Sunday, April 28, 2019

PragerU presents "No True Socialism," Denmark Version

Lots of people think that Denmark is a Socialist Paradise.  But they're wrong, you see, because Denmark isn't Socialist at all.

And how do we know that Denmark isn't Socialist?  Well, for one thing, you can own private property in Denmark, unlike in those actual Socialist Countries.  And you have freedom of the press in Denmark, unlike in actual Socialist Countries.  And political dissenters in Denmark aren't rounded up and caged in gulags or shot- like in actual Socialist Countries.

In other words, since at PragerU "Socialism" means "Government ownership of everything, no freedom, political prisons and armed guards murdering people in the street," Denmark can't POSSIBLY be Socialist.  Because Denmark doesn't have that stuff.

Neither does France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Canada....all countries PragerU has labeled "Socialist" in the past.  But those countries are different Because Reasons.  Actually, not Because Reasons.  Because PragerU can't put together a consistent, honest argument - that's for it's Master's program, probably.

Meanwhile, it's inevitable that PragerU will eventually take aim (no bad pun intended) at the restrictive gun laws of the European Union, which includes....well, non-Socialist Denmark.  So Denmark is a happy, free country which makes it all but impossible for the average citizen to own a firearm.  Since Denmark is NOT Socialist, and IS successful and happy, that must mean that restrictive gun laws fit well into a Capitalist society that is both successful and happy.  Right, Prager U?


Saturday, April 27, 2019

Since it seems like Flo has been pimping for Progressive since the 80s anyway....

So Progressive Insurance's constant scrambling to find something to do with it's aging spokeschoad has lead it to tweak America's Eighties Nostalgia bone, huh?  How else do we explain this steaming lump of stupid?

I'll admit, it's a pretty cute idea and more clever than most of the pointless dreck insurance companies have been coming up with these days.  But that's not saying very much at all, since insurance company commercials have been the black hole of advertising for as long as I can remember.  So this is slightly better than watching the AFLAC duck or a CGI pig or a camel walking around an office begging people to tell him that it's Wednesday.

It's still at least 20 seconds too long- as usual, we GET THE JOKE way before the ad is over.  And it still provides absolutely ZERO information about how much Progressive Insurance costs or what it actually covers.  Remember when tv ads actually made an effort to educate the viewer concerning the product being sold?  Me neither, actually.  I'm not that old.

Friday, April 26, 2019's weird slice of life

1. No way this guy owns a pet.  I mean, look at that house.  That's a bacteria-free zone.  Seriously, you could synthesize medication in that house.  Animals?  No freaking way.

2.  Get a load of the super-enthusiastic operator.  It's like she never had any aspirations higher than helping some jackass on the other end of the line buy pet food.  That's just sad.

3.  "What do I do with all this old pet food?"  Holy crap, can you take care of any problems yourself, ridiculously clean man in ridiculously clean house with pets?  Seriously, what is wrong with you? 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Jason Bond put the "Bull" in "Raging Bull," but he's far from alone

These Make Money Fast By Investing/Flipping Houses/Shopping on Amazon/Selling these Vitamins YouTube ads took no time at all to descend into the quagmire of almost laughable cliche, did they?

Here's Jason Bond and his minions taking private jets to visit their beautiful mansions in Miami while aggressively Selling the Dream of living Just Like This if only you Believe in Yourself and follow This Simple Plan.  This time the Simple Plan involves using This Proven Method to buy penny stocks with the Jason Bond Raging Bull Formula.

I wish I could muster even an ounce of sympathy for the people who plop down anywhere from $1500-$3000 for an hour-long seminar which promises to unlock the mystery of becoming a Millionaire using this Take Your Pick It's So Easy I Just Want To Share My Secret With You strategy.  But as someone who actually works for a living- and realizes that the only way I'm going to have a successful retirement is through saving and investing and being very careful with my money- I just can't.  I really have nothing but contempt for you idiots, because if you can't see through this nonsense it's kind of a mystery how you managed to get any money into your pockets in the first place.

So instead, I'll just let you in on a little secret, which is the little secret all of these people are trying to sell you but which I'll hand to you for free:  Every single one of these scammers actually has the exact same method of making money without work.  And it involves convincing suckers to open their wallets and empty it into their bank accounts.  That's it.  Whether the veneer involves house-flipping, stock market tips or selling bottles of nothing called "essential oils," it's all about getting other people to hand you money in exchange for basically nothing. 

That's it.  Where's my check?

Sunday, April 21, 2019

5-hour energy is the Wizard Oil of the 21st Century

5-Hour Energy snake oil now comes in even more convenient, even smaller ("portable") bottles with the same amount of energy (zero) you've come to expect in the classic size.  So here's all the energy-boosting capacity of a caffeine pill at roughly 2000 times the cost!  Come and get it, idiots!

Meanwhile, the who guy became a billionaire by generating and marketing this nonsense  has now launched a new venture- the Free Electric System.  He wants to put an electricity-generating bicycle into every home so that everyone can produce their own "free" electricity- everyone who is willing to break the Law of Thermodynamics, that is.   You see, Stupid People Who Think This is an Awesome Idea, there is really no such thing as "free energy."  To "create" energy by peddling a bicycle, you have to CONSUME energy first.  So, in fact, you aren't "creating" energy at all- you are just transfering the energy from sugars to electricity.    You have to eat food to do that.  So the electricity you are "creating" is hardly "free."  Get it?

This guy hopes you don't, and he's probably right.  After all, he sells millions of little bottles of Practically Nothing at what breaks down to about $40 per gallon.  For the same amount of caffeine as you find in a typical cup of coffee and a trace amount of vitamins.  Because, as PT Barnum allegedly once said, "nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public."

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Mavyret makes illness sound so #cool and trendy

What is it with all these people referring to their serious disease as "Hep C?"  I'm pretty sure that if I ever contracted a potentially fatal disease I would not feel compelled to give it a trendy, peppy-sounding nickname.  But these characters do it ALL THE FREAKING TIME- they have "A-Fib" and "Hep C" and other conditions they describe in a way to make the viewer sound almost jealous.  Gee, I wish I was cool enough to contract one of these life-threatening illnesses!  But woe is me, my liver is just too damned healthy!  I feel so left out!

I suppose I could try sharing needles or having some tattoo work done in a dirty parlor somewhere- that's the source of approximately 60% of all "Hep C" cases.  I should stop complaining until I've at least put the effort in, right?

Friday, April 19, 2019

This Good2Go customer is bitter because her carbon footprint is so small

"My shift is over, but not my day...." because this woman is about to take the subway and then a bus to get home.  She's doing this because, as in all Good2Go commercials, she has a car but not insurance (she doesn't say so, but I think it's safe to assume that she doesn't have car insurance because she can't afford it.)

(Thing is, she's working at a diner- chances are, she doesn't have health insurance, either.  Shouldn't that be a priority here? Anyway...)

I guess we're supposed to sympathize because instead of enjoying the convenience of bumper-to-bumper traffic, high gas prices, and all the little (and sometimes not so little) expenses that pop up when you own a car, this poor woman has to take public transportation which includes a subway (which means she skips a lot of that traffic.)  She can read a book or listen to music while someone else does the driving, but this is somehow a Royal Pain compared to driving a car which is going to be constantly sucking money out of your pocket.  Poor girl, I hope she gets insurance real soon, looks like her life is a real hell on earth.

In the final scene we see that she has picked up barely-legal Good2Go insurance, and now she can skip the subway and train and get back to the Good Life- sitting in traffic, buying gasoline, getting this fixed and that fixed, constantly one bad decision away from a massive repair bill, etc.  What a great happy ending for her.

Two quick points:  First, seriously, what is your problem, woman?  You've got public transportation that costs far less than owning a car and carries none of the risks.  Yet you own a car you can't drive.  Why not sell your car and take that public transportation and watch your bank account grow? I did exactly that on September 15, 2013.  I know I've saved $1200 a year on insurance alone- but then again, I bought actual insurance, not this Good2Go crap.  Gas, repairs- who knows how much I saved on those items, but considering that if I use public transportation to get to and from work every day the cost comes to about $30 a week, I'm quite certain I've come out way ahead.

Second, when is Good2Go going to make even ONE commercial featuring a white single mom or dad struggling with car insurance costs while trying to feed the kids or get them to a doctor?  Why it is that every single Good2Go ad featuring white people shows them as young, single and employed while every one featuring black people shows them as single parents living in poverty? 

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Good2Go is the gift that keeps on giving

This woman has her pride, I guess.  I can't think of any other explanation for the fact that she has a car, but she can't afford insurance so the only alternative to getting her sick kid to the doctor is to walk it (maybe miles?  I mean, she would have used her car if she could..)  She's not taking an Uber because after all, that's why she bought a car.  So she wouldn't have to take an Uber.  She's not taking public transportation because that's what the losers do, and she's not a loser, she owns a car and everything.  If she takes an Uber the Uber driver will think she's poor and can't afford a car.  If she takes the bus the bus driver will think she's poor and can't afford a car.

She can't risk that.  She's got her pride.  So her car sits in front of the housing project while she puts her sick kid in a stroller and walks it through the streets to the doctor.

That's one lucky kid there.  He's got a proud mom.  That's a piece of luck that's going to pay off, someday.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Geico's Smartdogs Ad hurts in so many ways...

1.  Using animals in commercials.  Again, this just needs to stop.  Apparently, some people see dogs or cats on television and their attention is transfixed and they are sold on whatever product is being offered.  I tune out entirely because I see clueless mammals being used to manipulate the people I mentioned in the last sentence. 

Not a pet owner.  But even if I was, this wouldn't convince me of anything.

2.  "Here's a suggestion- turn on the Do Not Disturb option on your Smartphone."  Uh huh, because the only time people are distracted by their phones is when they get calls.  It's not like they are initiating the calls themselves, or checking their Facebook status, or texting or watching a movie.  Nope, it's all because they are getting calls and didn't realize they had the option of setting their phones to "Do Not Disturb."  Or, like, not answering when a call is coming in- that's just not possible, I mean, the phone's ringing, you have to answer it. 

Or just putting their phones away until they've reached their destination.  Those are never options- so thank goodness for "Do Not Disturb," that's going to make everything better.

3.  The comment section.  Good lord, you people.  Have you no shame at all?  Or are you all terrific examples of the people I mentioned in Point # 1?  I mean, come on. 

Sunday, April 14, 2019

The Cult of YouTube. or The Infinite Ways to Lose your Money Online

I don't expect anyone to watch this hour-long commercial for Making Money By Getting Other People to Give You Their Money for No Return video, any more than I expect you to watch any commercial- no matter how long- for the same service.  Ads for "opportunities" like these seem to make up 90% of YouTube's commercial content these days, and they are all pretty much the same:

1.  Self-confident, enthusiastic and almost exclusively Male twentysomething shoves his face into the camera and starts talking to us like he's a trusted friend - most of these ads start with the phrase "Hey Guys" presented in a "oh there you are, well as long as you've decided to drop in, let me tell you about" attitude.

2.  Spokeschoad proceeds to tell us about his collection of sportscars and bulging bank account while taking us on a walking tour of his mansion, never failing to mention that six months ago he was flipping burgers at McDonald's and living in his mom's basement.  Now he's got more money than he knows what to do with, it was Super Easy, and being the Awesome Human Being he is, he just can't WAIT to share his Secret with the rest of us.

3.  Spokeschoad then covers himself with a thin veneer of trustworthiness by warning us against those OTHER people who tell you that Working from Home or Flipping Houses will make you a millionaire overnight, we should totally avoid THOSE losers because they are scammers, it's NOT possible to become a millionaire overnight even with HIS Proven, Guaranteed System.  It takes six months.  Oh, and it takes a lot of work even while being Super Easy.

4.  Spokeschoad finally gets around to explaining how, by giving him just a little of the money you probably don't have, he'll show you how you can be Just Like Him with his sportscar collection, mansion and Oh Did I Mention The Fabulous Vacations I Take All The Time With My Hot Girlfriend? 

5.  The comment section is overrun with "testimonials" gushing about how SuperAwesomeAmazing this opportunity is, and how it's Not At All Like those other people who are just SCAMMERS.  And if you tried this system and lost money, it's because you Didn't Believe, Didn't Try Hard Enough and Just Didn't Want to Be Successful and how you're Looking For A Good Man to Blame (often that Good Man is God-Fearing, too, so you get double demerits for your slander.)

So go ahead and join everyone's favorite cult, the Church of Online Dumb, and get that career flipping houses or Mid-Level Marketing underway.  Or get your credit score into the 800s using this One Simple Trick.  Whatever, you'll be in that mansion with that sportscar in no time at all (model trophy girlfriend/wife included, just pay extra shipping and handling.)

Saturday, April 13, 2019

This Geico Commercial isn't Progressive in the slightest

See, I'm pretty sure we are supposed to appreciate that this is yet another ad featuring a Mixed Race Yeah What Are You Going to Do About It couple, but seriously that is soooo 2018.  Mixed Race couple in a YouTube ad?  Um, yeah-- so?  How are you going to demonstrate how Woke you are next?  Gonna show us a man washing dishes or a woman wearing pants? 

Meanwhile, all I see is that two ugly people found eachother and are now a couple.  Seriously, I don't care about their skin color.  These people are UGLY. 

Oh, but wait-maybe THAT'S the super-progressive message of this ad:  Look, you don't have to be physically attractive to be in a stupid insurance ad!  You can be really, really unattractive and we'll still put you on tv because Deal With It America, This Is 2019!

Friday, April 12, 2019

What Justin Does with his Dr Scholls

Every day, Justin "chooses" to, because his crummy job as a tour guide kind of requires it.  Kind of like I "choose" to get up before 6 AM so I can get myself to school to teach before the first bell rings.  It's a choice, you see.

And at the end of the day, Justin chooses to take his little daughter to an upscale neighborhood they don't actually live in so she can practice riding her bike in safety.  Because I'm sorry, but tour guides don't live in neighborhoods like this.  There's probably just too much broken glass and garbage lying around in Justin's actual neighborhood.  Not to mention the crime.

Or wait....maybe Justin is actually a bond trader who likes to conduct tours through the city on the side because he's a People Person?  That's more plausible than the Tour Guide Who Lives in a Freaking Mansion on an Exclusive Suburban Street, anyway.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019 is Procrastination brought into the 21st century

You can do your work, or you can find reasons not to do your work while pretending to be productive.  If you prefer the latter, is perfect for you.

Sure, you've already sent an email giving everyone on "your team" their job assignments and deadlines.  But-- if that's all you need to do, you'll have to get to work on your own part of the workload.  You could make some coffee, or check your Facebook page, or make a snack, or watch something on YouTube, or tidy up your work area....but that's not especially productive.  Taking all the information that's already available and organizing it to an online calendar?  That sure LOOKS productive, and I bet it leaves you with the feeling that you've done something.  Sure, you fell farther behind in completing your assignment, but it's not like you weren't productive, check out this calendar you created!

Never mind that as soon as you finish filling out the totally unnecessary calendar, it's inaccurate because you've spent time filling out that totally unnecessary calendar- the important thing is that you were sitting at your desk typing, which means you were busy, which means you earned your paycheck, and now you've made everything easier by putting the schedule on this totally unnecessary calendar.

And you didn't leave your desk to raid the snack drawer or finish off the coffee in the break room, so give yourself an extra pat on the back.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Bounty continues it's over-the-top reaction to spills ad campaign

Here's another one of those almost unbelievably stupid Bounty paper towel ads in which people freak out because their glowingly white, perfectly clean world is about to be slightly (and very temporarily) marred by a spill.

Seriously, what the hell is going on here?  This family reacts to the dropping of a dumpling* as if it's a crystal vase once owned by the Romanovs and passed down from great grandma's estate.  Good lord, people.  It's a dumpling.  Falling on a kitchen table.  Creating a slight stain.

So what's with the looks of existential horror all around?  The kid acts as if the last time he spilled something he was given a severe beating and a month in the Box of Shame.  And it sure seems as if we, the audience, are supposed to understand perfectly the Horror of Dropping a Piece of Food, just as in a previous commercial we were supposed to understand perfectly the Horror of Spilling an Ounce of Iced Coffee.

Well, maybe you do, but I don't.  We all know what paper towels are for and why we like to have them around, but--umm, Bounty?  You aren't going to convince us that they're right up there with fire extinguishers, and you aren't going to convince us that spills are anything more than...spills.  So please, stop trying.

*And I'm not even going to get into examining how the Magic Dumpling managed to skid/skip/bounce almost three feet across a table so that it could land in the mouth of a dog sitting across from the kid in exactly the right place to catch a morsel of food that had no business falling off a table in that spot.  I mean, what the hell?  Did that dumpling come with propellants that activated when it encountered a hard surface?  Because come on, there is this thing called physics.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Similasan: Why use medication when you can treat your allergies with...well, nothing?

So this woman was prescribed eye drops, but she "started worrying" about all the chemicals she was putting into her know, at the recommendation of an actual licensed physician.  She doesn't tell us that her doctor "started worrying" or expressed any misgivings about the Actual Medication he had prescribed.  No, SHE just woke up one day and decided oh gosh maybe it's not a great idea to put "harsh chemicals" (what us normals call "Medicine") into her eyes.

More likely she was approached by a cousin or an old friend she hadn't seen in years but who now really really wanted to get acquainted and who Oh By The Way was dying to tell her about Herbalife.*  Or Essential Oils.  Or doTerra.  Or whatever.  And in fifteen minutes she became convinced that doctors are all CIA agents being paid off by Bayer and Beatrice Foods and the Illuminati to peddle mind control drugs and to Stop the Information from Getting Out that Nature Is All You Need to Heal.

So now instead of paying $12 a month for medication she used to pick up at the local pharmacy, she's paying four times as much for 2 ounces of sterilized water from Switzerland which is of course not covered by her Evil Big Pharma-controlled "health" insurance (more like "sick" insurance!  Those companies WANT YOU TO STAY SICK!)  which she can also find at the local pharmacy, in the "Natural Foods" section.  And feeling very Woke about it, I'm sure.  Stupid, but Woke.

*This actually happened to me, about a dozen years ago.  I got an email from an old High School friend I had not seen since the 80s who wanted to "catch up" at a local coffee shop.  Within three minutes of sitting down he was peddling some $40 per month Miracle Vitamin Regimen.  I declined to purchase.  Haven't heard from him since.   I doubt I'm missing much.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Meet the Averys. I hate them already

"These are the Averys, leaving their ridiculous apartment to head off to yet another expensive, trendy restaurant because that's what they like to do to avoid spending quiet time together at home."

"After several months of spending upwards of $300 per week on meals at trendy restaurants, the Averys 'began to wonder' if all this spending wasn't eating into their Dream Home fund.  Because the Averys, despite being able to afford that ridiculous apartment, are really all kinds of Dumb and couldn't figure out on their own that spending money in one way means that they can't spend it in another way.  Funny how that works, right?  I bet most of the people watching this ad knew that already.  But these are the Averys- they live a charmed life involving massive apartments, nightly dine-outs and, eventually, a Suburban Palace Just Because."

"Anyway, being the Averys, they decided to call Wells Fargo to ask 'hey, is our habit of eating out every night at trendy, expensive restaurants hurting our ability to save for our Dream House?  After the Wells Fargo financial consultant on the other end of the line got done simultaneously laughing, vomiting and rolling his eyes in complete disgust, he removed his hand from the speaker and calmly explained to the Averys that, yes, money is in fact a finite resource and not a magic well which stays at the same level no matter how much water is drawn from it."

"The Averys decided to cut back on their restaurant-hopping and spend more time in their Seriously Enormous Why Do They Even Want A House Apartment eating food prepared by themselves from the groceries they ordered from Whole Foods.  They came to realize that the reason they had been spending so much time at restaurants is because they couldn't bear to be alone with eachother unless they are surrounded by other people.  Even a stuffed-to-the-brim DVR and all those Netflix shows didn't help.  Within a few weeks, they had broken up, and individually neither could afford the awesome apartment anymore, problem solved."

"Wells Fargo.  Solving your First World problems, one call at a time."