Saturday, June 13, 2009

The sounds of dogs howling

Only a few of you know this about me. If I’m watching TV and a commercial comes on with Billy Mays BLARING IN HIS SHRILL CRASS SMOKED OUT VOICE ABOUT THE MERITS OF SOME CHEAP PIECE OF CRAP PRODUCT!!!!!!! I get an almost emotional and physical, averse reaction to the sound of his voice that I feel in my teeth or in my spine.

It’s so bad I am compelled to change channels immediately (whether it’s my home or not) or mute the loud hairy troll and have been known to walk out of a room and even cover my ears and hum until his sonic assault is over.

My reaction is so strong, so substantial that I’ve likened myself to one of those killer trained dogs in some bad TV movie who are fine one minute, then hear their trigger word and turn into frothing, growling carnivores, except my trigger word is the sound of Billy May’s voice BELLOWING ABOUT PRODUCT X.

Even here I’ve tried to convey his ALL BUT SCREAMING voice typographically. The man is a walking, talking car siren at 4 a.m., a living alarm clock buzz, a human pop-up window advertising something plastic and cheap in an amped up voice that has clearly been altered to make it louder than the show you were just watching.

I don't care if he makes money for whatever fly by night product he's shilling, he contributes to the unnecessary increase of noise pollution. And gets on my damn nerves!

Which is why I take great pleasure in this:

Congress Pushing For Bill To Reduce The Volume Of TV Advertising

Under a new proposal taken up today, Congress would give the FCC power to limit the volume of commercial advertising to match the average decibels of the show being watched.

Under current laws, TV ads must not exceed the loudest peak in a show—but anyone who has ever been scared half to death by Billy Mays exploding onto the screen for Oxi Clean knows that is generally unacceptable.

Naturally, broadcasters and advertisers want to set their own standards—they even have their own plan to reduce ad volume set to take effect within a couple of months. Many believe that the Congressional bill with pass, but it may not be necessary if the broadcasters set acceptable limits. Either way, it looks as though loud pitchmen are going to be the only ones losing out on this. [York Daily Record]