Chicken for breakfast? or bloody Balboa?

Watching the Mets game last night I was again reminded of how crappy television can be… which is unfortunate, because the game was awesome (10-8 win with some serious battling down to the end of the 9th inning).

Two images stick in my mind as of this morning; first being the Verizon FiOS commercial, where Kevin Garnett has all of his gigantic television screens wired up in his palacial estate (obscene, whether real or not), playing some of the goriest scenes from the Rocky movie. Each punch from the movie clip is punctuated by a beat in the background “whoomp-there-it-is” soundtrack. Not only is the commercial way too violent for a child under the age of 15 (yes, I have grandiose ideas of watching baseball with my kid, as soon as s/he is able to say “baseball”… or “Reyes”), but it also drives excessive consumerism straight down the viewer’s throat.

The second commercial, that I find comical in its absurdity, is the new McDonalds breakfast advertisement. The commercial shows several Americans fumbling with (one guy struggles to open a cereal box only to have it explode all over the dining room, where is toddler daughter watches in disapproval), burning (one woman flips what appears to be an omelet out of a pan and onto the gas burner where it promptly catches fire), and generally despising (the old “lumpy oatmeal on a spoon” camera shot) their breakfast. The kicker is when the camera pans to the NEW southern-fried chicken biscuit from McDonalds. “Leave breakfast to the professionals” the ad proclaims…the implication, of course, is that indeed YOU are too lame to even make breakfast for yourself, or your family, so go to McDonalds and eat some fried chicken on a biscuit!

McDonalds does acknowledge that “tastes are changing” and “change is good” (on several other new commercials advertising the chicken breakfast biscuit), and challenge the viewer to “think outside the box”… it’s funny they should say that, because now I’m thinking seriously of living without the box entirely…

For more information on the effect of media on children, I can highly recommend The Other Parent, by James P. Steyer (who is also a fan baseball, and had a similar revelation almost twenty years ago)

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5 Responses to Chicken for breakfast? or bloody Balboa?

  1. Patrick says:

    For some reason, I was tempted to try the southern chicken biscuit. It is the dryest, tasteless piece of crap around.

  2. Mauro says:


    I just took a peek at the radar and it looks like the central flyway and a little of the atlantic flyway is seeing some action. I guess its all those peeps (sandpipers) that i keep seeing at the Mill Creek Marsh (Secaucus)

  3. Val says:

    Hi David! I agree… even without cable, tv still gets on my nerves a lot. Sam watches some PBS kids stuff in the morning for a very short time, and he also LOVES to dance, so I usually let him watch the very beginning of the Ellen Show- he likes to dance with her during her intro, which is cute. But it’s so funny you mention the Fios commercial, because it almost always comes on right before Ellen, and I swear there is some freaky subliminal message in it because every time he sees it he says “Wow!” I know he got that from the other Fios commercial where the family and their pets say Wow, but the fact that he seems to know the two commercials are related is really weird… advertising can be downright spooky sometimes!

  4. Hannah says:

    loose the tube! dump the box! the time has come!

    Remember when you took my to Best Buy to buy the largest TV I’ve ever owned in my entire life? Good lord that set was enormous! It sat in my living room like a giant black hole, sucking the intelligence out every person that sat on the white leather sofa whether it was on or not. It was owning THAT television that encouraged me to live without one so that I can now count myself 5-years free of owning a television. I owe you an indirect thanks, DLP!

    I saw Hellboy 2 this weekend and left the theater 3 times from boredom. Same old American story – the uncultured hero, who’s worth is questioned because of his lack of listening skills (among other things), has a huge heavy fist, fights his way out of every problem and eventually beats the crap out enough enemies that he rises victorious in the end. Not only is it violent and simple-minded, but it’s also down-right bo-oring!

    Dump the box and send 90% of American media and entertainment with it! In the space that’s left, we’ll contemplate nature, grow bitter lettuce, and find ways to use laughter and song to solve our problems.

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