I heard a radio commercial for a movie the other day. I don’t remember what the movie was but at the end of the commercial, they gave the movie's rating. It was something like this: This movie is rated “R” for adult language, nudity, drug use and brief smoking…
At first, I thought I heard it wrong. Brief smoking?
I replayed it in my head and decided I DID hear “brief smoking” as one of the reasons why the movie was rated “R”. I couldn’t believe it, so I googled “smoking rated R” – and up came pages and pages of articles that discuss how the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is expected to use smoking as a factor in determining if a movie is rated “R”.
Apparently, I didn't get the memo on this.
So far, it seems that no movie has been rated “R” just because of smoking. The American Medical Association (AMA) is mad about this. They argue that movies glamorize smoking which causes kids to start smoking. Yeah, yeah, yeah. This is the same agrument about movies and video games causing kids to perform violent crimes. Never mind the fact that the most violent times in history were before movies or video games.
I sat puzzled upon thinking about this. I understand all the “good intentions” but where do political correctness, personal accountability and parental guidance intersect. I really think this whole line of reasoning is heading off the deep end. It kind of makes you wonder where this trend will lead as the people of the future try to shield and protect everyone from every potentially bad thing in the world.
Imagine this promo in the year 2109:
This summer, from director Duplicitous Spielberg (cloned from the toe-nail of legendary movie maker Steven Spielberg) Unnecessary Unsightliness – a hologram-movie staring Brad Jolie and Angelina Pitt about a young man and woman that encounter things they were never prepared to see.
This hologram-movie is rated “XXX” as it contains ugly and/or overweight people, fast food, moments of unproductiveness, complicated words, cloudy weather and brief smoking…
Have you ever heard the myth/story about elephants being drawn to an elephants graveyard when they’re about to die.
I think I found an even more mythical destination; it’s the place where fairly successful former television actors go when their career has been over for a while. When they get there someone talks them into doing a bad television or radio commercial.
I have nothing against commercials or informercials featuring celebrities. They are a valid advertising and infotainment medium.
What’s really funny and awful is the low points some of the commercials have hit lately. Paul Michael Glazer from Starsky and Hutch fame is on a “late night” television commercials with possibly the worst video quality I’ve ever seen. It’s so bad that I cannot remember what he’s hawking – some get out of debt thing I think.
A few years back, Tom Bosley, from Happy Days was selling some home business catalog company. When he was doing Glad Garbage bag commercials – I was ok with that. But I don’t get why he got involved with a catalog company. He was a pretty big star in his day. Maybe he has a piece of the action.
Recently, I heard a radio commercial featuring the professor from Gilligans Island and in the background was an "elevator music" version of the Gilligans island theme. Just like with Starsky, I don’t remember what he’s pitching because I couldn’t stop laughing long enough to listen to what he’s saying.
When he said, “you don’t have to be a Professor to know …” I lost it.
Bottom line – beware of a commercial that features an old sitcom theme song.
I’m sure I’m not alone on this. I’ve developed a case of “Parking Rage” and I need to vent verbally before I do something physically that I’ll regret. Driving in parking lots has become like driving through an enemy territory gauntlet – especially now that the “Holiday Shoppers” have landed.
My biggest issue is backing out of my parking space…
When you’re trying to back out of a space, idiots come flying past and around you, even if half your car is already out of the parking spot. You are a reasonable person and understand that you are driving a large dangerous vehicle while many people act like we’re all driving bumper cars – where anything goes.
All the Mario Andretti antics are usually to get to some “closer” parking spot so they don’t need to transport their fat ass an extra 20 yards on foot.
Sometimes, the truest of morons walks behind your car while you’re backing out. Your white reverse lights are on, your car is in motion, you are already backed several feet out of the parking space, but they walk behind your car with no concern – eyes forward in a glazed trance.
I believe that based on Darwin’s theory, they are supposed to get hit, which would help end a lineage of subspecies that escaped natural selection. But surprisingly – I don’t see that happening.
Darwin didn’t factor the guardian angel of parking lots into his theory.
When I was a kid, I remember that when mom and dad went “out on the town,” we would frequently be rewarded with a pizza, delivered from the local pizza joint, to enjoy with the baby sitter. Time spent with the babysitter is a whole ‘nother topic for a different blog.
I’m sure we were less difficult to handle after a pizza carb overloading. Pizza delivery was a special treat back then. This was before the Chicago deep dish was widely available in our neighborhood – so we’re talking thin crust.
As a kid with Italian blood and a fat future ahead of me, that “left over” pizza was calling my name from the fridge the minute I woke up on Saturday morning. There was nothing better than cold pizza and cartoons.
Eventually, we realized it would taste better if it wasn’t 40 degree cold pizza, but we were too young to be permitted to touch the oven. To my own kids’ dismay, this was all in the pre-microwave days. When I tell my kids about life before microwave ovens, they look at me like I’m talking about the cave paintings of Altamira.
Thus, an invention based on necessity: toaster pizza
Being the smart kids that we were, we determined you could put two squares of cold pizza in the toaster to warm them up. You had to watch it though, if you let it heat too long without forcing them to pop up, the cheese got overly melted and the downside was significant. It did leave an unmistakable scent in and around the toaster but by the time mom and dad made it downstairs, we had the evidence squirreled away.
It was “toasty good” until we got caught one time – which put an end to toaster pizza.
You know the drill - We could have started the house on fire… The toaster could have been ruined… and blah, blah, blah…
Sadly, I firmly believe an entire new genre of kitchen appliance went extinct on that day.
Ok, I admit when I first heard this story, I thought to myself - Do I really even need a good reason to boycott Kentucky? I’d do it because it sounds funny.
Well it turns out there is a good reason to Boycott Kentucky.
The recently elected governor of Kentucky came up with a plan to increase revenue through gambling taxes. But first, he needed to get rid of the competition. If this plan sounds like a mob takeover - it kind of is.
How do you “get rid of” all other online gambling all over the world?
You just seize their websites.
He got a judge to go along with his plan and now, 141 website domains like pokerstars.com face being confiscated by the state of Kentucky. Some of these websites do significant business worldwide and Kentucky probably accounts for a negligible portion of their business. Even better – they left a Kentucky based online gambling site off the list because the site pays Kentucky taxes.
You may not care about online gambling but is it reasonable that a state can take your domain away if they pass a law to make your business illegal?
What if the city of Gooberville USA (or the government of China) passes a local law that declares your business illegal and they are allowed to take your domain name? What if they pass a law requiring you to pay a $500,000 permit to do business or they’ll take your domain name? What jurisdiction does Kentucky have for a website used in other states or internationally?
If this ridiculous decision is not overturned, no domain name is safe from government extortion.
The best way to get the governor’s attention is a boycott of all products and services from Kentucky to let his citizens know he’s overstepped the bounds of reasonability. Follow this link to see how you can Boycott Kentucky.
You want to talk about gouging in a bad economy? Let’s talk about Hollywood! Gas prices are going down, food prices are going down, and real estate prices are going down. But the price to go see Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie isn’t going down.
In these difficult times, people are expecting oil companies to reduce their profits. Why not Hollywood? $10-$11 per person to see a movie is insane.
Do these actors really need $20 million to do a movie? Do theaters need $8 for popcorn? Are the movie theaters and Hollywood taking advantage of the fact that during hard economic times, people spend more of their dwindling money on entertainment?
No, No, and you bet they are.
For some reason, nobody is calling it un-American – so, I will.
If it is obscene for an oil company to make 8% profit then it is “like clubbing a baby seal to death” for ONE actor to make $20 million for ONE movie that grosses $186 million (Mr. & Mrs. Smith) – that’s 10.8% for Brad.
I am very entertained by Brad Pitt as an actor and he is entitled to his political opinion – I just think it’s important to note how ridiculously hypocritical Hollywood has become.
If they just made their millions and shut up, it would be one thing. Instead, their heads get warped and they misguidedly think their popularity translates to knowledge of world economics. Some of these Hollywood folks are so juiced on their own ego that they’ve lost touch. Here’s a funny example - they even irritate fellow liberals: Brad's entourage vs. the Senator
How can they complain, with a straight face, about corporate greed while at the same time earning at the top of the food chain?
I think we need a “windfall popularity tax” on liberal actors and people in the entertainment business earning over $250k a year. Let’s take 80-90% of anything over $250k and split it up amongst us hard working people.
They better watch out. If they complain too loudly, the oil companies will just raise the price of gas so high that you’ll be unable to afford to drive to the movies.
Remember when you were a little kid and Saturday Morning cartoons were the best programming on television. I remember it as a weekly ritual. We would finish off a box (or two) of breakfast cereal while watching our favorite shows - Tom & Jerry, Road Runner, Bugs Bunny, Tweetie & Sylvester…
Photo Credit: Warner Brothers
These days, if you flip around the channels, cartoons are on more often during the day and they’ve evolved into some sort of japanimation craziness I don’t get. Some of the newer cartoons were ok - like Ren & Stimpy. But the latest ones mostly look the same and they’re all about kids with super powers battling against other kids with super powers and pet monsters.
I think it all started to go downhill with Speed Racer. I’m no expert, but I think that was the first mainstream Japanese Style animation (japanimation).
How is this holding kids’ attention?
Recently, my youngest son was home from school (was it institute day? Columbus Day? Whatever…). It was morning, and he was watching Cartoon Network. They were playing an “old school” Tom and Jerry episode. It was like a flashback.
Why would those EVER go off the air? They are timeless and funny in the simplest way.
Everyone is invited to my house next Saturday morning. Wear your PJs (but not the kind with the footies please) and we’ll sit in front of a 14 inch (barely color) screen watching Road Runner while eating Cap’n Crunch right out of the box.
I’m taking a shower and I find none of my normal, 99¢ per bottle, shampoo; so I’ll have to improvise. There are lots of choices here – maybe 15 or more bottles, jars and tubes of stuff. Something will do the trick - right?
As you can see, I’m a big greasy Italian guy (with enough Irish DNA to irritate you senseless). I need a strong shampoo, on the scale of Tide or even Drano to cut through the oily coating.
Hmm… Lots of bottles but not too many things call shampoo. Instead, there are “hair systems.” What is all this crap? There are color enhancers, moisturizers, conditioners, revitalizers, protectors, cleansers, and other weirder stuff that’s all written in french but manufactured and distributed out of places like Franklin Park, IL.
Even better, I can choose from poppy, french lavender, mango or vanilla. This will be perfect. I’ll smell like a flower shop dipped in ice cream and then cotton candy.
I also don’t get the moisturizer thing. My hair starts getting greasy again 14 seconds after I step out of the shower. The LAST thing I need is to rub additional grease into my hair right after I've just cleaned it.
Now, the inane steps... Why does everything have 2-3 steps: rinse, work into hair, wait, rinse, add more, wait more, rinse again, thoroughly. This is going to take 45 minutes.
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