Archive for the ‘Urge To Kill Rising’ Category

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The Superbowl Ads Were All Terrible This Year

February 8, 2010

So, I don’t know how many of you watched the Superbowl yesterday.  I can’t seem to find any news stories anywhere about the ratings this year, which is odd, because the news loves having that free little story to print out, even if the numbers are exactly as expected and not remarkable in any way.  But I guess what with the sad news of John Murtha being cut down at the tender age of 77 and Sarah Palin’s tragic learning disability, we just don’t have time to print such fluff.

For those of you who couldn’t muster up the energy/courage/chutzpah to actually watch the thing, you probably heard that the Saints won and that Peyton Manning cried like a tiny baby with a huge neck, and you honestly didn’t miss a whole lot by not watching it.  What you did miss were the supposedly “good” commercials that aired in tandem with the game, provided that “in tandem” has been redefined to mean “was the overwhelming majority of the broadcast”.

Well, YouTube was kind enough to put the commercials up here, and they are all awful.  Almost every single one is either vaguely misogynistic, openly and proudly misogynistic, plays off of literally medieval concepts of grotesquery, or relies on wacky “whoa! ninjas!!” schoolyard randomness to convince us that the gigantic monolith and myriads of middlemen firms involved in the process of creating these really understand us.  And then there’s those absolutely intolerable chicken ads that sound like a joke a three-year-old writes (“And then…THE CHICKEN SCREAMS! Hahaha…”).

Underneath it all, there’s an odd cynicism to it all, none of which I can exactly blame on anything.  The obvious choice would be to blame it on the economy and unemployment; the acerbic rhetoric being likened to the sneers the crewmates trade on a sinking ship, but that seems too simple and ignores other factors.  I think the truth is that America is getting angrier and angrier, but doesn’t entirely know why.  It’s not the rage of the Bush II years, it’s more introspective, even schizophrenic.  It’s an ennui.  Oh, shit.  It just might be a malaise.

Actually, it is probably completely me and I am once again projecting my own personal issues onto an entire zeitgeist, as I so often do.  Still doesn’t change the fact that these ads were certified stinkers this year.

Here’s something new, give your best answer as to why we are still fascinated with Superbowl ads.  If you have a better choice than is on here, leave it in the comments.

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Urge To Kill Rising: An Introduction

June 1, 2009

It’s a well-known truism that the best state of mind for writing is either last-minute panic or absolute, apoplectic rage.  And we’re all out of last-minute panic. With that in mind, I thought I’d give our writers an opportunity to angry up the blood and the prose with a series entitled Urge To Kill Rising, a recurring forum in which to rail against anything and everything that brings out their inner homicidal maniac.  My friends, let us get mad and get even.

I’ll begin the catharsis parade with an example of a phenomenon that people who know me are tired of hearing me complain about: advertising.  There’s just something about blatant emotional manipulation and sophisticated psychological gamesmanship in the service of compelling people to buy a slightly different variety of snack cracker that seems to me to have the faintest whiff of lowest-dregs-of-human-interaction to it.  I suspect that there are few people in this world genuinely interested in saving you money or improving your life, and the ones that are generally aren’t going to charge you money for doing it.  Possibly the worst of this breed is the sort of ad that tries to convince the world that a given company is composed of decent human beings.  When you’ve reached that stage, such a commercial smacks either of desperation or sheer balls-out shamelessness.

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