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Feature Things that are pissing me off, vol. 4
Football ads, football video games, frozen dinners, 24, and speed demons.
January 20, 2005
There is no shortage of idiocy in the world, which is good news for me because I enjoy pointing it out.  Here's a fresh batch of foolishness.

Frozen dinner creepage

Why haven't frozen dinner magnates like Swanson been able to master the art of keeping each food item within it's own compartment?  Is it so fucking difficult to keep the peas out of the cobbler?!  Every time I open a Hungry-man package one of two things has happened, either the corn spilled over into the brownie compartment, or the brownie overflowed into the corn compartment.  Does Swanson think corn-laced brownies are scrumptious?  I assure you, they are not.  Inevitably I spend ten minutes prying the little frozen corn kernels out of the frozen brownie mudcicle.  At least it gives my oven time to preheat, that bastard needs half an hour to get up to 350.

And what ever happened to the old-school frozen dinners that came packaged in an aluminum tray with aluminum foil cover?  The food in those trays never strayed from their designated coordinates for fear of reprisal from the badass metal container.  These new plastic trays with cellophane cover are lame.  You couldn't burn yourself on one of those if you tried.  With the old trays made from steel, you were lucky not to burn yourself through three oven mitts.  Bring back the metal trays!

NFL commercials

I noticed all during the 2004 football season that the networks (FOX, CBS) were getting really sloppy about returning to the game on time after the commercial break.  What I mean is, sometimes they would return from commercial after the next play was already over.  Excuse me, Mr. Big-shot-network-guy, but I watch the games to see all the plays, not all the commercials.

CBS achieved a new low during the recent Patriots/Colts playoff game.  The Patriots busted a huge play that landed them at the Colts one-yard line, then CBS went to commercial.  When they returned to the game, the next thing we saw were the referees holding their arms up in the signal for a touchdown.  That's right, we missed the motherfucking touchdown because CBS had to squeeze in one more CSI ad.  Then a few minutes later, they managed to actually return to the game on time, while the colts were still in the huddle.  Upon seeing that, some moron decided there was time to go back out for one more commercial!  They aired about 2 seconds of the commercial, then cut it off to return to the game because the Colts were lining up to run their play.  They must be fucking joking!  They can't wait one goddamn second without trying to jam another idiotic commercial down our gullets?!  Fuck you, CBS!

24: Season 4

I enjoy watching the television show 24, but holy hell, why do they insist on including the lamest story lines in the history of network televised drama?  In seasons past they've conjured up such rip-roaring plots as: girl caught in an animal-trap while a cougar stalks her, and, girl looking for a safe place to hide a girl #2 tells girl #2 to hide in an alley behind some trash cans.  Wouldn't you know it, it's the same girl in both those stories!  They wisely eliminated her character, Kim Bauer (Jack's daughter), from the new (4th) season, but replaced her with something equally bad: some other character's daughter who needs to take medication for some fucking problem that I don't care about and what the fuck does it have to do with the Secretary of Defense who is less than an hour away from being killed!?

For some unknown reason, the show insists on using these stupid side stories as filler even when there are plenty of other interesting developments they could be focusing on.  In the (5th) episode I'm referring to, the medicated daughter visits her mom at CTU and wastes 5 or so minutes as they hug and get all lovey-dovey.  Meanwhile, the son of the kidnapped Secretary of Defense is tied up in the interrogation room with sensory deprivation equipment on his head.  He's been in that room since half-way through the previous episode and he's not mentioned once in this episode.  That five minutes spent with the dumb mom and daughter could have been spent with that guy instead.  Morons.

Speed demon pussies

There are two particular types of driver who really piss me off.  First, if you want to speed, fine, then speed.  But don't race down the road at full tilt, then stomp your brakes like a pussy when you see a cop!  Man up, bitch!  If you're such a speed-racing badass, why are you so afraid of a little ol' patrol car, big shot?  I know you THINK you are Speed Racer, but seeing as you are not behind the wheel of the Mach 5, you're just a chicken-shit punk who drives like a blind grandmother when the law is nearby.  Next guy I see slamming on his brakes when he spots a cop gets a Bruce Lee-style cross kick.

The road on the way to my work is a winding snake of a road through the hills, which can be lots of fun to drive.  Some guys I work with drive motorcycles in the summer because this road is so cool to drive.  As a result, my company in the past has received complaints from the local residents.  Being a good neighbor, my company asks the employees to drive slower and be careful.  Fine, I can do that, no problem.

At least once a week, I'll be driving this road at about 40 (speed limit is 35) and some jackass will roar up behind me and start tailgating like a madman.  There's no way to pass on this road, it consists of blind corner after blind corner, so unless the person in front pulls off the road the person behind is stuck.  Mostly I'll pull over to let people past, but not when the tailgater is being a real dick about it.  Invariably, it is these biggest of ass-holes who end up turning off the road into a residential section.  They are the locals!  Which means one of two things.  Either they complain to my employer under the false assumption that the employees are the ones driving recklessly, or they are fucking hypocrites who don't realize what huge ass-holes they are!  My vote goes toward option 2.  This area is full of rich folks driving their Mercedes and BMWs, the houses there are very expensive.  The exact kind of liberal pussy hypocritical bitches who would complain and then act worse than any of our employees ever have.

21st century business practices

The goal in business is not to create the best products and services anymore, it is to obtain a monopoly within a particular niche.  Want proof?  Take a gander at the video game company Electronic Arts and their EA Sports division.

Here's the story: EA produces the Madden series of football video games, which has long been the industry leader.  In the last few years Sega has been building their competing franchise of football games named NFL2K.  Every year these games are released around the beginning of the NFL season and this past season Sega had a couple tricks up their sleeve.  They added the ESPN license to their game, which really spiffed up the presentation, and they priced the game at $20, compared to EA's $50.  You can guess what happened next.  Sega started selling a whole lotta video games.  The Sega game was critically acclaimed as well, so EA started to sweat.

What was EA's response to this threat, you ask?  Did they immediately start looking for ways to improve the Madden game?  No.  Instead of looking for ways to make their product more competitive, they looked for ways to put Sega's product out of commission.  First, EA signed an exclusive licensing agreement with the NFL, which means Sega can no longer use any of the NFL's teams or players.  The NFL license is the lifeblood of any football game, EA's move crippled Sega's ability to release a competitive game this coming year.  The best Sega can do is offer up something that allows players to pit the Sacramento Rafters against the Milwaukee Beers.  Sounds exciting, no?

But that wasn't enough for EA.  They also signed a new licensing deal with ESPN.  Yeah, the same deal that Sega previously signed with ESPN.  This move not only affects Sega's football game, it also affects their NBA, NHL and MLB games which all use the ESPN brand.  I guess EA need not bother innovating when they can just steal somebody else's idea.

This is like two hot dog venders on opposite corners of an intersection who competed for years by lowering prices, making tastier hot dogs, until one day one of them decides to buy everything out of the delivery truck so that there is nothing left for the other guy.  EA didn't win this competition by producing a superior game or a better value, they won it through a brute force attack.  That just sucks.  It's the "I'll take my ball and go home" method of doing business.  By using such tactics EA lost a lot of credibility with me.

- crocoPuffs

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