Thursday, January 31, 2008

Like Rain on Your Wedding Day

I'm on record as to my loathing for the song in this commercial. The commercial itself is getting to me, too. After all, if MSNBC were a house, the news would be the lumber... but this commercial would be the nails. It runs perhaps sixty or seventy thousand times a day.

But rather than complain -- oh, I guess I already did that... sorry -- I want to draw your attention to something I find amusing/curious about it.

As Alanis Morissette can tell you, when you make a list of examples of something, you run the risk of including some pretty poor examples (like rain on your wedding day). Similarly, in their zeal to show lots of "good deeds/kindnesses" the folks at Liberty Mutual went way off the rails.

It IS a good deed to help someone get something off a top shelf. Or to let someone have your seat on a bus.

But it is definitely NOT a good deed to stop someone before he steps in front of a speeding truck.

Watch the beginning of this commercial. The woman puts out her arm to keep the pizza guy from becoming pizza himself. Meanwhile the onlooker watches, thinking, "Hmm... Interesting. I would have let the guy die."

In another cut, the onlooker is a postman, standing alone in his apartment. (Or is it a sniper's nest? It's hard to tell.) Don't postal workers have enough image problems? Do they really need to be depicted as showing surprise that someone would prevent a death?

Similarly, in another cut, a woman stops her car when a dog runs in front of it. A good deed? Really? I think applying your brakes to avoid killing a dog is not an example of "paying it forward." It's an example of "decency."

If you're not going to change the song back to Half Acre, Liberty Mutual, at least get your good deeds right.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Joe Biden on the State of the Union Address

The Most Endearingly Dumb Anchor Moment of the Week

On today's Channel 4 News, there was a report on a website with lots of personal information far-too-available. But apparently anchor Chris Schauble felt the fear factor wasn't made fearsome enough. So here was his patter coming out of the story:

"Just went online? Found my date of birth, phone and address using that site, just like that. Scary."


I would have kept that info to myself. But that's me. I hope we never run out of trusting souls like Chris Schauble.

"Stay nosy, Los Angeles!"