America would be a pretty boring place without the credit card. Each year, millions of people get to spend countless hours piecing back together their credit score after their cards get stolen, hours that would otherwise have been wasted watching Everybody Loves Raymond reruns and the Our House: True Hollywood Story. And on top of that, poor collegians everywhere are suddenly given an endless and obligation-free source of income to finance that late night Busch Light 30-pack or that late night pornographic web site password.
So far be it for me to criticize the institution of the credit card. After all, I wouldn’t have seven empty cans of Busch clanking around my feet and a lifetime subscription to theheadlesshookerofpasadena.com. But in addition to removing our need to have actual “money” to satisfy our various indulgences, one specific credit card seems to have also removed our capacity to use the creative sectors of our brain.
One Dallas Cowboys Loss: $7,000
Seven Montreal Canadiens Losses: $15,000
Breaking the kneecaps of the worm and still collecting the $22,000: Priceless
Thanks, MasterCard. Thank you so much. And since sarcasm is difficult to convey on a web page, I don’t mean “thanks” in a “Thanks for the Mercedes, Dad” kind of way, but rather in a “Thanks for running away with a senorita named ‘Mercedes’ and ruining my fucking life, Dad” kind of way.
To my recollection, MasterCard launched this campaign twelve years ago and has had at least three different variations of the spot running on at least five television stations at one time. The premise of the campaign is simple: First, list a couple of items and their estimated retail value (I would like Bob Barker and company to investigate the veracity of their price listings, however.) Secondly and finally, give a swift a groin shot to the heartstrings with a tender item in life that you simply could not put a price on, or as some might say, “priceless.”
Commercials in general annoy me. Two articles in the Microscope already address this issue. But left to their own devices, they only annoy me in thirty second intervals. However, it’s when the commercials saturate the airwaves so densely that the impressionable consumer can’t remember how to think without them that I begin to really get angry.
I like watching sports. This isn’t an ADD moment either, so keep reading. A very common thing in sports broadcasting is to show the crowd and any signs that they may have brought to the game. I would really enjoy this if they showed signs like “Bill Parcells is a homo” and “I wish Bill Parcells was a homo” but they don’t. Instead, they usually just show some bozo with a Mastercardesque sign touting that his tickets cost $70, his hot dog cost $8.50, and that the Red Sox beating the Orioles on Fox MLB Saturday is “Priceless.”
That crashing sound you just heard was the values of the Mona Lisa, the Gutenberg Bible, and kicking stump of Tom Dempsey falling through the floor.
Thanks to MasterCard, everything is priceless these days. I usually reserve superlatives like that for stuff like weddings and the Power Glove, but apparently now we have to throw in Trailblazer double-doubles and the Miller Lite post-game report as well. I don’t like this development.
In addition to this phenomenon being uninspired and redundant, it also takes up a lot of space needlessly. Rather than reporting on the price of your frankfurter, just tell us that you think Brian Urlacher’s sacking ability is really good. In fact, I’d much rather see a “Brian Urlacher is good” sign then something ripping off an already lame television commercial.
The internet is littered with this scourge as well. I’m sure you are all shocked that something that requires little thought or talent would proliferate on something as pristine as the World Wide Web, but it is my unfortunate duty to inform you that this is going on. Rather than showing the picture of the drunk guy with his pants down and writing your “hilarious” MasterCard parody of it, it would be a lot easier just to say, “This douche bag pulled down his pants and now I bet he regrets it.” It’s not going to turn away any of the people viewing the page for comedic value, and it will take away the distractions for those viewing it for homoerotic pleasure.
I’m a fan of captions. I’m not a fan of MasterCard novels masquerading as captions. I like the approach of the following sequence a lot better:
This beast just ate Santa Barbara
This has a scrotum
This is one spectacular afro