the Change I Wish to See

...and whatever else it takes to find my pants

First of all, it can't go without mention that I did indeed struggle over the title. I was so close to "A Man Without a Monkey." So close. And yes: I know what I just said, Ryan.

There have been two great things about Super Bowl commercials over the last two years.


The realization that any average citizen can vanquish obnoxious, insistent-on-outshining-your-light tennis club members with the aid of the crime deterrent feature on your Sprint cell phone.  And, thank goodness, recent tests done by me on the foreheads of overzealous law students prove that 4 out of 5 jackasses feel pain and respond accordingly when pegged point-blank with a phone, regardless of who your carrier is (so cheer up Cingular, Verizon and T-Mobile owners).


The monkeys made me want to search for all sorts of jobs -- even for jobs I knew I was less qualified for than Bush is for a Nobel Peace Prize, even for jobs that if landed would somehow end up costing me more in relocation and stress than anything I could ever hope to see in return, even for jobs that would tarnish my family's good name...  It didn't matter.  Those ads were the best spots since that House Was Built Too Small.  There's just something so fulfilling about seeing past and present co-workers shrunken to fit into monkey suits and reenacting all the brainless, court-jester audition routines they subjected you to for way too long.

What did we get this year?  The Richard Roundtree Special: we got the shaft ladies and gentleman, the shaft.

I don't know when I was first disappointed last night, but I certainly was jarred into consciousness when blessed us with a grown man with a paper clamp affixed to his nipple. Then GM dropped an ad where a yellow, human-replacing, car-manufacturing robot leaves the factory and commits suicide, after a 2006 when at least 30,000 people were left reeling from GM layoffs and in a 2007 when more layoffs have been promised. (Oh wait: so the point of that commercial was the irony? Nope, still don't get it.)

I guess the Federline ad was ok.  But there were at least three problems.  First, it was actually Kevin Federline.  Second, if you've read my blog from the beginning, you'll understand why I'm horribly afraid his daydreamed "lyrics" will end up on a commercially successful album in the near future. And third, maybe it's just me, but I'm beginning to worry that all this "K-Fed anti-hype" is spiraling into control.

We've done this to Paris Hilton.  She started out as just a skinny rich girl. Then we unwittingly convinced her she was hot.  Then she was on magazine covers and catwalks.  Then she was in sex tapes.  Then she had her own TV show.  Then she released an album that 75,000 people bought in its first week (which I call the "Joe Dirt" theory: if you drop a pile of sh*t -- "a big ole hunk of butt release," that is -- from the sky, somebody will pick it up).  Then she was in sex tapes, again.  Then she became the joke people told on the way to her parties.  The point is that fame isn't a straight line; it's more like a sphere. And I don't know how we've done it, but we've somehow traveled by way of some twisted circle and made Federline famous for the very thing for which he had originally been infamous.

But right, the point.

I forgot to put a disclaimer at the beginning: I generally detest commercials.  They're usually about stuff I wouldn't buy even if I had the money Paris got for "not knowing" a sex tape had escaped her bedroom.  Or that money GM will save when the robots' union accepts pay cuts and doesn't fight for healthcare...  But it doesn't mean I wouldn't like to be surprised.  Geico does it almost every time.  And, with its glorious, glorious, laser-pointer-armed monkeys, had done it for an entire year.  If I don't see any monkeys next February, I'm... I'm... writing another entry ad execs will never see...

But it'll be so fierce. So. Fierce.