Wednesday, February 11, 2015


I don't know when it hit me. Maybe during the Stupor Bowl. Perhaps at halftime. Or the commercials. Or the game the NFL managed to sandwich in somewhere.

Then I saw a stat that a majority of viewers didn't tune in to see football, but rather to view ad spots and the "musical" halftime, which in itself was like a Hesse nightmare, with added hallucinogens.

Add Ms. Perry: Did anyone notice that the feline contraption on which she entered was actually powered by humans outside the animal on each leg? Oh please, when can we use CGI at halftime so as to lose the leg-bearers?

Face it: We live in a prepackaged, pitch-modulated, sani-wrapped, lip-synched, effects-driven Gehenna. And pretend we like it.

It's Madonna, doing Giles Stoat Boy at the Grammys. It's Brian Williams, now saying he had a petting session with Paulina Porizkova in the basement of Clooney's house on Lake Como. It's whatever Asshat of the Year (Decade?) Kanye West has to sat about anything.

The root of all this fakery? We have too much stuff. Walk with me, folks.

People compare phones the way they once did vehicles. Oh, that's not the 8G, only the 7? You Luddite. How big is your flat screen? How many BTUs is that grill? You're running Windows XP? Oh, the humanity.

We need more amps, watts, pixels and horsepower. A friend once entered my Saturn and blanched. "Roll-up windows?" he exclaimed. It was as if I had asked him to get outside and crank the motor, not the shotgun window.

Our vacuum cleaners don't suck enough. Our houses will smell like a Bumble Bee Factory during a blackout if we don't melt Scentalicious Mossy Grotto wax cubes in every room. Our pets expect tinned foie gras at every meal, perhaps enlivened by a confit of emu once in a while.

Don't buy those cornflakes at Aldi. They're not from Battle Creek, plus they cost $3 less. That's not America. Aldi? That's a German company. All those folks are about is wursts and thirsts. And—horrors!—you have to pay a quarter to use a shopping cart, which you get back at the end. So what if you can save 30% on something you use every day: food.

Haven't tried Old Sockhausen's peach-chutney-basil Olde Pilsner yet? Still drinking Genny Cream? You pinko. It's only $28.00 a six! It's made by unwashed, flannel-shirted millionaires in deepest Vermont. It must be good. It's fucking artisinal!

Yes, we need all this stuff.
And yet, we are slaves to advertising—and the mediocrity it shoves down our throats. "Ooh, I wish there was a Papa John's around here. I want some of his plasticene-cum-cardboard product." The guy's last name is Schnatter, fer crissakes. Applebee's, baby. In the neighborhood. What neighborhood? Welcome to the Half-vacant Stripmall section of Everytown, folks. Sandwiched between Dollar Colonel and Nails 'n' Tanz. But we've got reheated nacho-thyme-Elmer's potato skins fer ya ... neighbor.

I'd settle for a pair of boxer briefs that properly ensconces Mr. John Thomas. No one makes those. But Mack Weldon on the Interwebs will sell you a pair for $24.99. At that price, I expect an SI swimsuit model to assist me in donning said skivees.

Yes, Five Guys puts McKingdy's to shame. The Dollar Shave Club is my latest discovery. Buddy up with me, and I will share my cheapo hint for the perfect shave emollient. And it ain't from a can.

All this stuff leads us to buy into the schmaltzerei of awards shows, ersatz news and the inflation of Tom Brady's prophylactics.

Am I advocating moving to Schwabenland and getting free meds, schooling and cannabis? No. But sometimes, I think we are so in love with our stuff that we forget about each other.

However, that's another blog. Gonna try to post anew each Wednesday to help dispel winter doldrums, both mine and yours.

But I must run. Gotta set my DVR to record Swamp Surgeons, Downton Abbey and the special, two-hour Kardashians' Twister Party.

ADDENDUM: Faithful Acerazzi Bill Wilson contributed this tune from the great Delbert McClinton, with help from John Prine and Lyle Lovett.

See and hear, here.

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