Thursday, February 26, 2009

Survey SAYS...!

You supply the buzzer sound. I'm out of onomatapoeic juice.

I get surveys sometimes. I'm sure you do too. I hate them. I don't mind answering questions. It can be kinda fun. I do mind answering leading questions or being overly constricted in how I respond.

Now, I construct surveys as part of my job, so I know from whence I speak. But my goal in constructing a question and a list or range of possible responses is to gather accurate information. Some surveys, on the other hand, seem designed to get you say you liked something.

Let's play.

Here's a question in an "honest" survey, using a standard Likert scale.

Please rate your experience with our Customer Service group, with 1 being least satisfied and 5 being most satisfied.

1 2 3 4 5

This is straightforward and allows the respondent to be as objective as possible. Most respondents will select 3 or 4, while some malcontents (or those who are actually unhappy with the service or, just as likely, the product) will select something lower. The rare Sally Hawkins will choose 5. All-in-all, and assuming a meaningful cross-section of customers, you should get a reasonably accurate assessment of your performance as perceived by your customers.

This brings me to a survey that I receive regularly from a company that services me. (Service me, baby.) I never complete it. I'll tell you why. Here's their scale.

Check out the difference in this scale. This is designed to get you to say you were satisifed, and very satisified, at that. First off, there is no middle answer. In a normal Likert scale, there is an odd number of choices, so a respondent can remain entirely neutral by selecting the middle button. Eh.

Now, the question leading into this scale has the following "explanatory" text. "In the scale below, 1 is Very Dissatisfied, 5 is Neutral, 10 is Very Satisfied and N/A is Not Applicable." But graphically, there is no neutral. Note the line creating a strong delineation between satisfied and dissatisfied. There is no true neutral here. And if 5 were truly neutral, then the scale should be 1-9 or 0-10. This is constructed so that you have to fall on one side or the either.

Wait, there's more. In addition to the line separating satisfied from dissatisfied, they've added an N/A button. So this actually does create an odd number of choices. But note the placement. It's on the far right, making 6 the choice in the exact center of the scale. Respondents with a neutral experience are even more likely now to select 6. The instruction is telling you that 5 is neutral but your eyes are telling you that 6 is. You also don't want to select 5 because it's clearly not neutral, what with that vertical line telling you that it really means you were dissatisfied and the fact that it's actually physically left of center.

One more thing: In a normal Likert scale, the numbers' meaning may be spelled out even more clearly for you. 1=Very Dissatisfied, 2=Somewhat Dissatisfied, 3=Neutral, 4=Somewhat Satisfied, 5=Very Satisfied. The only text in this scale is "Very Dissatisfied" and "Very Satisfied". You're not going to say you were very dissatisfied, are you? People will tend to err on the side of okayness rather than crumminess, unless the rep was a real prick.

The end result is way more positive response than if the survey were constructed in a purely objective fashion, which was easily achievable, as demonstrated earlier. And the company can now claim that, say, 95% of respondents were satisfied with their performance. It looks good, but it probably isn't true.

It's possible that all this is done to weight the survey against cranks. I, for one, don't usually answer these unless I have a complaint. This may be a way to offset that. But if you have to do that, then you have worthless data from the get-go.

As if this weren't bad enough, here's another question in the survey.

Did the Customer Support representative provide exceptional service to you in resolving your service request?


So if I answer "Yes", I'm saying they were "exceptional". If I answer "No", I'm saying what? They were crummy? This reminds me of the bit that Stephen Colbert does where he has a U.S. congressperson in for an interview and asks them "George W. Bush: Great President or The Greatest President?"

The congressperson sputters. The audience snickers. Colbert says "I'll just put you down for 'greatest'."

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Greater Than the Summum of Its Parks

For once, I actually agree with Samuel Alito. Okay, the whole court agreed with him.

Today's ruling overturned a lower court's ruling that the Summum loonies could not force Pleasant Grove City, UT to stick their monument in the city's park, right next to the Ten Commandments monument that's already there. I'm down with this. They shouldn't be forced to put up monuments by anyone, regardless of their level of looniness. But there's something left unsaid in the NYT article linked above. What the hell is a Ten Commandments monument doing there in the first place?

That's really the point of the Summum lawsuit. I'm sure they don't think there should be a Ten Commandments monument in a public park. But if there is, why the hell should we not be represented? Fair enough.

So is anyone now saying we should knock down the TC rock? Here's what Alito himself had to say, as paraphrased in the Times.

Not that government, through its officials, can say whatever it wants whenever it wants, Justice Alito observed. For one thing, government expressions must not violate the First Amendment’s ban on endorsement of a particular religion. Moreover, what government officials say may be limited “by law, regulation, or practice.”

Right. So, what you're saying is that the existence of the existing piece is a violation of the Constitution. If the Commandments stay, in other words, you need to let in the Summums and the Muslims and the Hindus and the Zoroastrians.

I realize that this is another case for another day. (Like, tomorrow, maybe.) But they don't even mention it. Come on.

The Invasion Has Begun

Be afraid. Be very afraid. The aliens have finally landed and they walk among us. I've spotted dozens of them right here in Manhattan. They look human, almost like you and me. This is only because they take over people's bodies. They smile. They open doors for you. They ride the subway. They order lunch. In short, they seem perfectly normal.

But they're not.

I don't know how they are spreading their evil or how long it will take before we are completely overrun with them but, fortunately for us, there is a way we can tell who they are. They usually have what looks like a sooty smear on their foreheads. Sometimes it's cruciform, as in the picture on the right. Other times it just looks like a shapeless smudge.

If you see one of these creatures, do not attempt to kill it. Simply approach it, look it directly in the eye, and SCREAM AS LOUD AS YOU CAN for as long as you can. They usually run away. Sometimes they call for a police officer. But if they do that, you can have them arrested for being an illegal alien. Unless the cop has a smear on his/her forehead too. Then you're in deep shit, Spanky.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Dumb Letters: Nukes Are Awesome for Us, Very Bad for Them

Will newspapers never cease printing letters from guys in flannel shirts and baseball caps that say "CAT Diesel Power"?

Here's yet another from the They're-Going-to-Kill-Us-All dungheap. Thank you, LA Times.

Doyle McManus doesn't pay enough attention to one of the most serious potential consequences of Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon -- proliferation. If Iran can thumb its nose at the U.S. and build nuclear capability, why couldn't Egypt, Syria or Saudi Arabia? Or, indeed, any country? Sooner or later, you're looking at a Middle East boiling with countries hostile to Israel and the United States, all with nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. This would be a nightmare scenario.

Given such a probability, wouldn't the decision to mount a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities become not only justifiable but a necessity?

Carl Moore

There is a very very simple test that people like this never seem to conduct. It's called putting the shoe on the other foot. It's fun! Let's try it.

Right now, we have nukes. Lots of 'em. Enough to wipe out everybody on the planet several times over. And we constantly threaten other nations with them. The Idiot made a habit of it. It was on his schedule. So, using the criteria that the letter-"writer" states, aren't we the most dangerous and hostile nation on earth? Aren't we the embodiment of the "nightmare scenario" for the rest of the world? And, given this, shouldn't other nations be attacking us right now? It's totally justifiable.

This all boils down to the usual argument that WE are good and THEY are evil. Therefore, anything we do is okay, even if it's exactly the same thing as what the evil people are doing. There's a word for this. Ready for it? You know it's coming. Hypocrisy.

A person that lives near me has a gun. I know he does. And he's not the nicest fellow in the world. Should I get a gun and shoot him before he shoots me? Apparently so. It's justifiable. And he, of course, should shoot me before I get my gun, because I couldn't possibly be getting it to defend myself against him. I'm getting it because I want to get into a shooting match with him.

Beyond whether any of this saber-rattling is justifiable in a moral sense, we have a deficit of logic in the political sense. These people know that we have all those nukes. They know that if they send one teensy-weensy little nukey-wuke our way then Allah's going to have to place a rush order for a whole pile of virgins. So why would any remotely sane leader order a strike against the most heavily weaponized nation in the history of the planet?

Of course, this is logic. And Larry the Cable Guy doesn't seem to think that those crazy ragheads are capable of that. But then, neither is he. Takes one to know one, I reckon.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Oscar Grouch

Remember when Bill Murray used to do his Oscar picks on SNL's Weekend Update? (Sorry, I came up empty on You Tube. There's a small picture here but you'll have to use your imagination for the rest.) He usually talked about how he hadn't seen most of the nominees and then picked his winners based on dumb things like how big someone's breasts were.

I haven't seen any of the Best Picture nominees. But I'm going to talk about them anyway. Let's start with the "winner".

Slumdog Millionaire - I just can't get excited about this. I can take or leave Danny Boyle. Even his best movies (like, say, "Trainspotting" or "Shallow Grave") left me entertained but not inspired. I've seen or read nothing that makes me think I'll feel any differently after watching this. But I'll watch it anyway. That's what Netflix is for.

Milk - This is the only one of these five that I have any more than a passing interest in. And it's not much more, trust me. I generally hate biopics. The academy adores them, though. Hence, mediocrities like "Ray" and "Walk the Line" tend to mop up around this time of year. I have the highest hopes for this one, but that's not saying much.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - This is the kind of quirky concept that ordinarily peaks my curiosity just a tad. But I'm not a big David Fincher fan. (Okay, "Zodiac" was pretty good, but that's about it.) And I may be the only person in the world who is not gaga over Cate Blanchett. (Go ahead. Say it.) I think I may be a bit quirked out now at this point, anyway. After "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" I think we need to retire the whole idea.

The Reader - I read that there was a scene on Ricky Gervais' "Extras" in which Kate Winslet mentioned that she'd need to do a holocaust drama to get that elusive statuette. Ha! Satire is always eclipsed by the truth eventually. Just watch "Network" now. It was way over the top in 1976. Now reality (TV) has gone way past it. The concept of this movie bugs me. We're supposed to feel something for someone who committed atrocities because, what, she learns to read? After getting poked by a minor? Reading is supposed to wash all this away? How about getting down on your knees and (hey, wait for the rest, already) begging for forgiveness for what you did? And, for the record, I feel the same way about Kate Winslet as I do about Cate Blanchett. (Go ahead. Say it.)

Frost/Nixon - Can I tell you how much I hate Ron Howard? He seems like a swell guy and it looks like his heart is always in the right place. He just doesn't have any discernible talent as a director. He epitomizes the term "Hollywood hack". And yet, he is continually lauded by the academy and its drooling sycophants. "The Da Vinci Code" was a crappy movie based on a crappy book that itself was begging to be made into a crappy-but-fun movie. Instead we got crappy and not fun. At least it didn't get nominated for anything. "A Beautiful Mind", on the other hand? Why, God, why? Excuse me, but I thought it sucked. Howard has absolutely no trust in his audience to "get" anything. He needs to spell everything out and, in doing so, he drains the life out of it. I love Frank Langella though. So I'll watch it for him.

What this boils down to is five films made by five directors with whom I have spotty relationships, at best. (I didn't talk about Gus Van Sant or Stephen Daldry, but Van Sant is closer to Boyle for me while Daldry is closer to Howard.) Last year, we had two of my favorite directing entities, Paul Thomas Anderson and the Coen Brothers, represented by some of their best work, as well as two other films that I thought were terrific, "Michael Clayton" and "Juno". This year? Poop.

I suppose I shouldn't say that without actually seeing the movies. But if Bill Murray can get away with it, so can I. Tell me I'm wrong, please.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

In Your Face, Millard Fillmore!

Suck on this, Warren G. Harding!

Fillmore, Harding. More than just historical footnotes or cautionary tales. Now they are members of an exclusive club. Yes, even more exclusive than the club of 42 U.S. Presidents. They are now 2 of just 6 presidents deemed by historians to be worse than The Idiot.

I know, I know. There were presidents that were actually worse? 6 of them? And the country survived?

Well, one of them was Andrew Johnson, who was universally reviled and impeached by congress, who reviled him even more than most. Another was James Buchanan, who essentially caused the Civil War by sitting on his hands while Southern states seceded, and couldn't even use the highest office in the land to get himself a date. And, of course, William Henry Harrison, who croaked a month after his inauguration.

So, he's better than the absolute worst people that have run our country. But not by much. Can't wait for the next poll, which will come out after even more of his administration's horrible misdeeds see the light of day.

He did best in Crisis Leadership, in which Our Hero was deemed, well, slightly below average. Not so good in Economic Management, where he only beat Herbert Hoover (whose Depression-causing policies are now being pimped by the GOP, by the way, ha ha) and Mr. Buchanan. Or International Relations, where only "One-Month Willie" Harrison was worse. Yikes.

But don't worry about history's judgment. We'll all be dead.

Did You Ever Know That I'm Your Hero?

I'm everything you wish you could be.

Am I mighty safe? Safe AND mighty? A mighty executive that deals in safes? You decide. I'm too tired.

Go here and be a hero yourself. Thanks to Kizz and Mrs. Chili for the gloriously time-wasting link.

The Future Is Now, and It Shoots 33% from 3-point Range

It's finally happened. Images have been coming to us from...THE FUTURE!

A picture of NBA star Sam Cassell has recently emerged showing how he will look seven months from now. It's downright eerie.
Apparently, in the future, recently-traded reserve Cassell will return to the Celtics. And pose for a photo!
Next, photos of Barack Obama's seventh State of the Union address and Brad Pitt as an actual old man.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Smart Letters: Bipartisanship

Yes, the Dumb Letters are much more fun, but every now and then I like to point your attention to a smart one. It makes me feel like less of a prick. And it allows me to use someone else's words instead of having to type my own. I'm lazy sometimes. Well, most of the time.

Here is a fine upstanding citizen from Ohio writing to the NYTimes about "The Perils of Bipartisanship". (Mildly truncated. Emphasis mine.)

It should now be clear that, for all its facile appeal, bipartisanship is a mistake for at least three reasons.

First, it assumes a willing partner, and the Republicans have made it clear that their goal is to rapidly derail this presidency rather than help build a new spirit of bipartisanship.

Second, it assumes that the solutions to the nation’s ills lie somewhere in the middle of the political spectrum — between the two parties — whereas the reality is that our most pressing problems, from providing universal health care and sensible economic regulation, to environmental protection and labor law reform, all require more radical solutions, not weak compromises.

Third, bipartisanship of this kind undermines democracy because it thwarts the will of the people. Republican ideas and political practices were decisively rejected at the polls last November; they should not reappear through the back door.

I voted for Barack Obama and his policy agenda. I thought we won.

Let’s see it enacted.

Chris Howell
Oberlin, Ohio
I couldn't have said it better myself. And I would have rambled for three times as long to make the same point.

Richard Cohen of the Washington Post has this to say about partisanship. He's sort of sticking up for Republicans. I usually think the guy's a douche but every now and then I agree with him. This is one of those days.

These Republicans are as wrong as wrong can be, and history, I am sure, will mock them, but they were not elected by history, and they are impervious to mockery from the likes of me. They come from conservative districts, and they are voting as their people want them to. That's partisanship. It is also democracy.

The desire to think that political differences are manufactured and can be sweet-smiled into consensus is touching but unrealistic.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

What's in a Name?

That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.

And if you call a pile of shit a blueberry muffin it'll still smell like a pile of shit.

Mercenary outfit Blackwater has announced that it is changing its name to Xe.


The implications should be obvious. Remember when Philip Morris changed its name to Altria? Altria, like altruistic. The carcinogen that loves you. Uh huh. Nice try.

So, we'll all just forget that these are the same jokers who made gazillions doing what our soldiers could have (and should have) been doing for a lot less money and a lot more accountability. And, oh yeah, they murdered 17 people in a public square in Baghdad.

The new name (pronounced "zee") supposedly has no meaning. Really, people? Why not Happyco, then? Or The Fluffy Pillow People? Or Basket of Puppies, Inc.? And do they know that they may now be confused with The World's Favorite Currency Site?

The Spy Who Billed Me says this, as quoted in the WaPo article linked above:

RJ Hillhouse, a national security expert and author of the blog called The Spy Who Billed Me, said the company is "obviously trying to distance itself from their image as reckless cowboys that's etched into the world's mind from the September shooting. With a new name, "there are a lot of people who probably won't connect the dots," she said. "In a year or two, people won't remember that's Blackwater."
Yep. That's the idea.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

PYSBRIoM: Olivia Judson

Olivia Judson writes semi-regularly in the NYT Op-Ed section. She's an evolutionary biologist who contributes to and curates The Wild Side for the NYT's online edition.

Today being Charles Darwin's 200th birthday, Ms. Judson is the perfect candidate to bring us this brief appreciation of the man and his work.

Good stuff concerning not just science but his social values.

"[W]hile many of his contemporaries approved of slavery, Darwin did not. He came from a family of ardent abolitionists, and he was revolted by what he saw in slave countries: 'Near Rio de Janeiro I lived opposite to an old lady, who kept screws to crush the fingers of her female slaves. I have stayed in a house where a young household mulatto, daily and hourly, was reviled, beaten and persecuted enough to break the spirit of the lowest animal .... It makes one’s blood boil, yet heart tremble, to think that we Englishmen and our American descendants, with their boastful cry of liberty, have been and are so guilty.'"

A swell guy, that Chuck.

If you want something funny, go to the unwittingly hilarious Conservapedia, which compares Darwin to Hitler on its current homepage (scroll down; it's on the left, a few notches below the item crowing about how fewer people in America believe in evolution now than in 1985). They'll tell you what the liberal media don't want you to know.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Dumb Letters: They're Going to Kill Us All (An' ah helped!)

Here's another one from the They're-Going-to-Kill-Us-All-and-You-Pansies-Are-Going-to-Not-Just-Let-Them-Do-It-But-Actually-Help-Them file.

From the LA Times.

I'm sure CIA chief nominee Leon E. Panetta is a good, decent man -- who unfortunately lives in an ideological world and not the real world.

He says that if Osama bin Laden were captured, "We would find a place to hold him. ... We would debrief him and incarcerate him." Panetta will be singing that tune until an American city is under siege from a terrorist attack masterminded by the man he "incarcerated" and "debriefed."

Unfortunately, by the time Bin Laden gets his Miranda rights read to him, it will be too late.

Carlos Bermudez
Granada Hills

Okay, then. We start with the back-handed compliment; he's a "good, decent man", I'm sure. This always sets the tone that "I'm not really some right-wing nutjob but a fair and decent person who simply has an opposing viewpoint." Then the word "unfortunately", which is also intended to substitute for "The guy's a freaking idiot."

Next comes one of the rhetorical devices that annoys the crap out of me. Professional scumbag Karl Rove and his ilk jave been staggeringly successful at using language to "frame the debate". In other words, they use words to lie. Or at least make it sound like the other side is guilty of exactly what they're guilty of. (e.g. When poor people complain about the class warfare being waged on them, the right says "We don't want to get involved in class warfare.") The writer calls Panetta's world an "ideological one". What this means is anyone's guess. We all live in an ideological world to some extent. But what ideology are we talking about? The word has been used most often in recent times to describe The Idiot and his gang of thugs. As in "Ideology trumped sound policy once again in the Bush White House." So, by using this word, Panetta gets tossed in with the people who are generally considered the bad guys by most of the populace, even as he makes the bad guys' case. Cute.

And what is the opposite of the ideological world? Why, the real world, of course. I could just as easily say, "In the real world, torturing people and denying them due process tends to breed resentment and create more terrorists." But that's just my real world. It's not the real world, where They're-Going-to-Kill-Us-All-and-You-Pansies-Are-Going-to-Not-Just-Let-Them-Do-It-But-Actually-Help-Them.

Shoot, that's just the first sentence. I can't go on. I'll go on.

Okay, next we discuss just how ludicrous the idea of locking up criminals is. Because we couldn't possibly put bin Laden in solitary. He'll be masterminding terrorist attacks from inside our top-security prisons.

"Incarcerate" and "debrief" are put in quotes as if they were some bizarre made-up locution. And the writer doesn't mention the alternatives. He doesn't have to. We're supposed to know. Apparently the only satisfactory response for apes like this is "kill", "smash", "destroy" and "anally rape". But we won't say it in our letter. Might sound like one of those right-wing nutjobs.

We close with another "unfortunately", which is still annoying and also pre-supposes that this argument is a done deal. No ambiguity. When bin Laden is incarcerated, "it will be too late". Really? Does this guy have the plans? Does he know when the next strike is going to be? What if we lock him up tomorrow? Too late already?

And by the way, Miranda rights don't enter into this. They're for American citizens arrested in the United States. Not one person has ever mentioned reading them to Osama bin Laden.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More Hot (Schoolhouse) Rocks

Since we're on the subject of Schoolhouse Rock, I wanted to give a shout-out to someone who was instrumental in their creation and is, fortunately, still among us. I'm talking about the great Jack Sheldon.

Sheldon gained a modicum of fame as a jazz trumpeter, but, like Blossom Dearie, he's remembered by my generation as one of the voices of Schoolhouse Rock. In fact, he voiced the consensus Schoolhouse Rock favorite, "Conjunction Junction".

I likes me the CJ, and the adjectives song that Ms. Dearie sang is also on my Top 5 list. But my all-time favorite is below, a dizzyingly hilarious number about pronouns called "Rufus Xavier Sarsparilla". The lyric, music and animation are fantastic. And Sheldon's vocal is utterly priceless, particularly the spoken-word interlude on the city bus, which makes me laugh every time.

Thank you, pronouns! And thank you, Jack.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Blossom Dearie

When Isaac Hayes died last year, there was an entire generation that said "Oh man, Chef died!" The rest of us went "Dude..."

The lady over to the right just passed, and I'm of the generation (which is the same as the above-referenced "dude" generation) that remembers the later pop-culture sensation but not the prior musical legacy.

The voice was instantly recognizable. And she was a talented and versatile singer and songwriter. Her career lasted from the 40s into the 21st century. But in my heart, she'll be remembered for two songs that she recorded for Bob Dorough in the early 70s.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the late Blossom Dearie. (Her real name, by the way. Didn't know that. Wouldn't have guessed it.)

And for something a bit more somber.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Sounds Familiar...

I'm a person that values consistency. Not routine, but consistency. That is, if you spell it "theater" you can't then decide it's "theatre" later on in your piece. If you use an honorific for Mr. Spanky McSchmanky, you can't decide it's optional for Joe Schmo. (That's Mr. Schmo to you.) I probably should have been a copy editor.

Nevertheless, I find the Prez's (I mean, Mr. Obama's) op-ed piece in the WaPo rather amusing. Not for its content though.

In the spot at the end of the column, wherein one usually reads something on the lines of "Dan Shaughnessy is a regular contributor to the Boston Globe sports section" or "Suzanne Vega is a singer-songwriter based in New York City", we read the following.

The writer is president of the United States.

In case ya didn't know. Love it.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Who Are The Ad Wizards Who Came Up With That One?

Super Bowl. Good stuff, huh? It was a terrific game, but I'm not going to talk about it right now. Maybe ever.

I'd rather talk about the commercials right now. We've reached a point where everyone knows that the commercials are a main part of the fun. So much so that people actually gripe when the commercials aren't entertaining enough. This is a partial by-product of a long stretch when the big game was usually a big snooze. But also because the price of advertising was so high that companies shot for the moon in terms of commercial production values and creativity. And still do, of course.

We're well into the backlash, but one of the big pre-broadcast stories was in my previous post. PETA. Yeah. So I prognosticated that we'd be seeing plenty of ads that could be considered prurient in the same way that the nixed PETA ad was. Didn't take long. There were two of them before the opening kickoff.

Here's #1: A man bites into a brand-name tortilla chip and this causes a woman's clothing to come flying off. The ad's name? "Lucky Day". Other "lucky" things happen to the man in addition to this. But still.

Doritos: Lucky Day

Say what you will about how degrading the PETA ad is (and I'll agree). And we are comparing 30 full seconds of veggie sex with a brief crunch-and-flash at the top of a larger ad. But at least in the first the women were choosing to have sex with the broccoli. Which is more demeaning?

#2 was from the ever-reliable GoDaddy. What can you say? It's blatant. This was the first of at least two ads that promised a racy conclusion if you'd just log on to their website after the commercial. (For the record, I didn't. I was watching the game. Still haven't. Don't intend to get sucked in.) Enhanced

Bimbos! They're funny! And look at those....hey, Danica Patrick's an athlete, you know. If she had tits, they'd be displayed just as prominently as the other two. Four. Whatever. Believe me, she's not opposed to it.

So, say what you will about PETA. (Again, I'll agree with you. They're nuts.) But their ad was not kept off the air because it was too racy or too demeaning to women. NBC has no problem with those things. It was kept off the air because of who PETA is and because its raciness and sexism was used to sell something they weren't interested in selling.

Just for the record, there was one ad that I found hilarious. Here it is. Enjoy!

Career Builder: It's time

I particularly like the nonplussed koala. Although "Hey, Dummy!" is nice too.