Commercials are mostly awful (except, obviously, for quirky German ones that celebrate tiny cars). I realize that's not exactly a controversial statement ("I'm going to take a stand right now and just say plagues are unpleasant"), but it's one I'd like to enlarge upon at length.

Because there's a certain kind of commercial that's been taking Canadian television by storm, and I HATE IT. 

It's a very simple concept for a commercial: you come up with a list of nouns and things and then get someone with either a smug and unctuous voice or a smug and knowing voice to read them. 

The smug and unctuous voices are used for things like Ikea commercials (which USED to be more like German small-car commercials), and I think are supposed to make you feel as though you have well-behaved, loving small children and are watching them have a pillow fight in dappled sunlight on your duvet on Mothers' Day. "We're for long naps, and keeping secrets, and letting your hair down," etc. I swear there's one that's far worse, but this is the only one I could track down. 

The smug and knowing voices are used for the condescending, enraging, stick-it-to-the-man-ish commercials. "You're no follow-the-leader, lower-level Nazi; you're no parasite-brained Yes Man with a blood infection," etc. My favourite current example of this breed of terrible is this Crystal Light commercial, which is terrible.

I'm not sure whether it's the repellent smarminess, the repellant disingenuousness, or the repellant laziness of these commercials that I find most repellant.

Imagine my relief then, when something came along that distracted me from these commercials much in the way a punch to the head takes your mind off a migraine. 

It is the worst. It is an Oreo commercial. It is magnificent in its awfulness. It is the malign programming of young girls to be competitive biological clocks as sung by a wistful set of bangs.

It makes me extremely depressed. And whenever I get extremely depressed, I think of this Maple Leaf meats commercial, because nothing, absolutely nothing, can restore balance to the brain like a dose of pure batshit crazy.
Regular readers—and not the people who've arrived at this site only because they googled "farty sex" (I thought that was beautiful and inexplicable until I googled "farty sex" and discovered my site pops up THIRD)—will know that (a) I have a handsome cat, and (b) I love him.

Recently, my younger niece introduced me to something that has made my life better: Instagram. (Within about five minutes, she'd signed me up, chosen my user name—GeorgeTCat—and informed me I'd be focusing largely on photos of George but also occasionally posting photos of her  animals.) I knew it existed, mostly because of snarky comments I've heard about people who routinely take pictures of dinner garnishes. But I had no idea that I, who have never been particularly interested in taking photographs and then showing them to teenage girls I don't know, would find in it the GREATEST SATISFACTION OF MY LIFE.

First of all, George really is outrageously photogenic.
Those eyes and paws.
Those ears.
Second of all, I do not care. I do not care if my photos are not very good. I do not care if anyone follows me.  I do not care that at some point very soon, all my new photos will look much like all my older photos. I do not care that my cat does not wear tiny hats or tiny ties or tiny shoes or have a charming gimmick of any kind. I considered, for a while, trying to rustle up some text (Byron? Donne?) that would complement George's general smouldery-ness—and then realized I didn't care. I do not even care if people think all my uncaring is the result of some kind of isolation-induced pathology. I have never in my life done something that brings me so much joy and involves so little effort or concern.

I also do not care that I am contributing to the cat-ification of social media. I dutifully watch PBS NewsHour each and every day, and so feel I should be able to look at as many damn cats as I like the rest of the time.

What doesn't come through in those photos is that he was purring the whole time. THE HEART-BREAKINGLY LOVABLE SON OF A BITCH.
Even strong supporters of Hudak would be hard-pressed to deny that he looks a lot like a groundhog.

Tim Hudak.
A groundhog.
I've often reflected on the fact that he really looks like a groundhog. But such reflections have always left me confused and frustrated, because there's something else, someone else, he reminds me of. And then yesterday (while I was watching him on CP24 cleverly skirt the issue of what the future holds for groundhogs), it finally came to me: Michael Keaton.
Tim Hudak looks like what would be produced if a groundhog ate Michael Keaton.

I mean no disrespect to Tim Hudak when I say he looks like a groundhog who just ate Michael Keaton. In fact, that's probably the nicest thing I've ever said about him.