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Wildly Exaggerated: September 2011

Friday, September 30, 2011

Random Act of Advertising Kindness

If you don't live in Atlanta, you may well be sick of hearing me go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on about the Wizometer. I'm sorry. I am. But I was born and raised in this town, and over the years I've watched the traffic get exponentially worse, the city get exponentially more dangerous, the local government get more corrupt...and now this?!?! NOT IN MY NAME.

The pure, unadulterated hatred humanity feels for the Wizometer is also the #1 driver of traffic to this site. Week after week after week, now matter what else I write about, the Wizometer post remains the most-read. And why? Because every day - at least once a day - someone googles something like "wizometer hate" or "what the hell is the wizometer", and ends up on my blog. And tonight I myself googled "wizometer" to see if it's truly specific to Atlanta, or if it's become a nationwide phenomenon. As far as I can tell, it's been contained within the ATL, but that's not the point. The point is that I found this. Sorry I can't embed the video here, but that's how 11Alive rolls - you have to go to their site to watch their awesome video about something they have the audacity to call an "act of kindness".

I'll break it down for you, in case you don't want to click the link (and really, who could blame you?): At some point in the evening news, they'd done a story about a local high school that has implemented some sort of fitness program. And the reporter who visited the school committed a random act of publicity kindness by distributing wristbands featuring the Wizometer. My favorite part is when she holds them up and says, "These are Wizometers," then corrects her minor error by pointing out that they are actually wristbands with pictures of the Wizometer on them. Personally, I think it's splitting hairs. A Wizometer, a picture of a Wizometer - they're both overwrought graphics with meaningless, contextless numbers all over them. As for the alleged "kindness" involved, the only kind act I saw was the gracious acceptance of those things, when you know everyone in the room wanted to burn them in effigy.

Stop trying to make the Wizometer happen, 11Alive. And if you insist on continuing to force feed us Wizometer promotional items, at least have the decency to slap that logo on a roll of toilet paper where it belongs.


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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Try to *Avoid* Saying Sad Things to Your Friend

One of the best things about having a blog is looking to see what search terms are driving traffic to your site. I think you're supposed to use that to gear your writing to an ever-growing audience for ad revenue purposes, but as this blog makes exactly no money whatsoever, I just use it to amuse myself. The main takeaways so far are that a lot of people loathe Gmail's "consider including" feature, but even more people loathe the Wizometer. This is particularly impressive when you consider the fact that the Gmail feature affects people all over the world and the Wizometer is specific to a local news station in Atlanta. And STILL more people hate the Wizometer! Are you listening, 11Alive? KILL THE WIZOMETER, PLEASE.

I digress.

Every now and again people find me using search terms that completely mystify me. I don't know why you would search for these things, and I really don't understand why Google thought you might need to read my blog, based on that search. But there were two recent searches that made me feel, well, guilty. I guess it's not my fault that Google led this hapless searcher to such a useless page, but I still feel that I've failed him or her by not providing the answers he or she clearly needed. I don't want to be responsible for the failure of a relationship, and if that searcher ever comes back, I want him or her to come away with something helpful. So here you go, searcher person! Say these things to your friend!

"Nice Things to Say to Your Friend"

  • You look nice today!
  • What zit?
  • I bet nobody even notices.
  • I only noticed because you pointed it out!
  • It's AWESOME that you got cast in a Neil LaBute play!
  • Look, somebody's gonna win the Nobel Prize for Literature - why not you?
  • Here's $50.
  • Your mother doesn't know what she's talking about.
  • You're the wind beneath my wings.
  • I already ordered a pitcher of margaritas.
  • I would never have guessed this building was a converted Federal Prison building. Ooh, you have a fireplace!
  • You're so right.
  • Surprise! I submitted your name to "Extreme Home Makeover" and they picked you!

"Sad Things to Say to Your Friend"

  • Justin Bieber has a girlfriend.
  • I'm gonna need that $50 back.
  • She says they're out of tequila.
  • Your date had to cancel.
  • Road trip! I packed carrots and lite beer!
  • Surprise! I submitted your name to "Intervention"!
  • They aren't gonna do another series of Peep Show*.

*This is just an example; they totally are gonna do another series of Peep Show. Don't cry.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Alternate Title: The Whiny Idiot and Her Woman-Hating Soulmate

Today I spent way too much time around someone who was being a prima donna and a half. I remarked to a fellow sufferer that "It's like The Princess and the Pea up in here!" Met with a blank stare, I realized that I might have spent more time watching "Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre" than other kids did. But I have a feeling I'm going to be bringing that princess up a lot, as people around me seem to become more and more obsessed with their own personal absolute comfort as the rest of the world self-destructs around them. So here's a quick refresher.

The Princess and the Pea

by Hans Christian Andersen, as interpreted by Kimberly Welsh

Once upon a time there was this Prince who was a straight-up class-obsessed jerk. He met plenty of smart, funny, pretty girls, but none of them were completely perfect, and homey don't play that. So he continued to live in the basement of his parents' castle, playing World of Warcraft on an Alienware computer, living off grape Fanta and Cheetos - just generally being a fat, greasy, mysogynistic idiot.

One rainy night, there was a knock at the door. When the Queen went to answer it, she met a small, frail-looking, beautiful young woman who was soaking wet from the rain. The visitor explained that she was a princess who had been caught in the nasty weather, and asked if she could just chill on their couch for the night. The Prince belched and said, "Princess, huh? We'll see about that." And instead of punching him in the face and telling him to get a job, his mother the Queen raced up to the guest room to prepare a test for the young woman. Because clearly there is a whole Oedipal thing going on here and she has no interest in ever getting her son to move the hell out and get a life.

And so she stripped all the bedclothes and laid a single pea on top of the mattress. Then she stacked a bunch of mattresses on top of the pea. Then she stacked a bunch of featherbeds on top of the mattresses. By the time she finished creating the young woman's death trap of a bed, the alleged princess had dried off and prepred to go to sleep. So she climbed into bed, presumably with the aid of a harness and a set of crampons, and closed her eyes.

The next morning, the family was seated at breakfast when the princess came down. Shouting over the din of her 33-year old son slurping his Frosted Flakes, the Queen asked how the princess had slept. Naturally, being a total stranger who had been granted a warm, safe place to sleep free of charge in her hour of need, the princess graciously said she'd slept wonderfully. PSYCH! She replied, "I didn't get a wink of sleep! There was something poking at me from under my mattress all night! Seriously, not only could I not get comfortable, but I am literally - LITERALLY - black and blue all over from that stupid mattress. God, this place is a dump. By the way, I take fresh cream on my Frosted Flakes instead of milk and I only drink Kopi Luwak coffee. And if you don't have any Kopi Luwak coffee, I'm going to sit here and scream until you go get some, you wrinkled old bag." The Queen smiled, thinking that if the young lady's skin was so delicate that she could sense the presence of the pea even through so many layers of soft mattress padding, she must be a real princess, and therefore worthy of her son. Like he's such a freaking prize.

The young couple got married but never moved out of the basement, and the Queen never found out that the pea had rolled out from under the mattresses while the princess was climbing into bed. Nor did she ever learn the truth of the awkward mattress-poking that laid the groundwork for decades of heavily-negotiated, highly unpleasant marital relations. The whole family lived happily ever after, bitching and moaning about the slightest imperfection in temperature, humidity, the saltiness or un-saltiness of their food, slight tingling sensations in their tongues when eating Altoids, every speck of dust that exists, and that weird thing where one of your muscles just starts twitching for no reason.

The End

Friday, September 23, 2011

Hello? Is It Me You're Looking For?

I bet you thought I forgot my password, didn't you? Well I didn't. And you probably weren't thinking that, either. You were probably thinking something more like "What a lazy slob! She writes 300 crappy pages of sketch comedy we don't even get to read and make fun of, and then we never hear from her again! The nerve!" And what if I HAD forgotten my password? I could've spent the last week running around tearing my home - and myself - apart searching for it, frantic at the thought that my loyal readership (BOTH of them) were being denied my razor-sharp wit! Then you'd feel pret-ty bad for being so mean to me.

But like I say, I wasn't. Still, my absence was still perfectly justified and you shouldn't judge me. Because I have

10 Perfectly Good Reasons Why I Haven't Blogged In Nearly A Week
1. This whole Facebook redesign thing has been very difficult for me. And yes, thank you, I did anticipate it by 5 days.
2. I had the Ebola for a while there. Or wait - maybe it was hay fever. Which one do you take Zyrtec for? That one.
3. Every time I tried to write a blog post, I thought about the "DANG MY CAPS WAS LOCKED" guy and laughed so hard I couldn't type.
4. I've been devoting all of my time to my personal campaign against the so-called "Buffet Rule". Keep your paws off my 7-figure income, Uncle Sam!!! I need that money to power the economy! It trickles down every time I tip the guy who dusts my polo ponies!
5. I had to camp out for Weird Al tickets.
6. I started reading He's Just Not That Into You and got completely sucked in by its nauseating, condescending tone! I couldn't put it down, so ultimately I just doused it in gasoline and set it on fire instead.
7. I lost a Twitter follower and spent the entire week trying to figure out who it was. (Answer: a bikini-clad spambot selling vitamin pills)
8. I was up past 10pm last Saturday night, and have been catching up on my sleep ever since.
9. 2 words: Angry Birds.
10. It's taken a week to get the head-to-toe full-body tattoo I'll be sporting for college football season!

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

How to Write a Thing

Many people have been understandably awed by my amazing ability to write 300 pages worth of sketches that will never see the light of day. One of the slack-jawed millions (who also happens to be my closest friend) has asked that I "send some of that productivity [her] way". Obviously I can't do that. I mean, I could, because how hard could it possibly be to write a dissertation? "Foucault something something memory blah blah blah reading and retention dippy-do Foucault again (CITATION)." There's your first sentence. You see my point? But I digress (often and with great enthusiasm).

While I can't write her dissertation for her, I can offer her some of the wisdom gleaned on my epic 2 month journey, and I shall endeavor to do so. She doesn't need help with preliminary work, as she's already in the thick of the writing process. And if you're reading this, you've probably already done your idea-coming-up-with and now just need to get into the nuts and bolts. Here are the steps I followed to make my caffeine-induced dream a sad, alcohol-soaked reality:
1. Buy some stuff. This is America, dammit (NOTE: if you are not in America, get on the internet and buy stuff from America. Please. WE NEED THE MONEY.) Yes, you probably already have roughly 35 notebooks, 139 pens in various states of ink depletion, 2 computers (featuring 3 word processing programs and a paid subscription to Evernote), and a smartphone. But is any of the stuff you already own truly suited to the project on which you are now embarking? Of course it isn't! You need new stuff! Tell yourself it will help you get motivated! For reference, I bought Scrivener, a bunch of imported gel pens, and 5 Moleskine notebooks of various sizes and colors.

2. Realize that you just spent a lot of money on things that will not do the writing FOR you. Get very depressed. (Note: even though these products didn't do the writing for me, they were all instrumental in the work I eventually did. Especially Scrivener, the most amazing piece of software ever written EVER.)

3. Implement a highly regimented and disciplined writing schedule. Make sure it's doable, because you will be sticking to it like a total rock star for about 3 weeks.

4. Miss 1 scheduled hour of writing due to oversleeping, family crisis, illness, car trouble, earthquake, water leak, etc. Have a total breakdown. Approved breakdown activities include: drinking to excess, getting tattoos, doing P90X, quitting your job, streaking at a nationally televised sporting event, making cupcakes and spelling out profanities in the icing, buying a Lady Gaga album, taking up paintball, reading Kafka to the elderly, and crash dieting. Feel free to add whatever feels right to you, provided that you remember to include copious, uncontrollable weeping between activities.

*5. Have an epiphany.* This is the step that saved me; the miraculous moment I went from "total loser" to "total loser who could brag insufferably about having finished something". My epiphany was as follows: "Who the hell ever heard of an hour long sketch show written by a single person? Most sketch shows are only 30 minutes!" Armed with the realization that roughly half of what I wrote was destined for a trash can anyway, I attacked the project with renewed zeal. I stopped nit-picking for quality because for all I knew, the crappy sketch I was writing wouldn't even survive the cull! I got back on my regimented schedule and finished in a little over a week. Now, if you're, say, writing a dissertation, you may not have the luxury of throwing out half of what you write. You'll need to have a different epiphany. Maybe something like, "If I just finish writing this one massive document, I'll be allowed to see my family again!"

6. Reward yourself. I would recommend a vacation of at least 2 weeks, to somewhere you really want to go, with travel companions you really want to be with, and an unlimited budget. But if you're like me and can't afford that, I find that a single glass of wine, a chocolate bar, and MST3K works well too.

Ta-da! Easy peasy! And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to spend literally the rest of my life reveling in my triumph while simultaneously never accomplishing anything ever again.


Sketch Challenge, 4th & 5th Sets: It Is Done.





It's done. It's over. I'm finished. I literally cannot believe it.

When I first hatched this bright-ass idea, I thought it would be fun! Then I thought it would be educational! Then I thought it would be a great way to sharpen my writing skills!

...and then I thought, "If I drink enough tequila to drown a horse, I will feel better."

Luckily I managed to come back with a vengeance these last two weeks and I FINISHED. I don't know what suddenly motivated me to get off my ass (or rather, to get back on my ass in front of my computer), but I'm glad I did! The thing is, I usually start a challenging creative project, get about 80% done, and quit/give up/whatever you want to call it. When progress ground to a halt in the 4th set, I feared I had gone as far as I was gonna go. So now, even though the last two sets aren't my best work, they're done. And I'm pretty ridiculously pleased about that.

So did I achieve my goals? And while I'm thinking about it, what the hell were my goals? I'm WAY too lazy to reread the original posts, but I'm pretty sure I was trying to:
1. amuse myself
2. find out what it's like to be a comedy writer working to a deadline (which is why the deadlines were modeled on John Finnemore's for his sketch show)
3. become a better writer

We'll take them individually. Because it's MY blog. And I have achieved something for a change, so I will talk about it for as long as I damn well please.

1. Did I amuse myself? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. More often than not, I would walk away from a writing session saying something like "Mother of GOD I suck!" This was decidedly unamusing, and was also a large part of the reason my liver took such a massive hit in the middle few weeks. But there were also numerous times when I would reread something a few weeks after writing it and find myself actually laughing, pleasantly surprised at the quality of my work. So I was amused some of the time. I'll say this for the overall project: it was consistently 100% amusing to watch myself try to rationalize my failures and procrastinations. Hilarious. Five stars.

2. Do I now know what it's like to be a comedy writer working to a deadline? Again: yes and no. I definitely got a healthy dose of reality about it. I mean, I read a lot (like, A LOT) of interviews with/blogs maintained by people who write comedy (not just John Finnemore), and I had seen patterns emerge in their collective characterization of the process. But when people keep saying writing comedy is like pulling teeth...I guess I just couldn't grasp it. I mean, writing my master's thesis was like pulling teeth. Doing writing samples for job applications is like pulling teeth. But comedy? Something funny? How can that ever be work?
Now when I read those interviews/blogs, I can genuinely relate to what those people are saying. I know exactly what they mean. So in that respect, I "know what's like" now.

On the other hand, I still have no idea "what it's like" in terms of deadlines. It's fantastic that I finished today, but I was supposed to be done on August 27th. And that was after I gave myself a 2-week mental health break in the middle. I'm willing to give myself a little bit of leeway here, in that it was never possible for me to truly replicate Being a Full-Time Comedy Writer, since I'm already a Full-Time Something Else and a Part-Time Improv Actress. And then my Full-Time Something Else Employer went and staged a MAJOR acquisition right in the middle of my Sketch Challenge (the nerve!), which meant I ended up spending even more time and energy in that sphere than usual. So maybe it wasn't realistic to expect myself to meet the same deadlines as John Finnemore. On the other hand, he was doing sketch show stuff while doing Cabin Pressure stuff and becoming The Definitive Summarizer of the NOTW Scandal on The Now Show, so it's not like he was able to spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on sketch writing either. That's why I'm not completely excused. Quit yer bitchin', Welsh! We all have other shit going on! (<-- 99% sure this is not how John Finnemore would talk.)

3. Did it make me a better writer? In all honesty, I think the quality went steadily downhill from the middle of the 3rd set onward. The dialogue got more stilted, the jokes (on the rare occasion when there were discernible jokes after the 3rd set) weren't any good and tended to be ill-timed...everything just felt clunkier. Maybe it was because I had run out of ideas. Or maybe it was because I had too much other stuff going on (see: Employer situation). Or maybe it was because I went on vacation and lost my mojo. Or maybe I got bored and stopped paying attention - I will readily admit that by the time I got to the last 3 pages, I would gladly have written my name over and over again just to fill the space and be DONE. I think I'll just postpone this assessment. If there's one thing blogging has taught me, it's that everything gets better when extensively edited. And right now I'm putting the sketches aside for 2 weeks so I can come back completely fresh and edit the living crap out of them in October. I'll tell you on 1 November whether I've learned anything as a writer.

For now, here are 10 things I have learned during the Sketch Challenge:
1. The more tired I am, the less likely I am to fall asleep.
2. I can't write with ambient music playing. I just need the same 10 songs (with lyrics) to play over and over and over while I work.
3. "Butter London" is a Seattle-based company. WTF?!?!?
4. I have a friend who can do TEN official Disney character autographs!
5. Yellow roses symbolize jealousy(?!?!)
6. This: "?!?!!" is called an "interrobang". You're welcome.
7. There is a statue of a man walking a gator on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
In case anyone was confused as to the meaning of the term "baller"
8. I don't like eating doughnuts as much as I like thinking about eating doughnuts.
9. 97% of guys named Ben are hot. FACT.
10. The Scrivener project target bar really does turn green...eventually.

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Friday, September 9, 2011

Internet Comment Perfection Has Been Reached. Now Closed to New Submissions.

Generally speaking, I can't stand people who comment on news articles online. It seems like the same cabal of idiots post their comments on CNN, the Guardian, the Telegraph,...and God help you if you accidentally go to a local news site. In case you are a million times smarter than I am, and have never read such comments, here's how they usually break down:

  • 3% Spam telling you how to WIN AN IPAD2 or MARRY A HOT MILLIONAIRE or WORK FROM HOME...
  • 30% People blaming Obama for whatever the article was about, including but not limited to: the economy sucking, natural disasters, Lady Gaga, and the high price of beef jerky
  • 30% People blaming Bush for whatever the article was about, including but not limited to: the economy sucking, natural disasters, Kate Gosselin, and the high price of tofu
  • 7% Bush-blamers calling Obama-blamers "inbred morons" and Obama-blamers calling Bush-blamers "gay"
  • 5% People who are either commenting on the wrong article or have gone off their meds
  • 5% People who use ANY news article as an excuse to malign their ex-spouse
  • 20% Trolls (n): People who say the MOST offensive thing they could POSSIBLY say, then repeat it until a moderator kicks them out, at which point they invent a new screen name and start over. If we could identify the people who think trolling is the best use of their time, we could make a lot of progress toward stemming our national tide of wasteful, vindictive stupidity. I don't know why this is not priority #1 for the Department of Homeland Security.
I usually try to avoid reading the comments at all, but of course I fail miserably. Sometimes I genuinely wonder what other people thought of the article, but that still doesn't explain why I read the comments. If you review the list above, you'll notice there was no category for "People who have a literate, well-formed opinion they wanted to share in the spirit of open discussion". I guess it's just morbid curiosity that drives me to sit there, sometimes for an hour or more, and subject myself to the horrors of the internet comment board.

But one day in January of this year, it paid off. In fact, it was glorious. I will screenshot the comment below, but if you want to see it in its original context, you can go read this very sad CNN article (NOT RECOMMENDED - VERY SAD) and then click through to page 14 of the comments. There, you will find this text:

As you can see, jerry falls into the 5% of commenters who use news articles to malign their ex-spouse. I feel for jerry; it's clear he's going through a lot of pain. I hope he got everything resolved and managed to move on.

Although to be honest, I rather doubt he did manage to get everything resolved. Because, you see, it should not take you 5 lines of text to realize your Caps Lock is on. And even if it does escape your notice for that long, you can re-type your comment with minimal effort, correcting the Caps Lock error. But jerry didn't do that. jerry typed with furious abandon, not even looking up at the screen to see what he had written until he was done. And when he saw his mistake, did he fix it? No! But he did acknowledge it, with the aid of a brilliantly original sentence construction that has made me laugh out loud every time I've thought of it for the past 8 months and counting. God bless you, jerry, and your locked caps.

If anyone was wondering what to get me for Christmas this year, I would pretty much love a decent-quality t-shirt, preferably in an angry shade of red, that simply reads "DANG MY CAPS WAS LOCKED." Size M. Thank you.

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Poem About Punctuation. You're Welcome.

Commas are lovely, friendly things
They give your lengthy thinkings wings!
They help you make a long, long list
Or insert a "Well, you get the gist..."
My point is you should always use them
Never splice or else abuse them
And faithful friends you'll ever be
And I won't have to write any more bitchy poems to people who DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW EFFING COMMAS WORK. Refer to your notes from third grade. Figure it out.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I am Happy. I am Sorry.

OK, so I guess I'm making this up but I thought that title was stolen from a tweet which was tweeted by one of my favorite UK comedian/blogger types, Michael Legge. But I can't find it in his timeline now, so clearly I invented it out of thin air, along with the story of how he tweeted it while he was in Edinburgh, as well as my own inference that what he meant was that he didn't have anything funny to say, because he wasn't mad about anything, because he was happy.

But that whole paragraph is apparently a mixture of fiction and fantasy. I hope you enjoyed it.

ANYWAY! If it had been true, then I would know exactly how he hypothetically felt! Because I've been struggling with my own blog for the past week, and not because I'm so depressed I want to drink myself into a coma and then slowly die in a puddle of my own vomit, which was the previous reason I was having trouble blogging. Now I'm just too damn happy and I don't have anything to say!

I mean, I could tell you about how happy I am, but that would be boring. It's not like I even have any news to share. I didn't meet any great guys or win a million dollars or anything like that. I managed to enjoy a vacation, which is a pretty major personal victory, but there's only so much you can say about that.

And now it is very cold outside (remembering of course that I am from the South, and anything below 80 degrees is "very cold" to me), which makes me simultaneously happy and sad. I mean let's face it, those three-digit temperatures weren't doing anybody any favors, and probably contributed to what I can only describe as "mass insanity" in August, which led to rioting in England, Rick Perry being taken seriously in the US, and me trying to give up booze and chocolate at the same time. WHAT WERE WE THINKING, YOU GUYS? LOL!

So yeah. Here's this incredibly boring blog post. I couldn't even work up enough snark to write a half-assed Top Ten list or some shit. Here's hoping something makes me miserable again soon!

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

This "V" Sign is for Venza!

It's been a while since I've done an in-depth advertising analysis, and I know y'all are just too shy to ask for one, so HERE I AM. The thing is, though...I don't honestly know if this one is a FAIL or a WIN. Let's take a look at the new series of commercials for the Toyota Venza. I've seen 4 of them so far:
- the one with the girl who moves across the country and "can't imagine what her parents are doing without her"
- the one with the girl who (HILARIOUSLY) judges everyone's quality of life by the number of Facebook friends they have. (HILARIOUS! Because Facebook "friends" aren't the same as real friends, and NO ONE HAS EVER MADE THAT OBSERVATION BEFORE! HAAAAA HA HA HA HA!)
- the one with the girl who worries that, when her parents don't answer her calls, it means they are injured/unable to get to the phone
- the one with the guy who moves back home "because he's worried about his parents" and comments on how sad, boring, and lonely their lives are

So it's the same basic formula every time:
Hipster 20-something kid finds parents' existence to be pathetically boring; parents are out having a blast, unbeknownst to hipster 20-something kid.


Well, no, actually. And I'll tell you why, primarily using the example of the guy who moved back home. Here's the ad, for your reference:

Everybody put your parsin' pants on...

After college I moved back in with my parents. I was worried about 'em, you know?
The Toyota people want you to think, "Here's a self-important kid who thinks his parents can't live without him! What a little snot!" But if you're an American who graduated from college any time in the last ten years, as I did, you're more likely to think, "Aw. He couldn't get a job that paid a living wage either. Hang in there, man! I had to live with my parents for a long time too." NOT SO FUNNY NOW, IS IT?

I mean, for instance, my mom went to bed tonight before making my dinner [SHOT OF PARENTS CHEERFULLY SINGING ALONG WITH THE RADIO IN THEIR FANCY TOYOTA VENZA]. Which is fine, I mean, I know how to make dinner [SHOT OF MICROWAVE HEATING MEAL].
This is where the hilarity starts to kick in - see, he thinks his parents have gone to bed, but they have in fact gone to pick up their friends for an impromptu road trip! They didn't even bother to tell their son they left town! And really, why would they? He's such a LOSER! Look at him, eating Lean Cuisine for dinner because it was all the grocery store had for less than $4 and he didn't get home from his soul-crushing cubicle before all the restaurants closed. Oh man, this is great!

It just starts to make you wonder - is this what happens when you age? [PARENTS ARRIVE AT WHAT APPEARS TO BE BURNING MAN, HIPSTER IS NOW SITTING IN THE MOST BORING, EMPTY ROOM IN THE WORLD]
OK, now this is the high point of the whole thing. See, his parents have gone to a gigantic desert orgy to drop acid and have fun! They can afford to do that because they have faithfully voted Republican for decades, so that when the dad finally sold his company, he simultaneously dodged that federal embezzlement charge and got literally millions of dollars (at the expense of the taxpayers and his former employees) so he and his wife can live the Dionysian dream until they take so much coke their hearts stop! Meanwhile, their hapless hipster son's stuck at home, in a series of tiny beige rooms he can't even afford to decorate with posters! Ha ha ha! I bet he WISHES he was going to Burning Man, only he can't, because he has to be back at Widget Hell Incorporated at 7am, or Mr. Dithers will throw him out on the street and he won't have health insurance to pay for the anti-depressants he desperately needs to cope with the crippling heartbreak of watching literally every dream he ever had go up in an overworked, underpaid, heavily-taxed puff of smoke! God, this is a laugh!

My friends used to say I was the lucky one; I had the fun parents. Where's the fun now? [HIPSTER YELLS "GOODNIGHT" TO HIS PARENTS' CLOSED BEDROOM DOOR. THERE IS NO ANSWER.]
Oh God, I am laughing so hard I'm crying over here! "Where's the fun now?," indeed! He has to go straight to bed because it's already 1am and he has to get up in 4 hours because he has a 1.5 hour commute for that 7am start time. The only problem is that the commercial then cuts back to Burning Man, where the smug, rich, old, white people who ruined America for the rest of us are offloading bags of sex toys and syringes from the back of their fancy brand-new Toyota Venza. We never get to see the moment when the arson team they hired finally lights the house, with their son still inside, for the insurance money. And we also never see the flashback to the moment two days before, when they took out a $5 million life insurance policy on him. In a way they did him a favor; he would never have been worth more than $30k alive.

Venza-driving bastards.

So I guess I would have to conclude that if you are a law-breaking "objectivist" piece of crap who believes there is nothing more important than your own selfishness, this is a win. On the other hand, if you're an American under 40 who ever harbored dreams of owning your own home, getting adequate sleep, being able to afford medical care or having your employer treat you like anything more than a number, it's a FAIL. Perspective is really important.

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