Saturday, May 30, 2020
Before we get started- does it bother anybody else that neither of these all-glass apartments seem to have any curtains anywhere? So the wealthy, beautiful people living in them want to live in fishbowls? What if these apartments are ever rented to people who AREN'T physically perfect or- and I know, this is kind of a stretch in the year 2020- might actually want some privacy now and then?
Ok, on to the ad- wow, not only do these people have identical apartments each which look into the other, but they residents have both purchased identical exercise bikes which have been placed perfectly to challenge each other, and they choose to exercise at exactly the same time, logging in to the same class. Now that is a series of convenient contrivances.*
If you thought for one moment that this ad was going to end with the guy winning, well.....you haven't watched a lot of commercials this century, have you?
A YouTube commenter makes an observation I made the third or fourth time I watched this- as the girl leaves, she gives a little flirty shoulder twitch to the guy she "beat" as they both walk away to enjoy a little privacy in the small part of their ridiculous apartment that is not visible to the rest of the planet. But then we get a zoom-out view in which we see her giving that same flirty shoulder twitch- is this the same scene from a different POV, or does she do it again? Either way, it's pretty stupid. It's like the people who made this obnoxious little nugget just wanted to remind us that these people live in ridiculous apartments. We got it already.
*Ok, I get that these two people must know each other, otherwise they'd have no idea they were in direct competition, as their screens only show first names. So are they coworkers who happen to live in identical buildings directly across from each other? They didn't meet because they live in the same building- they DON'T live in the same building. Are they dating? I don't get that vibe- it seems to me that these two people just realized at some point that they were in the same "race" and motivated each other to work out harder. But how did that happen? So confused.
Thursday, May 28, 2020
Look, I know the US Postal Service is under attack right now, and is under attack whenever there's been a Republican in office since the Nixon Administration. I don't want to pile on, but I just gotta say...
When I see "Memorial Day Holiday," I note that the word "day" appears TWICE. It doesn't say "week," and it doesn't say "days." It's a one-day vacation for you, USPS.
So please explain to me why I haven't seen a postal worker dropping mail off at my house at all this week. UPS has been here. FedEx trucks are rolling through the neighborhood. Amazon keeps showing up. But official, stamped mail from the US Postal Service? Apparently, you guys are still on vacation.
Again, it's Memorial DAY. Not DAYS. Hope you enjoyed your barbecues which closed out your long weekend. But it's Thursday now. Can you start delivering mail again, please, before Independence Day arrives?
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
1. No, you are not "Lily from AT&T." Your name is Milana Vayntrub. It took a five second Google search to find that out. Cut the crap.
2. "Most stores are still open, but I'm working from home..." you don't work at any AT&T store. You're a model, comedian, and actress. You have never worked at an AT&T store, and if you ever do it's because something went horribly wrong in your career. As it is, you're doing just fine because your income isn't derived from convincing people to trade in perfectly good phones for slightly "better" phones and signing up for long, expensive contracts which don't appear very expensive at the time because they are so long and those monthly payments look so small plus This Phone Will Really Let You Show Well For Your Friends.
3. Nice house. Actual employees at actual AT&T stores don't live in houses like that. Even if they had nice apartments before the pandemic hit, my guess is that they were furnished more modestly than your house is, and that things are getting very tough for them because, frankly, AT&T doesn't need a whole lot of "work from home" sales people.
4. Seriously, just STFU.
Sunday, May 24, 2020
Not only does this knee sleeve thing give you "targeted pain relief," but it also has the power to "MAKE you go out and do the things you love." Wow, that's powerful- does it come with little engines that just compel the wearer to go outside? How does it know what the wearer loves? Or is that just being a LITTLE hyperbolic?
My absolute favorite line in this entire commercial comes where we are told that the knee sleeve is "infused with therapeutic copper." What the hell is "therapeutic copper?" Why didn't the narrator say "therapeutic GRADE copper?" Haven't the people who make all this copper crap watched enough Young Living and doTerra Essential Oils sales pitches to know the power of the nonsense phrase "therapeutic grade?" Maybe it's trademarked?
In any case, why isn't my doctor taking me off my $6000-per-month Humira prescription and giving me an Rx for one of these Therapeutic Copper-Infused Knee Sleeves instead? Oh right- BIG PHARMA, that's why!!
Saturday, May 23, 2020
I'm going to come out and admit it right now- if I knew I was going to be stuck at home for the next few months (that is, I knew I wasn't going to be going to Vermont next month for the summer but instead would be in my apartment in Maryland,) I am pretty sure that this product would cause a major alteration to my life.
I'm pretty sure that as soon as I ordered four or five pails of Flex Paste, I'd head off to the Dollar Store and buy several putty knives, a few bags of plastic greenery, and a few boxes of cheap Chinese toys. Then I'd walk around the neighborhood looking for a card table someone has put out on the street FOR FREE and carry that home, too. And I'd pile all these goodies into my little spare room, and wait.
When my pails of Flex Paste showed up, oh man would I go to town building my very own Devil's Tower on top of that card table in my little spare room. I'd spend hours getting the contours just right before decorating it with my fake moss and little green army men or dinosaurs or whatever cheap Chinese toys I grabbed at the Dollar Store. I'm sure I'd have to order more Flex Paste because it would never be Quite Right.
Meanwhile, I wouldn't notice that I'd grown a beard, was getting super-pale, had 300 unanswered messages in my voice mailbox and hadn't hosted a Zoom Class for weeks and didn't notice the semester had ended. And that I was wearing the same clothes I had on when the pails of Flex Paste appeared at my doorstop.
And who could blame me? I don't know if this stuff really seals holes in the wall or fixes roofs or you could build an entire waterproof boat with it, and I don't really care, because why would anyone use this for those purposes when you've got nothing but time on your hands, you have to stay indoors anyway, and there are iconic mountains to recreate in your little spare room?
Alas, I will be gone in a few weeks so I can't really do this stuff justice until this fall, when we get the second deadly wave of COVID-19 because millions of people decided that they were done wearing masks and not going out and that if they just refused to let a deadly virus push them around, they could will it to just Go Away. So I'm guessing I'll be holding off my order until late October or so, and this will be my winter passion project/obsession. I just have to remember to make my Flex Paste mountain large enough to be a base for my vintage King Arthur's Castle from West Germany. And to order more toilet paper between outbreaks.
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
This has got to be brilliant snark, right?
I mean, this is too easy. Someone made this just for me to comment on- or to test the gullibility of the American public, which at this point is like testing the ability of ants to tear apart a cupcake on a hot summer's day.
But just in case....let's take a look at the "claims" made by the makers of the CopperWear Mask:
"Disposable masks are now a limited commodity. That's because you usually have to use a new one every day."
Hate to be a pedant, but actually we usually never have to wear one at all. We are wearing masks now because of a pandemic. When it passes, we won't be wearing masks so much anymore. Unless, of course, our jaw muscles get sore. Because We All Know how awesome copper is at healing sore muscles....
But here's a Reusable mask with "the properties of copper." Other than being....ummm....copper-colored, what exactly ARE those properties, anyway? And even if this ad is specifically aimed at the mouth-breathers who believe that copper has "properties" that are valuable for health reasons, I hope they at least note that the commercial doesn't even claim that these masks CONTAIN copper, just "the properties" of copper. Whatever those are.
Oh wait, copper thread is "woven into the fabric" using "fiber matrix technology." I'm guessing that means by using the technology we call a Modern Automated Sewing Machine because...wow.
"The best news is that these masks are available now." Not that they work to prevent illness, just that they are available. And look, they can be shipped directly to your door, and placed right there, in front of your door-- just like everything else you order. And you can use it while you are working on your computer, alone in an office, which either means that not only are you a stupid, frightened sheep and an easy mark for scammers like this, but you also don't know how viruses are transmitted. You really don't need to wear a mask while typing on a computer all by yourself, dear.
"It covers you nose, mouth and face!" And now we're all done talking about copper (done before we even got started, in fact, because at no point in this two minutes of Dumb are we told what "properties of copper" are supposed to be important here.) We've moved on to it being washable/reusable (like plenty of other masks out there) and it's woven (like every cloth mask out there.) "It can create separation"- will it? No claims made here, either. It just CAN.
Plus, it's got the properties of copper. Not sure we've mentioned that in the last eight seconds.
It's super-comfortable, so you can wear it all day as you stand in front of the most obvious green screens ever.
The rest of this ad is just a repeat of scenes of people dramatically dropping those incredibly expensive (and probably unavailable now anyway) disposable masks into trash cans and then taking their reusable, washable copper-property masks out of dryers, so the only reason to watch the second minute is to get the outrageous price- $29.99 plus shipping and handling. For a piece of cloth with the undefined properties of copper (I figured it out- the properties it shares with products which claim to contain copper is the inflated expense.)
And here's the punchline, from the ad description on Spotify: "the mask is said to be infused with the properties of copper and is machine washable." Talk about an ingenious use of the English language: not only is there no claim that the mask contains copper, but it's not even claimed that it for sure contains the properties of copper. It's not even claimed outright that it's MACHINE WASHABLE- it's just "said to be."
Again, this has got to be snark. Right? RIGHT?
Monday, May 18, 2020
Look for these improvements to be included in the private-purchase version of Spot the Robot Dog:
1. It will automatically run up to strangers and knock them down. Owners will be able to record a message to be played when (not if) this happens which announces "he's just being friendly, he loves people."
2. It will leave "presents" consisting primarily of oil clumps and just enough digestible fiber to attract insects all over your lawn.
3. It will bark repeatedly at falling leaves, passing cars, and basically everything else. It will respond to your "hush" with up to thirty seconds of silence before repeating its "bark at everything" loop.
4. It will run around the dinner table at family gatherings barking at a special High Volume to remind you exactly where it is at all times. The "hush" feature is automatically turned off during these times.
5. Planned obsolescence is built right in, to provide you with the Full Experience of being a pet owner. Expect to spent at least $1000 per year on replacement parts.
The very best thing about your Spot the Robot Dog is that when it finally does break down for good, you can just throw it in the trunk alongside your dead lawn mower and bring it to the recycling center for disposal. No messy vet fees or sad backyard funerals!
Sunday, May 17, 2020
...because as we all know, before we became a nation of Stay at Home-ers and Work Online-ers, nobody was "sharing" anything like Adorable Babies doing Adorable Things, Even More Adorable Pets doing even more Adorable Things. None of us would have even considered making video clips of us doing anything in the privacy of our own homes and sharing them on YouTube. What a world COVID-19 has created. Truly revolutionary.
Ok, enough snark. If we could be honest with ourselves for a few minutes, we could just admit that every single one of these "because we're stuck at home" video clips could predate the current pandemic by years. We've been a really stupid, self-absorbed, bored-out-of-our-minds nation for quite some time now.
And while we're at it, the idea that the virus has turned us into a nation of binge-watchers addicted to Netflix, Hulu etc. is also a pathetic joke. All COVID-19 has done is given us an excuse to keep doing what a whole lot of us were doing already- sitting on our couches, watching hour after hour of nonsense, occasionally rising to accept the food delivery or grab another soda or beer from the fridge or taking a quick break to post a video on YouTube letting the world know that we're still here, and we're still stupid.
The conceit that the pandemic is keeping us from doing what we "really want to do" is really the height of self-delusion. What we "really want to do" is stay home, watch tv, and "stay connected" through phones and our laptops because actual in-person interaction was already becoming passe at LEAST a decade ago. Want proof? Just wait till this thing is over- there will be a spike in movie theater attendance, visits to parks, restaurants, beaches and gyms, and then....most of us will just go back to what we were doing before, which as it turned out was engaging in intensive training for life in a bomb shelter.
Saturday, May 16, 2020
Eventually, the woman in this ad got sick of watching the guy in this ad systematically destroy everything they worked so hard to achieve, with immaculate planning, one step at a time, and hired a professional moving and storing company for Reasons.
I mean, look at the two scenes we're given here. In the first, she's carrying out her very carefully planned removal of the body of a noisy neighbor in the middle of the night, and all she needs is just a little help from her dim bulb male accomplice to get the corpse down the back staircase in a coffin purchased with cash from a thrift shop in another state, slip it into their Subaru Hatchback, and drive an hour to a state park closed due to COVID-19 so they can slide the box into the deserted lake (after weighing it down, of course.)
The guy completely messes up his ONE CONTRIBUTION to the master plan, NATURALLY.
In an attempt to make up for his ridiculous bungling, the guy offers to dig up all the corpses in the back yard, stuff them into the cardboard boxes they've been saving up from the four-times-daily-Amazon purchases which have been arriving since the Stay at Home order was initiated, and find a canyon nearby to dump and burn them. What he didn't tell her was that he was going to try to transfer all 23 victims all at once, leading to an hysterical accident on the way to the canyon as the boxes overburdened with bodies and odor-killing baking soda fell off and spilled into the street. This guy can't do ANYTHING right.
I guess these two messes were cleaned up, because we then move to an unrelated scene where they've gone to visit their empty box collection at the nearby U-Store It and the guy decides he wants to go swimming in the boxes for some reason. I don't know, it's really weird.
In the end, the woman here realizes that if she keeps asking her husband to try to do stuff he'll probably end up dying too early- that is, before that massive insurance policy she talked him into buying matures- so she decides they should do all of their moving and storage by using this professional MakeSpace service. It's a rather odd way to end what was to this point a really graphic, horrifying commercial, but ok.
Friday, May 15, 2020
Yes, this is very topical. Everyone's doing this these days. Nobody likes doing it, and everyone hopes that it's over sooner rather than later.
That being said, nobody misses any of these Progressive Insurance spokeschoads. Especially Flo. Nobody is going through Flo withdrawals; that is, no one is REALLY going through Flo withdrawals, though if you scroll down the comments you'll see that there are people out there willing to pretend to love these ads for nickels.
BTW, Zoom meetings are generally carried out to make it easier for actual teams of workers to remain in communication during the Age of Social Isolation. None of this is demonstrated during this Progressive Ad- it's just the usual cadre of idiots blathering nonsense about nothing. Maybe Progressive wants to give us a Taste of Normalcy, since this is all we expect from Progressive commercials even when we aren't in the middle of a pandemic.
The Geico Gecko is wearing a mask during a commercial in 3.....2......1.......
Tuesday, May 12, 2020
I have three questions for Chuck Woolery as well (or More fun from the United States Money Reserve of non-Money)
1. "What's the United States Money Reserve, and why did it intentionally choose a name designed to con the soft-headed into believing that it's an official branch of the US Government?" (Connected question: Why is the fact that it's NOT connected to the US Government presented in a font impossible to read unless one has a tv screen the size of a football field?)
2. "The current price of gold is just over $1750 per ounce. Why would anyone pay $189 for one-tenth of an ounce of gold (plus shipping and handling) from the company you're pimping for? Because it looks pretty? Because it looks like a coin (but isn't?)
3. "What are you doing in this ad? Joe Namath beat you out for the gig pimping non-Medicare old age 'insurance?' Decide that you weren't doing anything with your soul so you might as well sell it to the highest bidder? What?"
Saturday, May 9, 2020
The Stock Market is still down almost 20% from its highs of only two months ago, when thousands upon thousands of terrified people cashed out their 401(k)s to make sure they had SOME money to live on. The Unemployment rate is almost 15%. Millions of Americans are scared to death that even when the Lock Down and Stay at Home orders are lifted, the jobs they counted on to pay their mortgage and kids' college funds and health care and just to put food on the table simply won't be there anymore.
But hell, let's not worry about that- let's focus on this new piece of technology that deals with a REALLY urgent matter: How are rich white people going to keep up their exercise routine?
This monstrosity STARTS at $2995. And that's before the monthly workout subscriptions. But let's face it, this isn't aimed at people who are at all concerned about anything like Money. More like people who are bored with their daily Peloton sessions and are looking for a little variety before ending the day with a soak in the hot tub. And bonus- this thing has a small footprint, so you can set it up right next to that Peloton bike, not that floor space is any more of an issue for the customers of this obscenity than its price is.
Because its the kind of exercise that fits MY budget, I'm heading out for another walk into a world I hate just a little bit more thanks to this commercial.
Friday, May 8, 2020
"Restaurants.....are our family."
Whose family? Grubhub's? If that's what this commercial is saying, don't you actually mean "Reason we Exist" or "Way we make money?" If by "our" you mean "America's," well....that's a problem, too. When I visit a family member and have a meal, I'm not expected to pay for it. When I make something for a family member, I don't hand them a bill or expect a tip. Because, you know, Family. How the hell is any business my "family?"
"...and our family needs help." Again with the vague language. I can totally understand if Grubhub sees Restaurants as their family they would say their family needs help- restaurants are in trouble, which means Grubhub is in trouble. Grubhub can't deliver for family members- errr, restaurants- that are out of business. And if restaurants are "the cornerstones of our communities" (at this point, I've given up trying to figure out who the "our" is) well, it's totally bad that they need help.
"Right now they're facing a crisis, and they're counting on your takeout and delivery orders to help them through." Ok now, we've cut to the chase. Restaurants are suffering from dramatic losses in revenue due to the Stay at Home orders and the mandated closing of dining rooms. To survive financially, they really, really need for us to keep "eating out" by ordering takeout and delivery food. Oh by the way it sure would help if we used Grubhub too, btw- because Restaurants are Family, and Grubhub is the way we can kind of enjoy our Family without having to visit it, which actually does sound kind of attractive.
So the bottom line: Grubhub wants to remind us that we have Family Responsibilities that don't end just because we can't go out to eat. Sorry, but we don't get to use the Social Distancing excuse to avoid visiting our Families, because our Families still need our money, just like Always. If anything, we should be spending more of our money on those Family members who make food in exchange for our money. And it just makes it extra-special-family time if we employ Grubhub to transfer all that Togetherness that Looks a Lot like Food from them to us.
Oh, by the way? Doesn't really matter that most of us aren't making extra money just because we can't visit our Families. Doesn't matter that many of us are actually hurting financially right now. Pick up that phone, go online, do whatever you need to do to Stay in Touch with your Family and arrange to give them some money, because they are really Hurting right now. Just do it. You have to. IT'S FAMILY!
Monday, May 4, 2020
"Our love is so unique, so special, so different. that we decided to celebrate it in the most corporate-approved manner possible. We bought a diamond."
"Um, what? Who is this 'We?' I bought you a diamond, because you said that even though you loved me more than anyone you had ever loved ever, and wanted to spend the rest of your life with me, you weren't going anywhere near an actual legal commitment until you got a rock. Which I paid for. ME. With MY money."
"Our love is a diamond!"
"What the hell does that even mean? Our love is a cold, hard piece of suffocated coal?"
"Look how it sparkles! It's a celebration of our love!"
"It's a celebration of pointless excess that sets our house-purchasing fund back about two months."
"Two months? Only two months? Why you dirty, cheap little...you went to ZALES, didn't you!!"
"I knew I should have switched boxes."
Saturday, May 2, 2020
Aching joints? Painful muscles? Well, if you've already tried all of the 46,782 "pain relief" creams, ointments and patches available at your local CVS, why not take advantage of This Amazing OfferTM and order some of this junk?
It's different because it has 100% more oil from the seeds of the Cannabis Sativa Plant (that's an actual quote from the commercial.) 100% more than what? Um, well, I'm guessing 100% more from actual pain medications that don't include any oil from the Cannabis Sativa Plant. Hey, that was simple.
Hempvana Gold combines an "FDA listed pain relief ingredient" (that's another actual quote, I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.) What IS this ingredient? Well, we aren't told, but the caption on the screen says "10% Trolamine Salicylate per FDA Monograph!" Yes, the exclamation point is included, which makes me feel so foolish I'm just going to pretend to know what that means and that it's super-impressive obviously. Mission accomplished, Hempvana.
It's got cold-pressed hemp oil from the seeds of that plant mentioned earlier, which I guess distinguishes it from other hemp oil that isn't cold pressed or doesn't come from the same seeds. Anyway, it's so effective that all you have to do if you experience sharp pain while jogging is to stop, rub some on your knee, and you're on your way. That's how impressive this stuff is. Probably because it's cold pressed. And it's got that stuff the FDA listed. Both things are important, I'm guessing.
It works by "blocking nerve transmissions." You know, like Tylenol, or Ben Gay. But it isn't either of those things, because it has 100% more oil than either of those things. It's different.
Here's a retired NFL player you've never heard of standing on what looks like a High School football field talking about how it really helps him do whatever he's doing nowadays. As if I wasn't sold already.
"The secret is the combination of Science and Nature." I know how to translate that line, but just in case I didn't, they do it for us, right away. The "Science" part is in that little bit of FDA-listed pain relief medication that I'm guessing is found in all over-the-counter pain relieving creams. The "Nature" part is the woo factor that appeals to our Holistic "look to the trees" side (you know, the really stupid, gullible side) and which also "justifies" the ridiculous price. Put it another way- the Nature part makes the product unique. The Science part makes the ad legal. Also- in the next few seconds of the ad, it sounds for all the world like the only purpose of the seeds is to make the product "absorb quickly." Which pretty much convinces me that the ONLY medication in this junk is the trace amount of "FDA-listed" pain reliever.
(Oh, and here's a guy writing what looks like a chemical formula on an actual chalkboard. He's wearing a white coat, and that's real chalk he's using. Looks legit to me.)
Anyway, the ad goes on a little longer but basically just repeats itself, so I'll skip to the punchline: there's another ad for this same product on Youtube in which the narrator knocks down the claims of similar products with the same ingredients as false. The DIFFERENCE with Hempvana Gold is that it has DOUBLE the amount of oil as those other Much More Expensive Junk Products. So basically, "that stuff doesn't work, and it costs a fortune. Our product is exactly the same, but we use more Woo, and it's cheaper, so...um....it DOES work."
Well, sorry, Hempvana, but if it's not being sold by an old High School Friend who found my name on Facebook and who also thinks I'd totally kill it selling this stuff myself, I'm not interested. And I'm speaking as someone who actually does suffer from chronic knee pain being treated with actual medicine- your target audience. Get back to me when you're ready to include me in your downline.
Friday, May 1, 2020
Charles Schwab starts this great big wet sloppy kiss aimed directly at his own posterior by telling us he was born in 1937, a "very bad time...with a Depression...." yes, indeed it was a very bad time, Mr Schwab-- one that you don't remember, since it was over before you were four years old. Being born in 1937 doesn't make you a Depression baby. You had to live it. My parents lived it. You didn't.
"What my generation went through....all the wars...." and now we see scenes from V-E day or V-J day. Well, maybe you faintly remember something about World War II, Mr Schwab. But you didn't fight in it, and you didn't really live it. So I don't know what this has to do with "your" generation. When you were a teenager, you attended a private prep school on your way to Stanford and Fraternity Life. I mean, I'm not going to blame you for not fighting in the Pacific or Europe when you were a kid, but jeesh what's all this "we" crap? From what I can see on your Wiki page, you actually had a pretty damned privileged youth.
Oh, and now it gets even worse. This was a time when there was this awful disease called polio, but "we" came up with a vaccine for it. Well, one of "us' did, anyway. His name was Jonas Salk, and he was born 23 years before you were (not in your generation) and he didn't end up with a net worth of $8 billion despite doing a bit more for humanity than you (in my humble opinion, at least.)
While some of "his generation" were going off to fight in Vietnam or protest against it, Mr Schwab was starting Commander Industries and publishing a newsletter concerning more important subjects like money, making money, making more money, investing money, and money. Eventually Commander Industries became Charles Schwab Inc and its president and founder was a multi-millionaire before his 35th birthday.
The rest is history....oh wait, no, it's not. History was something other members of his generation were doing, while he was devoting his life to building a gigantic pile of cash to park his aging butt on. I don't see a lot of ads celebrating all those people who sacrificed and fought and died and protested and achieved to make society a little more bearable for everyone, so I guess this is the best I can hope for: Charles Schwab, multi-billionaire who made a fortune manipulating other people's money, waxing poetic about sacrifice and perseverance while showing us blurry old films in between reminding us to "keep on keeping on" because after all, he might not die with $9 billion if we take our eyes off the prize. His generation, which gave and accomplished so much, is counting on us after all.