Thursday, February 18, 2010

I Listen to Too Much TV

I wrote this on February 18, 2010, and used a blank draft instead of opening a new post. Result: this post ends up with a 2008 date on it, tucked away where it is unlikely to be found. I am therefore copying it and reposting it (minutes, rather than years, after writing it).

Having tinnitis, I listen to too much television. I sleep with it on. I compute with it on. I'm selective about the shows to which I tune in but unfortunately it is not within my power to be selective regarding to which advertisements I am exposed. Therefore I find myself in various stages of mental, emotional and even audial irritation.

Now, Billy Mays is dead, and dead younger than one wants to be dead, and far be it for me to wish someone dead, but since he is dead, couldn't he stop shouting in my ear? And now we have Anthony Sullivan, the purpose of whose existence I have not yet fathomed, trying to be Billy Mays, having reshot a Mays ad for some gadget that lets you play your phone calls over your car radio (not a bad idea but, apart from not being a driver, I would never purchase anything touted that obnoxiously; it only encourages the obnoxious to continue their obnoxiousness) almost verbatim, and in a somewhat Maysian pitch. Sullivan is annoying enough just being himself; trying to be Mays too is toeing the human pain threshhold.

Then there is the creep who thinks if he never takes a breath we won't notice he's talking nonsense; his product, some chopper slicer thingie, may or may not be the eighth wonder of the world, but I can't stand his patter, and someone over at the company that distributes the product agreed with the advertising department or ad agency that it would be a good idea to put this annoyance on the air. My only defense is to refrain from purchasing something I might otherwise actually want.

KMart has jumped onto the screechwagon with a series of ads narrated by a woman with a painfully shrill voice (and how dare she wax so chipper about disturbing my rest!) Light and Fit, on the other hand, slurps at me. I always had to look away during their old commercial: the one in which a slender young blonde woman dispatches some yoghurt, right in the supermarket, with such verve that the sides of the small plastic container collapse inward; she then glances furtively around to see if anyone has witnessed her uncouthness. Now it's worse; in the new ad she is absolutely disgusting, licking the insides of the container, swishing her finger around in it, making the kinds of noises that would get some small children slapped at the table (okay, others would be gently admonished) and being something of a sow. My tum's been rough lately anyway; this ad turns it.

There's more -- oh so much more -- but you probably already know what they are, even if you don't always remember the name of the product (and let this be a lesson to you, o gurus of spin) and I need to sleep now. I just hope the late Billy Mays doesn't wake me up.

photo of Billy Mays courtesy Sharese Ann Frederick

1 comment:

genessa said...

I cannot hope to list every annoying commercial on the air, not even every annoying-sounding ad, but two have caught my attention since writing this post: one features the Travelocity Roaming and now Gurgling Gnome, who ought to be muzzled, and one is for some cough remedy or other and begins with a famous cartoon character screeching in a manner designed to send us racing, instead, for ear drops. (The latter reminds me of the headache-inducing Anacin commercials of old -- and by old I mean some half-century old!) I thought I'd throw them into this post without further comment. Shhhh. Time to recover from them, now.