My recent absence from these pages was due to some health concerns. But here I am, back writing again with spit and vinegar. I was saddened to hear of the recent death of pitchman Billy Mays. Apparently, he was a well-liked man---something I didn't know when I was writing barbs about his loud and rat-a-tat style. But his sometimes annoying commercials will always remain in my memory. By default, I think the Oxi-Clean account should now be assigned to 'Sham Wow' Vince and his headset because I know he could be appropriately annoying---and do it all day.
I must be getting old because I find advertisements more annoying in tone, and less grammatical in form. Though the ad writing in the past was often deficient to varying degrees, I consider this modern ad world more and more dumbed down to the lowest common denominator. [Hey! I remember that term from grammar school: 'least common denominator'---though I'm not quite what it means any longer.] So, I offer my latest comments below.
I keep seeing these ads on tv for beauty creams that guarantee women a young skin and face. In fact one female user claims to be addicted to it. I'm sorry, but all I can think of is 'Catwoman', and its plot about the addictive, new beauty cream that once you start using it, you have to take it regularly to prevent scars and the melting of your face. And if you do use it regularly, it turns your skin to a hardness akin to marble. Scary stuff for you ladies. You just can't win there. Personally, I don't use any of these new beauty products, even when they're designed for men. As Grandma used to say, 'what is, is'---though a recent President was worried about 'what is, is' in a different manner.
And now we turn to another type of advertised skin-care product. Will someone please tell me how the following claim is possible: 'It stopped my acne before it started.' Is that possible? Was research done with the late Isaac Asimov? [Thiotimoline?---you have to read that. Sorry.] How can this run-of-the-mill- [though very pretty] actress/customer make such a determination? Is she a dermatologist? A scientific genius? A fortune teller? Don't the advertisers know that there are many products you can use on your face and permit you to claim the same thing: Talc, astringent, mud packs, bean dip---almost anything. If they'd simply state that their products 'prevent' acne from forming---well, I could live with that.
A pizza delivery company has recently been spieling it's new innovation: pasta and other entrees served in bowls made of Italian bread. You can eat the bowl when you finish the entree. A current ad for Red Lobster shows the hollowed out bread being used for soup and stew. Wowee! Ain't modern thinking wonderful?
Except it's not particularly innovative. This system was used at least as far back as the Middle Ages. I think the bread was known as a 'trencher.' Stews and similar foods were served in hollowed-out bread 'bowls' or 'plates.' [Perhaps to use the discarded interior is why 'bread pudding' was invented?] Forty years ago when we were served spinach dip in hollowed out, round rye breads at parties. The contents of the breads were cubed and used in picking up the dip---which was mighty good stuff, I must say.
Is this just another omen about the coming 3-plus years of socialist leadership erasing progress and sending Civilization back to those not so thrilling days of yesteryear?
Will the esnes make a return? Knights with swords and lances? [is that why fantasy role-playing games are so popular?] Horse transportation? [as gasoline and oil are taxed to death.]
Coleman Stoves is now advertising that it 'pretty much invented camping' and 'social networking'. Wow! That's one great achievement. But, I think the Geico cavemen might have something to say about it. They camped and cooked out [and socialized] all the time for thousands of years. And what about the cowboys and Indians of the American West? Many modern Africans and Australians still do.
My eyes and ears have been swamped with the clashing battles of the local cable vs satellite ad war. Depending on how you count them---and each combatent counts them differently---each side of the war has more HD channels than the other. This could go on forever with no one crying uncle or defeating the competition. Personally, I wish them both warts. I mean, how many channels can a person watch, anyway? 100? 102? 200? What difference does it make? Even if they claim the numbers to provide a choice, it still doesn't work. Aren't there better things to do in your free hours than sit in front of the tube or plasma choosing among 150 channels? Does the word 'family' come to mind?
As a final note for today, please be careful of those companies advertising: 'No interest payments 'til 2010 or 2011.' Ask questions. It sounds very much like the contract may prevent the return of the goods [this is a popular system for furniture companies] before that date has arrived; also, not paying interest doesn't mean it's forgiven. The operative word is 'pay'. Interest will be accruing during that time and in 2011 you'll have to pay up all that accrued interest. It's easy to forget that there's no such thing as a free lunch.