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comments on more pernicious commercials

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Joined: 07 Mar 2002
Posts: 303
Location: west caldwell, new jersey, united states
comments on more pernicious commercials PostFri Dec 10, 2004 1:48 am  Reply with quote  

Julian Penrod
4 Fairfield Avenue
West Caldwell, New Jersey 07006
(973) 220-1601

December 9, 2004

To all:

Yet more pernicious commercials keep airing.

One for Subway shows two men dressed in uniforms, sitting on a park bench, eating Subway meatball sandwiches, when a woman runs up, screaming that her purse had been stolen. The men calmly tell her that they are not policemen, but security guards. One adds that their walkie talkies "don't even reach outside the building". The woman runs off, and the men continue eating, diffidently. What exactly is the message supposed to be? The only thing the commercial could be "saying" is that Subway's sandwiches are so good, even servants of the peace would be willingly derelict in their duty, to eat them! Curiously, though, the men's uniforms didn't look exactly like police uniforms. So why enact the tableaux of a woman being robbed and coming to two security guards, eating the sandwiches? What is the message being imparted? About the only thing someone would come away with is a strengthening of the apparently engineered perception that there is no hope for anything decent and of value in this world! That justice and fair play have no meaning, so just sit down and consume, like your masters are telling you to!

T-Mobile has expanded on their campaign about workers walking off the job, because of their T-Mobile cell phones. In one instance, a man selling ice cream walks away from his truck, and it's overrun by kids. The most extreme example has an operator of a heavy tractor jumping off, to make a call, and the machine going on to crush a car under it's wheels! There are no indications offered that there wasn't supposed to be someone in the car! The message is one thing, the information seems something else, entirely. Warn everyone you know who is offered any kind of a cell phone discount plan - T-Mobile or otherwise - through their job. The plan seems to be in the works for companies already feeling the pinch of the dead horse they call the "American economy" to arrange for wholesale tax and insurance write-offs. They seem to intend to deliberately stage massive "industrial accidents", and blame it on employee inattentiveness!

A commercial for Big Brothers and Big Sisters demeans the very stated objective of the organization by mocking the idea of kids having invisible playmates and showing a kid on a seesaw, with a Big Brother, getting thrown high into the air. The message seems to be that even Big Brothers and Big Sisters can no longer be trusted to carry out their responsibility!

A commercial for Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser touts its ability to help a kid hide from his parents the fact that he had held a drunken bash at the house, while they were away. You can’t trust the police, you can’t trust workers, you can’t trust Big Brothers and Big Sisters; you can’t trust your kids. It all seems just the right message for an administration that apparently wants to tout the sentiment that “the only good Iraqi is a dead Iraqi”!

A Federal Express commercial has, for some literally God-forsaken reason, a depiction of a customer trying to send a package to a city in Arizona that he pronounces
“P-Ho-Nix”. The clerk has to repronounce it for the customer as “Phoenix”. The customer, apparently being portrayed as a dull-witted dunce, bursts into raucous laughter. What is the connection with the presumed level of service that is imparted through representing the consumer as not having the simple familiarity with the pronunciation of Phoenix, Arizona? It seems an utterly gratuitous mentioning. It’s not so easy to come away from this without a sense of Federal Express thinking that all consumers are morons. More so, evidently, if you choose to send your packages through them!

Staples seems to express its apparent contempt for “the rank and file” by featuring a commercial in which an evidently senile grandmother “takes a picture” of the family around the Christmas tree using a stapler instead of a camera! It’s a ghoulish commentary that the company placing its own name , “Staples”, in such a close context to the very device, a stapler, that they use to denounce the old woman as “out of touch with reality”! They seem both to be emphasizing their disdain for the public they demean, and, at the same time, suggesting that their promises are as unreal as the “camera” the woman seems to have thought she was holding!

At one time, the depiction of an executive wannabe, in an IBM commercial, as looking out on a summer afternoon in Paris and seeing only “commerce, industry” and “thousands of transactions being made”, might have been considered ironic; now, it seems to enshrine the sense of pitiless worship of money that apparently is the only thing that infuses what businessmen call their “souls”!

T.D. Waterhouse Investment Services may have felt that Sam Waterston’s seamed face on a commercial made it look trustworthy, but the fact that he was deliberately filmed so that, at least a third of the time, he wasn’t looking the camera right in the face argues strongly otherwise.

Earthlink has a commercial in which a patron walks around with the otbit logo whirling around his head. Another individual says, “I don’t want to walk around with something like that around my head.” The Earthlink customer replies, “It’s just a marketing tool.” He doesn’t say you don’t have to have the logo around your head; he only soft sells the evident necessity of having the thing attached to you, as a “marketing tool”. Your inconvenience, in the interest of Earthlink’s “marketing”. Leaving aside the fact that this suggests that “favorable word of mouth” for Earthlink services is unlikely, this all but begs the interpretation that, if you sign up to the “service”, they will download a “package” that will use your computer as an auxiliary launch platform for spamware and adware, maybe even using your own email contacts list to assemble targets! The consumer as a “marketing tool”!

Most of these commercials are from CNN, although a number come from other sources, as well. But it is the case that at least half of CNN’s commercials seem geared toward business interests. T.D Waterhouse, Federal Express and the IBM commercial are all from CNN. If one takes the extra step of connecting the message to the expected target, other points seem ominously obvious. For example, CNN seems the only channel to air commercials for Servpro, a company that specializes in “fire water repair and reclamation”. The only slightly veiled reference is to the damage from fire and the resulting attempts to put it out. Since it’s only shown in business related venues, it appears that the service targets only companies. If you’re private home suffers damage, it appears, you’re out of luck! “Servpro doesn’t do windows!” The fact that it seems aimed solely at the business world, uncorks a genie bottle. Business seems to be gearing up for a spate of large scale fires, and Servpro is taking the artless step of informing them that they know these fires are coming, and they are advertising their company’s services in cleaning up afterwards! Arson for profit has been a mainstay of corrupt business practice since, apparently, private entrepreneurship began. Questions can still be raised about the great London Fire and the Chicago Fire. With the evident decision to turn all commerce into a massive criminal enterprise, the loss by fire of valuable property, so corporation big wigs can collect on the insurance, seems a tool that will be turned to, with increasing frequency! With the “beasts of burden” being tapped to pay higher and higher premiums, to pay for this evident collusion! The giant fire in the Chicago high rise, and the simultaneous destruction of homes in a Washington suburb development tract - along with the apparent “arson for profit” destruction of a row of stores that stood intact for three decades, one town away from West Caldwell, in Roseland, only a few months ago! - strongly suggest a vicious, venal motivation running amok in the business world! Look at Servpro’s website, They actually proclaim that they are “the premier cleanup and Restoration [sic] Company [sic]”, built around “one basic purpose: To help entrepreneurs succeed”! They’re a cleanup company; what kind of connection are they supposed to have to “entrepreneurs succeeding”? The fact that they offer “Contents Claim Inventory” is a very plain signal of the use of Servpro to file false loss claims! The fact that they indicate that “services vary by location” troublingly indicates a foreknowledge of the specific disasters that are scheduled to occur in different spots! It all smacks of fire and presumed sincerity, through arranging a cleanup, being used as a tool for the undeserved enrichment of the criminally rich! Be aware. If employers fail in blaming workers for goofing off with the cell phone deal they cut for them, they may end up torching the spot where the employees work! If they check to see what specific services Servpro offers in their area, they might get an idea what kind of disaster their employer is going to arrange! At least they’ll have the cell phones with them, to call for help!

Incidentally, have you ever noticed how much the Oppenheimer Fund’s logo resembles the swastika?

And, if the form of a commercial seems to echo unspoken truths, the very fact that a commercial for a particular company, or even industry, isn’t aired may have a meaning, as well. I haven’t seen any coffee ads for at least a week before December 9. Now, today, December 9, 2004, CNN announced that coffee prices will likely go up.

In passing, and not to open wounds, but I responded to Swamp Gas's last comment in the first thread about pernicious commercials. It was removed by the moderators, and the thread locked, but I want to avoid any misconceptions, and make sure everyone is aware that Swamp Gas didn't leave me speechless.

Julian Penrod
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Joined: 08 Dec 2004
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Location: Ontario
All I can say is... PostFri Dec 10, 2004 2:10 am  Reply with quote  

I've been seeing many commercials lately that are just plain distasteful. It's now crazy. I'll have to come back later with specific examples but I have to say I only watch 1, that's right, ONE hour of TV per week and that's the program called "Lost." So I apologize if I can't remember which commercials I saw but I promise to return with some examples later.
In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.

- Mark Twain
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Swamp Gas

Joined: 06 Jun 2001
Posts: 4255
Location: On a Hill in the Lowlands
PostFri Dec 10, 2004 2:19 am  Reply with quote  

The thread was locked by an un-named moderator because of the the flaming. The banned Yaak, coming in as Kooteanai, was also slandering me.

If you want to logically discuss ANY issue, I will more than be willing to engage in conversation. But when our own OPINIONS become a reason to attack EVERYTHING we do, then it has to stop.

I am now a moderator BTW, and I held myself back from totally challenging your opinion on "Government" approved drugs. As a mod, I must....well..........moderate. In that sense, it is a filter or regulator on what I say to people that beforehand I would just keep at like a Pit Bull or Rottweiler.

If you want to call a truce, I will. I actually thought you have some good ideas, even though you called me a "Rambling, Drooling Idiot". Hey, that sounds like the name of a song!

Speaking of commercials, there always have been dumb ones. Back in the early 50's, watching the Admiral Refrigerators was not an exercise in intellectual curiousity. Some commercials have been downright funny. Nowadays, mind-numbing SSRI's like Zoloft and Paxil have replaced Pepsodent and Alka Seltzer. Another bothersome developement is the "Dumb White Male" commercials.

The most troubling is the sterilization of Rock and Roll, used to sell hemorroid creme, or VISA card, etc. This is perhaps why music is not as revolutionary as it was in the 60's. It has been taken over, at least on a mass level. Gone are the days when someone wrote music to inspire, change, revolutionize, and simply "Freak Out". Here's a good article by Mark Morford on this:

Aerosmith Sells You A Buick
In which the rock icons waste their finest song, and rock n' roll finally gasps its last

By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
Friday, December 10, 200

Maybe rock n' roll finally died, really and truly and once and for all, roughly a decade ago, when Microsoft shelled out a whopping and still quite ludicrous $10 million to Jagger & Co. for the use of the Stones' classic "Start Me Up" for the massive overblown launch of the utterly awful and terrifically bug-addled Windows 95.

And maybe that sad epitaph was writ even larger a few years back when stodgy old Cadillac bought the rights to Zeppelin's manic mega-anthem "Rock n' Roll" for use in hawking the wildly mediocre CTS sedan to wealthy boho yuppies, all of whom vaguely remember inhaling back in the '70s and who might've once believed Page & Plant to be demigods but who now only fantasize about owning a riding lawn mower and having sex once a month and glimpsing the babysitter's nipples through her Avril Lavigne T-shirt.

Did you cringe at all when you heard Iggy Pop's fabulous "Lust for Life" during that commercial for the utter dystopian nightmare that is Royal Caribbean cruises? Did you laugh in a bitter and dejected sort of way when you read about that PR firm that wanted to use Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" to market a hemorrhoid cream?

Did a small but significant part of your rebellious antiestablishment anticorporate soul get slapped like a drunk Hilton sister when you first heard The Who's "Tommy" used to hawk Clarinex or Sweet's '70s glam-rock masterpiece "Ballroom Blitz" used to sell Nissans?

Because make no mistake, there is no longer any even the remotest argument that says cool rebellious artistic integrity still exists as any sort of separate and distinct category from crass commercial whoredom.

Not that it ever really did, I know, but it was a wonderful delusion, wasn't it? Especially in music, especially in rock music, where the universal belief was once held that rock n' roll really could change the world and affect minds and rejuvenate souls, largely by defying and nonconforming and by screaming out against injustice and cube-farm-itis and the very hollow and heartless megacorporate establishments that have now wholly co-opted it and turned it against itself.

To be sure, art and commerce have always been wicked and bizarrely fused Siamese twins, ever connected and interdependent, but they used to bicker and fight and at least pretend to hate to be in the same room together. Now, of course, they smile coyly and pant lustily for each other and make out like desperate Mormons.

Bowie's "Heroes" is used to sell flowers for FTD. Hendrix's drug-addled "Purple Haze" moves cases of Pepsi. James Brown's "Sex Machine" wants you to drink Gatorade. The Cure's "Pictures of You" is all about HP digital photography. Styx's ultra-cheeseball "Lady" gets abused in the "Happy Cows" ad for, appropriately, California cheese.

Intel used Blur's "Song 2" to sell Pentiums. George Thoroughgood's "Bad to the Bone" was used to sell everything from Crispix cereal to aspirin. And of course, in the longest-running and most obnoxious example to date, Chevy still somehow refuses to knock it off with Bob Seger's "Like a Rock" to hawk bigass trucks to monosyllabic Midwestern dads who dream of piloting their tanks over giant muddy boulders as they haul the kids to Wal-Mart.

(The Stones, by the way, have gone on to waste the lovely "You Can't Always Get What you Want" on Coke's obnoxious C2 cola campaign and "Jumpin' Jack Flash" for the new Chevy Corvette. Apparently, Mick wants to have more money than God).

The list is truly endless. Sinatra (Visa) to Tom Petty (ESPN), the Clash (Pontiac, Jaguar) to Screamin' Jay Hawkins (Levi's), Queen (Coke) to Earth, Wind and Fire (the Gap), Paul Oakenfold (Volvo) to Celine Dion (Chrysler), Ted Nugent (Cingular), Stevie Wonder (Red Lobster), Andrew W.K. (Expedia, Coors Light) to the Shins (McDonald's). It goes on. And on. And on.

(My favorite bizarrely ironic musical-bedfellow example has to be that nastygood grunge tune "Awake," by heavily tattooed and happily pierced pagan nü-metal dudes Godsmack, now used in recruitment ads for the U.S. Navy. Ah yes. Kill me now).

Sometimes there's appropriate synergy. Sometimes truly (or even partially) hip companies use truly hip music to sell truly hip products, and it all makes some sort of sense and doesn't openly offend your sensibilities all that much and perhaps the most obvious example is Apple's iPod, a deliriously popular must-have music-delivery gadget whose ads feature some suitably stylish indie music, from Black Eyed Peas to Jet to the Propellerheads, from N.E.R.D. to Ozomatli to Steriogram.

Haven't heard of some of those artists? Cool. You're not supposed to. Even hipper that way. (All this aside from the whole recent U2/iPod spectacle, which raised the bar entirely by actually creating a band-branded product. Now, that's synergy).

But then comes those moments when your soul is sort of raked across the coals as you hear a classic, epic song that actually sort of meant something sincere and cool and the tiniest bit profound to millions of fans, and represented everything that corporate profiteering did not, and it just makes you sad.

And I truly thought I had really stopped caring all that much about pop music used in TV commercials until this recent visceral hit, the deep pang in my rock n' roll heart that struck like an ice pick when I heard Aerosmith's epic ballad "Dream On" in an ad for ... Buick.

Oh man. And you think: Have they gone too far? Is this a sign of the apocalypse? What's next, Metallica's "Fade to Black" to sell draperies? Pearl Jam's "Jeremy" to sell kiddie Prozac? Why not?

Sure there's irony. Sure commercials are now used as launching pads for new and undiscovered artists. Ad execs have apparently tuned into the fact that hip music can make the most tepid product look hip. Especially, for some reason, cars. VW, Lincoln, Mitsubishi, Volvo, Nissan, Hyundai, even Hummer have jumped this particularly bizarre bandwagon, using music from everyone from Hooverphonic to Modest Mouse, from the Chemical Brothers to Mr. Scruff, from Kinky to Overseer to sell cars, giving these relatively obscure artists unbelievable exposure as fans across the nation plaster music blogs with questions of "Hey, what was that cool song they used in that annoying commercial?" And, lo, a fan base is born.

(This precedent was set, by the way, by Moby, who, after recording probably a dozen techno albums over the years and languishing in relative obscurity, finally popped huge by selling every single song on his excellent 1999 "Play" CD for TV commercial use. Did he sell out? Sort of. Did he gain a million new fans who never would have heard of him otherwise? Definitely).

(Oh, and the Nick Drake resurgence is due largely to VW employing Drake's song about nuclear holocaust, "Pink Moon," to sell Cabrios. Which goes to show you, never underestimate the power of the TV commercial: they can even raise the dead.)

All well and good. I am all for new artists trying to reach wider audiences by whatever means possible and if that now consists of using great music in largely dumbass TV commercials, well, go for it, because it sure beats trying to get your song on the reality-show wasteland that is MTV or on some dumbed-down preprogrammed Clear Channel station that cares about as much for good music as a Republican cares for trees.

But this truth must be stated and reiterated and finalized, once and for all: Rock music has lost perhaps its most vital ingredient. It is no longer about rebellion. It is still, gratefully, perhaps eternally, about sex, and drugs, and money and power and girls and depression and loneliness and sex and angst and sex. Which is why ad companies love it.

But anarchy? Defiance? Revolution? That raw and potent and transformative feeling you maybe used to get via listening to some honest emotion-addled rock song, the notion that by wrapping yourself in the swirling chords of "Gallows Pole" or the delicious crunch of "Back in Black" or even the digital mellowness of modern electronica you'd suddenly been given a magic, moist, sexed-up ticket to transcend all the BS and all the BushCo and all the commercial crassness of the world? Not anymore, baby. You no longer get to transcend. You just get to participate.

Video may have killed the radio star, but TV commercials nailed the coffin shut.
Heard it from a pilot who spoke real gooooood!
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more comments on pernicious commercials PostMon Aug 01, 2005 3:20 am  Reply with quote  

Julian Penrod
4 Fairfield Avenue
West Caldwell, New Jersey 07006
(973) 220-1601

July 30, 2005

Letters to the Editor

Dear sirs:

There can be many levels to an issue, and, unless you look at all of them, you cannot necessarily be said to understand it completely.

It seems companies can always be counted on, these days, to accompany a flood of substandard, low-quality garbage at obscene prices with moronic, intelligence insulting even pernicious and malignant commercials hawking the trash! No sooner does one deluge of filthy "sophistry" posing as advertisements pass than another enters the scene. There are, apparently, for example, still bad memories of Dell Computers' loathsome and oily character "Steve". Geico Insurance has scaled back a bit on the non-commercials masquerading as everything from an Old Navy commercial to a reality TV promotion. E-Trade seems to have left the campaign of commercials that, evidently tellingly, pretended to be pirate transmissions stealing airspace from traditional stock trading commercials. Their new commercials are, also evidently tellingly, more "traditional" in form! In each case, it was apparent that the foul philosophies and malignant behaviors enshrined in the commercials were only reflections of the principles that the corporations themselves abided by!

But, where these apparently seem to clean up their image, other companies - evidently also revealing their system of working! - have come on the scene! To see the trenchant sentiments and philosophies demonstrated in these commercials, it becomes obvious that advertisers have no intention of reining in the more putrid aspects of themselves!

The commercial campaign for LasVegas, built on the tag line "what happens here stays here", for example, includes a woman introducing herself to a literal cavalcade of men, sequentially, with different names drawn from television, names such as "Lucy", "Ginger" and "Xena". The shadow of uncontrolled, mindless sex is glaringly obvious in the commercial; the entire campaign, however, speaks frighteningly of some kind of entrenched policy, in Las Vegas, of police literally "not asking any questions" about even serious crime happening in city limits!

Slightly less malignant, but apparently just as revealing, is a commercial campaign by British Petroleum. "Which would you rather have", a narrator asks coaxingly, "your car or a cleaner environment?" One of the respondents fumbles and says of course they would like a clean environment, but not having her car is "like giving up chocolate"! She asserts that no one is going to get rid of their car. Apparently emboldened by having a psychopathic oil company executive in a position to run troops murderously amok across the face of the globe, without the media reporting a twentieth of what is happening, the industry seems to feel they now have the "political capital" to express their utter and complete contempt for the public! "What do you want, a clean world or your car?", they seem to offer combatively, daring the public to say anything other than what the oil industry orders them to say! The respondents are provided to, apparently, instruct the people how shallow and insipid they should believe themselves to be. The commercial segues into claims of BP pursuing energy alternatives for the public, but the message seems simple, that it will never be anything but a choice of cars or a clean environment, and the public are too self-centered not to want the convenience!

Compared to the odd double message of BP’s commercial, one by Barclay’s Investment Banking is utterly bizarre. A man is shown to be burned at the stake, and he comments that “throughout history, new ideas have made people react violently”. A doctor runs through Victorian London streets, carrying a medical bag, and pursued by a mob with torches. He comments that things that are now taken as commonplace were once looked upon with mistrust. “Even fear”, he says in a whisper, before running off again, with the mob in pursuit. A woman suffragette is shown being arrested by police, saying that those who advanced new ideas were often opposed by society, and a ship’s captain, made to look like Christopher Columbus, is locked in irons, commenting how the daring have opened new worlds for mankind, then is thrown overboard. The president of Barclay’s then turns from the screen and continues to opine that inventiveness and imagination have expanded people’s vistas. If they are promoting the idea of unusual and novel investment schemes, why are they painting them in such despairing and depressive terms? Just about everyone shown is about to be killed! And, frankly, just what was that doctor carrying in that medical bag? Even in Victorian England, doctors and physicians weren’t looked upon askance! The only imagery that relates to is that of Frankenstein, and is Barclay’s trying to play up that mentality? Of course, the doctor also has the look of a “back alley abortionist”, something that might not have sat well with Victorian morals. There is a topic that seems to involve the combining of both the Frankensteinian concept and abortion, namely, embryonic stem cell research, artificially going life from embryos, only to slaughter it, to extract stem cells! Is that the subversive message that Barclay’s is sending through that segment, that they are investing heavily in embryonic stem cell research? This isn’t shown on regular broadcast television, mostly just on cable news channels. Those watched so often by investors. It isn’t intended, then, to tap the vision of gallant investors making cash to build the nation and make the stock market expand. Perhaps investors and investment advisors see themselves as martyrs to a cause. Or perhaps Barclay’s knows they are going to start pulling economics and financial frauds so extreme, in the near future, and investing in programs and projects so repellant to deceny and ethics, that the public will clamor for them to be severely punished, and they are trying to con the especially greedy and depraved into having faith in Barclay’s malignant machinations!

Indeed, craven self-interest seems to be gaining ground in advertising, again. A commercial for Arizona Jeans shows a group of early twenties running through the woods, from something growling and roaring, in the background. They clamber over each other, in their mad rush each to get away. “You don’t have to be faster than the bear”, the tag line reads, followed by, “You only have to be faster than your slowest friend!” In other words, the ad is recommending literally “throwing a friend to the wolves”, for personal safety! How, then, does it even have the gall to recommend calling that person your “friend”? Is a friend someone that you leave to be savaged by a wild animal? Or is that the corrupt and deranged target audience that Arizona Jeans is seeking? And, for that matter, why even have the sentiment of leaving a friend to be slaughtered as the subject for a jeans commercial? Are they, in fact, actively enlisting that breed of person as their target audience?

Selfishness plays just as malevolent a part in a Dairy Queen commercial. An entomologist is examining what is described as a “Killer Bee”, when a colleague stops by with one of Dairy Queen’s new products, the “Banana Cream Pie Blizzard”. The entomologist says he has learned “to speak bee’. He then orders the killer bee to attack his colleague, and, when he falls to the ground dead, the entomologist steals his Blizzard. In this way, it rather falls in the same category as Cheez-It’s’ “Get Your Own Box”, or Hershey’s recent “Sharing Is Overrated” campaigns. Reaching for a new degree of malevolence, the Dairy Queen commercial describes its new line as “good enough to die for”! At least Cheez-Its only counselled ruthless selfishness; Dairy Queen is practically recommending homicide, to steal someone else’s ice cream!

Less malignant, but no less based on ruthless selfishness is IHOP’s new commercial, which has a man and woman stranded at the top of a Ferris Wheel, when the entire staff of a carnival walk off, to enjoy the restaurant’s new specialties. The commercial ends with the park shutting down all the lights after midnight, with the couple still stuck at the top of the Ferris Wheel!

In a similar vein, but decidedly more malevolent, a new Outback commercial has two policemen shown relaxedly enjoying a steak dinner. The camera floats over them as they take each bite. Pleasant music plays in the background. It’s almost played to look romantic! When they have finished, they go out to the patrol car. There is a prisoner in the back of the car! They left him alone, while they ate dinner! “That’s just not right!”, the prisoner opines, concerning his being denied dinner, while the policemen smirk, self-satisfied. “Not right” is the least of the pernicious characteristics of the commercial! The idea of police leaving a prisoner unattended in a squad car is obviously disallowed, even criminal. The idea of leaving even an empty squad car unattended is frowned upon, even punishable! The idea of taking an apparently extended period of time to have dinner, apparently while still on duty is actionable! But the foullest aspect of the ad goes beyond even that. It is the idea of such craven, willful mistreatment of someone conveniently defined as “beneath contempt”. This is becoming steadily more apparent in American society, with entire segments of humanity being gratuitously defined as without any rights, whatsoever!

It serves the administration, apparently, in their apparent determination to turn the U.S. into a rogue nation, invading and stealing country after country! Anyone who takes up arms to protect their lands from being stolen, to enrich Bush’s cronies, are conveniently defined as a “terrorist”! When American soldiers remote control a guided missile supplied drone, from a thousand miles away, to help the administration steal someone else’s country from them, they are termed “heroes”, yet, when residents of that country fight back, using carbines against Patton tanks, they’re termed “cowards”! In a desperate attempt to con the public into thinking they are doing something worthwhile, instead of stealing the taxpayers’ money, local governments across the country have embarked on a campaign of complete and utter abuse of sex offenders! Hounding them constantly, requiring that they be pointed out, wherever they live, refusing them residence in communities, they have begun to subject them to the same treatment the Nazis are said to have imposed on the Jews! When trailer park garbage, with strong local connections, murder their children, these days, the first thing all local police do, anymore, it seems, is to finger the nearest sex offender! And, just because the French apparently treasure diplomacy and their own business dealings over Bush’s apparently rancid version of “doing business”, there doesn’t seem enough hate the conservatives can heap on France! And none of this would have happened if there wasn’t a loathsome thread of willful and craven abusiveness running through so much of society today! It wouldn’t be possible for a commercial to depict policemen leaving a prisoner alone, apparently to starve, while they hog down at a seedy Australian ptomaine barn, wouldn’t be possible if filthy contempt for the entirety of mankind hadn’t taken hold of so many! But the ersatz for “ethic” that seems to pervade American society, today, is “the other guy doesn’t deserve consideration, if it’s inconvenient for me!” And this is the “philosophy” that is supposedly being spread worldwide to free mankind! The only thing this swill will free them from is the feeling of responsibility for their fellow men!

So devoted has commercialism become of wholesale, out-and-out criminality, that even commercials have begun to joke about violations of the law, up to and including murder!

A Motorola commercial, for example, seeks to hawk hands-free headsets. It shows a post-yuppie type, talking on a headset to someone. He asks how the other person is doing. Then nods approvingly. He asks how the other individual’s wife is, then says, “Good!” He then asks how the other person’s children are. “Really!”, he gushes, “That’s incredible! They’re amazing, aren’t they?” The scene then begin to expand. A policeman is visible to the right of the scene. The sound of a police car radio can be heard. The man making the call is in handcuffs! “Listen”, he says to the other person, “I’ve got a problem. I’ve got to talk to you.” The policeman grabs the man’s head and pushes it down, as he guides him into the police car! The advantage of being able to make calls to your lawyer, while being picked up by the police seems to be the message of the ad! Incidentally, the reason for the arrest is made, evidently, deliberately vague! There isn’t any sign of a car crash, so it isn’t necessarily a traffic accident. It takes place in a residential district, and aside from traffic accidents, about the only major crimes that occur in places like that are either child abuse or murder! If all Motorola wanted to do was suggest someone getting into trouble in a minor way, they could easily have included the sight of a crashed car in the background. But they didn’t! They seem to be deliberately aiming their product at murderers and molesters!

Swiffer, the new cleaning cloth system has a commercial that takes place around a definite murder scene. Police are examining the scene for clues. The "joke" enters when a man comes in and demonstrates the effectiveness of the product by eliminating clues!

Among the vilest displays of conniving is to be found in the newest Hewlett Packard laptop computer commercial. Touting the HP Pavilion, it shows students in a lecture hall, while a professor covers atomic radiation. A girl student, apparently bored, cranks up her HP Pavilion, with head phones, so she evidently won’t be bothered by the schooling that her parents are paying for, and uses it to play an action movie! HP illustrates that by having two frogmen engage in a fist fight in the front of the classroom. Another student, apparently equally disinterested in how much his parents paid, uses his HP to tune in on moto-cross racing, and a motorcyle bursts into the room. Yet another student plays footage of a rock concert, and the “musicians” appear on the student’s desk and start to play. HP Pavilion’s motto seems to be, “Who cares if your parents paid for classes? You can just vegetate, watching your Pavilion notebook! After all, you’ll just get them to buy you a new one, when the more expensive models come out!” Remember, the HP Pavilion, when you don’t give a hang about the money you paid for education yielding any results!

The contempt big business has for the public is becoming more and more evident, every day. They even seem to see fit to incorporate acknowledgements, now, in commercials touting money management investment funds, that they intend to bankroll unethical even patently criminal ventures, as long as they make money! And the utter and complete diffidence the mentality of modern commercials shows towards the people, literally evidently trying to turn them into soulless, self-absorbed monsters, so the greed of CEO’s won’t be so startlingly obvious by comparison, seems to be shouted out! As foul as their engaging in such malignance is, it would be no less contemptible to allow it to continue, and to profit them!

The public must resolve, now, to engage in active, wide-ranging boycott! It almost doesn’t matter, anymore, what business you boycott; they all seem complicit in massive criminality! Certainly, you should forestall investing in HP Pavilion notebooks, until the idea of frittering away your parents’ money takes on less of a glow! The public should stay away from BP gas, until they admit the willingness that many do seem to have, to go the extra distance to avoid pollution! After all, if you’re willing to engage in this universal boycott, you should be willing to cut back on gas consumption! The public should hold off on going to IHOP, until they make amends for promoting dereliction of responsibility to others! They should refuse to go anywhere near the Outback Steak House, until they demonstrate that they don’t approve the idea of making any group “second class citizens”! In fact, the public should rise up and refuse to sanction an Outback being built in their neighborhood! If that’s the kind of malevolent mentality Australia’s “Botany Bay” background has given them, make them take it back “down under”! swill they call “ice cream”!

The public were apparently not polled in the creating of these debauched and debased exercises in malignance, but, if they are allowed to continue, and to be profitable, it will be on the public’s say-so! They people must demand that the filthy, mendacious connivery that seems the life-s blood of big business, these day, not yield them anything worthwhile! If it is allowed to make gains for them, they will not stop it! They will expand it, even further And those who stood quietly by, and permitted evil to flourish, will suffer the consequences!

The people must also flood every newspaper, magazine, and television and radio station with emails and letters, denouncing these displays of bestiality! They must inundate politicians’ desks with letters and emails, ordering them to take action against such corruption! And they must demand of each company that they end that filth, immediately, and never begin it, again!

Most importantly, the people must involve themselves, deeply, in what goes on around them, so that they will always be ready to denounce connivery and corruption, when next it appears!

If the workings of the world are not based on the public’s wishes, it will be because they gave up their rights to it!

Julian Penrod
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