Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Too Pretty for Homework?

I can’t believe JC Penney folded like a lawn chair and decided to stop selling offensively bratty David & Goliath T-Shirts just because there was tons of outrage from shoppers! How wimpy can you get? It’s like they think the customer is always right or something over there! They should tell their customers: “We picked these shirts to sell you, and you’ll buy them and like it, or else!” That’s what I’d do!

And they gave in just because the shirts said cool stuff like: “I’m too pretty to do my homework, so my brother has to do it for me”, “I’m too pretty to do math”, and: “Future Trophy Wife”. What’s wrong with that stuff? Hey, if they’re too pretty to do math, they’re too pretty to do math! Or maybe they’re too dumb to do math, or too lazy, but they’re going to try to use being pretty as an excuse. That’s what I do, except I’m not pretty, so they always make me do my homework anyway. (That’s why we need this new law protecting ugly people: so we can all avoid doing math!)

But this leads to another issue, and I think this is why they stopped selling the shirts: They could only sell the shirts like that to really pretty girls, because if they sold them to ugly girls, they’d lose all their credibility! And so would the shirt-wearers! I mean, if an ugly girl is wearing a shirt that says they’re super-pretty, then how can we ever trust them about anything? If they’d lie about something so obvious, then what won’t they lie about? See what I mean? Or maybe their parents just lied to them a lot, and it’s not really their fault. But in order to be sure the shirts were appropriately worn, the store would have to get to look at the potential wearer of the shirt, so they could decide whether or not she was pretty enough to be allowed to buy it. And then who decides who is pretty enough, etc.? Plus, how could you be sure the girl wouldn’t get acne, or get fat, or get her face mauled by a pit bull, etc.? I mean, right? So it’s just too much responsibility for the store to undertake. (Plus there would probably be discrimination lawsuits, etc.)

Plus, if you wear that shirt to class, you teacher will know you cheated on your homework, and you’ll just have to do more work in class, so it’s counter-productive. And when you think about it, we know the pretty girls get everything handed to them anyway, so we don’t really need to be reminded by wearable bragging and boasting. And this would simply seed further animosity against the pretty girls from all those whose lives are made miserable by their existences. And then ugly people might get t-shirts printed for themselves that rub in all the advantages they get that pretty girls don’t have, such as shirts that say things like: “I’m ugly, so I’ll never get roofied”, and “Ha ha: I don’t get sexually harassed”, etc. And do we really want a passive-aggressive war to break out across the fronts of people’s shirts? No! That’s something we just don’t need!

Here’s the story about the shirts:

A “Mickey Mouse Operation”

I see it quite often in movies, and I hear it in the real world frequently also, where people will say about some small, makeshift enterprise that it’s a “Mickey Mouse Operation”. But whenever I hear someone say that something is a “Mickey Mouse Operation”, I always think of something else. Like, I wonder if they mean that it’s a well-oiled, perfectly functioning, classic, beautiful machine, performing at the highest possible level. Or maybe they mean that it’s a big, powerful corporation that blazed the way in its field, or which pioneered the use of animation, defined numerous artistic styles and entertainment genres, and which is synonymous with family entertainment. Or perhaps they’re referring to an entity which practically invented merchandising and cross-platform marketing. You see, when I hear someone refer to a “Mickey Mouse Operation”, I can’t help but think of the Walt Disney Studios, which is one of the most successful and influential, not to mention well-known and pioneering, companies in the world (and in history), so to me it means the exact opposite of a small, penny-ante set-up. But maybe that’s just me.

Of course, it could also refer to a company that uses bullying legal tactics, I suppose. But that’s not what I think of first. Although, I'm sure there are plenty of other people who do think of that first, when it comes to Disney. Otherwise, rumors to that effect wouldn't be so pervasive, or at least, I wouldn't think so. But I haven't been sued by Disney myself, so I still think very highly of them; and I always think of their delightful movies, wonderful artists, visionary spirit, etc. I grew up with those fun, beautiful movies and shorts, so it's always the first thing I think of when I think of Disney; and it's pretty high up on the list of things I think of when I think of childhood, too (and that's a wonderful thing!).

Children’s Diet Books

Some children’s book author named Paul Kramer has gone and made everyone have a hissy-fit with a book entitled: Maggie Goes On A Diet. Maybe this sends the wrong message to kids, and maybe it doesn’t, but my problem with this book is that it has a lame, non-catchy title! If the title is that boring, how’s the prose going to be? It’s enough to make you overeat from boredom and depression! If he really wants to sell books, and cause a stir, he really needs to snazzy-up that title!

How’s this for a better title?: Donna’s On A Diet.

See? It rhymes “Donna” with “On A”, and it uses alliteration with “Donna” and “Diet”, thus making it way more catchy and memorable. Seriously: Maggie Goes on A Diet? How lame can you get? He rhymes the text (badly, but still…) inside the book, so why can’t he make the title snappier? What a lame-O!

So to help him exploit children’s insecurities further, and to aid him in the proliferation of eating disorders and the spreading of low self-esteem with regard to body image and such, I’ve developed a collection of snappy new children’s book titles for him to expand upon his initial effort. So here are some titles to go with stories dealing with kids who are fat:

Wendy Has A Weight Problem
Felicity’s Obesity
Fannie Is A Fatty
Larry Is A Lard-Ass

Here are some titles to go with children’s books about the adventures of kids with various eating disorders:

Anne Has Anorexia
Betty Tries Bulimia
Courtney Is A Compulsive Eater

And here are a few titles to go with stories about kids who seek practical solutions to their body image issues:

Lida Gets Lipo (or Lida Gets Liposuction)
Barbara Gets A Boob Job
Connie Gets Collagen Lips

I’m sure all of these snazzy titles will lead to best-selling children’s books that can warp the minds of children everywhere, and create all kinds of neuroses and problems for the youth of today! So get writing, Mr. Kramer! It’s never too early to propagandize body image paranoia!

Here’s the story about the (real) children’s book:

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

George Lucas Educational Foundation

On NPR this weekend, I heard some segment that was sponsored by the George Lucas Educational Foundation, and after they mentioned it was sponsored by this foundation, they said a little catchphrase or tagline to go with the foundation. I can’t remember exactly what they said, but I remember what they didn’t say! They said something like this: “…sponsored by the George Lucas Educational Foundation: Growing a movement for change in education.” (<Or something like that.) But this is George Lucas we’re talking about here! Shouldn’t they have said: “The George Lucas Educational Foundation: The force for positive change in education.”? Get it: “The Force”? Because he created Star Wars, he ought to have to have a reference to “the force” in everything he does from now on, no matter how philanthropic or altruistic it is. It’s just poetic justice, like when Paul Simon got punished in the elevator with an eternity of Muzak versions of Simon & Garfunkel songs as his own private hell, as shown in an old episode of SNL.

Hey, I know: George Lucas could set up some drug recovery clinic in Indiana, and he could say: “The George Lucas Drug Rehab Clinic of Indiana: Making Indiana Jones!”

Affirmative Action for Ugly People

I can’t believe it, and yet it happened: there was a debate about affirmative action for the employment of ugly people on a news program today, started by someone who feels ugly people are discriminated against in the workplace. Maybe this is a legitimate issue, and maybe it’s not, but for years and years, I’ve heard about (and seen) how many people hire unattractive support staff intentionally so as to insure the unimpeded and continued success of their marriages. Perhaps not all people do this, but some do it for sure, and I’d think that would be enough that it would all work itself out through the law of averages. But who knows, maybe not. I know that abilities and qualifications are no longer considered in hiring employees, so maybe the guy has a point. Perhaps affirmative action for ugly people is necessary, but its implementation, like with so many other well-intentioned causes, may be extremely problematical.

If there is to be affirmative action for the unattractive, or “ugly”, as this person so offensively put it on television, how is such a thing measured, and by whom? Isn’t ugliness, like beauty, a subjective thing that is almost entirely “in the eye of the beholder”? So could you have a situation where someone goes in for a job interview thinking they look really good, only to be told that they meet the ugliness requirement to qualify for their affirmative action for ugly people program? Think of the humiliation and crippling erosion of self-esteem that such a blow could cause! Then you’d get lawsuits against employers who insulted people for their looks by offering this incentive to ugly people who wrongly think well of their own looks and improperly feel good about themselves!

Then, there is the potential for serious abuse of such a system! You could have a situation where hot people sleep with the gatekeepers of the ugliness qualification department so that they will say they’re ugly so they can get better jobs, or else people will start having plastic surgery to become uglier so that they can get better jobs and make more money! And of course, since the uglier you are, the more money and perks you’d get, more and more people will be trying to deform themselves in lots of sick & twisted ways, hoping for that dream job; and if they don’t get it, they’ll be stuck as the freaks they have become by their own design. Oh the humanity! And what happens to these dedicated individuals if someone challenges the new law and it gets struck down by the Supreme Court? Then they would have done it all for nothing! But I suppose there’s always the carnival freak shows for future employment. Oh, but with the new political-correctness imposed upon society with the bullying liberal behavior police, will they kill even these jobs along with the energy sector and food sector? And where would ugly people be then?

And other problems will emerge as well, such as bosses who, in order to avoid having to pay the extra amount to unattractive employees, will try anything imaginable to convince these people that they’re actually good-looking, rather than ugly. So they’ll hire people specifically to make passes at these unattractive employees, or mandate that everyone in the company has to try to ask out and/or sleep with all the ugly employees, in the hopes that this will convince them that they’re attractive after all, and as such do not qualify for the extra money, or the better job. And so sexual harassment for ugly people will spike tremendously, subjecting them to a horrible aspect of the corporate world they have heretofore been spared from. And lawsuits over this type of sexual harassment will profligate, both from the ugly people who are receiving such unwelcome attention, and from the attractive people who used to get it, but are now upset and insulted that they’re not getting it anymore.

I suppose if this program of affirmative action for ugly people becomes law, in order to mitigate such problems, they will have to develop a set of government standards to measure ugliness. And won’t this new set of standards victimize some people through insults and derision? Then ugliness will become something very different than it is today, and rather than being an aesthetic value or response to someone’s looks, it would be a government mandated set of values twisted to suit a political agenda. Then, naturally, since it’s a liberal program, ugliness will be measured as anything that smacks of conservatism, and the whole idea of what ugliness means will be turned on its head, becoming meaningless. And it will be used specifically to target and victimize others for their own political beliefs, changing the balance of power in our society!

It’s a slippery slope that will end in our destruction, with the government deciding who we’re allowed to consider attractive and unattractive, leading to a complete government takeover of our private decision-making abilities! And it will lead to the government implanting computer chips into all of our brains to be sure we make the correct decisions on whom to consider to be good-looking, what to be allowed to think tastes good, what to consider looks appropriate, etc. And naturally, the chips will change our values completely depending upon which political party is in power, so we’ll be tree-hugging vegan hippies for four years, and then hyper-critical God bullies for the four years after that. Our entire society will be taken over by hostile computers, and all because of this push for affirmative action for unattractive people! Ah, progress!

But you know, there is an easy way to handle this situation which wouldn’t require any type of affirmative action whatsoever. How about we mandate that everyone has to, by law, interview for jobs wearing a big paper bag over their head? We could also require that everyone wear the same oversized suit for the interview, so nobody could tell if they’re fat, skinny, etc. And they could wear gloves and answer all questions by texting, so no-one could tell what race they are either. In fact, how about having it so everyone interviews wearing a haz-mat suit, or in a diving bell? That way, nobody could discriminate based upon looks, or race, or gender, or whatever other thing. And, naturally, they would have to replace their name with a randomly-generated number, so as to avoid all kinds of prejudice based upon names. I think this is the appropriate way to deal with such issues. Oh, and of course they should have to keep on wearing the haz-mat suits at the job, so nobody can discriminate against them while they’re working either!

See? I solved it!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sargento Cheese Purity Ad

We see American cheese being processed and packaged, and then the announcer says that American cheese isn’t even real cheese, it’s processed crap! How un-American can you get? How dare they attack American cheese like that! Their cheese company must be a front for a communist plot! They’re trying to indoctrinate Americans against all things America, starting with American cheese! How dare they!? Oh, but they sneakily didn’t call it American cheese, just so we wouldn’t notice how unpatriotic and treasonous they’re being! They were hoping to get us to betray our country on a subliminal level! Those rats! (And rats love cheese, right? So they've exposed themselves as the rats they are!) But all patriotic Americans would instantly recognize American cheese for its patriotism! And only a dirty commie would attempt to question the integrity of such an All-American product! In fact, American cheese is so American, it’s probably made in China!

But after they’re done tarnishing the reputation and impugning the integrity of All-American, stars & stripes cheese, they claim that their cheese is always 100% all-natural cheese. But then they show a piece of cheese with little red and green flecks of herbs and stuff in it: A-Ha! Those herbs aren’t made out of cheese, are they? No! And they just said that their cheese is always 100% cheese! But herbs aren’t cheese, and in that piece of cheese, the herbs make up at least 1% of the cheese! So, then, they’re obviously lying when they say that their cheese is always 100% cheese! Gotcha, you lying commies! And after they tried to degrade and insult our great national cheese, too! Well, it serves them right to be shown up for the liars they are, after they smeared America like that! Traitors!

They must be part of the “Blame American Cheese First” crowd!

This ad isn’t available on the internet, but to prove it exists, and that I’m not just making it up to get revenge for their communist plot to take over America with cheese, here’s this webpage which shows a description of the ad, and then says they can’t find it either:

Ben-Gay Evil Snowmen Ad

Yes, I’m having a hard time believing it too, but it’s true: There is a Ben-Gay commercial where evil snowmen massage a bunch of red globs that look like what the Kool Aid mascot would look like if someone put some Jell-O in him and poured him out of the pitcher. But because they’re evil snowmen, it looks rather like they’re torturing the Kool Aid guy after smashing his pitcher shell, which I suppose acts kind of like a turtle shell to protect him. And this is kind of freaky, since I didn’t know that Kool Aid guy was into Sado-Masochism. But I guess seeing is believing!

I think this tableau is intended to make us think of something soothing, but it just ends up looking like some perverted porno made by Rankin-Bass with the puppets from those Christmas specials. Maybe next they can have it look like that abominable snowman from the beginning of The Empire Strikes Back is massaging Jabba the Hut! That’s kind of the same idea, I guess, but with a Star Wars theme, so it would be especially good for marketing to nerds and Comicon-types.

This ad is not available for viewing on the internet, and I can’t say I’m surprised: they’d make mincemeat of it in the comments section of YouTube, I’ll bet!

When I was growing up, this product (Ben-Gay) was given a very, um, hard time for the fact that it has “Gay” in its name, and people named “Ben” were given an especially difficult time in sports practice, usually being referred to by the product name. But now that we’re more open-minded as a society about issues of same-sex relationships, maybe this product will be given to less ridicule for its name. But probably not.

But they’ve never used the fact that there is the word “Gay” in their product name as an asset for marketing to the gay community. I wonder, why not? Hey, it’s there: use it to your advantage! Here’s an idea for an ad for Ben-Gay aimed at the gay market:

Some muscular guy gets home from work, takes off his hard hat, takes off his shirt, and acts like his muscles hurt. So he gets a tube of Ben-Gay, puts some on his shoulders, and then another muscular shirtless guy walks up from behind him and starts massaging his shoulders. The announcer says: “Ben-Gay: It’s like having a gay guy named Ben massaging your aching muscles, giving you a happy ending!” Then, the guy getting the massage turns around to face the Ben guy, and they start kissing. Focus goes to blurry, and the ad ends with showing a product shot of a package of Ben-Gay superimposed over the blurry background.

That would be informative and silly, and who knows, it might even help sell their product too! (So long as homophobes don’t see it! But actually, homophobes probably don’t buy Ben-Gay anyway out of a sense of homosexual panic. I’ll bet they buy Icy Hot instead, since it doesn’t have the word “Gay” in the name. Maybe Icy Hot and Ben-Gay ought to work together to develop a new product called: “Hot Gay”, just to make homophobes feel extra uncomfortable. Then they could send out free samples of it through the mail to conservative anti-gay-rights groups, just to get their goat.)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ally Bank Pony Ad

A spoiled little entitled girl gets mad that she can’t have everything she wants all the time in this ad for Ally Bank. Her parents were tired of her always nagging them for everything, and then when she got whatever she wanted, she would act like it wasn’t good enough for her, so they decided to play this little prank on her to teach her a lesson. Little did they know that Ally Bank was going to secretly record it and make a commercial out of it! Shame on them, exploiting a little girl like that, even if she is a selfish, greedy, hyper-entitled little brat!

But seriously, what a hard lesson about how the world really works for a little girl to get! Yep, sorry: the blonde girls get all the ponies, because gentlemen prefer blondes. Get used to it! (That's why blondes have more fun: They get all the ponies!) Hey, at least she’s learning it early enough that by the time she’s a young woman, she won’t take it personally, and the disappointment won’t be so bitterly crushing anymore. But hey: maybe this is really teaching her that she ought to bleach/dye her hair blonde if she wants to have gifts showered upon her by a sugar daddy! And perhaps this is secretly a guerilla marketing campaign for blonde hair dye from L’Oréal: Because you’re worth it! Or, actually, you have to use L’Oréal, because you’re not really worth it unless you have blonde hair, right? Maybe that ought to be the new L’Oréal ad campaign concept! (“L’Oréal: Because you’re not worth it unless you use our hair dye to become someone you’re not!”) They could show this ad as a before, and then show the after, where the dark-haired little girl dyes her hair blonde, and then she gets the pony now that she has beautiful blonde hair thanks to L’Oréal! Hey, it might sell lots of hair dye to little kids, right? And think of all the new pony sales that will result! So it will be a boon for two markets: hair dye and pony breeders! A win/win, if ever there was one! And then, next, they could work on marketing a line of pony hair dyes, so you could make your pony look just like a real live My Little Pony! Oh, and also sparkle glue-on kits to make the ponies look extra magical! Think of all the money they would make! Cha-ching!

But you know, while I really like this ad, I’ve always wanted to see a sequel spot where they show us what happens after this ad! What would it be like? Well, like this: So it’s a few months later, and the little dark-haired girl who didn’t get the real pony gets a call from the little blonde girl who did get the pony, and she asks her to come over. So the little ponyless girl goes over to the pony-owner’s house, and she arrives to find her adversary crying and miserable, and soon she find out why: the girl has nowhere to keep her pony, and so she has to keep it in her room! And her room is completely trashed and filled knee-high in pony poop, and the pony has chewed up all of her clothes, and her curtains, and it has destroyed all her things, and it eats all her food, and it has taken over her bed so she has to sleep on the floor in a pile of pony excrement; and the little girl is desperate to get rid of the pony! But guess what: it’s illegal to abandon a pony, because that would be cruelty to animals, and since everyone has seen the ad on TV, everyone knows that this is her pony, so she can’t just let it go, or kill it, or whatever; she’s stuck with it for life! Plus, she keeps being harassed by PeTA for the horrible conditions in which she keeps the pony, which she can’t even help, since she’s just a little girl! So the little ponyless girl gets to gloat back at the other girl, this time for being so fortunate as to not have been given a pony! Yay, schadenfreude! And that would teach kids not to be so materialistic, and to “be careful what you wish for”! Yay, didactic ads, teaching valuable life lessons to children!

Oh, here’s that commercial, by the way, just in case you have no idea what I’m talking about:

Ally Bank Kids Ads

This campaign shows some ass-hat jerking kids around in ways that most utility companies do to all of us all the time, and then they say: “Even kids know it’s wrong to blah blah blah…” Yes, I’ve found that kids don’t like being jerked around either. But did they have to go so far out of their way to disparage the intelligence of kids in such a patronizing manner? Saying “even kids know…” is just insulting, isn’t it? Could this denigration of our children’s intellectual capacity simply be for the purposes of advertising a bank? It doesn’t seem possible that a bank looking for customers would cast aspersions upon the mental capacity of America’s tykes and still expect to generate any business, except perhaps with moppet-loathing Scrooge-types. So there must be something more complex going on here that’s just beneath the surface, subliminally propagandizing us for some ulterior motive.

Is it possible that this ad is a veiled critical indictment of our nation’s education system, using the intellectually-challenged nature of our contemporary tots to illustrate the point? Perhaps it’s intended to be just subtle and layered enough so we won’t actually consciously notice its intended message, but that it will seep in subliminally as we chortle over the risible circumstances presented in the advert. Maybe it’s presenting us with a metaphorical subtext where we consider the limited intellectual performance of our children, and wonder why it is that they aren’t as bright as the could be. But who are we to hold accountable for such a failure of our education system: the teacher’s union? The government? The liberal nanny-state policies that have depleted the education budgets with force-fed “healthy” lunches? The warmongering, poor-hating, heartless conservatives with their “let them eat cake” (as opposed to tofu) attitude toward education? I’m not sure we’re supposed to be able to tell.

Maybe what they’re really doing is presenting us with the problem of a foundering education system, and saying to us all: “Well? What are you going to do about it?” Perhaps they’re not married to either side of the aisle or political party, but rather wish for us to push for bi-partisan solutions to a problem that effects us all: the future of our nation; for our children are indeed our future, and the generation with which we will leave stewardship of this great nation of ours! So what difference does it make, really, that they don’t try to steer us toward a particular solution to the education crisis. They’re simply trying to make us admit that there is a problem. And as anyone in the recovery therapy business will tell you, admitting there is a problem is the first step towards its eventual solution. And so perhaps getting us to take that first step on the road to solving our nation’s problems is all they’re really trying to do here with these ads, like an alarm clock trying to get us to wake up and right the ship that is The United States of America. Well, that and maybe getting some banking customers.

(BTW: That’s all just a joke, so I hope you didn’t take it too seriously. Because after all, we can all surely tell that Ally bank wouldn’t try to help our education system, since they obviously hate America and Capitalism! Otherwise it wouldn’t be attacking our way of life in its ads, right? Of course not! So they’re obviously commies, trying to indoctrinate our children against the free market by poisoning their young impressionable minds with leftist propaganda, like that all corporations are faceless, uncaring and evil and such, and that they will jerk you around endlessly for their filthy profits, as seen in these ads! We must stop them from… Just kidding! Hee hee! But I can take the ball and run with it when I want to, can’t I?)

Actually, I like these ads a lot, because they show us in a fun context what happens to us all the time when we try to get something we need from one of the huge conglomerates that rule our lives through their necessary services such as telephones or electricity or internet, or, yes, banking. But who knows if this Ally bank is any better than any other company at giving its clients the runaround, or if these ads are simply a clever way to trap more people into the evil designs of yet another faceless, uncaring, corporate monolith of avarice.

Here’s one of the ads, this one called: “Automated”:

And here’s another one, this one called: “Ice Cream”:

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Grand Central

During coverage of the Hurricane Irene evacuations, some news anchor showed a live video feed of an empty Grand Central Station in New York City and said: “They call it ‘Grand Central’, but look at it now!” Excuse me? That’s uncalled for! Now Grand Central Station will become codependent on crowds to feel adequate! How insensitive can you get?

What an unnecessary insult, and an inaccurate one too! I don’t see what deleterious effect Grand Central Station’s being empty has upon its grandness or its centrality. In fact, it looks even grander when it’s empty, if you ask me, since it looks even bigger and brighter and swankier without anyone in it! And what does its crowdedosity or lack thereof have to do with its location, I feel I must inquire? It’s location is just as central in its positioning relative to the city whether full or devoid of people, I must say! Unless it gets so light when it’s empty that it floats up into the air and gets blown around by the wind, which I doubt very much. So what’s-her-name doesn’t know whereof she speaks, if you ask me! (Take that, what’s-your-name newslady!)

Weather Warriors

If you’ve watched any of the news coverage of Hurricane Irene, you will have noticed that the new law has taken effect which mandates all reporters to update us while standing out in the rain, preferably while being put in mortal danger. But from taking a glance at Geraldo over at Fox News during a commercial from CNN, I noticed that you don’t have to be in a precarious position, so long as you’re being rained on. There must be a law about it or something, or else you’d think somebody would use some common sense and report from inside, where the wind and rain don’t ruin the audio, and where the camera lens doesn’t get all fogged up and covered in rain drops, etc. They could just show video behind them, and we could still see the fury of the storm, but we’d also get to hear the report, and they would demonstrate the importance of behaving properly and seeking shelter during a hurricane. (Seriously: How are we supposed to be able to trust these guys when they don't even have enough sense to come in out of the rain? I mean, really!)

If it was me reporting on the storm, I would set up a green screen indoors with a shower head spraying warm water on my head while a green screen showed the hurricane footage from outside. Or is that cheating? I guess it’s not fair to be able to hear or see what people are saying. And it’s definitely not permissible for reporters to exhibit sanity or sensibility by safeguarding their persons, especially when it would be easy to do so, and even more effective to report the story. (That’s for pansies!)

Yeah, I guess if the reporters aren’t getting rained on and blown around, there might as well not even bother being a storm out.

But Geraldo was just standing out on the sidewalk right outside their headquarters getting rained on with a crew of guys wearing raincoats. How ridiculous is that? What, would his wife not let him go out in the dangerous part of the storm, and so the best he could do was to stand out on the sidewalk and get drizzled on? How silly can you get? (Maybe that was his punishment from his wife for all that sex bragging he did in his stupid, egomaniacal book. Probably not, but I can dream, can’t I?) I was hoping Geraldo would have the cojones to tell them he wasn’t going to stand outside like an idiot just because every other idiot in the news biz does it. It’s really stupid, and it just makes it hard to hear them, and they set a really bad example for other people by making it look safe enough for anyone to be able to do. What jerks!

But if everyone else is doing it anyway, I think they ought to drag the anchor’s desk out into the rising water and let them anchor the news from there until the water rises above their heads. In fact, maybe they could sit in the desk wearing scuba gear and get filmed with underwater cameras. I mean, if they’re going to try to show the power of a hurricane’s storm surge, the least they could do is make the anchor broadcast from the shoreline and let us see them get submerged and churned around in the raging torrents of water. And if the reporters are going to be out in the storm, it makes the anchors look like a bunch of wimps and losers to be safely ensconced in a dry, warm studio. Push them out in the storm with the rest of them, that’s what I say! How about tying one of them to a pier piling with an oxygen tank and a diving helmet and some camera chained to them, and let them report from the disaster zone! Hey, maybe they’ll get blown into a building and find themselves back in a studio-like setting anyway! It’s the least they owe us for gritty realism in news reporting! That is, unless they’re too pampered and cowardly to take on a real news story.

Oh, CNN just asked some guy about what he would do if he got the National Guard troops to help with the storm. I would have them shoot at the hurricane. Maybe they could scare it away. If that didn’t work, maybe they could shoot some missiles at it. That ought to do the trick! At the very least, maybe they could put those silly waterlogged reporters out of their misery. I hope they have cold medicine provided for them with their healthcare plan! (Ah-Choo!)

Hurricane Coverage Liability

By which I mean, the liability of listening to hurricane coverage on the news! And the liability they should be found responsible for with their extremely irresponsible hurricane coverage! The nit-picky way they report on the hurricanes’ strength and landfall timetables, as well as how bad of an example news reporters are with their behavior during storms these days can put people in serious danger, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it has cost some people their lives! I’m being quite serious here.

What I mean is this: In reporting on huge, powerful, deadly hurricanes, cable news and National Hurricane Center reporters and meteorologists have taken to acting like the storm hasn’t really hit yet until the eye-wall has made “landfall” (!). So for a storm like Irene, or Katrina, this means there are deadly hurricane-force winds and torrential rains for hours and hours before they act like the storm has “made landfall”. Now, I know that means the eye-wall has finally touched the coastline, but to the casual observer, it sounds like they still have hours and hours before the storm really hits, when in fact it is raging outside! That means some people might think they have time to drive to a safer location, but they could get swept out to sea or otherwise drown in their car! I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who has noticed this, but many others are probably extremely and dangerously misled by this irresponsible reporting!

And how about this for irresponsible: They have reporters standing outside in the hurricane all day and all night long, making it look perfectly safe for anyone to be outside during the storm (!). Then they say that people shouldn’t go outside because it’s dangerous! What a mixed message they’re sending there with that behavior! Kids might see that and say: “Aww, it’s fine: They’re doing it and they’re safe! We’ll be fine too!” And then they go outside and get killed by a falling tree or get their faces sandblasted off trying to go surfing or whatever. Now, while I don’t wish harm to these reporters, it seems to me it would be better for the public interest for one of these dumbass reporters to get their head taken off by flying debris one of these days to finally demonstrate how dangerous it really is out there during a hurricane! I mean, really! If they all turn out okay forever while engaged in this ridiculously risky and dangerous behavior, what kind of message does that send? People bitch about how the Jackass movies encourage kids to kill themselves doing those stupid stunts for YouTube and such, but these reporters who stand outside in the hurricanes are setting just as bad of an example, if not worse! Because look: everybody knows the Jackass guys are irresponsible jerks (fun, awesome ones, but still…), but the news reporters are purported to be respectable, ostensibly responsible people, and are setting examples for young people. So when kids go outside and drown or are smushed by trees doing a YouTube extreme weather report, they will be responsible for these kids’ deaths! And who knows how many people die going outside because of how reasonably safe it looks for the news guys! We’ll probably never know, since they can’t tell us now, because they’re dead!

Another thing that drives me crazy is how these reporters are so hair-splittingly insulting about their reporting of the hurricane scale number. Katrina was a huge Category 5 hurricane, but the way they reported on it, they were only measuring the inside of the eye-wall as it hit the coastline (!!!). So by the time that tiny part of the storm finally reached the coast, after hours and hours of Category 5 storm raging across the Gulf Coast, the wind had slowed down a bit in that one little part, so they said the whole storm was just a Category 3 when it made landfall. What a load of bullshit! What about the storm that had been raging across the coastline for hours up to then? That doesn’t qualify as having made landfall yet? Really? And what a way to demean the victims of the storm! That’s like saying that a guy who got shot and died was really just struck by a piece of flying debris, because by the time the bullet had passed through the air, and his clothes, it really wasn’t traveling all that fast by then, so it doesn’t really qualify as a bullet anymore. Honestly: What jerks! Katrina was a Category 5 hurricane, and the whole thing is a Category 5 hurricane no matter what it reads when the little middle part finally reaches the city! (Or that is how it should be.) To say otherwise is insulting to those who weathered the storm! (I know they like to constantly measure only the speed of the eye-wall at any given time, but this completely disregards, you know, the whole rest of the storm.) Perhaps we should say that they’re not really reporters, but rather, overpaid jerks who read teleprompters, and that meteorologists are just self-important douche-bags who stand in front of fake maps and make lame jokes. I mean, that’s true anyway!

Anyway, here’s hoping everyone stays safe during this storm, regardless of what dangerous misinformation the news is reporting about it!

Kill Devil Hills

In the run-up to Hurricane Irene, all the news networks have been broadcasting from a location called: “Kill Devil Hills, NC”. This place seems to have a sinister-sounding name, until you find out about the surrounding towns and localities, like the nearby “Murder Satan Forest”, and neighboring “Torture Demon Brook”, in beautiful, scenic “Devil Worship Sacrifice Valley”. All of these places appear to have grown out of the more generalized area of “Satanic Cult Ritual Murderville”, a sleepy old town in coastal North Carolina, known for it’s lovely beaches, friendly residents, delicious seafood, vacation hotspots, and Satanic murders. They were trying to decide between calling it “Sea Breeze Dunes” and something about Satan, but then they decided on the Satan thing, because of some ancient curse threat or something. Then, the name became such a hot conversation starter and tourist attraction, that they decided to name all their nearby towns and such after devil-worship killings. And who can blame them, really? But shouldn’t they have a black metal festival in Kill Devil Hills? I mean, it seems to have been named specifically to attract such a thing, right? Oh, and a horror movie franchise too! That would be awesome.

Oh, and guess what else? Kill Devil Hills is where the Wright Brothers first successfully flew the very first airplane! It’s called Kill Devil Hills because after so many failures to create a viable airplane, the Wright Brothers made a blood sacrifice to the devil in exchange for the ability to fly. They named their plane the Kitty Hawk so people wouldn’t know about how they sold their souls to Satan and murdered someone to make their plane a success. But we all know about it now! They could only hide it for so long, when they named the place after their accursed deed! Oh, and after how much the airplane is used as a weapon of war, with so much blood on its wings, isn’t it obvious what happened? It’s a curse!

Here’s the Wikipedia page for Kill Devil Hills, but they get the history of the name wrong, I think:

Friday, August 26, 2011

Dick Cheney’s Mind Blowing Book

Dick Cheney recently said that when his book comes out, heads will explode all over Washington. Oh my God! He’s planted explosives in people’s heads all over Washington, and he’s timing them to go off when his book comes out! This must be in revenge for all the people who criticized him for the terrorism policies: He’s planning to show them all how bad it would have been without his policies! Oh, the humanity! Carnage everywhere!

I’ll bet these poor people don’t even know they have explosives planted in their heads either! Well, I think we’re going to have to take this threat of violence seriously from a maniac like Dick Cheney. Maybe he was right all along about enhanced interrogation! Just to be sure, we should waterboard Mr. Cheney to get him to tell us whose heads are rigged with explosives. Think of all the lives we can save!

Everybody has been worried about some big attack to coincide with the anniversary of 9/11: maybe this is it, Dick Cheney’s “heads exploding all over Washington” attack! If you’ve recently had any kind of neurosurgery, check with the bomb squad to be sure you’re not a ticking time bomb! That doctor may have been Dick Cheney in disguise, and he may have put a bomb in your head!

Don’t believe me? Here’s the shocking story with the “mind-blowing” threats!:


Hurricane Irene looks to be barreling towards New York City, and I think I know why. Mayor Bloomberg has begun a personal crusade against salt, mandating all kinds of stupid new nanny-state laws and regulations about it, and I think this has made Mother Nature angry. She created salt, and she’s tired of being blamed for all of mankind’s ills for blessing us all with delicious, wonderful salt. So okay, if Mayor Bloomberg is going to try to keep salt out of New York City one way, then Mother Nature is going to inundate the city in salt another way: through the flood of salty sea water in a Hurricane’s storm surge. I could be wrong about this, but it’s just too great of a coincidence to ignore, if you ask me. Yep, it’s clear to me that Hurricane Irene is Mayor Bloomberg’s fault for his stupid salt policies.

Also, Bloomberg is shutting the city’s subway service at noon on Saturday just because it’s going to be all flooded. Look, people still have to get around the city, and just because the subways are all flooded, that’s no excuse to wave the white flag of surrender! A bit of creativity would be nice, Mayor Buzzkill! How about replacing the normal subway cars with the cars from a water park log ride? Then people could have extra fun subway rides during the flooding! You’ve just got to use your noodle sometimes.

I’ve been watching CNN and Fox News for Irene updates, and while flipping over to Fox News from CNN, I would swear that I just saw Neil Cavuto accuse Janet Napolitano of “fear mongering” by telling people to prepare for the hurricane. I guess nothing is too universal to avoid partisan attacks about it, huh? Ridiculous! I think we can generally safely assume that nobody is going to use the run-up to a hurricane as a political opportunity for pandering. I mean, that's what the aftermath is for!

Pep Boys Warranty Runs Out Ad

More fun is had with overly literal realizations of mundane expressions in this new spot for Pep Boys. A woman in her car has a guy dressed up as a warranty run out on her, literally. He’s dressed as a paper document, with the world: “Warranty” written on him, and after saying: “That’s 36,000 miles: I’m outta here!” he gets up and very zanily bounces around and bounds away from the woman and her car. So she says something to the effect that now that her warranty has “run out on her”, she’s glad she can depend on the Pep Boys to take care of her car for her, and then the camera cuts to a POV shot of the Pep Boys bobbleheads on her dashboard nodding their bobbling heads in unison.

Anyone who reads this blog will know instantly that I love this type of silly, overly-literalized comedy, and this ad works well for me because of it. They could have gone the informational route of explaining the situation succinctly, but that would have risked boring us and making us tune it out, if not simply mute it. But this commercial is fun and silly enough that it makes you consider watching it, and it’s short enough that it’s easy to just sit through it without wanting to snuff out the sound or flick the channel. That’s a big help when trying to sell anything, but in this case I think they’re really doing a great job of quickly and pithily communicating a potentially dull message, and making it fun. What a nice job they’ve done here! Kudos to youdos!

I’m sorry, but I can’t find this ad online. It’s getting harder and harder to find the ads I’m looking for online nowadays. I like to attach a link to the ads so people can see what I’m talking about if they haven’t seen them before, and this is especially important for foreign readers of this blog, of which there are surprisingly many. It seems to me that if advertisers can get people to watch their ads away from the usual television run, well, great! And if the product company can actually get people to want to see the ads for their products without having to pay extra money to run them, then isn’t that just more (and free!) advertising for their products? I’d think they would jump at the chance to put them up for everybody to see them easily! Well, hopefully they’ll start putting them all up on YouTube soon. But it seems to me it used to be a lot easier to find the new ones online a few months ago. Oh well.

Snickers Pool Full of Caramel Ad

This ad shows guys diving backwards into an Olympic swimming pool full of caramel. Then the announcer says it’s not so good to swim in, but it’s good to eat, or something like that. But I think it’s just cheating that they dove in backwards; they should have had to dive all the way in and see if they could fight their way back to the surface! Now that would be an ad! And how about a high dive ad? For those who drown in the caramel, they can just roll them in peanuts, dunk them in chocolate, and have giant Olympic versions of the Snickers bars! Maybe they could co-brand them with a zombie movie or something.

But seriously, all I have to say about this ad is, don’t show it to Michael Phelps when he’s high on weed, or he might jump in and try to eat it all himself!

Here’s the silly swimming spot:

Libyan Chemical Weapons

I heard today fresh concerns about Libya’s chemical weapons. Some guy on some cable news channel was saying he was worried about this stockpile of mustard gas. I didn’t know that they still had that stuff anywhere, but I think I know how to deal with it. First, we should make a bunch of hot dog gas, then we could get our old stockpiles of ketchup gas, and then we could just ask to store them in Libya. We know they won’t be able to resist putting the mustard gas on the hot dog gas, and then putting the ketchup gas on it too. And then it will be really yummy together anyway, since we all know that the different condiment gasses neutralize each other and just end up smelling really yummy. But since they’re an Islamic country, we’d have to be sure that we only used 100% pure beef hot dog gas, or else we might end up insulting them (remember: no pork!), and we don’t want to do that. So, as long as we don’t screw that part up, it should probably end up working out fine, and all these poison gasses will simply combine into a harmless and yummy form of aroma therapy. Then we can use the resulting harmless hot dog scented perfume to attack vegans and humanely drive them out of California! (They’ve been attacking us for years with their bullying tactics and disgusting “food”!)

New York, New York: A Wonderful Town…

I’m from New York City, and whenever people ask what makes me think of New York, I always have the same answer. It’s not The Metropolitan Opera. It’s not Broadway. It’s not the art world. It’s not the music scene. It’s not the fashion world. It’s not the Statue of Liberty. It’s not Fifth Avenue or Central Park, or Times Square either. They’re all definitely big things people think of when they think of New York, but for people who are from New York City, and are around my age, they think of this:

I mean, not this specific guy, but something like this. Seriously: think about it. If someone said: “After the East Coast earthquake, some guy stripped off all his clothes, screamed it was the end of the world, and stabbed everybody. What city?” You know you’d reflexively say, without even thinking about it: “New York.” For real! This is the kind of thing that makes New York City New York City! Look: if somebody in Chicago, or Philadelphia, did that same exact thing, they’d get sued by New York for copyright infringement! It’s that much of a New York thing! And this is the kind of thing that when people hear about it, they say: “Only in New York!” Am I right?

There are stories aplenty like this about New York City! When I was around high school age, I heard a news story about some guy who held up a bank or a jewelry store, and on the way out of the store to the getaway car, he got held up on the sidewalk for the loot by some guy with a gun, and then the cops showed up to arrest him, but someone else had already made off with the stuff! That’s a real New York story!

There are plenty of things about New York that make it great! But there’s one thing that’s even more memorable, and it’s stuff like this.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dr. Phil’s Felony Child Abuse Hot Sauce

Have you heard about the lady who tortured her adopted son with hot sauce to get on Dr. Phil? I guess she’s still fighting the Cold War ironically with hot sauce, since the kid is a Russian orphan. (This is not making us look good to Russians! This isn’t the first story about the abuse of Russian orphans, either.) But hey, she wanted to get on the Dr. Phil show, and she knew she’d have to be pretty screwed up to get picked for his slimy show, so can you blame her? It’s really Dr. Phil’s fault for encouraging and rewarding such bad behavior by putting the perpetrators of such shenanigans on television! Maybe he ought to put decent people on TV, and then just mention in passing insulting pejorative commentary the jerks who do crap like this! But whatever, he can do what he likes with his lame show, I guess; after all, it’s a show made for jerks by a jerk!

But you know, maybe this was just a hip new guerilla marketing approach at promoting a new hot sauce: Dr. Phil’s Felony Child Abuse Torture Hot Sauce! You know how all these independent hot sauce companies are always naming their products outrageous things like “Ass Reaper Hot Sauce”, etc., with skull-shaped bottle caps, and Grim Reaper-style capes over the bottles, etc. Perhaps Dr. Phil caught on to this trend, and decided to see if he could out-do these edgy entrepreneurs. Hey, you never know! Stranger things have happened! But if you see a new Dr. Phil brand hot sauce on store shelves soon, you’ll know what happened! (Maybe he could say it burned all the hair off of his bald pate!)

I can see the ads now: “The hot sauce that’s so hot, a woman went to prison for child abuse for serving it to her son! Now that’s a hot saucy sauce!”

Here’s the scalding story:

Seroquel XR Cloud Commercial

Okay, this ad is almost the same idea as the cartoon commercial for a different anti-depressant where some lady has some hole following her around, only this time it’s a cloud that personally rains on the depressed person’s parade. But this one is live-action, with a CGI dark-ish cloud that looks really good, and is just the right size to follow whoever it’s after around wherever they go. This works really well, if you want my opinion (which you must, if you’re bothering to read this), and even better than the Abilify cartoon ad with the “hole” thingy stalking the woman around, since this time we don’t have a scene of a doctor standing next to a movie screen with a film of himself wearing the exact-same clothes yammering on about the drug’s side-effects, and the even more ridiculous image of the woman’s “depression-hole” thingy sitting next to her, taking notes about the drug that’s going to try to kill it (presumably so it can find a way to fight back!). Awesome! (But not the best selling-point for the drug.)

In any case, this idea of having your own personal dark cloud to rain on your parade all the time to represent depression is wonderful! It’s so apropos, and it’s truly amazing nobody has done it before now, now that I think about it. And this commercial resonates amazingly well with me personally, for an extremely quirky reason! When I was in 6th-grade, I went to some all-boys military school on the Gulf Coast, where it is notorious for raining on one side of the street and not the other, and for torrential rainstorms to pop up out of nowhere at the drop of a hat! Well, one day, while waiting to be picked up from school after a particularly rough day, I found it was raining on me, but not on anyone around me (!). In fact, it was sunny (or partly cloudy) everywhere else, so it was really bizarre! So I looked up, and no exaggeration and no joke, there was a little teensy dark cloud hanging over my head (and my head alone) and raining on me only! Ridiculous!

So when I see this commercial, it just brings that whole thing back! But what a wonderfully simple visual metaphor for depression! I guess it was that, or say everything feels like crap when you’re depressed, and have everything they touch or step on turn brown and squishy and make everyone around them make “stinky-smell” expressions when they see and smell it. That would work too, but I’ll bet nobody will ever do that one!

And something else has just occurred to me: Misery loves company, right? Well, if they could figure out how to make it so depressed people could learn to control their little dark clouds so they could make them fly over and rain on other people, or strike somebody else’s head with lightning and such, it might cheer them up even more than the drug. In fact, they could hide behind corners and make the little cloud sneak over and strike somebody they don’t like and give them a really bad hair day! Or else they could make the little cloud hang really low and just over someone’s bag, and fill it full of rain so it ruins whatever they just bought, etc. Think of all the mean-spirited fun they could have abusing their clouds for annoying purposes! I’ll bet that would improve their mood significantly, especially if nobody could prove they did it! Maybe the Seroquel scientists ought to consider working on that, and then we could develop a really big version of it for the military so we could rule the world! Mwa ha ha ha ha! (<Evil laugh.)

This ad isn’t on the internet yet that I could find, but there’s a picture on the Seroquel XR website that shows the woman and the cloud (but it’s one of three images, and it changes on you, so use the little arrows on the top right-hand corner of the image to scroll through until you can see it). So here’s a link to that website, if you want to see the cloud:

After having seen this ad again on TV, I notice a problem in it: In the last vignette, there are three women hanging out together in an urban high-rise apartment living room. The woman on the right, on the couch, has the little cloud next to her head, outside the window. That’s fine, but her body language and facial expressions make her positively look like she’s about to leap through the window to her death by suicide! If this product is supposed to help with depression, perhaps they should direct that woman not to act and appear so suicidally miserable, as it tends to undercut their message. But it’s just a suggestion.

Yes! I found it! Here’s the ad, or at least a long version of it (That suicidal-looking woman is at around :30 sec.):

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Fellowship of Whales

On Sunday night, while waiting for Masterpiece Mystery, I saw some nature documentary on PBS called The Fellowship of Whales, about humpback whales. It was narrated by F. Murray Abraham: the guy who killed Mozart (!). We all know he did it because he admitted as much at the end of Amadeus. And I guess the only punishment for him is that he has to narrate whale documentaries. Some justice system!

But does PBS care that he murdered our greatest musical genius? No! They hired him anyway! And I thought PBS cared about the arts! Well, this just goes to show you: if you ever kill some famous cultural figure, go work for PBS. I guess if you just name-drop who you’ve murdered, it will impress them, and they’ll give you a job. It may just be narrating nature stuff, or nagging people for contributions with the lure of a luxurious tote-bag, but you’ll always get away with it if you work for PBS. (Those maniacs!)

And at the end of that whale documentary, a bunch of killer whales kill and eat the baby humpback whale we’ve been following all the way through the show (!). And Salieri doesn’t even do anything to help that poor baby whale; he just sits there and watches and coldly narrates it! Maybe it makes him feel less like a murderer himself, watching others kill, but I’ll bet he’s the guy who called the killer whales and ratted out that baby humpback whale to them in the first place! It was a hit job! I knew it! That’s why he didn’t jump in the water to save the whale! He was probably jealous of it getting all the attention like he was jealous about Mozart in Amadeus! What a jerk!

And PBS subsidized him to kill a baby whale for their ratings! So they’ve got whale blood on their hands too! No wonder Republicans are always mad at PBS! After all the failed Republican attempts to save the whales and the environment, foiled again and again by bloodthirsty PBS, it’s no wonder they want to de-fund them! Am I right?

The “Anti-Cosmetic Surgery League”

I know: To a plastic surgeon, it probably sounds like a league of super-villains! But to me, it sounds like music to my ears! I’m tired of fake-looking mannequin-women! When the ageless witch from Dario Argento’s Mother of Tears had fake boobs, it just lost a certain amount of credibility for me. I mean, I was on board for the ageless witch stuff, and all the rest, but if she’s such a powerful witch, couldn’t she make her own boobs be naturally the shape she wanted them to be? Seriously: If she’s such a powerful witch, what does she need silicone implants for anyway? Just to make all of the other actresses and models feel more comfortable with it so they’ll all do it too? Then she’d really be evil! But maybe that was the point after all, and it was just too layered for me to get it…

Look, I’ve never been much of a Kate Winslet fan, but I am now! She did that stupid Titanic movie that launched Mr. Lame Ass on his big-time career of always being in our faces forever. And then she did that thing where she proved that if you’re willing to be ugly and naked enough in a movie, you’ll win the Oscar. Enough of that already! How about a performance in a good story? But if she’s spearheading this movement against plastic surgery, I’m with her! And she’s my new favorite actress, so long as I don’t have to watch any of her movies!

But seriously girls, remember Heidi Montag? Even she regrets her plastic surgery! And if someone that superficial and vapid can regret something like that, so will you! Just exercise and eat right, and you’ll be fine! And try developing a personality: that helps too! But surgery is dangerous, expensive, and just a quick-fix for a non-existent problem! Don’t do it! Go to school instead, or write that novel and self-publish it with the money! A brain is way sexier than fake tits any day! And nature is hard to beat! Be yourself: You’ll thank yourself for it later!

Here’s the news story I’m writing about:

And guess what just happened? Kate Winslet just barely made it out alive from Richard Branson’s burning mansion while she was on vacation! Could this have been a “message” from the federation of plastic surgeons? If she got burned, she might have had to go to them to have it fixed, and then they could have said that she was wrong all along and this proved it! Hey, you never know! Here’s that story:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Lipitor “Don’t Kid Yourself” Ad

In this spot, some guy says: “Don’t kid yourself about cholesterol”, because it could lead to heart attacks and strokes, etc. And then he says again at the end: “Don’t kid yourself!”

So, with a campaign like this, shouldn’t they have some annoying comedian in the ad saying stuff like: “Hey, you should watch out, or I’ll give you a heart attack or stroke! Just kidding! Ha ha!” And the comedian could wear a shirt that says: “Cholesterol” on it. Wouldn’t that work better with this whole “Don’t kid yourself” thing? Plus, it would be a jobs program for out-of-work annoying comedians. Like, for example, I heard that guy who did the voice for the Aflac duck needs a job.

Or, actually, they could have the guy be a clown at a circus, and so there are clowns all around him the whole time throwing pies in each other’s faces and stuff. That way, the whole idea of kidding around all the time might make more sense.

This isn’t the specific commercial I’m referring to here (I can’t find that one), but this one has the same “Don’t kid yourself” thing in it:

BTW: Since he’s all doing outdoor activities and such here, shouldn’t he be saying: “Don’t take risks”, rather than “Don’t kid yourself”? But even then, perhaps a daredevil theme, or a gambling theme would work even better. Maybe?

NetFlix Kid Taunting Cowboys Ad

I just saw this ad for NetFlix where a little kid, a boy who looks to be about 8 to 10 years-old, walks into a saloon full of gambling tough guys in the old West, pushes their hats off, and then walks comfortably back to the couch with his parents. Um, they do know this is the movie rental site, right? I think he might be able to do that if we were talking about video games, since you can actually interact with stuff in a game environment, but not movies; I think about the best he could hope to do with a movie would be to press his face up against one of the saloon windows, make a silly face, and fog up the window. I mean, it would be the TV screen, but maybe they’d see it as a window, if they were in the saloon.

But that brat’s lucky! In the old West, I’ve seen little boys killed for less than that! Well, in movies, anyway. Check out the beginning of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly; a kid gets it from “Angel Eyes”, and I’ll bet he would have been tortured as well had the kid messed with his hat. And it’s not just the kid, either! Those tough hombres might just beat up and kill his parents for not “learnin’ ‘im sum manners!”

I can’t find this ad, but there are people complaining and arguing about it online, so I guess that’s why. Here’s a link to one of those silly arguments:

Almond Joy “Unwrap Paradise” Ad

Some woman in a cubicle office opens an Almond Joy, and a bunch of palm trees spring up in that part of the building. Then they cut back to show her lounging in a hammock, eating the candy bar. This idea of having a break that “takes you away” at work has been done several times, but rarely as well as this, at least in my opinion. The fact that cocoanuts are what’s in Almond Joy and Mounds makes it plenty appropriate to use the tropical setting, and whenever anyone thinks of an escape from work, who doesn’t think tropical paradises first? I always have since childhood, and that’s probably why this ad works so well for me. It’s a state of mind, produced by the candy bar, so it’s appropriate to have the digital effects. (So often the CGI effects feel like they’re there just for flash, but are completely unrelated to the product. It’s nice to see that they don’t stand out as inappropriate for a change.)

I will never forget the “Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t!” ads, though. They are so memorable, and that’s one of the most important things about an ad campaign. Years after this campaign, and even if I had never seen it since childhood, I always would have remembered it. In fact, it almost never happens that I see or eat an Almond Joy or Mounds where someone doesn’t see it and say: “Hey! Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t!” And when you get that kind of enthusiastic response about an ad campaign, rather than intense loathing and annoyance, you’re really onto something! Maybe it’s just the nostalgia for our youth, remembered through advertising. But there are only certain campaigns we’re nostalgic about. The annoying ones we sometimes love to hate, but usually we just hate them or forget them. But that old Almond Joy/Mounds campaign: pretty memorable! They even did them where they would say: “Sometimes you feel like a (picture of an Almond Joy), sometimes you (picture of a Mounds).” When you can do that, and everybody knows exactly what you mean, and they replace the missing words, you’ve drilled it into everybody’s psyches forever!

But I really like this new ad too. It shows you why you might want one for a break at work. And really, for an adult, what other time do you even want one? I rarely ever think about candy anymore. It’s really only at Halloween that I ever think of candy these days. That’s why I think an adult in a Halloween costume eating a candy bar might be the most evocative for adults. You could have an adult walk into their office or a convenience store in a scary costume, scaring everyone out of the building. Then, they pick up a candy bar, pull off their mask, and eat it. Then the ad says: “It doesn’t have to be Halloween to enjoy (whatever candy bar) like you did as a child! Pick one up anytime, and bring back your childhood!” In fact, the whole idea of bringing back your childhood would be perfect for selling candy bars to adults! What adult doesn’t pine for their youth? And what brings back childhood feelings more than eating a candy bar? Seriously: I think that’s the best possible way to sell them to adults!

(BTW: There is a crab walking across the washing machines behind the girl as she eats the candy bar. Are they using this to imply this girl has crabs? Because that's rude! Or maybe they're using this as a way to make people think you could catch crabs at a public laundromat? How slanderous! Actually, I'm kidding, but I think they could have selected a better beach animal than a crab, as it suggests this sort of interpretation, and that simply distracts from the message about the candy bar, and it cheapens it, too. I know my mind is in the gutter, but so are a lot of other ones. This commercial is aimed at young adults, and as such, it will invite this reading of the crab, so it was not an auspicious choice, however well-intentioned it might have been. How about a sea gull or a sandpiper instead?)

Here’s an example of an ad from this “unwrap paradise” campaign:

Cell Phone Toy Helicopter Ad

In this ad, they go the route of trying to advertise directly to one person, so I don’t think it’s going to help sell a lot. Maybe the phone will sell itself, but this ad won’t help: I guarantee it!

So what does this ad do? It says: “This phone is for you. You have a dog named ‘Wi-Fi’, you blah blah, etc.” And it shows some nerd riding a bicycle through some college campus with a little mutt dog in a back pack, and then he uses some toy helicopter gizmo to make a YouTube video to invite people to a roof party. But they neglect to mention the fact that this is Science Fiction. Nobody goes to the nerd party in real life. And if having this phone makes you like that guy, then they can probably count most people out. Nothing personal: I just remember what college is really like. And getting nerds’ hopes up for social success and popularity based upon a specific type of cell-phone is both unrealistic and mean at the same time. But whatever you have to do for that filthy lucre, eh, ad agency?

I wrote a piece recently about a Camaro ad, where I said they should have put a hot girl in the guy’s bed. But the thing is, that’s not fiction; that’s real: The guys in high school with the hot cars always got the hot girls, even if they themselves were lame. I don’t think the same applies to the lame guys with the hot cell phones. I mean, unless it’s an iPhone, that is; maybe that works. But this isn’t an ad for an iPhone, is it? No, it isn’t. (In fact, I don’t even remember what kind of cell-phone it is. I just know it’s not an iPhone, so it’s not cool enough to attract girls.) So suggesting it will give you girls and friends is dishonest, in my opinion.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Boost Old Man Ad

I guess it’s about what I expected: an old guy talking about how his daughter, the nutritionist, recommended he drink Boost. But doesn’t Ensure already do the same type of ad campaign? You’d think they’d want a new take on Boost. I’m not familiar with what Boost’s ad history is, so please forgive me if they’ve done this before, but it seems to me a good campaign for Boost might have Popeye talking about how he used to eat spinach for his nutritional needs, but that it made him too violent. So now that he’s older and wiser, he’s found Boost! And then he could talk about how Boost has all the nutrition of spinach, plus all kinds of things spinach doesn’t have, that an older guy like Popeye might need to stay strong.

I’m sure Popeye has been used in advertising before, but has he been used like this, to push a nutritional product that’s better for you than spinach, and is also related to the fact that he’s an old character now? Maybe, but I haven’t seen it. In any case, I think it would work really well for Boost, or for that matter, for Ensure. (They’re very similar products from what I understand, but Ensure has like 90% of the product awareness, so I think Boost has some catching up to do.) And most of the people who would use boost would remember growing up watching Popeye, right? Kids today know who he is, but it’s really older people, like the ones who might want to try drinking Boost for nutrition, who are fans of Popeye. At least, that’s how it seems to me. My father is a big Popeye fan, and he’s about the age demographic they’re shooting for with the current Boost advertising.

So here’s how this Boost Popeye ad would work:

Popeye, looking a little older, would speak to the camera, saying: “Hi. I’m Popeye. When I was younger, I used to get most of my nutrition and energy from spinach. I needed it then for all the battles I used to have to fight. But now that I’m getting older, there’s a new battle I have to fight to maintain strong bones and healthy muscle mass. That’s why it’s great that there’s Boost! It has all the nutrition that spinach has, plus it has lots more that spinach doesn’t have. And the best thing about it is how easy and tasty it is: even better than spinach! Boost your strength and nutrition the easy way: with Boost!”

Just for Men Talking Dog Ad

Yes, I guess it was only a matter of time before the neighborhood watch caught those pervert stalker van guys and got them put on some sex-offender registry. So now that they’re not allowed to go harass people about their gray hairs anymore, they’ve genetically engineered a dog who can talk and propagandize the benefits of staining your hair in an attempt to trick women into thinking you’re younger than you actually are. And when you think about it in a more crass way, this is a dog who helps his owner get pussy. He even high-fives his owner about it afterwards. They couldn’t have been more specific about this idea if they had had the dog cuddle up to a cat after the owner guy snuggles up to his date on the couch. They don’t do it, but for the thicker guys out there, maybe they should have.

But a dog trying to hook up his owner for dates and sex by getting him to dye his hair: is this really in the dog’s best interest? Think about it: the dog will get walked less, he’ll have to sleep outside (most likely), he might get fed less; what’s in it for this dog? Does he get tired of having his owner going to work all day while he has to hold in his pee? Because getting this guy hitched isn’t necessarily going to help with that. Maybe the woman works just as long, and she’ll insist upon going out to eat and to the theater afterwards every night! Then he’d really burst his bladder! But, oh: this is just the excuse the woman’s been waiting for to get rid of that mangy old dog anyway! Plus, she remembers about how the dog was always trying to get his owner laid before! So she’s not going to trust that dog again! Yes, just as she hoped, the dog went to the bathroom inside the house, and now it’s the pound for him! And she’ll get a cat. Nyah, nyah, dog.

Yes, once the guy gets married, there’s no more need for the dog, you see. The guy only got the dog to begin with to help him meet girls, and his purpose has been fulfilled. And the new wife knows what the dog was for; that’s why she schemed to get rid of him! Oh, if only that dog hadn’t gotten his owner to use Just for Men hair dye! Then he’d still be alive, rather than put to sleep! But hey: at least all dogs go to heaven!

(I can’t find this ad online yet, but you’re sure to see it on TV!)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Rebels or Wild Ones?

In the political analysis of the Iowa Straw Poll results last weekend, some guy said Michele Bachmann’s victory reminded him of that scene from Rebel Without A Cause where somebody asked James Dean: “What are you rebelling against?” and he said: “Whatddya got?”

It might have reminded me of that too, if that was in the movie; but it’s actually from The Wild One, not Rebel Without A Cause, and the guy who said it was Marlon Brando, not James Dean. I guess all them rebel types are all the same to these guys, huh? I wish I could remember the name of the guy who said that, but he was some old white bald guy in a suit, so he wouldn’t be up on the rebel stuff that much anyway, I’d reckon, so it’s really no big surprise. But if you’re going to make movie references, you might want to know what the hell you’re talking about.

And these are the people we’ve got on the news telling us what’s what. Is it any wonder, then, that we’re so screwed? They can’t even get the easy stuff right. So how can we trust them with the real stuff? Honestly!

But this really begs the question: Are Michele Bachmann supporters “Rebels Without A Cause”, or are they “Wild Ones?” Isn’t this the more important distinction the analysts were supposed to be telling us? Because it seems to me that neither description is actually that apt for her supporters. They may be “Rebels”, but they have a cause: that of low taxes, small government, social conservatism, incorrect facts, debt default, etc. And if they’re supporting a social conservative candidate, they’re definitely not “Wild Ones”. But you know, going back to Bachmann’s tendency for factual inaccuracies and stuff, perhaps the “Without A Cause” isn’t so off base; because while they may have a cause and stuff, with Bachmann leading the charge, can they be sure what the cause actually will end up being, or if it will be, in fact, accurately led? I think not.

So maybe that’s why that analyst guy got confused, and thought his reference was from Rebel Without A Cause, when it was actually from The Wild One. After all, can you see Michele Bachmann in a black leather motorcycle jacket with a skull and cross pistons pained on the back? That’s Sarah Palin’s job! In fact, maybe Palin keeps showing up at all the Republican events in her big bus to be sure Michele Bachmann’s not stealing her thunder. And by “thunder”, I mean identification with motorcycle stuff. (Because Sarah Palin always rides into those motorcycle-themed political events, right?)

And you know something else about Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann? Remember how they both went after “Obamacare” with the “death panels” accusations? When is somebody going to start up an indie band called: “Death Panel for Cutie” in honor of these ladies and their claims? (like the band: “Death Cab for Cutie”.)

Here’s the IMDB page for that quote from The Wild One:

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Questionable Gender Equality Issue

Today on CNN, this issue was raised about Rick Perry’s views on global warming, and Wolf Blitzer said that Perry rejected the idea that climate change was manmade. But he tripped over that expression, and then made the point that it was made by man, and woman (!).

Um, I hate to be the one to bring this up, but I really doubt that excluding women from blame for global warming is going to be the new rallying cry for the women’s movement. But I guess that’s the political correctness training they must get at CNN bearing fruit. I hope the ladies out there all caught that serious stab at gender equality by Mr. Blitzer, and that they all appreciated it. I’ll bet he was afraid that if he didn’t qualify both genders as equally to blame, that all the women would switch over to Fox News from then on. I mean, so long as they don’t support abortion rights, reproductive rights, gay marriage rights, etc., etc., etc…

I had just seen an HBO documentary about Gloria Steinem the day before, and when I heard Blitzer catching himself with the potential discriminatory remark, I thought how this must be the single lowest item on Steinem’s list of things to make sure both genders are credited equally with. In fact, it seems to me that more men drive those muscle cars, and explode bombs, and blast off missiles and rockets and stuff, but whatever. Hey: women have fought for their equal rights, so I guess Mr. Blitzer was just trying to be fair. Right?

But it made me wonder: Is it too late for women to deny credit for some stuff, though? I think now’s the time, if they want to avoid the blame, don’t you think? If they don’t get on it soon, Mr. Blitzer may have blamed them for everything by then!

Blood Diamonds

I know blood diamonds are awful and everything, and that everyone would like to think that nobody would ever want one, so they would become anathema, but I couldn’t help but think of some circumstances where they might be desirable. Like, say you’re a hit-man who’s marrying another assassin; wouldn’t a blood diamond be more appropriate for your nuptials? And what about if you’re a big drug-lord in Mexico, and your lady loves you for killing so many people as ruthlessly as you do: Do you really think she’d want a clean diamond that’s not stained with the blood of the innocent? Surely she’d want a blood diamond, right?

When you think about it, there’s got to be some underground market specifically for blood diamonds, right? So like there’s some Mafia guy who wants to impress his bloodthirsty girlfriend, and they’re looking at diamond earrings or something, and he'd like to dazzle her: He might ask the guy: “Hey, do you have any of those ‘blood diamonds’?” Because discriminating murderers and sadists will accept nothing else! With so much blood on their hands, how could they accept less on their diamonds? After all, they really ought to match, don’t you think?

Hey, maybe they need a new ad campaign to help sell them to that market of miscreants and murderers? They're still allowed to sell cigarettes, after all...

Colombiana Ad

Okay, so did The Losers really score at the box office, but everyone was mad that Zoe Saldana didn’t do all the fighting? Because the ad for Colombiana looks like it was made to order for that. It’s like: Zoe Saldana in sexy underwear, making out with some guy, Zoe Saldana beating someone up, Zoe Saldana shooting some guy. It sounds like the trailer for The Losers, but with Zoe Saldana doing everything, right? Well, maybe that’s better than a story anyway. She’s cute, and she kicks ass. But I still like her better in The Skeptic. Well, and Star Trek. Oh, and the remake of The Heiress! Start nagging them to make it! Ad

This is a website that apparently lets you know when you have a cyber-stalker. Um, I mean, when someone’s trying to find you online. That’s what I meant to say.

So there’s a woman in the ad who says: “When you have a message waiting for you, it’s so exciting!” But wouldn’t it still be exciting, albeit in a different way, if the message said: “I remember what you did, and I’m going to get you!”

But even if all the messages always said that, they wouldn’t be lying, so it’s not false advertising!