Justin Skolnick lives and works in Portland.

Two Television Commercials

Originally posted to justin.revision8.com on in Woodstock, Illinois

1. Get a job.

Ah, the heartbreaking dilemmas of the modern materialist. A young man seeks the perfect complement to his sterile new piece of crap (“Wait! Use a coaster!”), but nothing seems right. The horror!

Why not tote it around town, hoist it to your shoulders and maneuver through throngs of bewildered working-types who remark, “I’d like his job,” and “My, what an ugly — what the hell is that thing?” Carry it to the beach and let the tide wash its fiberglass wrist. Have a friendly post-Rastafarian GAPie leap over its spotless glass top. Say, why not record it all with your new HP digital camera? Print with your new HP inkjet? Collect it all in a bolted volume with a thick, die cut cover? Call it “My Coffee Table Book”? Sign me up, dude. I’ll buy two.

Though I think you’d find a deeper sense of satisfaction in redirecting your energy to a more productive and socially beneficial enterprise, like making soap.

2. It ain’t me.

“Some folks were born made to wave the flag / Ooh, they’re red, white, and blue,” and apparently they wear Wrangler jeans.

How those spineless ad execs can neuter (“A snip here, and… here…”) one of the 1960s strongest anti-war songs, crafting another trite tear-jerker — a shaggy old mutt continuing to sniff sniff sniff in hope of some miraculous regrowth, howling nostalgically at all hours — under the guise of some so-called retail therapy in the service of a well-fed CEO and his sharply dressed underlings, of whose net profit a small portion falls to the grateful people of Malaysia or Vietnam, is… well… predictable. Yet another corporation capitalizes on the omnipresent jingoism. Come on, folks: Open your wallets for America!

John Fogerty, please tell me it’s the label’s fault.

Elsewhere, at least someone got something right.