Friday, September 30, 2022's "Moment" we all tolerate out of a false sense of obligation.


Watch this commercial without the sound on, and see if you don't come up with exactly the same conclusions that I did:

Girl carrying the basket:  "I can't believe it's come to this.  I had hopes and dreams.  I was going to have a great career.  For a while I thought I was gonna be an engineer* even!  And look at me now- in my late 20s, with a Master's Degree, carrying a basket of cheap disposable garbage with some soulless company's name on it across the room to give to someone who will probably chuck it into the nearest trash can as soon as my back is turned."

Girl receiving the basket: "Oh god, what is with it with these companies and their insistence on sending people off with crap with their logo on it?  Like I don't have enough umbrellas that break with the first rain or travel mugs that make coffee taste funny and leak and end up sitting in the cupholder for a year because I never remember to bring it inside or sitting in the break room because I never remember to put it back in the car or ugly pullovers I wouldn't wear if I was freezing to death.  And a whole damn BASKET full of this trash?  Maybe the basket has some utility.  How far do I have to carry the contents before I find a dumpster big enough to ditch it in?"

I do appreciate the fake frozen smiles on both of these women at least.  They look seriously deranged, or at least like they both know the other is playing a stupid role in a charade they'd rather skip but can't because this is still a weird ritual businesses go through for some reason. 

*shoutout to Peggy Seeger.

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?