Monthly Archives: July 2010

Uppers, Downers, Laughers, Screamers, MP3s…

I-Dosing.

Are you fucking kidding me? 

We’re all deep in the realm of cyber addiction.  We work, socialize and shop online.  But do the idiocratic lemmings REALLY think they can GET HIGH off the cyber world?   
 

 
I-Dosing.  Call me old fashioned, but I prefer to get high manually.
 
The most shocking thing about this “trend” is not that sounds can alter your brainwaves (audio security has already been adopted), or that kids are tapping into online resources to try and get high.  Kids will do anything to get high.  It’s that this story ran on CBS FUCKING NEWS. 
 
Shira Lazar – at what point did you think this was newsworthy?  Is this really a trend?  Or a feeble attempt at fear-mongering?  

Anyone who’s smoked a joint in their past would laugh this off as hype.  (And anyone who’s smoked a joint in the past 5 minutes would laugh anyway).

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Tin Roof, Rusted.

We’re back in the realm of spaghetti-on-the-wall juxtaposition, this time courtesy of the Discovery Health Channel.  A niche channel that generally features informative programming and has the potential to teach people has tapped sensationalism to attract eyeballs.  On July 20, they brought back I’m Pregnant And….  
 

 
What do we see in I’m Pregnant And…? Might it be the sob-stories of people who are worse off than we are?  Do we take solace in the plight of a homeless young woman suffering at the mercy of her cursed womb?  At least she doesn’t have to worry about painting the baby room blue or pink. 
 
Or perhaps this show is designed to make us feel bad; to sit in awe of these hard-luck women who have offered their stories to reality television in lieu of real help. 
 
Entertainment, whether designed to amuse, scare, shock or sadden, becomes idiocratic at the expense of regular people who believe 15 minutes of fame is the most important thing in life.

You Will Eat That Cat Poop, Mr. Burgundy

These idiots just ATE cat litter.
 

 
Hey actors!  Craigslist casting call for a commercial about pets.  All you have to do is sit there while we shove a cup full of cat piss in your face.  Your line?  “SMELLS GREAT.”
 
Ever since “Head On – Apply Directly to the Forehead” got stuck in our collective heads, advertisers have realized that sometimes the stupider something is, the more replay value it has.  The good folks at “World’s Best Cat Litter” subscribe to this mantra.  
 
Sign me up for a bag of cat shit-flavored microwave popcorn.

Or better yet:

Misdirection

It’s a sign of the times.  CNN – that’s right, the revered Cable News Network – posted this article about how GPS systems sound CONDESCENDING.

Granted, the little lady on my phone’s navigation is a total bitch, especially when she quips “You are now off track.”  But is this really something worthy of CNN.com real estate?  It’s a fucking computer voice.

Note – sorry for the lack of updates recently.  New job = less time to blog.

The Thin Line between News and Opinion

Let’s take it back to Bill Simmons for a candid opinion on the state of the news media, with regard to our idiocratic regression.  In discussing how The LeBron Saga has affected him, Simmons says:

“The goofiest part of these past few weeks: The way media people have been speculating in a way that seems like a cross between learned information and opinion, except we’re never really sure what’s real and what’s conjecture. Thanks to Twitter and the 24/7 news cycle, the lines have been blurred completely.”

Bill, you just summed up the idiocracy in one fell swoop.  The LeBron Saga is quite possibly the first real test of our current media consumption mentality (MCM) – which is nothing less than insatiable.  We’re addicted to media like it’s crack – exponentially more so now than during the Brett Favre fiasco – which was only two years ago.  

Credit: Bay Interactive

We sit in front of the TV with our laptops out, and can’t have a conversation without playing with our phones.  We NEED updates.  ANY kind of updates – news updates, status updates, marscapone-stuffed up-dates.  And in that sense, we put strain on those who bring us the news.  This leads us to the sort of environment we’re in today – fact completely blended with hearsay and opinion in an effort to break news the fastest.  

The 2010 NBA Free Agency period is really the first time we’ve seen our need for updates NOW emphasized to this degree.  More so than the NBA Finals, or the World Cup, the LeBron story involves immense speculation.  And when we speculate, we’re at our weakest.   

Read Simmons’ whole column.  It’s long as hell, but it’s a good one. 

Bonus: I’ll bet you a max contract that Twitter goes down tonight during “The Decision.”      

Ad Sense

One of the most impressive things about “Idiocracy” is that as time goes on, the little details are proving to be uncannily accurate – most vividly when it comes to advertising.  In Mike Judge’s vision of 2505, most of the brands we know have devolved into hand-job shops (i.e. Star8ucks and FedExxx), and additionally control the U.N. (pronounced “un”).  Fuddruckers is now “Buttfuckers,” Carl’s Jr. sponsors the government (“Hi, I’m the Secretary of State, brought to you by Carl’s Jr.”)  and water has been replaced by the Gatorade-esque “Brawndo.”  Indeed, advertising has become a seemless part of life.     

But Judge’s dystopic brand-hell society is just a highly imaginative projection, right?  In 500 years, won’t we be MORE evolved, aided by innovation and technology and better suited to take on life’s challenges? 

Not quite.  In fact, Judge’s foresight is proving to be spot-on – and it probably won’t take us 500 years to get there.

The Anti-Advertising Agency (www.antiadvertisingagency.com) does a great job of highlighting real-world ads and industry trends that are indicative of impending idiocracy.  Most recently, they featured California’s latest push – to possibly place ads on new digital license plates.

Credit: LA Times

In my eyes, this is yet another step toward brand intrusion on our personal space.  We’ve already invited brands to come play in our social media sandbox, and willingly “like their pages,” thus providing our endorsement.  Why not slap a billboard on our vehicles?  We’re already desensitized.    

My question is – with brands so intent on impacting consumer perception through word-of-mouth (WOM) and virla channels, how long until they irreparably dilute these mediums?

Note: The Anti-Advertising Agency has been added to “Jab the Idiocracy” at right.  Check them out.

We’re Having a Party?

Unless you’re under a glacier, the sports world currently revolves around LeBron James. 

And as I’m sure you know, ESPN has reported that LeBron plans to announce his decision  tomorrow night:

LeBron James is planning to announce the team with which he will sign during a one-hour special on ESPN Thursday night, ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard has learned through independent sources.”

In  a post this morning, Tommy Dee over at TheKnicksBlog.com raised a great point about this news:  

“ESPN has “sources” saying there is a special on their own network?”

We all know about ESPN’s ubiquitous self regard, particularly when it comes to big news, but in this instance it doesn’t even make sense.