Monday, January 14, 2008

Stupid Commercials

That title might seem redundant, given the recent crap that is used to peddle products in the US. Readers from Canada, Spain, Ireland or Australia (to name just four places readers come from) might not have to face the idiocy we lucky Americans see daily on the boob tube.

Some commercials are just dumb. Like the Campbell’s Soup spots that feature some dope drinking soup as he lets it run down his chin to his shirt while the rest of the people in the meeting look at him like he’s crazy, or the dope who leaves his lovely naked girlfriend in the water skinny-dipping as he jumps in his car to go get some more soup.

But the ones that really gall me are those that feature the destruction of something, a trend that has become far too prevalent for my tastes.

If you don’t use the right water filter, your water may become so heavy that when it fills a water balloon that is thrown by one kid at another kid, and mistakenly hits the family van, it tips the van over. That is stupid, of course, but not too destructive or violent. Others are worse, like the one where when Mom fills a pitcher with water that isn’t filtered and sets it on the table, the pitcher crashes through the table, through the floor into the garage below where Dad is standing by the car, which (naturally) sustains substantial damage from the heavy missile that crashes onto it.

If you want new furniture, you can no longer just sell or give away the old stuff, you now have to take a small fork lift into your home, load it with the old stuff, and drive the fork lift out onto the front lawn, banging and crashing along the way.

If your washer isn’t doing its job, don’t buy a new one and have the delivery guys haul the old one off. No. Instead, throw it out the second story window, and let it crash to the ground. Or, set it on a railroad track for a train to hit as it goes on its merry way. Or, find a crane with a wrecking ball on it and swing the ball at the offending appliance, smashing it to bits.

This idiotic trend has even invaded home design shows, once the province of gentle folk concerned with prettying up your home with paint, wall paper, and design elements from the genteel side of life. No more, though. If you want to remodel your kitchen and need to remove the old cabinets, don’t just take them off the wall, beat the hell out of them with a sledge hammer. Got a wall that needs to be removed or shortened? That’s right: get out the sledges.

Whether this trend toward destructive and violent home decorating is a reflection of our declining culture, or a motivating factor of it, I don’t know. What I do know is that there is a lot more of this tendency to destroy things, and I don’t see how that is good for anybody. It certainly doesn’t inspire confidence in the American way of life.

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