America’s Got Idiots

I really hate that show America’s Got Talent. I don’t actually watch it, but I’ve seen/heard the commercials for it.

The most annoying complaint is that those idiots don’t seem to understand that this is a TALENT SHOW, not American Idol. The judges keep dissing people who do neat tricks but blabbing on and on about the ones who sing (“well”). If they wanted to sing, they should have go on one of the many singer-search shows that seem to run every night. The recruiters should actually be looking for talents that are non-musical; including singers is not fair to the rest who don’t have dedicated shows for their talents.

Another problem is that just like American Idol, the two judges that are sycophantic, PC, bleeding heart, liberal, hippies, keep dissing and being rude to the one who tells the truth and doesn’t love every single act. It’s disgusting. The judges who are rude are much worse than the judge who is “mean”.

Digital Television is Not Better Than Analog

For the past several years we have been beaten over the head over and over again by pundits touting the advantages of digital this and digital that over their analog counterparts. While digital does have it’s advantages, specifically that it is possible to ensure a complete and accurate reproduction, it does—at least currently—have it’s disadvantages as well. As anyone who views videos on their computer knows, a small bit of corruption in a video file can not only ruin the whole video, but in fact bring the whole system to a halt, effectively crashing it. Broadcast television is no different.

In the old days of analog, if there was a problem with a video like a crumpled tape or interference, the effect would be that there would be some momentary static or lines on the video or some distortion of sound. In many cases small corruptions would produce nonoticeablele effect at all.

Today, digital television brings us high definition but it also brings us nasty corruption effects. With digital broadcasting, if there is even a small bit of corruption in the signal, on the media, or interference, then the video will break up into many little blocks, the sound will completely cut out or turn into awful horrible noises, and the whole thing will freeze. This is due to the way video files are processed by most video playback software.

Sometimes as in this case progress goes takes a backward detour.

Blockbuster No Late Fees

Blockbuster has a series of commercials advertising their no-late-fee policy. All of them are thoroughly stupid but one in particular is mind-numbingly moronic. It features a young woman who says that she keeps having to return movies before she has a chance to watch them. She goes on to say that she has rented one movie three times and still has not seen it. She caps it by asking “that’s the point to renting isn’t it?” This is supposed to be a good reason for their policy but only highlights the advertising agency’s—and ultimately Blockbuster’s—stupidity. What kind of person rents a movie when they do not have time to watch it? Normal people rent movies on weekends, holidays, days off, and so on. They rent movies when they know they have enough time to watch the bloody thing. She would not need to keep the movies longer if she stopped renting when she’s busy.

The only ones dumber than the advertising agents who came up with the spot are the Blockbuster executives who approved it.

A Childs Life: Not So Priceless (<$4,000,000)

There was just an Amber Alert posted. For those unfamiliar with the term, whenever a child goes missing, an alert is posted in as many forms of media as possible to get as many people as possible to realize that a child has been abducted and to help if they know or have seen anything. The alert was posted but before the text of the message could scroll, the network (CityTV) removed the ticker so as to avoid obscuring the lottery commercial that began airing. As it happens they removed the alert from the screen just as it was about to give a description of the suspect.

Lottery jackpot: $4,000,000
TV Commercial: $10,000
A child’s life: ?

Too bad the standard jackpot wasn’t still only $2,000,000, they might have run the full alert if it was.

“The (Unfair) Cut”

Last night I saw a couple of minutes from end of an episode of “The Cut”. This is a new reality show where a bunch of people vie to be a new designer for Tommy Hilfiger.

Apparently, the episode involved two groups of people performing a task where the losing team would have someone leave the show. The task they were to perform was to restore a place to its their former glory as accurately as possible for the night (or weekend or whatever). One group had to do the Cotton Club while the other had to do Studio 54. Tommy then judged the two locations to determine which one is more like it was back in its heyday to decide the winner (or more accurately, the loser).

Not surprisingly the group that redid Studio 54 was the losing team. Why is it not surprising? Because. Here are the facts:

  1. 1) Tommy has personally been to Studio 54 back in the 70’s
  2. 2) Tommy has NOT personally been to The Cotton Club back in the 30’s
  3. 3) None of the contestants on either team have been to either club back in its day
  4. 4) Tommy’s mental image of what The Cotton Club should look like is based on pictures, movies, other’s descriptions, etc.
  5. 5) Tommy’s mental image of what Studio 54 should look like is based on his own memories of actually being there
  6. 6) Group “1”‘s mental images of what The Cotton Club should look like is based on pictures, movies, other’s descriptions, etc.
  7. 7) Group “2”‘s mental images of what Studio 54 should look like is based on pictures, movies, other’s descriptions, etc.
  8. 8) The Cotton Club is really old, so there are only so many pictures, movies, people, etc. to describe it
  9. 9) Studio 54 is not that old, so there are still lots of different, varying sources of pictures, movies, people, etc. to describe it.

If you read the facts in order and have even half a brain—or at least a corpus callosotomy—then you can figure out that this was quite an unfair challenge.

Group “1” and Tommy both had to resort to pictures, movies, other people, etc. to get an image of what The Cotton Club should have looked like. Moreover, they probably used the SAME pictures, movies, and people since there are not that many still around from way back in the 30’s. On the other hand, Group “2” had to pick some of the many, many pictures, movies, and people to get an image of Studio 54 (it was only 30 years ago), while Tommy already had a predefined mental image that was much more accurate than the group’s because he was there in person.

Not fair, then again this is “reality” tv and the real world is anything BUT fair.

Canwest’s Stupidity Knows No Bounds

While I’m on the topic of Canwest’s stupidity I might as well as bring up another beef I have with them.

Like I said previously, Canwest owns multiple channels. They seem to think that this gives them an added benefit for profit but in the wrong way. The best way to demonstrate is to give an example and here’s as good an example as any:

A show—let’s say the Everybody Loves Raymond—normally airs on Global on Monday’s at 9:00pm. About a month ago ELR aired their SERIES FINALE, but did it air on the right channel at the right time? No. What did Canwest do? They took the finale of a 9 year old show and moved it to both a different channel AND time-slot. They put the finale on CH at 10:00pm so that they could air some reality show.

They have committed many other similar offences like always moving Friends from 8:00pm on Thursdays to 7:30pm so that they can air Survivor at eight; moving random episodes of Frasier and other shows to CH; and so on.

Not only is moving a venerable show detestable—especially when it’s to make room for crap—but they also don’t seem to understand that viewers have such things as VCRs and PVRs and such that they need to program in advance. People do not like to have to keep changing the programs to keep up with a networks greed, they want to “set it and forget it”.

Canwest is not the only moron in this arena either, it seems pretty much all Canadian networks are run by idiots. CTV recently moved the LOST SEASON FINALE from it’s normal time-slot to ANOTHER DAY! Instead of airing the finale on Wednesday, they aired it to Thursday so that they could air American Idol on Wednesday. Do they not realize that not only is LOST a massive ratings hit but that forcing people to watch it a day late would aggravate people to no end? Thankfully there are affiliates of American networks so we could still watch it on Wednesday on ABC (without simulcasting) so Canadians did not have to stand around the water-cooler the next day not being able to discuss it with those who have satellite.

(In this one case it was actually a good thing that CTV did such a stupid thing because had they aired it, we would have seen Canadian commercials simulcast and would have missed the American commercial informing us that Good Morning America would air a deleted scene the next day)

Canwest Does Not Understand Specialty Channels

Canwest owns several channels in Canada including Global, CH, and Prime. Unfortunately everything they touch turns to crap.

This complaint is about how they don’t seem to understand the concept of specialty channels. Prime is the Canadian counterpart to DejaView, airing classic shows from a long time ago. Canwest however thinks that a second channel is a video “bit bucket” or “junk drawer”, a place to store extra stuff. Besides airing old shows on Prime, they also air reruns of current shows (as recent as just 3 days ago). For example they will air an episode of some show (often reality shows) on Global during the regular time-slot, then show the episode again on Prime on the weekend. This may be fine for viewers of those shows who missed an episode, but it is ridiculous for the people who actually pay the extra money for the specialty channel and get which airs current shows instead of the classic shows they expected.

Fox Better Than NBC At Philanthropy, Both Bad At Broadcasting

In the wake of the tsunami that devastated south-east Asia at the end of 2004, many philanthropic initiatives have been started to help.

Recently Rupert Murdoch, the head of Fox Corporation donated $1,000,000 dollars to the efforts for that area and it’s people. Not to be left out, NBC has also taken a step to help, except that NBC’s help is much more indirect and comes at much less expense to themselves. NBC has decided to air a telethon during primetime.

Why is Fox better than NBC? Because Fox donated cold hard cash—and quite a bit of it too—which is tangible and has a direct impact. NBC on the other hand has not donated cash—or anything else for that matter—that can be immediately used. Instead, they have donated airtime; airtime that was previously dedicated to an episode of LAX, a show that NBC had already cancelled.

So, what do we have in the end? On the one hand we have Fox who has alreedy donated a whole bunch of cash that can immediately be used. On the other hand we have NBC who is going to donate some airtime that had already been deemed worthless—since the show that was scheduled had such poor ratings that it was cancelled—to run a telethon in hopes of getting other people to donate money. Clearly Fox is better here in it’s philanthropic abilities than NBC.

Of course regardless of any charitable actions, both Fox and NBC are terrible—and crappy, horrible, worthless, !#$%^&*—at broadcasting.

Make A Living At McDonald’s?

I just saw the stupidest commercial in a long time. It was a McDonald’s commercial where some guy—I mean some idiot—is talking about how he has since childhood dreamed of being a sandwich-board guy for McDonald’s. As if that is not bad enough, he has placed a sandwich-board on his infant in the crib saying that he intends the same path for his child.


Isn’t it bad enough that this guy aspires to being some dolt who stands around in the street wearing a couple of pieces of sheet wood advertising for McDonald’s? Did they really need to make the commercial so that he dooms his child to the same fate? I mean come on! What kind of person would want that for their child. Normal people dream of their child being a doctor, astronaut, president, this guy wants his kid to be an ad-monkey.

This isn’t the first stupid McDonald’s commercial, besides the lame R&B; campaign that McDonald’s has been running for the past year in an attempt to get at the “ghetto” market—you know the ones, where people are rapping and stuff with that annoying “I’m Loving It” jingle—they have done similar stupid ads. There was one where they were showing a bunch of employees talking about how happy they are working at McDonald’s. One woman says that she has been working at McDonald’s for over 30 years. Thirty years!

What kind of moron thinks up these ads? Nobody wants to think that they may have to end up working at McDonald’s flipping burgers, getting burned by oil, earning minimum wage, and hating their lives for 30 years. Jobs at McDonald’s are transitory, they are supposed to be temporary; if you stay at McDonald’s for an extended period then there is something wrong and you should take stock of your life and try to figure out what went wrong.

Cycling Through The Same Christmas Episodes Over And Over Again

I’m currently nearing the end of a many month long endeavour to catch up on a couple of shows that I had not watched during their first run but am now watching in syndication where they are airing one or more episodes per day. Checking the current episode against the episode listings and even taking into account special days like Christmas where they may not air an episode, I calculated the exact date when I will finally be done. Unfortunately the networks have done something I did not anticipate. For the past week—the week leading up to Christmas—instead of airing the episodes properly like they should be, they are exclusively airing Christmas—and winter—episodes from those shows. What this means is that my whole schedule is thrown off track because instead of seeing the 10+ episodes that I should be seeing this week past week, I’m seeing episodes that I’ve already seen over and over, and over and over and over again. One show only lasted five season—a lot by today’s standards—so they had AT MOST that many Christmas episodes while the other had nine. As you can imagine they run out of these Christmas episodes quickly so they just cycle through them again and again until Christmas comes and goes; and they call it “A Special Christmas Episode”. This is absolutely ridiculous.