Saturday, August 31, 2019
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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.