I started writing reviews of TV commercials in the 1970s. I did so not only because some commercials on the tube back then were more innovative, interesting, and entertaining than the actual shows they intruded upon with such frequency, but in order to make some money.
You know. Writing for money. It’s hard to remember, but back then it was still occasionally possible.
My compensation for these reviews, however, wasn’t all that much and didn’t come my way directly. The reviews were done for Fusion Magazine in Boston, basically a music-oriented publication that got slews of freebies from record companies. My “pay” thus consisted of a stack of record albums, which I then had to travel to a record store in New York City that paid a buck or two per album.
A lot of driving for not all that much net income. But gas was cheap, I was young, and like I said, I loved doing those reviews.
So now I’m jumping back on the TV commercial review bandwagon. This time with no actual compensation in view. (Though you never know.) And this time around, instead of reviews of TV commercials for consumer products, I will be doing (along with an old friend). reviews of the political ads now appearing in toxic profusion on our TV screens nightly, and destined to pollute them with greater and greater frequency as we approach election day.
These reviews will not focus on any one party’s output. Indeed, they won’t involve party- and candidate-produced ads at all. Rather, they will only look at what is offered up by Super-PACs, those attack vehicles being copiously excreted with Supreme Court blessing by rich folks who don’t have to reveal their identities as the ads’ paymasters.
Another thing different about these views. They will not do what some organizations are already doing — monitor the accuracy of ad content, how deceptive they are, how filled with half truths and outright lies.
Why bother doing that? Of course they’re deceptive, filled with half-truths and outright lies. That’s what they are designed to do because they now have the unlimited legal right to do so without even having to identify who is paying to spew half-truths and lies for their own ultimate benefit!
Our reviews will therefore take these disgusting realities as givens. We will then move on to be as disrespectful as possible because what is there to be respectful about when it comes to an abomination that is nothing more than in-your-face proof of the monetization of democracy?
So after making a few suitably contemptuous observations, we simply assign our selected targets into appropriately disparaging categories that might include: Utter and absolute claptrap; Without any redeeming value whatever; Eye candy for the already brain dead; Trash with good production values; Best smarmy voice-over; Best grainy photoshop picture of the opposition candidate; etc.
When the campaign season ends, we then plan to give a worst-of-the-absolute-worst award (the Scalia-Thomas) to the creators and producers of a Super-PAC ad that best embodies what the whole wretched business is all about. The award will be made at a ceremony in a Trenton New Jersey boarded up senior center or similar venue.
And to those who might wonder if the “winners” of this award will be too embarrassed to accept it, I can only opine: Embarrassed? How can you embarrass someone willing to front for the Koch brothers?
Look for these reviews to start appearing soon on your favorite web sites.
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