(I wrote a version of this post as a comment on TechCrunch but it’s buried beneath at least 125 others, so I’m posting an expanded version here. Forgive the lack of polish, as I say it’s really just an over-long comment…)
In this week’s TechCrunch column I talked about the upcoming Microsoft-sponsored episode of Family Guy. An abortion of a judgment call I called it, particularly on the part of Seth MacFarlane. Furthermore, I suggested that the episode can’t possibly be funny.
Normally I don’t pay too much heed to comments under my posts – like with most stuff online they’re usually a blend of “that was great” and “that was terrible”, with the occasional insightful gem along the way. But not this week. This week I appear to have unleashed a tsunami (I’m aware that’s a totally mashed metaphor) of fanboyism from both the Microsoft supporters (who, weirdly, saw my words as some sort of pro-Apple thing) and from Family Guy fans who challenged me to watch the episode commercial before making up my mind.
What worries me about the majority of these commenters is this…
a) they can’t spell simple words – and of course they’re/their/there is an unfathomable mystery
b) they think fag/homo/etc are appropriate insults to use while making their point.
c) AND THIS IS THE BIG ONE…
They don’t see anything inherently wrong with any kind of product placement/advertorial, let alone something this heinous.
What they seem incapable of grasping is that it doesn’t matter if the show is funny or not. It won’t be, but it doesn’t matter. What matters – YOU IDIOTS – is that it’s a commercial. You are being sold to by someone who first earned your trust by producing hundreds of episodes sticking it to the man. You are the victim of a classic bait and switch, for Seth MacFarlane’s personal gain.
Seriously, I’m worried that we have an upcoming generation (I’m guessing these are kids judging by points a&b above) that sees no line – NO LINE AT ALL – between commerce and creativity. A generation, clearly, who grew up without Bill Hicks.
I firmly believe that Hicks should be taught in schools, but he isn’t, so I guess it falls to me. Grab a pen, kids – because in about 50 years when I’m dead and your world is a fetid cesspool of McDonald’s art galleries and Yahoo!-branded opera, you’re going to wish you had…
“Do a commercial, you’re off the artistic roll call, every word you say is suspect, you’re a corporate whore and eh, end of story…
By the way if anyone here is in advertising or marketing… kill yourself. No, no, no it’s just a little thought. I’m just trying to plant seeds. Maybe one day, they’ll take root – I don’t know. You try, you do what you can. Kill yourself.
Seriously though, if you are, do. Aaah, no really, there’s no rationalisation for what you do and you are Satan’s little helpers. Okay – kill yourself – seriously. You are the ruiner of all things good, seriously. No this is not a joke, you’re going, “there’s going to be a joke coming,” there’s no fucking joke coming. You are Satan’s spawn filling the world with bile and garbage. You are fucked and you are fucking us. Kill yourself. It’s the only way to save your fucking soul, kill yourself.”
Now, the first person to say they don’t know who Bill Hicks is, or to call him a “fag” wins a cookie. Delivered by shotgun.