The "duh" switch clicked in my head. It signaled a disconnect.
I realized I was watching more commercials now than ever before. It's just I'm not watching them on TV. I seek them out on the Web. And then I watch them, often more than once.
Consider: I have ReplayTV at home. It's a digital video recorder. One of its neatest features (I'm sure you've seen the commercial) is the skip function.
Click skip on the ReplayTV remote and, "bam" - (I'm stealing shamelessly here from chef Emeril Lagasse of "Emeril Live" on the Food Network) - the recorder skips ahead 30 seconds. Two clicks and I'm a minute into the future. The time-space continuum for the rest of humanity has not altered. But another annoying, interrupting commercial scurries away like a cockroach in a low-rent flat when the lights go on.
Now these recorders are not cheap, they are not for the faint of heart to set up, and they take some time to learn - like using a home computer.
So why am I watching more commercials? I found I need them. They not only connect me to American culture, they are American culture.
One of my favorite sites on the Web is Adcritic.com (it's definitely PG-13 and, as with many popular sites, it tilts towards male junior-high humor).
At any given moment, at least 100 of the funniest, edgiest, and often most hip commercials are posted. I can watch them when I want to watch them, not when they're interrupting a show I am watching.
Who would have dreamed I could have my cake and eat it too. Bam! No ads to interrupt my favorite shows (read - any NFL game); but I watch witty commercials many times, even imagining better ones of my own.
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