Saturday, September 15, 2012

Easy Rider: Media Svengali

So a while back, I posted about those ridiculously sexist Swiffer commercials where women are so surprised to find they've finished the housework before collapsing in a dusty heap at their pampered family's feet, they excitedly allow themselves a treat. Something their husbands and children take for granted, but for them is a luxurious indulgence--things like reading, bathing, drinking or going outside.

Do you know where the bathroom is?

I'm pretty sure the next commercial would go something like this:

I'm done. 

      Picks up roll of toilet paper.

I'm going to use this!

      Her family looks at her with detached disdain.

I mean, I'm going to figure out how to use this...then I'm going to USE THIS!

Or it would have had I not stepped in and saved the day. After I called them out for those commercials (as well as a Facebook post where the big brains down at Swiffer Marketing compared a man who actually cleans to a mermaid sighting) they changed their tone and come out with two new, less sexist, commercials

This might be good for a larf.

In these ads, the women are not quite as shocked to have free time, and they choose something a bit more frivolous to fill it with--like taking a Cosmo quiz, or having a squirt gun fight. Most amazingly, one of the ads actually shows a man cleaning (either that, or he is placing objectionable reading material out of reach from his impressionable wife, but let's go with cleaning.) 

Who has two thumbs and is afraid of Virginia Woolf? This guy!

Women of America, you are welcome. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

From the Way-Back WTF File: Lane Hope Chests

That horse must smell awesome to get a girl like that.

When I was fourteen, I (like every other fourteen year old, but no other seventeen year old) read 17 Magazine. Well, not the magazine itself, but the ads! Those wonderful, pink and frilly ads that made me wish I could transport my life into that of a upper-middle class girl who wore Love's Baby Soft and Gunne Sax  dresses, rode perfumed horses to prom, and dreamed of her upcoming nuptials (to either Morris Day or Kevin Cronin...whoever asked her first) at the edge of her canopy bed while seated atop a Lane's Hope Chest. Those Hope Chests were confusing. I knew I wanted really wanted one...but I had no idea why because I didn't know what the holy heck a hope chest was. I asked my mother, and she said, "They're for teenage girls to put linens and towels and stuff like that in for their wedding." Got it. I would need towels for my wedding, and if I didn't start putting them in an expensive box now, at fourteen, I was horribly behind the game.  

This towel is already making my friends bitterly jealous. Thanks Lane!

Of course I didn't actually ask for one. That would be stupid. My mother would sooner buy me a perfumed horse than an expensive box for my wedding towels. But I decided that I would one day buy my daughter a Lane Hope Chest, and a perfumed horse. The problem with that plan soon revealed itself twenty years later when, fully knocked-up with the daughter in question, I finally got married. If I had gotten a Lane Hope Chest at the age of fourteen what good would it have done me and my blushing groom? On the odd chance that my mother hadn't sold the thing a decade earlier at a yard sale, it still would've been filled with a bunch of Tiger Beats, a magazine-clipping-on-poster-board collage (heavy on the Reo Speedwagon and Purple Rain, of course), and one Laura Ashley sheet (not set, but sheet), reeking of mold and a Love's Baby Soft knockoff called Burt's Baby Smell. Totally useless! (Except for that collage. I really want it for the bare spot in my entry way.) 

I did a little research and found that, in older-gal magazines like Redbook and Vogue, the ads suggested a girl wait until she got engaged before getting a Lane...and then it should be gifted to her by her betrothed. Despite the overwhelming evidence that Lane is still in business, I'm sure those ads failed miserably. What man wants to buy romantic furniture? And even if he did, if I, a fourteen year old girl, didn't really get the whole idea behind a hope chest, what hope did a thirty-year-old man have? None. No. It makes no sense. Lane must be some sort of front for a smuggling-heroin-in-cedar-hope-chests ring...or possibly an illegal alien border crossing operation. And they nearly got away with it, too...if it weren't for the intrepid musings of one formerly fourteen-year-old girl. 

Oh! Lane sells other furniture too? Also packed with heroin? Or just the hope chests?

Now that I have a daughter who, at six, is already starting to plan her own wedding (to the cat or her imaginary alien friend...whoever asks her first), my stance on hope chests has changed. If, in seven years, she comes to me and asks me what hope chests are for, I will say, "They are for mob guys who want to smuggle heroin into countries with strict anti-drug laws, Sweetie." The problem is that if 17 Magazine still runs ads for those things, she will want one...and she'll want one bad! Great. I'll have to be the big meanie to tell her no because, whether they are filled with drugs, towels or illegal immigrants, expensive boxes are a waste of time, space and money. If she wants a perfumed horse, though.... I might consider it. Those things could be useful as hell...especially during prom season.

Well baby, I've got you, a bunch of towels, some heroin, a new gardener and a super-sweet collage all wrapped up in cellophane. Now if only we didn't need oxygen to live. Choke...gasp..... 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Things That Suck: Swiffer Ads.

Seriously. Who is writing these Swiffer ads? Don Draper? Darren from Bewitched? They need to stop. Seriously. Look Darren and Don, I grew up back in the 70s when Calgon taught us that we were allowed to ignore traffic jams, screaming children and fat, grouchy bosses to take a warm scented bath at ANY TIME! We could bring home the bacon AND fry it up in a pan. And now you want to come at us with this shit that tells us we have to mop the floor before we can use the front door with the regular folks?

Oh...and that other one where the mom has to scrub the bathroom like she works for Joan Crawford before she can even THINK about getting into the tub? Fuck you, Swiffer. We're women, not medieval fucking serfs. You know what? I never thought I'd say this, but could you bring back those commercials where we are being stalked by our old cleaning supplies? Because I like that Player song. 

Ah! Yes. That's the stuff. It's funny because it's a mop...and not a real dude. Hilarious. But don't go thinking all is forgiven, Don! You either, Darren. I saw this shit on your Facebook page this morning. So...yeah. ...Fuck you.

"Is that a mirage or a guy doing housework?" ...Oh right. Because men don't clean. Ever.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Postcards from the Edgy

Allow me to introduce myself. I am an edgy dad. As a matter of fact, I am That Edgy Dad!(tm) You may not remember me from that little-seen one man show, or from the sporadic appearances at various sparsely attended local comedy shows.

I say edgy things at which you laugh, even though you know they are wrong. Then you shake your head or fist with mock disgust and say, "Why, you edgy dad! Oh, that edgy dad. What can you do; he's an edgy dad!" Imagine Louis C.K., but not famous or likable.

But I can't help it. Edginess is a part of me; it runs in my blood. It isn't just some pose or fad I adopted in my teens and 20s. I resolutely refuse to dull my cutting remarks or fluff up my jaundiced viewpoint. I am the living embodiment of a sardonic, leather jacketed loose cannon. I am a rogue cop and the world is my angry captain.

Sure, I'm a middle-aged white guy who lives in the suburbs. My two kids are adorable and make me feel like weeping in dreamy wonder. Yes, I've been reduced to accepting Target as a fine boutique that has some pretty decent Michael Graves can openers. But so help me god I will never stop wearing my arch cool smirk and sardonic logo t-shirts, no matter how much they accent my burgeoning midriff.

Except when I am around my kids, because I don't want them to become infected with ennui at too young of an age. They can get their bitterness the hard way: they can earn it. I am not going to pre-emptively make them feel like life is a rigged game and that there is almost no way to affect positive change for yourself. Sadly, they will probably figure that out by themselves. I will do everything in my power to make them feel empowered and capable and confident. In short, I will try to make them Not Me.

But since I am a comic and That Edgy Dad(tm), and since my kids can't read yet, I will say whatever I want right here, on the web, where no one can be held accountable for their thoughts or actions.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Pink Floyd vs The Most Adorable Animals at The Zoo.

Last weekend, I took Snappy to the zoo on Nature Trail day! The Nature Trail at the SF ZOO is a little area of the Children's Zoo where volunteer Junior Keepers show you pettable (and not so pettable) animals. The Kiddie Keepers had all memorized a list of facts about their animal. For example: "This is Frank. He is a tortoise. He has a shell that is connected to his spine. He is twenty-three years old."

This tortoise is her bitch.

Now Snappy, fresh off of her first year of successful speech therapy since we first started trying to fix her unintelligible speech when she was two, and also being a bit of a chatterbox, took these animal introductions as an invitation to introduce the only animal that matters, her cat. I'll  use these adorable animal pictures to describe exactly* how it went down.

Oh really? Your fucking tortoise has claws?

My cat uses his to scratch the ottoman and not his scratching post because he's a bad ass.

Your ferret is soft? Fuck you. That's not soft. 

This motherfucker is soft!

Oh really? I can pet your fucking Hedgehog? You know who else I can pet?
This Bitch! That's right. He sleeps on a doll bed. Like a boss.
Your bunny's name is Flopsy? That name sucks. You know what name doesn't suck?
Pink Floyd. Memorize it, fool.
* Only without quite so much swearing. But you get the idea.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Does Your Mother Suck? Baby beware.

This blog post is only for my newborn readers. Everyone else, could you just bust into the nearest  L&D room and hold a laptop or an iPad up to the little bugger's face? Thanks.

So you were just born, huh? Well guess what.... F*ck you, baby! That's right F-asterisk-C-K-U because everything here sucks: the environment, the economy, schools, roads, the two-party political system, and, now that House is gone, network television. Oh...and lattes are all either too hot or too cold, dogs smell really bad when they're wet, and potato salad has too many variations. So, yeah. It's sucky here. But, if you haven't heard, moms also suck. But what about your mom? You know, the owner of that opening you just tore apart like it was a birthday present? Does she suck? Probably. Most of them do. But how can you know for sure. Don't worry, babies. I got you....


How does she look?

Go ahead. Look at her. Open your eyes first. Eyes are those two weird holes in the middle your face. No. Not those holes...stupid baby. 

Like she's about to die.

Ooh! Not good. She didn't get an epidural or any of the other fun drugs offered to her. That means that she's probably a hippie...or a vegan. Or even worse--a vegan hippie! You will never know what candy that isn't sweetened with raisin syrup tastes like. You will eat your first Lunchable at the age of will love it. No doubt about it. She sucks, but she's sucking for "your own good", so you can't really do anything about it except rebel when you finally grow up. Might I suggest opening up a non-sustainable chain of pork skin restaurants...or voting Libertarian?

Calm and happy.

Ouch! That does not bode well. If she's calm, it means she gladly took that epidural and possibly some, and probably all, of the other fun drugs offered at pushy-pushy time. She must be one of those selfish, slacker moms who occasionally think of only themselves. She will always pick you up late from soccer or ballet or dandelion scouts or whatever...assuming she actually signs you up for all that crap. All of your birthday cakes will be from the grocery store. Your name will be misspelled on most of them. This type of mom is easy to get back at with a taste of her own off-brand medicine. Every year, send her a Happy Mother's Day text three days late. Spell "mom" wrong.

She looks like this:


Don't panic. Just grab the nearest cellphone and call CPS. You know what a cellphone is, right? You don't? ...stupid baby... A cellphone is like a play phone, only when you call 911, Elmo usually doesn't answer. You don't know who Elmo is? Jespus Crisps! What are they teaching you kids today between the vag and the OB's gloved-hands? Listen. Just try to roll on the floor. If horror movies have taught me anything, you will instinctively slither out the door...into the sucky, sucky world. (A sucky world that has just been made even more sucky by a rampant, slithering newborn.) 

Yep. All moms suck. And you know what's even suckier? Besides the slithering-away option, you can't do a damned thing about it. You are stuck with her and her suckiness. And the terrible thing is that you will have no idea how sucky she is. You are a stupid baby who doesn't know who Elmo is. You'll think she's just great--misspelled cake and all. More than great. Awesome, even. That's right, this sucky woman is going to make you love her more than anything...more than raisin-syrup candy (which you will learn to love quite a lot right up until you discover Kit-Kats)! And guess what? It's a life sentence. You will never stop loving this awful woman. Face it. Your mom sucks. Now suck it up and get some sweet skin-to-skin with her, you stupid baby. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Hipster FAQ

Much has been written on this blog, and every other one on the interweb, about hipsters. You'd think that there would be nothing left to talk about. But no. The notion of "The Hipster" is an ever changing, mutating and growing phenomenon that often latches itself onto stair-wells and ceilings, dripping caustic ooze onto unsuspecting passer-by, like The Blob (not the original Blob, but the remake with Kevin Dillon).  So with that said, I offer the definitive (for now) Hipster FAQ.

Oh my GOD! The Hipsters are coming, and they haven't had brunch yet!
Q: What is the difference between a Hipster and a Freak?

A: Good question. Because there actually is one, but it is sometimes hard to spot. Hipsters are people who try to be different in a way that is just like everyone else in their gentrified neighborhood. Freaks are people who are different because they are different...and usually can't afford to live in gentrified neighborhoods, for that matter. Let me put it this way: if you like wearing and doing stuff that will get your exposed butt kicked out of all but our country's least respectable Applebee's* because no one liked you in high school--you are a freak. But if you just want people to think that no one liked you in high school, welcome to Hipster City, population: you. To make it even easier: if you look like Bootsy Collins, you are a freak. If you look like Jeff Goldblum, you are a hipster. If you look like Nicki Minaj or Lady Gaga, you are a freak. If you look like Lisa Loeb or Lisa are a hipster.

More like this?
Or more like this?

Q: Oh god! I think I might have accidentally engaged in a conversation with a Hipster. What do I do? 

A: Okay, calm down. It might not actually be a hipster. You might just be talking to a barista. Look at his or her hand. Is it holding your coffee? Just take it and back away...slowly. If not, touch your ears. Are they bleeding because The Possible Hipster won't shut up about composting toilets, all the places he's seen a real Banksy and how The Food Network keeps ruining all his favorite eateries and drinkeries? You are talking to a hipster. Don't panic.  That's the worst thing you could do. Panic is like offal ice cream to them...they love it. Just yell the word bacon three times, confess that you've always really liked The Shins, but now you think they've sold out, and scream, "I really want to try that raw diet, but I love bacon too much!" Then  run, don't walk, to the nearest coffee shop that doesn't brew by the cup. A hipster will never follow you there.

The natural enemy of the hipster.

Q: This is embarrassing. I think I might be a hipster. Am I?

A: Relax. So what? So you've been to a few Modest Mouse shows--it doesn't mean you're a hipster. It means you have bad taste in music. The very fact that you are embarrassed makes me suspect that you are not a Hipster. I know it sounds strange, but Hipsters are actually proud of their Hipster status. (Especially after Bon Iver won the Grammy and gave the whole movement the one thing they love to pretend they don't want: mainstream cred.) If you're still worried, here are a few questions to ask yourself. Do you look like a member of The Specials? If yes, you are either a hipster, or you are in that band The Specials and should probably be getting ready for your reunion tour. Oh, and this is definitive Do you drink PBR? Then you are a hipster.

A message to you, hipster.
Q: I drink PBR, but I am not a hipster.

A: That is not a question, but the answer is yes, yes you are.

Q: No, I'm not.

A: Again, not a question, but yes, you are. To paraphrase Louis Gosset Jr. in An Officer and a Gentleman, "The only people who drink PBR are hipsters and people living on a deserted island who have no other choice, and I don't see a coconut bra** on your sun-burnt boobs (or moobs), so you must be a hipster."

Is that a Pabst Blue Ribbon you're drinking, recruit?

*You of course would never, ever want to go inside that Applebee's. It's filled with freaks and hipsters.

** My apologies to deserted-island dwellers who do not wear coconut bras, but are reading this blog on a coconut-based laptop.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

War on Feminism: Lost. Stop. Send reinforcements. Stop. And Betty White. Stop.

Face it, ladies. There has been a war waged on feminism since long before Newt Gingrich suggested that you couldn't (or was it shouldn't) change a tampon in a foxhole. It was completely lost on July 22, 2010 when a judge in St Louis said that if you are drunk and have stupid friends, you can legally slip and fall into a nationally advertised soft-core porn video and you don't even have to sign the consent form. Yeah, I think we always knew that the fatal blow to feminism would be dealt by those scum slurpers over at Girls Gone Wild, but who knew a judge and jury would assist them?  

So, when sexist stuff happens, I'm not surprised. I'm pissed, but not surprised. When asked by the NY Times why there aren't more female comedians on The David Letterman show, Letterman booker, Eddie Brill, said, “There are a lot less female comics who are authentic. I see a lot of female comics who, to please an audience, will act like men.” Hilarious. Even funnier is in the comments section of the Mirth Magazine article about it , Eddie, in trying to defend himself by calling comedian Amy Schumer "that comedian's girlfriend." Ha ha ha! He can't even stop being a sexist dick to explain that he isn't a sexist dick. His apology is even funnier...but not funny enough to quote here. 

Nope, instead I think I'll just say Happy Birthday to a woman who is a thousand times funnier that Eddie Brill could ever be. Proof:

UPDATE: She won! Almost 6 million. And the Girls Gone Wild lawyer has quit...probably because he couldn't stand the small of slimeball.