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Commercials, Rock & Roll and The Decline of Western Civilization

I watch a lot of television.  I have no problem admitting that.  As such, I wind up watching a lot of commercials (especially if I can’t reach the remote).  I will now proceed to complain about those commercials.

“Every day more people connect face to face on the iPhone than any other phone.” – quote from a currently running iPhone commercial.

NO, NO, NO, THAT’S NOT FUCKING TRUE.  IF YOU ARE TALKING ON AN iPHONE, THAT IS NOT CONNECTING FACE TO FACE.  YOU ARE TALKING INTO A MACHINE, AND THE PERSON YOU’RE TALKING TO IS TALKING INTO A DIFFERENT MACHINE. YOU ARE NOT CONNECTING FACE TO FACE! 

Look, it doesn’t matter how much soothing/tinkling/new-age piano music is oh-so-discreetly, dreamily playing behind the dialogue that is wholly attempting to tug at your heartstrings and get you to believe you’re actually COMMUNICATING FACE TO FACE with another human being on your iPhone, you’re not, YOU’RE TALKING ON A CELLPHONE, just like millions of people before you have.

Further, from another iPhone ad: “Every day more people get their music on the iPhone than any other phone.”  Yeah, congrats kids, you’re getting thin, incredibly compressed, bad-sounding Robin Thicke tunes in total isolation on your little earbuds, oblivious to the world around you while you bump into me walking down the street. 

Make no mistake, I am entirely aware that I’m in full anti-technology Grumpy Old Guy, Drunk-Uncle-From-Saturday-Night-Live mode here, but I don’t care, these commercials presenting iPhones as some kind of soulful, heartwarming means of communication are just the worst kind of patronizing, false advertising.  And that (ostensibly, it’s all subjective) adorable little boy who kisses his iPhone and then grins so big – I hope he gets brain cancer from that too-close contact with his machine.  (Author’s note: My lovely wife Debbie – who edits my Pencilstorm blogs as well as the large majority of my entries on   Growing Old With Rock & Roll – and my good friend Kyle both asked me to take out the “wishing brain cancer on an innocent child” reference, but in the end I found that, in all good faith, I just could not.  That kid’s parents put him in that video for a quick buck from their soulless Corporate Masters and they must now live with the consequences of that decision.  On second thought, I think I'll wish brain cancer on the parents, in the hopes that at some point they were stupid enough to kiss their iPhones.)

Other commercial comments: Jim Steinman – the songwriter responsible for Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell records, among others, and the man instrumental (pun intended) for Colin getting signed to Epic Records in the 90’s (read all about it in Joe Oestreich’s excellent Watershed band bio Hitless Wonder) – seems to be conducting a fire sale of his material for commercial considerations.  He’s got “I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)” in an M&M’s ad and sold out Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse Of The Heart” for some fiber bar.  (And he even let them change the lyrics to that tune, to include a fiber bar reference.  Weak.)

By my calculation, Mr. Steinman has sold approximately eleventeen million bazillion copies of Bat Out Of Hell and they play Mr. Loaf’s “Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad” and/or “Paradise By The Dashboard Light” on Classic Rock Radio approximately every 23 minutes, thus he shouldn’t be hurting for cash, so WHY, Jim, WHY?  When is enough money enough money?  (In my household this is known as The Pete Townshend Selling His Ass To The Highest Bidder Conundrum.)

Finally, I see that Jake Bugg, “alternative” artist who was recently extolled by (the now useless, irrelevant, antiquated) Rolling Stone magazine as a “New Dylan” is hawking Gatorade with his tune “Lightning Bolt,” apparently primarily because Gatorade sports (pun intended) a lightning bolt on its label.  Is it too much to ask for ANYONE to have a little integrity in this Commercial World?  And I fully realize that even Bob Dylan himself appeared in a Victoria’s Secret commercial in 2004, but only because he was provided, as compensation for that ad, with 72 virgin models by the lingerie manufacturer.  (And where did Victoria’s Secret even FIND 72 models who were virgins?) - Ricki C. / August 18th, 2013.  

Ricki C likes himself a good rant. Learn more about him and other Pencilstorm contributors by clicking here.