Saturday, June 30, 2012

Have I Got a Buick For You !

Here's a news story that I picked up (of all places) from an Australian TV station's website;

TV watchers may want to hit the mute button for a moment of silence. The man who invented the remote control has died at the age of 96, the Chicago Sun Times says.
Eugene Gene Polley died on Sunday in a Chicago hospital.
Polley invented the first wireless TV remote control in 1955 while working as an engineer for Zenith Electronic in Chicago.
He received a $US2000 ($A2024) bonus for his historic innovation but later earned an Emmy award in 1997 for his contributions to television.
The company marketed the device as the Flash-Matic.
"A flash of magic light from across the room turns set on, off or changes channels," a company advertisement said. "And you remain in your easy chair!"
The device only worked with Zenith's Flash-Matic TV, using a light beam that controlled photo cells in each corner of the TV.

I can't hear the commercials, but I still gotta get up to change the channel
This probably ranks as one of the greatest inventions of the twentieth century. Since the dawn of the TV age, slick hucksters have been peddling all kinds of crap on TV, and it turns out that a lot of people didn't want to hear it. If they could only invent a mute button for people, it would make life a lot more enjoyable sometimes. A punch in the face can be an acceptable substitute, but there can be repercussions, but I digress.

The central theme here is that advertisers have been bombarding consumers with advertising since Guttenberg invented the printing press.

" Sir Oswald's discount gallows. 2 hangings for the price of one. Comes with new and improved plague-free rope." And so it continued onto the modern age.

It's not that I despise TV advertising ( which I actually do), it's just that I don't believe any of it, I don't need or want anything they're selling and I'm sort of impervious to it. It's still nice to have that mute button though.

Judging by the content, it seems that  the crappier something is, the more it will be advertised. I'm sure most people remember those ridiculous ads for that inane product call "The Snuggy". It was a blanket with arms built-in to it , not unlike a straight jacket, which is apt because the people modeling it did look kind of insane.

What level of couch potato does one have to be to think that this a good idea and spend good money on it? Apparently there are many industrial strength couch potatoes out there because the dudes that "invented" it became millionaires many times over. They should have marketed a couch-toilet to go along with it so that their customers would never have to leave the warm embrace of their Cheetoh-encrusted couches.

It a seemingly related matter, there must be a diarrhea epidemic of mammoth proportions that nobody told me about, if the amount of diarrhea medicine commercials is any indication. In real life, dudes never ever talk about this over a beer. Dudes have better things to talk about, like chicks or cars and if the need for a massive dump should arise, business is attended to and the conversation resumes.

Speaking of beers and massive dumps, there seems to be a pattern where the crappiest beers are advertised the most. I'm not one to look down my nose at a PBR, but there are so many good beers out there, I don't understand why a slick commercial would trigger a sudden craving for 24 Schlitz or Labatt Blue ( my American friends can trust me on this , Labatt Blue tastes exactly like it would, if you were standing behind a horse and had your mouth open). I think by now that most dudes understand that if you buy Budweiser there won't be any chicks in bikinis magically materializing out of thin air. Also drinking Molson Canadian does not automatically make you more patriotic, what it does make you, is pee 15 times an hour.

Speaking of dudes, there seems to be a ever increasing popularity amongst advertisers to portray men as helpless morons, or worst yet emasculated helpless morons. I not saying all men are renaissance men: I know some really stupid dudes, I'm just saying that I've never met dudes that act like they do in commercials and if I had the misfortune of meeting them, I would bring them to a vet and have them put down. Oh sorry, I got confused with all those cat food commercials that portray cats as friendly and attentive pets. Don't kid yourself, you can buy the  world's most expensive cat food, but the cat will randomly pee on your carpet on a whim just because he didn't like the way you looked at him. Also the cat often contemplates killing you in your sleep.

Speaking of pee, I noticed that Red Bull has some particularly annoying commercials. They seem to sponsor a lot if youth-driven events as well. The bottom line is that Red Bull does have a slight pee flavor. The few times that I did drink some of that stuff, I just didn't feel right. I was squirrely for about two hours and kind of dazed. Some people mix that shit.... er I mean, fine product with vodka. I'll just take the vodka, thanks. All those events that feature flying go carts and fake airplanes crashing into polluted water cannot detract attention away from the fact that this beverage is pretty much useless. I wouldn't be surprised that in 20 years it is discovered that it causes brain tumors or bag-rot.

Speaking of brain tumors, I wonder why a company so ubiquitous as McDonald's feels the need to advertise. Everybody knows it, they even have a few of them in Iceland. They certainly won't increase sales because they have their faithful clientele and people like me who absolutely refuse to go to a McDonald's. It's not a matter of " evil corporations", it's just that it tastes like crap to me. Reading the book called " Fast Food nation" only helped to secure my resolve. Your Big Mac may contains parts from literally hundreds of different cows. Also the intestines sometimes rupture and there is shit in the meat. Bon Apetit ! You want fries with that ?

Speaking of intestines, I have noticed a disproportionate amount of commercials for candy. All those candy bars that are really good for your kids ( to be washed down with a gargantuan bottle of Coke of course). Then there are skittles (which taste like cow intestines by the  way). They must include hallucinogenic drugs in there judging by their demented advertising. On the annoyance scale however, chewing gum commercials seem to be at the top echelon. These are some of the stupidest advertisements around designed to market a product that, by its very nature, is designed to make people look stupid. I never understood the allure of gum and all the physical exertion required in order to simply use the product. Quite useless in all regards and let's face it, if you are disgustingly hung over for work in the morning, gum ain't gonna cut it; you're gonna need mouthwash, or better yet, a sick day. Cops know that drunk drivers chew gum, so it ain't gonna help you there either. I ain't know hippie, but the millions of wads of gum on the sidewalk annoy me. It's interesting to note that the highest concentration of gum wads can be found on corners where hookers hang out.

It was inevitable that all these tactics and strategies were easily transferable to the internet. It's almost impossible to look at anything on the internet without have a bunch of ads on the page.It can be annoying, but relatively easy to ignore. The easiest way to ignore them is to simply not click on them. The unfortunate side effect of internet advertising however, is that is has opened the flood gates to scammers. One only has to remember one caveat; buyer beware. Besides, there is so much free porn on the internet, why bother advertising? If one finds oneself having the urge to buy, say, a rude t-shirt, a viking hat for a dog, large semi-automatic weapons, gold-plated hot dogs or cheap broken-down crap made in China, one can simply Google it.

The strangest part of advertising is some products are rarely,if ever, advertised. When was the last time you saw a TV ad for Kenworth trucks, Fender guitars, any kind of bicycle, microscopes, MIG welders, audio systems ( other than those super piece of shit Bose radios),  or Stetson hats. I thought as much. I assume that the really good stuff doesn't need advertising, people know where to get it and I ain't talking about your local Walmart. Bike shops thrive all over large cities and many people buy bikes, without any advertising. Down at the local rodeo, you can bet your ass that the good ole boys know where to get those huge white Stetson's and lizard-skin Toni Lamas.

Any greaser knows how to locate many different types of hair grease and always has an ample supply on hand. Every Rockabilly band I've seen always has an upright bass ( it's the law, by the way) and I have never seen an ad for Krazy Eddie's King Sized Fiddles. Greasers can also locate good barbers and cool threads with the accuracy of a bloodhound. I've also never seen an ad for big-assed wallets, but some wallet manufacturer must be making a lot of cash. Car enthusiasts have made locating car part an art form. They can find even the most specialized part including the rigor mortis oscillator.

All those madmen types may say I'm wrong, and for all I know, maybe there is a sucker born every minute. Just use your common sense and as I stated earlier, buyer beware. As for myself, I gotta go; I just got this strange craving to check out the 2013 Pontiacs with 0% financing and get some some Tacos at Taco Bell on the way.

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