Monday, March 21, 2011

Our commercials are EPIC

A trend I find disturbing and irritating is when a TV commercial will have the same budget as a feature film. This is particularly popular with car and electronics commercials, which are frequently drowning in CG and green-screen effects- and none of it ever makes me want the product. In fact, sometimes I can't tell what the product even IS.

The worst ones go like this: I'll be watching what seems at first to be a movie trailer, and I'll go "Wow, this looks like a really awesome movie- wait, this is an ad for freakin' smartphone??"

It also makes me feel sad about movies of today. I'd rather be watching the movies these ads pretended to be rather than most of the real ones.

But it mostly makes me wonder- is this where all our consumer money is going? Why the heck are we spending millions of dollars for 30-second spots when we could be spending them on actual entertainment- or better yet, the products they advertise? Or do these companies really have that much money to burn? It makes me wonder if it was worth it to give America's car manufacturers all those bailouts.

Actually, I couldn't care less about how much they spend on smartphones. I'd rather that movies get more attention.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Ees tuff 2 b a Kidd

One persistent phenomenon in children's entertainment- particularly books- that always baffled me was this attitude of hating parents and adults in general.

What I mean is when the protagonist, usually a six-to-ten-year-old boy, talks to you about how lame his parents are, and how much trouble it is to be a preadolescent. "Adults don't know anything, they don't understand"- "Parents are so totally lame because they're baby boomers"- "Only kids understand the ways of the world, and deserve to eat this cereal"- "This is the only place where kids can be kids"- "I don't ever want to grow up"- "It's tough being a kid!"

Lemme tell ya- the only adults who don't understand kids, if you ask me, are the people who wrote this garbage. You think you know how tough it was? You don't know!

But my real point is that I could never relate to this attitude when I was a kid, and still can't. It's as though these people want children to rebel as early as possible, but no matter how many times you told me that my parents were dorks, I still wouldn't believe it.
The main reason for this, I think, is that I was never given a reason to believe my parents were inferior. I get the impression that most kids will believe something without motivation, but not I- the preconception that adults had lost some sort of secret knowledge only retained in children was lost on me, simply because I never perceived a lack of understanding of my thoughts and feelings in them.
The whole problem was that nobody ever explained what it was that they didn't know or understand.

I was a kid who never truly connected to other kids my age- in fact, other children, from my viewpoint, had nothing to offer other than taunting, so why bother? I'm GLAD that I've reached adulthood, because now I can do I wanted to do when I was a kid! If a book or cartoon really wanted to communicate with me, they should've made the children the enemy. I was never particularly interested in relating to the characters, anyway.
Also, I was frequently absorbing the music and culture that my parents grew up with at home- I was listening to oldies and classic rock stations and Beatles tapes, and watching Looney Tunes and Tex Avery cartoons. No one ever gave me enough reason to dislike them. The very idea that something old is bad is a concept that still is completely incomprehensible to me.

I knew that disallowing adults to have Trix was completely absurd from the get-go.