff.  This is a message that sells well to people who don't have a lot of money and are unwilling to live like they do.  It probably completely flummoxes the people with poor credit who head over to Rent A Center to fill their homes with big-screen tvs, sofas and game systems before signing up for ruinous car payments for a vehicle worth twice their annual salaries.  Because those people aren't limited by their low credit scores- or rather, they don't realize they are or are determined to pretend that they aren't.

Still, there's a very definite "get your credit score up so you can get deeper into debt" vibe that runs through all of these ads because at no time are viewers told exactly HOW to get those credit scores up.  We just see people enjoying the benefits of a higher credit score.  Maybe it's because cutting back on spending, paying all your bills on time for years, and making more money aren't quite as attractive as just moving your finger across a screen, magically moving your credit score up 200 points, and instantly reaping the rewards in the form of a bigger house, nicer car and cool weekend hobby- all of which are going to cost you money and make it even more important that you pay your bills on time.

Monday, July 8, 2019

A few questions about Domino's "Pizza Insurance"



1.  So the infinite number of times this guy demonstrates his total inability to successfully carry home a pizza will never faze Domino's at all, huh?  They'll just keep handing him pizzas until the end of time as long as he returns the damaged ones?  Really?

2.  What is with this guy that he is totally incapable of looking both ways before crossing the street or- let's just cut to the chase- doing basically anything more complicated than walking and carrying a pizza?  How does this guy hold down a job?  He's the reason the cliche' "can't walk and chew gum at the same time" was invented.  He literally IS incapable of performing simple tasks the average 8-year old could carry out in his sleep.

3.  The most unintentionally hilarious- yet instructive- part of this ad comes at the end, when our favorite clueless doofus throws his pizza at the frisbee players.....and they throw it right back.  They don't want that cruddy excuse for a pizza either.  They don't want to deal with your garbage, they just want their plastic disc back, and they treat that "pizza" with all the respect it deserves.  Along with treating this total idiot with all the respect HE deserves.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

CarMax tries too hard



In another commercial, this same guy makes a total ass of himself working up the courage to ask if CarMax will buy his car even if he doesn't want to buy another one.  Not sure why this is so tough- I mean, if you're over the age of ten and have any social skills at all, or have ever been in a store or interacted with salespeople in any way, but there it is.  But I couldn't find it, so instead here's another featuring what I guess is a tag team of spokeschoads determined to treat it's potential customers like brain-damaged children:



"Acronyms are fun."  Oh, are they now?  When did that happen?  And is behaving like bizarre set of idiots for the "entertainment" of the television audience also fun?  What about selling your car at Carmax?  Is that fun?

Actually, I can answer that last question, because I sold my car at Carmax almost six years ago.  No, it was not fun, but I never imagined it would be and did not demand that it was.  I wanted it to be easy, and it was easy.  That's all I asked for.  It was enough for me, and I'd think it would be enough for anyone.  I sold my car, and I didn't buy another one.  Before I arranged an appointment I went online and did some very deep research to see if this was possible, and I found it after looking very carefully at the homepage at Carmax.com which stated "We'll Buy Your Car Even if You Don't Buy Ours."  You know, the same statement made in all the ads.  I actually would have felt very, very stupid if I had gone there and asked if they could pretty pretty please make me an offer on my car and not force me to buy one of theirs in the bargain. 

Oh, and the people who handled their purchase of my car didn't try to engage me in juvenile banter or try to convince me that I'd be having such an awesome time I ought to be losing control of my bowels and possession of my dignity.  They just told me what they'd give me for my car, I agreed, and about half an hour later I was out of there with my check.  And my dignity.  Unlike this creep who shows up again and again at Carmax to ask pretty much the same question to the same guy so he can get the same answer repeated in the form of a forced joke which is never funny.

Friday, July 5, 2019

"Daddy, What's 'Netscape?'"



And when you get done telling your daughter about Netscape, you can tell her about how you used to Ask Jeeves when you had a question for the World Wide Interwebs because you couldn't find the answer in Grampa's Encyclopedia Brittanica.

Speaking of Grampa, he can join the conversation and tell your daughter what "Dialup" was and how people used to plug their desktop computers into phone jacks in order to access the internet.  Don't forget to tell her what desktop computers and phone jacks are while you're at it.

Full disclosure:  I can remember using Netscape in 1994 to check the results from South Africa's first real democratic election- I'd "dialup," go take a shower, brush my teeth, and come back to find the page almost completely loaded.  What a time to be alive!


Thursday, July 4, 2019

Happy Independence Day, Everyone!..



Seriously, it's hard to imagine any company more perfectly capturing the spirit of what it means to be an American than the good people at Black Rifle Coffee Company (even the NAME screams "America."  You can have my coffee when you pry it out of my cold, dead hands!)

I mean, look at all of these examples of Real American Values at work.  Super-patriotic flag-embossed clothing.  Tats.  Sunglasses.  Facial Hair.  Wreckless use of fireworks.  Massive meat consumption.  Heck, we even see the wreckless use of a chainsaw to cut a watermelon- most otherwise Patriotic companies miss that little detail.

Anyway, I know that this is all in good fun and not to be taken seriously in any way, so please don't flame me for dumping on an Onion-level commercial because I've got a stick up my butt and I can't recognize satire.  I can, and did.  I just thought this was too great not to include in my blog, which By The Way reached the One Million Views threshold earlier this week (only took ten and a half years!)

So happy Independence Day, everyone, with a special shout-out to my neighbors spending their holiday in Occupied Washington DC-- enjoy the fly-overs, tanks rolling through the streets, and the other Fascist imagery more familiar to those lucky duckies in North Korea, all for the glorification of His Orangeness in the White House....and keep that crying baby balloon flying to let foreign visitors know we haven't all bought in to the idea of celebrating the disaster brought to us courtesy of Russia and the Electoral College....

Monday, July 1, 2019

Nostalgia Time: the McDonald's BeefSteak Sandwich, etc.



For a few months in 1978-79 I worked at McDonald's- it was my first real job making my very own pocket money that came from a total stranger on a perforated check with taxes deducted and not from a relative.  I was 33.

Only kidding about being 33- I was actually 15.  I hated the job and was stressed when I had to make hamburgers- I could never get the bun-toasting machine to work right and ended up crushing the buns almost every time.  I much prefered clean-up duty to food prep, and I would have rather spent eight hours hauling trash than thirty minutes flipping thin pucks of meat, squirting them with mustard and ketchup and placing pickles on them before folding them in paper....I can still remember doing that and it still makes my stomach tense up.  Nervous all the time.

Anyway, that's a long introduction for this vintage commercial featuing perhaps the very best food item McDonald's ever produced- the BeefSteak Sandwich.  This awesome juicy deliciousness was introduced while I was at McDonald's and when I lost my taste for everything else that restaurant sold for maybe five years I just could not get enough of these things.  I remember enjoying every bite and being sad when it was gone.  If could have afforded it (I don't remember how much they cost, but these sandwiches were expensive, and this was pre-Dollar Menu, so everything at McDonald's in 1979 actually cost more than it does today) I would have happily gobbled down 2 or 3 at one sitting.

I quit McDonald's after those few months and went back to being broke but the BeefSteak Sandwich went away shortly thereafter, so what did I need money for anyway?  Well, I'm glad you asked- in 1982 I went to Washington DC for college and discovered what is CERTAINLY the best BREAKFAST sandwich ever created by a fast food chain, and maybe the best breakfast sandwich ever created by ANY restaurant:  the Hardee's Steak and Egg Biscuit.  Oh. My. God.  I LIVED for these things- my Freshman year I'd regularly eat two of them in one sitting (probably 1000 calories, but I was 18 years old, no problem) with a big cup of black coffee.....just awesome.

Naturally, today I live in a world where even if I wanted to (and I probably would) I can't start my day with a Hardee's Steak and Egg Biscuit OR continue it with a McDonald's BeefSteak Sandwich.  In other words, a world that both hates me AND cares about my health.  I'm not grateful, World.  Not one bit.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

I remember when dirty dishes and empty Coke cans were the serious roomate problems....



I'm old enough to remember when "Multitasking" didn't mean having the ability to watch tv and watch something else while talking on the phone, and instead meant being able to perform several tasks at the same time.   One of these sisters would consider eating, daydreaming, and binge-watching Game of Thrones multitasking.  The other would probably describe complaining about her sister/roomate while giggling for the camera multitasking.  I would not agree with either of them.

All that being said, this is kind of a cute commercial when you ignore the fact that these are two sisters whose biggest complaint about being roomates involves sharing broadband.  Then it becomes either unrealistic, or just sad, or kind of cool that that's their only major issue, or meaningless because they JUST became roomates and haven't realized they can't bear to be together so often, just more evidence that I'm too old to comment on commercials like this and need to just stay out of it.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Another of these casual "when I die it won't be a problem" insurance ads....



So this old woman's son expresses relief that mom is going to be ok- and mom's response is to calmly let him know that hey, no worries, she's got this plan to pay for her funeral.  Maybe she knows her son better than I do, because that's not what I thought he meant when he said he was relieved she was ok.  I really didn't think he meant "'cause jeesh, if you had kicked off, that would have cost us serious money and our Honeymoon in Ireland is only a few months away."

Anyway, Mom launches into a calm explanation of how she's got this awesome policy that will pay to stick her in the ground when she finally DOES kick off, and she's greeted with uber-creepy smiles from her appreciative relatives.  They aren't even asking her how she's feeling or when she's going to leave the hospital.  The IMPORTANT thing is that she IS going to die sooner or later- probably sooner- but it's not going to set the kids back to put Mom in a hole.

Ok, I don't know if that's her son or her son-in-law-- her body language suggests to me that's her son, so I went with that.  But would daughter-in-law be sitting on the bed like that?  Why is she sitting on the bed at all?  No wide-angle lens available?  That's just weird.

(Oh and BTW, I guess I'm supposed to know who David Denowitz is?  I don't, and I don't recognize this guy at all.  No, I don't want to be enlightened.)

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Hey look it's the "the best companies are the ones that pay me" guy from.....um, today it's Sprint!



Someday, someone will explain to me why Sprint thinks that this annoying jackass with the Most Punchable Face on Television who has already demonstrated a willingness to pimp for whichever phone service is willing to pay him is at all persuasive in his arguments for their company.  Because I just don't see it- he's just an ugly knob who seems determined to get us to throw heavy objects at our screens.  Maybe Sprint sells televisions as well as phone service?

At any rate, check out the people in the background walking the dog.  Wonder what they are saying to eachother?

"Hey, what's going on over there?  Looks like they are filming a commercial."

"Yeah and that guys looks familiar....oh god, it's that guy who used to tell us one phone service as the best option available, then ran out his string and got canned, then got picked up by another phone service which he's now telling us is the best option available."

"Jeesh, what a transparent BS artist.  And with a really, really punchable face, too.  Let's move on."