Sunday, September 21, 2008

Federal Bailouts and other Absurdities

When did our long-standing American tradition of crony capitalism suddenly become second-world crony communism?

In an alternate universe, there is a slightly boring Presidential campaign between the Democratic ticket of Clinton/Obama and the bipartisan, Constitution-lovin', real maverick ticket of Paul/Kucinich. All this talk about Constitutional issues, and the interpretations thereof, bore everyone who wallow in partisan hackery and constant mudslinging. Needless to say, many of those who voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004 are threatening to move to Alberta.

Back to this universe: What's with all the hate on Microsoft's non-sequitur Jerry Seinfeld/Bill Gates advertising vignettes? Check 'em out:

The Shoe One...slightly surreal.

The Family One...really strange.

I don't care if they are irrelevant to selling whatever operating system Microsoft has to offer; those mini-episodes were delightfully bizarre. They're much better than the Apple "I'm a Mac" ads, which if you think too hard about it - the Windows PC dude is actually lovable loser while the Mac OS dude is a smug jackass. However, popular opinion seems to believe otherwise. What kind of a world is it when people would rather root for the smug, humorless jackass than the down-and-out, funny loser?

It's a world where I'm not an advertising consultant, that's what kind. (And for the record, all Presidential ticket candidates are being "I'm a Mac" smug right now. If we can't have the issues, I'd gladly take surreal non-sequitur over partisan hackery.)

By the way, I just watched the new Microsoft "I'm a PC" commercial montage. It is pretty flat/boring/lame/obvious - of course there's a diversity of Windows users. The operating system comes with all sorts of computers: cheap computers, medium-priced ones, and freakishly expensive ones. This diversity (tested as a monopoly in the 90s) works with the budgets of more people. Apple's OS only comes with Apple hardware, as Apple's business strategy prevents the OS from being licensed to other computer hardware manufacturers, so Apple gets to set prices without competition from other (potentially OS-compatible) manufacturers. People who know what they're doing can download and use various Linux builds, thus eliminating most computer newbies from this operating system. And that's why there's a whole spectrum of Windows users. (Disclosure: I own tiny bits and pieces of both Microsoft and Apple. Hey! It's better than owning banking stocks, in this time in history. Also, I am a big fan of open-source technology.)

Usually, the answer to Windows woes involves adding more RAM, since lots of mainstream programs and hardware firmware have since updated to accommodate Vista. So bring back the Seinfeld/Gates sketches! Then again, I'm not an advertising person - but I want to be entertained.

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