Just my thoughts. I'm sure you have your own.

Friday, May 30, 2008

May 30, 2008

Beach Boys Rock... enough said...

I could get into a lengthy argument over musical technique over greatness, but I don't feel like it. I'm listening to "When I Grow Up" and finally calming down from a frustrating morning. That's all that matters to me, right now.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

May 29, 2008

This has irritated me for some time. There's a commercial put out by Vonage, the phone company, that has basically numbed me from ever going with that company, even if they were giving away free phone service for life.

The commercial starts off with a guy from "The Phone Company" (You ever notice how, for whatever reason, telecommunication companies almost ALWAYS have commercials that look like political smear campaigns?). He tells us, the viewer, "Don't listen to Vonage." Then before giving us any reason to listen to his argument, the most snobbish woman in history pushes him to the left side of the screen and interrupts him, saying "Well over 2 million people have switched to Vonage." She says this in a tone of voice as if you expect her to also say "Nyah nyah!". Not only is this childish, but also rude, as I was still listening to the first guy. If you expect us to go with YOUR company, at least let the competitor state his side.

Next, the guy tries to get back toward the center of the screen, but the girl refuses--in essence, trapping him off to the left. In my mind, this is the equivalent of pushing someone out of line and refusing to let them back in where they were. The woman then challenges the guy, asking how much they charge, where he finally starts his argument. She then interrupts him AGAIN, stating how Vonage is superior. You know, in the court of law, if the prosecutor keeps interrupting the defense, they probably would be disciplined by the judge in some way.

Finally, and this is the final straw to me, the guy states, "For over 100 years, the only thing we've changed..." where the woman, a third time, interrupts him by saying "is your prices?" before hipchecking him off the screen for good. I'm a very non-violent person by nature, but I almost feel like slapping her every time I see that commercial.

Again, this is rude. Second, she sounds like a 6-year-old in a "I know you are but what am I" kind of way. Third, she's spinning what he says all around--he never stated anything like that. He may have a valid point against Vonage that I need to hear, but nooooo... we won't hear THAT here. Vonage's message to me is this: "Sign up with us--we're far superior to others because we don't listen to them and you shouldn't either." On the other hand, Progressive Insurance openly states that they'll help you shop around for the best deal.

Also, you generally want likeable qualities to be present in your spokespeople. Some are humorous (Budweisers' Real Men of Genius, for instance). Some are funny in a cute sort of way, such as GEICO's gecko. This woman just comes across elitist, high-minded and snobbish. Generally, if you want to attract someone to your company, these are qualities you do NOT want. The only demographic I could see this appealing to are snobbish preppies from school, who, mind you, probably think that the whole situation is funny because they do that to people every day in their lives anyhow.

I just hate that dumb commercial.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

May 28, 2008

Hiatus semi-over. I'll still post my editorials on here as I get them, but I thought I'd also turn the blog into a One-A-Day thought...um... online Diary thingie. Some of these thoughts are meant to be humorous, tongue-in-cheek, and, well, unabashedly silly. Others are quite serious and possibly ponder-worthy. Mostly, however, these are just my meandering thoughts. I'll try to post them early in the day before the drudges of work wash me over and every single post ends up, "Why must we have to work...etc..."

This morning, my wife and I watched a show while we were getting ready for the day that I hadn't seen a full episode of in a really long time--Home Improvement. As sad as the fact remains, though I haven't really watched the show in almost, or even over, a decade, I still remembered how the episode usually turned out.

The point, though, was that the impression that I got about the show felt different now that I'm an adult with a job, family, and life than it did when I was a youth-turning-to-teen. At that time, I viewed the show as it was billed--a family-based sitcom with a caring, but oftentimes slow-to-the-starting-line parental head. It was humorous and lighthearted. I still viewed it that way today, but the show came across more innocent and nuclear family, about like every other 90's TV show.

Now I don't watch many sitcoms today. Haven't really been a regular viewer of one since the 90's, so I can't be an authority of the attitude, style, or 'message' of modern shows. However, most late 80's and 90's TV family-based sitcoms were of the 'After School Special' persuasion. In other words, each episode (or, whether or not the message was big enough, series of episodes) was presented with a problem or issue that would come up, and the characters (The Taylor Family) would reach the conclusion by the end of the episode, showcasing for the audience at home how to either deal with the problem should it arise or to provide a model for the family in general.

As cheesy as some of the episodes were, I kind of miss that 'feeling' of a series--the feeling that, by the time you're done watching the episode, you feel a little bit better about your lot in life, and not because you just watched somebody who was far off worse than you. Like I said, I don't watch much TV in general outside of cartoons (I've grown up a lot, huh?). However, just by watching commercials and seeing front pages of magazines on stands at the grocery store and whatnot, I can tell what the general desire for people to watch would be. During the 80's and 90's, the sitcom reigned supreme--I remember, I was there. However, what seems to have ruled this decade with a much stronger grip than the sitcom is the 'gripping drama'. Think of the 20-or-so spinoffs of "C.S.I.", all of the crime/detective shows, the medical dramas (save Scrubs... that's actually a pretty funny show), and so forth. Look at the movies that are hitting theaters. They either are obnoxiously stupid or... 'Gripping Dramas'. (Cleverly disguised, of course, as either Horror Movies, Chick Flicks, or Superhero Epics--but basically, that's the general genre.) In fact, most popular series today resemble Soap Operas more than they resemble sitcoms, even if the hint or even spice of humor is involved.

So, perhaps, this is the reason why the average person or family is in a slump today. Sure, money's tight and gas is expensive. But, ya know, money has always been kind of hard to come by. Maybe one of the factors is that, when we go home to 'relax' in front of the TV, we're actually feeding our minds with negative things--murder victims, failed surgeries, broken homes and relationships.

Sure, arguers will say "Well, tough cookies, guy... This is reality." Well, guess what? We get enough of 'reality' at work and our day-to-day lives. If you make burgers all day for work and absolutely hate it, how many times are you going to be going home from work and say, "You know what I want? A Hamburger." Just because the shows portray reality doesn't mean we have to subject ourselves to more negative issues over and again. Maybe it isn't unrealistic to be a little optimistic about things. Is it really living in "La La Land" (A place I really would be interested in visiting one day) if we expect that, maybe once, everything will turn out alright in the end, with everything going right for the hero? Would it be TOO much to ask to perhaps have a show that makes us feel safe in our own homes, rather than playing off of the fears of the paranoid?

I mean, come on people. I'm sick of reading of murders in the paper--why are you forcing me to read about fictitious murders on TV?

Eh, just my thoughts.