Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Language Professors Hate Him, Etc.: Internet Ads

I keep seeing stupid Internet ads that have declarative statements of seething hatred from some professional group directed toward some specific person pictured in the ad. (Usually it's about some fitness thing, and it says something like: "Fitness Trainers Hate Him".) When I look at the picture, generally of some impossibly-built muscle-head, or of some old man's head Photoshopped onto a young man's body, purporting to demonstrate how the ad's fictional supplement or diet or exercise regimen works far better to keep you in great physical shape than any kind of bona fide fitness program, the general shameless level of obvious trickery on display makes it easy for me to understand why someone might hate at least some of the people associated with the ad, but I generally doubt the claims of hatred have any validity as presented whatsoever. That is to say, these ads are not the least bit convincing, and they are so shamelessly bogus and/or exaggerated as to insult the viewer.

I was reminded of these dumb ads again today when I saw one that read: "Language Professors Hate Him", and then there was an obvious library photo of some random guy. I believe I am supposed to be intrigued to the point of clicking on the ad, whereupon my computer probably becomes infected with a spambot or some such thing. (Although I don't know what happens, as I couldn't be less interested in the presumably false claims suggested or implied by these ads' presentations.) But we never really find out why language professors hate this guy. It could be that he has developed an amazingly efficient new manner in which to learn languages, such that the entire career path of language teacher/professor is rendered completely obsolete virtually overnight. Or, it could be that this guy hates language professors ever since one flunked him in intro Spanish in college, and so he now targets them for all kinds of harassment and vandalism, such as slashed tires, fraudulently ordered pizzas and Sham-Wows, constant telemarketer calls, etc. (The fiend!); and ever since an investigation revealed this guy's identity, his hapless victims, all language professors, have finally got a face to put with their hatred, generated as it was by their feelings of helpless victimization and the vindictiveness such experiences generate.

But just once, to validate the claims of these dodgy Internet ads stating some professional group hates some specific individual, I would love to see a news story that claimed the FBI recently broke up a criminal conspiracy of language professors to abduct and kill someone, and the picture in the news story ended up being exactly the same photograph as from these ads claiming language professors hate him (!). Now that would be fun! (Maybe it could turn out that the whole purpose of these ads all along was to warn this guy that there was a group of language professors out to murder him, and the ads were placed by the FBI from the beginning, because they didn't know where the guy was, but they knew of the conspiracy, and they were trying to save his life!) Plus, it would finally lend some badly-needed credibility to these insufferably disingenuous Internet ads! In fact, maybe they should fabricate and plant such a story to correspond to each of these ads, and that might appear to back up each and every one of them, making it look as if each person pictured is in fact living every moment in mortal danger! Then we might even care. (But probably not.)