Is Anyone Listening?

attYou know, I work hard to keep Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog stocked with interesting posts.  I offer mature views on life, movie and theater reviews and music.  I talk about marriage and spirituality.  Yes, I occasionally rant like the curmudgeon that I am but even then, I try to keep my sense of humor.  But sometimes … just sometimes … I wonder, Is Anyone Listening?   Case in point – AT&T.  I’ve been an AT&T customer for longer than most of their employees have been alive, so they should be listening to me.   It’s about those commercials.  You know the ones I mean.   The ones with Beck Bennett, sitting in the classroom with the uber-precious kids spouting clearly scripted precocity.  What’s better, more or less?   What’s something slow you’d like to make faster?  I know, I know, these are subjects tangentially related to mobile phone service but should I really care what a bunch of kids say?  These commercials are so annoying I actually change the channel to avoid them.  I’ve posted about them before … why are they still on the air?   Yeah, yeah, I know.  You are a telecommunication giant and sixty-nine year old men are not your target demographic.  Most people actually LIKE these annoying little larva.   The other day, Muri and I were trying to decide between fast food and a sit-down restaurant and she asked me, Which is better, faster or slower? sounding just like that dork in the commercials.   So I get it, AT&T … you’re not going to take what I’m sure you see as very successful commercials off the air to satisfy one old curmudgeon.  But your latest commercial crosses the line.  The gloves are off.

It is one thing to infiltrate my family room with phony precociousness.   It’s another to propagate, to a nation whose math scores are already falling behind other developed nations, bad mathematics.   I suppose the geniuses in your marketing department might not know this, but a trillion-billion-zillion is just a made-up number.   And they may not know that infinity is not a number, either, it is a concept implying unboundedness.  Because of that, infinity doesn’t behave like a number.   For example,

∞ + 1 = ∞

∞ + ∞ = ∞


∞ x ∞ = ∞.

You must have some scientists buried in the bowels of your organization that could explain this to you.  So, the bottom line is that the kid who says, Ten, may not be the brightest bulb in the box but he’s the only one who answers with a number.  Technically, he wins, but Bennett humiliates him with a dismissive look.  Misinformation like this could have disastrous consequences for the future of science in this country.  I demand you take this commercial off the air immediately.  Are you listening?  What’s that?   Kids are too busy texting on your smartphones to study science anyway?  You’re probably right.  I’ll just keep turning off your commercials.

TSTBy the way, it’s Top Sites Tuesday #207, so I need to come up with Two Thoughts on Tuesday before I finish this little rant.  How’s this?  Thought Number One: I hope you enjoy this post (I’m not as grumpy as I seem).  And Thought Number Two: I wonder … are there any commercials that make you change the channel?  If there are, tell me in my comments section.  And don’t forget to push my button … gently … to make me Number One on Top Sites Tuesday #207.

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17 Comments on “Is Anyone Listening?”

  1. Derek Zenith Says:

    Shared on Commercial Commentaries

  2. cherperz Says:

    I, too detest those AT&T commercials and try avoid them As I have had AT&T for at least 20 years, I would rather have the guy ask which is better…cable that works all the time or cable that doesn’t work all the time?

    Most of the commercials I hate are local. I have come to the conclusion that owners of small businesses should never be spokesperson for their business. Most of them come across as serial killers or carnival hawkers. There is one car lot owner that screams “Let’s git er done.”


    • oldereyes Says:

      Yes! We have a bunch of those around here. One of them is “the cowboys of Tustin Auto Park.” The ad shows cowboys riding around between the cars for sale on horses … toting rifles. Weird.

      • cherperz Says:

        That sound brutal. Thank god for DVRs that let you pause or fast forward in order to dodge horrible commercials.

  3. territerri Says:

    Sometimes commercials (like these) entertain me so much that I remember the commercial but not which product it promotes.So I’m not annoyed by these AT&T commercials, but they’re missing the mark by failing to keep their product in my mind.

    I can’t think of any that make me change the channel. Then again, I’m usually not in possession of the remote anyway.

  4. Coming East Says:

    I have to confess, Bud, that we usually record programs and watch them later so we can fast-forward through commercials. Even the evening news we watch thirty minutes later. But I have see part of those commercials. My kids were definitely brighter!

  5. blogdumps Says:

    Hi Bud,

    Great post, I totally missed that the kid who said “ten” was the only one who answered the question with a tangible number.

    We don’t watch much TV so I don’t change the channel on a particular commercial, just any commercial when I watch TV.


    • oldereyes Says:

      Thanks, Wolf. It was really fun to write. I’m usually blogging when I watch TV, so I just get back to writing during commercials buty for some reason, these drive me nuts.


  6. Trina Says:

    I don’t watch enough TV to be annoyed by a certain commercial but when I listen to the radio I always change the channel when ACDC come one. Not sure why, most time I end up switching back, but their music can be very annoying to me.


  7. Rick Gleason Says:

    Dear Grumpy,

    I’m reminded of an associate at work who regularly objects to what he sees as abuses of the English language. Just the other day I was asking him about “digital multimeters.” He corrected me — as if I were a six-year old — and said, “you mean numerical multimeters,”  “No Jack,” I replied a little annoyed, “I’m talking about ‘digital’ multimeters, just as it says on the package.” Sometimes, no matter how intelligent we wish others around us were, we just have to go with the flow, accepted usage and all avoiding being an annoyance and even worse… no matter the cause.  Maybe things aren’t as bad as we conceive… but then again …

    I DO from time-to-time change channels to avoid certain commercisls, but unfortunately I can’t think of a single one.  (Old age and all!). 🙂

    By the way, I’m just kidding about the “grumpy” salutation!

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