Sunday, April 18, 2010

Hating the Nike Tiger ad


OK, everybody, had enough time to let "last week's" TV spot simmer for awhile?

Embodying the high moral standards that American advertising has come to represent (“Sincerity and honesty, back seat please”), this tumor recently appeared on-air and fired-up several petitioners enough to make almost-instant submissions to H4H. (At least two of them, alas, have labored long in the service of marketing communications, so they well know whereof they speak.)

To wit: “That Nike commercial was so ridiculous. It's a piece o' shit as an ad and it's also laughable: Like his horndog father is his moral compass? The old man was a notorious womanizer and now he's Yoda?

“It's just more of the same ('I can screw everybody…without penalty') from the whole entitled crew: political, corporate, Wall Street, banking, sports, celebs, clergy, not to mention the media machine that keeps enabling this behavior while piously decrying it. Worst of all, it forces me, once again, to face my shaudenfreude habit. I HATE that!”

Another ad veteran laments: “I wasn't sure it was possible to dislike Nike anymore than I did, but the Tiger commercial might be the creepiest thing I've ever seen.

“As if it weren't bad enough that Nike pays some kid who can play great basketball $90 million to be its public face while it pays the kids who stitch together the shoes 90 cents a day, now they've really outdone themselves with the newest commercial starring a dead guy and his philandering son.”

Wait, folks. She’s just warming up. “Everyone should stop pretending he's coming back from battle, or that he's overcome some life-threatening illness. He's been caught up in a completely self-inflicted nightmare brought on by his own selfishness…made even creepier by bringing back his dead father to lecture him -- and pretending it's some touching father-son moment. It's gross!”

The wrap-up: “Tiger, if you wanted to impress people on the father-son front, you should have kept it in your pants and stayed home with your actual son once in awhile.”

Sing it, sister! (And this bride-to-be is from Maine, well-versed in “the way life should be.”)

On top of it all (shudder!), we don’t even think the spot is “world class.” So, if the many spoofs of the Nike ad don't do it for you, we offer for your palate-cleansing refreshment this agenda-free classic from the H4H archives. Forty years old and still as fresh as ever. With none of that icky moral aftertaste.

Nike Tiger ad:
Officially registered at Hate for Hire, April 18, 2010.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Role model

This inspiring young individual was recently brought to our attention, probably because his sensibilities align so nicely with ours.

On his YouTube profile page, ItsKingsleyBitch (alternately known as You Can Sit The Hell Down), he entreats us to think of him as Beyoncé...except when he posts a video, on which occasions we are to think of him as Sasha Fierce. Whatever.

All we know is that he is an inspiration to us here at H4H, so straightforward and unfettered is his ability to articulate his "pet peeves."

Unfortunate 8.26.10 update:
Kingsley has decided to become more "positive" and has removed his now-classic video. Instead, he gives us this:


He'll be back.

So while we're waiting, two related items to amuse you. It seems that Kingsley has become something of a small-time cult figure, so much so that remixes of his "Things I Hate" video have popped up all over you-know-where. We'll add one below...followed by a fan's re-posting of the Ur-video that originally enshrined Kingsley here on H4H, albeit with a new title.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Hating eBooks

Ain’t nobody better call us a fuddy-duddy. But we can’t quite cotton to the idea of eBooks, even the name seems self-contradictory. So we were not surprised when two (count ‘em!) petitioners contacted us here in our New England offices to request that the newfangled gizmos be added to our growing roster. No problem. (Especially no problem as each of the petitioners is an international author, he from Hamburg, she from Milan. Were we impressed! Hate knows no boundaries, it seems, something that came as no surprise to us.)

From Hamburg: “I love books. And part of that love is physical. I love the feel of a book in my hands.” And reading about the “inevitable” invasion of eBooks around the globe? “I already miss the tactile qualities of books,” he tells us. “The weight in the hand, the cover design, the scent of glue and paper. We are losing a tactile experience.

“I feel like an ancient scribe, many centuries ago, who has only ever known parchment scrolls and who is being shown one of these newfangled 'book' things for the first time. He sits there with this block of bound paper in front of him, not knowing even how to open it.

"A novice priest impatiently shows how one proceeds, page-by-page, without the tedious rewinding involved with scrolls. And the older priest, knowing he is defeated, fondles a scroll and says, 'But it's just not the same, is it?' "

From Milan, our second petitioner notes, “The book in itself, as object, cannot be substituted in my mind by an e-version, albeit a portable one. I still like pages, fonts, colophons, covers, blurbs, forewords and post scripta, lists of characters and glossaries -- even maps and illustrations where needed. The tactile quality of paper has nothing to do with virtuality, and everything to do with virtù (‘good quality’ in Italian).”

Stone tablets to papyrus, parchment to paper, now this. Our Milanese scribe continues, “We were already asked in our lifetime to go from fountain pen to ballpoint to felt-tip to keyboards of all kinds, and without taking anything away from the wonders of the Web, which include so many scholarly and cultivated sites in addition to online banality and trash, I'll go as far as saying that I even like old-fashioned encyclopaedias, dictionaries and thesauruses. Call me a fuddy-duddy, I can take it.”

The demise of small bookshops. The fact that Kindles hate sand and water, not to mention magnets, hot coffee, iced tea and a whole lot of other things. And can you really in good conscience read an eBook on Shabbat? The list of infractions goes on and on. Here’s one of our favorites:

Have you ever seen a book someone was reading on the subway…and then made a satisfyingly self-righteous snap judgment about that person? With a growing number of people turning to Kindles, iPads and other electronic readers, it’s not always possible to see what others are reading. (As recently reported in the New York Times, “Some digital publishers suspect that one of the reasons romance and erotica titles are so popular in electronic editions is because e-readers are discreet.”) Instead, we form our opinion based on the very fact that the person has chosen the eBook format. So there.

After all, you can’t tell a book by its cover if it doesn’t have one.

Officially registered at Hate for Hire, April 5, 2010.