Wednesday, January 09, 2013

(Part I of IV)

My year-end review is finally here...a week late.  

Originally, this was supposed to be a year-end post with "Best" and "Worst" of 2012.  But as the time was counting down on the "Fiscal Cliff," and America re-elected the worst President in my lifetime just because he is more "likable" than a man slimed more than Dr. Peter Venkman, I couldn't think of many "Best" things.  2012 sucked from beginning to end, I thought.  

Then, I spent December 24th the way I have for many years now: Watching Frank Capra's masterpiece It's A Wonderful Life, which in my humble opinion is the closest any motion picture has ever come to perfection.  Not only because every line, every scene, every facial expression is exactly what it should be, but because of the way it makes you, the viewer, reflect on your own life.  It challenges you to think of the positive effect you have on others when you don't realize it, how others may not be aware of the positive effect they have on you, and how important it is that those feelings are expressed.  Every holiday season, there is without fail that someone you can point to and say, "_________ should have seen It's A Wonderful Life before s/he __________."  For example, it was during one year's IAWL broadcast that a news promo came on saying a woman had bailed out of a corporate jet without a parachute, plunging some 2,000 feet to her death.

It was while I was under the influence of "Capra Corn" that I decided to count my blessings and find some good things to remember about 2012. At first, it was just a short list.  Then more things came to mind.  And more people that I appreciated.  And more things they did that I was impressed with. And more jokes that made me laugh out loud.   And more audio and video that I wanted to share or introduce people to. And more times I wished I could have reached through the TV, the radio, and my computer screen and given someone a hug in appreciation.

Eventually, the list grew so long that it didn't make sense to put it all into one thread.  So I broke it into four, counting down the categories in which I found something good to look back on.  We start with The Earth, Commercials, and Brands/Business.


  • As we all knew it would, it didn't end somehow due to an asteroid, the reversal of poles, because of devastating weather conflagrations due to climate change, or because the Almighty decided he has had quite enough of us.  Sometimes we feel like the world is ending, but it's just a tiny little part of our personal world.  As long as the rest of it is here with other good things remaining, we shouldn't check out early. That's one of the lessons that George Bailey learned from Clarence Oddbody.  Attaboy, Clarence!


  • ESPN produced promos more entertaining than most of its programming. Highlights include this SportsCenter spot with Pro Football Hall of Fame analyst John Clayton, who always does his reports from a remote studio:
This one from the "It's Not Crazy, It's Sports" series shows the hazards of sharing a name with a sports legend.

And this one, showing that despite the intense rivalry leading them to baseless prejudice, Manchester soccer fans are really brothers from different mothers. After the near-murder of Giants fan Bryan Stow by drunken Dodgers fans in 2011, it's something to think about.

Then, they were inexplicably dumped by DirecTV in favor of spots starring a prickly married (?) couple bickering over DVR space, featuring an unlovable jerk of a husband/father who complains that he never gets to see his wife naked. Here's a tip: Stop being an unlovable jerk. Maybe that'll work.
  • 2013 Dodge Dart. Dodge's minute-and-a-half commercial for the all-new Dodge Dart premiered in the MLB All-Star Game and blew me away.  The 30-second versions aren't quite as good. 
  • Dos Equis' Radio Commercials featuring "The Most Interesting Man In The World" are always good for a laugh or two, but ad agency Havas Worldwide outdid itself with this one in the days leading up to Cinco De Mayo:


  • Chick-Fil-A stood strong in the face of unrelenting vilification by craven politicians and a corrupt media.  
In an uncharacteristically balanced interview on CNN (likely because host Soledad O'Brien was not anchoring that day), watch Chicago Alderman Proco Joe Moreno tap dancing around what he's demanding out of Chick-Fil-A before he supports an ordinance change to allow them to open on a tract in "his" ward.
Now, here's Boston Mayor Thomas Menino saying that his letter to Chick-Fil-A dis-inviting it to Boston (also sent to the land owner of the proposed new location)  doesn't carry any extra weight because he can't legally enforce his negativity: 

I wrote this blog post about San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and his fascistic warning to the Chick-Fil-A owners:
Chick-Fil-A's operators didn't back down, and the chain was rewarded for its courageous stand for its principles by the biggest single day in its history. Here's Fox News' Eric Bolling recapping Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day with its originator, Mike Huckabee.  

A pro-gay marriage "kiss-in" counter-protest fizzled days later.
  • Papa John's founder John Schnatter boldly (and factually) stated that he would have to cut workers' hours in 2013 as a result of ObamaCare surviving a Supreme Court challenge and Obama's re-election.  When lefties punished him with a half-hearted boycott, people like yours truly responded with a Chick-Fil-A-ish "buy-cott."
  •  Coca-Cola's Freestyle Fountain. This modern technological marvel with old-world gleaming fountain style (created by auto designer Pininfarina) is a game-changer; every soft drink offered by the Coca-Cola company is loaded inside, with added flavoring if you;d like, creating up to over 100 different possibilities. If I'm in the mood for fast food and a drink, and I have a choice between a going to a place with a dozen or so fountain options and the big red Freestyle machine, it's an easy call.

Coming up next: What Didn't Suck About Radio and Television in 2012!

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