A running rant about bad television, crappy products, horrible service, mindless politics, corporate and government ineptitude, moronic media, marketing overload, public idiocy, stupid entertainment, etc. Here's what's annoying me today:


Stupid Naming Rights

There are always ridiculous examples of event naming rights: The Chick-fil-a Peach Bowl, The AutoZone Liberty Bowl etc. But having a kids breakfast food (an admission here: I've had a bit of a renewed Pop-Tart jones ever since I bought a box for my kids on vacation last summer) sponsor even a horrendous tour like this is just weird. Will fans of the show be more apt to buy Pop-Tarts? Will people be more apt to go to the show if the see it advertised on their Pop-Tart box. What's next: Captain Crunch presents the America's Next Top Model road tour?

[entertainment] [kids stuff] [marketing] [pop culture] [television]

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The Frontline Guy Sells Out

The narrators of investigative news shows play a great part in conveying either the seriousness or the trashyness of the program. Listening to Stone Phillips and Chris Hanson on Dateline NBC, for instance, you instantly know that the show is nothing but tabliod crap, and will stop at nothing for ratings. The overproduced narration with forced pauses, and all the gimicks to tart up any subject. William Hurt forcing a tear on camera in Broadcast News is child's play next to these guys.

Frontline is the opposite of these shows. It's really the only serious investigative news show on TV. And a good deal of the authority of the show is carried by the terrific narration of Will Lyman. His voice is so identified with that show that to hear it anywhere else, is just wrong.

But now his voice is popping up all over the place as the voice of BMW. The ads are in heavy rotation. They are pretty decent ads, and the guy can't be expected to make a living just narrating Frontline (although I guess he is an accomplished actor too). But somehow hearing that voice of authority sell a car dimishes it's impact next time you watch a serious subject on Frontline.

But you know what. Here's an irony of media in the 00's: I guess given the choice of selling out by doing a car ad, or selling out & going to work for a network newsmagazine, he did choose the lesser mode of selling out. Car ads are by far a higher art form than network newsmagazines. Hell, so is Cops.

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Far from "Fantastic"

This is some disgusting shit. We're not big into packaged foods, but somewhere along the line someone grabbed this from the health food aisle at the supermarket: Fantastic Foods Vegetarian Pad Thai. After a weekend of insanity, bailing out our flooded cellar etc., and home alone for dinner, it was just the kind of night to reach for some prepackaged meal, and shove it in the microwave. Or in this case drop the plastic container in a pot of boiling water for three minutes. Yuk. What shit. Little squares of something that was supposed to be tofu, I guess, but tasted like leather. About 12 noodles with no taste. Three bites and into the trash.

I would have been much better off, eating the three-week old real Pad Thai leftovers from our yummy local Thai place, that was buried in the back of the fridge. Or, I guess in the time it took me to cook, eat, throw away, and then blog about this crap, I could have gone down to the Thai place and ordered a fresh order or the real thing.

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You Call This RAPID Transit?

I used to be a regular MBTA Commuter Rail and subway rider, so I am very accustomed to Boston's dysfunctional system- especially the Green Line and North Station. Both are jokes.

I've mentioned here before the absurdity of building an all new transportation hub (North Station) that is used by thousands of commuters a day (in addition to serving as the entry area to a 20,000 seat stadium) that has a 15 foot wide waiting area, and one two-stall bathroom located at the furthest possible point from the train platforms. The place is an absolute joke.

And when I worked in the city, I generally would walk from the Back Bay to North Station because the chances were 50/50 that you would beat the Green Line by walking. At least you knew how long it would take if you walked.

So yesterday I took the train in to the Red Sox game. The commuter rail ride from my home on the North Shore is only about a half hour, half of which is spent negotiating the track switching area along the final mile. It used to be that the biggest bottleneck of the trip, and the reason I usually avoided taking the train to such events was having to use the decrepit elevated Green Line station, and having to wait in line at the single booth for a token.

But hey, I figured, I know there is a spiffy new subway station, there is the much hyped Charlie Card. And it's 2006. Boston must finally have caught up with the times, and there must be token machines galore.

Well that was giving much too much credit to this stupid annoying city.

Came out of the train station, and entered the gleaming new combined Green and Orange Line station, and sure enough, a line stretched nearly out the door to the SINGLE token booth manned by the same slow lazy, government union worker type that was always manning the single token booth in the old elevated station. Not a token machine or Charlie Card machine in sight.

That's Boston. They can build new multi-million dollars stations, increase prices regularly, but they can't figure out that at one of the busiest subways stations in the system on the day of a Red Sox game, they could probably use more options for selling tokens than one slow fat man.

Then, of course, once through the token line, it was 15 minutes till a train came, when one came it was an E train that didn't go to Fenway, and the thing creaked along at 2 miles an hour the whole way. Finally just got out and walked.

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Hosed again!

My wife has done it again. Heard some great and wondrous product advertised on the radio, and gone and shelled out 30 bucks for it, and left it for me to deal with it being a piece of shit.

This time it was this wondrous Liquid Lime she heard advertised on her garden god Paul Parent's show. So your lawn can be greener in two days rather than five. Never mind that our lawn is half dirt anyways. Of course it's obvious to me and anyone with a cynical bone in their body that behind every product hyped on any radio talk show is some type of payola deal.

So the stuff comes in this jug, with this little flimsy hose end adapter. The directions on the jug are completely unintelligible. Sort of tells you what area it should cover, but makes no mention of how the "convenient hose end adapter" works or how much to spray in any one place. And the adapter is a complete piece of shit. It doesn't even have a full set of hose threads to hold it on the hose. Just these little grooves, that barely hold it, even if you don't turn the water on or move the thing around at all. Turn the water on and it squirts out the back end all over you. After about a dozen tries, I finally got it to hold and not leak too much. I very cautiously made it through about half the back lawn, and then the piece of shit adapter let loose and soaked me all over. And it hadn't even used barely any of the stuff in the jug, so it doesn't seem like it was even mixing right.

I have no idea if the product in the jug is any good or not. Of course the wife will tell me to go spend another 30 bucks on a garden sprayer and apply it that way, but the fact that they would sell the shit as "just attach to your hose and spray" when you can't even get it to stay attached to your fucking hose, makes it more likely it will just be returned to the store. Actually it will probably end up stuck in the corner of the garage with all the other useless crap we've bought that doesn't work.

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Too busy to Blog

Sorry I've been slacking off on my blog the last couple weeks. I'm just crazy busy. I was even too crazy busy last night to catch Channel 7's (or it might have been 25 or 56-they are all the same) sure to be serious hard hitting report on people whose lives are crazy busy.

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