Saturday, December 31, 2022

Capital One puts the spotlight back on those stupid small businesses we are supposed to support Because Reasons


Whenever I see one of these "hey look at our stupid small business" commercials, I just have to ask something.  No, it's not "did either of you two ever think that you'd actually be providing something of value to society before you gave up and went the Pointless, Worthless, Forgotten-As-Soon-As-You're-Gone Small Business route?'  Because I know the answer to that question:  It has to be "yes."  Nobody grows to adulthood actually dreaming of someday tapping into a niche market and then spending the rest of one's life pandering to people with a little extra money burning holes in their pockets.  Whether it's Kathy's Kwirky Kupcakes or the cheese shop run by these two cliches, this is nobody's original dream. 

Nor is the question "am I really supposed to buy the frozen plastic smiles you idiots are giving us as you pretend to be happy with what life ultimately handed you?"  Because I know the answer to that question:  It's supposed to be "yes," I'm supposed to be happy that there's a stupid little business selling a stupid little product to stupid little people and that yet another Idiot With a Dream can call himself a Boss for at least a little while longer because a credit card improves his ability to separate those stupid little people from their stupid little money at your stupid little vanity project. 

Nor is the question "am I really supposed to think better of Capital One because they finance this nonsense?"  Because I know the answer to that question, too; it's supposed to be "yes," because of the American Dream or Small Business being the backbone of America or something like that.  Never mind that it's so very easy to imagine life without 99.9 percent of the Sacred Small Businesses out there.  And no, it's not a dystopia I'm imagining.  It's just a country with a few less junk trinkets, food and drink shops and a lot more people accepting reality and getting actual jobs. 

No, my question is "how do you get through every day without jumping off the nearest tall building?  Do you just not think about what your legacy is, Mr. and Mrs. Small Business Owner?  Did the fact that you clearly died years ago  and are just going through the motions with Whatever The Hell This Is really help that much?"  Because, man...a specialty cheese store.  I bet your ancestors went through so much crap to get you to this country, too.  For this.  Stay away from skyscrapers.

Friday, December 30, 2022

A failing grade for this obnoxious "C Class" commercial


I guess we should just be grateful that the car at the end of this commercial isn't adorned with a bow, but that's pretty much the only thing this ad has going for it.  Otherwise it's just awash in ridiculous entitlement and indulgence- cripes, they can even warp time and space because they want to- and apparently trying to sell us a product that is just another bauble in the lives of people who have absolutely everything (INCLUDING the ability to manipulate matter at a whim.)  

They are SO enraptured with their own awesomeness that they make changes that serve no utility whatsoever- I mean, why does the guy change the painting as they are heading out for the evening?  What is the freaking point?  Does the cat prefer the new art style?  WHY THE HELL DID HE DO THAT?

The only way this commercial is redeemed is if it ends with a meteor vaporizing this couple just before they exit the driveway of their ridiculous home.  It doesn't, so "C" is an inflated grade for everyone involved in this travesty.

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Apple iPhone 14 presents: The Rulers of Idiocracy


On television, in 2022, we regularly see people with absolutely no sense, no class and no looks 

1.  Living in massive suburban mansions,

2.  Married to Trophy Wives,

3.  Driving $60,000 cars, and now

4.  Using thousand-dollar iPhones to do things mentally ill box turtles wouldn't be caught dead doing, I guess because doing it tickles somebody's nostalgia bone by reminding them of that really stupid movie a really stupid cable channel insists on running for 24 straight hours starting Christmas Eve every. Single. Year.   Oh, and having "friends" who enjoy humiliating them because Hey That's What Friends are For, I guess.

I'd like to say that we can do better and will do better in 2023, but I'm about to hit the 14th anniversary of this blog, so I'm not all that hopeful.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year??  No.  More appropriate to say Bah, Humbug. 

Saturday, December 24, 2022

This BMW Road Home Commercial puts Lexus' December ads to shame. Bravo, BMW.


Or  "Lexus says 'it's December, time to make the most self-indulgent, disgusting commercials featuring people totally unrelatable to 99 percent of the public,' to which BMW replies 'hold my beer.'"

So asshat Son shows up with this trophy wife to Dad's house for Christmas only to have a random giant bow which just happens to be on the porch get blown off said porch by a puff of wind which impacts absolutely nothing else and land on his presumably brand-new BMW SUV.  Dad instantly assumes that the ribbon on the car his son drove up in means that the car is a gift to himself (yeah, the apple didn't fall far from the tree here, did it?)  Son has so much damn money that he just goes along with it* and lets Dad drive (like a freaking maniac) he and his trophy wife back home in DAD's new car.  And as if this wasn't all noxious and insulting enough, Dad dials the privilege up to 11 by wondering out loud what his son got Mom.

Yeah, that's right- because not only does this dad believe his son would buy him a $60,000 BMW for Christmas, but he also assumes that the car is JUST for him and that his wife will be getting- well, what?  An SUV of her own?  Several cruises?  I mean, WHAT?  And the look on Son's face makes it very clear that he's wondering the same thing- and will quickly be arranging some enormous purchase to save face before Christmas dinner rolls around.

A few years ago, we had that horrible truck commercial where hubby buys matching black and red tricked-out trucks and then is flummoxed when his wife chooses the black one.  A few years before that, we got the god-awful war crime that was that commercial where the wife notes that there are an entire 42 miles on the odometer of the brand new BMW her husband got her for Christmas.  And then there was that commercial where a guy gives his wife an Audi and her "thank you" is interrupted by a passing Lexus- which she can't stop staring at and which I guess in her mind suddenly made the Audi about as valuable as a 1975 LeCar.   But for my money, this is the absolute worst I've ever seen.  The presumption, the entitlement, all of it....just too much.

"Can't wait to see what you got your mother."  Good lord.  What did this son give his father LAST year?  And before I forget- what is with you YouTube commenters?  You all love this ad?  Come on.  You're all bots or paid shills.  You have to be.  

*Instead of, oh, I don't know, just telling Dad that no you freaking moron, the ribbon just blew on to the car, which Dad should realize because it's the ribbon that was ON HIS FREAKING PORCH A MOMENT AGO.  The son's relationship with a father he can't be honest  is kind of depressing, but not as depressing as the fact that he can just write off the $60k as a "whaddayagonnado" and doesn't seem to be at all disturbed about it, nor does Trophy Wife seem to care.  So these people have money burning holes in their pockets.  Again, so very relatable. 

Friday, December 23, 2022

That $50 Gold Buffalo Coin Scam: Still Going Strong eight years later....


There is so much hilariously wrong with this scam, it would take pages and pages of commentary to get through it all, but I'm just going to focus on a few of the lowlights:

Most of this ad is a glowing description of a coin which is NOT FOR SALE HERE;  a $50 Gold Buffalo Coin which was released back in the 1930s.  We are told how much gold THAT coin had and how rare THAT coin is.

Then, without missing a beat the narrator segues into a discussion of the coin which is ACTUALLY FOR SALE HERE:  a "tribute" to the previously mentioned, actually valuable coin which is "clad" in cold (gilded) but which in fact provides what is currently about seventy cents worth of the precious metal the original coin was MADE OUT OF.  If you aren't paying attention- and this scummy fraud company really, really hopes that you aren't- you won't notice that the commercial is asking you to buy a cheap imitation of a valuable coin.  You'll think you are being offered a rare $50 gold piece for a preposterously low price by nice people who for some reason want to practically give them away because they are so nice.

We are told that "the price of the original edition is going through the roof"- so yeah, if you happen to own one, you have got a nice little investment there that you might want to keep in a safe deposit box.  But if you don't own one, we can buy this piece of garbage which kind of looks like the real thing.  The narrator isn't going to put it quite like that, but that's exactly what he's saying- this is a "tribute copy."  

The price of this junk was "supposed to be set at $50" but of course that wasn't going to get morons to grab their phones to call, so instead this next-to-worthless piece of tin is being offered for "only $9.95 plus shipping and handling."  As soon as we get this price, we're reminded that the price of gold is skyrocketing- which is information about as useful as telling us that bark beetle infestations are expected to rise in the next three years.  The price of gold has zero to do with the value of this particular "tribute," since there's virtually no gold in it.  The ratio of aftershave to my face is probably greater than the ratio of gold to this trash.   But the scam must go on.

This 2014 commercial, which I saw rebroadcast while watching MSNBC the other day, tells us that this offer can only be guaranteed for the next seven days.  Well, that makes this the longest week since Genesis.  

We get guff about "strict limits of five per caller" (yeah right- I GUARANTEE that if I called the number I could talk the operator into giving me a special deal for as many as I wanted) and "registration numbers" (if these coins were legitimate, why would they have such things?  Just more evidence- as if we needed any- that we are being offered commemorative medals, not coins.)  

Ok, there's fifty seconds left to this nonsense but I'm exhausted so I'll just end it here:  This stupid impulse purchase comes with a Certificate of Authenticity, authenticating that, yes, you've purchased an all-but-worthless trinket you can try to explain to your exasperated children the next time they come over and beg you to sign over your power of attorney while you still have a little money left. 

Sunday, December 18, 2022

The Pizza Hut Triple Bypass Box, just in time for the holidays....


Or maybe it should be "Triple Threat Box?"

I mean, is there really anything more to say?  I mean, except that the singing just adds to the cringe?

Think about it.  This guy doesn't seem to consume anything OTHER than Pizza Hut garbage.  He doesn't seem to talk about anything OTHER than Pizza Hut products, and he doesn't seem to think about anything OTHER than Pizza Hut.  The "restaurant" even dictates his "fashion sense," to put those terms VERY mildly.  So of course we are going to see him "celebrating" the holidays by singing about some stacked-sludge box set from Pizza Hut which, according to the comments, doesn't even come in a cool cardboard drawer contraption as is shown here.  So you don't even get to save the damp, greasy drawers to use to- um, attract bugs and mice?  

I read recently that CiCi's all you can eat pizza, pasta and cinnamon buns is on the decline (I may post about this in the future.)  The attraction of CiCi's was that for very little money, you could gorge yourself on carbs- probably to get your body ready for that long, long nap you planned to take that afternoon?  Maybe one reason CiCi's peaked about a decade ago is because stores (that's more accurate than "restaurants") like Pizza Hut is providing delivery of all the crap CiCi's offers at about the same price CiCi's charged?  I mean, the only thing better than glutting on warm fatty garbage is doing it from the privacy of your own living room, am I right?  Waddling off to the couch or bed afterwards is so much easier than trying to drive home in a carb coma, after all. 

Saturday, December 17, 2022

I wouldn't buy food handled by these people, Wendy's.


Ok, I am now convinced that this series of Wendy's commercials featuring a staff of mental midgets doing really stupid things in front of customers is a subtle nod to the restaurant's Employ the Brain Damaged policy.  I mean, really- first one of these guys attempts to sit on an old man's lap because he looks like Santa, then this garbage.  Ok, Wendy's- we approve your noble attempt to get the mentally handicapped into gainful employment.  Now please, stop this.  Because, seriously- this is kind of gross and pathetic. 

Friday, December 16, 2022

Nothing "Progressive" about this commercial which doesn't feature sweet potatoes


1.  At no point during the preparation of this meal did either of these women notice that there were no sweet potatoes.  And apparently there were no sweet potatoes because sweet potatoes were not on the list.  So what else would the person doing the shopping not pick up because it wasn't on a list?  Or maybe she thought that it wasn't on the list because the other sister had already purchased sweet potatoes?  Either way, the original point stands- why wasn't the lack of sweet potatoes noticed before this?

2.  I note that all the meal prep was apparently done by these two women.  The men here showed up to share in the consumption of this sweet potato-less feast, but had nothing to do with its creation.  Because it's 2022 here in the real world but it will always be 1954 on television, I guess.

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Carvana was a stupid idea that stupid people bought into.


So when this woman isn't stuffing her face with junk while sitting on her butt (I'm sorry, but seriously- find something to do that doesn't involve sitting on a couch sucking on a cup of sugar, PLEASE.  Sincerely, your arteries) she's blathering to everyone who can't find a quick exit how much she enjoyed her buying experience with Carvana.

Which means, I guess, that she's one of the lucky customers who didn't buy an automobile from Carvana that was later repossessed because it had been stolen months earlier (yes, this happens.)  Or bought a car that had been previously been through an unreported wreck (yes, this has also happened.)  Or she got the actual car that she ordered and not a random car the company decided to send him (yes, this has happened.)  Or she got a car which had outstanding tickets attached to the title (yes, this has happened.)

And judging from the smile on her face, she's clearly not someone who owns stock in Carvana- stock which peaked at $230 a year and a half ago but which can now be purchased at about $8 per share.  And she's not an employee who got laid off like more than 2000 have this year.  (Yes, both of those things have happened.)  I'm guessing that she spends most of her time indoors these days even if she still has a functioning car, because she's too mortified at the thought of bumping into one of the 300 people she bragged about her Carvana purchase to.  

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Tom Brady, FTX and another commercial that aged like fine milk.


It's just way too easy to snark on the collapse of FTX, Tom Brady's marriage, and Tom Brady's career (the Bucs may very well miss the playoffs altogether) over the past 11 months since this ad first aired.  I am not even going to point out the ridiculous palace of a house, or the fact that Brady supposedly learns about the crypto currency "opportunity" that his wife is looking into by reading her phone screen from ACROSS THE ROOM and is "in" approximately six seconds later. *

In fact, I'm not going to talk about this particular ad at all.  Because that's just way too easy and it's been done already, including by me. 

Instead, I'm going to be my cynical best and suggest that the best indicator of how well my fellow countrymen will learn their lesson from the collapse of the scam FTX always was is the comment sections of multiple "what happened to FTX" videos currently popping up at the rate of a few dozen per day on YouTube:  At least half the comments I've read so far are endorsements for some other token purchasing platform which is, or soon will be, EXPLODING IN VALUE so we'd BETTER GET IN RIGHT NOW before we LOSE OUT.  You know, like Tom Brady was being scolded by his soon-to-be-ex wife to GET IN on FTX because hey, neither his football career nor her modeling career was going to last forever and it's not like they have enough money to live very lavish lifestyles for the next several centuries already.   The reaction of many YouTubers to the FTX collapse reminds me of people who get burned by Multi-Level Marketing scams and respond by looking for another one to invest in- "my experience with Amway was horrible, but I'm in a much better place now.  Do you have a few minutes to let me tell you about Herbalife?"

*in real life, Brady's "I'm in" would be correctly translated into "yeah whatever, I'm not walking all the way over there to look at your phone, I'm too busy looking at my phone, do whatever you want."  And in real life, a casual observer would see that this marriage was in trouble.   But I'm not going there. 

Friday, December 9, 2022

Depressing MetaQuest Ad reminds me of why I'm sometimes glad that I'm old


I remember when I was a little kid seeing an older kid in my neighborhood throw a baseball into the air and call out "Mantle's under it...and he makes the catch!" as the ball slapped down hard into his glove.  I remember playing backyard football and thinking "here's Grogan back to pass- he's got a receiver open!"

I know that there are kids out there today who dream of being a great baseball, football, or basketball player, and some of them feed that dream with intense practice and coaching.  A lot more just have a lot of fun playing with their friends and imagining the cheering crowds without really expecting any of it to manifest in reality- but they are outside, connecting with friends, getting exercise, having fun.

This stupid doofus wants to be the starting Quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys right now- and he's going to pretend to be just that by-- putting on a VR set and, well, doing basically absolutely nothing else.  Doesn't even have to get out of bed.  

Life was better back then.  Didn't even need fancy electronics.  And did I mention the exercise and connecting with friends and having fun while being outside?  There was that, too. 

Sunday, December 4, 2022

This Wendy's Santa Claus Commercial is an overdose of Cringe.


1.  We've got no fewer than FIVE employees at this Wendy's with nothing to do but stare at an obese old man just trying to enjoy the last few minutes of his life consuming a cup of frozen candy in peace.  Despite the fact that they are Adults, I think we're supposed to believe that they are debating as to whether or not the old guy is, um, Santa Claus.  

Again, this is happening at a Wendy's restaurant where I guess nobody is online, nothing is on the grill, and there is absolutely nothing for any of these FIVE EMPLOYEES* to do other than to speculate that one of their customers is the physical manifestation of a fairy tale.  

2.  In one of the most uncomfortable things I've ever seen in a tv commercial (and MAN is that saying a lot), one of the employees walks up to the old man and proceeds to SIT ON HIS LAP because yeah there's nothing at all creepy or intrusive about that.  I mean, can we try to picture this happening in the real world for a second?  Fat senior citizen with a white beard is just minding his own business waiting for his heart to finally explode at his local Wendy's when he's suddenly assaulted by an obviously mentally stunted employee.  The natural follow up to this Hi-LARIOUS moment is this young employee's firing and arrest, and a nice big FAT lawsuit against Wendy's when it's revealed that the kid they obviously hired as part of some social uplift program was put up to molesting a customer by his fellow workers.  

None of this is funny or heartwarming or anything really other than really stupid and more than a little gross.  Oh, and very very cringe-worthy, as the title suggests.  If you haven't caught this one yet, I have to warn you in advance that you won't be able to Unsee the Wendy's Monkey attempting to give Santa a lap dance.  You're welcome, and Happy Holidays.

*of the five employees we see, one looks like a woman in her 20s, one looks like a woman in her 30s, one looks like a white male in his thirties, one looks like a white male in his 40s or early 50s, and there's one black male who looks to be around 40.  Thing is, the average fast food worker in the United States is a 24 year old white woman, so the lame attempt to present diversity here falls flat on its face.  Like the rest of the ad. 

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Domino's "buy garbage get garbage free" offer, and fun with the Food Pyramid


...because what more could you want with your order of cheap bread, cheese and sauce in the shape of a saucer than another order of cheap bread and cheese- hey, we'll even throw in some dipping sauce!- on the side?

And if the pizza-in-another-form doesn't serve your addiction to processed, fatty, sugary garbage, well, here's some bite-sized chocolate-y goo things- at least, I think that's what it is.  Domino's just refers to it here as "something else."  Which is at least honest- yeah, I can't come up with labels for what are basically leftovers from the pizza creation process repackaged into free* crap Domino's will give you along with your box of warm non-nutrition.  Anything to keep you coming back to this particular Diabetes Promotion Facility instead of Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, McDonald's, Burger King, etc. etc. ETC. 

*free if you ignore the billions of dollars in federal subsidies given to the wheat, corn (and corn sugar) and dairy (here's an idea- don't just put cheese ON the pizza!  Put it IN the pizza!  And put it in something called "cheesy bread" and and sell or give that away as a "side."  

(I keep remembering a page from my science textbook back in High School which included the "Food Pyramid" which was promoted by the federal government after WWII as a way of propping up Agribusiness.  Even then I thought that the pyramid promoted the consumption of a ridiculous amount of food- 

I mean, seriously.  Six servings of rice, pasta, cereal, and/or bread every day?  Three servings of milk, yogurt and/or cheese every day?  Who needs to eat meat twice a day?  And how does one eat cereal six times a day but also "use sweets sparingly?"  Oh, and I also remember this line on the same page:  "Of course, milk should be your drink at every meal."  Um, WHY?  Why would ANYONE need to drink that much MILK?  Not to mention that if people drink three glasses of milk a day, why would they also need to take calcium and Vitamin D supplements?  So Big Pharma was in on this with Big Agriculture?

Friday, December 2, 2022

Point of Personal Privilege: This New York Times article on why certain people are not re-entering the job market.


Why Are Middle-Aged Men Missing From the Labor Market?

I hope you'll indulge me as I take a break from trashing bad commercials to trash bad news articles, I promise my dozens of readers that it won't be a permanent thing.

1.  When the hell did 35 to 44 become "middle-aged?"  I feel personally attacked by this definition.  From my mail I know that AARP considers me a prime target for obvious scammers- not to mention someone in the market for a Jitterbug Phone, comfy slippers and an even more comfortable coffin- but I'm not a senior citizen!  So if I'm too old to be "middle-aged" and too young to be a senior, what the heck am I?  I mean, besides a cynical chronic complainer (oh wait, maybe I am a senior....)*

2.  This line:  "(Many of these unemployed men) are looking for flexibility and higher pay.  The ability to work from home three days a week, or have a four-day weekend- things that other jobs haven't figured out- aren't possible for those types of occupations."  

So the reason thirtysomething (excuse me, "middle aged") men aren't re-entering the work force is because they want a job that pays them a living wage while they work from home three days a week and/or enjoy a four-day weekend?  Well, I guess that makes sense, if the generation being called "middle-aged" is the children of baby boomers- you know, those lazy twats who want to start at the top because they were spoiled with participation trophies, or something.  Of course they want to work from home in their pajamas and have very long weekends, and of course they aren't going back to work until they can get them because....

3.  There's this "FIRE" trend that I didn't know about, FIRE standing for Financial Independence, Retire Early.  So a lot of these- um- "middle aged" men aren't rejoining the work force because they don't have to.  They made their money, and decades before they can start collecting Social Security benefits or go on Medicare, they are already out of the rat race.  If this is a serious option for a significant population of men, what are boomers complaining about again?  Sounds like these guys hustled early and are living the dream.  I wouldn't mind being retired, and I'm - um- a few years removed from the 44 year cut-off when I apparently stopped being "middle-aged" and became a decrepit, grandchildren-obsessed, huge clunky phone-using perpetual scam victim.  Why are we even talking about people who don't work anymore because they don't have to?  Who cares about them?  And while we're at it, why do we care about anything other than the fact that kids won't stay off my lawn?

*or maybe, I'm just a boomer?