Sunday, February 26, 2023

Taco Bell: Never has $5 cost so much.


Even if you down this warm toxic sludge with a diet soda, you're still satisfying your "craving" (not "hunger"*) with roughly 1000 calories of nutrient-deficient grease, cheese and empty carbs.  Meanwhile your heart is busy craving relief from your brain's cravings, you've once again trained yourself to respond to any notion that you haven't eaten for several minutes by piling in the cheapest, most palatable junk available, and you've gulped down something that is just going to make you sluggish and sad if not downright exhausted (just in time to hit up Starbucks for a sugar rush!) within minutes after hitting the bloodstream.  

Yeah, looks so much fun.  Especially when we get still shot after still shot of people jamming this poison into their face holes.  Thanks, Taco Bell, for remaining a great big part of the problem.

*as if there is any difference between "craving" and "hunger" in America today.  Most of us walk around dehydrated and confuse thirst with hunger, so why not just confuse cravings with hunger as well?  After all, this slop is cheap and available within two or three miles of pretty much everyone in the United States- if not Taco Bell specifically, some other sugar and fat merchant ready to take your order.   F--k your heart; what has it done for you lately?

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Sign of the Times


It took me a while to figure out what I truly hate about this commercial, which just sets me off every time it comes on the air (and that is often.)  I finally figured it out:  It's the fact that this commercial makes having high blood pressure look like fun.

These people are having an absolute ball because it's so easy for them to check their blood pressure; for some reason, they are dancing all over the place- maybe because they just checked and found that their resting heart rate was nice and low and decided that was too boring.  Great message- "if you've got high blood pressure, don't sweat it, just get this gizmo and you're good."  

Um, no.  If you've got high blood pressure, get control over your diet, get on an exercise program, and fix that issue before it Ends you.  Being able to monitor it is nice and everything, but this is basically the same as being able to check your blood sugar any time you want- and then going ahead and stuffing yourself with cake and seeing that Hey Isn't That Interesting, My Blood Sugar is Spiking Go Figure.  Personally, I don't worry about my blood sugar levels because I don't eat sugar.  I don't worry about my blood pressure because I keep myself at a healthy weight, exercise my cardiovascular system* and don't eat crap.  I guess the alternative is to just get one of these stupid things, except that they don't fix any problems.  They just give you a fun way to watch yourself fall apart.  

Don't stop dancing, because that's pretty good exercise.  But get those stupid-ass grins off your face and stop thinking you've accomplished something because it's easier to monitor your descent into bad health.  

This is getting depressingly common- more and more gadgets and more and more drugs and less and less simple advice to do things that kind of require personal effort.  Doesn't bode well for the future, but I guess a lot of these people won't be around in the future anyway. 

*Sometimes I even dance, though I prefer running and hitting my heavy bag.  But to each his own. 

Sunday, February 19, 2023

The 80s are gone. Let's all get over it.


For anyone who grew up in the 1980s, the Indiana Jones Trilogy was one of those things that truly defined the decade.  I saw the original- when it was called "Raiders of the Lost Ark"- in 1981 with my father at the Paramount Theater in Barre, Vermont.  We loved every minute of it (I mean, really, what's not to love?)  Years later, my college girlfriend insisted on watching it over and over again whenever she came over for a date.  Just can't think of the 1980s without being reminded of Indy, his whip and his Fedora.

The series came to an end in 1989, and we all knew it.  Reagan's presidency ended that year, too, and there was a pretty strong sense that not only a decade but an entire era was ending.  The Berlin Wall was falling, bringing a close to the Cold War that a lot of us thought might turn very very hot when the decade opened.  That summer of 1989 was probably the biggest for summer blockbusters in the history of Hollywood - not only the last of the Indiana Jones films, but Batman, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, a Bond film, two Undersea Monster flicks....that summer was packed.  If you were in the United States you were going to the movies every weekend and seeing something everyone else was seeing, too.  And maybe the biggest moment in film was watching Indy and his dad ride off into the sunset.  

Well, we know what happened almost two decades later- 1980s nostalgia was all the thing and we got unwanted remakes of Total Recall and more Alien films and a Ghostbuster reboot nobody asked for and another Independence Day and yet another Star Wars Trilogy basically every time we turned around we were being assaulted by reminders that we had left our youth in the last century.  Worst of all, we got some god-awful mess called Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull or something like that and it was lame and lazy and CGI-infested crap. 

Harrison Ford is past eighty years of age, but I guess he's borrowed Tom Cruise's age-defying camera filter and is ready to pretend to be young again like we'd all like to be, and despite the steaming pile of craptitude the fourth film was I'll probably watch this one because Child of the 80s and all that.  It doesn't have Shia LeBouf, after all.  That's something.  But gosh am I tired of being reminded that I'm a product of another era who is supposed to have extra cash in his pocket to hand over to movie studios that ran out of ideas when Ronald Reagan, and Harrison Ford, rode off into the sunset.  

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Jesus won't get me, I run too fast!


Seems to me that if Jesus Botherers can afford to spend $20 million* on a 30-second ad to play during the Great Big Sportsball Game, they can afford to pay taxes.  Why are churches tax-exempt if this is how they spend their money?

Maybe Jesus gets it.  I don't. 

*reportedly part of a $100 million ad campaign.  Yeah, these guys need tax-exempt status.  Um, because they do Charity.  Yeah, that's why.  What a racket.

Friday, February 17, 2023

We knew Doritos would make a Superbowl Ad Appearance. And we suspected it would be this bad.


So the entire point of this stupid ad for Doritos Obesity Chips is that they are shaped like triangles.*  It would make more sense if the point was that you're better off eating metal triangles than the carefully-engineered-to-be-addictive Death Crunchies being pitched in this Hi-LARIOUS commercial that loses any semblance of cleverness roughly 8 seconds in but keeps going and going and going for so long you'd be excused if you thought that the Energizer Bunny was going to make an appearance.

*shaped like triangles, not actually triangles- unless triangles normally come bent, broken, and looking more like soggy tissue paper than anything with three straight sides.  

Sunday, February 12, 2023

The Superbowl Ads: Seriously, just shut up about them already.


"Millions of people will tune in to the Superbowl, and many of them will be watching just for the ads..."

Yes, I am aware.  There's a name for these people.  They are called Sad Losers.  

Seriously, though- if you are the kind of person who will sit in front of the television for more than three hours just waiting for the stupid sportsball stuff to take a break so you can get back to enjoying those awesome, awesome advertisements, well, I don't want to meet you and I don't want to know what went so terribly wrong with your life.  Commercials are an annoyance that we've largely moved beyond with streaming services- that is, we who have agreed to pay a set monthly price instead of being begged to buy stuff every few minutes and being told that our lives are not and will not be worth living until we can crash through the woods in this truck, download this app, text into this phone or ingest this drug.  I don't care which actor I thought had died years ago makes a "surprise" guest appearance in an ad for Doritos Obesity Chips during the first quarter, and I don't care how "cleverly" I'm being sold everything from Payday Loans But Now It's Through Your Phone So That's Different to Wendy's Cheese and Carb Sandwiches Prepared by Mental Midgets.  The commercials are the painful part of the Big Game- an excuse to take a quick walk outside to stretch, grab some more snacks, or - here's the most revolutionary idea- start up a conversation with someone you are sharing the experience with.  Most of the time, I watch this game by myself, with the mute button on.  On occasions like tonight- when I'm at a Superbowl Party- I'll be ignoring the ads, and trying extra hard to ignore the other people in the room who insist on commenting (or, worse, laughing) at them.  If everyone else insists on paying attention to the ads, I'll do the most 21st century thing I can do and just stare at my phone.  Gotta fit in somehow.

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Help yourself to some InstaDebt


This App and a hundred others just like it that suddenly by total coincidence started to pop up right around the economy tanked a couple of years back (and at exactly the same time that a hundred ways to gamble your money away on football games through your phone suddenly became available, which I'm sure is also a coincidence) can sell itself as a way to "get your money early" all it wants.  But it's just new lipstick on an old pig:  We've had short-term payday loans for centuries now.   Then we had "Rapid Refund" which meant nothing more than "give us your tax refund in exchange for some money that doesn't quite equal that refund right now."  We have "Annuity" services that offer a bird in the hand to people who are stupid with money or just plain desperate.  Right now, there are at least half a dozen places within walking distance of where I'm typing that will gladly lend me money at exorbitant interest rates.  

Know what they all have in common with this App?  They all take advantage of people who live paycheck to paycheck.  They set up those people- the people who are least able to part with any of their money, the people who already live on the margins- with a debt spiral that seeks to prove that you can, actually, get blood from a stone.  And they make it seem so fast, easy, and convenient- just like brick and mortar payday lenders, without the embarrassment of actually walking into one of those places.  This is just another sign of the times, and it's really, really sad. 

Friday, February 10, 2023

Some LifeSaving advice for the people in this "Choose RNs" commercial


Trigger warning:  This one is going to be mean.  That is to say, even more mean than usual.

I'm sorry, but- does anything jump out at you about pretty much every person in this commercial?  The couple walking on the beach, and 67% of their offspring.  The nurse practitioner that the guy goes to see about how every time he eats 200 tacos at one sitting he suffers from heartburn, or something (there's no audio, but I'm really good at reading lips, so I'm 99% positive that's what he's complaining about.)  The med tech who takes the order for more tests.  The second nurse practitioner who then gives silent but I'm sure sage advice to the other parental unit we saw influencing the tides on the beach earlier.  

See it now?  I mean, I'm not wrong here, am I?

Practically every freaking person in this commercial about health care providers is suffering from morbid obesity- the pandemic nobody wants to talk about.  The one that has been out of control for several decades now and is only getting worse; in fact, which is actually becoming normalized in commercials that have nothing to do with health, which is bad enough without just casually normalizing it in an ad which is supposed to be ALL ABOUT HEALTH.  The first patient had a BLOCKAGE IN AN ARTERY but we don't end the ad with him taking a brisk walk or serving salad to his dangerously overweight family, "lesson learned and lifestyle adjusted."  Nope.  We see him sitting on his butt strumming a guitar.  

But hell, why should we expect him to be getting good health advice from people who wouldn't take it for themselves?  Sorry, Registered Nurses- but I wouldn't go to a dentist with bad teeth, I wouldn't hire Pee Wee Herman to be my personal trainer, and I simply can't take you seriously as long as you are carrying around excess deadly adipose tissue.  If all you did was get this guy to a surgeon to have expensive, dangerous surgery and then sent him back into the world to resume a terrible lifestyle that he's sharing with his wife and passing on to his children, well, it's hard for me to consider you "health specialists" at all.  I mean, thanks for the stent and everything, but shouldn't we be talking about preventive care?  I mean, just to pass the time before my next 911 call?

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Sensodyne's Lack of Sensitivity.


In 2012, I noticed increased sensitivity on one side of my mouth.  I went to my "dentist" (I use that phrase very loosely.  She didn't take insurance, and she didn't take credit cards.  She had an office and used those tools you generally associate with the practice, but I'm not at all sure she was actually a dentist.  She was always very sketchy and I stayed with her way too long) who prescribed a special toothpaste that did nothing. 

About two years later, I dumped this "dentist" and went to another one, who decided to ignore my complaints about stabbing pain on the left side of my mouth and give me a referral to see an oral surgeon about a burn mark on the roof of my mouth.  I threw the referral away along with that dentist's number.  Then I went to another dentist who sprayed my teeth with a numbing agent which gave me relief for a few hours and fitted me for a mouth guard to prevent teeth grinding.  I wore it.  Nothing changed.  I had pretty much given up on ever biting down on my left side ever again without feeling pain.  

Then, last year, I found my new dentist.  First, he filed down some of my teeth because he said they were not landing properly.  That didn't work, and the pain intensified.  Finally, he told me "you need a root canal.  Right now."  The next day, I had that procedure done (all the jokes are true.  It's a horrible thing to go through.)  I was in pain for two days, but since then I've had zero problems biting down on my left side.  For the first time in a decade, I can chew normally.  

And it only took four dentists.

The bottom line:  If your dentist tries to brush you off (no pun intended) with "try a toothpaste for sensitivity," ask right then and there what happens if (when) it doesn't work, and make a follow-up appointment for the following month.  Ask if it's a root canal issue.  And don't think for one minute that a spray or paste is going to solve the problem if it's been a problem for any length of time.  The dentist in this ad is taking money to recommend Sensodyne, and I'm sorry, but that's not the way to put the needs of the patient first.  Do your job, dentists.  Do.  Your.  Damn.  Job. 

Snapchat's dark vision of our future


Or you could, you know, just go out and meet actual human people and have actual face-to-face conversations with them instead of spending another year obsessed with your stupid electronic drug of choice.  Just a thought.

Saturday, February 4, 2023

I really, really hate these Wendy's ads


You raised a guy who looks like he's approaching middle-age and not only works at the local Wendy's, but spends a ridiculous amount of time either waxing poetic about the "food" he sells or playing with it.

Maybe you made good French Toast, lady, but you probably should have let the feral cats living behind the dumpster outside the 7-11 manage the education of your son.  He's a pretty sad case, overall.  And if you don't believe me, I guess you weren't around when he was convinced that the fat customer- no, the fat customer with a beard- no, that PARTICULAR fat customer with a beard- was Santa Claus.  Or that other time he was gazing at stretchy cheese like a baby fascinated with car keys.  Maybe next time get that lead paint scraped from the living room wall BEFORE you get pregnant.  Just a bit of free advice,  no need to thank me.

Friday, February 3, 2023

Another of these painfully predictable "red flag review" commercials


Since the guy's wife isn't there to be right, we all know the kid is going to turn out to be right.  I mean, an adult male hasn't won an argument in a tv commercial since at least the 1990s. 

Just ONE of these red-flag replay commercials which shows an adult male winning a challenge against a woman or a child.  Just ONE.  PLEASE.  I DARE you!