Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Women and cars

Do women in America not buy cars? I'm wondering because it seems that every car ad on TV is carefully designed to offend the female buyer. Any ad in which a woman appears fits one of four formulae:
  1. Man drives the car while woman gazes at him in adoration of his competence, wealth and general masculinity (yes, that is sarcasm). Variation: Two couples in the car, smiling and laughing as they head to some fun nightclub or restaurant. Both women gaze adoringly etc.

  2. Man drives the car, with woman in passenger seat. Woman tricks him into changing places, exploiting the fact that he is a complete moron who should never be allowed to operate powered machinery. Why is this competent, intelligent, attractive woman with this doofus?

  3. Woman drives the car (usually a minivan/SUV) with a gaggle of kids while the voiceover rhapsodizes about the number of seats/airbags/cupholders/DVD players. Variation: Incompetent man fails to load one bag into the trunk while his wife fluently stows everything else, easily flipping seats up and down, operating the power trunk lid, etc. This combines the stupid of #2 and #3 in one doubly stupid package.

  4. Woman drives the car alone while flirting ridiculously with the camera/viewer, usually accompanied by shots of the car plunging suggestively into unsubtle metaphors like tunnels.
By far the worst, however, is the ad where a guy holds open the door of his enormous SUV -- a vehicle that immediately prompts the question, "Over-compensate much?" -- while a long line of women in CFM dresses and shoes climb in, and finally tells his male friend there's no room for him. The only rational interpretation of this ad is that he is making the High Priced Call Girl run, dropping the girls off at their clients' hotels. The tag line for this ad needs to be something like "Pimps drive Cadillacs".

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Yet another great reason to drink coffee

As if drinking lots of coffee wasn't awesome enough already: "People who drink too much coffee could start seeing ghosts or hearing strange voices, UK research has suggested", according to this story on the BBC News. Free entertainment! Is there anything coffee can't do?

A profound meditation on the nature of Donald Trump

I am fascinated by the continuing celebrity of Donald Trump. Frankly, it's hard for me to take seriously a man whose hair looks like a bowl of shredded wheat crawled onto his head, curled up and died.

This is an actual picture of Donald Trump, taken from above:

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Difference Between Satire and Parody

People often ask me, "Carl, what's the difference between satire and parody?" The answer, really, is more straightforward than many people think.

Parody is like a simile. Satire is metaphor.