Friday, August 22, 2003

Earlier this week I was subjected to the following experience: My TV was broadcasting a woman's ass. It was a commercial ass, in tight Nike jogging pants, and it was ambling athletically across my screen-- right, left, right left. I sat there, staring at that ass, and I wondered whether or not I found that ass attractive. I couldn't decide-- it was packed tightly but bouncing nicely, and it was in that sexy slow-mo that people love in ass commercials. Still, there was something wrong with it, that I couldn't quite put my finger on.

As the camera begins to zoom out, you here an voice to match up with the ass. As you start to see the rest of the body, the voice explains "This is fifty years old." And it all clicks for you right there.

You get to see the jogging fifty-year-old as she talks about herself-- always using the word "this", by which you assume SHE means herself, but you know the script was kept purposely ambiguous. She's talking about the 5:08 mile she can run, and her ass is still doing it's AARP strut. And you're still looking at it.

I'm sure this made a very effective advertising campaign for a certain demographic. I'm sure the moment that Nike logo appeared on the screen, a hundred thousand 50-year-olds with more unmistakably...experienced asses got off of those flabby fannies and ran something akin to 5:08 mile to their local Lady Foot Locker. Meanwhile, the rest of us-- the devoted, younger generation that started wearing Nike so we wouldn't be shunned in seventh grade gym and continue to because we're brain-dead and don't know any better-- we feel all of a sudden betrayed by the TV, the way we did when we found for the first time that our parents were lying about Santa Clause. But, more prominently is this, this one disturbing, horrible thought: I was just contemplating a fifty-year-old's ass.

It is because of this commercial that I regard Little Danny Lee Robbins as a hero, despite everything. Little Danny, you see, is not getting along very well with his friends very well right now. Little Danny's parents are very mad at him. Little Danny is getting nuttin' for christmas, you see, and it's not because his parents are DECEITFUL BASTARDS. No, my hero, poor misunderstood Danny Lee Robbins' problem runs a little deeper than that...and it doesn't run quite fast enough. Danny is a 16-year-old boy from Montana, and he has all the typical teenaged problems: acne, homework, and the uncontrollable urge to deliberately hit joggers with his SUV in order to have sex with their corpse.

It was Thursday that the district court judge ruled to try Dan as an adult. Dan's defense lawyer was trying to get him tried as a minor so that he'd be able to obtain mental help outside of prison, and I think it's a tragedy that he wasn't able to maintain this goal. We all know, after all, that a sixteen-year-old couldn't possibly be to blame for this-- the real criminal is Nike. My thinking, you see, is that Danny, too, saw that commercial. Danny, too, saw that fifty-year-old ass, and while it hurt all of us, all of us, it was just too much for Danny.

Television advertising has gone too far this time. Just beginning to get over our broken hearts when Steven, the Dell guy, was arrested for drug possession and still sequestered in mourning for the death Wendy's Dave Thomas, we are barraged by such horrifying commercial blunders as the new wave of Geico commercials ("Your parents are dead, your girlfriend has left you for a lifeguard who owns a porsche and, oh, you've got AIDS, but I *do* have good news- I just saved a bunch of money on my motherfucking car insurance.") and Kelly Ripa talking "candidly" about Pantene being a makeover for your hair; this thing that Nike has done just pushed Danny over the edge. He saw that middle-aged jogging behind, and he wanted some for himself-- hell, if TV could sell us yet another of Arby's sixty different sandwiches that are just fucking roast beef on bread or the Ford Focus, for god's sake, I guess it could sell just about anything to somebody.

And this, this was what Danny wanted.

So, once again, it's television that's to blame. It's the "Pearl Girl, she's a pearl girl" jingle, it's Robert Vaughn pretending to be Joe Bornsteirn, it's 10-10-666 and "In my own words, Adelphia is your lord and Master." It's the time you recognized your parents handwriting on that package from Santa. Bastards.

So, pop quiz to see if you were paying attention-- What was the most fundamentally wrong thing about this whole development?
A: A boy has been corrupted into this sickening moral state.
B: A woman is dead, or injured, due to a perverse attacker.
C: The article doesn't even say whether he fucking succeeded, what a fucking rip-off.

The correct answer? D: "I was just contemplating a fifty-year-old woman's ASS!"

On with it.