Sunday, April 8, 2012

Canine Slander

The Allstate insurance commercials featuring an actor portraying mayhem has crossed a line, deciding, for some strange reason, to slander man's best friend.

The Wikipedia entry (for Dean Winters, the actor playing "Mayhem") says, "On 6/20/2010, Winters was introduced as Mayhem, the recurring character in a new television and radio advertising campaign for Allstate Insurance created by the agency Leo Burnett Chicago. The campaign is centered around the idea that paying too little for insurance could result in customers not getting the best coverage or service for their money. In an analysis of the 15-second teaser spots, Stuart Elliott, advertising columnist of The New York Times, called Mayhem... a throwback to a kind of ad character that was once hugely popular: the bad guy who causes problems that the product being advertised solves..."

Sounds innocent enough. That is, until a recent installment of the campaign where Mayhem/Winters portrays the family dog, left to "hold down the fort" while his owners go out to see a movie. A gang of burglars enter the home and proceed steal everything not nailed down while the dog allows it to happen. Winters as Mayhem/The family says, "luckily for me, your friends showed up with this awesome bone". Then he yells at the thieves, "hey, you guys are great!".

Come on! Unless the dog was TRAINED to protect the home, is it really fair to suggest he's allowing the crime to take place? The spot is titled "Guard Dog", but I think that's intended as a criticism of the dog, who will be blamed by the ignorant owners when they return and see their PET has "allowed" the robbery to occur. Pets aren't trained service animals. Their only job is to provide companionship. The homeowners are lucky they didn't have to deal with a dead or injured dog (and expensive vet bills).

Instead they only lost some items of a low to moderate value. At one point in the commercial one of the thieves grabs some "silverware" from a drawer. Except the eating utensils are in the drawer loose. Valuable silverware isn't stored in this manner. Another grabs what is most likely a virtually worthless print from above the mantle. One of the thieves takes the "chandler" from over the kitchen table. Clearly these dumb crooks don't know what they're doing.

After subtracting the cost of the bone, these incompetent criminals may not have gotten away with much. Not anything that the family pet should have put his life or safety on the line for, even if it did understand what was going on.

Video: Allstate Mayhem TV Ad Guard Dog. Published 4/15/2012 (0:31).

PPP #18

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Zombie Infection

This post concerns the AMC Television series The Walking Dead and contains spoilers. This series is based on a comic book of the same name, but I don't read, nor do I have any interest in comic books. The series, however, is something I am very much into.

The purpose of this post is to discuss a question I have about the "disease" or "infection" which causes a deceased person to rise as a zombie (or "Walker", as they are called in the series. The term "zombie" is not used).

According to the Walking Dead Wiki, "Morgan... checks Rick for zombie bites or fever, either of which could indicate he is turning into a zombie himself".

This seems to confirm what I previously thought, which is that getting bit by a zombie leads to sickness and death, after which the individual rises as a walker. It is mentioned that Morgan's wife was infected, developed a fever, was confined to bed rest for a period of time, and eventually died, later rising from the dead.

However, the "if you're infected you get sick, die, and turn into a zombie" rule seems to have been discarded with the revelation at the end of season 2. Near the end of the just concluded season, the protagonist Rick Grimes reveals that Jenner (the scientist they encountered at the CDC) told him that everyone is already infected and will rise again when they die (this explains why Randall and Shane both become Walkers even though neither is bitten or scratched - the only way the audience was previously lead to believe someone could be infected).

My question is - is this revelation, which the writers no doubt consider themselves extremely clever for coming up with, at odds with the original "infected" explanation given at the beginning of the series by Morgan?

Correction: According to the wiki for the comic book series, "Julie reanimates without being bitten resulting in the revelation that all of the survivors were infected". Now, I have no idea who the heck "Julie" is (a character that is only in the comic, perhaps, or a character that hasn't been introduced in the TV series yet), but this finding confirms that the writers of the TV series didn't come up with the idea of everyone being infected.

The question now is - am I misremembering what Morgan said happened to his wife (that the infection killed her), or did the writers screw up?

PPP #17, TWD #1.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Car Insurance Taste Test

Have you seen the commercial for the car insurance "taste test"? A man instructs willing participants to drink from two plastic cups filled with a red kool-aid-type liquid. After tasting both, the participant declares the first one to taste good, while the second one is horrible. The man then reveals that the first liquid is Geico car insurance, while the second is their competitor.

I presume this is supposed to be funny, seeing as you cannot (obviously) "taste" car insurance. I do not find the commercials funny. I find them stupid. The participant in the first commercial is a pregnant woman, and the man asks what her unborn baby thinks about the taste, saying something about babies (in the womb) have sensitive palates when it comes to car insurance (I don't recall his exact words).

Babies in the womb receive nourishment through their umbilical cords. They don't use their tongues, and thus their taste buds, until they are born. Fetuses cannot taste anything.

In the second in this series, an older couple looks confused when the man asks if this is their "first car insurance taste test". This makes me wonder if the participants are actors or real people. The pregnant woman in the first commercial could have been an actor, or she could have been a real person going along with the "joke".

Whatever is going on, I rate the effort "lame". I think they should stick with the computer animated gecko. Also, what is up with the saturation ad campaign that Geico has been running for quite some time now? Is it just me, or does Geico advertise far more than any other car insurance company? I mean, I DO see a lot of car insurance ads from other companies as well (which leads me to believe that providing car insurance must be a highly lucrative business), but it seems that Geico advertises far more than the others.

It makes me wonder how they can keep the rates down... they do advertise themselves as being a lower-priced car insurance provider. Since the government mandates that you purchase car insurance I think it would be reasonable for some government regulations to apply. Not that some do not already apply. I'm thinking in regards to how much profit the insurers can make. Seems to me they are currently raking it in (given the gobs of money they must be spending on advertising). Computer animating gecko spokes-reptiles can't be cheap.

PPP #16

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Regarding George Zimmerman's Innocence

George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin, or did he? Elsewhere on the internets a character who calls himself Dale Gribble Rusty Shackelford said, "I think this is going to flush out very similar to the Duke case".

Rusty is referring to the 2006 investigation into rape allegations made against three members of the men's lacrosse team at Duke University in Durham NC by a young black woman. The allegations turned out to be false and the players were cleared.

So, in making this comparison, Rusty must mean that George Zimmerman will be cleared. That is, George Zimmerman did NOT shoot Trayvon Martin. So, who did shoot him? My guess would be that Trayvon shot himself accidentally in the scuffle. A scuffle that ensued after Trayvon followed Zimmerman back to his truck and decked him.

Yes, Zimmerman may have followed Trayvon first, but, if you listen to the 911 tape, you'll find that Zimmerman complied when the operator said "we don't need you to do that" (follow the suspicious black male). Zimmerman said, "OK" and headed back to his truck. It was there he was confronted by Trayvon, who punched him, got on top of him and began pounding his head against the concrete, and finally shot himself accidentally when he went for Zimmerman's gun.

If not for this unfortunate fortunate accident, it would be the shooting death of George Zimmerman we would be discussing. And Trayvon would be in jail awaiting trial for murder.

I'm surprised Rusty did not compare this incident to the Joe Horn case. On 11/14/2007, in Pasadena TX, local resident Joe Horn shot and killed two men burglarizing his neighbor's home. Joe Horn, seeking to prevent the two thieves from getting away with property stolen from Joe's neighbor's home, ignored the 9-11 operator's advice and went outside to confront the two men. After shouting "move, you're dead!", Horn gunned down both men in cold blood self-defense. A grand jury later cleared Mr. Horn.

The lesson to be learned from these incidents is that Conservatives must stand their ground, and, when confronted by law-breaking minorities they should shoot to kill. Because regardless of whether Zimmerman shot Trayvon, or Trayvon shot himself, Trayvon got what was coming to him.

Or, that's the impression you might be left with after reading some Conservative takes on what went down. Personally I think George Zimmerman may be guilty of murder, although I believe a courtroom is the proper place to determine that. I only hope this doesn't end with a miscarriage of justice similar to the miscarriage of justice we saw in the Joe Horn case.

PPP #15. See also SWTD #112.

Black On Black Racism?

Can an African American individual be racist against another African American individual? My opinion is... possibly. If the individual were someone who wished he were white (if such a African American even exists, and suggesting he or she does might be found offensive by the African American community), or, perhaps a lighter skinned African American who finds a darker-skinned African American inferior? (But then that individual would also be classified as self-hating, because they hate the black in themselves and prefer the white).

So... possibly, but the individual would definitely have to be self-hating. And that, in my opinion, is definitely not the case regarding comments made by an individual who goes by the name Touré. In an 10/20/2012 article Touré asked the question, "Is Herman Cain the Most Unctuous Black Man Alive?". Concerning this article, a commenter on another blog made the claim that Touré bashed Herman Cain for being black, and that said bashing meant that Touré is a racist.

Now, Touré is black himself (and not at all self-hating), so, to me, this comment makes absolutely no sense. Also, if you read the article, you'll find that Touré was bashing Cain for his "foot-in-mouth moments mostly involve insulting the black community". These are the insults you hear coming from black Conservatives regarding how Democrats trick African Americans into dependency by offering them free stuff they didn't earn (think the Santorum comment about him not wanting to "make black people's lives better by giving them other people's money").

In my opinion Touré put forth a reasoned Leftwing criticism of Herman Cain which was in no way racist. In fact, I find the suggestion ludicrous. According to racism is, "a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others".

Now, if Touré (who isn't self-hating) were a racist he would view his race as superior (as per the definition I just quoted) and would therefore NOT bash another black man for being black. That would be contrary to the definition. You can't "bash" someone for being that which is superior.

In response this individual (the idiot I have been arguing with on this topic) said, "I know, it is silly and stupid for someone to be racist against their own race, but it happens. Not that there's any racism that isn't silly and stupid".

So, can someone be racist against their own race? Unless they are self-hating I say "no". I made this point to the disagreeing idiot, and he said, "You bring this up again and again. Yet, it does not matter at all. I don't know if he is, have never given any thought to it, and don't care. Regardless of what his self esteem issues are, this nut-job has no problem heaping hate upon another African-American for reason that include that person's skin color".

So, the idiot ignores a valid point because it interferes with the nonsensical argument he is making, which is that a "racist" black man bashed another black man for being black. Even though, if he were racist he'd see being black as superior... and how can you bash another person for being superior?

Clearly it cannot be done. But try telling the idiot that.

Video1: Touré says Herman Cain gives comfort to racists. Video posted to YouTube on 11/3/2011 (1:02).

Video2: Rick Santorum won't help "blah people". Video posted to YouTube on 1/10/2015 (1:10).

PPP #14. See also SWTD #131.

A Winning Strategy (President Newt)

Newt Gingrich's plan to win the presidency:

[1] The convention is going to be brokered because he'll stay in the race and prevent Romney from getting enough delegates to clinch the nomination.

[2] Romney delegates will flip and vote for Newt... because he is the real conservative.

[3] Newt will win the nomination and destroy Obama with his superior teleprompter-less debating skills (and promise of 2.50 a gallon gas).

[4] President Newt will ensure economic prosperity for all and be elected to a second term. (during which we will colonize the moon).

Failing that he will write more books, produce more videos, and charge higher speaking fees. All his followers will buy these products (and pay to hear him speak), as they will be eager for the inside scoop as to how they can survive the coming Obama/or Romney economic (or perhaps literal) apocalypse.

Video: Newt Gingrich wants permanent Moonbase, manned mission to Mars. Excerpt from the 1/23/2012 GOP NBC Debate. Video posted to YouTube on 1/23/2012 (1:20).

PPP #13

On The Trayvon Martin Murder

My personal opinion is that it was murder. However, I'm also with those who believe that there should be a trial, and that convicting the murderer in the court of public opinion (or via the Media) isn't the thing to do. Naturally I believe that I should not (if it were in anyway conceivable that I would be asked, which it isn't) be on the Zimmerman jury.

On the other hand, how is it that they're able to find enough ignorant people to serve on juries that haven't heard about national/prominent stories like this and already formed an opinion?

They (the people they find for these juries) must all be Independent centrists who are able to keep an open mind and not form opinions until all the facts are in.

Video: ADDED 6/6/2015. As we know now, George Zimmerman got away with murdering Trayvon Martin. In the clip below, Juror B29 (AKA "Maddy") agreed with the idea when posed to her. He got away with it, although he'll still have to answer to God. Video posted to YouTube on 7/25/2013 (1:02).

PPP #12. See also SWTD #176.

On People Who Blog Multiple Times Per Day

Have you ever visited someone's blog and noticed that the person regularly posts multiple times PER DAY? I mean, what do you think the deal is with someone who posted 520 times in 2011, 412 times in 2010, 312 times in 2009, 283 times in 2008, and 180 times in 2007?

Granted, this person's output wasn't in the multiple posts per day arena until 2010... I wonder how it is he restrained himself to those low numbers for the first 3 years of his blog's existence?

For my main blog, Sleeping with The Devil (that is, the blog I post mainly on) I've only written 111 posts since I started the blog on 2/5/2006. The blogger I previously referred to has written 160 posts so far THIS YEAR!

So, what's your take on this phenomenon? Is this a person who has an over-inflated opinion of himself, believing the world needs to know his opinion on every important subject of the day... and lesser topics like lesbians, women he finds attractive and college sports (which even the people I know who have some interest in televised sporting events don't follow)?

PPP #11. See also OST #4.