Late but Cranky

curmudgeonOK.  You were warned.  In writing about my holiday good cheer while Holiday Shopping, I told you I keep my Inner Curmudgeon locked in the basement during December and that by the time I let my Inner Curmudgeon out in early January, he’s pissed.  When I opened his cage door on New Years Day, he reminded me that I didn’t even let him rant about our least favorite holiday commercials.  So, before I head out into the world today, I’m going to let him have his rant.  Perhaps if he lets off some steam, he won’t get me into a fist fight in the park with some helicopter Mom who’s letting her child throw rocks at my ducks.

We’ll start off with a lovely post-holiday mobile phone commercial from Verizon:

What could be more reflective of the spirit of the season than, I want it, give it to me now?  Perhaps, I’m not going to stop now.  Give me more, more.  And the coup de gras: Get a present from the person who knows you best … yourself.  Uh, I don’t think that’s exactly what’s meant by the spirit of giving.

Next we have a Taco Bell commercial for a product called Grilled Stuffed Nachos, apparently designed for a quick getaway.

I’m not exactly sure what bugs me so much about this commercial.  Perhaps it brings to mind a scene from my own fatherhood that hardly seems subject matter for a fast food commercial.  Maybe it’s because the thought of adult marketers creating a supposedly-humorous commercial making light of a boy running from his Dad seems all to typical of our time.  Maybe it’s the annoying but catchy tune, Evil Friends by Portugal the Man (yes, I had to look that up).  Anyway, I hate it and it’s a certain station-changer … or at least a mute-button-pusher.

Last but not least, there’s this commercial for DUI Attorneys disguised as a news interview:

Did you know that the first thing you need to know after a DUI arrest is that, Time is not on your side?  How about, Jeez, I better stop drinking and driving.  I coulda killed somebody!  Isn’t it good to know that DUI cases can be fought and won even if the machine says you are over the legal limit?  And that there are over fifty ways the breathalyzer and blood tests can be wrong?  The radio version of this commercial talks about the humiliation of having a breath tested installed in order to start your car.  Another adds, who wants cuffs … unless you’re into that sort of thing?   Is this funny?  How about this?  According the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Every 53 minutes on average, someone is killed in a drunk driving crash (9,878 people in total in 2011). Every 90 seconds, someone is injured because of this entirely preventable crime.  How about this?  About one-third of the drunk driving problem – arrests, crashes, deaths, and injuries – comes from repeat offenders.  That says that 1 in 3 of the people that get off a DUI ticket on a technicality are going to be involved in a crash while drinking.  And that up to 3,000 lives could be saved if they were kept off the road.  How about mentioning that in your commercial?  I’m not sure how these guys live with themselves.

Whew.  My Inner Curmudgeon feels better already … and Anaheim Hills is a safer place.

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8 Comments on “Late but Cranky”

  1. I’ll start with the greeting: Happy 2014, my friend. May it bring you peace, grace,joy and health.

    Now for the serious: I take your passionate point about the drunk driving attorney commercial, but I think it’s important to recognize that the “you could kill someone” message doesn’t resonate with everyone, in particular because a lot of the people who are arrested for DUI aren’t “so drunk” that they feel they could cause an accident. Having had a cousin who did time for four DUIs (yes, he was troubled), I’ve come to understand that the message needs to hit home in whatever way is possible, and if their message works, then the ends may justify the means, however off-putting it may be to the rest of us.

    Now for the IC irksome: I, too, hate the nachos commercial. Every time I see it, I think, “What could that kid have done before his parents came home to make his father chase him like that? He looks too young to have really gotten into any kind of trouble.”

    Welcome back, by the way, IC. 😉

    • oldereyes Says:

      The problem is the commercial ONLY says, “We can get you off.”. It says nothing about, “You were wrong.”. On the nachos commercial, I think Terri’s right … the commercial says HER parents came home early. Which makes your question even more pertinent.

  2. Wendy Says:

    Dislike both those commercials on products. Sadly, there are undoubtedly a hundred more like them. The info commercial reveals why there still on drunk drivers, although, I do find that younger people do not think it is okay to drink and drive. So nice of you to keep your curmudgeonly rants until after the festive season!

  3. territerri Says:

    I think the stuffed nacho commercial is implying that the boy needs to run because “her” parents came home early. So I guess he’s getting int trouble with someone’s daughter while eating Mexican food and has to run from her dad. Still… a poorly thought out commercial.

    I’m hating television, commercials, and any reality show pretty intensely these days. I just don’t even bother to watch most of the time, unless it’s on Netflix.

    • oldereyes Says:

      I listened again and I think you’re right. I’m not sure that it’s not worse that way. After all, what was he doing that the girls father would chase him down the street?

  4. cherperz Says:

    I hadn’t seen either of the first two commercials and hated them both. The “her parents came home early” troubles me on several levels. The casting of such a young looking boy…really? Isn’t there an implied message there that the kids were doing something awful enough that her dad chased him down the street. The boy looks 12 or 13.

    As for the DUI commercial…I hate the commercial but I do have mixed feelings about the message. I, agree with aspects of what the singlecell said. One size doesn’t fit all on these types of arrests. When I managed the unemployment office, I saw numerous cases of people that blew .09 or .10 that lost their licenses for a year, lost their jobs and had the stigma of DUI on their records. There needs to be a distinction on how these laws are adjudicated. As to your point, the lawyer shouldn’t be using the term “get off”.

    • oldereyes Says:

      I don’t mind there being some leeway for first offenses or “slightly over” blood alcohol levels, but when real problem drinkers get off on technicalities, people die. Personally, I’d have no problems with breathalyzers in all, but I’d also like to see cars equipped with devices that prevent cellphone use. Maybe I’m not the libertarian I sometimes claim to be 🙂

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