Posted by: thezedword | November 19, 2008

It’s all gone Pete Tong (or, I couldn’t think of a better title)

Consider this Nike commercial from 2000, it debuted during the opening ceremony of the Olympics that year.

Never seen it? That’s because Americans don’t have a sense of humor. When you see that commercial, do you think, “That’s a funny parody of a Jason movie!” or “Well, good golly Miss Molly, that commercial makes light of violence against women and is extremely offensive!” That year, about 200 people failed to realize that a) the woman survives in the end (the woman being runner Suzy Favor-Hamilton, who, according to Wikipedia, said the ad was uplifting because the woman beats the man) and b) they’re stupid. These 200 people complained and the ad was pulled.

This is the kind of God-given, constitutionally guaranteed, overly sensitive, arrogant, moronic bleating of which some Americans have become so fond. Not only do these people look for any little thing to grouse about, they think that the rest of us Americans don’t have arms or legs and can’t change the channel or walk out of the room when something on TV offends us.

Apparently, people like this do not live in New Zealand. Consider these drinking public service announcements, which have run on TV since we’ve been here.

First up, an angry drunk. Watch how hard the guy elbows the bartender and then the amount of blood that flows from her nose:

A bit unsettling. Now, the two-word “Mate” ad:


Kind of depressing, huh? This one is more violent and even more of a downer:


C’mon, a dude crying alone in the rain, a little kid who now has a head shaped like Stewie from Family Guy. Have you ever seen anything like that on American TV? Probably not, and, given the reaction of people to the aforementioned Nike ad, you would absolutely never find this:


I’m told people were upset about that ad, though that was mostly because the ad runs throughout the day and children can see it. That ad runs in the States, it’s pulled for insinuating that women bring date rape upon themselves because watch dog groups assume that the company running the ad is saying that this one woman represents all women and ignore the actual lesson that you don’t want to be like this one woman.

When the government is afraid you’re not going to watch TV, they have alternate ways of making public announcements. They have someone drive around in a big truck with giant speakers attached and shout their message at you. Stacy and I were eating bagels at a restaurant one morning and a truck rolled down the street: ATTENTION!!! ATTENTION!!! We both thought at this point that the sheep revolution had occurred and, as the sheep had undoubtedly taken control of the TV stations and Internet, the last surviving humans had to be warned. This was not the case. The speakers blared on: THIS IS DISASTER AWARENESS WEEK. REMEMBER TO BE PREPARED FOR A DISASTER.

I couldn’t find my all-time favorite PSA, one about the importance of spaying and neutering your cats demonstrated by a full-blown after-hours cat orgy. Instead, I offer you this one:

I actually don’t even know if that’s a PSA, come to think of it, just really funny. Also in the non-PSA category is the Keno drawing. (It’s been a long day, so sue me if I fail to find a more logical transition; the PSAs are commercials and the Keno drawings run during commercials, so there is some kind of connection here.) New Zealand has spruced up their Lotto a bit. They have a regular weekly drawing, but unlike the nightly three- or four-number drawings in the States Kiwis have the impossible Keno. The first time you watch the commercial, it’s a bit amazing. There’s a CGI “Keno” floating in front of what looks like rolling hills background on Windows, and numbers shoot out of the top of the K and settle at the bottom of the screen. And then more numbers shoot out. And then a few more. And then some more.

For the Keno, you have to pick 10 numbers between one and 80. The nightly drawing is of 20 numbers. All ten of your numbers have to be fired out of the K for you to win. They make it a little easier by reusing winning numbers from the night before. Also, this Web site claims to know how to win. Good luck.

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Responses

  1. Zach,

    Excellent choice of PSA’s if that’s what they call them in NZ. In the lovely USof A, everyone worries too much about “offending” people and there is too much pampering that goes on.

    The NZ ads cut to the chase – we need more of those here. It’s absurd to have commercials for alcoholic beverages with all those hot people, and then for the company to add a small line at the end warning people to drink responsibly. That is certainly an oxymoron.

    Keep up the great work. I enjoy hearing the Kiwi accents. and seeing your perspective on things. The US needs to get tough and accept responsibility. With so many mainlining TV night and day, it is the civic duty of this country to get messages out about drugs, drinking, GUNS, sex, etc. But again, it won’t happen here for sometime.

    You are in a great place – savor every moment!

  2. one of my fave blog posts yet.

    this needed to be said.


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