Friday, August 29, 2008

WASHINGTON - A single pill appears to hold promise in curbing the urges to both smoke and drink, according to researchers trying to help people overcome addiction by targeting a pleasure center in the brain.

The drug, called varenicline, already is sold to help smokers kick the habit. New but preliminary research suggests it could gain a second use in helping heavy drinkers quit, too.
Much further down the line, the tablets might be considered as a treatment for addictions to everything from gambling to painkillers, researchers said

A study published Monday suggests not just nicotine but alcohol also acts on the same locations in the brain. That means a drug like varenicline, which makes smoking less rewarding, could do the same for drinking. Preliminary work, done in rats, suggests that is the case.

The search for pharmacology to treat addiction is not new. The history of addiction treatment in America is rife with supposed miracle medications and "cures," most of which turned out to be useless. But there are a handful of drugs — some developed in the mid-1900's, others in the last decade or so — that are being used to help addicts quit. For heroin addiction, there's methadone and buprenorphine, both of which bind to and activate opioid receptors in the brain. Each essentially substitutes for heroin by activating the same brain receptors as the drug, but many addiction doctors prefer buprenorphine, which the Food and Drug Administration approved in 2002, because it causes less of a high and less dependence.

Everybody please listen up. This is a drug that will end drug addiction! Where have I heard this rhetoric before? It sounds alot like the promise of a war to end all wars; a bomb so powerful it will end all warfare.

Combating an addiction with a pill? It's ridiculous! It's something to take the responsibilities away those responsible. The only thing that truly stops addiction, is dedication.

Mark my words, this pill that supposedly can stop smoking, alcohol, heroin, and even gambling addictions, will become the most highly sought after, most harmful, and most addictive drug in the world. But no worries, because eventually, there will be a pill to combat it too.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Is this shit for real? I haven't blog about commercials in while, because I haven't been able to watch tv in awhile. Yesterday, was my first day back to a more relaxed schedule, and it didn't take me long to discover a commercial that blended a rare combination of scuminess, stupidity, and just pure arrogance.

This is the commercial i'm talking about:

This commercial is so stupid, it really sets itself apart from all the other horrible, cheap commercials that have been banished to their late night time slot. And there are a lot of them, from the diamond guy, to the rv sales men, to the infomercials, late night commercials are made to a very specific demographic, namely those people that don't have a job to wake up to. Until now, these late night commercials pleated watchers to improve their lives with purchases of household goods, money making secrets, and dieting pills, but they always shared the same economic philosophy of requesting money. BUT! not this one. OH no.

This commercial is revolutionary. It doesn't require you to purchase anything, no credit card, no checks, no COD. All you need is send your unused and therefore worthless gold, diamonds, platinum jewelry via mail and they send you back straight cash. Straight hardcore American backed, Federal-Reserve printed, and ever devaluing cash!$!$

If you don't know that the dollar you have in your wallet can get you less and less nows-a-day, then you're a moron! Don't let the dollar menu at McDonalds fool you, you have to trade in five-six of mcChicken sandwiches to get a gallon of gas which you'll burn up driving to the super market.

I just like to take a closer look at this commercial. It's base on a simple concept of cash for gold.
This guy whoever he is (his name was never given) introduces the simple concept of trading your gold or pretty much anything that shines for cash.

I have a question, does filming a commercial in a what looks like doctor's office give it any more creditability? Look at the guy?! He already has scumbag written all over him.

Notice the right hand tucked away from the camera. There's a reason for that.

BAM!!!! That's beca
use he's got COLD HARD CASH.

That's right, nothing poor people like to see more than a hand holding equally parted cash. And just in case you can't see the cash in his hands, it's written in bold yellow print and takes up half of your television screen.

There's even testimony from real people about how lucky they were to throw away their gold. This lady below, remember her? She's had no idea her gold was worth so much. Does she look like she's ever had an idea at all? Was it her idea to dress herself for the tapping of this testimony.

This lady traded her gold jewelry from her first marriage. She also plans to trade in her gold jewelry from her next marriage, and all the ones after that, and work up a nice nest egg through divorces.

Diamonds are forever they say. But they aren't forever when they're stolen, then they become just memories. When they're mailed in, however, they become...

See, the simple lesson here is this: don't trade anything if you don't have a clue what value it holds. As a teenager, I repeatedly tricked my little siblings into trading their measly 1 dollar allowance for 20 sparkling pennies because I simply emphasize that 20 is more than 1. Having no idea the value of their money, they simply gave away their dollars for more numerous shinny stuff. Well, this works kinda in the same way, except the shinny stuff that they're asking for here, is worth much more than the bills they're willing to give for it. I'm not an economist, but I do know this: you need to give more bills to get the same amount of things. You don't have to even know a economist to know that the value and demand for gold has sky rocketed in the past decade. That pitchman even said it in the commercial. "The demand is at an all time high." So as the value of gold goes up steadily, and with the value of the dollar plummeting drastically, this commercial appears and tells us: "Lets make a trade. Your stuff for my shit. Unlike other commercials, we'll pay you this time." This just doesn't make any sense to me! it doesn't.

(and i'll end with this. check out that reputable image to the left of the CEO in this picture. There is what looks like a Forbes magazine cover. But why the hell is the bottom half of the image different from the top. Could it be a half ass splice job to look like a magazine? Hot 500 Inc 500? it even reads stupid. It wouldn't surprise me if the rest of that cover read: Hot 500 ways to lose $$$ to a douhcebag. )

Friday, March 14, 2008

INDUSTRY ANNOUNCEMENT: stronger roofs might mean lawsuits.

This is the worst kind of corporate marketing-- the Denial-- the Industry Denial--the denial that is tucked in between your favorite commercials disguised as your local news broadcast. The Denials are always made unanimously, sternly, and are always centered around the lack of enough or appropriate scientific data. Case and point, the Tobacco Industry's denial that tar caused cancer. The Religious Industry's denial of gravity and evolution (still a current denial by the way). It's a bitch-slap to the face of common sense. And the current backhanded slap comes from the predominate arm (or more appropriately AAM) of the car industry.

When Ralph Nader first reported car roll overs in the 1960s, it was denied by the industry. This denial was of course based on the lack of "concrete" scientific data. Instead of providing the dough to get the proper data, the industry chose to use that dough to hire private investigators to discredit Nader. A simple case of hating the messenger but not the message. It wasn't until the height of SUV popularity, and the subsequent deaths from their roll-overs that the problem was researched further and reported on more readily. The final conclusion in the official governmental study reported that trucks, vans, and SUV by the nature of physic will always have a propensity to roll over. The height of these taller vehicles pushed their center of gravity higher and therefore accounted for the high percentage of roll-overs. The official recommendation to make these cars safer was to: widen them. That was it. Widen the car. There were no recommendations to lower the actual center of gravity, nor to strengthen the car. Which many dedicated problem solver might suggest as the first two critical avenues to fixing the problem. Lowering the center of gravity would act as a preventive measure, and strengthen the car would increase the chances of survival. Oddly enough, these simply solutions were seldom mentioned.

Last week, another recommendation was given by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that suggested lives could be saved if the roofs of these vehicles were stronger. The industry was quick to denounce this recommendation by questioning the conclusiveness of the science. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (AAM) includes industrial giants such as BMW GROUP, CHRYSLER LLC, FORD MOTOR COMPANY, GENERAL MOTORS, MAZDA, MERCEDES BENZ USA, MITSUBISHI MOTORS, PORSCHE, TOYOTA AND VOLKSWAGEN. AAM's official stand on the recommendation was simply: "there remains no definitive answer as to what effect roof strength has on injury risk in rollover crashes."

That's right..., no fucking definite answer to whether a stronger roof could do anything to prevent more pain. This is quite the shit to bull. Think about this, and for any motorcycle riders this is common knowledge, but when it comes to motorized vehicle safety, it's all about the roof. It's what separates you from the cement street. The roof is the reason why car riders don't have to wear helmets. It is the lack of a roof that necessitates the need for bikers to wear a helmet. This is why NASCAR racers drive cars equipped with roll cages, not because it looks cool, but because it reinforces the car and acts as a safety shell to protect the driver. This is common sense, and now they're denying it through the pretense of thorough science? I don't get it!

Imagine if the red lines in the quickly drawn diagram was made of wood, plastic, or jello. How are they going to say that strengthen your protective layer might not scientifically prevent your injury risk?

Now in a roll over, where the direct impact of the crash will fall straight onto some part of the roof, wouldn't it be vital to have more strength, so the roof won't collapse? on you!

This protective layer isn't anything new. It's a design of nature that has thrived in many designs including the eggshell that you probably have in your frig right now. An many pro-corp people out there in forums have mentioned that by strengthening the roof you automatically pull the center of gravity higher, and therefore actually increase the chances of roll overs. I say, those people think too linearly. Strengthening the roofs, doesn't mean you have to necessary throw a slab of heavy metal on top of it. We have the technology and the materials to to strengthen the roofs without elevating the center of gravity (if we wanted to). Like Chris Rock said, "you mean to tell me they can make a satellite that goes around the solar system at 3000 miles an hour, and they can't make a ford where the bumper won't fall off?" They can. But they wont.

The last point is this: with gas prices as high as it is and undoubtedly going higher; with the lingering problem of roll overs; and with the industry denial of better protection with stronger roofs.., why on earth would any one want to drive a SUV still???

It boggles the mind to know how good they are with these ads. First you want it, then you can't live with it, then you can't live because of it. And while they're trying their deceptive best to get you to say yes to a product, they're saying no no no to your rudimentary reasoning.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Panda and raccons, oh my.

Commercials aren't outwardly racist anymore, they're subversively racist. The company can't use real minorities and poke fun of their culture, not because of morality concerns, but rather because it might just cause a backlash in the viewing public. However, that doesn't mean the companies can't use symbolic images to represent a targeted group, and poke fun of their culture anyways. It's been done throughout history, often in printed media as caricatures. Africans have been represented as monkeys, crows, and worse. Asians were portrayed as rats, tigers, and worse. Of course back then, racism was mainstream and such images were tolerated even adored by the public. The blatantly racist images served to push the political agendas of a few by mongering fear among the masses, and succeeded partly because they were printed on the covers of very respectable and heavily circulated publications at the time. In our modern time, racism still exists, but now hides under an ocean of hypocrisy and political incorrectness. Media can't say all the racist things they believe in. The racism now lurks in subtle symbols, and the pretense of humor. Nothing has changed but the way in which things are shown.

The commercial below played during this Superbowl, using animated panda characters named "Ching-Ching" and "Ling-Ling". Of course, when there's a panda shown anywhere, someone needs to bang the gong and light the fireworks. It's understandable that the panda, being cute and benign looking, will always be used as a mascot for marketing purposes. The World Wildlife Federation, the Olympics in China, and this company called Sales Genie, now all share the same marketing ploy. But was it truly necessary to portray these pandas as business-motivated, and engrish speaking? of course not, it was just fun. A joke with no ill will intent.

Watching that commercial reminded me of another commercial that i saw a long time ago. A quick search on you tube and there it was.

It seems funny and harmless enough, yeah? All these wise-cracking raccoons did was: steal a car, neglect the laws while driving, and then grab and dash from the drive-thru window to avoid paying. These raccoons are criminals. It would be the epitome of stupid to make a commercial like this and not understand the symbolically-racist nature of these characters. "Coons," an utterly racist and demeaning slang, comes from the raccoon animal. According to the Museum of Racist Memorabilia as Ferris State University, "The coon caricature is one of the most insulting of all anti-Black caricatures. The name itself, an abbreviation of raccoon, is dehumanizing. As with Sambo, the coon was portrayed as a lazy, easily frightened, chronically idle, inarticulate, buffoon."

How did they (the advertising agency, the companies) pass this off as acceptable commercials? How do we as the bud of these racist jokes not noticed? I guess it's fine when it's a joke in the name of selling shit. But I will guarantee this: you will never see a commercial in your lifetime of a talking cracker sipping wine and selling health insurance. That is not acceptable, and would be blatantly racist. Maybe, maybe you might see something more subtle like a semi-truck driving donkey who constantly uses his horn.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Escape the shame of it all, with the Ford Escape

Another week, another commercial, another ploy, that makes me wanna puke.

This commercial is pushing the green movement into a rarely tapped area of advertising: parental shame. (And quite frankly, it's about time American kids start pressuring their parents into a more earth-friendly materialistic lifestyle.)

That's right, you saw it too. Little girl unknowingly gets into her Dad's hybrid SUV, while backhandedly implying that she doesn't want to be seen with him in this particular part of town. Why? Because of the family's poor standing as environmentally conscious people. And because those people in that part of town, they only drive drive hybrids and bikes. YIkes.

I have a few thoughts about this.
- This could be one of the very first recorded case of what I see as a growing silent epidemic in this country-- the green discrimination. Luckily for this father, he had the foresight to buy a hybrid vehicle, but for those dads that didn't, they surely will face the wrath of a highly green and therefore very violent segment of society. What's a dad to do when his old earth-indifferent ways casts him and his family in the abysmal shame of a non-green class? He should try to get out, that's what. He should try to move on up, to the green side, and get himself a hybrid. Because, of course, to solve the global problem we should buy still, just buy more consciously.

What's going on? White suburbia people ain't got no where to go anymore. Can't go to the bad part of town with minorities, can't go to the yuppish part of town because of "liberals". Maybe the solution for them is to stay at home and watch more TV commercials.

- What ever happen to lying? Have kids today lost that altogether? When we were kids and embarrassed about something involving our parents, we would just lie.
Q: "Hey, is your dad drunk?"
L: "Naw.He's just happy."
Q: "Hey, is your mom wearing a halter-top?"
L: "Naw.We just donated all our clothes."
Q: "Hey, is your dad SUV an environmentally sound hybrid?"
L: "Hell yeah. We claim green."

- This commercial is just one of the many that tries to popularize the Green movement. You see it everywhere, and yes, it's damn important that we try to save this planet. But it bugs me we're always taught that to save this planet we have to buy everything anew.There's a paradox to this: although the economy needs constant consumers consuming to sustain, the earth doesn't, in fact, increased production to meet the demands of the consumers only leads to... more pollution! That's just fact, anything that needs to be made (from toilet paper to hybrid cars) needs energy in its creation. Conservatism of natural resources is never stressed in our green craze.

In many ways, this girl represents a large majority of this movement. Hardly well-informed, she,nonetheless, knows it's cool to be green, or at least, knows it's shameful to not be. Luckily, everyone works out in the end for the little environmentalist when she becomes aware that the very car she is sitting in is indeed a hybrid. The father is resound in his coolness (nothing to be shame about, he's a greeny), the TWO pull out of the driveway in their fuel-efficient SUV for SEVEN, and help to create a better world.


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Human energy

I'm going to start a new series of blogs based on the television commercials that I can't stand. I never thought it would come to this, but the industry has pushed me too too far. Let me just say that I don't even watch that much television anymore, but every time I do, I can't help but get violently disgusted over the pettiness of this product-pedaling machine. I can't stand it!

I've already blog about my hatred for those GMC "This is our country" commercials. The very first commercial, which included spliced clips of the atomic cloud exploding over Japan, has hit a core with it's middle American demographics, and spun subsequent commercials along the same theme played to the same song. And I don't see an end in sight. They work, and they're damn easy to make. Just take any movie clip that exemplifies "Americano heroic," slow-mo it down, and play it to this chorus: "This is ooour counntry." Found this spoof ad on youtube that's parody the one sided americanoism well.

The current ad I can't really stand is Chevron's Human Energy. Simply put, it's a campaign to humanized an oil company. I find this kinda creepy because U.S Law already defines and gives corporation the rights of an individual. Under the law, this company is already a person who is entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. So, what kind of person spends money to prove to the world that he is indeed a good person? Someone I don't trust.

A company like this can not be humanized. The nature of this company, and all companies, is to profit. With that kind of inert feeding nature, it now wants the public to believe that its' belly is full, and can now exert its' own energy to solve the energy issue.

I don't know what to say, but this is horse crap, and they're selling it as steroids. What the hell do they mean by Human energy anyways? I hear the slogan, and envision what "human energy" was at one time in this country-- slavery. Yeah, it's not exactly pleasant to hear, but it's the truth. Slavery was a form of hatred and domination, but it was also a cog for profitability; a source of cheap/free labor based on human energy. So with that lens, I'm beginning to see this commercial more as a subtle threat to enslave the human race, rather than a personification of a company. Pretty soon, Chervon will rule the world not by their current methods of altering foreign policies, despoiling poorer nations, or by billion dollar ad campaigns, but rather by owning gigantic power plants where human beings are pushing a giant wooden wheel of pain. Like this one.

Maybe Chervon will encapsule everybody in a gel container and use our body heat to fund their headquarters ala the Matrix. Whatever they decide to do, at least they won't be an oil company any longer after the duration of these commercials.