This rant has been a long time coming.
What finally pushed me over the edge was a Taco Bell commercial I heard on the radio Friday while carpooling with my wife. I can’t remember exactly what tacorritolupa they were promoting, but apparently it comes with "EXTREME CHEDDAR CHEESE!" I turned to my wife and yelled, "I don’t think I can eat that - the cheddar cheese is too extreme! I can’t handle it!" But wait, the hot sauce is "INTENSE!" "What am I gonna do about the intense hot sauce? Maybe the cheddar can help? But NO - IT’S TOO EXTREME!!!"
Is this seriously what we’ve come to? Does everything have to be over-the-top, in-your-face, to-the-EXTREME? What happened to subtlety?
The attention span in this country is pathetic. The creativity is completely gone, and unless someone is screaming in our faces, nobody will listen. It’s not just advertising either; everything that is considered entertainment has to be shoved down our throats. But before I move on, I have to complain about two TV ads that literally piss me off beyond belief! First is the local country radio station, KYGO. I have this commercial memorized and I don’t want to! The pitches from their "customers" combined with the music that makes me think their listeners are borderline retarded keeps me up at night. How can people listen to and purchase a song called "Honky Tonk Padunkadunk?" Is this the "My Humps" for 2007? The other commercial is for Coors Light. This ad features numerous people in an apartment building and they are sweating profusely because the air conditioning is out, so the superintendent makes certain rooms turn on/off lights to form the Coors Light logo on the outside of the building and a train comes through with ice cold beer! Why am I seeing super models in a building having issues with their air conditioning when it’s three degrees outside? I want them to die, I’m not gonna lie. Then again, I’m sure their diet of crackers, celery and cigarettes will kill them shortly anyway.
Sports: Remember when the Super Bowl was simply a game that was broadcasted nationally? Now the NFL has decided they need 2 full weeks of hype to run 300 hours of mind-numbing programming that means absolutely nothing. Hell, the "pre-game" show starts 10 hours before kick-off and includes an interview with some guy who went to the same elementary school as the third string quarterback. Just stop already! The halftime shows suck, and the expensive ads haven’t been worth a crap since Mean Joe Green! And where did all of the ridiculous competitions for the NBA All-Star Weekend come from? Do I really want to watch some WNBA girl launching balls from mid-court? Can anyone recognize the players participating in the Slam Dunk Competition? Ya know, I witnessed the first ever dunk competition live and in person. Just bragging. My point is, why can’t this just be another fun game with no defense?
Music: Where does Denver rank as far as US cities when you take into account population, growth, etc.? Top 10-15 probably? So why can’t we have a decent radio station that plays new, progressive music instead of 1) Top 40, 2) Classic Rock, or 3) Corporate Hard Rock? That’s all we get! If you want to learn about new music where people actually write their own songs and play instruments, then you better read PitchFork.com. Otherwise, we’re just going to shove Carrie Underwood and KT Tunstall up yer ass! Denver is far and away the worst radio city in the US of A!
Movies: I’ve been more disappointed with Hollywood over the last few years than I can remember. Maybe I’m maturing, because I used to be entertained by just about anything in a theater. But now, I’m pretty picky and I’m close to refusing to see anything that is considered to be a blockbuster. War of the Worlds, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and whatever else came out over the last 2-3 summers have been so flat and horribly written that I felt ripped off when I left the theater. I actually rented the Fantastic 4 last summer and seriously almost turned it off 4 fantastic times. This film was so pathetic that I didn’t even care how it ended, and it even starred one of the hottest women in Hollywood in Jessica Alba. Not even her presence in spandex could hold my interest. Now they are coming out with a sequel? God help us! Fortunately, every once in a while, Hollywood does something right, like releasing Reign Over Me with Don Cheadle and Adam Sandler, written by Mike Binder. I’m recommending it for anyone who wants to see a well-written and thought-provoking movie. It’s hardly an Adam Sandler comedy, that’s for sure. But, surprise world, Sandler can act!
The Media: Last week we accidentally received a copy of People Magazine in the mail and I thumbed through it. It seriously made me want to puke like a super model after lunch! The way the paparazzi invades the privacy of people/celebrities who are simply trying to take their child out for some fresh air is absolutely despicable. How could anyone ever want to be famous? Ironically, the magazine ran a letter from a reader that week that asked them to leave the Royal Family alone, "Didn’t you people learn anything from Diana’s death?" I guess not! I feel so sorry for the people of this country that get caught up in the likes of Paris Hilton. They should at least have an infatuation with a rock star, or someone that has DONE something or CREATED something. I may pick on my wife a little for her obsession with Ed Kowalczyk from the band Live, but at least the guy writes songs, plays an instrument and sings. He has a talent that she can admire. The way America is becoming enamored with rich, spoiled people is very disturbing to me. Shows like "My Sweet Sixteen" scare the living crap out of me! (FYI, I’m writing this with EXTRA on my TV in the background. Hello, irony!) Also, Nicole Richie has never done anything in her life to make people give a crap about who she is and why she exists, but something is driving ragazines to run an ass-ton of pictures and articles about her. And the more people see or hear about her, for some God forsaken reason, the more they crave for details about her. It’s the same method for selling music: push it until we’ve heard it so many times that we can’t help but start humming along.
For those of you who are loyal readers of this silly blog for the last few years, this article may come as a surprise to you. After all, I used to THRIVE on making fun of famous people and keeping up with pop culture. But now, it’s all starting to make me queasy! I want subtle creativity; I don’t want to be force-fed garbage. 98% of everything you see and hear is absolute crap, so good luck searching out for the other 2%! Tell you what, go to Freak Train and see some people who actually work hard and care about their craft. It is on Monday, 3/26 this week and Derek and I will be there, because we are sweet!