Wednesday, July 24, 2024

John Denver's signature song deserves a better makeover than this one


...but I'm not a songwriter, so....

Once was heaven
West Virginia
Miners, Farms and Veterans 
Voted for Dukakis

Western Virginia
wouldn't break away
formed its own community
demanded its own say

Somethin' happened
In the passing of the years
place got mean and stupid
forgot its soul and history, left with just its tears

No country road
to take me home
starvation wages
always need a loan
West Virginia
Racist Propaganda
can't go home
no country road

'headin down to Braxton
search for the old farm
now it's just a strip mall
place has lost it's charm

tried to go home
paved highway
couldn't find
where I used to stay
West Virginia
sliced up mountains
toxic waste dumps
brown and slimy rivers

Life feels old here
what happened to the trees?
Chopped up for the lumber mills
buried by the sleaze

No country road
to take me home
land of potholes
makes me groan
West Virginia
no future agenda
no country road
to take me home

Once was heaven
West Virginia
cruisin'  77
MAGA everywhere
Once we were proud of
our love of Liberty
vote like Mississippi
look like New Jersey

Can't go home
no country road
pavement and dollar stores
lines at E-Z Loan
Stuck in the past
Head up it's a$$
can't go home
no country road

Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Anyone understand the woman in this Rinvoq Ad?


Better yet, anyone understand why the people who are with her at the beach are with her at the beach?  She comes off as a weirdly competitive woman who more than anything else needs treatment for her Main Character Syndrome. 

I mean, look at her- she's psyching herself up for what turns out to be a casual pick-up game of volleyball on the beach.  In the first few seconds, I thought it was going to be revealed that this game was being broadcast on ESPN or something, but no- that intense look in her face, followed up by the equally intense look she gives to her teammates in the huddle just before the game starts (the group of friends on the other side of the net must be thinking "what the hell...oh, it's that insane woman again, the one who thinks something's at stake here.  I hate when she shows up, she sucks all the fun out of this,) and her WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS expression at the end- good lord, woman, what is your issue?

And then we see her dominating the conversation around the beach fire we always see in commercials featuring beaches regardless of the fact that the vast majority of beaches in the United States don't allow open fires (so this is a private beach?  How relatable,) probably explaining to her "friends" how she won the game with that move to earn Point 18 and how they really need more practice.  We see her friends laughing but because we're supposed to be distracted by the pretty music and pretty faces we can't hear what they're laughing at, but we can guess they are patronizing her until she decides she needs her Recovery Rest and leaves so they can spend the rest of the night chuckling about the super-competitive freak who simply refuses to have fun at the beach.

Saturday, July 20, 2024

Gain Laundry Detergent Ads are Sexist Trash*

Clearly the men who make these ads think that women just sit at home all day in the enormous houses provided by their husbands, getting high on the scent of their freshly-laundered clothing.  This woman is taking a break from using the Swiffer and prancing around to the sweet smells of the Glade air fresheners to enjoy the fruits of her REAL craft- doing the laundry.  Thank goodness for that MRS degree, eh ladies?

*I only see these ads in July and August, because they only run on weekdays and only on channels that feature the local news, my Mom's Soaps, and the Andy Griffith Show.  I don't miss the misogyny at all.

Friday, July 19, 2024

FanDuel in Court: Self-Made Victims all around.


A former employee of the Jacksonville Jaguars is currently serving a 6.5-year sentence in a federal prison for embezzling $22 million from the team to bet through FanDuel (he also bought a number of luxury items, including a golf club once owned by Tiger Woods- about $5 million in luxury items, in fact.)  The Jaguars announced the other day that they are filing a lawsuit against the employee for $66 million in Florida, a state which allows plaintiffs to recover up to three times the lost amount in damages.  The Jaguars are also "in talks" to recover their money from FanDuel.*

The employee claimed during his trial that he was "damaged" by his gambling addiction, which is a pretty obvious defense considering that the Supreme Court ruled several generations ago that addiction itself cannot be criminalized.  I don't know if the defense worked in any way- it certainly didn't convince the jury to give him a pass on his actual criminal activity (the stealing of the money) but maybe it resulted in a lighter sentence.  I'll leave that for someone else to research.

Here's the point:  Every Major League Sport in the United States uses the availability of gambling apps like FanDuel, SportsKings etc. to sell their product, and every gambling service sells its product as "good, clean, innocent fun."  But we've known of the existence of gambling addiction forever.  We've known that gambling ruins lives, breaks up families, and lands people in crippling debt or even prison FOR EVER.  Prominent novelists were writing about gambling as a destructive force two freaking centuries ago (I've always argued that the real villain of the Charles Dickens classic The Old Curiosity Shop was not the evil dwarf Daniel Quilp, but Little Nell's asinine grandfather and his obsession with making his fortune at the card table that ultimately kills her.)  But today we have the biggest stars of Hollywood and (much worse) the biggest names in SPORTS selling what is basically Dignified Crack during every commercial break of every sporting event. 

Embezzlers should be in jail.  I don't have a whole lot of sympathy for a guy who steals money to gamble and buy luxury items.  But the Jaguars- and every other sports team that partners up with gambling- needs to understand their role in feeding this monster.  They aren't innocent either. 

*which presents an interesting problem.  If the Jaguars can recover money stolen and then lost through FanDuel, why can't a spouse recover money stolen from a joint bank account for the same purpose? Where does FanDuel's responsibility for checking the source of the money being risked start and end?  And while we're at it, how did a company which preaches "gamble responsibly" in tiny letters at the bottom of the screen accept MILLIONS in losing bets from the same person?  Isn't this like a bartender whispering "drink responsibly" while filling the glass of the local drunk for the 2000th time?

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

That Kellogg's "Cereal for Dinner" ad


Evil Cartoon Character from the 1960s pops into the living room to indoctrinate the next generation of Americans to be even fatter and more sedentary and depressed than their parents:

"Ok everyone, when I say DINNER, you yell SUGAR!"





Lonely voice from the living room from an animated chicken who for some reason is begging to be eaten:  "Protein?"

Adult who allegedly is responsible for the care of her offspring:  "You can take the night off, protein."

Who benefits?  Kellogg's bottom line.  Mom and dad, because cleanup is easy.  Big Pharma, which will make serious bank on an even bigger (no pun intended) population of Type 2 Diabetes sufferers who (bonus) will also probably have fatty liver disease and need replacement knee surgery even earlier than their parents did.  Who suffers?  The kids, who will be ravenously hungry an hour after they eat that empty, sweet bowl of soggy carbs and will grow up with terrible, debilitating eating habits.  Society, which will carry the massively inflated (again, no pun intended) cost of their treatment for illnesses that used to be exclusive to the elderly (maybe there won't be as many elderly so it will balance out?  Or we'll just redefine what it means to be "elderly?")  

It's bad enough that this sad trash is sold as breakfast ("as part of a nutritious breakfast;" in fact, it's more of an add-on to a nutritious breakfast, if served with a couple of eggs and a piece of whole-wheat toast.)  If it becomes a regular feature at dinner, it's very likely that families will be consuming empty, sugary nonsense TWICE A DAY.  And what will that third meal be?  Depends on what the family is in the mood for- Taco Bell, Wendy's McDonald's, Pizza Hut....why do houses even HAVE kitchens anymore?  All you really need is a fridge (for the milk,) a microwave (for the leftovers) and a coffee maker (for obvious reasons.)  This nonsense makes Taco Bell's "Fourth Meal" campaign look downright innocent.  

Sick, sick, sick.  In far more ways that one.

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Danica Patrick hosts an Endurance test


1.  Well, why shouldn't Danica Patrick make as much money as she can while she can?  It's not like she's making money winning races, after all.

2.  Covered Car Repairs are Covered.  Yeah, no kidding.  And what are "covered car repairs?"  Well, you'll find out when you need to use that "insurance" you think you are paying for with those "low" premiums offered "for a limited time" while our economy is "struggling."  Speaking of which-

3.  After twenty years of listening to the radio ads, I'm convinced that if the unemployment rate was 3 percent, hourly wage for High School graduates was approaching $15 per hour and the Dow Jones Industrial Average topped 40,000, Endurance would STILL be telling us that they were offering discounted car repair insurance "due to the downturn in the economy."  Oh, wait a minute....

Saturday, July 13, 2024

The Evil Genius of LinkedIn Ads (Part I)

(Because this definitely qualifies as it's own series....)

In an era of US History in which it has never been more difficult to find qualified applicants to fill ANY job, be it office manager, gas station convenience store attendant or Starbucks barista, LinkedIn pounds the audience with ads featuring hopeful, starry-eyed, out-of-work millennials trying to find ways to stand out from the crowd as they pursue their dreams of an entry-level salary at a mindless, fill-in-the-blank drone corporation.  All of their commercials feature the same people wearing very nice, expensive-looking clothing, getting themselves ready for their interviews in very large, upscale apartments or houses, and heading off hoping to be picked out from all of the hundreds or even thousands of like-minded, equally qualified go-getters who want nothing more than to put 150 percent effort in to achieving success for The Corporation.

This is a bizarre fantasy that pretends that we are still living in the pre-COVID world and not the one which gave us free money in the form of stimulus payments (whether we needed them or not) and birthed a new era of pro-Union and life-is-more-than-work-I-will-not-be-a-sucker-like-my-parents attitudes and, above all, an understanding that Your Dream Is Not My Dream If You Want Me To Work PAY ME that has shuffled the deck for the first time since the French Revolution.  But I'll expand on that in a future chapter.  For now, I'll just reiterate that as much as businesses would like to deny it, the unemployment rate is almost zero and there are no hungry masses yearning to be your wage serfs knocking each other over for an interview in your office, Sorry Not Sorry (as the cool kids say.)

Friday, July 12, 2024

Optima Tax Relief- remember, everybody, Louie is supposed to be the VICTIM here....


"The IRS finally caught up to Louie..." after eight years of Louie avoiding paying his fair share for living in a society financed by other people's money, Louie got caught.  So not only was Louie not contributing, but he put an extra burden on society by making the government use precious resources to track him down and require him to accept responsibility like an adult.  

Except, Louie doesn't accept responsibility like an adult.  After telling us straight out that he avoided paying taxes for eight years, he starts whining about the consequences of his actions..."THEY are going to take my house, THEY are going to garnish my paycheck, THEY don't care..." Louie acts like a kid who has been caught shoplifting- "they put me in the back of a police car, they took me to the station, they charged me with a crime, like they don't care that I have things to do and this could have an impact on my life!"  No hint that he recognizes the percentage of fault that belongs to him (100 percent, btw.)

I guess Louie was really upset that he got caught - "Optima Tax Relief calmed me down, they made me feel comfortable."  Yeah, that's the important thing- that you feel "comfortable."  The shoplifter should be apologized to repeatedly by the police officer on the way to the station.  Maybe given a Comfort Animal to pet or something.

"I was able to live a better life, a more comfortable life...." there again we have that word "comfortable."  Most of us feel "comfortable" because we know we aren't cheating our way through the years, avoiding paying taxes because it's not convenient.  We feel "comfortable" when we live within our means and pay our bills- and that includes paying income tax owed.  And those of us who AREN'T children don't harbor resentment at the authorities when we skip out on paying our legitimate share of the burden and then get caught.  Grow up, Louie.

Louie got relief with Optima Tax when he probably should have spent time in jail.  Crimes without Consequences come from Laws not worth Respecting.  Why are the vast majority of us paying our bills on time, allowing the system to function correctly, when Louie and his ilk can just skate through his responsibilities with a smile on his face and a chuckle in his voice?

Louie is a terrible person who should be ashamed of himself, but anyone who can boldly declare that he's a crook who didn't make any effort to repair his ways until he was caught has obviously tossed aside his shame as an annoying relic of the past that simply doesn't apply to him Because Reasons.  Judging from the sound of his voice he hasn't learned a damn thing and he's going to be in trouble with the Mean Old IRS again in no time at all.   Maybe Optima Tax Relief will hire him to give us another whinefest like this one.  I'll be ready. 

Thursday, July 11, 2024

An open letter to Toyota during it's "The One" Sales Event

Simply put:  Please, just....stop.

The idea that anyone would be this jacked at buying a freaking TOYOTA is downright laughable.  Or, at least, it would be laughable if it wasn't so pathetic.  It's bad enough that you've got a family taking selfies with a salesman.  But you've got another guy doing a dance and another who has acquired a bottle of champagne somewhere and is now spraying himself like he just won Game of the Freaking World Series instead of signing a contract to hand Toyota several hundreds of dollars a month for several years on top of thousands of dollars down- what the actual hell?  You didn't win anything, my dude.  You didn't beat out a hundred other people- or even ONE other person- to make the Deal of the Lifetime and convince the dealership to hand you the keys to a car because You're Awesome.  You signed.  A freaking.  Contract.  And the moment you did, that salesman stopped giving a damn about you and started wondering when you were going to get the hell out of his way, drive the hell off the lot, and let him move on to the next sucker.  That you left him a wet mess to clean up just makes you an asshat on top of being a ridiculous Consumer who probably beeps the horn in celebration when he's handed his 2-for-1 deal in the Wendy's Drive-Thru.

Seriously, Toyota.  What the hell?

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Nissan Rogue's Google Command- "Safety First?"


Nissan Rogue's Google Command was allegedly installed so that the driver could keep his "hands on the wheel."  Which is about as cynical as Nissan could possibly get, considering that this vehicle is jammed full of so many distracting bells and whistles that the very last thing that's going to get any attention is the actual road.

"Keep your hands on the wheel, while your brain wanders around Facebook, emails, text messages, SiriusXM, and everything except what's in front of you as you maneuver several tons of steel and chrome and fiberglass at high speeds through neighborhoods where actual human beings are active with a smug, self-important, self-satisfied look on your stupid face.  Because we care, or something."

What an absolute load of crap.  

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Discover a New Level of Dumb


I have two questions for the writers of this Discover Card Commercial.

1.  Why did this woman call the Discover Card Help Line in the middle of the night?  She never has any question other than some version of "are you really not a sophisticated robot?"  If I were the person in the Help Center, I'd be asking why she called, not assuring her that I'm not Artificial Intelligence.  Instead, she seems perfectly happy to have a pointless "prove your not a robot" conversation with a total stranger on the phone.  

2.  Assuming this really is supposed to be a consumer of this commercial where, exactly, am I supposed to, you know, LAUGH?  Because this isn't funny.  It's just dumb.  Like the title of this blog post says.  It's just dumb.  And "just dumb" does not equal Funny.  Not in my world. 

Saturday, July 6, 2024

Another Ode to Skyrizi



Hey everybody look at me
not in constant need for a place to pee!
From my toes down to my bones
I've got control of moderate Crohn's
So my life's not in a rut
I'm not a pain in the butt
Always finding things to do
not forever looking for the loo
 demented smile on my face
as I travel all over the place
don't sweep my problems under the rug
instead I take this dangerous drug
It may someday cause the death of me
but (again) at least I don't have to pee!

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Oh Oh Oh more fun with Ozempic!


2024's favorite medication to hate on is still going strong....I wouldn't be surprised if TIME Magazine makes Ozempic it's "Event of the Year" come December....

I picked this ad to snark on in particular because I think it perfectly represents one of the biggest controversies concerning celebrities and Tiktok "influencers" and their "weight loss journeys."  This woman is doing her very best to convince us that she's engaged in an active lifestyle as her main strategy for engaging in weight loss- she may or may not mention diet, hard to tell over the loud music and quick cuts- but the message we are getting is that Ozempic is just a minor tool in the toolbox that finally allows her to benefit from all that exercise she's been getting all along.  She does cardio boxing, y'all.  She dances.  She's not a couch potato who monopolizes the mobility scooter at Walmart in between bingeing on Netflix.  She's a victim of her genetics and Food Noise or whatever else you want to throw in there as the It's Not Her Fault card.  If life were fair, she'd be super skinny because she's always on the move.  Ozempic is just there to level the playing field.

Yeah no.  Excess adipose tissue doesn't develop by magic, and nobody's body violates the law of conservation of matter.  In Europe, "calories" are actually referred to as "energy" on food labels.  We should do that over here in order to at least try to stop this nonsense fantasy that food is only a minor contribution to weight.  Take in more energy than you burn, and that energy gets stored as fat.  PERIOD.  And a 10-second "cardio" workout isn't going to do much to burn that fat.  

You can't outrun a bad diet, but you also don't need to exercise at all to lose weight- you simply need to consume less Energy than you take in.  I encourage the woman in this ad to keep moving, but she's taking Ozempic so that the extra activity does not result in increased appetite and then consumption of excess Energy which voids the effect of the increased activity.  I object to the "I'm Active and Should Be Slim but the Cards were Stacked against Me" bit- it's a serious delusion that isn't going to help anyone if they eventually need to go off Ozempic.  We'll just have to wait to see how this all plays out.  I'll be watching. 

Sunday, June 30, 2024

Random Rants about British Airways, Dulles Airport, and the still-lousy part of travel


Let's hit British Airways first:

1.  Know how insulting it is to pay $20 for a seat in a movie theater and then be asked to sit through several commercials before the coming attractions start?  Well, imagine paying $1000 for a seat on an airplane and be forced to watch the same six commercials in a row before you're allowed to watch the film you selected from your screen.  And if you pause and look at something else and want to go resume the first thing you were watching, well, guess what?  You have to watch those same six commercials in their entirety again.  

(Oh, and if I may include a 1(b)- British Airways no longer hands out Dollar Store headphones to allow you to actually hear the film you are watching as well as see it.  Maybe you can request them, maybe you just have to bring your own- I don't know, I had my own anyway, but talk about finding a new level of miserly.)  

2.  This isn't unique to British Airways, but they are who I flew last week so I'm going to pick on them for this:  Having to hear a special "welcome" to the people in Business Class or Platinum Members or some Frequent Fliers Club from the pilot along with an "invitation" to join that Very Special Group of People for a very high price.  We already feel like extra baggage sitting over here in steerage, thanks for the reminder that we're just necessary evils to you.

3.  British Airways boards by Group Number because Capitalism, and they'll announce Groups 1 through 4 with considerable fanfare, including jokes from the guy looking at your boarding pass and passport (jokes that got old fast and were completely ignored by the frustrated, sweaty, tired mob that just wanted to get to their seat Shut Up and Scan my Stuff Already.)  If you're sitting in groups 5-9, well, you're supposed to just know when to board, if you really insist on boarding and making the plane crowded for those Special People in groups 1-4.

4.  The repeated emails trying to convince me that if I didn't sign up for an ESTA Visa within 72 hours of departure from Europe I would not be allowed back into the United States.  I'm an American, British Airways.  I don't need a Visa.    Stop trying to convince me to fill out a form and give you $21 to get back into my country.  And that's a good segue into my complaints concerning Dulles Airport:

1.  It took me longer to get home from Dulles to the Maryland Suburbs than it took for me to get from Palermo to London.  This was mainly due to the ridiculous, serpentine line I had to stand in before I could show some guy in a uniform my passport and get his permission to to re-enter my country by telling him why I left in the first place.  There were more than 30 stations but only six were open for Passport checks.  Ugh.

2.  When I got to the Baggage Claim Area, some Official Person thought it would be more convenient for everyone if all of the luggage from our flight was taken off the carousel and stacked into a giant pile for us to pick over.  I had to shove aside several large suitcases in order to dig out mine.  Yeah, this was MUCH better than just taking it off the moving belt.  Thanks, Dulles!

3.  Lack of signs pointing to the Silver Line.  I had to walk toward "Ground Transportation" for several minutes before I saw the word "Metro."  Hey Dulles, the Silver Line is a great innovation that should make use of Dulles easier for everyone.  But only if we can find it.  Who decided to limit the number of signs pointing out the Silver Line?  Was it Uber or Lyft?

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Parting gift before my vacation- another look at the US Money Reserve!


"I wanted to leave something for my children and grandchildren..."

That's a nice house you've got there, which suggests to me that you've got SOME idea of what a good investment is. Which makes me wonder why you fell for this stupid gold scam.  But then you say...

"When I first looked into gold as an investment, the first thing I saw was the president....Philip Diehl....he was manager of the Mint.  So I thought, 'this guy knows what he's doing..."

Oh, he knows what he's doing, all right.  He's taking an impressive-looking title and using it to sell a truly awful investment strategy that makes him rich off the backs of gullible seniors like the narrator.  The commercial tells us so- a YEAR after he retired from his "historic six-year term" he founded  (or sold his name to) this company that sells gold.  We are told that he was director of the mint during the 50-state quarter program, which I guess means he figured out that people still like to collect coins with pretty pictures on them, and if they'll collect pieces of tin and plastic of no real value, imagine how much they'll pay for gold!

"I lost half my money in 2008..." um, may I ask how?  Nobody lost bank deposits in 2008.  Nobody has lost bank deposits since 1933.  The only people who lost money in the stock market in 2008 were the ones who sold their stock.  Is that what you did?

"...meanwhile, the price of gold went up!"  Yeah, and what's it's value today compared to 2008? Well, I did the work so you don't have to (and, speaking to this lady, apparently didn't:  the price of gold on December 1, 2008 was $883 per ounce.  Today, it's $2350 per ounce.  Wow, it's almost TRIPLED.  Pretty impressive, huh?

Well no, not at all, actually.  This woman sneers at investing in the Stock Market.  Guess what the Dow Jones Industrial Average was on December 1, 2008?  It closed at 10,917.  The last business day before I wrote this post, the Dow closed at just under 39,000- almost QUADRUPLE what it was in 2008.  

"If I just put cash in the bank, over the time it's like it doesn't go up at all.  It's almost like nothing."  Yeah, that's called inflation and let's stop pretending this is a binary choice- stick your cash in a bank, or buy gold.  It's not.  Know what else is a good investment?  Land.  The median home price in December 2008 was $185,000.  Today it's just under $410,000.  Sounds like a real good place to put your money.  I bet even Philip Diehl owns a house.  Hell, he probably owns several- he's got well-meaning idiots like you sending him your money. 

The Work Vacation is Over- now it's time for the Real Vacation!


Every other summer (more or less) I take a big trip- the entire UK in 2013, Greece in 2016, Rome, Pompeii and Capri in 2017, and Ireland in 2022.  This year, I'm off to Sicily for an 8-day tour of the island, and will check Etna off my bucket list while visiting Roman ruins, salt mines, and a winery among other sites.  May the skies stay clear, the luggage stay unlost and all flights be on time....

Please enjoy the archives until I get back!  

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

This bizarrely "controversial" Hormel bacon ad


1.  What is with the comment section of this ad?  A black woman comes home from work and is greeted by her husband with liquor and bacon- and?  How is this "woke?" No, it's not a "conventional" dinner, but big deal?  What's wrong with you people?  Is it about a woman being portrayed as the primary breadwinner?  Is it about the guy making dinner?  You guys know it's the 21st century, right?

2.  If this woman wanted breakfast for dinner, why didn't she just go to IHOP?  It's always 5 AM there.  Oh right- they don't serve whiskey.  That IS whiskey she's going to drink with that bacon, right?

In any case- how the hell could anyone be triggered by this ad?   Someone explain this to me in a way that doesn't make you sound like a deranged lunatic. 

Monday, June 17, 2024

This no-effort Sensodyne Ad


This stunningly beautiful young dentist recommends Sensodyne Pronamel Active Shield because it Actively Shields Enamel.  No kidding, that's what she says.  Oh, and it's a "Game Changer," which is one of those stupid throwaway lines that lost all meaning years ago and just need to please please please go away now and don't come back.   I don't even want to know what the game was at this point.  I just want to stop hearing that stupid line.

Not that anyone paid any attention to what she was saying anyway.  If she were my dentist I'd be eating candy pretty much constantly and washing it down with milkshakes.

Sunday, June 16, 2024

I can't relate to hotel commercials....


I stay at hotels for exactly two reasons:  either I'm on my way from one place to someplace else, and I need a place to rest roughly halfway between those two destinations, or there's something I need or want to do nearby that is going to take multiple days and I'd rather not sleep in the park.

In the first instance, the hotel is always going to be in Northern New Jersey or Southern New York, because I'm driving from the DC suburbs to Vermont and I'm sixty years old and my back hurts and the days of driving all day (or all night!) to get the 550 miles is just too much for me so lay off.  It's a place off the Thruway for me to recuperate from traffic and avoid driving at night.  In the second instance, the hotel is going to be in some city I'd never even think of visiting if I wasn't getting paid to do work in the area- Louisville Kentucky, or Tampa Florida, or Kansas City Missouri.  Again, it's just a place to sleep.  I didn't even turn on the tv when I was in KC last week.  The gym was really nice though, and they kept it open 24/7 for us.  Or I'm on a tour overseas- and in those cases the hotels tend to be nice-but-not-too-nice-because budget.   But I digress.  In all cases, the hotel is just a building with a bed and a pillow and a shower and that's pretty much it. 

I don't get these Celebrations of a Hotel I am Excited to Be In commercials.  At all.  I don't travel so I can stay at a hotel.  I stay at a hotel because it's kind of a requirement of travel.  These ads always make it look like families take Vacations to LaQuinta Inn or something.  Someone to explain this to me, because I find it super-bizarre.  Simply put:  In my opinion, hotels are necessities that allow you to do the stuff you really want to do.  They aren't ends in themselves.  Am I wrong?  Do these ads make sense to anyone out there?

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Kars for Kids is Kringey Krap.


(Why would I want to donate to provide cars for kids?  Should they be driving?  I don't want any of these awful children behind the wheel of something that weighs several tons and can move at high speeds, unless they promise to disengage the air bags and refrain from using seat belts at least.  Besides, I've seen enough Lexus December to Remember commercials to know that if kids this age want cars, they should just ask their mommy and daddy- errr, I mean, Santa.)

These ads will never be as loathsome on television as Joe Namath pitching terrible health insurance in the guise of "extra" Medicare benefits, but they have to be the most painful ear worm on radio.  None of these kids deserved to be exploited by their parents like this, and all of them should be eligible for the Witness Protection Program until they've aged out of being recognizable. 

I don't have kids, but I think if I did this ad would make me wish that the offer worked both ways- can I trade the kids in for a car?  I mean, "kar?"

Friday, June 14, 2024

At "BK," it's never been cheaper to kill yourself


When you feel ready for a heart attack
Drop by our place for a fatty snack
Cause common sense is what you lack
here's death that fits in your hand!

Sit in your car at the drive in window
don't think about what you're doing though
don't want your critical thinking skills to mess with your head

At B....K....
throw health away

Sunday, June 9, 2024

There's so much awful about this Audi Commercial...


...that it's still worth commenting on 11 years after it's release.

1.  This kid has a Dad, Mom and Bratty Little Sister from Central Casting.  Seriously, why is this a bad commercial and not a bad sitcom?

2.  Dad tosses the keys to the Audi and gives his son a look that I can only translate to "get laid tonight."  Ok, so dad is ready to be a grandfather?  Because I didn't see him tell the kid "there are condoms in the glove compartment."  

3.  This kid drives to the prom- by himself- looking like he's taken an entire bottle of Viagra washed down with a gallon of Liquid Testosterone.  Does he think his father feels this way every time he drives the family LookAtMeMobile to the office?  I mean come on, what the hell?

4.  The kid is so confident because he drove an Audi to the prom that he sexually assaults the prom queen.  I'd say this is So 2013 except it's really So 1983.  I mean, this was a problematic message by the turn of the century.  In 2013?  Come on.

5.  The kid himself gets assaulted by the prom king- and then just....leaves.  He drives home in the Audi, with a look of triumph on his face.  Um, triumph over what?  As near as we can tell, he drove dateless to the prom, assaulted a girl, got assaulted, and left.  What's he going to do with the rest of his night?  I'm guessing he spends it in front of the computer bleating very inflated and not very recognizable versions of his evening to the pre-Tiktok internet.  This is inspiring?

5. What, no slow clap?  Maybe this ISN'T 1983 after all. 

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Where I'll be until June 8- the Westin at Crown Center in Kansas City!


So I'll be off to score Advanced Placement exams for the 16th straight year (well, I've scored them for 16 years, but for reasons I don't care to get into I did it online for two straight years a while back.  2020 and 2021 to be exact.  You'll figure it out.)

And this year we have a new city as our host.  From 2008 through 2016 we were in Louisville Kentucky, then in 2017 we were in Tampa, then back to Louisville, for one year, then Tampa again, then online scoring, then Tampa again, and now Kansas City.  I've never been to KC but I'll be arriving pretty early on Saturday morning and hope to catch a few of the sites, maybe take a trip to the Truman Library (the World War I museum is staying open late for us on Wednesday so I will cross that off the list later.)  A Royals game is a possibility next Friday, we'll see.  

My hotel is a full mile from the convention center where I'll be working from 8 to 5 for seven straight days, giving every essay that shows up on my laptop a fair and honest read to the best of my ability.  So it will be easier than ever to get my steps in, and I expect to complete the annual "Lazy Marathon" in record time this year...

See you when I get back- until then, enjoy the archives and click a few ads if you want to contribute!  I should get SOME benefit out of commercials, after all!

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Remember this when ESPN is reporting the huge gambling scandal in sports in 3....2....1....


This is the top "story" on ESPN's NBA page leading up to tonight's Timberwolves-Mavericks game-  A podcast on how to optimize your bets on the game.

Hey ESPN, look up the word "complicit."  Then memorize the definition.

This is not going to end well.  I'm just waiting for the Pikachu faces when it all blows up.  

Despicable Me 4, Volkswagen, and another Crap Crossover ad nobody asked for.


There are crossovers, and there are crossovers....we've seen the Lorax used to sell Denny's (or was it IHOP?  I don't actually remember, even though I made a post about it at the time.)  Star Wars used to sell some other truck.  Deadpool used to sell Slurpees.  And so it goes.

Then there is this ad, featuring the characters from a cute little movie that turned into a megahit way back in 2010 with a heartwarming little story that parents and kids could both appreciate.  Remember those innocent days, before Illumination decided to take the minion characters and turn them into the most god-awful obnoxious franchise since Ever?  We've had something like six movies which have become more and more minion-centered as they've regressed, including one that was simply entitled "Minions" and was entirely about, well, you know.

I don't want to see any more of these movies (I saw the first two.  Thought the first one was sweet.  Thought the second one was totally unnecessary and dumb.  And now I'm done, because I value my brain cells.)  I don't want to see them at the theater, and I sure as hell don't want to see them on my TV witlessly pitching Volkswagen as if Gru doesn't already have a very cool, three-story high car with a rocket propulsion system (see, I can still remember the first movie.)  Just...stop this.  Please.

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Your Second Chance- More Morgan Silver Dollars have been discovered! Again!


Hey look the good people at Morgan Collectible Garbage have located another 3,485 of those Amazingly Rare sort-of-silver coins that have some silver which they've been telling us are practically non-existent and are willing to part with them for only about three times what they are actually worth, plus shipping and handling.  What a steal.*

Let's look at a cheesy "guard" opening the gate to a cheesy "vault" filled with what look like money bags from an episode of the old Superman show while the narrator says something about the U.S. Government and the confiscation and destruction of more silver than has ever existed in nature in order to con silly old people into parting with actual money for these trinkets.  Now let's look at a few graphs showing the rising value of silver because that's totally not a non-sequitur considering that there's almost no silver in these silver dollars.  

Let's wrap up by pointing out that you get a really cool display case with each coin that will look great on the bookshelf when your adult kids come over, see it, roll their eyes and start that old argument about how you really need to sign those Power of Attorney papers before you donate your 401(k) to Peter Popoff or Donald Trump or whoever is trying to convince you that Bored Ape NFTs are a great investment opportunity.  

Friday, May 24, 2024

Go Plate is Disarmingly Stupid


I know that all of these Not Available in Stores product commercials have to show people being incredibly inconvenienced by entirely trivial situations- after all, if we actually NEEDED any of this stuff, it would have been invented decades ago-but there's something positively delightful about seeing people having what looks like seizures caused by needing to hold a paper plate overloaded with food.  Seriously, is this a problem that anyone considers so serious that they'd rather walk around with a plate of food impaled by a bottle?  You still need to stop eating if you want to take a drink (I really wanted to see at least one kid dump that food all over himself when he forgot that his bottle was holding the plate and he just titled the whole thing toward his mouth.)  

But hey, it made some old guy's tailgating experience the greatest ever, so there is that.  Let's toast the Amazing Dumbness that is the Go Plate.  Just don't forget to take the thing off the bottle first. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Legxercise is another Only on TV piece of Dumb


"Have you ever had legs?  How about feet?  Then you need this product to deal with those problems."  Ok then.

"The movement provided by the Legxersize moves the stagnant blood from your feet back to your heart..." and that's a good thing?  I want stagnant blood in my heart?  Why?

If you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk, sitting on a couch, sitting on a chair- in short, not using those legs and feet which are the focus of this ridiculous non-exercise exercise device, I guess it's a good idea to try to keep those feet and legs moving just a little bit to prevent clotting.  But all you really need is a tennis ball in a shoebox- just roll the ball around with your foot as you sit.  There, I just saved you however much money this dumb piece of junk costs.  Even the shipping is free.   You're welcome. 

Sunday, May 19, 2024

CarShield is the Biggest Scam that does not involve a Gambling App


So the whole Law and Order tie-in is NOT a desperate cash-grab by two minor celebrities who see their careers coming to a swift end.  It's a way of making a super-clever point about it being a "crime" to pay for car repairs because you didn't listen to Vivica Fox and Tracy Marrow and buy the non-insurance the pitch in their ads.  Got it. 

And how exactly does the whole CarShield business model make it such a reprehensible scam?  Let us count the ways:

1.  The ads manipulate language to tell the listeners what CarShield wants them to hear but not what CarShield does NOT want them to hear but which covers their butt legally.  We hear over and over again how "covered repairs will be covered" and buyers of CarShield "will never pay for covered repairs again."  Well, no duh.  But thousands of people will ignore the word "covered" and just hear "repairs" and "never pay."  And if viewers of limited means aren't already anxious enough, 

2.  The ads play on the economic insecurity of their audience.  Every time you turn the key, you might hear a strange noise that means that you are about to spend $$$$ you don't have on the thing that you need to get you to your job and make money and pay the bills.  Every time you go out on the road, you run the risk of sustaining damage to your car that you can't pay for and that's the ball game, your whole life has been turned upside down and you are basically screwed.  So here are a bunch of people with first names and single initials for last names to tell you how much they "saved" by getting CarShield.  Which leads us to...

3.  CarShield never tells us the price of their "service," because they don't want viewers to factor that in to the risk of having to pay for a car repair.  A "basic" CarShield contract will run you $100 a month.  You can get "gold"-level coverage for $140 a month.  Remember, this is for a WARRANTY.  It is not INSURANCE, which you still have to pay for separately, hopefully from a company that is not run by con artists like CarShield.  So let's pretend that there really is a guy out there who had a $2K car repair actually covered by his CarShield Warranty.  He certainly had the "gold" membership.  But if he paid the premiums on that policy for more than fifteen months, that warranty cost him more than the repair would have.  $140 a month placed in a bank account for fifteen months would have netted him a $100 surplus after paying for that repair out of pocket.  Oh, but what if he needed the repair after SIX months?  Well, that still would only save him $1160, not $2k.  But this is all a moot point, because....

4.  CarShield's thirty-page warranty agreement- which I'm guessing nobody reads- is chock-full of legalese which explains to the customer why they shouldn't even bother calling when they want to file a claim (I've heard stories from people who can't get anyone on the line for "24/7" towing service, or if they can, are told to pay out of pocket and "file for a refund.")  CarShield is very good at using phrases like "engine repair" while excluding specific parts which are needed to effect engine repair.  It's the reason why many mechanics refuse to accept CarShield (and why CarShield is actually BANNED in some states, like California.)  It's deceptive but legal because it's right there in paragraph 4 of page 22 Sorry You Didn't Read It Sorry No Refunds. 

Look, extended warranties- which is what CarShield, HomeShield, etc. etc. offer- are all scams.  Every one of them.  This is just maybe the very worst because it doesn't target homeowners who probably have a bit of financial leeway because after all they own a house.  I'm quite certain that the vast majority of customers drawn in by these disgusting ads are renters, minimum-wage workers, single parents and elderly people on fixed incomes.  They can't afford your non-product, CarShield.  Stop taking advantage of loopholes in our ridiculously lax Truth in Advertising Laws.  Or just keep paving that road to hell, where if there IS a god you'll be joined by Big Gambling when your time comes.  

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Domino's "Emergency Pizza" Offer for when life is a mild struggle for several consecutive seconds.


This guy lives in an enormous house with an enormous kitchen and has purchased all the ingredients he needs to make himself a pizza.  But he experiences a few seconds of inconvenience trying to get the jar of sauce open, so....all that planning gets tossed aside in favor of hitting the Dominos Pizza App on his phone and just getting a generic pile of bland warm garbage delivered to his house instead.

Why was this guy even trying to make his own pizza if he already had the Dominos App?  Did he get the notion that he might actually like to eat a real pizza with actual flavor?  Does he have a significant other who asked him to please please please just COOK something for once instead of greeting him/her/they/zee/zir/dragonself/whatthef-ever with another delightful delivery bag of processed overpriced junk when (insert pronoun here) walks through the door?  And this is the level of effort this guy is willing to make?  Ten seconds with a jar?

What is he going to do with all those ingredients now?  Do they just go into the trash can?  Lesson learned- preparing your own food is a waste of time and anti-Capitalism anyway so don't do it, let Big Engineered Food do the work?  Ok then...

Friday, May 17, 2024

The Inevitable Downfall of Professional Sports is right around the corner


In 1994, baseball took a major hit in popularity after its second major player's strike in just over a decade.  Ironically, it took a steroid-fueled home run race to bring the game back into the public consciousness.  The subsequent doping issue ruined a number of careers and will keep several of the players at the top of the home run record list out of the Hall of Fame (Mark McGuire, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Rafael Palmeiro...none of these guys are getting in, ever.)

Baseball survived the Black Sox gambling scandal of 1919, probably because it had such limited competition in the world of entertainment and because it seemed to involve only one team.  

Today, gambling has become the financial driver of televised sports.  Entire pre and post-game programs are sponsored exclusively by gambling programs- FanDuel, SportsKings, etc.  ESPN scrolls the odds for pretty much every event almost 24/7.  Gambling takes up at least as much of the ad space as alcohol, cars and medications for skin conditions and diabetes.  It's a multi-billion dollar industry fueled by an addictive behavior sold to the audience by the most familiar faces in Hollywood and sports itself (David Ortiz, what the hell are you doing shilling this crap?)

Let's be real here.  It's only a matter of time before this house of cards comes crashing down with "shocking" news of point-shaving, phantom injuries, bizarre, game-changing plays, mysterious umpire and referee calls, etc.   It's only a matter of time before a major scandal We Couldn't See Coming Because We Didn't Want To tars all of professional sports to the point that it can't recover and becomes attractive only to people who like their games as scripted as professional wrestling. 

Professional Sports has sold its soul to the drug of unlimited money flowing from the pockets of addicts.  Unless the Feds step in and ban gambling apps and the sponsorship of professional sports by gambling houses, the crash is coming, and this time, I don't think pro sports recovers.  I think it really will be the end this time.  There are just too many non-sports entertainment options out there now.  

Pro sports had a great run, but there are only so many times it can sabotage itself for quick profits before it finally kills off that golden goose.  Gambling WILL be the destruction of professional sports.  Bet on it. 

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Let's be honest, FanDuel....


1.  You did not want to make this ad.  You'd much rather put that money into paying Kevin Hart and Jamie Foxx and ESPN hosts to blather about how SuperAwesomeAmazingFunAndEasy gambling on sporting events is.  A "system?"  Yeah, the only system you're interested in is the one that provides the App and takes the money.  

2.  "I set up a one hour a week time limit on FanDuel."  First, you have to set this up- it's not the default.  The default is to stay on as long as you want.  And what happens if you want to go beyond that time limit?  Is it just a matter of turning it off like the "Do Not Disturb" option on your phone.  I'll give you +400 that it is.  That's a joke.

Is an hour a week a long time to be spending making bets?  Isn't the whole program super-easy to navigate?  If you decide how you want to bet in advance, it seems to me that an hour means a lot of placing of a lot of bets.

3.  "I set limits so I only bet what I can afford."  Yeah, right.  Who decides what a gambling addict "can afford?"  Isn't this like trusting a drunk to limit his alcohol consumption?  How many smokers successfully "limit" themselves to a certain number of cigarettes per day?  And again- how powerful is the "lock" an individual places on his maximum?  Is that "limit" just a swipe away from vanishing when the itch becomes too strong not to scratch?

And the image of two men who obviously live in substantial suburban homes, obviously intended to send the message that gambling is something that financially stable, SUCCESSFUL guys do with no impact on their financial stability...ok then.

Come on, FanDuel.  There's no safe level of heroin intake.  You can't play Russian Roulette "in moderation."  The only "safety feature" you can add to your phone is one that prevents gambling apps from being downloaded.  Like Thermonuclear War, the only winning move is....not to play. 

This Marcos Pizza Commercial offers free delivery with a side of diabetes.


Lady, you should be thinking of Macros, not Marcos.  The last thing you need is another evening of sitting on your couch eating yourself into a carbohydrate coma with cheap delivery pizza.  How about hitting the gym before eating a meal made up mostly of protein (and no, the cheese on the pizza doesn't count as protein?)  In short, a healthy diet and exercise should be the only "routine" you should be working on.  Pizza delivered to your couch should not be a "routine" for ANYBODY.

And buddy?  If you really care for this woman, stop being her enabler and encourage her to take steps that will lead her to living a healthier, happier and longer life.  Start by deleting the Marco's Pizza app from your phone.  And all the fast-food delivery service apps from your phone.  You'll both thank me later. 

Saturday, May 11, 2024

The story that Jardiance has to tell.... the story of America itself.  We are a fat, lazy, stupid people who spend way, way too much time sitting on our ample backsides staring at screens (even at home, where our number one activity is to watch other people do things on television or our laptops) and then complaining that we "don't have time" to eat healthy.

Look at this commercial again.  Every single person in it is overweight.  The women who are not morbidly obese are certainly Overweight according to the Evil Evil Racist Body Mass Index.  The men all have pot bellies, which means they are considered "straight sized" and probably pass as "slim" in most communities today.   But if you compare this to an office scene captured on tape in the 1970s, you'd see the difference is pretty damn stark.  Fat is now Normal.  And it's not a problem to be solved with a healthy diet and exercise, but with a little pill with a "great big story to tell."  Um, ok then. 

Thursday, May 9, 2024

This depressing Swiffer Commercial


I see a lot of people commenting how much they like the vibe of this ad; the infectious smile of this girl, her energy as she moves from room to room with her favorite cleaning utensil, the way her eyes widen in amazement as she notes how much of her hair she picked up this time....

Me being Me, I'm more concerned that this woman is losing so much of her hair every freaking time washes and dries it.  What kind of drugs is she on that is making this much hair loss a common thing for her?  Is she literally yanking it out with the towel?  Also, if I lost anywhere near as much hair as this woman did I sure as heck wouldn't pick BLINDING WHITE as my house's color scheme.

One more thing- for chrissakes lady, go out and make some friends.  There's more to life than dusting.  You enjoy this way too much.  Get some help.

Sunday, May 5, 2024

A Blast from the Past with this thoroughly out of date Heineken Commercial


I'm sorry, but who the hell meets a blind date at their OWN APARTMENT?  This woman seems pretty cute (if prone to snap judgments and indecisiveness.)  She can find guys out in the Real World.  But she not only agrees to a blind date, but she gives the guy her address, has him show up at her place, and immediately offers him a beer- isn't he going to take her out to dinner?  Holy crap, did she make him dinner, too?  What is going on here?  Is this woman still single?  How do I get her to call me?

Who is the male ad writer who came up with this fantasy nonsense?  There are very good reasons why none of this happens in real life.  For one thing, it simply shouldn't.  How STUPID would a woman have to be to have a blind date meet her at her apartment instead of a public place, and instantly offer him alcohol instead of heading out the door?  Is this woman's biological clock ticking THAT loudly?

What is the plan for tonight?  Sit around the apartment, talk and drink beer?  That's a nice activity when you've established yourselves as a couple.  Except for the talking part, it's remarkably like being married.  But a FIRST DATE?  This woman is dressed to the nines, too.  Who is she trying to impress?  Her cat?  

What happens if the date goes badly?  How does she get rid of this guy?  He's already in your place.  He's already got alcohol in you- thanks to your own situational blindless and almost criminal naivete. Even if he leaves quietly, he knows where you live now.  NOTHING about this situation comes off as something arranged by a mature, sensible adult female.  Yet she's trying to decide if he is worthy of the "good" beer in the fridge.  And that's another thing- who are the other two beers for?  Is she doing this again later tonight?  Does she have already have a boyfriend who is out for the night that she's cheating on?  


Saturday, May 4, 2024

This ridiculous Loan Depot Commercial....


I'm sorry, but listening to this guy wax poetic about "his music" and "his home" and "his life" as he waltzes around what looks to be a million-dollar loft apartment in downtown Manhattan is just a little too much for me.  I've seriously never cared less about anyone in my entire life,*  but I guess that works out ok, because when this guy gets done there's really no room for anyone else to care about him, anyway.

Loan Depot is best known for selling adjustable-rate mortgages (they make up the majority of the $1.8 billion in business they did in the housing market last year.)  They are also noteworthy for giving their CEO a $42 million dollar bonus a few years back.  Their customer base tends to be people with less than stellar credit ratings who are willing to sign on the dotted line to pay very high-interest mortgage payments forever rather than live within their means in apartments which may NOT have 360 degree views of the Manhattan skyline.  

Back to this idiot- man, I wish I could adequately describe how very little I give a flying damn about your freaking music and your plants and wish you'd just grow up and accept the reality of being an adult and maintaining a sustainable budget instead of placing yourself in a situation where you'll be demanding debt relief inside of a year or two.  Hate to tell you this, but our government only bails out banks, not people.  When you and your plants and your albums get tossed on to the sidewalk, Loan Depot will flip that apartment, maybe even handing it off to someone who can afford it.  You can move your crap back in to mommy's basement; hope there's room for you to frolic in front of the washer-dryer if you can work up the enthusiasm.  No, I don't.  

*this sentiment may change the next time The New York Times publishes an article about a young performance artist struggling to find a condo for under $1.5 million in the Right Neighborhood.  I will probably care about that person's "problem" even less. 

Friday, May 3, 2024

This Dupixent Commercial gives me the creeps.


Nothing may be more important to these little girls than clearer skin, but I suspect that their skin condition takes a back seat to $$$ that can be made in exploiting these little girls when it comes to their parents.  

Am I wrong, or is there something very, very disturbing about the use of scantily-clad minor girls in commercials for drugs which carry significant risk of severe side effects, or drugs in general, or ANYTHING IN GENERAL?

Monday, April 29, 2024

"Psychics" means "Scammers" in Californiaese.


I almost feel guilty in making this post; it's the very definition of Punching Down.  I mean, the snark writes itself.  How absolutely out of touch, desperate and gullible do you have to be to buy in to this level of grift?

Well, I get at least one answer from the comment section- the person who posted "I need a reading, but I don't have any money."  I don't wonder why a person who thinks they "need a reading" doesn't have any money.  It's not just that fools and their money are soon parted; it's surprising when they manage to get together in the first place.  I'm absolutely convinced that if you gave 1000 poor people a million dollars each, in 90 days they would be more poor than they were when they received the money.  People who call "California Psychics," think they are saving money by getting dinner at the local fast-food drive-thru, "need" the latest iPhone, take "vacations" from their part-time jobs and plan to pay for them using next year's tax refund are all the same:  Determined to never, ever have excess money in their wallets. 

Never mind drug testing; if you get any kind of government assistance for shelter, food, medicine etc. your phone records ought to be checked for California Psychics and if it turns out you are spending so much as a single dollar on these scammers I want you cut off.  Otherwise, us taxpayers are subsidizing your Stupid, and I am so very sick of subsidizing Stupid.  Get your palm and chakras read on your own dime.  Or take my free reading:  you are destined to be poor.  Because you are The Dumb.  Now move on and find something else to do with your time that doesn't involve buying something you don't need and can't afford.

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Two Quick Posts from my favorite Punching Bag, Optima Tax Relief!


"Attention listeners who have been skipping out on paying your taxes because you figured that the IRS has been sufficiently gutted by Republican Presidents and Republican Congresses and would never find the needle in the haystack that is your criminal behavior:  Here's some bad news for you!  The Big Bad Government has appropriated eighty BILLION dollars to crack down on YOU, Mr. Jim Jones of 116 Maple Street!  They are only seconds away from sending you a bill for the money you actually owe as your fair share for keeping society functional!  You have two choices- you can pay that bill, or you can call Optima Tax Relief, give that company some of your money, and THEN pay that bill!"

I owed a lot of money to my landlady.  I TRIED to make payments, but didn't actually do so.  Stunningly, my Good Intentions meant nothing to my cruel, vicious landlady who had the equally cruel and vicious Law on her side.  She told me I had to pay my rent, or I had to move out.  I didn't know what to do!  I mean, I LIKE my money and I want to KEEP it!  Can't someone come up with Optima Squatters Relief?

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Point of Personal Privilege: Hanna-Barbera's "Godzilla" was always equal parts cringe and creepy


I'm not going to get into the weird physics of this awful Hanna-Barbera schlock that could only have existed on American TV in the 1970s- like how the signal to summon Godzilla (yes, he's being summoned, more about that in a moment) is the same through the water and through the air, or how no matter where the ship is, when Godzilla appears he stands ankle-deep in the OCEAN right next to it.  Nor am I going to try to justify the presence of a stupid kid on what are always very dangerous scientific expeditions- again, that was just required content for a Hanna-Barbera offering at the time.  

Instead, I'm going to focus on the Scrappy Do of the show- Godzooky.  The presence of this obnoxious, clumsy, totally pointless annoyance bothered me even when I was a kid (if you didn't find Godzooky a time-wasting irritant by the time you are six years of age, there was something wrong with you.)  But as an adult, I realize that the character plays a vital and very disturbing role in the series.  

The revelation came when I read this query in the comment section:  "how does Godzilla simply appear seconds after he's called?  Is he following the boat around all the time?"  The answer is yes.  Yes, he is.  Godzilla is forever swimming around near the boat, keeping a respectful distance until he is called upon to put himself in danger for the benefit of the humans who are HOLDING HIS RELATIVE GODZOOKY HOSTAGE.  Clearly the "scientists" have made a deal with Godzilla- you don't destroy Japan anymore, you come whenever we call and risk your life for ours whenever we deem it necessary, and in turn we won't do what we want to do with Godzooky, which is kill him in the most painful way we can come up with. 

Godzilla isn't a friend to the humans, rushing to their aid, throwing himself at fire dragons and other Not Trademarked creatures to save everyone from doom at the risk of his own life.  He's a hit man forced to work for the mob that has his kid under their control and will mail back pieces of him if he doesn't reply "how high?" when told to "Jump."  Godzooky is tolerated because he's a non-human human shield; the instant something wonderful happens and Godzooky is no more, those scientists and that stupid kid are Godzilla food.  And they'll totally deserve it.  I want to see that episode.

By the way...this is the junk kids my age got fed along with Tom and Jerry (nonstop violence!), Sylvester and Tweety (pet abuse!) and Roadrunner (animal cruelty!)  Kids today get Bluey, Peppa Pig, Pupstruction, SuperKitties, Paw Patrol, Doc McStuffins....maybe they can't afford to attend college without taking out loans they'll never pay off, maybe they'll never own a house, and maybe they'll hold down two dozen different jobs over the course of their lifetimes, but no one can argue that their choice of animated entertainment is vastly superior to the stuff we were assaulted with growing up.  

Friday, April 26, 2024

Rinvoq is an Rx for an entirely unfamiliar life?


As near as I can tell, a prescription for Rinvoq comes with unlimited amounts of travel and adventure money, a supercharged level of youthful energy, and a crowd of cool friends to hang out with.  It also comes with a myriad of skills you didn't previously have- rock-climbing, skiing, guitar-building, gourmet cooking, etc.- and a permanent vacation from what used to be the everyday routine before you started to take this amazing pill or injection or whatever it is Sign Me Up!*

*can I get the version that doesn't come with the cool friends, though?  I don't need cool friends to remind me that I wasn't cool until I started taking Rinvoq.  I didn't need cool friends BEFORE I started taking Rinvoq.  As the comedians say, a friend will help you move a couch- but more often will need a couch moved.  A GOOD friend will help you move a body.  I'd rather deal with those minor stresses by myself than deal with the major stress that comes with having "friends."  Heck, I'd rather deal with all these awful Possible Side Effects that come with Rinvoq  than the CERTAIN side effects that come with having "friends."

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

I don't care how much it costs- if you buy a Nissan Sentra without the Sport Mode option, you are cheating yourself..


After all, look what the simple addition of this option offers you:  With just a click of a button, you are instantly relieved of any responsibility for staying within the legal speed limit.  Stop signs and red lights do not apply to you.  And (as near as I can tell) pedestrians are required to leap out of your way and other automobiles to pull over to let you move along.  I assume that Sport Mode engages flashing red and blue lights and a siren, I'm just not sure why they weren't shown in the actual commercial.

Because nothing is as good as it appears on television, I must also assume that there are limits as to when the owner of a Nissan Sentra is allowed to engage "Sport Mode."  You probably can't use it if you are late to your shift at McDonald's or want to swerve around the three cars in front of you in the Drive-Thru.  But if you need to get home to your Suburban Estate because your dog is doing damage to your furniture, crank that thing up and let everyone know that your need to get home has become the most important thing in the Universe and will continue to be for however long it takes you to get to your driveway.  And if another car or a pedestrian rudely fails to notice that your car is in Sport Mode, well, dents can be fixed, scratches can be buffed out, and blood washes off easily.  Time?  You never get that back.  

Tiktok, the sands of time are running out on you....


Time to celebrate the utter failure of millions of dollars in propaganda shoveled on to American television last year, competing for airspace with commercials for Gambling Makes Sports More Fun Apps and Whiskey and Beer Makes Everything Better messages, designed to convince my fellow countrymen that before the Chinese created the brain cancer that is Tiktok nobody ever organized into groups or started small businesses or did much of anything at all.  How civilization developed before the Communist Party's favorite data-mining tool was created is something I'll leave to real historians, because as near as I can figure, nothing involving more than two people is possible without the benefit of the most important contribution to human society since cultivated rice. 

Assuming that four members of the Supreme Court (plus Clarence Thomas, who I'll assume has already negotiated his price and banked it in advance) can't be paid off to strike down the House and Senate action to force the sale of Tiktok, the app will disappear from American phones in 270 days.  Thousands of Health Coaches, Life Coaches, Couch Activists, Multi-Level Marketing Gurus, Preachers and other grifters will have to seek out real lives and maybe (horrors) have to seek out a way to make an honest living.  Thousands of others will simply have to find something else to do that doesn't involve making total jackasses of themselves for the benefit of an unseen (but hopefully subscribing) audience.  I have this weird idea that small businesses will survive and life will go on, maybe even better than before the Asian Brain Rot reached our shores just a few years before COVID with more devastating effects on our mental health, but maybe I'm just an incurable optimist.

Here's a heartfelt prayer to the multi-billionaires out there- please, keep your money in your wallets.  Don't bid for this valuable-yet-worthless nonsense.  Do the patriotic thing and just Let. It. Die.  Better yet, buy the rights to it, and shelve it.  The person who does that will deserve the Nobel Peace Prize and earn the gratitude of future generations into perpetuity. 

Sunday, April 21, 2024

A few mean-spirited takes on this ad.


This version cut out two parts that I am going to comment on anyway, because otherwise these takes wouldn't be as hateful as I want them to be:

First, in the original version, this guy says "I always dreamed of going to college," which instantly reminded me of a great line from the Rodney Dangerfield movie Back to School:

Thornton Melon:  "I used to dream about going to college."

Jason Melon:  "When do you dream about going to college?"

Thornton Melon:  "When I fell asleep in high school."

Second, and also in the original version, we hear his father say "this is a dream come true."  Yeah, I'm sure it's a very common dream of American men to see their son graduate from high school at the age of 38, after providing him with at least one grandchild.  

A third point- which is included in this version- features this guy saying that he decided he wanted to go back and get his High School Diploma because he didn't want to do manual labor jobs his entire life.  Um....I've got really bad news for you, buddy.  Unless you are a tech wiz, that piece of paper that says you completed High School is going to do absolutely NOTHING for your job prospects.  I'm very glad that you got your diploma because it sets a great example for your son (better late than never) and maybe you expanded your horizons a bit with that study, but if you think that this opens the door to a better-paying job....well, I hope they paid you appearing in this ad, anyway.  Because chances are most of the people around you at every job you've held since you became a legal adult had High School degrees and were being paid the same as you were.  I really hope you weren't expecting to show that paper in front of your boss tomorrow and get a raise.  

Again, I'm glad this guy got his High School diploma, but he isn't a role model and he isn't an inspiration- he had a chance to be those things, but decided to punt the twenty most productive years of his life instead, and choices have consequences.  Simply put, he's not getting those twenty years back.  The life lesson his kid should get from this is "dad's a great guy, he's worked his butt off to provide a roof over my head and food on the table, but I am NOT going to follow his path.  And I guess what I would really have liked to hear at the end of this ad is something like "I want to make sure my son doesn't think that this is a good plan, that he should not be dropping out of High School and having a family before he finishes his education because that's like strapping on a backpack full of cinder blocks before competing in the race of life.  I'm glad he's proud of me, I'm glad my dad is proud of me, but I'll be much happier if people see this ad and think 'yeah, to hell with that, I'm getting my High School Diploma when I'm in my late-teens, not my late-thirties, and I'm not dreaming of going to college, I'm GOING TO COLLEGE."

The sad, scary implications of these Chime Banking App Commercials

While driving up to Vermont from Maryland last Tuesday morning, I listened to a news story about the obesity epidemic in the United States.  A woman being interviewed talked about sitting in the McDonald's Drive-Thru hitting "refresh" on her banking app over and over again, literally racing her direct deposit paycheck with her breakfast purchase.  

What sounds to me like an absolute nightmare, and a huge red flag/wakeup call that it's time to get your finances in order.  That person in the interview got it- she realized that she was addicted to fast food AND living on the margins of poverty with the ridiculous amount of money she was spending on "food" that was literally killing her in two ways.  Eventually she went back to her banking information, did some hard, cold research, and found out that she had spent $40,000 in three years at the Drive Thru.  

Scary, but at least she figured it out and realized that her lifestyle was not sustainable and is no longer throwing good money after bad.  Unlike these nitwits, who seem perfectly happy to play a stupid game with their financial health and maybe even get a gambling-level electric thrill out of Beating the Clock every two weeks.  Personally, I don't see the attraction of wondering if I'm going to need overdraft protection every time I make a purchase.  These people are fine with it.  I wouldn't be able to sleep nights if my finances were in this kind of shape. 

I do not understand, but what do I know- I don't even get the "fun" of risking my financial stability on gambling apps.  

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Why I'll never be on Rinvoq


It's not because I don't suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, though I've never had that skin condition thing that's really focused on in these commercials.  It's because I'm nowhere near cool enough to qualify to take this or 99 percent of the other drugs advertised on television.

All of these people ride horses or engage in competitive roller dance or BUILD guitars in their workshops (I'm not even cool enough to play one; this guy BUILDS them.  From scratch.  In his own freaking WORKSHOP.)  They are also always hanging with pretty friends (I don't have any friends, let alone pretty ones) and heading off to beautiful romantic places with incredible views and cafes and opportunities for selfies, not that they need to ever take a selfie because they are always surrounded by those pretty friends. 

If I had lives like this and was being slowed down by arthritis or plaque psorasis or whatever (I'm not looking it up- it's that red flaky skin thing) I guess I'd insist on trying this drug too.  But apparently when I walk into the office of my arthritis specialist he looks me up and down and realizes that I''m not Rinvoq-worthy.  Maybe I should take riding lessons or get some skates.  I'm sure not learning how to build a freaking guitar.  

Friday, April 19, 2024

Yeah, I have no idea what is going on in this Nissan Rogue ad....


So I guess that as far as the girl selling the smoothie- and the makers of this commercial- are concerned, the customer ordered the "wrong" smoothie (never mind that he apparently ordered from the menu) and deserved to be brutally assaulted by a guy wearing a mascot's costume.  In fact she is so taken by the guy in the costume's takedown of Soy Boy Kale Drinking Loser that she jumps into his Nissan Rogue and proceeds to smile ear to ear as he drives it recklessly through a gym which I guess is right next to the smoothie shop Never Mind Like I Said, I have NO idea what is going on here except that it seems to end with everyone chasing the insane driver of this car, hopefully to beat him to death with his own sense of entitlement, or at least arrest him for the assault he committed in the opening seconds of this intensely stupid ad. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

FreeFood123-with neighbors like these....


You have to seriously wonder about the mentality of people who can be convinced that they really should be in the market for pre-packaged "delicious" meals that can last up to 25 months sitting on the shelf of a bomb shelter, a bunker in the Colorado mountains, a cave, or a well-fortified suburban home bordering a reservation populated by dependents of the Democrat Party Soviet.  Then you remember it's the same people who fly flags which infer that Joe Biden's first name is a four-letter word starting with "F," believe that the only thing more important to stockpile than calories stuffed with chemicals is high-powered weaponry stuffed with Soon-To-Be-Banned bullets, and will buy anything from anyone wearing a t-shirt or using a website emblazoned with the word PATRIOT.  

Now I'm imagining these idiots, having spent the last of their fiat money on guns, ammo and prepackaged meals sitting on their piles of Trump medallions staring at the door of their Last Bastion of Freedom Lair waiting for someone to try to take away their freedom every time there's a power outage or BLM protest.  All I ask is that they stay away from the voting booths in November and far away from Washington DC next January. 

Monday, April 15, 2024

"Can Billy be put on trial for crimes against the environment?" This stupid Tacoma Truck Ad.


1.  I really, really hope that a lot of CGI was used in this ad and it did not actually include dozens, if not hundreds, of gas-guzzling vehicles spewing toxins into the air perhaps for an entire day or even more of filming in service of a stupid, pointless ad for whatever this ad is for (seriously, I forgot what was being peddled two seconds after it was over and was forced to watch it again.)

2.  I don't know who Billy is- I guess it's the guy who comes outside to find out why dozens or hundreds of people have shown up at his house which for some reason is in the middle of the desert- or why the guy yells "can Billy come out to play?"  If Billy is the guy who comes outside, why didn't the other guy yell "can you come out to play?"  Also, Billy looks like an adult.  Who was supposed to give Billy "permission" to come out to play?  Clearly, nobody- because Billy gives himself permission.  Obviously there is nobody else in that house- I mean, dozens if not hundreds of vehicles have just roared up, and only Billy came outside to find out what was going on.  If someone else is inside, they are either deaf or so drugged up they didn't hear the ruckus, or Billy has killed them because he is sick of having to ask permission to Come out and Play.

3.  What "play" is going on here?  Is driving aimlessly through the desert in trucks, cars, motorcycles, freaking LAWNMOWERS, etc. anyone's idea of fun?  Oh hell, yeah it probably is.  Never mind that the top speed for some of the vehicles shown here is like 5 MPH.  What is being "celebrated?"  The return of gasoline to "only" $3.70 per gallon?  

Hey everybody, we're driving around in the DESERT.  We're having FUN.  How can this be made MORE fun?  I know- let's pick up BILLY!  That will be the cherry on the sundae, right?