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The Life and Times of Bruce Bramson

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February 6, 2009

I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll live long enough to finish this blog! In the narrative, I’m only out of high school, still confused about my role in relation to others, and not particularly sure what I might want to do in life. The narrative will continue, but on this page I want to discuss some contemporary items.

/rant mode on/

ADVERTISEMENTS ON THE TELLY

I watch a lot of TV. More properly, I sleep a lot in front of the TV. I have seen the first ten or fifteen minutes of hundreds of programs, but fall asleep during the first spate of commercials, largely because I turn off the sound, tune out  the subject, and nod off.

It amazes me to think there are thousands of people working in the advertising industry who sit around all day and come up this stuff! How can they live with themselves? What I see on cable (never watch regular TV) is so blatantly stupid and stultifying, its hard to imagine anyone can be so unimaginative as to think it up. Do they really think I am so stupid I would fall for any of their blandishments?

Here’s a few of the worst currently on cable:

• Nutrisystem, which spends five minutes trying to make me believe I can lose weight like the guys shown, while displaying a “results not typical” flag. So, if the results aren’t typical, why are they saying they ARE typical? “Three months of complete meals”, while noting that we have to “add-in grocery and produce items”? Then the meals are NOT complete. It is all a bunch of lies.

• L’Oreal “Regenerist” creme, $7.00 for an ounce bottle with ingredients worth a quarter at most (the bottle probably costs more than the contents). The comely lass in the ad is young and has a naturally flawless appearance for which she was selected. The inference is that using this crap will make someone look as nice as she does. Are there folks out there who fall for this? Can they be that stupid?

• Capital One Credit Cards.  Producing these ads, with dozens of actors, sets, stupid “plots” with the “What’s in your Wallet” punch-line must cost a fortune. They could afford to charge several percent less to the cardholders if they did not spend all this money on stupid ads like these. And, what’s in MY wallet is MY business! I can assure you there is no card from CapOne.

• Geico ads, with that stupid anthropomorphized gecko with a fake accent. I guess Warren Buffet can afford to saturate the radio and TV waves with this crap, but he could charge even less for the insurance if he’d spend less on these dumb ads. I even got a junk-mail offer from GEICO, which I sent back with a note: “Coming soon to an internet near you: Sick_of_GEICO_ads.com”. Somebody has to do it!

• Auto Insurance ads in general, now all promising to “save XX percent by switching to Bumfuck Insurance Company.” So, with a half-dozen switches, I could get my insurance down to zero? Not bloody likely!

• All Ads for women’s hair products. My stomach turns every time I see these, not because I am queer and could care less about most women or their hair, but because I know there are millions of women in the world who are lucky if they have even a scrap of soap with which to wash their hair, most likely in sewage. Imagine how much good the enormous sums spent on useless hair preparations in “developed” countries could do if spent in less developed countries.

• Automobile ads, especially the “cash-back” come-on. Do people really let themselves get hooked on that gimmick? It’s a loan added to the price of the car! The interest rate is exorbitant!  Or, the “zero interest” lie. Read the fine print: “$1.66 per hundred dollars financed” is 1.66 percent, which is NOT zero!

• ALL ads, with the “fine print” buried at the bottom of the screen, in non-contrasting lettering, and there for so short a time NO ONE can possibly read it!

/rant mode off/

I could go on like this, but you get the idea: advertisements are utterly wasted on me, and I suspect they are wasted on almost everyone. Time, effort and money down the drain!

ITS A LOT OF

Still, there have been a few adverts I like: the FedEx ad (below) with the cavemen was funny, but ran for only  a short time. [On the other hand, the cavemen GEICO ads are beyond stupid!] The home warehouse ad was entertaining as well.  There are lots of ads from over-seas that show europeans to be more discerning and clever at writing ads, and willing to be a bit risque at times. (My favorite is this Hyundai ad.  We see these on award programs for “best ads”, but we never see the ads themselves on OUR TeeVees.

There was ONE ad that induced me to buy a product. Very clever, but again it ran only a short while. The ad itself was perhaps 20 seconds in duration, but really packed a punch. The scene was a typical kitchen, with an empty table in the foreground. John Houseman walked on camera with a bottle of something clutched his hand: he plopped the bottle down vigorously on the table, looked into the camera with his wonderful scowl, and said “Use Puritan Oil!!!”  I was so intimidated I actually did buy a bottle: it was around for years, since I rarely cook with oil. But I loved that ad. Only three words—imagine that! [A much longer ad for Puritan Oil with Houseman in his inimitable style can be seen here.]

THE FINANCIAL CRISIS

More appalling than anything else, for me, is this: NONE of the perpetrators who have gotten us into this mess has yet gone to JAIL: my sense is that none will.

A friend of mine is fond of an old aphorism (I’ve no idea where it originated): “A fish rots from the head”. With George the titular head of our government, things went to pieces right down through government and the private sector as well. Dubya was never held accountable for anything he did, and everyone took that as their cue to do whatever they liked—no one would care. For the most part no one did! Now it comes to light that the SEC had been warned about Bernie Madoff ten years ago. Nothing was done. Many people foresaw the business downturn, especially those watching the sub-prime mortgage fiasco. Nothing was done. Many people warned Detroit to build better cars. Nothing was done. There was NO ACCOUNTABILITY.

Now, with nearly every system in the country breaking down and falling apart the Republicans still WANT TO DO NOTHING! There are even “conservative Democrats” who WANT TO DO NOTHING!

I’m beginning to wonder of anyone can ever set things right! President Obama has the right ideas for the most part, but obstructionists used to the old way of doing things in Washington are unwilling to work with him.

The current issue of The Nation (America’s oldest news magazine) has a fine article by Jonathan Schell (not his usual one-page piece, but a full-blown article) describing in detail how all the forces came together to get us into this fix. I have not finished the piece yet, so don’t know if he has a prescription for putting “Humpty-Dumpty back together again”.

TROMPE – L’ŒIL

Judging by my perusal of numerous gay blogs, the current “ideal man” seems to be a twenty-something (where something = ±2) fellow with six-pak abs. Now I read that many of these “chiseled abdominals” are painted on! Ain’ nuthin’ sacred?

Coming soon: I go to College. Stay tuned…

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Written by Bruce

December 14th, 2009 at 7:29 pm

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