We need a new word here in the year of our Lord 2020, and I have it right here:
This is the term that I am using to describe the ceaseless adverts about COVID-19, being together, or otherwise reminding you of the absolute despair that grips humanity at this moment. They go a little like this:
Hi there. We’re working from home, just like you, to bring you this important message. We here at Major Business want to remind you about the ongoing coronavirus crisis even if you were just tuning into a nonsensical game show to take your mind off of that very crisis. Didn’t mean to make you upset.
We’re upset too. You aren’t able to purchase useless little USB gadgets from us while trapped inside, and with a diminutive disposable income. This makes us sad, so we made this advert filled with sombre piano chords and some uplifting vocalizations from last year’s Christmas campaigns to make you feel better, or more hopeless depending on how much news you’ve been watching as of late.
We’re here for you. We’re in this together.
The other day, I put on Ghost Adventures on the Travel Channel after a storm of notifications from the BBC News app reminded me that death was lurking around every corner of this new reality that I occupy. There were ten ads in the first break and bloody nine of them were about COVID-19, the "new normal," or how we're all in this together and how you should totally buy something anyway.
I can't even tune in to Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network (because I am a giant child) without existential dread pouring forth from my television like a Lovecraftian nightmare. The tendrils of ancient, unholy beasts are always there. Death is just outside the door. What sort of horrible trauma are these children going to develop after having been subjected to this for months on end?
My elderly parents have a decent sized yard with a gazebo and a pool, and they're afraid to go out in that yard for fear that the virus is lurking in the grass or in the trees, and that a little breeze will spread it like a demonic cough right into their faces. The constant news cycle didn't implant these fears by itself, these incessant coronammercials are just as bad, if not worse, than never turning off the cable news channel of your choice.
Big companies and the like, I have some advice: Shut up. If you want to make an impact in "these unprecedented times," stop wasting your money on television ads and put it towards virologic research and development, or at least encourage people to cover their faces with a proper mask so that this thing can be properly contained and the dread will peter out a little bit. If you are that desperate for a return to normality, at least encourage or participate in behaviours that will work towards that goal instead of reminding us that you are still there with the same products you had before the viral outbreak, and at the same price.
Until then, seal your mouths and realize that nobody wants your shitty car, phone, or Barbie's Quarantine Dream House when there are overwhelmed hospitals, mass graves in New York City, and scarce necessities. Also, nobody has a job anymore so we do not have the extra money to waste on crap when we need food.
Update September 2020:
I have decided that the term "COVadvertisement is equally valid.
Following up on their decades’ long tradition of tracking Santa Claus every Christmas Eve, the North American Aerospace Defense Command has updated their website to include an all new Horsemen of the Apocalypse Tracker so that you and your children can follow the harbingers of Armageddon as they make their way around the Earth bringing the punishments of God!
Look: the Horseman of Pestilence has just wrapped up his conquest of North America so you’d better run inside and hope you don’t catch the coronavirus! And just as we’re all busy dealing with that, it looks like War is heading over to the Middle-East again. Oh Iran, America just hates you so much!
Whether you are busy building a fallout shelter in your basement, stocking up on toilet paper, or just hanging out until the Day of Judgment, let the NORAD Horsemen of the Apocalypse Tracker help you decide when is a good time to take cover and beg for mercy!
I wasn’t dared, it wasn’t for money, and I certainly wasn’t on television. At least I hope I wasn’t. No, this was a case of mistaken identity. I saw the yellow and red package on my kitchen counter after coming inside from mowing the lawn. Remembering I had a few handfuls of Raisinets that morning, I thought I’d grab a few more while I cooled off from the heat of a mid-July day. I never noticed anything amiss as I reached into the plastic bag, my hands too tired, sweaty and covered in dust to care. I threw a few morsels into my mouth and only realized what had happened after I started to chew.
Instead of nice, squishy raisins dipped in chocolate, I was tasting a little bit of salmon and unfamiliar preservatives. Regardless, I still swallowed. Then I turned the pouch around and saw the Friskies logo. Without realizing it, I had accidentally eaten a handful of cat treats.
I can’t be blamed, can I? The Raisinets and Friskies packages both look alike at a glance, and I didn’t realize I had put the candy away earlier and that the cat treats had taken their place on the counter. Maybe I was dehydrated, and was in some sort of a fugue state when I happily consumed the fish flavoured kitty snacks instead of chocolate? It happens. I’m not ashamed to admit it.
While others may have recoiled after realizing their mistake, I found the Friskies to have a bold, somewhat salty flavour that reminded me of the sort of grocery store seafood you’d find at an inland city like Saskatoon. You’re craving seafood but all that’s available is a frozen slab of haddock that has been on a cross country journey, but at the end of the day when dinnertime comes, it’s still haddock and that’s what matters.
Texture wise, the cat treats reminded me of a warm Starburst candy that one could find in a hot car in that they clung to my teeth and palate in a gooey mess, and required an excessive amount of chewing to fully break down. Even then, I still found bits of them in my molars, between my teeth and around the roof of my mouth which gave them a prolonged taste that took about an hour to dissipate alongside the last of the leftover granules.
In the end, I give the Friskies cat treats a solid 7/10, a rating fit for human consumption, and I would gladly eat them again.
As a descendant of Vikings, I enjoy spending a lot of my time on the high seas. While many people fear the beasts of the deep, like kraken, Nessie and dolphins, I embrace them as equals with a special Pagan bond through the guidance of Odin. By this I mean I catch and eat them all, filling my great belly with their nutrients. But not whales. No, I spare them. When the fossil fuels run out, something has to make the oil after all.
But of all the watery demons in the world, I unconditionally love sharks. Next to the horseshoe crab, an animal that has roamed the Earth since the late Ordovician some 450 million years ago, they are the pinnacle of evolution. Just one giant mouth and a stomach, and a lot of cartilage holding that together. They rule. This is why I have watched Shark Week on the Discovery Channel for nearly my entire life (I’m only a year older than the marathon itself), and that is precisely what I’m doing right now. As with many week-long events such as this, there are many shows that do not make the cut. Here are some of the shows that did not make it to this year’s Shark Week:
We’ve all seen sharks move but have rarely questioned how. For example, do the oceans move around them to their will, or do they somehow move themselves in the watery depths? In this two-hour special, scientists dive into discovery to join a group of great whites and reveal this aquatic secret. After the dissection of three sharks and the death of one human photographer, it is discovered that sharks move by swimming.
Tiger vs. Tiger Shark
A beast of the land and a beast of the sea, the hunting methods of the tiger and the tiger shark are compared. With an emphasis on the minor differences between life on land and that in the water the two predators are followed, studied and gently teased by a team of wildlife experts. The program concludes with a climactic battle between the two animals as a 600lb tiger is dumped into a tank with a hungry tiger shark as scientists watch to find out which animal is superior in the ultimate television showdown.
In 1999, a fisherman discovered something strange within the stomach of a great white. It was the head of a velociraptor, complete with fresh tissue samples. Where did this shark find a live dinosaur? Scientists track great white sharks in hopes that they will be lead to the mysterious Dino Island. Included; the government cover-up to keep the partly digested head a secret, and shocking new footage from inside Area 51 where it is generally assumed that the original shark was taken.
The Magic Healing of Sharks
Using ESP, magic crystals and astral projection, one psychic from Sedona, AZ embarks on a quest to discover the lost art of sacred shark healing. Hear the account of an amputee who was able to regrow his leg after encountering sharks that could sense his pain! Be amazed as a bull shark assists a Florida woman giving birth to triplets in the middle of the Atlantic! Relive the account of a lost 19th century whaler who was safely guided to land by a thresher shark!
Join The Travel Channel's Stinky Wade and Lockjaw Jim as they take you through a step-by-step introduction to dynamite fishing for sharks. The bayou is gonna burble when these two all-American patriots get down and dirty to tackle some bull sharks in freshwater! Included; the lost scene where Stinky Wade and Lockjaw Jim engage local wildlife authorities in a gunfight over a fishing licence.
Sharks of the Bible
How did Noah save the sharks? Was Jonah swallowed by a whale or by a shark? Do sharks find paradise if they refuse to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour? The answers to these and more will be revealed alongside end time prophesies made by great whites, teaching The Word to sharks, and the fact of Creation 6000 years ago. Reverend Jones takes us on a worldwide journey from The Beginning to The Rapture with a shark’s eye view.
Discover the tactics used by today’s CEOs to get ahead of the competition, to line your wallet with tax cuts promised to the working class, laundering money, and denying healthcare to the parasitic plebeians beneath you!
The Tiger Chef with Guy Fieri
Tiger sharks are notorious connoisseurs. They have been known to eat everything from fish to alarm clocks to clowns and show no sign of relaxing their palate. In this hour long special, Food Network’s Guy Fieri creates a multi-course meal for his harshest critic yet; a two ton tiger shark! Will Guy’s hard work be appreciated, or will he be fed to the beast in order to appease it? Tune in and find out!
Those were some of the shows that didn’t make it to this year’s Shark Week. With any luck, we can see them next year! Keep your fins crossed!