Being the parent of a toddler, I get to watch a wide range of children's TV. Some of it is actually pretty good, and some of it stinks. And then of course, there are the commercials. Tons and tons of commercials. For the most part I'm able to tune them out, or even have some fun with the ads. But not the latest batch of Fisher-Price spots. Let's see if you can guess why, with this example. Seems pretty harmless, right? The kid's cute, and who doesn't love toys? I mean, yeah, that song is a little annoying, what with the singer sounding like someone drugged her water before the recording session. But I guess she's not that obnoxious. Now try sitting through about 100 of these ads. That whiny, droning indie hipster "singing" transforms from slightly grating to completely rage-in...
In its September 29, 1952 issue Life magazine ran a piece on a new fad called "bop jokes," which sounds absolutely awful. When you think of the popular cultural image of bebop jazz fans of the early '50s (some of which went on to become the first Beatniks), you imagine someone really hip and into swingin' tunes, but sort of detached and reserved at the same time. I guess dignity is implicit. But not so much here. From the article, with photography by Yale Joel: From the world of jazz musicians and bebop players has come a new brand of humor: the bop joke. Until the last few months bop jokes have been limited, perhaps mercifully, to people in show business. But now bop humor is becoming something of a fad, and Life, feeling its readers should be warned of this wayward form of wit, offers a...
It used to be that insurance commercials were created to convey one thing above all else — a feeling of total security and warm fuzziness that Company X was going to be there for you after your house blew up or your car got flattened by a rampaging elephant. Ad campaigns from agencies like Nationwide, State Farm, and Allstate were full of sensible people making sensible decisions. The slogans drove this theme home even more succinctly: Nationwide was on your side, you were in good hands with Allstate, and so on. But somewhere along the way things changed and insurance companies decided to start getting a bit cutesy with their ads. The Aflac Duck (voiced by the unlikely pitchman Gilbert Gottfried) debuted nationally in 1999, while local companies such as Chicago-based Eagle Insuranc
Here’s a fresh batch of some quality interweb finds I’ve come across over the last 7 days: Dana Carvey + Linkin Park = Satan shooting explosive diarrhea in your face! (You Just Made My List!) A look at the worst men in sports. No Al Davis, strangely enough. (Deadspin) Even if you don't know what https is, change this Facebook setting now. (Gawker) "The arrow of time", a year-by-year history of the unhappiest family ever. (Zone Zero) Remember zany, watermelon-smashing comic Gallagher? Now he's paranoid, bitter, homophobic, right-wing nutjob, watermelon-smashing ranter Gallagher. (The Stranger) This is where TLC is heading, and you know it. (Urlesque) A graphic overview tracing the evolution of the Hipster (Gawker) Matthew Baldwin (Defective Yeti) is rating all the
Now that the holiday season is behind us and with it, thank God, those headache-inducing Hyundai hipsters, it's time to focus on an even more insidious automotive ad campaign. You know what I'm talking about - the Toyota Highlander commercials featuring that obnoxious little punk. At least the hipsters were trying to convey a sense of fun and whimsy. Can anyone explain what the redeeming qualities of these ads are? I can tell you what I see in these spots: Smart-mouthed little brat? Check. Future status-seeking jerkoff? Check. The most rage-inducing child I've seen on my TV since Danny Cooksey? Check. Little turd who doesn't get the irony of calling his parents lame while wearing skinny jeans? Check. Ungrateful twerp who should be thankful his folks don't smack t
November 2009 seems like ancient history to me, but that's when I published part one of my look at some of the most interesting color photos from the 1930s and 1940s (as presented on Flickr by the Library of Congress). I love looking at pictures like these because even with the most mundane subjects, seeing them in color brings them to life in a way we never could before (unless you were there I guess). These photos were all taken between 1939 and 1944 by the United States Farm Security Administration (FSA) and later the Office of War Information (OWI). Just click on a photo to see a larger version. (Part 1 can be seen here.) Even in the '40s no road sign was safe from the scourge of graffiti. Although as one astute person pointed out, the markings on that railroad sign c
Oh look at us, we are so delightfully indie and quirky! Enjoy us frolicking in our secondhand store clothes as we shill for a multi-billion dollar car company! OK, I'll give Pomplamoose (WTF?) a little credit - having checked out some of their other covers they do have some good stuff. But damn these Hyundai commercials are irritating. Although I guess it beats watching those yuppie pukes put giant bows on their Lexuses (Lexi?).