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.