Sunday, November 27, 2022

Small Business Saturday: please, tell me why I was supposed to care. Because I just don't get it.


I have yet to hear a coherent argument as to why I should give a tinker's damn about any small business.  In my experience (which is to say, from a careful viewing of thousands of ads like this and a careful listen given to thousands more on the radio) I am now convinced that 99.9 percent of these small businesses are vanity projects launched by people motivated by nothing more than a determination not to admit ever that they are just like the rest of us and need to get a job and stop pretending that they are the next Steve Jobs with their Karen's Kwirky Kupcakes and Koffee or Betty's Bedding or Jack and Diane's Toyz for your Totz or WHATEVER.   I swear, if I hear another "I started my business roasting coffee in my garage" or "I decided to take my passion for creating Walmart-level jewelry to the next level" story I'm going to just lose it. 

But hey, if you want to throw your ego energy into a small business, please, go for it.  Just don't bitch at me that you "can't" provide a decent wage, or health care, to your "employees who are just like family," because it's not all about sticking your name on a sign and waiting for the money to roll in.  And it's not a reason why I should support you.  Neither is "because I'm small and local," because so are tics and cholera, and I don't support them, either.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Mom and Crown Royal? What, flowers aren't a thing anymore?


So this is a guy who "has it all," including a mom who taught him to appreciate all the finer things in life.  Especially drinking Crown Royal Whiskey in the middle of the afternoon.  Lovely.

Seriously, what else am I supposed to get out of this ad?  The guy buys a bottle of whiskey.  He's got a big smile on his face as he greets the world, walking through town toward his mother's very substantial urban apartment where he finds her home in the middle of the day.  He salutes her with a glass of whiskey- "to the best mom in the world."  Because the best mom in the world definitely appreciates a bottle of whiskey from her son, especially if they can open it right then and there and start imbibing. 

What am I missing here?  Every Crown Royal Whiskey commercial is this level of Depressing- we see people sitting around drinking this stuff and it's supposed to be heartwarming or comforting or something.  What exactly is comforting about hard liquor being consumed IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FREAKING DAY?  What do these people do AFTER they've had their glass of whiskey?  Take a heartwarming nap at the table, or on the sofa (if they can get to it,) or on the floor (if they can't?)  Does the young man in this ad really have "fond" memories of Mom and her Crown Royal Whiskey at the kitchen table and how sometimes she couldn't get up without help or slept all the next day because she "didn't feel well?"  All the times the young man had bread and peanut butter for dinner because mom was having One of Those Days?  Or maybe it was the Crown Royal that got mom through the Tough Times and mellowed her out, which is why the young man feels so happy about bringing her Another Bottle to Lighten her Load?

Whatever it is, I fondly remember when we just didn't have ads like this on tv because there were laws against promoting hard liquor that made sense.  Then the Free Speech Advocates decided that they were losing too much money not reaching enough potential addicts and got their lobbyists to work to demand their sacred right to peddle poison during football games and at all other times.  I don't think we live in a better place as a result. 

Friday, November 25, 2022

One question about this Voltaren ad which has nothing to do with Voltaren

I just gotta ask- does the same "singer" do all of these commercials?  Because everywhere I turn, there's someone crooning along with a weak, almost-cracking voice to a terrible background song which I guess is supposed to be touching or sweet or something.  It's like living in a hellscape dystopia where Billie Eilish is the only surviving vocalist on the planet. 

Never mind Voltaren- it's a good product, I was using it when it was only available by prescription and I still use it now that it can be purchased off the shelf.  But this kind of "music" has got to go because seriously, if I want my ears to bleed I'll knock them up against the wall.  This is garbage.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

One mean comment about this stupid Uber ad


Simply put, Uber Eats is the Online Gambling App of people addicted to processed food.  

You know, maybe having food delivered directly to your door, allowing you to skip the shopping and the prep and all that annoying moving around isn't the very best for you in the long run?  I mean, maybe go on Amazon and order a scale and a Fitbit and get your life under control before you're another statistic in America's losing war on obesity?  Just a thought. 

Saturday, November 19, 2022

That depressing Best Buy "playground" commercial


1.  This kid is growing up believing that "going to the playground" means visiting Best Buy and playing video games.  It's nice that she's doing this with her dad (considering his girth, she should spend as much time with him as possible right now) but come on- playgrounds include swings and monkey bars and above all fresh air, none of which can be provided by Best Buy- except virtually, of course.

2.  This kid's social life must be really something.  She's never seen interacting with kids her own age because again, the "playground" is Best Buy.  This is sad.  I'm done now.  So glad I was born in the last century and not this one. 

Friday, November 18, 2022

The graveyards are filled with the "Brave"


Fortune might "favor the brave," but you know what favors your fortune?  Investing it in actual, physical assets and not imaginary (excuse me, "non-fungible") not-even-garbage-because-garbage-has-actual-potential-value "crypto currency."

Oh, but I'm sure Matt Damon is doing just fine.  He almost certainly got paid in that So Yesterday US Currency only scared little mice like me still use.  Neither of us is "brave" enough to get on board with crypto, right?

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Larry David, FTX, and hating to say "I told you so."


It's been eight months since I snarked on this commercial* and the idea that if you are a crypto skeptic, well, you're just one of those losers who throughout history have slowed the wheels of progress, failed to jump on the bandwagon when they saw it leaving the station, and any other cliche' for not recognizing a great deal when it was right in front of you.  All being sold to us by comedians, quarterbacks, actors and other people who have proven time and time again that they'll put their face on any product that will hand them money in return.

Well, what do you know- the value of a single FTX token, $47 at the time this ad was warning people who were just trying to watch the Superbowl that their chance to get rich quick was fading fast, was at $2.06 at the close of business Friday.  I'm sure that Larry David, Matt Damon, Tom Brady etc. barely noticed, even if they were dumb enough to take their blood money in this particular crypto currency, because money is falling out of their ears and taking the gig was probably at least as much about keeping their faces in front of the viewers as it was about the salary.  But what about the Regular Guys out there who bought in last February, perhaps by liquidating part of their sluggish-but-stable 401(ks) or shifting investments away from those boring blue chip stocks in the hope of cashing in on this bright, shiny object which, after all, was legitimate enough to be advertised during the most expensive night for advertising on the calendar?  I mean, a fool and his money- I get it- but this isn't funny anymore, is it?

(Oh, but check the comments- I don't see a single person angry at Larry David for pitching this scam.  Instead, we see a lot of "Larry David was right!" posts from people who are either so dumb that they think Mr. David was warning us against crypto or are just engaged in schadenfreude.)

Meanwhile, I guess I was "like Larry" in one respect:  I said "no thanks" to the "opportunity" to be part of "history" and buy FTX crypto.  In another life, I imagine I skipped out on the chance to get a discounted berth on the Titanic, too.  Just a stick in the mud, I guess. 

*Here's the original post, from April:

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Hey Chase, could you please lose Kevin Hart for real?


Not only is Catherine O'Hara the only person in the world that has lost track of Kevin, she's the only person who would react to "losing" him with panic rather than grateful relief.  

Want to find Kevin Hart?  Just turn on your damn tv.  He's on every other freaking commercial these days.  By the time New Year's rolls around, we'll be begging him to get lost and stay lost.  Especially if we get any more of these twee "nostalgia" ads reminding us of crappy films from a generation ago we only enjoy if we associate the holiday season with parental neglect and "hilarious" scenes of cartoon pain. 

In the meantime- Kevin Hart?  Please, just get lost already.  And take that walking smarm-bot Jake from State Farm and Flo with you.  Enough is more than enough.

Friday, November 11, 2022

There is literally nothing to this Verizon ad


Every once in a while, I see a commercial so vapid, so content-free, that I'm convinced it was made to deprive me of an opportunity to snark on it.  This is one of those ads, but I'm going for it anyway.

This ad is not necessary.  We see the phrase "for our loyal customers" posted everywhere all the time but we who live in the real world of consumers know that compared to potential customers, "loyal customers" are the dirt under the shoe of a company intern.  The first idiot actually thinks that he got a deal for his family - free iPhones, which is basically like thanking the dealer down the street for hooking his family up with deep-discount heroin- because he's a long-time customer.  He's stunned to find out that the even blander white family he apparently didn't notice was standing a few feet from his that they, too, got free iPhones even though they are brand new customers (the wife from central casting says they got free phones "even though ours were busted."  Huh- so you already had iPhones, but they were all broken, but you were holding on to them anyway, huh?  This is so plausible.)

The only slightly remarkable thing about this ad is that the family which is surprised by the generosity of Verizon is black, and the "you're nothing special, we got the same deal" family that puts them in their place is white.  These days, I'd expect exactly the opposite.  But that being said, all of these sad, phone-addicted morons should feel free to die in a terrible fire now for wasting my time.

Sunday, November 6, 2022

A quick, mean take on this Domino's "Leftovers" ad


I have to assume that this ad is meant to convince single people that they have a reason to take advantage of Get Two for a One Low Price deals by pointing out something we already know- that if we can't eat it all in one sitting, we'll have leftovers we can eat the next day.  We were also already aware that quality pizza tastes fine warmed up- not sure what this has to do with Domino's, but there it is. 

But jeesh, maybe showing a morbidly obese woman in her robe all hyped to start her day with leftover grease, starch and carbs isn't the best selling point you could have come up with, Domino's.  This woman isn't anyone I want to emulate, thanks anyway.  She should NOT be starting her day with a low-fiber, low-protein chunk of white bread slathered with sugary sauce unless her goal is to be ravenously hungry all day.  Just sayin'. 

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Why 1991's "Necessary Roughness" is the worst sports movie of all time


It's not because it "stars" Scott Bakula as a 40-year old former High School quarterback who hasn't thrown a football in 22 years yet can still compete against guys half his age with twice his muscles and three times his muscle memory.  

It's not because it features Sinbad as a 30-something former High School defensive tackle who "has one year of eligibility left" who despite not being in any kind of shape can compete against guys more than a decade younger than he is.

It's not because it also includes Roy Schneider as an obnoxious play by play announcer who is apparently hooked up to a loudspeaker so he can pretend he's doing television and call plays as they develop on the field because that's how that works.  Schneider is actually only in this film to beat to death the schtick he was kind of known for from a few SNL skits in 1990 ("FUMBLEREENO! FUMBELAYA! THE FUMBELATOR!"), and his two minutes of total screen time is at least a minute and fifty seconds too much. 

It's not because we see Robert Loggia slumming it as the worst coach of all time, reacting to dropped passes by screaming NO NO NO and throwing his playbook to the ground because We've All Seen That Before. 

It's not even because Kathy Ireland shows up for about eight total minutes of screen time because There's Nothing In The Rule Book that says (insert nonsense that you can bet IS IN THE RULE BOOK.)

Necessary Roughness is really, really bad for all of the above reasons, but none of them are the reason, and all of them put together wouldn't make this the worst sports movie of all time.  No, the reason this film fails so badly is because it takes concept that had already been done much better in Major League and would later be done much better in The Mighty Ducks- the Triumph of the Plucky Underdogs- and sticks it into the least plausible of all sports, college football.   

Anyone out there ever WATCH a college football contest?  On a weekly basis, a ranked team will defeat an unranked team by five, six, seven touchdowns or more.  Last Saturday Ohio State beat a very good Kansas team by 44 points, and that wasn't close to the biggest blowout of the day.  Every once in a while, yeah you see huge upsets, but those occur when an underrated squad ambushes a tired, overconfident or injury-riddled favorite.  But in Necessary Roughness, a team of old, out-of-shape, undersized and basically talentless dopes walk into the final game of the season with an 0-8-1 record and end up defeating the UNDEFEATED NUMBER ONE TEAM IN THE COUNTRY which for some reason is in the same conference as the Scott Bakula-lead Loveable LosersTM.  Oh, and did I mention that Bakula's team wins while playing Iron Man Football (in order to keep the "stars" on the field, the same players are on offense and defense?)  Oh, and did I mention that despite the team being old, out-of-shape, undersized, talentless and playing Iron Man football, the same players play every game and NONE OF THEM SUFFER ANY INJURIES?

In real life, this team loses 100-0 every week except for the last one, when they play the national champs and lose 150-0 with the final three quarters being played with the loveable loser starters watching from the hospital.  This is really, really bad because it doesn't even get over the ridiculously low bar that American audiences are willing to set for films of this type.  We'll accept an undersized high school basketball team which includes a morbidly obese kid and a 110-lb. Michael J Fox beating a much more talented group of kids because it's Local High School Basketball.  We'll accept a kid who has never been in a Karate Tournament and basically learns to fight on the spot ending up winning because hey none of us has ever been to a Karate Tournament and probably didn't even know they were real things.   But we are so familiar with college football that this is just way too much for any of us to watch with an open mind. I mean, come on give me a break.

Oh, and Fred Thompson (RIP) is in this dumpster fire too.  As if we needed another reason to avoid it.  All in all, a completely forgettable film which is also an insult to the intelligence of anyone who even casually follows college football and which leaves us wondering why it was ever conceived at all. 

Friday, November 4, 2022

Meta Insulting


1.  If you buy that the people in this ad are Real People Not ActorsTM, well, I guess you're half right- they aren't "actors" in that they can't act.  They are not, however, actual customers of some kind of mailing service who are in a Candid Camera/Punk'd situation and if you think they are, please show yourself out and don't come back.

2.  I mean, the woman we see "was wanting to mail this..." and she has a letter in her hand.  She looks like an adult to me.  Which means she's heard of this thing called the United States Postal Service, which was founded less than a year after the signing of a piece of paper called the Declaration of F--ng Independence.  Why is she going to some shipping company to have a letter mailed?  

3.  If this service is boasting of providing encrypted, totally private delivery of texts, well, what's the point in a country filled with people who carry on extremely sensitive conversations on buses, at the grocery store, sitting at Starbucks and basically everywhere else?  The people who developed this thing think that they live in a country where people are concerned about privacy?  Where did they get this idea?  

4. Oh wait, Meta is behind this?  The company that owns Facebook, everyone's favorite source of hate speech and election-altering misinformation which is currently losing billions in revenue and probably won't exist at all two years from now?  That Meta?  Yeah, pass.  I mean, "not owned by Elon Musk" is a positive, but not THAT big of a positive.  Meanwhile, I've watched this garbage several times now and I still can't quite figure out what they are trying to sell me here.  Nor do I really care.