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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A Blight On The Commercial Landscape.

With the advent and my embracing of Tivo, I almost never have to sit through commercials the way I used to.
When I watch live streaming baseball games on my baseball package, there's no Tivoing through the commercials.
You just have to grin and bear it.
Well, you don't have to grin.
And lately, I'm not grinning.
I'm just bearing.
These are not ads that the local stations running the games are showing.
These are ads that is providing separately.
And collecting fees from the advertisers on.
Showing them to viewers who are already paying for the service.
They've got us all coming and going.
And they're always the same commercials, being shown between each inning.
Yes, you can keep turning the sound off between innings, and I do that a lot.
But enough of them seep through that it causes a lot of aggravation.
Particularly when this one particularly offensive and pointless one is shown:

Two upscale techie nerds are working in a concert arena, setting up the equipment.
First nerd:  How we lookin' here, Charlie?
Charlie: All sectors lookin' great.
First nerd: Excellent.

A long-haired hippie type, along with his long-haired hippie type girlfriend, approaches them.
Long-haired hippie type:  Hey.  How you guys doin'?
First nerd:  Oh.  Well, we're double checking the distributive antenna system so when all you fans post to insta-gram, there'll be more antenna to handle it.
Long-haired hippie type:  So, you guys hirin'? 
(Notice that nobody uses the letter "g" at the end of words.)
First nerd:  Do you know how to optimize a nine beam multi-beam antenna system?
Long-haired hippie type:  (nonchalantly) Is that a deal-breaker?
First nerd: Pretty much.
The long-haired hippie type nods, shrugs it off, and ambles away with his long-haired hippie type girlfriend.
First nerd: (Calling after them, derisively)  Enjoy the show!

Announcer voice-over:  AT&T is building you a better network. 

Now, what do I find so offensive about this commercial?
Well, first, it totally mocks the unemployed.
As if they are dim-witted.
As if that is how seriously they take the task of looking for work.
It mocks people with long hair.
Like that isn't old news.
God forbid it should have been people more neatly turned out, more neatly trimmed.
I hear that they are also looking for work.
But I guess that would take the "humor" out of it.
It implies that those unemployed are squandering their welfare checks on expensive concert tickets.
There is also possibly an element of reverse-racism at play here.
I can imagine the pitch meeting at the ad agency:
"...and a young black guy in an afro, and his girlfriend approach..."
"Black guy????!!! Are you out of your mind?  The blacks would be all over us!"
"All right.   A white, long-haired hippie type and his white long-haired girlfriend approach..."
"Now, you're talkin'!

Now, the ultimate question:  How does this help sell AT&T?
It's just about antennas, which means it's just about cable service, which very few people have a choice about anyway.
Does anybody really think that the competition has dumb techies?

This is the price that I pay for loving baseball.


My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:



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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."