Monday, November 21, 2011

Cole vs. Commercials

I know it's been so long since I last blogged, but y'all are adults you can get over it. To my younger readers, I've scarred you for life and I'm sorry.

I've been watching a lot of TV recently (cause I use my time wisely) and I've noticed that I really don't commercials. It's not just that they interrupt "Design on a Dime", its because they lie to me. Lend me your ears...

Top 5 Ways Commercials Lie

1. Chefs
There are three commercials I can think of right now that blatantly lie about the kitchen staff.
Theres the Taco Bell one where the black Iron Chef is doing half cooking, half Cirque de Soleil while making a flat bread. Ok, I've seen the guys who work in the back at Taco Bell, I'm sure y'all have too. They look more likely to be facing the three strike rule, or studying for their second crack at the GED than to be doing knife tricks with cheese blocks.
Then there's the one about Red Lobster that has the girl and the guy chef talking to you as their making lobster stuffed steak (nothing says 'high class' like Frankenstein food). The first problem I have is those people are wayyyyyy to good looking to be working at Red Lobster cooking food, no sale. Second, that kitchen looks like it's the size of some houses I've seen, and Gordon Ramsey himself couldn't find one problem with it. If that's what every Red Lobster kitchen looked like on the inside, I doubt you'd be able to find an 8 dollar steak there.
Finally, the Lindt chocolate commercial where we watch some overly happy chocolate maker whisk this chocolate around like it's his very own version of heaven (seriously, if you've seen that commercial, he's looking at that chocolate in a way that if the truffle was a child - I'm calling child services). Also, those horrible Lindt truffles are pumped out in some factory in Peru. If those are being made by hand - hire better cooks.

2.Walmart Ads
Walmart just announced that it's bringing layaway back for the holidays. So they have these ads where  these people shopping are hoping layaway is back, so they can buy all the things that their children want for Christmas. Only, the people in these commercials are dressed like they own Rodeo Dr. Ummmmm...there's an entire website dedicated to how crazy the people at Walmart look, why don't we put a guy who came in wearing a duck shaped floaty on the commercial? Or a woman who is apparently wearing her anorexic daughter's tube top to the store? These are the real people of Walmart, not some dude wearing a watch that costs more than my rent.

3. ANYONE in an Airplane
NO. No no no no no. No one travels well. I'm sorry, that's a fact. Plenty of people like to travel. And some people are really good at it. But lets get serious for a second with each other - no one is having a good time on an airplane. The air feels like you're under the covers and someone just farted. The seats are tiny (given I'm a giant) but no one has ever sat down in those seats and gone, "Wow, I hope we're delayed so I can sit here another 9 hours." People on planes in commercials are smiling and stretching out and getting free bags of chips. In reality people are just waiting until the roof flies off and wondering if flapping their arms will really help, cause in the event of a "water landing" those little bubble slides are helping exactly no people.

4. Diet Drinks
They don't taste the same. Stop pretending that they do. Stop trying to make them taste the same. If you're on a diet you've already decided that you're not going to eat anything worth eating - so you're not gonna be let down when Diet Dr Pepper tastes like dirt with bubbles. And yes, I get that people love Diet Coke, but that doesn't mean it tastes good. People love crack too, but I'm not begging for a hit. If I see one more commercial talking about how this newest zero calorie drink tastes just like its horrible, sugar-poisoning counterpart...well I'm not really going to do anything. I might mute the TV (but that button on the remote always takes like ten tries before it finally works).

5. Customer Service
Basically the same deal as airplanes. No one smiles when getting phone calls from angry customers. "Well Cole, what about when people call with a compliment?" WHAT? We're a society who thinks McDonalds is too slow, so we opt for the drive-through. There's no way in hell we're going to stop and call Time Warner to tell them that their DVR service is doing a really good job. And I'm tired of seeing a bunch of women in well lit offices dressed like they're sponsored by Banana Republic in these commercials. Half the time I call one of the lines, I get a guy with an Indian accent telling me his name is Frank and saying, "I'm berry happy to be helping with you."

I guess my point is that I'm tired of the lies. Just shoot us straight - gimme a kid with pimples scooping a ladle full of chicken mush into a flatbread and throwing it into the microwave, maybe it'll make me think twice about going next time. Give me the crying baby on the flight for 5 hours and the iPad that ran out of battery cause I forgot to charge it last night. Give me someone taking a long gulp from a Diet Snapple and spitting it into their dates face. Give me a guy with a beard painted red, white and blue searching the city block that is Walmart for a person to help them layaway a crossbow. Give me an angry black woman yelling into a phone assuring the customer that him throwing a basketball at their satellite is not her problem. These are real ads. Real ads for real people. That's the dream I dream.

Also less cancer.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I was out the other night with my buddy, and we were talking to a couple girls at a bar. There were three girls in total, but one was doing a great impression of a pissed off mute chick. The subject of tattoos came up and I was asked if I had any, I said I did and before the girl who asked the question could answer, the girl who had been silent chimed in. "You know those tattoos are just gonna look disgusting when you're 70 right?"

I'm telling you guys, it took all the will power I had to not say, "You know your face looks disgusting NOW right?"

But I didn't. I refrained. In fact, I just smiled and nodded and said something about maybe not making it to 70 and carried on having a conversation without the Grinch who stole Christmas.

This little anecdote got me to thinking about what my tattoos will look like when I'm older, because I've heard that argument before - and it's not wrong. My family crest will be a great impression of "Starry Night" by the time I'm blowing out the candles on my 90th birthday cake.

Though, here's my rebuttal. Since I was 16, I've dedicated my entire life to baseball. That does mean that I've spent a lot of time getting into shape, and eating healthy (well not healthy, but eating), and overall trying to maintain a level of fitness that will support the game. But conversely, it's been 7 years of 11 months out of the year, training and sliding and throwing and hitting and all that fun stuff that comes with it. By the time I'm 70 I'm gonna be far more concerned if I will be able to lift my arm to shake hands than what my tattoos are gonna look like. I think every bone in my body already cracks, and I'm 23. I can crack all my fingers, my ankle, my wrist, my neck - if they had Olympics I'd definitely medal.

Finally, the disgusting blue drinks, she-devil was drinking that night are going to do far more harm than my body art will. And so, I will keep decorating my body in the way I see fit, and always taking care to follow my mother's rule (actually her rule is don't get any) that all my tattoos must be covered with a t-shirt. Can do mom - I'm going for the leg next anyway.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Internet Feuds

Guys - I was on YouTube yesterday looking around for new videos to make me laugh (after a while I just settled on watching about 2 hours worth of "Whose Line" clips). But in my travels around cyberspace I stumbled upon something that has always bothered me - and I thought I would share it with you now.

The issue today is internet feuds via comments. I'm telling you guys - nothing is more ridiculous than two strangers going back and forth on some forum trying to make the other person feel stupid about arguing on the internet. It's the ultimate practice in absurdity. I wish I could post some of the stuff that is said on these arguments, but I try to keep this blog PG and just like Xbox Live - the most depraved stuff in the world is said online.  Nothing is sacred, no slur or jab is ever too far, no threat is too severe. It's all just thrown out there - like a verbal yelling match across the entire span of the internet. And the best part is, no one will ever win it. That's where my problem lies.

There are videos on YouTube that "coach" kids on baseball (I'm sure there are also ones for basketball and football and soccer and everything else, but I don't watch those). As somewhat of an expert on the topic, I have to say - no one should ever teach their kid anything about baseball that they learned on YouTube. Almost every video is so harmful or pigeon-holed that it is sure to do much more harm than good.

That may be off the point - but trust me, I'm getting to it. The comments on these videos are priceless. People weighing in from each and every point of view, and from what I can tell, almost no one being right about any of what they're saying. Now, a logical response might be, "Cole. Since you have knowledge of the subject, why don't you respond and try to shed light on the conversation?" But see - if you join them, then you no longer can talk about how absurd what they are doing is. And furthermore, anyone can claim to be anyone online, and people are ruthless about tearing down arguments and calling people out for being frauds.

I just think it's so funny that people get so caught up in the ramblings of other people they find it neccecary to hop online and join the conversation that made them angry in the first place. To me, it's a little bit like people constantly Tweeting or Facebooking about how they wish people would shut about the Kardashian divorce. WHY DON'T YOU START WITH YOURSELF AND STOP POSTING ABOUT IT?

That's all I had for you guys today. Maybe it's ironic that I ultimately took to the internet to format this argument. But at least I didn't take it to the comment page on the nearest YouTube video - that's gotta count for something right?