Monday, 21 November 2011

Shove it in my face

Dear The Internet:

I've been your friend for some time now, but thought I'd help you out with something I've come across. We all have our foibles, but few of them fill me with incandescent rage as much as this.

You know those videos we like to watch on the web? You know how you periodically have adverts pop in at the bottom or (at worst, but increasingly often) force us to sit through some guff about a new hair mower or lawn comb? These things do not make me want to fork out money for a product I don't need, they make me want to brain someone with a brick.

People can be a thick bunch, but how often have you honestly sat in front of your favourite weekly video clip and thought (just as you click play) "Damn! I don't really want to watch this video, I want to think about buying home insurance in case my house explodes or plunges into the sea".

Intrusive adverts: imagine getting hit in the face by this car. THAT'S YOU, INTERNET. THAT'S WHAT IT'S LIKE.

What's even more infuriating is when you have to watch the same advert for every single keyboard-smashing video you click on. Adverts like this are like shouty angry weasel-children with ADHD; popping up on your screen every 2.5 nanoseconds to cough up some puss about a crap toothbrush that now wiggles in four dimensions to help scrape all the enamel off your teeth.

Here's another one that makes me wish I had the power to implode peoples' skulls just by hating them enough: you'll have just clicked on a link, when suddenly you hear a cheery voiceover and some background music blaring out of your speakers about why your excrement will feel better if you eat yoghurt; and there's no immediately obvious source for this aural assault. Frantically you search the page for the impostor, and often find it buried at the bottom in a tiny flash-player advert which starts automatically as soon as the page loads. Worse still is when it's opened in a new, hitherto unnoticed, window cunningly concealed behind the news article on a serial killer which you actually clicked on.

"Going forward, we can offer blue-sky thinking to apply leverage to our markets in a synergistic, seamless and diverse portfolio of business solutions"
What's most worrying is that somewhere in a posh office in London is a room full of suits wrapped around some people who think this kind of intrusive shit is a good thing. Picture it: amidst a torrent of meaningless business-speak involving too many uses of the word 'synergy' these robots decide that the best way to market their brand is to hurl it forcefully in the face of their target demographic (and every other demographic, just for good measure).

Here's an idea to introduce this kind of unwanted product-peddling into other media: insert spring-loaded stamps into magazines and books with your company's logo on it. Then, when someone opens the literature: SMACK. They get a 20mph logo stamped onto their head in permanent ink. I'm sure they'll remember it after that. If you make it poisonous so it kills them, you'll even get news coverage.

One other thing, Internet: stop distracting me from my degree.

Yours Sincerely,


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