For those of you who haven't been watching the Tour de France on Versus, the title of this post is part of the first line of a SAAB ad, repeated three tedious times each time the ad is aired.
The ad tells us (three achingly boring times) that SAAB's turbocharger recycles energy from the exhaust but fails to mention that every turbo in turbo history has done that same thing. It's how they work. The Corvair Monza turbocharger did it 40 years ago.
If you ever doubted that advertising is the trumpeting of the ordinary, witness the SAAB ad. Or just watch Tour broadcasts and let the SAAB ads prove it to you.
It's Sunday so the Tour is on CBS, not Versus. I watched, meaning I watched maybe 30 or 40 commercials so I could see four minutes of coverage of today's first Alpine mountain stage.
I watched twice as many minutes focusing on the publicity caravan as I did of today's stage, when the yellow jersey changed hands. Better I would have beaten on my fingers with a mallet.
If you watched the Tour coverage, I hope you chose to stay tuned for the broadcast of the MotoGP motorcycle race, also today, from Laguna Seca Raceway, near Monterey, California.
If you did, you will have watched no lingering shots of the Monterey countryside. You would have seen no interviews with winemakers or local young women riding on floats and hawking household goods. You would not have seen any pre-race wastes of your time.
When the cameras found the race, the riders were on the grid. Fifteen seconds later, the race was on. The on-board camera shots were brilliant. You could watch the edge of Valentino Rossi's rear tire as it (1) shredded from the heat of trying to maintain traction, or (2) picked up bits of rubber from the track.
You watched the two class riders of the field, or the two class riders who had good tires, duke it out lap after lap, both riders leaving the track at one point or another, both bikes momentarily losing traction, both young men, Rossi and Casey Stoner, banging on one another, neither on a home track, neither with a significant mechanical or power advantage...and no one else close.
I love bicycle racing and I love the Tour de France. But watching the MotoGP today was such a superior experience. And I can hardly remember who the advertisers were...
Does SAAB understand that the Tour lasts THREE WEEKS? I didn't want a SAAB, or not a newish one, but I would not buy one now - they've insulted us. I can forget that TV is merely a device that lures us to our screens so we'll watch the ads, but I remember all that when I listen to the oily voice-over repeating the SAAB litany over and over and over.
The ad sounds glorious and tells us nothing. Nothing.
What do you think? Is it harder to ride the Tour...or watch it on TV?
I don't know why racers dope. Helps them over the mountains, I guess. They must know they'll get busted. I can understand why TV viewers might dope. Helps them through the SAAB ads.