1. That Stupid iPod / iTunes Ad Campaign!

    HAVE YOU NOTICED that iTunes gift cards have recently changed?

    They now resemble the button for the iTunes app on one’s smartphone or other unnecessary device that irritates us when we see people using them in public with little regard for others, their surroundings and their driving.

    The new card design (above) is an improvement. The previous versions baffled and offended me. Here are the ones I’m talking about:

    These colorful silhouettes have been part of Apple’s marketing campaign for the iPod since it was introduced. And plenty of funny institutions from Mad Magazine all the way to Mad TV have spoofed them, back when it was actually current.

    So, yes, the time for spoofing is long over. Rather, I’d just like to say that as a quiet, restrained, arguably normal, less arguably socially-challenged individual, I really can’t stand people who behave the way those in this failed iPod campaign do.

    What kind of person gets so wrapped up in their music that they feel the need to carry on like this?!

    These are not people in clubs enjoying a shared experience. They’ve got earbuds in. They alone hear their music. (Unless they’re among those attention-starved jackasses who intentionally crank it to such high levels to let others know what crap music they’re using to achieve permanent hearing loss.)

    So stop dancing, you morons! You look ridiculous. How ridiculous? I’m glad you asked.

    Take this one here: Like me, you’d guess that she was calmly walking down the street, listening to something pleasant like “The Best of the Fifth Dimension,” at a reasonable volume (“low”), when suddenly a car bomb goes off nearby, the force of the blast propelling her backwards.


    In all likelihood, she was merely an undisciplined child whose parents didn’t want to rein in this “free spirit” so now she’s idiotically bopping along all over the sidewalk to “Everybody Talks” and you can’t risk passing her on your Rascal for all the high kicks.

    Look at this Bieber-haired freak. Sure, it’s possible from the posture this is a modern day Jack London who just grabbed onto a passing freight train and is lighting out for the Territory as he listens to the audiobook version of “Roughing It,” to mix late 19th century literary references.

    However chances are this is just some self-absorbed brat on a crowded subway car that you have the misfortune to share a pole with. And if that right hand of his inadvertently slaps your L Magazine one more time, none of us would blame you for grabbing that iPod, throwing it to the ground, and smashing it with the heel of your vintage purple and brown bowling shoes before Carlie Rae Jepsen and that Owl City guy finish autocrooning about their wholesome “Good Time.” We would blame you for the L Magazine and the bowling shoes, though.

    Oof! Snap kick to the stomach by a vicious Muay Thai fighter on the loose?

    I thought so, too!

    No, this is the woman behind you in line at the post office and she wants everyone to know how much she likes Nicki Minaj.

    You’re thinking what I’m thinking – he bent over to tend to his sneaker and inadvertently tied his earbuds cord into the loop of his shoelace. When he stood back up, he yanked that leg skyward. Sure, could happen to anyone!

    Only – that’s not what happened!

    No, this is a fellow shopper in the produce section at Albertsons keeping everyone from getting anywhere near the hot house tomatoes (on sale) while listening to his precious Black Keys and making a darn fool spectacle of himself.

    Seems obvious, right? He’s got his window fan on way too high and even turning his head in that direction would raise hell with his contacts, so he’s hoping to adjust it without looking, mashing the controls with his iPod hand.


    This is that little twerp on the elliptical next to you at the gym whose flailing arms keep threatening to invade your personal space. He’s also subtly trying to get you to see the screen, so that you know he’s listening to Graffiti6.

    One might venture a guess that the above young man decided that his life is not worth living, has leapt off a bridge and is in the process of plunging to his demise.

    Sadly, one would be wrong.

    In fact, he’s grinding along the freshly-painted edge of a bus stop bench that our taxes paid for when his skateboard hits a bolt and he stumbles into the street. Now you’ve got to slam on the brakes and pray that the asshole on your tail (on his iPhone, of course) is paying enough attention to avoid rear-ending you. The brakes hold out, your car’s back end crumples up like an empty beer can on a forehead at a frat party, and the oblivious skater, blasting someone named “Flo Rida” through his skull, has picked up his clattering skateboard, hopped on it again and is two blocks away before you find out the guy who plowed into your trunk doesn’t have insurance. Boy, that was a long one, huh?

    Now this gal: Stepped out of a cab and one of those heels plunged into a sewer grate causing her to stumble? Or, judging by her twig-like limbs – perhaps she’s doubled over for some spontaneous purging?


    She’s listening to her new favorite Bangles song after seeing it on an episode of “I Love the 80s” and she’s hoping her exaggerated and inaccurate approximation of an Egyptian hieroglyphic will impress the strangers in the food court she careens into as she heads to Hot Topic to shoplift a Punky Bleach Kit.

    I guess my point is I can enjoy my music while I’m perfectly motionless (save for some occasional and mild finger-tapping if it’s one of Bert Kaempfert’s peppier numbers), and by God, I expect others to do the same. It’s certainly no surprise Apple abruptly pulled the plug on this colossal failure of an ad campaign.

    Next Time: I set my sites on those annoying Fed-Ex ads with the guy who talks so fast you can’t understand what he’s saying.

    Posted by on December 5, 2012, 2:33 AM.

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