How daytime tv commercials have revealed our societal values

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We can learn a lot about our culture from commercials.  I am surely not the first to make this observation.  As we know, every generation thinks the next generation sucks, and will lead us to doom.  If you are below 40-ish, you probably think the Beatles are tame, boring, and overrated.  Not to the parents of the baby boomers.  They saw the Beatles as a bunch of long haired hippy freaks.  When the Beatles first came to America in 1964, half the questions at their press conference was about their haircuts, and why was it so long.  Ringo had the best reply.  Some square asked him what he called his haircut.  He said something like “I call it Arthur”.  I am also sure you know the America’s parents were super duper freaked out by Elvis.  His sexuality was so raw that TV stations were ordered to only film him from the chest up.

Don’t act like you are above it, either.  I’ve heard your whole rant about kids sports games where everyone gets a trophy.  This is sorta like that.  Follow me down, and back –

When I could come home from school, I’d watch Scooby Doo every day.  I was a latchkey kid, not that its any of your business, William!  This would be the early 80s.  Commercials were aimed at people home on the middle of a weekday afternoon, not working.  So, the commercials were for jobs.  More specifically, careers.  Dog grooming was one, trucking was a BIG one, and various certificates you could get from very dodgy institutions.  The subtext was very clearly this – why are you at home in the middle of a weekday watching tv?   Jesus Christ man, get your shit together.  You need to work.  Clearly, you have no discernible or marketable skills… or you wouldn’t be watching Scooby Doo right now.  Come join our company.  We need people bad.  How bad?   We’ll take you!

*** but the gist was, if you are an adult and it’s the middle of the weekday, you should be working. We don’t know why you aren’t working, but odds are you can do something.  “Get up, man.  Put some pants on, and get back out there!”  It made sense to me.  Both of my parents were working.  It had an effect on me, and I think a positive one.  Between my parents as role models, as the messages of the culture, work was what you did when you were a grown up.  I have been working since I was 12, running a one kid landscaping service.  it sucked ass, moving wildly overgrown lawns for $10 on a 120 degree day.

Today, though, if you watch daytime tv…  that message is long gone.  Now, its mostly lawyers.  And their message is “what are you doing at home?  You aren’t working?  Calm down, it’s ok.  Its not your fault.  It’s their fault, and we are going to sue the holy fuck out of them!  You think you aren’t working now, wait until we’re done with you.  You’ll never have to work again.  Work is for suckers.  Plus, look at you; you are clearly disabled on several levels.  No worries, we got lawsuits for that, too!  Were you ever asked to take out the garbage when you were a kid?   Did you ever have to watch PBS against your will?  Call our firm now, time is running out.”

The other 40% of commercials, at least on the crap ass free over the air channels I watch, are for some kind of Medicare fraud.  Now that I think about it, it’s a clever demo to target.  “Dude, you don’t even have cable?   Wtf?  Is it 1980 at your house?   Who wronged you?  Let’s get ‘em.  And don’t forget that Medicare owes you a shit ton of money, bro.

The Medicare stuff really pisses me off.  It all looks like fraud to me, as I have worked in Medicare and Medicaid related jobs for a few years now.  Plus, I was a fraud investigator.  Medicare, and Medicaid are meant to be safety nets.  Worst case scenario.  Not just shit you are entitled to.  You aren’t entitled to free govt money, you leach.  I hate to go all Ayn Rand here, but why am I working so that you can sit at home and collect my tax dollars.  Fuck you, buddy.  I am going to get the Strong Arm – Frank Azar – and sue your ass for not working and sucking up my taxpayer dollars.  The ones that are supposed to go to fighter jets to protect our way of life (that way of life being… not working… just sue someone).  ‘Merica!

Wait, I am going to get this guy, based out of Phx.  This commercial is so gonzo and meta, I feel like its SNL and the Onion having a baby.  What’s better?  It’s real, baby!  

Friday Fives – say anything

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1. Without saying the name of the movie, what is a movie quote most people would know?

Inconceivable!

2. What famous person died too soon?

Chris Cornell.  Perhaps you know him as a great and powerful and sometimes gentle singer.  Growing up, I did not.  In Soundgarden, he just screamed.  I didn’t know he could sing until this perfect angel of a song arrived on the Single’s soundtrack.  Sidebar to that?  Ok.  A bit ago, they released a box set of sorts to that soundtrack.  The day it arrived in my mailbox was the day he died.

3. What’s a great song about music or records?

Feels so Good – Robert Earl Keen

4. What song has such a great, powerful grand climax/finale, that they make you shudder every time?

it would have to be something from Jimi Hendrix masterpiece (and last album) Electric Ladyland.   Sidebar – you can probably find about 30 different Jimi Hendrix releases to buy.  Did you know he only made 3 records?  All inside a year and a half (1967-1968).   Anyhow, if you like Hendrix, you still may not know that album.  Listen to it with headphones (not earbuds… headphones you young punk). and also on mushrooms.

Tell you what, I’ll let you do earbuds, but don’t skip the mushrooms.  and don’t act like you don’t have any, either.  If you don’t, your parents do.  its in your dad’s sock drawer.  Barring that?  Ask Steve.  Steve always had the hookup.  Not namin’ names or anything.

5. What was your best/favorite Album/CD/Cassette find from the Colombia House Music Club

knowing me, at that age, it was probably Pat Benetar or Billy Idol.  In case there is a reader under 40, the Columbia Music House was a deal where they sent you 10 cassettes for a penny.  The deal then was… it was a subscription you had just signed up for.  For the next year or 12, you were supposed to pay full price ($10) for a new cassette each month.  I don’t think anyone ever did.  What are you going to do, trash my credit?  I was probably 10 or 12.

Friday Fives, the trials of the century

Capitol riots timeline: What happened on 6 January 2021? - BBC News

Are you following the public hearings on January 6?

Oh yeah, when Johnny Depp tried to take the capital?  That is fucked up, but it involved his saving Pam Anderson, right?

Are US politics irrevocably broken?

Nope, but they are pretty bruised up.  Sad to see NO accountability or concern on the right.  No one on their side seems to be standing up for Democracy besides Liz Cheney.  Who would have guessed a Cheney fighting to save to Democracy?

What’s a better way to elect a president?

Get rid of this electoral jive, ESPECIALLY ‘Super Delegates’.  The whole jive totally undermines the very concept of democracy.

Should we instead be led by a queen?

 that whole monarchy thing seems dumb. And, they do not lead anything, that is what is weird.   Their parliament (akin to our Congress) handles all the laws.  The monarchy is just an annual billion dollar cash sinkhole for pomp and history.  I can assure you most or all British feel this way.  This is the shit the Sex Pistols got famous for 50 years ago…  I’d say the Queen won that one.  After this wonderful lady, and total badass (fought in the military, and now just waiving white gloves… she was a mechanic) passes… just end the whole thing. 

The alternative?  To give the crown to Charles, who is wildly unlikable?   And he is in his 70s… so they will literally spend about a billion dollars for his inauguration… and have to do it over again in 5 or 10 years when he passes.

Should there be an age limit placed on the US presidency and US Federal judges and supreme court justices?

 I’ll leave that to smarter people to comment on that.  I know that personally, at 50, I certainly don’t feel I am getting any sharper.  But, its not like I shit in his bed.  I mean, how is Amber Heard fit for service as a royal OR with SCOTUS if she shit in Trumps bed?

 Ok, last word on both.  The Depp/Heard trial, I feel it is none of our business.  It appears they are both nasty assholes when they are drunk, which is more often than seems wise.  But not my business.

On the Jan 6th stuff?   Hang every motherfucker involved from the rafters.  Can you imagine how the right would have reacted if the left did that?  They would say “see, I told you they were all anti patriotic pot smoking hippies”.   Or, imagine if it was an all black takeover of the capitol.  May you don’t believe a word of proof, and think it was secretly liberals.   The fabled ‘antifa’ cabal.  Ok… let’s say it was.  Don’t care.  Hang them, too.  This is sedition and terrorism.  Hang them all, in public!