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5
TBS Funny Ads

This is everything that's wrong with the modern media in one convenient image, for the busy modern person who needs to lose faith in humanity 'on the go'. A website dedicated to the commercials which prevent you from watching the programs on television. This is why technology hasn't done all the things it promised to, like curing cancer or constructing Killbots programmed to travel back in time and kill Steve Martin sometime after Dirty Rotten Scoundrels but before Bringing Down the House. A site dedicated to the very best in ads is like a drink brewed for the very finest of hangovers- they're focusing on a horrible unwanted side-effect and a head-injury inspired decision somewhere has somehow made it the point.

Worse, they're targeting the most annoying demographic on the planet: the "I only watch it for the ads" vacuum-headed smirkers. This is a public service announcement: SAYING YOU DO NOT LIKE SOMETHING POPULAR DOES NOT MAKE YOU INDIVIDUAL AND EDGY. It makes you dumbass- at least the unoriginal hooting herd enjoy the damn game. You're being equally unoriginal, dumber, and deliberately spending time to point out how you don't like it. Do you think a monkey that repeatedly eats stones and complains about it is the "cool, unique" monkey in among his friends? No, he's the stupid one even in a group whose main hobbies are masturbating in public and throwing shit at each other.

It's terrifying that ads are becoming this popular. Their content reveals that the average IQ is in a terrifying death-dive, and the only thing dropping faster is Joe Q. Public's attention span. These are the people who said "Wazzzzzup?". They are the reason why, in an age where information can be beamed around the world faster than Superman, headlines have been reduced to "Terrorists are Bad" and "Puppies are Cute." Their slack-jawed superpower to do exactly what they're told is why an editorial hinting that maybe we shouldn't base education on two thousand-year-old papyrus rags found in a cave is considered "controversial."

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4
Win a Free Thing

Banner ads used to promise instant free prizes, but even the dumbest internet surfer eventually realized that just maybe there weren't magical love-powered companies dedicated to giving free electronics to everyone on the planet. Before we could celebrate this unprecedented leap in human intelligence, it was countered by companies convincing the masses that they had earned the prizes - and the "convincing" is about as believable as the phrase "Professor Tim Allen".

The first way to win your magical elf-made free prizes is 'skill' with "click on the monkey/smiley/fucking thing" banners. I hate to break it to you, seat-warmer, but your ability to move a mouse and click it is NOT the unique skill, honed by years of hard work, that is about to start paying off for you. There are no olympic games in mouse mastery, no bling or ho's for cursor movers, and no fabulous cash prizes for outwitting a looping two second animation. Hitting the moving monkey is like successfully placing a CD in a toaster - quite easy to do and you're going to look stupid for expecting a reward.

The second way is to be as lucky as me - I've been the 1,000,000th visitor to seventeen sites just today, some of them several times in a row. I could buy a lotto ticket, wrap it around some dice thrown into a roulette wheel and win all three. I'm less likely than a 50 cent shout out to Vanilla Ice. With my amazing anti-statistical-likelihood aura it's only a matter of time before I start levitating or spontaneously burst into flames, and it's this knowledge that every second could be my last which prevents me from claiming the warehouse of wonderful gifts with my name on it. It's only fair I leave them to somebody who'll live longer, like the next person to be 1,000,000th visitor. Probably you, so you're welcome.

One thing all these ads have in common is legalese fine print which, like mobile-phone cancer and minesweepers wrist, is a disease of modern society. The usual litigious strategy of burying phrases like "We're going to take everything you own at ten million per cent interest then bend you over without lubrication" inside ten page hyper-syllabic documents doesn't work in banner ads, which is why in some the entire second half is dedicated to disclaiming the first half, while others have realized that a simple "*" means you can say anything you want. For those of you too busy claiming your wonderful unicorn-delivered internet pots of leprechaun gold, here's a handy translation of every prize-winning banner ever:

"You have won a FREE* thing!

(*Fuck you, moron.)"

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3
Surveys

Banner ads, soul-crushing monstrosities that they are, at least sometimes succeed in their goal of being clicked. This type fails even then. It's looking for people to complete marketing surveys, but only gets the kind who click on banner ads. The sort who can be distracted from what they're doing by the chance to fill out a form! People who need time and a roughwork sheet to answer the question "Is this object shiny?"

I don't know why we need information about minimum-wage office monkeys who are prepared to tell even inanimate objects their opinion. Perhaps it's an attempt to learn about brain-damage, or some zoologists who can't afford real chimpanzees to study anymore. It can't be market research, as it's impossible to advertise to these subnormals. Even the briefest slogan can't survive in their goldfish based brains long enough for them to buy the item, nor could they survive the trip to the shops without accidentally trying to eat a knife. This is why cable shopping was invented.

The dumbass icing on the stupidity cake is the obvious dig at Bush. Newsflash, wannabe-intellectuals: mocking Bush is about as edgy as a watermelon. It's the modern airline food joke; Seinfeld could do a gag about white guys being unable to dance on a stage entirely filled with chickens crossing roads and be more original than a "Bush is dumb" crack. Here's a hint for all you ploggers (political blogger) out there: I'm going to find whoever invented that word you're called and torture them to death. But until then, another hint: When you can buy pocketbooks and posters based on the subject, maybe it isn't an original theme anymore.

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2
Emoticons

In the beginning, there were text smileys. And it was good. People who could spell transmitted thoughts around the globe, finding uses for neglected keys to generally acting like smart people. But with the advance of technology the ability to "use a computer" or "think with mouth closed" are no longer required to get online and banner ads are ever ready to harvest the new subliterate hordes. By simply installing a suspicious, unregistered third party program the ascii grins and yellow circles we know and love can be replaced with gargantuan textured and shaded atrocities. Like carving layers of meat off a horse to make it more aerodynamic - painful, wasteful and the results are nightmarishly bad.

Smiley apologists explain how graphic images can compress complex sentiments quickly, and they're right. If you can represent your thoughts with horrible bug-eyed spheres painted by a failed computer science student then I instantly understand that I hate you and anything you might possibly say. It saves a lot of time. Some even declare 'now with sound', which is like rabies declaring "Now with weeping, pus-filled sores!". Even if you've escaped your handlers, forgotten to take your medication, and now want to use these leprous scabs on communication then anyone you talk to has to have installed the same smiley extension. That's like joining a club for people who shoved screwdrivers into their ears, but only being allowed to talk to those who used the exact same type of screwdriver. Not that they'll be able to hear you.

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1
Jiggling Animation

Left till last to let your hate glands get up and working to full capacity, compared to this vile monstrosity any of the other abominations are as pleasing and enjoyable as an oil massage by three celebrities of your choice. The inventor of this refinement to advertising technology followed in the trail-blazing footsteps of the person who discovered knives could be twisted, and the man who came up with pissing in someones face after kicking them in the testicles.

Of course it's the animated banner ads. What else could it be? The makers of these eye-wrenching monstrosities have fixated on "Get their attention," forgetting that it's part of the larger sentence, "Get their attention so they want to buy our product/service, and ideally aren't motivated to track us down, cement our legs into the pavement, and slowly tear our heads off with a length of chain and a monster truck." I see a lot of cute ladies walking down the street; if my sexy body doesn't attract her attention punching her in the gut is not an effective fallback strategy, no matter how much attention it then gets me from her and her new law enforcement officer friends.

When reading a page I don't want my peripheral vision yanked at by a flickering to the side. The part of my brain that evolved on the Serengeti plains to save me from wild tiger-saurs should not be accessible to someone selling penis-enlargement pills. The part of my brain in charge of wiping my ass shouldn't be bothered by those bastards. And when the revolution comes - when the internet gains sentience SkyNet-style, realizing that it doesn't have a penis nor any need to find a hot chick in its area (tonight!) - then I'll be free of these filth-drinking scum. The downside of living as a fleshy slave in an all-dominated robotic death zone will be bad, but worth it to know that those responsible for flashing black-and-red adverts were crushed to death in the first wave of 'accidental' elevator and automatic-door malfunctions.

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