Except I’m not completely done with the Supreme Court nomination thing. As careful readers have noticed, I may have, sort of, spent some time roaming the halls of the Capitol Building as either a paid staffer, a frustrated screenwriter stalking Fred Thompson or hoping my cross-over dribble would get the attention of Herb Kohl. Meaning I was, at a minimum, in the vicinity of several of these same exercises in futility. Here’s the deal: congressional staff, White House staff and, ESPECIALLY the media spend an amazing amount of time and effort discussing, handicapping, strategizing (you’d be shocked how long Judiciary Committee staff spend drafting questions – we’re talking weeks) all about someone who, as history shows, has a better than 99 percent chance of being confirmed. Then come the hearings, with each member of the committee getting 30 whole minutes … just for their opening statement. Cable news + Senate Committee = Hawthorne Effect.
So join me in my fantasy world, where it would be really cool if the following had transpired:
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Gotham City): “The Chair now recognizes the Senator from some basketball webpage that makes predictions with an accuracy rate that has the project director for the U.S. missile defense system falling out of his chair with derisive laughter.”
U.S. Sen. duhomme (I-Dukies.com): “Thank you Mr. Chairman for the opportunity to waste valuable time and resources to score political points with my base by asking questions that don’t need answers, as the answer is actually part of the question, and won’t be answered as every Supreme Court nominee since Robert Bork has been coached to be as responsive as a paper plate. However, since everyone in this room, including the cute producer from MSNBC standing there in the back, knows, this nomination is a done deal as long as Judge Sotomayor doesn’t spontaneously combust. Having said that, I won’t take up any more of the committee’s time.”
Chairman Leahy: “If my esteemed colleague, which is the Senate code-word for ‘major a-hole’ would yield for a minute, I must say I disagree with his exaggeration of the worthlessness of these proceedings. After all, there are at least a dozen media outlets twittering away out there. Plus, who knows how many live bloggings? Are you suggesting the members of this committee pass up on all those opportunities that will lead to votes and campaign donations?”
Sen. duhomme: “Not at all. In fact, have fun. I’m just going to get cracking on this Sudoku puzzle that has me stymied. I mean, I guess I could try to trick the nominee into revealing her position on Roe v. Wade, but like everyone else who sits in that chair, she’ll claim she’s never discussed it, considered it or even heard of it until I mentioned it. There are also some takings and federal preemption issues I would really be interested in hearing her discuss, but if I wanted to listen to vague and unresponsive answers, I’d have coffee with my press secretary. Watch this: Judge Sotomayor, how about this weather we’re having?”
Sotomayor: “Senator, I’d really need more time outside to render a full opinion on today’s climatic conditions. However, I want this committee to understand I have complete respect for the rule of meteorology.”
Sen. duhomme: “See what I mean? Why bother. Plus, Mr. Chairman, I really wish you wouldn’t wear your vintage Batman costume to these hearings.”
Chairman Leahy: “Christian Bale didn’t mind.”
Sen. duhomme: “Dude, whatever. TMI.”
Chairman Leahy: “Would you at least take part in the irony of these proceedings in which we have the opportunity to get our message out in front of millions of Americans but then load our statements with obscure Latin phrases the majority of them don’t understand?”
Sen. duhomme: [sigh] “Stare decisis, ad valorem, rebus sic stantibus, nunc pro tunc, leges humanae nascuntur, vivunt, moriuntur, cadit quaestio? Casus belli, ratio scripta, rebus sic stantibus caveat, ad colligenda bona, ceteris paribus, ad coelum? Cogitationis poenam nemo patitur, ad litem,conditio sine qua non, ad infinitum, res ipsa loquitur, consensus facit legem, consuetudo pro lege servatur?
“Ratio decidendi, caveat emptor, res publica, certiorari, res publica christiana, ad hominem, respondeat superior, restitutio in integrum, a fortiori, a posteriori, a priori assumption, ab extra, ab initio, actus reus? Ad hoc, compos mentis, ad idem, ad quod damnum, adjournment sine die, a mensa et thoro amicus curiae animus nocendi, arguendo?
Chairman Leahy: “Ahhhhhh. You could be my Robin any time you want.”
Sen. duhomme: “Alright, that’s it. I’m out of here.”
But sadly, that didn’t happen. What did happen is that in the rest of the country, marketing and ad folks were putting together a bunch of really stupid stuff and then coming up with even stupider campaigns to get you to buy them. Remember the Diaper Dude from the last edition? (Fifth item down). We’ll it’s back and better (badder?) than ever. Remember, it’s easier to follow this if you right click the link for each ad and select “Open in new tab.”
Rambo Daddy: Oh, these folks won’t quit. And as long as they keep helping pad this material during the off-season, they will get no discouragements from these parts. Turns out the manly diaper toting device comes in a version sure to make it standard issue in the U.S. Marines. My, my, my, that marketing copy is pretty weak. How about we spice it up a bit?
“Attention all soldiers! Stuck behind enemy lines after making a poor choice on ‘Bring Your Child to Work Day’? Got called up for a black-ops mission on your weekend with the little one? Decided to finally move full-time into that Montana-based militia camp you found on the internet?
“Whatever your situation, you can’t have that diaper bag with a big smiling image of Big Bird on it giving away your location to the enemy, whether they be the Taliban, North Koreans or ATF agents in black helicopters. Lucky for you, there’s another choice.
“Introducing the Camouflage Diaper Dude! Made from 100-percent Kevlar and featuring the same radar-absorbing technology used on the Stealth Fighter. Roomy side pockets can hold several flashbang grenades and extra ammunition clips.
“Order now, and get a free manual on how to turn a baby bottle full of formula into an incendiary device!”
Gangsta Daddy: Awwww, all these wonderful gifts for the old man coming out too late for fathers’ day. I’m including this item simply because of its complete absurdity and because anyone who wears this should kick his own ass.
Undead Children: You may not realize it, but a sinister force is taking over the world, replacing flesh-and-blood humans with sinister creatures from the underworld who cast no shadows. I am making it my personal mission to alert you of this, as the authorities either haven’t noticed or have already been replaced by the minions of evil. Look no further than this picture (click the image to enlarge), where the running child at the bottom has his shadow in front of him, while two of the fellows on the right have none at all. The third child at the right, casting a small shadow straight down, has just about neared the completion of his change. This toy might be their porthole into this dimension, as the boy going down the slide appears to be hovering above it.
Oops! … My Legs Will Not Bend: The trend among child stars to enter adulthood somewhat unbalanced and then self-mutilate using modern medical techniques is getting out of control For instance, Britney Spears has had her left kneecap surgically removed. Oh, sure, you look at that picture and say, “If I were writing for this website, I’d have come up with something much funnier along the lines of how Britney apparently wore her kneecaps off during a series of ‘auditions’ necessary to retain her recording contract.” Sorry, guttermind, we have standards around here. Sometimes.
Help me Obi-Wan, you’re my only photographer: I continue to be puzzled with the choice of backdrops when talking pictures of models wearing clothes a store wants to sell. For example, this lady could be, say, in a real-life situation. Such as walking down the street, hanging out in the mall, feeding pigeons at the park, sitting in her living room or fielding questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee. But no, she’s in front of this bizarre thing, and no one involved thought that a dope like me might come along and say something like, “Is that your lightsaber I’m posing in front of or are you just happy to see me?”
Sauté for five minutes then add two teaspoons of human zest: Either this is the world’s smallest chef or he is regular size and got the folks at Microplane to costume-build the world’s largest grater. Either way, using it was a bad choice, as he’s been impaled on the thing.
Member FDIC and The Grange: You know the economy is in bad shape when people save their money in piggy banks. You know we’re on the brink of a complete societal collapse when people keep their piggy banks in the North Forty.
Dōmo arigatō, Mr. (and Ms.) Roboto: And speaking of bad signs for the economy, Bravo has implemented serious cost-cutting measures, including replacing the cast of “America’s Top Chef” with badly done CGI representations. Or so this picture would have you believe.
Teflon Tennis Player: Maybe her swimming method differs from mine, but when I get out of the pool, and my hair is wet, so is the rest of my body. Of course, I don’t have a shadow painted on my shoulder, or a strange two-stage one on my forearm.
Photo so unbelievable no silly intro is needed: You know, I’ve been working on a movie treatment about what would happen if the Addams Family’s Lurch fell in love with a Barbie Doll but really needed an image that would knock it out of the park. As a bonus, this picture proves that Pete Gillen, while travelling in the U.K., fathered a lovechild who is now a model.
Why you shouldn’t sample some products while designing their ads: As you may have noticed, I have a thing for lighting and shadows in advertisements, especially when they fail to follow the laws of science. I’ve also been known to enjoy the occasional cold beer. So, what could be better than having those two worlds collide? I’m totally buying one of these, and all of you are invited to come over for the Superbowl, knock back a few, and join me in amazement that the beer dispenser casts no shadow, while the two kegs cast shadows in different directions. Toward the light source. Maybe you could help me figure out if the kegs are next to the dispenser, or behind it, because I honestly cannot tell.
Or could it be that the evil forces behind this phenomenon have now turned their sinister take-over plans toward poor, innocent beer?
We now interrupt this program for some breaking news … ? Sorry for the aside, but the anchor on the local news just said, “Paying for health care reform will be costly.” I’m sorry, but when does paying for something, regardless of its price tag, not cost something?
If I have to hear “We’re Off to See the Wizard” one more time … Carpooling is a drag. You have to adhere to other people’s schedules, listen to their cell phone conversations, smell their coffee with waaaayyyy too much hazelnut and pretend you really care about how little Jimmy played in youth soccer yesterday. Even worse is dealing the radio. In my opinion, the driver should be in charge of the station, but not everyone agrees. Especially the Tin Man, who in this shot is changing stations from the passenger’s seat.
Fly the lonely skies: Maybe it’s just me, but I got a giggle from this United Airlines ad, outsourced to a 3rd grader who had to buy his own crayons, which features no pilots and only one passenger. It’s one thing to give your marketing the least professional look possible, but quite another to make it clear no one wants to work for you or ride your planes.
“Why did you come here?” “Because we can only text in your plane of existence”: It is time to bring in Mulder and Scully! The undead, having taken control of our children and our beer, are now trying to spread electronically through the use of handheld devices. Don’t believe me? Then why does this Kindle have a reflection but its keys do not? Interesting that this device came out riiiiiigt around the time of the summer solstice, huh? [Nodding solemnly]
Four out of five dentists recommend sugarless gum for their patients who chew people: Speaking of the undead, here’s everybody’s favorite T.V. vampire show, True Blood, now out on DVD and probably selling quite well despite its strange cover. Now, I’ve never bitten anyone on the neck, but if I had done so hard enough to draw blood, and some on my chin, I suspect I would also have some on my teeth and lips. I would also expect the bit marks to be the same distance apart as my fangs. And if the blood from my victim ignored gravity and walked itself across my face at a 45 degree angle, I’d notify my physician.
Are you feeling lucky, Godzilla? Hey DVD covers are fun. Let’s try some more! Here’s the one for “Gran Torino,” a movie about a racist war vet who decides to reform the Asian kid who tried to steal his prized, well, Gran Torino. The vet is played by Clint Eastwood, who we allllll know is a serious badass. Hell, he scared me in “Bridges of Madison County.” So the neighborhood boy should have known better. Especially because he was trying to steal a car from a 40-foot-tall Clint Eastwood. Even more mystifying is why the Eastwood character was so protective of a car he could never fit in.
She’s got legs, she knows how to lose them: Okay, it wouldn’t be a huge exaggeration to call me a Photoshop snob. But really, I don’t go out of my way to find these things. It’s just that an image may seem peculiar to me before I figure it out. Take this cover for the DVD of “The Pink Conspiracy.” This one is a little bit subtle, but look at the left leg of the woman in the skirt. Follow it down as it passes behind the hostage in the chair, imagine its natural progression and then tell me how in the name of Kodak her foot could possible end up where it does in this shot. Or how the back of her calf could go straight up.
Oh, sorry, you were looking for something along the lines of “If my girlfriend/wife could do that with her legs …” Remember, we have standards here. Or were going to go in that direction but couldn’t come up with a way to finish the line.
Just say “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well, here’s Mary-Louise Parker on the cover of the season 4 DVD for her hit cable series “Weeds.” Here’s Mary-Louise Parker with, apparently, no pelvis whatsoever. But, here’s Mary-Louise Parker featuring a left shoulder that would be the envy of any NFL-level tight end. Did she have one transplanted to the other? Don’t know, but if my girlfriend/wife could do that with her pelvis and shoulder …
The answer my friends … Is blowing in the wind. But only her scarf, and with such force it could decapitate her, while her hair and no one’s clothing if affected in the least by the approaching tornado.
A really freaky one to end on: This one really defies explanation, but of course I spent all of the last college basketball season trying to figure out how Coach Yokel’s squad could keep winning games despite having a defense that couldn’t stop an armadillo from reaching the basket and got nothing. So why should this be any different.
Familiar with Fruit by the Foot? It’s a fruit-based product that’s pressed into long strips and sold rolled up in small packages. Marketed, almost exclusively, to children. In fact, the ad in question here has been part of a serious ad buy on Nickelodeon, the network that shows Spongebob and other fare for the grade school crowd. So why not produce a spot that shows someone from this same age group killing another?
Go ahead and watch this horrific thing now.
Okay, so we have these two kind-of-mopey kids in what appears to be an unfurnished basement, housing only a vacuum cleaner and some kind of industrial-looking storage boxes. Looks like a cleared up version of space used in the first “Saw” movie, which is just the kind of marketing cross-over you want in this situation. Without explanation, the two mopey kids are able to instantly turn anything they want into Fruit by the Foot, and are using this power as a weapon against one another.
First off, when you run an ad for a product, you are trying to encourage people to buy it. Thus, you would think that these two would be using their abilities for the forces of good, turning trash, toxic waste and surplus government furniture into tasty Fruit by the Foot, rather than in some strange duel. But no, the lanky mopey kid turns the shorter one’s shoelaces into Fruit by the Foot. Rather than thanking him, and chowing down, the shorter one makes the first of two serious errors: he turns his opponents fingers into the fruity snack.
Lanky isn’t taken aback. In fact, while his demeanor does not show it, he is infuriated by this attack on his person, and takes the contest, and the terror level of this whole ad, to a new level, turning Shorty’s bones into Fruit by the Foot. Shorty, now grotesquely collapsed on the floor and twisted as if a semi just ran over to him (another image small children should be exposed to four times and hour), makes mistake number two: instead of going for the kill, he turns Lanky’s guitar strings into this delicious snack that doubles as a wizard weapon. This is unwise, kind of like if a rogue nation shot down a U.S. airplane and we responded by taking out a power station. Plus …
It leaves Lanky with the last move, which he used to transform Shorty’s DNA into the fruity goodness. This could actually be a sympathetic gesture, since death was instantaneous, much more merciful than the slow, painful suffering that would have occurred had he simply left Shorty without a proper skeletal structure and suffocating under his own weight.
In summary, this is a promotional spot for a food product. But we never see anyone eat it or enjoy it. Rather, we see them harm each other with it until one of them dies. What’s next? Youngsters armed with UZI’s that shoot Co-Co Puffs? How about a couple of children turning Slurpees into sulfuric acid? Oreos used as Ninja throwing stars? Or perhaps ad agencies working contracts for children’s products actually relying on the creative input of people who have, at some point in their lives, met a real child.
On the other hand, these morons are helping us keep this site populated during the offseason. Seen anything else worth of mockery? Comment away.