2 November, 2008

So, I figured as long as I was on a roll that I might as well try another one of these here journal entries. Only problem with bunching them all together, of course, is the long dry spell that is sure to follow. Then, there is the fact that this is probably old news that nobody in the universe other than me cares about, but there you are.

I don't like those commercials that one computer company does. Just for fun, I'm not going to use their real names. Let's call them the Almond Computers commercials. Now, let us ignore all of the obvious stuff. Like the fact that Almond Computers is a hardware company trying to compare itself to the PB&J software company. Or, the fact that computers running Almond's software and computers running PB&J's software are, at this point in time, both HAL-clones. Blah, blah blah.

My problem isn't even the fact that the guy representing a computer running Almond software is supposed to look all hip and happening while the guy representing a computer running PB&J software is, let's face it, a socially awkward nerd. I do like the fact that I have recently seen this point about the commercials debated, but I don't have a problem with it because this reading misses the deeper issue.

My problem with the commercials is the fact that the guy representing Almond software bears more than a passing resemblance to the CEO of Almond Computers while the guy representing PB&J software bears a resemblance to the co-founder of PB&J and the fact that the PB&J guy is constantly belittled and ridiculed by the commercials. So, rather than being an examination of the weights and merits of Almond vs. PB&J software, the commercials are personal attacks on the co-founder of PB&J.

It's sickening.

You can't stop them from doing it. Even–sure–Almond Computers should be able to make commercials in which they make fun of PB&J software; however, when you do so by dressing somebody up to look like the co-founder of the company and proceed to make fun of him, it just isn't funny anymore.

And, when you are trying to represent what is cool and hip, should you really be presenting the image that it is okay to make fun of people you don't like? People who look, act and dress differently than you do?

Of course, you can, but it doesn't make it any less disgusting.

Oh, and before anybody says this is an incredibly hypocritical statement on my part considering what I wrote just last week, I will just say that I'm pretty sure that I made fun of the artwork and what I thought was the philosophy behind it. I said I don't like pretentiousness even in the artists. What I don't recall saying is that we should make fun of the artist because I don't like pretentiousness or even that I actually made fun of the person. But, then, I haven't reread last week's entry so something may have slipped through without me realizing it as I write this.

But, back to my point, I have no great preference for Almond software over PB&J software. I use the PB&J OS at home and the Almond OS at work. They're both good. They both have good days and bad days. No, really. So, every once in a great while I think about what kind of computer to have at home and what would be involved in getting one or the other.

Then, I remember those awful Almond Computer commercials and the underlying mentality of the people who must have thought that these commercials were a good idea and who continue to approve more of them, and the decision is easy.

23 November, 2008

This is more of a note than a journal entry, but the main way I can tell that the economy has gone down the Crapper is because I've been getting a lot more calls from collection agencies recently. It's the problem with having a common last name like Jones and actually, something I've been putting up with for years. Not the collection agencies part. Just the random phone calls from people looking for some Keith Jones or other. My personal favorite was the call from the California National Guard wondering why I hadn't shown up for the first day of basic training. Yeah, that was fun, happened years ago, and only took a minute or two to straighten out.

These days, I'm glad I've got caller ID. I mean, I've never been big on answering the phone. Only doing so when and if I felt like it. But, I don't answer the phone anymore if I don't recognize the number.

Good news there is that I've never had to explain to any of these collection agencies why they've got the wrong person. Never had to explain that my middle name isn't Daryl or Darren or Darnell or whoever it is they are looking for.

I pay cash, use one of two credit cards, and pay attention to my credit report so I know they can't be looking for me. I just don't want to have to explain that to them.

Every so often, there is a story in the newspaper about how dogged and vicious these agencies can be once they've made contact, which also explains why they keep calling and leaving messages. I've been tempted to change the out-going message to point out that my middle name isn't Daryl or Darnell, but I'm worried the agencies will take this as a sign they've made contact and redouble their efforts. So, I don't. It's really to the point where I don't even bother to look at the caller ID anymore.

I check the phone when I feel like it; after all, it could be my parents.

copyright © 2008 by keith d. jones – all rights reserved
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