Wednesday, April 01, 2009

My DVR Ruined My Evening

Every once in a while an issue comes along that I feel strongly about, something about which I have a well-reasoned, thoughtful opinion, a topic about which I want to start a healthy, intellectual debate. In these instances I depart from my usual pissant tone and instead try to present a sober, reflective view of the subject at hand.

This is NOT one of those times.

Instead, I want to complain about commercials. Mostly commercials in general, but making specific note of commercials on TV for pharmaceuticals.

It all started a few years ago when we got a DVR. Granted, we're only renting it from Comcast (which, along with Verizon and my local electric company form the Trinity of Doom that will spell the end of civilization as we know it), and occasionally it has attention deficit disorder in that I have to push the same button on the remote four or five times to get it to do anything, but whatever.

The DVR, in my opinion, ranks right up there with penicillin and duct tape as one of the most wondrous inventions in human history. With the DVR, I can skip right past commercials in which Billy Mays bleats something at ear-splitting levels about something I care nothing about. I can record mindless blather on one channel while watching mindless blather (i. e. American Idol, a favorite of my six year old daughter) on another. I can go to sleep at night knowing that late-night reruns of mediocre sitcoms from the 90s will be waiting for me in the morning.

However, on this one night (you might remember it ... it was the longest night of my life) the DVR wasn't working and we were forced to watch our tree-hugging, left-leaning, liberal-pantywaist pseudo-news show on MSNBC in real time. Which meant that we COULD NOT skip the commercials, and in between bouts of Keith Olbermann escalating the flame war between himself and Bill O'Reilly we were forced to watch the following drek:

  • A commercial in which Billy Mays was yelling about something. I don't remember what it was exactly; as soon as his beard showed up on the screen I was deafened by the screams of millions of my brain cells dying violently.
  • A commercial for some drug which is going to make your life a lot better, once you get past the dry mouth, nausea, nosebleeds, kidney problems, blurred vision, ringing in your ears, sterility, impotence and cardiac arrest.
  • Another commercial for another pharmaceutical product that will make your life even better than the first one but with even more hideous side effects. Although it should be pointed out that this commercial had cooler animation that actually had almost nothing to do with what the medication is trying to treat.
  • A commercial for a local car delaership offering huge rebates, ridiculously low prices and an announcer who obviously taught Billy Mays a thing or two.
  • A commercial for a pharmaceutical product to help an old guy get his groove back.

By this time, you must realize, my wife and I were catatonic. It was the pharma commercials that did it, I think. First off, there was surreal animation that looked like a cross between an acid trip and watercolor painting. Second, I think the commercial for the boner pills was the only one that actually stated what the medication was FOR.

Finally, though, it was the Cialis commercial. They are showing this guy who can't be a day over thirty five, who is fit, trim, healthy looking, with a full head of hair and perfect teeth. In short, a taller, better-looking version of George Clooney. I'm thinking if HE'S having a problem getting it up, then I'm pretty much doomed to a celibate life of failure.

Now I know some marketing weasel at the pharmaceutical company is going to start whining about how this helps show Cialis users as normal guys, but let's face it. The average Cialis user is not a slightly middle-aged model. The average Cialis user is under six feet tall, has a bit of a gut, thinning hair and tends to spend slightly more time than usual scratching things.

So get with the program, Big Pharma. Instead of giving us all infoeriority complexes because we aren't all model material, show us REAL guys. Guys with hair in inappropriate places. Guys who basically go through life as sexless ciphers. Guys like me, for example. I gotta lie down.

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