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?

Sunday, April 14, 2024

JD Wentworth knows the Tragic Opera that is your Life


"I have a structured settlement but I need cash now!"
Call JD Wentworth, 877 cash now!

"I won the lottery, but I'm in debt anyhow!"

Call JD Wentworth, 877 cash now!

"My dad set up an annuity but I need cash now!"

Maybe live within your means- I mean, Call JD Wentworth, 877 cash now!

"I am surrounded by leech relatives and alleged friends and they want cash now!"

You'll be back in debt next year and those relatives and friends will be long gone-- um, I mean, Call JD Wentworth, 877 cash now!

"I am stupid with money so I need cash now!"

Here's your money.  Sign here.  Thank heaven for stupid people like you, they make services like this and "rapid refunds" super-profitable.  Call us again when you want to sell your life insurance.  But don't call us when you want to sell your blood- we don't do that.  Call the Red Cross for that. 

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Optima Tax Relief, the Movie?


Not only is there a playlist that someone set up just in case there are insane people* out there who want to watch almost a FULL HOUR of scofflaws explaining how they were rescued by the consequences of their own actions, but it includes TWENTY-EIGHT EPISODES, presumably each involving a different person's "I committed a felony and kept committing a felony and I was so worried I'd get caught one day" story.

My only regret is that comments are disabled, so I have no way of knowing if anyone has ever watched the entire playlist.  I'm certainly not going to try to do it myself; my rage meter would break way before I got halfway through the "listen to my story about how I got away with being a tax cheat/freeloader, fellow citizens" Tales of Second Chances (which no doubt have turned into a need for Third and Fourth Chances within a few years after Optima Tax provided undeserved "relief.")

*Or maybe someone put this playlist together for the benefit of this page?  If so, um...thank you, I guess?

Friday, April 12, 2024

Just add this to every commercial for pharmaceutical products from now on.

I mean, it won't work most of the time- for example, all of these side effects are still more tolerable to a lot of people than a balanced, sensible diet and exercise- but who knows, maybe a small handful of people out there will think twice before popping a daily pill to deal with something that really isn't a problem but Hey It's Covered By My Insurance So Why Not What Has My Liver Done for me Lately Anyway?

Fun Flashback: Remember this embarrassment from 1988?


Yeah, these electronic "labor saving devices" will never catch on....

There's something really sad about seeing the cast of what was, for three or four seasons, the best show of the 1970s (and then went on to be a middling comedy, and then a mediocre comedy, and then an entirely forgettable comedy, as it went on and on before shuffling off the stage* having lasted roughly three times longer than the Korean War that was supposed to be it's setting) pimping for International Business Machines five years after their seminal roles left television.   Someone in the comment section points out that this commercial features the very first appearance of Colonel Potter and Trapper John in the same scene- they never met in the series, so it's kind of strange that they would know each other here.  The absence of Alan Alda is striking as well; no, it's not because he was "too good" to shill for a computer company.  It's because he was already under contract with COLECO, selling their somewhat less successful ADAM system.  Remember that one?  The computer that could only receive power through the printer port, meaning that if the printer broke down the computer wouldn't work?  Me neither. 

*Of course, M*A*S*H left television with the most-watched final episode in television history (more of a tv movie than final episode,) but it really ought to be remembered that the finale was so popular because it was a throwback to the quality and tone of the film and the early seasons of the show, and discarded the weak and often gimmicky scripts and direction of the last third of its run.  

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Taco Bell's Sad, Not at all Relatable Commercial


This Taco Bell ad is here to remind us that at least one of the ultra-processed garbage grease-and-meat-and-cheese offerings available on it's After Midnight Menu is not just available After Midnight.  It's actually available any time you need to deaden the dull, throbbing pain that is your life with a quick dopamine hit followed by an even bigger crash into the bowels of despair.

So don't save Taco Bell for the usual I Drank Too Much and Struck Out as Usual at the Party binge while sitting alone in the parking lot (please remember that when it's late at night, you might not want to eat this stuff while sitting in the parking lot.  Might be safer to eat it back home, or while driving home.  Actually, the safest option is to not eat it at all, but we're way past that, aren't we?)  America's Favorite Faux Tex-Mex Pig Trough is there for you pretty much any time your soul needs a shot of Novocaine in the form of empty carbs before you head home, alone, again.  

I thought that this was what IHOP was for.  Is the price of pancakes and coffee just too much for the new generation?  Well, what happened to 7-11 and a Big Bite hot dog and bag of chips?  Those used to be the go-to places for the late-night Alone Again, Naturally munchies.  I mean, that's what I've heard.  From other people.  Sad people.  

Sunday, April 7, 2024

We ain't really talkin' about cashbacking, Mr. Hart....


At least, not as much as we be talkin' about an overrated comedian turned ridiculously successful huckster willing to enthusiastically sell everything from credit cards to gambling apps as long as the Cash Be Backing.  Ain't you ashamed of yourself, Mr. Hart?  Really?  Not yet?

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Walmart's terrific commercial for Birth Control


Yeah, I want a dozen of these things.  Sure, I do.

Cripes, I won't even own a cat because I don't want to deal with a litter box.  I don't own a dog because I'm not picking up after him on a walk like I'm a servant.   If I had a best friend, they'd take care of their own "leavings," thank you.  But to quote James G. Blaine, "I have no friends, thanks be to god." 

Oh yeah, back to these babies- maybe I'll get myself one when they come out with a model that can use the toilet right out of the box.  Until then, I'll leave others to wipe, wipe, wipe, wipe, and use Walmart Same Day Delivery because before that was invented, pre-toilet trained kids just went naked when Mommy and Daddy irresponsibly forgot to pick up diapers I guess.   Wipe me down?  More like, Count me Out. 

I Don't Understand this Squarespace commercial at all*


I guess the "joke" is that if aliens ever show up we won't even notice because we are so glued to our electronic devices we can't be bothered to look up from them.  This "joke" is actually pretty obvious about ten seconds in, but commercials being commercials the "punchline" must be beaten into us for another minute-plus to make sure not only that we get it, but that we get how super-clever and funny it is.

At no point are we supposed to think that maybe this ad is a bit too on the nose, and maybe it's a wake-up call we could use to rethink our devotion to our glowing screens.  The people who made this ad are not calling for any of use to take a mental health break from what is laughingly referred to as "connectivity."  This is a commercial for Squarespace, about which I learned absolutely nothing from the ad but had to find out through a quick Google search that its a program to help you create your own website.  In other words, its a commercial for a program which encourages you to build your own little corner of the Worldwide Addiction Machine that turns us into those funny funny alien-ignoring zombies we were supposed to be laughing at for the entire runtime.  Um, whatever.

*Even after looking it up, I don't understand Squarespace, either.  Is it that hard to build a website?  It's 2024- we are in the third decade of online shopping.  Has it become harder to create a business website as everything else about using a computer has become easier?  What is actually being sold here, anyway?

Friday, April 5, 2024

Because you don't want to admit why you take Ozempic.


Gotta love the offhanded "and I lost some weight," as if 90 percent of people creating a shortage of Ozempic aren't just fat people who couldn't care less about their A1C, lipid panels, or diabetes risk and just desperately want to lose weight before swimsuit season begins in earnest.  And no, they aren't going to be eating less and exercising more because after all that's just Fatphobic Talk plus their tendency to pack on pounds while coincidentally stuffing their faces with garbage and bingeing on streaming services is genetic so shut up and fill my prescription already.