Old news – Rush Limbaugh admitted to an oxycontin addiction and did so having stated all the way back in 1995 that too many whites get away with drug use, abuse, and illegalities and need to be “sent up the river” with the rest of the addicts. Thanks for sacking up, Elmer Gantry. But enough with trashing the King of Moralists. If Rush can own up to his shortcomings, then so can I.
I am an addict – a television addict. Shocking, i know. But my addiction has shown me one thing in the last couple of months and it is my duty to report on it — advertainment is mind-numbingly, egregiously stale. The spots that pepper every prime time commercial break smack of the corny, unimaginative vision that only twenty-something ad execs recalling the glory days of a cat-eating alien can dare express. “Remember Alf? He was cool! Let’s use him in a spot with the most amazingly irritating former football player on earth!” “Michael Irvin**?” “No silly, Terry Bradshaw!”
Why do they force us to suffer so? It’s not right! It’s not fair! I think we, as a public, can make a case of intentional infliction of emotional distress. That could be a class action, baby. If we all team up, we’d be looking at a settlement paying out at $.83 per person! The only mitigating factors for the ad universe are the Peyton Manning commercial, the soul-filled Rubber Band man for Office Depot, Levi’s, ESPN, and a rather interesting Crown Royal commercial that fooled me into thinking I was drunk already.
But for some of you freaks out there, what’s your pleasure? Pepto Bismol takes on Immodium AD. Gastrointestinal song and dance versus squirt sufferers whose neglectful treatment of their “condition” forces them to shuffle sheepishly off-screen to void themselves rather than take advantage of their life’s first and last fortuitous situation.
There’s also the corporate sibling battle between GAP and Old Navy. Pre-menopausal Sarah Jessica Parker frolicking through a human wallpaper of spinning, dancing barely legals while she pimps scarves, striped prints, and rhinestone-studded hobo bags versus 21-and under, ethnically diverse models (plus an obnoxious little boy with a shit-eating grin) that magically appear in bakeries, stores, and closets to sing personalized Christmas carols and teach us that the true reason for the season is ensuring that the whole family can be festively clad in catchpenny, bargain-basement knits & fleece.
I think I’ve seen this premise before. A freakishly ginormous Kirstie Alley bounds out from behind couches and out of corners to traumatize and harass random homeowners until they have a nervous breakdown and buy a Pier One duvet at 20% discount. And now I hear Kirstie has a new show… my shudders continue. That said, at least the GAP features NSync’s JC Chasez in a career resurrecting rendition of Earth Wind & Fire’s “Shining Star” that leaves me quakin’ in my knickers.
But my original point to this post – why is that Elizabeth Taylor “White Diamonds” ad still playing? I remember the first time I saw Elizabeth Taylor trying to convince the masses that though getting on in years, she was still the violet-eyed vixen that could bewitch a man with her come-hither stare. I couldn’t have been more than 5 when that went on the air. I remember the first time I saw it like it was yesterday.
My siblings and I were roughhousing with my dad in the living room, and in the split-second of calm, we heard a haunting flute (or maybe a clarinet) that spawned a flowing, enchanting theme. Enter a 50-something Taylor, who strolled up to a man 30-years her junior with all the seduction and mysteriousness that few women could ever muster. “These have always brought me luck.” Elizabeth Taylor… White Diamonds. Ooooooooooooooooo. “Who’s that Papa?” “That’s Elizabeth Taylor, children. She’s an Academy Award winning actress. She was Cleopatra, Virginia Woolf, Maggie in–” “She’s old!!!”
My father paused, recognizing both our astuteness and the futility of battling with an 8, 7, 6, and 5 year old, but what else could be said? She was old. And since that night, she has continued to be old. And year after year, this commercial airs. Through cancer, through Parkinson’s, through Glllllaaaaaaaaaaaaadiatorrrrrrrrr!!!, this commercial lives on. But how?! But why?! I’m rooting for a new fragrance from the now addlebrained Liz. True, it may make one may smell like senility but hey, that’s gotta be a fun time!
**Believe it or not, I like Michael Irvin. Yes he’s loud and, from time to time, has outbursts like a crackhead having a PCP fit but if you can get past that, you can see that he’s pretty insightful and has good things to say. Rah, rah, Mr. Irvin.**