Jon Reed Goes Off On... December 2005
Friday, December, 23 2005
Anyone want to sell their eHarmony personality profile for $40?
eHarmony has been running an incessant stream of commercials on the ESPN networks, and truth be told, the commercials are pretty well made. One thing does intrigue me: part of the incentive for signing up for eHarmony, or so its founder tells us, is that you receive a free personality profile, which, our founder points out, is a "$40 value." Now, I am curious about two matters here. First, how does one determine the value of a $40 personality test? My best guess is that eHarmony used to charge for the test and they kept jacking up the price until they starting losing out on too many applicants during the registration process. Thus, they arrived at the $40 value. My second question has more to do with the nature of value itself. If something has a dollar value, shouldn't you be able to sell that item for that price on the open market? I just checked eBay and I don't see any eHarmony personality profiles up for auction. Let's test this. For the first three people that email me, I would like to buy your eHarmony personality profile for $40. This may not confirm the value of the profile on the open market, but I would find it reassuring, at least, if something with a supposed "$40 value" can be bought and sold. Of course, I will publish these profiles on this blog once I have purchased them, since I will then own them. Thanks eHarmony for the great and affordable idea of buying and publishing personality profiles!
Mike Tice, advocate for the integrity of ticket selling
Just when it looked like cell-phone-endorsed cell-phone-critic Mike Sherman had the "NFL hypocrite of the year" award locked down, we hear from Vikings coach Mike Tice on the morally abhorrent practice of ticket scalping. Mike was a little bent out of shape that some die-hard Steelers fans may have gotten their hands on some Vikings tickets from Vikings season ticket holders. So, Mike put himself on a pedestal and spoke out. Err...well, see, the only glitch here is that Mike himself was fined by the NFL last fall for his practice of scalping his own league-provided Super Bowl tickets. The "do as I say, not as I do" line is pretty long, but we're making room in that line for Mike Tice.
Thursday, December, 01 2005
Ben Lee, Master of the Obvious (and the Obviously Bad)
Every so often a pop song comes along that is so aggressively mediocre that the only rational response is violent. Ben Lee's "Catch My Disease" is such evil. With the crassness of a thousand jingles, Ben has taken corporate music to another level by releasing a song that is indistinguishable from the product it will eventually underwrite. "My head is a box full of nothing," Ben warns us, "and that's the way I like it." I won't scare you with the rest of the lyrics, but we've all seen better on the backs of napkins and beer coasters across America. This is no ordinary illness Ben is passing along. The verses are harmless as a head cold, but the chorus is bird flu. If you've heard it, you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't heard it, you might want to avoid shopping malls and elevators until the holiday season is over. For all the corrosive insincerity of "Catch My Disease," I actually thought about giving Ben a break. Guys his age are usually looking to score a flat screen TV in time for the Super Bowl. Hard to begrudge Ben playing the role of circus monkey to keep the landlord at bay. But then in the last verse, Ben has the audacity to claim: "they don't play me! on the radio/but that's the way I like it," and that's when we must add the most damning word of all to Ben's resume. Ben is a run-of-the-mill phony, but he's a world-class hypocrite. Claiming this song wasn't written with radio in mind is absurd. You would never write a jingle like this for your friends. If I ever brought this song to a jam session, someone would take my guitar and smash it over my head, and I'd thank them for it. Ben's money is on one side; his integrity is now on the other. "Catch My Disease" is the bridge between the two. Those who financed the bridge by buying Ben's record can look forward to listening to "Catch My Disease" for eternity in the musical purgatory that awaits them.