Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Yet Another Olympic Gripe

And it's not even something that most of you are even aware of. It's a commercial. I grew tired of it approximately three seconds after it first aired. And it's now airing Every. Single. Commerical. Break.

It's a commercial from Alabama Power, although from the way it's constructed, I have a pretty good idea it's airing in all of the Southern Company electric markets served by Mississippi Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, and Savannah Electric. I'll get to my suspicion about why I think this in just a moment.

Now, aside from the fact that I never have understood why a monopoly has to advertise to consumers in the first place, and despite the fact that one of the folks in the blogroll works over across the way in the Alabama Power headquarters, and despite the fact that I'd like to see the gold-leafed girl on top of the Alabama Power building playing beach volleyball--BEYOND all that--this commercial is STILL extraordinarily stupid and annoying. And not in a good way.

The scene opens with a long shot of a country crossroads, and in the near background are a set of power lines on wooden poles. You can see two birds on the wire.

Next shot, closeup. Pixar-grade animated birds (circa 1992). One bird with a youngish male voice starts chattering as if he's psyching himself up, similar to Bill Murray in Caddyshack. He's flexing and stretching and introduces himself as the "young avarian from Alabama." As he is saying this, the scene shifts to the other bird, who seems to be bored and disdainful of his friend. The scene shift when the younger bird is talking is what makes me think this pile of bird-droppings is probably being foisted off on other markets--it would be easy enough to dub in "from Georgia," or "from Florida," or "from Mississippi" since you don't get to see the bird's beak move. Anyway, the young bird starts a uneven parallel bar routine on the wires. Over, around, up, over--old bird gets tired, says for him to get on with the dismount--back around and suddenly, the bird is off upside down in midair, does the patented Looney Toons antigravity hesitation, then plummets like a rock out of frame. Title screen next, APCo logo with the tagline "Always On" and with the older bird voice-over of "Maybe you should try platform diving, instead."

Yes, I get it--the bird slips and falls. Hee.

BUT--it's just so bad and wrong from SO MANY angles--first, the birds themselves--they aren't cartoony enough to be cartoons, or realistic enough to not be cartoons. They sorta are colored like bluebirds, but not really. And they are just plain ugly birds. Their heads are gigantic and misshapen, almost as if the animator was thinking he might do human heads with beaks, then thought not. Just creepy.

Next, what the heck is an "avarian"?! Well, I don't think they had THIS in mind, or this either. I guess they meant "avian," but that's wrong, too. He's not something related to birds, he is a bird. He ought to say he's a "young avis from Alabama." Or just forget it and quit trying to act all uppity. He's just a stupid bird, after all.

Then, this whole deal with the routine--these are male birds, and the young one is working on what look like uneven parallel bars. WHICH IS FOR GIRLS! Do the high bar, do the parallel bars, but geez, don't do girl stuff! Stupid bird.

And then, the big stupid is that he somehow manages to do all this twirling about, and falls. HE'S A BIRD--HE CAN FLY!

Boy thinks this is a tremendously funny commercial, even though it comes on EVERY. SINGLE. BREAK.

"Hehee--Look, Daddy, he FELL!"

"Son, he's a bird--why doesn't he fly?"

"Well, maybe he can't fly."

"He doesn't much look like a penguin or an emu, son, but assuming he is a flightless bird, how is it that he managed to get 40 feet up in the air onto a powerline?"

"He--uh. He used his little beak and feet to climb ALLLL the way up there!"

"But son, WHY go to all that much trouble? I mean, let's look at this--you're a flightless bird, and you want to practice your gymnastic skills--that's going to be hard enough, so why not just do it on a clothesline or a shopping cart handle? Why endanger yourself like that, knowing you might fall?"

"I don't know."

"AND, what in the world has this got to do with Alabama Power?!"


"The power company--they're the ones who made the commercial. What does any of this have to do with reassuring me that I will have safe, reliable electricity when I need it?

"I don't know, Daddy. I'm going to go watch it in my room."

Well, I'll tell you this--back in MY day, we didn't have Reddy Kilowatt acting like some fop and falling off of powerlines!

Dumb old Olympics.

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