Monday, November 20th, 2006

Daily Archive

When did the world become so stupid?

Posted by Office-Bob on 20 Nov 2006 | Tagged as: Rants

I was watching TV the other day and an Energizer battery ad came on; it’s the one where the Energizer Bunny is used by aliens to jump-start their spacecraft by hooking jumper cables to its ears.

While the ad itself was your typical sales pitch, I noticed that there was a tiny disclaimer at the bottom of the screen; I didn’t get a chance to read it all but I did see one word quite clearly:

DRAMATIZATION.

Dude, WTF?

I’m used to the idea of disclaimers being put in ads because there are people out there who will think they can drive their cars like professional drivers do in TV commercials, and I can understand warnings such as, “Some restrictions may apply,” “Offer may not be exactly as shown,” and “Barbie does not actually fly” but come on…do we really need to tell people that a mechanical rabbit can’t be used to jump-start a UFO?

Honestly, between the sue-happy public and the rampant desire to protect kids from themselves, we’re turning into a society of pussies.

I grew up watching cartoons on TV before they became nothing more than product placement devices, and they still had all of the violence included…yet I never thought that I could fall off a cliff like the Coyote, impact the ground, leave a body-shaped crater and walk away with no serious injuries except a case of “accordion body.” Did someone have to tell me this? Were there disclaimers on the TV telling me, “WARNING: COYOTE CANNOT ACTUALLY HOVER IN MID-AIR UNTIL HE LOOKS DOWN”?

Nope…it’s called having a grasp of reality…understanding that I was watching something that wasn’t real.

Example of a typical Sylvester/Tweety cartoon where Sylvester and another cat are fighting to see who gets the bird:

- Cat tosses frying pan at Sylvester
- Sylvester ducks behind door; pan bounces off closed door.
- Sylvester opens door, pokes head out and sticks out his tongue.
- Iron flies into frame, nailing Sylvester in face.

Typical cartoon humour, right? Well, here’s how it was edited in one version I saw recently:

- Cat tosses frying pan at Sylvester
- Sound effect of frying pan hitting door (but no visual of same).
- Sylvester opens door, pokes head out and stick out his tongue.
- Iron flies into frame, nailing Sylvester in face.

I wonder what the point was of editing the scene in that manner? The only reason I can think of for showing one physical act of violence (the iron) and not the other (the pan) is because in the original cartoon you see the cat throwing the pan, so by eliminating the shot of the pan hitting anything you remove part of the cause and effect…since we never saw the iron being thrown in the original cartoon, it doesn’t count?!?

I can understand that some of the old cartoons are no longer shown because they played on certain racial stereotypes that at best were lame and at worst offensive, but I’d really love to see studies on the number of frying pan and iron-related injuries caused by kids who imitated what they saw in those old cartoons - hell, I’d bet more kids were injured by jumping off rooftops trying to be Superman.

There may be hope for the future, though…I’ve noticed that the Energizer ad no longer has the disclaimer on it. I’m hoping that means somebody with brains realized that only hardcore conspiracy nuts would try to jump-start a UFO with a mechanical rabbit, and walked over to the Legal department and smacked them in the face with a frying pan.

What a wonderful world it would be…

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