Posted Thu, 01/19/12

I'm not the only one who has noticed the increasing length and frequency of television advertisements. For the most part, I begin and end each day on a positive note, but ads are one pet-peeve I can no longer keep silent about.

Let me qualify. I don't watch much television anymore. During the day, I'll leave on MSNBC to hear the news but I certainly don't sit and watch the programs. Most of my television viewing comes at night while I'm in bed, when I tend to gravitate toward crime dramas (Criminal Minds, NCIS, Law & Order SVU) or special broadcasts (most recently The Tudors). Even so, the channels showing the above-mentioned programs include ads.

The advertisements wouldn't be so bad if they were less numerous and shorter in length, but in recent years they have shortened the programs they sponsor. For instance, a half-hour show is actually only about fifteen or twenty minutes once commercials have their way. What will it be like in ten years? Five minutes of show and twenty-five minutes of ads?

The worst of the lot are products promoted by celebrities. I can't think of anything less influential or less credible than a celebrity endorsement. Who wouldn't hawk a product if they were paid gobs of money to do so? The product or cause could be a load of crap for all we know, and I'm not willing to spend the dough to find out otherwise - no matter who is at the advertising helm. I've been a fan of The Rolling Stones for decades, but I definitely would not buy a product endorsed by Mick Jagger or his band mates just because they insist on its goodness.

The same applies to celebrities endorsing political candidates. Who cares what they think, for God's sake? Their opinions are no more viable than anyone else's, even if they try to lead us to believe they have insight into their particular candidate. To me, it's just another example of the high and mighty who believes American masses are nothing more than a tribe of idiots with no thoughts of our own. Of course, there are idiots among us (including the high and mighty), but for the most part we are all quite capable of understanding the political spectrum and arriving at a decision on our own.

I care as much about political candidate endorsements as I do the right-wing opinions of my neighbors. I'm just not interested. I'm old enough to know my own preferences, and I've heard all the arguments many times before.

Okay, that's my venting-rant for the year. Next?