Monday, October 29, 2012

Shut Up About Your Mother

As election season thankfully draws to a close, I suddenly feel the urge to rant about one of my pet peeves of campaigning politicians.  Everyone from national candidates to some jackass running for city council of Southwest Podunk seems to feel the need to say various nice things about the women in their lives.  I couldn't possibly care less.  Don't get me wrong, though.  My distaste for hearing anecdotes about wives and mothers and what-not shouldn't be misinterpreted as misogyny.  I just think it's a colossal waste of time.

For starters, let's think about politicians lavishing praise on their wives.  Both presidential candidates spent far too much time telling us how great their wives are.  This was received with uproarious applause at both conventions.  Why?  It's not terribly unusual for guy like his wife.  A guy who doesn't like his wife is usually a douchebag.  Of course, this isn't always true.  A guy could be married to a woman who likes cats.  Or tofu.  Or Justin Bieber.  But for the most part, any guy who is willing to move in with a woman, share the sheets, give up all decisions on interior decorating, make an effort to put the toilet seat down, and put an unnecessarily expensive ring on her finger, is probably at least reasonably fond of her.

One of the only things more obvious than a guy who loves his wife is a guy who loves his mother.  So why are we inundated with endless little stories about how wonderful a politician's mother was?  Men who don't like their wives may be douchebags, but men who don't like their mothers are usually sociopaths.  Well, unless their mothers beat them.  Still, if a man's mother beat him, that's probably what made him a sociopath.  Of course we like our mothers.  They fed us, clothed us, changed our diapers, and wiped our asses.  And if she breast-fed us, she's also the first girl we got to second base with.

There's one other little politician's story that's even dumber.  A few have mentioned how great their grandmothers were.  Of course, your grandmother was great.  The only difference between one grandmother and another is the little pet name we have for her.  But it doesn't matter if she's a Gamma, a Nana, a Mam-ma, or a Mi-Ma, she's the one who gives us free stuff.  How the hell could we not like that gal?  Any guy who doesn't like receiving gifts lacks even the faintest glimmer of self-interest.  Usually, the only people who don't have self-interest are dead people.  There aren't any corpses running for office.  Harry Reid wasn't running this time.

What the hell are these pols trying to tell me?  If you tell me that you like your wife, your mother, and your grandmother, all you're telling me is that you're not a douchebag, not a sociopath, and have at least a minimal amount of self-interest.  This doesn't qualify someone to be president or mayor or dogcatcher.  This means they have the minimum qualifications for being human.  So knock it off with your charming little stories, candidates.  I'm not impressed.  If you want me to vote for you, tell me something you don't have in common with most of the world's men.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Clorox - a Uniter, Not a Divider

Brandindex.com recently released a story on the brands preferred by Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. You can read it here. But if you're too lazy for that, just look at this chart.  If you're too blind to read the chart, follow the damn link.
 
First I was struck by the utterly unsurprising stuff.  For example, Republicans like Fox News.  In a related story, the sky is blue and the sun rises in the east.  Republicans like the History channel too. The party that's considered more traditional would naturally be more inclined to pay attention to history. Also, the History Channel consists primarily of footage of American soldiers shooting Nazis and Commies and Terrorists and Talibans. Which is something Republicans are naturally inclined to enjoy.

In other non-surprising developments, Republicans like Chick-Fil-a.  They rallied around it during the protests a while back when the Chick-Fil-A boss voiced an opinion opposed to gay marriage.  Republicans claim it's to support the first amendment.  Democrats say it's homophobia.  I'm not getting into that, because I already blogged about that on July 26th and I don't like repeating myself. 

Democrats like Google.  Not surprising.  Google has some left-wing cred, primarily because many of it's management types contributed to Obama's reelection campaign.  Democrats also like PBS.  They claim it's because they like Big Bird and Kermit the Frog and offering educational tools that are available to all, including low income kids.  Republicans will say it's government quasi-communism and public broadcasting should go away.  I say do what you will with Big Bird and Kermit, but don't touch Oscar the Grouch because he's awesome.

Then I noticed a few things that surprised me.  The Democrats like Levi's, but not so much with the Republicans.  I thought the Republicans owned the rough and tumble cowboy image.  Apparently, they like cowboys, but refuse to dress like them.  Republicans also appear to like the Discovery Channel more than Democrats.  It's a little confusing, since Democrats have frequently made attempts to paint Republicans as anti-science.  Having said that, I know that the best show on the Discovery Channel is Mythbusters, which consists primarily of two guys blowing stuff up.  So maybe Republicans are just tuning in for the explosions.  I know I do.

Republicans don't appear to like Amazon the way Democrats and Independents do.  They liked Amazon's former CEO (not that it was enough to get her elected), but apparently not Amazon.  I don't get it.  I use Amazon for one reason.  I don't like to DRIVE THROUGH TONS OF TRAFFIC AND DODGE NINE MILLION STUPID, DUMBASS KIDS IN THE MALL WHEN I GO CHRISTMAS SHOPPING!  Given that Republicans have a reputation (deserved or otherwise) of being older and crankier than Democrats, I would think they'd be with me on this.

But then I noticed the unifying brands.  Craftsman and Cheerios are pretty classic American brands, so it's not a surprise that all three groups would rate them highly.  But all three groups also rated Clorox highly.  Clorox?  Sure it's useful and it's been around forever, but it's not something we'd consider exciting.  It's a fairly simple chemical we use to perform relatively mundane tasks.  How does this rate so highly?  It took me awhile, but I finally figured it out.  Clorox, in all it's simplicity, helps us perform one of the most valuable tasks there is.  And that is...removing fecal matter from men's underwear.

These offensive little stains, commonly known as skidmarks, are recognized as the primary drawback of men wearing tightey-whiteys.  Granted, women have their own form of tightey-whiteys, but they are not as well known for their tendency to collect fecal matter.  Although they have been linked to an increasing number of camel-toe incidents.  Skidmarks in men's underwear can cause all sorts of mayhem.  Most notably, their presence can be sort of a deal-breaker in the bedroom.  So, in part, we owe continued procreation, a necessary part of the survival of humanity, to Clorox. 

That's the revelation.  Clorox is one of the foundations of our society, and indeed all humanity.  We couldn't exist without it.  Two of our most necessary biological functions are procreation and defecation.  And without Clorox, the latter would prevent the former.  Unless men could find women who like shit stains.  They exist, but I think they're all German.  Sexual relations with them typically involves a safeword, so it's not for everyone.

My eyes have been opened.  Clorox is the secret to human existence, and a solution to many of our society's ills.  I think Clorox can produce a better America.  For example, members of all three parties have shown an increasing distaste for bullshit.  Just go watch a political attack ad.  Or a political convention.  Or a Justin Bieber video.  It's everywhere.  So I propose new and improved, bullshit-strength Clorox.  Old Clorox paved the way for human expansion, and a new form of Clorox can help us achieve our destiny, by making us less stupid and asinine.  Bullshit-strength Clorox.  For a better future.

Monday, October 22, 2012

How to Avoid a Twitter Fail

Last week, Eva Longoria retweeted a dirty tweet.  I'm not going to put it here.  Go Google it if you haven't heard of this.  After you crawl out from under the rock you're living under.  Sadly, she used the Weiner-esque excuse of "My Twitter account is being hacked."  Not a smart move.  Nobody believed her, and now she's fallen victim to her own Twitter Fail. She should have known that the "hacked" excuse wouldn't fly.

I'm not an expert in lying, but in a past life I worked in advertising and marketing.  There's significant overlap between advertising and lying. Don't believe me? Go watch an infomercial at two in the morning. If you see a guy trying to tell you how to get rich in real estate or anything with Kevin Trudeau (just Google him too, I don't feel like putting in a link), then you'll see what I mean.

One of the rules we were mindful of in advertising is the Law of Diminishing Returns.  Here's how it works in advertising.  If I place an ad in a particular newspaper, or send junk mail to a particular neighborhood, I'll get responses from a chunk of the readers of that paper (well, I would have in the day that people read newspapers) or the residents of that neighborhood.  If I repeat this, I'll get some people that I didn't already have, but not as many as the first time.

As with advertising, the law of diminishing returns applies to lying.  A lie is less effective the second time it's used than the first time.  Therefore, if the first guy to tell a particular lie became a laughing stock and was forced to resign in disgrace, one cannot expect better results using the same lie.  However, there are ways to dance around a Twitter Fail that are far more effective.

Method 1: Blame it on a dead guy.

Many Twitty-types use an iPhone to tweet, despite the fact that they barely know how to use an iPhone.  These devices are relatively new technology, so people using them wrongly is still quite common.  Improper use of an iPhone can result in all sorts of mayhem.  Just go see Damnyouautocorrect.  And I am providing a link to that.  Because it's awesome.  Well, most of the time.  So all you have to do is pretend that the invisible hand of Steve Jobs reached from beyond the grave and bestowed his wrath upon you.  Suddenly your Twitter Fail became an iPhone fail.  We've all done that at least once.

Method 2: Blame it on outsourcing

It's well known that various rich and famous people don't manage their own Twitter accounts or blogs or whatever.  They just hire some tech-savvy kid to handle it for them.  If you're rich and famous, just blame the fail on the 14 year old kid you outsourced to.  Then fire him.  Granted, this increases the unemployment rate.  But if you're using proper outsourcing, this only increases unemployment in India.  That doesn't have quite so much political baggage as increasing American unemployment.  Unless it's considered racist.  You never can tell.  Almost anything could be considered racist these days.

Method 3: Oops!

Granted, "oops" is a higher risk solution.  Rick Perry tried it once, with somewhat disappointing results.  But a well placed "oops" can solve all of your problems.  I once had a co-worker give this excuse: "I meant to go to sec.gov, not sex.com!"  He actually avoided getting fired.  It wasn't implausible.  The "C" and the "X" are right next to each other on the keyboard.  And we've all mindlessly typed in ".com" when we meant to type ".gov", ".edu". or ".org" at least once.  We all mis-click a mouse or fat-finger something on a keyboard every now and then. 

It's worth noting that this is a little different from the iPhone Fail solution.  In that scenario, you blame new technology and your own Noob status.  In this case, the excuse is a mis-click or a typo.  The mouse and QWERTY keyboard aren't that new.  If your actual problem is that you haven't figured out these ancient technologies, please kill yourself.  Now.

It's all about believability.  Everyone with an iPhone can relate to the iPhone fail.  Everyone with fingers can related to a mis-click or a typo.  And we all know that famous people outsource their tweets all the time.  But we're not buying the Twitter hack thing.  We've heard that lie before.  It's best to tell a lie that we can relate to.  Unless you decide to own up and apologize.  Nah, that's a crazy idea.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Infidelity - the Secret to Punditry

The other day, I was reading a little piece on Mediaite.com about how Mark Sanford, former South Carolina, was apparently being a racist. He said that President Obama would be "throwing spears" at the debate, presumably to make up for his poor performance in the first debate. Normally, I'm a bit suspicious of accusations of racism based on code words, but I know that "spear thrower" is a somewhat denigrating phrase used to describe black people.  On the other hand, Mark Sanford's mistress was Argentinian, so he can't be that racist.

Then it hit me.  What the hell is a man who fooled around on his wife doing as a pundit?  Presumably, pundits are people who's word means something.  The're not just experts, people have to have reason to believe them, to take their word for things.  How is it that people think I'll take the word of a man who can't be trusted by his wife?

But then I remembered that there's nothing new about this.  Newt Gingrich works as a pundit for Fox News, and he's renowned for marital excess, even while impeaching other guys for marital excess.  Elliot Spitzer was a high-class John for high-class hookers.  He still managed to secure a show on CNN, which is now cancelled, and a show on Current TV, which is not cancelled, but nobody watches it because it's on Current TV.

This is a terrible injustice.  We are a) trusting the political word of untrustworthy men and b) treating women unfairly.  Woman politicians can't get away with this.  First of all, I went looking.  Woman politicians don't cheat that often.  What's more, they can get into huge trouble just for being accused of cheating.  Both Sarah Palin (ok, not exactly a politician) and Governor Nikki Haley were accused of infidelity.  The accusations were just that, accusations.  No proof was ever presented.  But they had to do all sorts of damage control.  Cheating isn't a resume builder for woman politicians, only men.

Why is this?  Well, the demographic that drives advertising dollars (and therefore news media) is men between 25 to 54.  And no matter how modernized we men are, we still have a little residual oinkity-oinkishness.  I'm one of those medern guys, I know what I'm talking about.  We can forgive men who cheat.  Apparently, powerful men fooling around enhances their power.  Thank you, Kennedy brothers.  This apparently makes them strong alpha male types, not man-sluts as they should be.  Certain exceptions apply.  Oinkiness only allows for heterosexual affairs.  Also, the affairs must be sexual, not cybersexual.  Gay infidelity (Larry Craig, Jim McGreevey) or bizarro Twitter affairs (Anthony Weiner), don't affirm alpha male status, so no jobs for those guys.

But there's a way to reconcile oinkishness with opportunities for female philandering.  All a woman politician needs to do is have a lesbian affair.  As long as they're both hot.  Like I said, oink.  Our oinkiness won't allow for non-hot women pundits anyway.  Lesbian philandering will give female politicans increased opportunities in female punditry.  Well, right after they retire in disgrace.

Lesbians can break down the barriers for other women.  And nothing would produce better ratings than a Republican lesbian arguing with Elliot Spitzer or a Democratic lesbian arguing with Mark Sanford.  Or perhaps a Republican lesbian debating a Democratic lesbian.  I'm sure that scene has been seen before on TV, but it was probably in a porn movie.  If it was on Fox or MSNBC, advertising dollars would go through the roof.  The economy would rebound overnight.

I realize, it might be simpler to demand that cheating politicians stay out of the public eye.  But then we would miss out on the economic benefits of seeing hot, arguing lesbians on basic cable.  So instead, lesbians must break ground for other women.  Only girl-girl love can close the infidelity gap.  Several female politicians must come out as lesbians, cheat on their husbands, then enter into a illustrious punditry career.  Once a few hot lesbian chicks do it, the oinking crowd will get used to the idea.  At that point, anyone will be able to fool around and still get a pundit job.  Then we will finally have infidelity justice for all.