Monday, February 27, 2006

At A Risk Of Sounding Unpopular

You know what really pisses me off? Television commercials.

Wow, Michael, how original. Somebody who is pissed off by television commercials. Why you haven't been nominated for some sort of award for insight is beyond me. Excuse me for being too moved by your revelation to applaud you, you mental giant.

Now, now. Hear me out. I should clarify a bit by saying television commercials that have disclaimers printed somewhere on the screen. You know the kind. For instance, if you're watching a car commercial and you get to watch all sorts of fancy driving, there on the screen, somewhere, it will read something like: "Professional driver on a closed course. Do not attempt." Lately, I've noticed a cell phone commercial with all of these supposedly average people jumping off of bridges and doing flips and shit, playing some sort of fucking, Hey look at me, world, I have a fucking cell phone, game of Marco Polo. There on the screen it reads: "Professional athletes. Do not attempt."

Do you know why I hate these television commercials with the shitload of disclaimers? It's a constant reminder of how stupid people are. Well, not so much everybody, more or less, it's you. You see, I know I sure as fuck didn't do anything so stupid that corporate lawyers felt it necessary to put disclaimers on television commercials to keep me from hurting myself. But somebody did. Somewhere along the way somebody watched a commercial and did something to hurt his or her self and corporate lawyers devised a plan for advertising that would wash their hands of any further responsibility for people's stupidity. Since I know that I have done nothing that was shown in a commercial, by process of elimination I know it's somebody out there reading these words. Maybe it's a bunch of you fuckers. At the risk of sounding unpopular I will say that I hate you people. It's because of you that corporate America treats me like a toddler.

I mean, fuck, did you just turn on the television one day and say, "Holy fuck, that guy doing all those somersaults off of that bridge is so fucking cool! If he can do it then surely I can do it. It's on t.v. it must be feasible." Never you mind that you're lugging around a 170 pound gut full of cheetos and your doctor says that your arthritis is so bad that you're lucky to even be able to walk thirty feet without snapping in half. You are fucking convinced that graceful somersaults off of a fucking bridge are in your immediate future. And then, poof, you're a fucking vegetable in some hospital bed for the rest of your life and your relatives have to sue the company behind the commercial to keep your damn stupid-as-shit brain operating at an even more abyssmal level.

Now, for the rest of eternity, I have to have some waiver flash across the screen every time something even remotely dangerous is being depicted so I don't actually go out and attempt shit by myself.

I wonder, though, if enough litigation goes on will more and more shit be disclaimed as it's being portrayed on the screen. For instance, if, say, somebody is shown tossing a Cheerio into the air and catching it with his mouth, then some asshat does the same thing except he chokes to death, resulting in a lawsuit, will there be a disclaimer about the actors who are throwing food into the air and catching it with their mouths? Why, with enough lawsuits, it'll get to be that depictions of people getting out of bed in the morning will be complete with waivers of liability. Caution: man getting out of a bed is a paid professional. Under no circumstances should getting out of bed be attempted by anybody without proper training and certification.

You know what, you people out there who hurt yourselves trying all this shit because you saw it on television piss me off so much that I wish that a disclaimer appears on everything shown on television. Imagine, a constant fucking disclaimer reading: "You stupid fucking people, don't try any of this shit at home because you're only going t fuck it up so bad that you're going to get hurt. Remember when you didn't have to be reminded that you are a bunch of fucking simps? We do. Fuck it would be great to just have entertainment without having to start spouting off all these legalese bullshit just to keep you morons from killing yourselves. But here we are. Shit happens." I think that a disclaimer like that should be the burden that all of have to bear until every last one of you stupid motherfuckers finally learns that, hey, if you haven't successfully done a fucking somersault off a bridge before in your life seeing that shit on television doesn't suddenly turn you into Mary Lou fucking Retton, you fucking idiots.

Then maybe some of us sane, rational people can enjoy our entertainment in peace.


Gravel said...

It would be pretty sad if EVERY activity pictured on TV came with a disclaimer.

Advertising influence is unavoidable. We're inundated by it. It's pathetic that some people (lawyers and Joe Citizens alike) take that as a "get out of jail free card" when it comes to personal responsibility.

However. There is a larger and uglier issue underneath all this, and that is the relationship between women and the media. Different ball of wax, in my opinion. And likely to big a ball of wax to discuss here.

Anyways. Good post, Mikey, despite the vitriol.

Adam said...

My favourite is the ANIMATED CARTOON car commercial, in which the car is pictured FLYING AROUND SKYSCRAPERS, and the disclaimer line reads: "Dramatization, do not attempt."

Well, thanks for telling me not to attempt to make my fucking Mazda 3 FLY IN THE SKY. I really thought that it was possible, especially since you don't even show a real car doing it...