Sunday, September 25, 2022

Society Folds faster than the latest dumb Galaxy device.

 


Well, I guess one smartphone company decided that adding another camera or making its product slimmer or removing the earphone jack just wasn't a stupid enough "improvement" to justify another rollout to the Always Eager to Spend to Hell with Retirement Funds masses.  So instead, we get what I really hope turns out to be the dumbest gimmick ever (yes, even dumber than that phone which could project images on to a wall so that you could show everyone the new Avatar trailer.  Remember that one?  What was that, ten years ago?  I think it was more than that, actually.)

This phone- um, "folds."  Not in the cool way that the old phones did which allowed you to pretend you were on Star Trek trying to contact Scotty to have him beam you up (everyone did with flip phones, not just me.  Everyone did.  Shut Up.)  But in a really really stupid way which I guess features a flexible (not at all delicate, of course) screen which is a valuable upgrade Because Reasons, those Reasons being People Will Notice Your Cool Phone.

I hate everyone in this ad.  I hate everyone who had anything to do with this ad.  I hate everyone who is commenting about how much they love this ad and love this phone (because I know that nobody commenting that they love the phone actually owns one.)  Most of all, I hate the Western World for being this Stupid.  Come on, people.  There's got to be more to life than falling for shiny electronic trinkets like this.  I can guarantee you that there's a lot more to life than BUYING these shiny electronic trinkets.  But I can't guarantee that there's more to YOUR life, because I don't know you.  I just know I hate you.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Ceasars Sportsbook, DraftKings, etc. are normalizing very dangerous behavior.

 


Seems like yesterday that gambling was seen as a serious problem among a tiny sliver of the American populace; something that Bob in Accounting was sadly addicted to and which had ended any chance he had at a stable relationship and which would ultimately result in his dismissal from the firm because he was considered too High Risk to be allowed around company money.  It was one of those Shameful Issues you whispered about at family reunions along with another member's alcohol problem or chronic philandering.  It was something the More Odd people you knew did from time to time during trips to Las Vegas, a place you had no real interest in going to because pretty much the only thing to do there was risk your hard-earned money spinning wheels, rolling dice and pulling levers while being assaulted by endless blinking lights, clanging bells and sirens, sirens, sirens. 

All of a sudden, gambling is mainstream, fun and easy.  You can do it from your laptop or your phone.  You can bet on every play in every game and you don't have to feel all dirty inside because you called a bookie.  You can use a credit card so there's no fear of someone showing up to break your legs when you lose and are short on cash.  And best of all, pretty much every sports "hero" you've ever liked is on television telling you how awesome it all is- look, it's the Manning brothers!  Everyone loves the Manning brothers!

These bloodsuckers just-for-entertainment gambling sites even use the favorite strategy of every successful drug dealer ever, giving out free samples to get you hooked.  What's not to like?  Well, I mean, other than the gambling addiction which must by definition leave the vast majority of Users poorer- but hey, that's why there's that tiny disclaimer with the 800 number about dealing with that gambling addiction that you can almost read if you freeze the screen and squint really, really hard. 

And if ads glamorizing gambling weren't enough, well, entire NFL pregame shows are dedicated to showing you how easy it is to "beat the system" if you just invest more of your time in devouring stats which by the way are sponsored by those gambling sites.  Yeah, nothing socially isolating about any of this.  Personally, I think I'd rather have someone in my family addicted to cigarettes or painkillers than getting into this time-and-wallet vampire crap.  

The market is down again, which means 401(k)s are down again.  When the economy sinks, three industries soar:  Dollar Stores, Pawn Shops, and Gambling.  Use of only one is designated an addiction.  This is not going to end well for anybody. 


Friday, September 23, 2022

Pizza Hut's "Detroit Style Pizza"- no, I don't get it

 


What exactly is "Detroit Style" pizza?  Judging from what I see in this ad, I get the idea that "Detroit Style" refers to the idea that the two assclowns on screen actually live in the Detroit suburbs and were able to buy their suburban McMansions for pennies on the dollar because the auto manufacturing-dependent economy has collapsed around them.  I see them toasting their ability to take advantage of a slow-motion financial disaster with their crappy pizza, kind of a "we purchased someone else's American dream with change we found in our couches, and now we're just here guarding our new property until we can flip it" opportunism.

I also see two people so obsessed with this garbage "pizza" that they can't even get back into their misbegotten property before opening the boxes and grabbing a slice.  This is called "addiction" and both of them need serious help, fast.  Or maybe they just feel like being addicts is all part of the "Detroit Style" and they think that sugar, fat and carbs make a slightly healthier fix than meth?

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Why is Kevin Hart on every commercial now?

 


If I ever find myself at the same table as a multi-millionaire, I'm not going to push back when he offers to pick up my tab.  I am, however, going to wonder why he's telling me about getting three percent back on his purchases on his credit card.  I mean, he's a multi-millionaire.  Come on. 

That being said, is this guy so popular that he deserves endorsement contracts from every company that purchases advertisement space on television?  At this point, he's more ubiquitous than Pat Mahomes and Peyton Manning combined.  I don't think I see Samuel L Jackson yelling about what's in my wallet as often as I see this idiot doing his best Stepin Fetchit impersonation while selling whatever he's selling.  No accounting for taste, I guess...

Saturday, September 17, 2022

What passes as Progressive these days...

 


I don't know why the guy even bothered to argue.  If you didn't know that this ad would end with the woman being proven right, you haven't watched tv since the 1960s.  Women= Smart, Men= So Dumb they'd probably cut themselves on Jell-O if they didn't manage to get themselves married to one of those Smart Women has been the rule on TV commercials since I was around ten years old.  I guess it's payback for a decade or so of "Women=Frivolous, Silly Little Girls Who do nothing but burn dinner, make awful coffee, put dents in the car and bounce checks*" ads that dominated tv until this 180 degree turn made on the theory that two wrongs make a right.

*ask your parents what those are, kids. 

Friday, September 16, 2022

Some dark thoughts concerning this Miller Lite "signs" commercial

 


1.  Why do I get the idea that the guy who wants to buy beer has absolutely nothing going on in his life, and this beer is just something he needs to get through his miserable existence?  

2.  Why does the guy operating the store care what kind of beer the customer wants to buy?  Does he get a kickback from Miller for every case he sells?  I mean, he's allowed Miller to use 90 percent of the store to advertise it's product, so it's not implausible.  

3.  Why would the customer care about all the signs?  If I walked into a store to buy a Snicker's bar and saw a thousand signs for Milky Ways, it wouldn't make me want to buy a Milky Way instead.  Not even if the guy at the counter gave me a dirty look and reminded me of all the Milky Way signs.  If he pushed the issue, I'd ask him why he was even bothering to sell candy bars that aren't Milky Ways if he was going to cop an attitude every time someone dared to buy something other than a Milky Way. 

4.  Why do I get the idea that the guy operating the store is five minutes away from sticking a gun into his mouth and just ending his own sorry existence?  Seriously, both of these people strike me as being in a really, really bad place.  

5.  "I Saw The Sign" by Ace of Base.  Yes, I get it.  Not subtle, and certainly not clever.  And there's no way that song is playing on the speakers- or maybe it is, and that explains the "I want to die" look on the manager's face?

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Just another stupid AllState "Mayhem" Commercial....

 


According to YouTube (that's the extent of the research I'm willing to do today) this awful "mayhem" ad campaign is currently in it's twelfth year.   That's a milestone worth celebrating for some of the morons who comment on these ads, but personally I think they've gone from mildly amusing to Just Stop Already Obnoxious and they reached that destination quite some time ago.*

In this ad, some of the very worst child actors I've ever seen pretend to be Distracting Commercials for Birth Control while a harried, exhausted mom who pulled the short straw drives them to Pee Wee Football, that ridiculous joke of a way to spend an afternoon she's at least smart enough to not want to hang around to witness (I went to one of these games once.  There was a play run roughly three times per hour, with at least twenty minutes of delay due to injuries after Every. Single. Play.  An ambulance was called twice.  I am not kidding.  The game ended after two hours which felt like six with the score 0-0.  I can't even remember which nephew I was there to support.)  Because I guess AllState doesn't want to show an accident taking place while there are kids in the car, Exhausted Harried Mom doesn't damage the family SUV until AFTER the distraction has exited.  That this makes zero sense doesn't matter because Mr. Oh So Funny Mayhem Guy gets to do his "you'll have to pay for this if you called The General like most white suburban moms with brand new SUVs do Because That's How Reality Works" schtick. 

All of this makes me miss the looming dark presence of Karl Malden appearing to narrate the end of someone's dream vacation because they lost their wallets and didn't get American Express Traveler's Checks, whatever those are.  But like Pizza Hut commercials, this is just part of the cost of watching football on the weekends, I guess.  

*if you Google "Mayhem Ads" you'll find that someone with no respect for the treasure which is Time has actually compiled a ranking of all of them, from best to worst.  I am not kidding.  Someone did this. 

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Pizza Hut: This is going to sound really mean, but it has to be said....

 


So a quick Google search tells me that Pizza Hut's ubiquitous spokeschoad forever draped in sweats that make him look like an exploded pizza delivery box is Craig Robinson.  According to Pizza Hut, Robinson uses his "joyful energy" to pitch diabetes cheap pizza to the masses in an apparently endless series of commercials that run roughly 14,000 times during whatever sporting event the masses happen to be watching this weekend.

Pizza Hut is seriously playing with fire here.  I don't know if Craig Robinson actually eats Pizza Hut pizza (I'm quite sure he isn't obsessed with it, like he is in these ads- seriously, at least Lily from AT&T is actually shown as an EMPLOYEE of AT&T when she gushes about the product she's pitching.)  But his character in these ads does nothing but talk up the virtues of empty carbs, grease, fat and sugar that comes right to his door and is super-easy on his wallet, costing only about a dollar per slice (notice that the price point- and never the quality of the product being pitched- is always the focus of these ads.  It's as if Robinson is willing to do only so much to add cash to that wallet of his.)  We are SUPPOSED to believe that Pizza Hut basically provides 100 percent of his calorie intake.  He's just always ordering, talking up, and eating Pizza Hut pizza.

So, Pizza Hut:  what is your plan if Mr. Robinson keels over from a heart attack, or reveals that he has developed full-blown Type 2 Diabetes, in the near future (like, before this particular ad campaign runs its course?)  What's your strategy for disassociating yourself from his fate?  I mean, you've hired a morbidly obese guy (someone with no taste might find funny, but no one in their right mind wants to look like) to be the face of your franchise.  What happens when all that adipose tissue inevitably creates serious health issues for that face?  You have an exit strategy?  Because every time I see this guy, I'm grateful that I don't own stock in your company.  I know that sounds mean, but it's hard for me to feel particularly sorry for 1.  A guy who HAS to know he's unhealthy making money promoting crap non-food as a cheap alternative to actual nutrition and 2.  A company that is raking in billions in profits peddling Obesity in a Box and would probably offer a free side of cigarettes with every $10 order if it were legal. 

Friday, September 9, 2022

This Volkswagen "Birds" Commercial- WTF did I just watch?

 


So this guy living in a multimillion-dollar home (seriously, why does EVERYONE in commercials live in ridiculous houses like this?) is irritated because he likes birds but never sees them.  Ok, fine- he's one of those weirdos who actually likes these flying droppings factories for some reason.  To each his own.

So he drives out into nature in his Volkswagen to look for birds, which is something he simply would not be able to do if he didn't own his Volkswagen, because no other type of transportation carries one from the suburbs to the countryside.  Does he find birds in nature?  I think it's implied that he does not. Or, at least, he doesn't find enough to suit him because in case you didn't pick it up from the awful treacly song that keeps playing, he likes birds.

So this guy heads off to Home Depot to buy wood and tools and paint and all this expensive stuff so that he can build bird houses and attract birds, which again would be completely impossible if he didn't own a Volkswagen Because Reasons.  He builds his bird houses and finally manages to attract birds that he can spy on to his heart's content.  Birds like Blue Jays, which will scare away every other kind of bird that tries to eat from those bird houses which are only inches from each other which is really stupid but I guess allow this guy to look at several of them with his binoculars which he's using even though the tree is RIGHT NEXT TO HIS HOUSE at the same time I'm so sick of writing about this commercial.

I guess this is all supposed to be cute, but the evidence that the main effect of this commercial is to kill off brain cells is revealed in the comments that follow.  Check it out.  This is about content-free as it gets, folks.  Which fits the commercial itself perfectly, doesn't it?

Monday, September 5, 2022

A brief take on this Babbel Commercial

 


1.  Generic "Spanish" music plays as a woman who might as well have an AMERICAN TOURIST sign around her neck peeks into a cafe/restaurant/whatever.

2.  American Tourist hasn't figured out that everyone in Europe speaks English.  I'm serious- I've been to four countries where the first language is not English- France, The Netherlands, Italy and Greece- and have yet to encounter a local who does not speak and understand the English language as well as I do.  The only time I had even the slightest difficulty was when I tried to order a milkshake in a small town in Greece- and the word "milkshake" was on the menu.  The 75-year old grandmother who sold me a novelty magnet near the Parthenon spoke English.  EVERYONE OVER THERE SPEAKS ENGLISH, especially the young (like this little girl we'll get to in another moment.)

3.  Cue Little Spanish Girl Stereotype speaking in broken English like she's an Indian in a 1940s American Western.  I guess I should be grateful that she didn't ask the Mysterious Stranger Woman if she's a Good Witch because she has a glowing talking box in her hand.  Little Spanish Girl Stereotype for some reason feels compelled to ask her about how she acquired Spanish Language Skills she doesn't actually have, because in Little Spanish Girl Stereotype's world, learning English is some kind of magic power and not something EVERYONE OVER THERE LEARNS IN SCHOOL.

(Or, LSGS is aware that only a tiny fraction of Americans are bilingual and believes that Americans have a unique learning disability and not a stubborn, jingoistic allergy to learning in general.)

4.  Wise Western Woman decides it's perfectly ok to touch a strange minor on the nose because LSGS is a prop or an animal at a petting zoo.   Seriously, who doesn't cringe when they see something like this?  That's a fellow human being, not an ornament to enhance your Exotic Journey through some Backward yet Fascinating Culture, you entitled twat.  Going to pat her head and get a selfie with her next?  Who the hell do you think you are?  

Chances are excellent that this LSGS hangs around in the kitchen of this restaurant waiting for stupid American tourists to blunder in so she can walk out and pull this "hello pretty people you are amazing than you for gracing us with your presence" garbage.  And Americans being Americans, we find this obvious play-acting just plain delightful and Here's a Dollar Go Buy Candy For Your Whole Family-worthy.  Chances are also excellent that in another moment, that little girl runs off with the thousand-dollar iPhone the stupid charmed tourist inexplicably let her handle.  Ugh, stupid woman- first you get separated from the tour group, then you hand your phone to a total stranger?  I suggest you just stay home next vacation.

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Selling Out + Applebees: You Ain't Seen 'Nothin Yet

 


Yep, I'm picking on Applebee's again....

Because once again, we have a classic song- this one from the 70s- which simply does not fit as a pitch for the item being promoted.  I mean, think about it- we're being told that if we think we've seen everything, hold on because here's a deal that offers a piece of steak and a dozen jumbo shrimp served on a plate at America's favorite Bland Sit Down Food Restaurant for Middle Income Families.  

Here's something, here's something, here's something you're never gonna forget, baby: grilled steak and shrimp.  Yeah, you'll be talking about this for years- mostly to yourself, as you've frightened away all of your friends within the first few weeks, weirdo.

Jeesh, Appleby's, just stop.  Nobody thinks your food tastes so good that it's "unforgettable"- and if anyone does, it's probably the same person who can't stop raving about the Chocolate Wonderfall that they are positive existed at Golden Corral and isn't part of a false memory from the pre-COVID era.  It's not terrible food, but it's not "unforgettable" either.  In fact, it's actually designed to be more forgettable than memorable, as in "let's make food that leaves people with the dim memory of a decent meal that they are pretty sure they thought was ok and more importantly didn't cost all that much.  You know, a Perfectly Acceptable but Absolutely Unspectacular (and CERTAINLY not "unforgettable") dining experience that might as well be repeated because Hey It's Not McDonald's. 

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Applebee's, Robert Palmer, and there's no telling where the money went....

 

Come the 23rd of this month, Robert Palmer will have been dead for twenty years.* We can miss him while at the same time being grateful that he did not live to see one of his most iconic songs being used to sell bowls of warm carbohydrates and fat sprinkled with flavorless vegetables to people who want a dining experience somewhere between McDonald's and Ruth's Chris.  A song about a guy who realizes that a girl he once barely noticed is now someone he cannot live without because she is Simply Irresistible.

Here's a clue:  if you ever find the blandness of Applebee's (heck, they don't even have big screen tvs- you can eat exactly the same food AND be distracted by a football game if you just go to Buffalo Wild Wings) "simply irresistible," I suggest you seek therapy.  Or consider a Taste Implant.  Or just admit that you were raised in a lily-white suburb by a society that taught you to view restaurants like Applebee's as the affordable way to eat out using actual utensils.

*so where did the royalty money go?  His heirs, or the people who bought the rights to Mr. Palmer's songs from those heirs?  I don't really care, but there is some comfort in knowing that Palmer himself didn't sell out.

Friday, September 2, 2022

My Quick Answer To Pizza Hut's Stupid Question

 


"What are you afraid of?"

Before I get started- does Pizza Hut think that people haven't been buying this "let's find a way to stick more calories and fat in there" monstrosity because they are "afraid?"  Afraid of what?  (I'm going to answer that question in a minute, but I'd love to know what Pizza Hut thinks the answer is.)  It can't be "afraid to eat garbage," because there's nothing Americans are less afraid of.  It COULD be "afraid of encouraging this, because the next logical step would be for Pizza Hut to add cheese to their soda or just make the damn delivery box out of the stuff.  But here are my personal answers to the question "what are you afraid of:"

1.  Severe arthritis pain flares caused by overconsumption of sauce pumped full of processed sugar.  Seriously, my knee aches just watching this ad, and two slices of this garbage would have me wanting to saw my left ankle off.  For THIS?  Hard pass.

2.  Diabetes.  You know, the eighth-biggest cause of death in the United States. 

3.  Heart Disease.   You know, the number one cause of death in the United States.  Again, for THIS?

Sunday, August 28, 2022

This Universally Hated Verizon Commercial....


Maybe it's because this commercial is running during EVERY ad break EVERY weekend during EVERY sporting event, but it sure is getting a lot of negative feedback.  Personally, I'd hate it even if I only saw it once, because of a single line uttered by the girl in this ad:  "I just told everyone."

First, what does that even mean?  You just told everyone on your contact list?  If so, may I ask why?  I can imagine my response if I got a text message from a friend which read "I just switched to Verizon."  It would be something like "why are you bothering me" or "why do I give a damn?"  And if that contact went on to praise the price, I'd assume that she gets a bonus for every person she refers or that she works for Verizon. 

Seriously, "I just switched to Verizon its OMG Amazing!" sounds like an MLM pitch to me.

Second, "letting everyone know" about Verizon is like "letting everyone know" about the availability of hamburgers at McDonald's at this point.  Like, no duh.  Verizon offers cell phone coverage.  Guess what, genius?  We have televisions and watch sporting events, too.  We see the same damn commercials you do.  Just because we aren't actually in them doesn't mean we don't see them.  I'm deleting you from my contact list.  

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Picking on Dominos some more: the ultimate in First World Struggles

 


Imagine living in a country where food insecurity isn't a thing that exists in remote pockets but is simply a way of life for the great majority of inhabitants and being subjected to obnoxious garbage of this magnitude:  A guy picks up enough pizza for two dozen people for next to no money, but has to "struggle" to get it to his car which is parked twenty feet away from the building (I'm not using the term "restaurant") before he can drive to his suburban palace (complete with automatic sprinklers) in a pristine neighborhood surrounded by other suburban palaces and people who own their own automobiles.

And because it's such a "hassle" to pick up pre-made "food" (it has calories, so I guess I'd better concede the point here) and- let's be real- it's cheaper than hiring more delivery people- the guy we're watching gets a three-dollar "tip" for going through Said Hassle.  Because he deserves it.  Because he actually rolled his Personal Transportation Device to the Warm Carb Dispenser and picked up his own cardboard boxes of Sugar and Chemicals.  And we've already seen what a hassle that is.  Just a tip?  Not a medal?

The privilege.  It burns. 


Friday, August 26, 2022

A little friendly advice to Stacy- and Dominos

 

Stacy:  Maybe stop envisioning Dominos pizza as a viable food choice for a while.  Maybe get more fruits, veggies and protein and less starch, sugar, and such-wise empty carbs.  Because, I'm sorry, but in your own language, Stacy girl you ain't lookin' too good.  That pizza you had last night is not your friend.  That pizza you are heating up to eat today is not your friend.  Preparing healthy food and cooking for yourself is hard.  Diabetes is also hard.  Choose your Hard.

Dominos:  Could you stop being Stacy's drug dealer, please?  I know the delivery guy is not a therapist- heck, he's probably not even a Life Coach although I can't be certain because there are approximately as many Life Coaches out there as there are Amazon delivery drivers and I'd go to the latter for advice before the former.  But he's got to see that he's delivering disease and death to this woman every time he rings the bell.  Maybe stop trying to find ways to make it easier for Stacy to access your piles of cheap, warm junk for a while?  Maybe stop being part of a big problem for Stacy and approximately half of the population of the United States for just a LITTLE WHILE?

Sunday, August 21, 2022

FanDuel is a part, and a product, of the times

 


Yes, every free-throw, extra point try and even COIN TOSS has a new element of excitement (and danger) to it when you've got money on the outcome.  And if you get caught up in the "adventure" of obsessively betting on every possible aspect of the game (like FanDuel is selling here as something that will make the experience of watching the game more "fun") I imagine it makes the hours spent watching whatever sporting event that's on the tube more impactful on your heart rate, blood pressure and economic situation.*

I thought watching sports was supposed to be a fun distraction from our usual routine of juggling challenges and time.  Does any of this make watching sports more "fun?"  I don't even notice the coin toss, and usually miss it because I haven't seated myself yet (actually, I listen to most sporting events while doing something else- like walking- so I can't even remember the last time I saw a coin toss.)  Is that a bad thing, and should I take advantage of an "opportunity" to be on the edge of my seat as a ref throws a coin into the air?  I half-watch games when I am not half-listening.  Would it be more "fun" if I were constantly glued to the screen with my fingers crossed or hands clasped in prayer every few seconds because I bet on the combined score at the end of the first quarter or the number of dropped passes inside of a random ten minutes of the game because the outcome would be the difference between having extra money to go to the movies on or making a minimum payment on my credit card?

Nowadays when the game is over, I turn off the TV or radio and go do something else (usually sleep.)  Would it be more fun if I was celebrating the effects of several hours of tenseness by counting up my winnings or cursing my mistakes in tallying up my losses?  Does drinking whiskey during a game make the game more fun?  I think the answer is the same. 

We are in an economically stressful time in this country.  We are seeing more and more ads for apps which encourage people to take out quick mortgages, make snap decisions to lease or buy new cars, get their paychecks a few days early, live off "cheap" fast food, invest in imaginary currency backed up by Nothing, and now risk their financial security (or HIT THE JACKPOT AND MAKE THE GAME MORE FUN!) by betting on sports.  All are signs of the times.  I don't like these times.  Nobody should like these times.  

*Just look at the scruffy idiot in this ad.  Don't try to convince me he's enjoying the sports-consuming experience.  I bet he used to, but he doesn't anymore.  Not since this addiction got hold of him.  Probably everyone at work knows exactly how he did by the look on his face every Monday morning. 

Friday, August 19, 2022

Smirnoff's "give the people what they want" commercial

 


Vodka was invented by horrifically-poor Russian peasants who needed a cheap way to get drunk quickly.  It doesn't taste like anything, which is why nobody drinks it straight (except poor people of any ethnicity who need a cheap way to get drunk quickly.)  It has to be doctored with pretty much any other liquid to get down.  And if it's what you drink at a party, you'll need a designated driver after a minimal number of consumed ounces and you'll probably end up saying and doing something really stupid if you have that designated driver and just let yourself go.

Surrounded by superior options (and that's pretty much everything except whiskey, which is just vodka for another culture using the waste of a different vegetable,) I will never understand why anyone would choose vodka.  Unless you're poor and you want to get drunk quickly.  Which isn't particularly glamorous, regardless of what we are being shown in this commercial (notice how vodka drinkers are always depicted by pretty white actors?  90 percent of the actors in whiskey ads are also young, attractive, upwardly-mobile types.  Why is that?)  But it is effective, and if you're one of the growing number of People who find that their liquor dollar doesn't go as far as it used to (Thanks Obama!) maybe this ad is comforting to you?

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Herb quit smoking with Chantix. And that was the beginning of all his problems.

 


I really can't believe that this commercial isn't SNL snark- it starts with literally fifteen seconds of Herb and his decision to quit smoking using Chantix, and then proceeds to go on for a full minute listing all of the dangerous side effects- including suicidal thoughts, depression, insomnia- that "may" be connected with the taking of Chantix, only to conclude by coming back to Herb telling us that "Chantix really helped with my cravings."

But this isn't snark.  It's a real commercial.  A real commercial which might as well add that Herb later used an nuclear bomb to take out a wasp's nest and now suffers from radiation poisoning but at least is no longer concerned about being stung by wasps.  Sure, he could have used other methods to take out that nest, but we can't dispute the fact that a nuclear bomb will do the job now, can we?

Maybe Herb could have used the Support he's encouraged to get ALONG with Chantix plus some other much less invasive means of quitting smoking- maybe nicotine patches and gum- but that would be like using a putty knife, a burn barrel, and protective clothing to get rid of a wasp's nest.  Yes, those methods might work, but so would a nuclear bomb, and the bomb is covered by your medical insurance, so.....

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Kelly Clarkson, Wayfair, and only one nasty thought for today

 


I have no problem believing that Kelly Clarkson is willing to take money from Wayfair to do commercials for them, or even that she's willing to have the ads filmed in her own modest home suburban mansion.  Just don't try to tell me that she actually shops using Wayfair because....no, she does not.  That Kelly Clarkson purchases her home decor from Wayfair is about as believable as Shaq purchasing his auto insurance from The General or Montel Williams using payday lenders.  In other words, not in the slightest.

I guess Kelly is supposed to be "relatable" in this ad because she's spending all of her time roaming around the house (sitting or laying around I guess is more accurate) staring at her phone and buying,  buying, buying Because She Can.  Buying stuff off the phone is Easy and Fun mainly because it's Easy.  No thought required- which again, is why it's so darned relatable.  Don't think about that purchase, just push the button and be done with it, it will show up at your door in a few days in a brown box and you'll spend several seconds trying to remember what it is as you open it because you make so many of these impulse buys.

I could spend a lot of time knocking down Ms Clarkson's acting in this ad, as she gives me plenty of ammo, but I'll just point out two things:  First, when she congratulates herself for choosing the stain-repellent fabric for her couch, she's mouthing a line that was dubbed in and which replaced another one which scolded an unseen child for not putting the cap back on the marker.  I guess the scriptwriter realized that an opportunity for actually selling the couch had been wasted with the first version.  Second, "I'm no chef but I do love my kitchen" - yeah, I am not even going to go there.  We can see you like your kitchen, Ms Clarkson.  Too bad Wayfair doesn't sell exercise bikes?  Maybe spend a little less time on that fancy "businesswoman's chair" or lounging around on that bed and get a little more movement (and a little less kitchen time) in your life?  Just a thought. 

Friday, August 12, 2022

Coventry Direct: Just don't let the kids know


So the old couple in this ad is addressing us from a freaking palace of a house, trying to sell us on the idea that they "thought" they had planned carefully for their retirement but then "quickly realized" that they needed to supplement their income.  I wonder why this commercial doesn't feature people who live in an apartment or need to look into retirement communities instead of a couple who are clearly very well off and what they "quickly realized" was six cruises a year were going to add up even for them. 

The guy in this ad found out about selling his life insurance policy, but his (wife?) was skeptical....yeah, no big surprise there.  Women tend to outlive their husbands.  If I were her, I'd be a little skeptical about getting rid of a policy I was likely to benefit from too.  But then she saw what the cash settlement would be and decided a bird in the hand, and all that, huh?

So they sold their life insurance policies and now they can enjoy time with their grandchildren, as long as they don't let the parents of the grandchildren know about the whole Selling the Policy thing.  I suspect those parents are a lot more attentive to grandpa and grandma if they think there's still a life insurance policy out there to be read to them by a lawyer when these old people finally bump off.  Sure that's cynical, but I live here in the real world.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

The Monsters COVID created.

 


Let's arrange to get the people from Monster.com together in a locked room with the people from Indeed.com to settle the whole matter of Capitalism for us, shall we?  The Monster.com people can declare the Era of Desperate Huddled Masses begging to be "given" jobs over, and the Indeed.com people can whine to their hearts content about ungrateful employees leaving for better pay because they lack Loyalty to the Company and to the Horatio Alger dreams of their employers.  If the Indeed people begin to feel overmatched, maybe we'll let them bring in a few spokechoads from Bambi to buttress their argument that "minimum wage laws" and "wrongful termination suits" are destroying Free Enterprise, which is to say Destroying America. 

I'm actually kind of enjoying all this, probably because I don't listen to right wing radio or peruse Reader's Digest OR spend any time over at DailyKos being told what the "correct" view is.  I'm a pro-Union Establishment Democrat who has no patience for exploitive bosses OR whiny lazy jagoffs who think that government benefits should be Eternal.  We all need to go to work, and we all need to get paid.  That's all. 

Monday, August 8, 2022

Becca Balint for Congress, for the weirdest reason imaginable.

 


I don't vote in Vermont anymore (I actually haven't voted in Vermont since 1988) but if I did, I think I'd vote for Becca Balint in the Democratic Primary tomorrow.  Not because I prefer her stand on the issues over that of her main opponent, Molly Gray- I would actually prefer a home-grown Vermonter to represent my state, seeing as we've had a bit of a tradition lately of electing people from New York City to represent us.  But I'd vote for Becca because I can't resist supporting someone whose yard signs look like they are selling some old-timey pre-Great Depression root beer. 

I mean, come on.  That's just awesome.  

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Shopify's ads continue to break my brain and bleed my ears

 


Sure, we might not make cars or electronics or much of anything else of value anymore, but gosh-darn it, America will ALWAYS be Number One when it comes to Multi-Level Marketing and people selling coffee and t-shirts with pictures of dogs on them out of their garage and Keto Shakes out of their kitchens.  Because there's nothing more American than the idea of selling nonsense garbage to stupid people with not enough money to pay the bills but more than enough money to throw away on Said Garbage.  Is getting an actual job in which actual services are performed which add actual value to society just not a thing anymore?  I mean, seriously.  This is getting depressing.   But hey, Number One is Number One.

U-S-A!  U-S-A!

Friday, July 29, 2022

One of the Kardashians for Pretend Meat. I'll Pass.

 


Well, if America's favorite walking, talking mannequin thinks it's good, who are we to argue?

Seriously, though, this is the same vapid 3-dimensional magazine cover that was selling us "skinny teas" and "cleanses" roughly thirty seconds ago.  The same person who has pretty much come out and told us that she'll sell anything, to anyone, at any time, for the right price.  Why would I care what she thinks about chemicals pretending to be meat?

Is this the way people are supposed to watch their weight in 2022?  I just listened to an episode of Young Dr. Kildare on XM Radio Classics in which a woman wanted to lose 20 lbs. through SURGERY, but was instead put on a diet of - dry toast, grapefruit, lettuce and black coffee (you know, the standard Joke Diet that dominated most of the 20th century before someone noticed that eating more protein and fewer carbs allowed one to actually feel FULL while losing weight.)  Of course the diet worked- once Lionel Barrymore's character figured out that it "wasn't working" because the woman kept cheating with chocolate malteds- and we had our happy ending without surgery- but not before we got the ridiculous conversation between Dr. Kildare and the woman's husband, who resented being "forced" to exercise despite not needing to lose weight to be an ally to his wife, because seriously why would anyone exercise if they weren't trying to lose weight?  Ah, America in the 1940s....

That being said...I'll be off on my annual beach vacation starting tomorrow, so sadly this is the last blog post until the second week of August....based on the view counter, nobody will notice anyway, but I thought I'd just throw that out there.  Enjoy the archives till I get back!

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

GOLO is yet another example of Expensive Nothing for Sale

 


"I've tried detox, I've tried teas, I've tried pills..." have you tried Calories In, Calories Out, Denise?  I mean, now that you've tried all the stupid get-slim-quick gimmicks, have you considered using basic thermodynamics?

That's a pretty damned substantial-looking living room you've got there, Denise.  Did you ever consider a gym membership or a personal trainer?  Don't tell me you can't afford that, Denise.  

I'm told you lost 22 pounds in six months using GOLO.  Well, isn't that something.  That's what you could have done with a modest, 500-calorie-per-day deficit.  I'm glad you've taken the weight off and kept it off, but why did you need another gimmicky program to do it?  You achieved rather slow, sensible weight loss- which is remarkably simple if you just cut out processed carbs and sugar and consume more protein and healthy fats.  And move more.  There, I just gave you an absolutely trustworthy and safe way to lose a modest amount of weight in a medically safe way, and I didn't charge you a dime.  And if you had asked, I would have told you to skip the stupid "detoxes" (they are not a thing, you have organs that came with your body that detox for you, for FREE) and teas and pills, all of which almost certainly did you more harm than good and don't come close to addressing the real issue, which is the amount and type of food you eat and the amount of work you make your body do on a daily basis. 

Don't know much about GOLO, but if it involves healthy eating habits, then go for it.  But if it does, it seems to me that this is another case of Stone Soup Syndrome- putting a fancy label on common sense behavior and then giving the label rather than the behavior all the credit for positive results.  I guess you've got the money so it doesn't matter, but I wonder about people who are influenced to put this "system" on a credit card when eating less and better, and moving more, is really all they need. 

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Skyrizi is a lot of expensive, dangerous nothing


Most Americans are overweight, and a third are obese.  The favorite past time of the great majority of Americans is watching television or surfing the internet or (if they are really "ambitious," doing both at the same time. But not a single user of Skyrizi is anything short of a young, svelte athletic type* who is constantly on the goal with their mountain biking, swimming and overall just being outdoors with friends.  Is there a correlation between being healthy and active and having bad skin, or what?

Anyway, in the pursuit of ridding yourself of unslightly rashes more and more Americans with solid gold insurance plans are partaking in this extremely expensive ($30 k per year) series of injections which "may increase risk of infections and Tuberculosis" and maybe you shouldn't take if you "plan to or have recently received a vaccine" (any vaccine?  Even for the Illness that Shall Not Be Mentioned?  If you haven't received that vaccine and don't "plan to," what are you doing in the doctor's office in the first place?  Shouldn't you be ingesting horse de-wormers to rid yourself of that scaly red skin?  I bet you don't think the election of 2020 was stolen either!)

The real bottom line, though, is that I really hate this stupid song.  "Nothing is everything...I see nothing in a brand new way....I just got saved..." what the actual hell?  Get off my television already!

*ok, there is that one fat guy swinging his kid around.  He's still being very active.  Not one shot of people just enjoying clearer skin while waiting for their McDiabetes at the drive-thru or bingeing on Tiger King?

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Those Bamboo HR ads....

 


Especially the ones on the radio always feature clucking idiots who, before BambooHR came around, were still keeping receipts in shoe boxes and (presumably) using an abacus to calculate payroll taxes.  Because technology didn't exist until this particular program, apparently. 

Oddly enough, the industrial age managed to give way to the internet age without missing a beat despite the lack of BambooHR, regardless of what this company wants us to think.  We had these things like electronic calculators, computers, word processing and payroll software way before BambooHR came along to save us from the avalanche of paper they would like us to imagine existed before this Amazing Thing Called Paperless Accounting was invented by BambooHR.  Funny how we missed this Renaissance in office management that just happened a few years ago and not back in the 1980s like we thought.  Memory is a weird thing, isn't it?

And I'm not even going to get into the rather blatant anti-labor messaging imbedded in ads for companies like Bamboo HR, Bambi, Indeed....they all involve the Immense Sad of being an Executive who must deal with whiny, unappreciative minions---err--employees- who demand things like decent working conditions, living wages and time off, like they don't understand the glories of Capitalism or share in the dreams of their benevolent bosses who "gave" them their jobs in the first place (because remember kids, Jobs are gifts handed out like candy to people who are supposed to be grateful for the opportunity to continue to purchase food and shelter.)  I'll save that for next time.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Those Shopify Ads....

 


I swear, every small business in the United States was started in someone's garage or a kitchen crockpot.  Either that, or the people in these Shopify commercials have zero interest in even ATTEMPTING to tell a unique, compelling story about why they started their business, let alone why I should give a flying damn. 

I mean, seriously.  You started your business in your garage, or in a kitchen crockpot.  That doesn't tell me why I should want to start a business, let alone why I should want to patronize yours.  Get over yourselves, people.  99 of the Small Businesses Built on your Dreams and supported by Spotify will not exist two years from now.  Don't care now, won't care then. 

Monday, July 18, 2022

Mark Levin and Carshield. Should've seen this coming.

 


So when this smarmy a$$clown isn't encouraging insurrections, promoting Stop the Steal BS, or trying to convince gullible mouth-breathers that Trump is the Second Coming, he's peddling Car Shield, everyone's favorite non-insurance that promises to Cover all Covered parts and Covered labor Just Don't Ask what's Covered until you sign up and give us your credit card number.  Why am I not surprised?  

Want to "take advantage" of this "limited offer?"  But hurry, because this "opportunity" to get "coverage" is only available "during the current decline in the economy" which, if you've paid attention, has been going on for as long as CarShield has been ripping people off.  Which is to say, as long as CarShield has been in existence.  Just like Mark Levin has been a conspiracy-peddling, lying creep for as long as he's been on the radio.  Yeah, these two totally belong together. 

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Trulicity: Because the concept of controlling your diet is soooo Fatphobic!

 


1.  "Trulicity should not be your first medication for Type 2 diabetes."  Translation:  "This drug should be your last resort, after you've refused to sensibly restrict your diet to assist that much less dangerous but less invasive drug your exasperated doctor put you on in the first place- which, by the way, he did after you refused to take your health seriously and sensibly restrict your diet.  If it sounds like we're going in circles, well, your doctor feels the same way."

2.  "Do not take if you are allergic to Trulicity."  No S--t, Sherlock. 

Friday, July 15, 2022

Optima Tax Relief: Eric's (very familiar) Story

 


Eric's story is one that could happen to any of us who fail to pay our fair share.  Let's all root for Eric and hope he gets the "relief" that he "deserves."

Fifteen seconds in-- "I tried to make payments..." Yeah, we've all heard this from people who owe money:  "I wanted to pay it back, I tried to save the money, I intended to cut you a check, I was waiting for my tax return..." blah blah blah, as if Stated Intentions paid the bills.  It's remarkably easy to make payment plans, to write down a budget, to set up a Schedule- but when it comes to actually parting with your money, you found that more difficult, didn't you, Eric?  And the mean old IRS didn't seem willing to take into account that you had all these great intensions.  Because they're mean.

"The IRS wasn't satisfied with Eric's efforts..." any more than my landlady would be satisfied with my "efforts" to pay the rent if they didn't result in....the rent getting paid.  Funny how that works.

"They're putting a lien on my home, my income..." yes, Eric.  That's what happens when you take the money you are supposed to be using to pay your taxes to buy other stuff instead.  If you won't pay voluntarily, the money needs to be taken involuntarily.  This is called Life, Eric.  Not quite sure why it seems so threatening and arbitrary to you.  

"Optima Tax Relief is A+ rated by the Better Business Bureau."  The BBB is not a government agency.  It's a rating service that depends on advertisement, the Chamber of Commerce, and ignorance to be taken as a valuable gauge of trustworthiness.  I'm constantly amazed at how many people think that it's some kind of official, nonpartisan, nonbiased judge of good business practices.  I care about as much about the BBB's rating of any company as I do about how many stars another company has on Yahoo Reviews.  They are equally trustworthy. 

So I guess that in the end, Optima Tax Relief got Eric out from under the burden he created for himself, so Eric can go right back to being a scofflaw living off his neighbors- who, I presume, are actual taxpayers- until he finds himself the "victim" of the IRS once again.  Another happy ending, right?


Sunday, July 10, 2022

Indeed stretches credulity to the point where it snaps back and blinds everyone.

 


So this woman was working from home, but she's so irritated by her roommate's new hobby that she is not only looking for a new (presumably in-person) job, but she's "willing to relocate."  She's willing to pack up and move out- and maybe violate her lease, and say goodbye to her friends- rather than stand up to her roommate and set down some ground rules for an apartment she is presumably paying half for?

There's fear of confrontation.  And then there's this woman.  Jeesh grow a spine, lady.

(By the way, does her roommate also work from home?  If so, doesn't this require her to actually concentrate on work rather than her stupid noise-making hobby for eight hours a day?  If not, doesn't that mean she still has the apartment to herself eight hours a day?  Sense this does not really make.)

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Medishare: Health Insurance for Religious Bigots

 


Commercials for this horrible company are really polluting XM Radio this summer, so I decided that I had to stop just zoning out on the cheery sing-song sales pitch that never seems to stop and actually address this garbage.   So thanks again, YouTube, for providing a tv version of this gawd-awfulness.

For those of you who have never heard of Medishare, it's a network of medieval-minded, hand-wringing idiots who think The Handmaid's Tale is a Utopian look at a promising future and who think that the Affordable Health Care Act was just a Communist conspiracy created by Obama when he wasn't trying to replace the Bible with the Quran in America's schools.  As the woman in this ad who clearly had her brain sucked out of her skull case with a straw because it was getting in the way of her being a good incubator explains, it doesn't have to follow those awful awful laws that have regulated health insurance since 2010 because technically it's not a health insurance company, it's just a friendly group of book-burners who have agreed to pool their money to "share" the burden of medical bills that don't include abortion or contraception (sorry for all the cursing) and don't even ask about gender reassignment surgery/drugs seriously don't even go there.  It's a way for magic sky monster-fearing, tongue-clucking, church-going-because-your-neighbors-keep track harpies to avoid risking actually paying for medical care of which they don't specifically approve to people whose beliefs don't perfectly align with their own.

In other words, it's just another example of the celebration of tribalism that these goofy grovelers-for-show revel in.  If there's anything that these jagoffs hate more than people who don't think exactly like them, it's the concept of shared sacrifice.  You just know that Medishare appeals to people who live in constant dread that they might accidentally do something that benefits someone who doesn't march in lockstep with their favorite version of myths that arose in the twilight of the Bronze Age.  You can't spell "Society" without "Socialism," after all.  

Whoever the hell Karen LeBlanc is, she sure as hell isn't interested in helping anyone who doesn't use the correct translation of the correct religious life manual pay their medical bills.  I'm just wondering how long it's going to be before the cretins who run Medishare branch out to provide Not-Car-Insurance for self-proclaimed christians- I mean, surely there are millions of pre-Enlightenment-minded mouth-breathers just south of the Ohio River who would object to helping pay the claims of Heathens if they knew there was an alternative.  And they need something to keep what is laughably referred to as their brains occupied until they can get to work reversing the Great Steal of 2020 now that the Plandemic has run it's course.  

Friday, July 8, 2022

Is Quora is the worst of Tiktok, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube all in one big dumb package?

 


Everyone knows what Quora Digest is.  It's where questions nobody ever asks are posted to fish for responses from bored losers who then engage in a boring Battle Royale to out-BS each other with their totally made up "Real Life Experiences."  The "winner" is the one who ends up with the most Upvotes, and the prize is Internet Karma.  I guess.

Quora is where you get queries like "what's the dumbest thing you've ever seen on an airplane?" where the first responses are things like "they were charging $4.50 for ten Pringles" but within an hour or so you've got posters insisting that they saw the stewardesses having sex in the lavatory while the pilot's 3-year old was manning the cockpit.  "What's the bravest thing you saw your dad do?" starts with "he yelled at an unfamiliar dog to scare it away from me" and turns into "he took down five members of Al-Quaeda with a plastic fork as they launched an assault on my Middle School."  

Anyway, you know all this if you ever made the mistake of subscribing to Quora, and apparently if you ever made the mistake of subscribing to Quora you are still subscribed to Quora no matter what you do because I've been reading more and more articles lately about how people who try to Unsubscribe either have their requests ignored or get error messages in response to their request.  Of course they can just trash the Daily Article links, if they aren't already completely addicted to the Tall Tales of the Lonely and attention-starved.  And if they are...seriously, therapy is still a thing.  So is actual socializing with actual people in actual real life.  Something to consider, at least. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Dave is Nobody's Friend

 


There seems to be no end to these "build your (crappy, broken) credit by (doing what you did to destroy your credit in the first place:) taking out small loans that encourage you to be nonchalant about paying them back because heck they are so small" services.  I imagine that the lure of getting a quick hundred to five hundred dollars in a pinch is stronger during these tough times, but telling people that there's some virtue in living beyond their means is even more vile as spending power evaporates and a larger portion of the population finds itself living on a knife's edge of paycheck-to-paycheck stress.

There's actually nothing attractive about a company which "offers" you a bridge loan disguised as "early access to your paycheck" even if it technically offers this money "interest free."  That's because instead of charging interest- which requires expensive software - these bloodsuckers just encourage "tips" in the same manner that check cashing/pawn shop services charge fees to give you your money even just a few hours in advance.  The "tips" are completely voluntary, except that you're made aware that if you opt out, you'll soon find this awesome "service" unavailable to you.  So instead of paying a high interest rate on what is, simply put, a payday loan, you pay an upfront fee which is "conveniently" subtracted from the loan (and yes, it IS a loan, you are NOT getting your paycheck "early" any more than the nice people at H&R Block gave you a Rapid Refund.  In both cases, you got a loan based on the money you had coming to you and in exchange, you gave up that money or some share of it and THEN SOME.)

I expect to see more and more of these places pop up like ants at a picnic as we slip into our inevitable COVID Inflation Recession, so I also expect I'll be commenting a lot about Dave and every other BS "get your money fast" payday loan, annuity settlement, etc. scam until the economy readjusts, probably in the third quarter of 2023.  It's going to be a long haul.  Good luck, everybody- and please, let's get educated on the high cost of quick money.   As I've said before, it's expensive to be poor, but there are pitfalls you can avoid to make it less so.  Dave is definitely one of them.

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Cirkul is the ultimate in First World Products

 


Look, pretty much everyone needs to drink more water.  The great majority of Americans walk around every day dehydrated, and we tend to react to our thirst by misinterpreting it as hunger and consuming excess calories (yes, Dehydration is strongly linked to the obesity epidemic.)  A large percentage of headaches, body aches, muscle pulls, etc. are also caused by dehydration.  Every day millions of Americans respond to a headache by taking two pills and a glass of water- when all they need is the glass of water.  Americans (including me. Especially me.) drink way too much coffee, which contributes to dehydration, which again we respond to by eating and/or taking drugs.  

In short, this is a real problem that calls for a real solution.  But because this is the year 2022, the solution "drink more water" isn't good enough, because water is "boring" (and if it doesn't taste good out of the tap, you aren't going to drink it no matter how aware you are that you should.)  Bottled water is expensive- it has not been spared by inflation, believe me.  Brita filters are expensive.  I'd LOVE to have one of those water delivery services deliver 20 gallons or so of water to my own personal cooler systems every month, but that's not going to happen.  So anything that encourages people to look beyond the inconveniences and consume more water is going to get a pretty strong pass from me.

This is just weird, though.  It's a water bottle with a little flavor filter that can be adjusted to make the flavor being added stronger or weaker by turning a plastic dial that I'm sure breaks after a dozen or so uses and even if it doesn't, the fruit flavor powder stuff doesn't dissolve properly and starts clogging it- again, after a dozen uses or so.  And then you've got another addition to the landfill that won't break down for a few million years.  And for some reason- I suspect there's a "cool/hip/trendy" factor here- this is superior to just adding a squirt of flavoring to your regular water bottle or getting a bottle with a wider mouth so you can add a few slices of fruit...I suspect there's also a "convenience" factor here, and as we all know Americans Are Way Too Busy To Do Anything These Days, including handling a water bottle that isn't cool/hip/trendy/convenient.

I'm not going to be purchasing this stupid gimmicky nonsense.  I like flavored water, but I can buy flavored water or add my own flavor, I don't need a special bottle with a dial and a special set of flavorings I'll have to be ordering all the time because I know Me, I'll stop doing that and this will just become another water bottle with a stupid dial on the top.  But you do you- and if you're a typical dehydrated American, you'll get caught up in what this ad suggests is the Super Awesome World of Exciting Flavored Water.  At least you'll be less dehydrated, and maybe a bit less likely to try to treat your thirst with a two-for-$5 special at Burger King or a grease bucket from KFC.

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Burger King's offer to people who feel like life takes too long to wrap up?

 


I mean, really.  This ad seems to be aimed at viewers who are frustrated with the slow pace of their diabetes.  If you "need 2" give your journey toward bad health- and the grave- then this is for you; for just five dollars, you can consume 1500 calories of grease, salt and sugar inside of ten minutes.  And bonus:  you'll be stripped of all that nagging ambition to take a walk or get some other form of exercise, as this carbohydrate loading/blood sugar spike  is all but certain to leave you exhausted and wanting nothing more than a nap once the crash comes.  Just to be safe, I'd wash it all down with a large Coke or maybe a milkshake.  Carpe Diem like this and you'll cut back on the number of Diems you will have to Carpe.

Friday, July 1, 2022

What's next, Insomnia Coffee? Paper Cups and LIDS?

 


I'm posting on this completely inoffensive commercial for two reasons:

First, I just came back from a week in Ireland, Wales and England and visited Insomnia Coffee several times and found each one a clean, well-maintained, attractive shop with decently-priced food (I had a very nice cheese panini and fudge brownie in Dublin- hey, I was on vacation, which meant that every day was a cheat day) and polite, efficient staff.   The coffee is much better than Starbucks, though that's not saying so very much- everyone who takes their coffee black knows that Starbucks is more of a last resort than a first choice, unless you care more about your cup being hot for three hours than how the coffee actually tastes.  For taste, it's Dunkin Donuts, McDonald's, and then Every Other Place in a distant third.  

(Except that 7-11 Coffee is even worse than Starbucks, for the opposite reason:  If Starbucks is too bitter and excessively hot, 7-11 is too weak and never hot enough.  Ok rant over, back to praising Insomnia Coffee.  I'm entitled to use this space as a Shout Out now and then, right?)

Second, I thought this ad was funny in its presentation of a Drive Thru as some kind of amazing Game Changer in the world of retail, probably because I live in the United States where pretty much every food establishment catering to people in a hurry already had Drive Thrus before 2020 and the outliers are scrambling to catch up now.  Where these things rare in the UK before the Pandemic that Shall Not Be Mentioned?  

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Another nonsensical Taco Bell ad

 


"When you need a taco..." you go to this shop that sells warm poison and eat what they call a "Burrito?" Sense this does not make.

Then again, why should the punchline make any sense when the lead-up features a woman putting her cap on, one of her teammates deciding that it would be Uber-cute to do the same and then exchange a shy "we're on the same team but we really don't know each other, that's kind of strange but never mind" glance with her?  Why should the punchline make sense when we see the batter respond to the "rally cap" bit by hitting an obvious pop fly?  Why should the punchline make sense when it's a freaking Taco Bell ad and we all know it's going to end with someone hearing a bell and responding like an Eloi by dropping everything and marching to the nearest Suicide Center and ingesting poison?

By the way, I'm only even commenting on this stupid nothing of an ad because I couldn't find a commercial for Insomnia, an awesome Dublin-based coffee chain I found on my first day in Ireland and visited four times over the course of the week.  Just before posting this I DID manage to find one, so that's coming next, assuming the ad is stupid and I really hope it is because there's little I hate more than having to be positive on this blog.  Very good coffee, good and reasonably priced food, too- with any luck, sold through at least one stupid marketing campaign.  We'll see. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Here's a commercial I saw in the UK. Imagine the hand-wringing it would attract here

 


Whenever the television was on anywhere in Ireland, England or Wales, I could count on seeing this commercial or some version of it 30 or 40 times an hour.  Most of them start with the simple line "wine defended by the devil" and every time I heard it I wondered how it would play in the Not Very United Fundamentalist Christian States of America which became considerably more Fundamentalist while I was away.

Good to see that Wonder Woman 1984 didn't destroy Mr. Pascal's career though.  He looked like he was having fun in that movie, and he looks like he's having fun here, too.  Maybe he just likes to act.  Meanwhile, I didn't have any of this wine while over there.  Maybe the devil was protecting it from me?

Friday, June 17, 2022

Where I'll Be until I get back!

 


I'll be traveling abroad for the first time since The Illness That Shall Not Be Named came upon us, and the stars have aligned to make my journey as stress-free as possible- this week, the negative COVID test requirement for re-entry into the US was rescinded.  I was already going to carry a letter certifying recent recovery, but it's still a plus that I will only have to carry my vaccination card to get back into the country.

So I'll be off to Ireland on the 18th and will return on the 28th via London, looking forward to finally getting out into the world and using a vacation I paid for way back in 2020.  Enjoy the archives while I'm away (and do it a lot, my visitor counter to this page has REALLY gone down in the past few months, this isn't monetized but I still need the engagement for inspiration.)  Take care and see a few of you when I get back!

Can we please stop praising Daniel Craig's Bond films? (Conclusion, thankfully)

 


(SPOILERS AHEAD!)

I just finished watching No Time To Die on Amazon Prime.  In the past- like, before the dawn of the 21st century- it would have been unthinkable of me to wait for a Bond film to be released to video (as us old-timers used to say) before viewing it.  I saw every Bond adventure, no matter how crappy (and the Roger Moore films were mostly pretty crappy) on the big screen soon after they were released from 1974 to 1989.  I was never a fan of Brosnan so I waited to watch his films at home (they are bad) and saw only the first Craig Bond films at the theater.  

Anyway, what a slog the last Craig "adventure" was.  It took forever to get going, as it attempts to drown the viewer in pretention and foreboding and gloom etc. etc.  We figure out pretty quickly that this is the last Bond Girl's back story and man we don't care.  Whatever happened to having a Bond mission make up the pre-title sequence?  Instead we get one that is all about his relationship with this woman and it ends with a breakup, wow such high stakes I'm on the edge of my seat again.

This movie quite literally never gets started.  I think a plot is introduced about a half hour in and then we are on an island with an evil guy who is Evil Because He's Evil- no wait, he's evil because he's obsessed with the Bond girl from long ago and again this is all very personal and angsty and BORING.  I guess he's going to release a deadly toxin and do a planetary reset like Stromberg wanted to in The Spy Who Loved Me and Drax attempted in Moonraker but it's really not clear because we never get to see the villain explain it, but jeeesh the story isn't told in any kind of compelling way.  We get half an hour of Bond this other secret agent who is kind of in the film as the new 007 but not really killing everyone on the island except the bad guy who apparently just remains in hiding till he's the only one left....I really don't know.  I was just bored.

Then Bond dies and we are supposed to care.  Frankly, I was more than ready to see this Bond die.  He's been dying since Casino Royale anyway, going through life with a grim pout on his face carrying personal baggage like a cross on his back and trying to convince us that his personal life is compelling but sorry it just never was.  I don't want to see Bond as a loving husband and I sure don't want to see him as a daddy.  I don't want the villain to be his stepbrother or in love with his girlfriend.  This isn't Twilight for crissakes.  I want to see a lone killer saving the world from a lunatic, not a lovelorn sap.  

So goodbye, Mr. Craig, I guess you'll be missed by millions who inexplicably loved your Bond but I am not one of them.  And when this series resets again- in 2029 or so, based on the franchise owner's ineptness at putting out chapters- I may or may not sign on.   It really depends on if we get back to basics or not.  If we are handed another round of this Human, Personal Bond, I think I'll give it a hard pass and watch You Only Live Twice again.  That one has an evil villain, a cat, and a coherent Plan.  And a Bond who doesn't give a damn about anybody or anything except the Mission.  You know, as G-d -- and Ian Fleming- intended. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Can we please stop praising Daniel Craig's Bond films? (Part II)

 


Ok, so Quantum of Solace was a sequel to Casino Royale so maybe it was all right that Craig spent it in mourning of a Bond girl, though seriously I really miss the days when they were just disposable eye candy who existed for one film and one film only.  This is where Bond's journey to becoming a hard, remorseless killer in service of Her Majesty is completed.  We'll be back to Bond saving the world while surrounded with eye candy he doesn't give one flying damn about now that his Not Very Interesting Origin Story is over.  Right?

Nope.

In Skyfall we get Bond left for dead in the pre-credits sequence, and it turns out that he's fallen off the grid and is basically retired for the second time in three films.  Jesus, we get it- this guy doesn't really want to be a spy.  Fine, go get Clive Owen.  But then the MI6 HQ is attacked and he comes back and now he's got a strong relationship with M for some reason even though he's still been a 00 for about fifteen minutes and has been on exactly three missions, two of which he ended by quitting.  Anyway, the "plot" leads Bond to the villain who gets him to fall for one of the most overused cliche's of the last thirty years- the Bad Guy Who Gets Captured On Purpose So He Can Carry Out His Real Plan cliche.  And what are the ridiculously high stakes- is Silva going to crash the world economy or start World War III?  Nope.  He just wants to kill M because M left him to die after a mission went bad.  Again with the Deep Personal Connection crap.  And it's only going to get worse in later films.

We get a ridiculously convoluted master plan which would be completely inoperable if any one of ten thousand things went slightly differently and then we get a freaking Home Alone Ripoff showdown at the Bond family estate in Scotland and there are, again, pretty much no stakes to speak of.  And M dies anyway.  Which means that Bond actually fails his mission and the bad guy triumphs.  Well that's original, anyway. 

Skyfall was highly praised for the same reason Casino Royale was highly praised- because it was much, much better than it's predecessor.  And both times, that was a very low bar to overcome.  But it was still dumb, pointless trash that left us wondering if Craig's Bond was ever going to get an interesting mission. 

Then we get Spectre.  This is interesting because the Brocolli family spent thirty years trying to get the rights to use the NAME of the super-cool Third Power agency introduced in the very first Bond film and which became synonymous with the series during the Connery era.  So what to the Brocollis do with this precious property?  They trash the hell out of it, even ruining the second-best villain of the series, Ernst Stavro Blofeld. 

Remember him?  The guy with the Cat?  The coldblooded mastermind who plotted World Domination?  He's butchered in this film.  I mean, Charles Gray's depiction ALMOST destroyed the character in Diamonds are Forever, but he's RUINED here because the producers simply can't stop trying to make everything Deep and Personal.

See, it turns out that Blofeld is....Bond's stepbrother.  Who hates Bond because....Blofeld's dad adopted him and maybe loved him more than his own flesh and blood.  That's why Blofeld built the largest, richest, most dangerous criminal enterprise on the planet.  Because of hurt feels.  

And Mr. White, the underused Should Have Been villain of Casino Royale?  Turns out he's got a hot daughter, and she's the Bond girl in this flick.  When she didn't die at the end, I thought "oh no....Vesper 2.0...." but then I thought "I'm just being cynical.  They aren't going to make us see Bond in love again, right?  RIGHT?"

Jeeeeesh.   The end of this sad enterprise is on its way. 


Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Can we please stop praising Daniel Craig's Bond films? (Part I)

 


I mean, seriously now.  Daniel Craig was a huge jump in quality from Pierce Brosnan, who was a huge drop in quality from the criminally underappreciated Timothy Dalton, but that's a very low bar.  In his 15-year tenure as 007 Craig's films have been slavishly praised - and all very profitable- but looking back at those years and those films, I can't help but comment that they are essentially a decade and a half of spinning wheels, wasted time, and really a whole lot of Nothing that did little more than shred the Bond mythology and leave us really not caring so much if we ever see the iconic superspy on the big screen ever again. 

Before I break down why each film is an overrated mess, I'll toss a grenade at the Broccoli family, which made a horrible hash of the series with their inability to keep the franchise going with any regularity as if they are allergic to making money- in fifteen years, they manage to push out five films.  Back in the 60s and 70s Bond fans could look forward to seeing their hero on the screen every other summer, pretty much like clockwork.  But the Broccolis acted as if making Bond films wasn't their bread and butter, it was the horrible job they had to go do every once in a while when compelled to.  They didn't treat the franchise with respect, and they sure didn't treat the loyal fans with respect.  And yeah, I know the last film was delayed by COVID- but that doesn't explain the yawning gap of SIX YEARS between it and Spectre.  Keeping to schedule, No Time To Die should have hit the theaters in 2017, 2018 at the latest.  They just f--ked it up.

Ok, here we go- each Craig film and it's contribution to murdering one of the most profitable franchises of all time-

1.  Casino Royale.  The reaction to this one irritates me more than any other.  Yeah, it's fine.  Craig is a good Bond- he does the physical action well- as good as Lazenby- and is believable as a newly-minted 00 still learning the ropes.  But if you remove every scene where someone is looking or using a cellphone, this film is barely an hour long.  I swear, four minutes never go by in which someone doesn't consult their little phone for a text or to answer or make a call.  It's like I'm watching a High School cafeteria during lunch.  Also, Eva Green is boring as hell.  Also, Eva Green is a treasury department official who needs to be constantly updated by another guy how much money is in the pot, because I guess treasury department officials aren't good at math if they are also girls.  Also, that I don't care about Bond's relationship with Vesper is really, really bad news because even though she dies at the end of this film, she's present in the next four as well, because the Broccolis made the awful awful awful decision to make Craig's Bond live in a world where Continuity is Everything instead of doing the traditional reset we had no problem with for 40 years.  Don't care about Bond's personal angst?  Too damn bad, because you are going to be fed it for the next fifteen years.  

2.  Quantum of Solace- after suffering through the absolute worst theme song in the history of the franchise (yes, even worse than Madonna's for Die Another Day) we get a confusing mess of action sequences with jump scares, quick cuts, and blurred motion I can't believe we are supposed to be capable of deciphering without multiple viewings (and NOBODY is watching this twice.)  We also get the cliche'd - to - death girl who wants to kill the bad guy because he killed her family when she was a little girl bit.  We get a boring villain and a boring plot with very very low stakes (sigh; what happened to world domination?  I want my hollowed-out volcanoes and World War III, instead I get "control of the water supply in a South American country OMIGOD I AM ON THE EDGE OF MY SEAT?")  And of course, we get references to Vesper.  To remind us that this is a sequel.  Don't know about you, but I stop caring about the Bond girl as soon as the credits roll.  I don't need to see her again or hear her referenced in the next film.  Too bad for me, because....

(To be Continued.)

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Domino's pizza- you get what you pay for. Even more so this weekend.

 


Isn't Domino's pretty much the cheapest pizza option out there already?

Seems to me that fifty percent off garbage is still paying good money for garbage.  The idea that anyone would "freak out" and rush to Domino's to get a box of fat-infused sugar and carbs because it's just as cheap as it tastes, well...at least they could populate this commercial with fast food and big box store employees and not people who look like they've got plenty of money even if they have zero taste to go along with it.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

This Applebee's/Top Gun crossover commercial is almost 40 years too late

 


I haven't seen the new Top Gun: Maverick film, but from what I hear, it's pretty good.  Which means it's far and away better than the original, which was really slow-paced when not in the air and which featured some of the dullest dialogue of any film of the 1980s, which is really saying something.

If we wanted to make a logical connection between two overrated, by-the-numbers American icons- the original Top Gun film, and Applebee's- that needed to be done back in the mid-80s.  This is just really stupid, especially as it's suggested that Tom Cruise's character disrupts life in this small town- and especially in this oddly placed (is that a cliff?) Applebee's restaurant on a regular basis.  May I ask why?

Never mind.  Don't care.  

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Domino's multi-course suicide pact.

 


"At Dominos, you don't have to end your assault on your arteries with just pizza!  You can get MORE bread in the shape of little cannonballs which is also empty calories!  Plus there's pasta made of MORE empty carbs!  And because there's not enough sugar in that sauce, here's a bag of sweet chemicals that taste kind of like chocolate to top it all off with!"

Well, the price is right, anyway.  Amazing how much rat poison you can buy for $6.99.  What a great country. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Back to "normal" in Tampa....

 


For the first time in three years, I'll be traveling to score Advanced Placement essays (I'll give you two guesses why the scoring was done entirely on line in 2020 and 2021.)  So this is where I'll be until June 8.  I'm bringing my laptop with me and I might update this blog during my stay, but I probably won't (based on the stats, very few people would notice either way.)  So enjoy this little travelogue about the place I'll be or skim the archives till I get back.  Bye for now!

Monday, May 30, 2022

TCM's annual gaudy "salute" to the troops

 



When Turner Classic Movies released this promo for their Memorial Day lineup of programming in 2007, the youngest World War II veterans were entering their Eighties and the youngest Korean War vets were entering their mid-70s.  The youngest Vietnam War vets were entering their fifties, not that Vietnam War vets have ever mattered to Turner Classic Movies when it comes to "honoring sacrifice." 

Fifteen years later, it's another Memorial Day Weekend and like clockwork we are being inundated with one World War II According to Hollywood film after another, because there's apparently no other way to show appreciation for our veterans than to remind the very few who are left that the United States used to fight honorable wars against real threats to humanity and that the 100 percent white American army saved the world from those threats without blinking an eye when called upon to do so because Back Then People Respected Authority and Loved the Flag and God.  

I've always wondered why any veteran of any war would want to be reminded every single year of what was almost certainly the Worst Years of their Lives, or why reminding people of those wars they once read about in textbooks is seen as such a vital mission by networks like TCM.  If I had seen combat in any war I think it's something I'd rather forget, not have shoved in my face by well-meaning networks or politicians or car dealerships.  Of course, the youngest World War II veteran (practically the entire TCM lineup this weekend is World War II-themed films) is in his mid-90s, so chances are that very, very few of them will be watching TCM this weekend anyway.  Here's hoping they are spending time with their great-grandchildren and eating big cheeseburgers at a picnic table instead.  They've earned it.  

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Progressive, Jurassic World, and a lot of stupid crossover garbage.

 


Seems like every other commercial I've seen over the past few days has been some stupid Jurassic World crossover like this one, and I'm sure that with two weeks left before the latest Look at the CGI Dinosaurs summer blockbuster opens it's just something I'm going to have to get used to.

This one pretends that Progressive sells Dinosaur Damage insurance, which is about as believable as a commercial featuring people at a drive-in (and watching 1960s-style "let's all go to the snack bar" intermission ads.)  See, it's FUNNY because there's carnage and people screaming (and presumably being eaten off-screen, because if you've seen any of these stupid movies you know that the only thing dinosaurs ever did was attack and eat anything that moves, all the time.  Maybe that's why they became extinct- they were simultaneously exhausted and obese.)  So you should buy Progressive Insurance because look they spent big money trying to make some lame connection with a movie which, by the way, you should go see as soon as it opens.  And then go back to see several times because you've got so much money burning holes in your pocket.)

All would be forgiven if we saw a T-Rex gulp down Flo with one bite.  And then cough her back up because hey, dinosaurs have standards.