Like Bill Murray in “What About Bob?” I like to practice my Tourette’s. The idea is: if I can fake it, then that means I don’t have it.
An edict from my wife constrains practice periods until after the children’s bedtime, and only when we are free of visitors.
I particularly like to practice it during adverts on television. There is just such a rich seam of talentless, vaccuous diatribe that deserves nothing but the finest examples of shockingly inappropriate language. It seems a shame to let all that go to waste.
Adverts are a strange and powerful beast; their power is not fully understood – even by those who create them.
A successful advert can turn someone into a multi-millionaire, create a playground craze or get a gorilla a drumming-gig in a Phil Collins tribute band. On the other hand, an advert that backfires can sink a business, end an actor’s career, cause national outcry or get people killed.
Thanks to Sainsbury’s, for example, I now try my very hardest to drive over anyone riding a moped … just in case it turns out to be Jamie Oliver. It seems worth a shot.
And whilst I used to enjoy watching Richard Hammond on Top Gear, I now consider him a smug, overly-manicured miniature pillock thanks to his nauseating Morrisons adverts over Christmas. I’d like to stuff that idiotic knitted jumper down his throat. Why was he even pushing a shopping trolley through a pantomime? Surely the breaks would lock-up the moment it left the car park?
And we in the Oddbloke household have recently boycotted everything relating to BT or O2, thanks to their latest adverts.
Well, perhaps that’s not entirely true. We have expunged our house of a BT landline because of their dreadful broadband speeds and expensive charges, and we’ve just changed mobile provider because of the amount that O2 was costing us … but when I rung up O2 yesterday for my PAC and the poor girl on the other end was foolish enough to ask why I was leaving, I cited “that smug ginger streak of piss and his soulless girlfriend on your adverts” as the primary factor. I sincerely hope that the “for training purposes” recording of that conversation is being passed around the O2 office.
With one or two (very rare) exceptions: I hate adverts. They are smug and condescending and patronising.
“Family-saga” adverts are the worst of the worst. They always seem the most devious. An ordinary advert just spends 30-seconds airtime trying to convince you to buy something you don’t need. You can ignore it, forget about it and move on. But the “saga” adverts keep coming back. Using the same actors and locations as before. They try to reinforce the crap that they’re selling; to convince you that their products are a central part of a proper family existence.
The advert-creators reason thusly: apparently we – the damn-fool consumers – do nothing all day except buy junk and watch soaps. We seem to spend more time dwelling on the trials-and-tribulations of fictional characters than those of our own. So why not try and boil a typical half-hour episode of Eastenders into something a minute long, and focus the storyline around a pathetic ginger smart/casual demographic-pleasing moron and his attempts to copulate with a disinterested harpy?
There have been many attempts at “saga” adverts (such as the Oxo family, the Gold-Blend couple and even Bob Hoskins), and I can’t think of a single one that has been particularly successful at endearing itself. Without exception, they have been obnoxious pieces of work. They attempt to force me to care about a fictitious family and its fictitious problems. They are raping my eye-holes. They are inserting claptrap into my brain against my will.
And so, thanks to BT, we have witnessed Adam and Jane get together, engage in some soulless rutting, split up, get back together, suffer agonising almost-splitting-up drama thanks to intermittent Wifi, get bored, download rather bland porn with a collection of suspiciously ethnically-diverse “laddish” mates, drag-in supposed previous partners, get engaged, shop for middle-class housing, pretend to be footballers for England, show how impossible it is to be a long-distance parent using only a mobile telephone … and now, we suspect, squeeze out an equally unnappealing progeny with which to delight the vacuous fictional grandparents.
I want to be sick.
On what planet do expectant mothers stroke their bellies in an expectant, glowing, sort of way? It seems a curiously common cliche. Smiling serenly as mother-nature does Her Thing? I’ve never seen it in real life, that’s for sure. This world’s pregnant women are chock-full of hormones and want to stab their partner to death because he keeps clearing his throat in an infuriating way.
If BT wanted to do a realistic series of adverts showing how their products are a central part of family life with a baby on the way, it would show the ginger fool using his peaktime-optimised, niggle-free Broadband to ask Jeeves “WHY IS MY PREGNANT GIRLFRIEND TRYING TO KILL ME?”. It would feature an episode where he locks himself in the wardrobe with his conveniently-priced mobile, talking to BT’s friendly Directory Enquiries to find a business that’ll deliver an anchovy-and-Monster-Munch pizza and a lorry-load of Haagen-Dazs in a pathetic attempt to placate the monster who is even now hacking her way through the wardrobe-door with a meat cleaver.
I think I’ve ranted for long enough. I shall leave you with The Oddbloke nausea/insane-violence challenge: I dare you to look around this site and “take part” without vomiting violently, or venting your pent-up aggression on the cat.