Saturday, June 30, 2012

O'Reilly "Dominating" Cable News

Whenever I flip through the news channels, I almost always seem to stumble across some promo ad for The O'Reilly Factor, where it says: "The O'Reilly Factor dominates cable news for 12 straight years!" (or some such thing.) And whenever I hear about how Bill O'Reilly dominates cable news, for some reason I always imagine him wearing some black patent-leather dominatrix outfit, bending over a group of competing news anchors tied up together with a TV cable, and he starts beating them with a horsewhip or riding crop, or commanding them to lick his high-heeled boots or something. Am I alone in this? He must want us to think of this, or else he wouldn't insist they claim that he "dominates" cable news, right?

America Is #1!

That's right: America is #1! (#1 for obesity, that is!) Suck it, rest-of-the-world! (By which I mean to please give Americans liposuction. No, really: We seriously need your help here!)

Here are the fa(c)ts:

Give A Fish Vs. Teach To Fish Proverb Metaphor

We've been hearing it a lot on the news from political pundits lately, this proverb about if you give a man a fish, you'll feed him for a day, but if you teach a man to fish, you'll feed him for a lifetime. But this isn't the best metaphor really, now is it? Because after all, it hardly applies to everyone, now does it?

What if you live in a desert, or in the mountains, away from all fishing opportunities? Teaching you to fish would be a waste of time, and worse, it might even be considered teasing! So here teaching someone to fish would be useless, and giving them a fish might be helpful. (Unless it's spoiled or something.)

And what about if you live somewhere that has lots of laws against fishing (the snail darter, the delta smelt, etc, etc.)? Then you'd get in trouble with the law, and worse, in trouble with environmentalists and conservationists, if you adhered to this teaching! So again, we've got a situation where teaching someone to fish would be bad for them, and giving them a fish might be the better plan.

And what if you don't like fish? Some people can't stand seafood! Won't it curse them to a life of torment and misery to expect them to spend all their lives catching fish all the time? Think of the smell! Poo-tinky! So again, here we have a situation where teaching someone to fish would be bad for them.

So look, pundits: not everybody can be helped by this fishing lesson analogy! So try to come up with something else next time, okay? And with all the bullying vegans out there, might I suggest a farming metaphor for next time? (Although some people are allergic to certain produce, so there's already a problem with that one. How about giving people a choice: Hunting, Fishing, or Farming? Surely then that would be enough for everyone, right?)

Cell Phones as Props

When visiting my parents in New York City this month, my mother said she thought some people use their cell phones as a prop to avoid having to talk or otherwise interact with the other people around them. She said she has heard some of these alleged "conversations" and she decided they couldn't possibly be real telephone calls, because what the people are saying is so inane and nonsensical. (She's not up on the young people lingo, apparently.) But I think that in NYC, their use as props is for a different reason. Clearly, I'd say that everyone is just crazy, and they're using their cell phones to cover for the fact that they're talking to unseen voices in their heads, or else they're talking to themselves, or to imaginary friends, and they're tired of always getting sent to Bellevue's psychopathic ward.

Friday, June 29, 2012


My sister told me about Regretsy, the website devoted to embarrassing stuff people can buy on Etsy, and how some guy who ended up on Regretsy in a photo got so mad at his wife for making him pose for the picture, he supposedly divorced her (!). So then I propose that there be a new website called "Upsetsy", devoted to the people who get mad about being featured on Regretsy. We could hear their stories, and see what bad stuff ended up happening as a result of their inclusion on Regretsy. Wouldn't that be fun?

Coors Light "Prometheus" Ad

Coors Light has been running an ad tying-in with the movie Prometheus lately, but is this such a good idea? I haven't seen Prometheus yet, but I'm pretty sure this planet they're going to is where those nasty aliens from Alien are waiting to attack mankind and get a free ride on one of our space ships. And then, near the end of this spot, the Coors Light bottle rises up like a rocket, and what comes to mind is the notion that perhaps Coors Light is behind all this alien stuff to begin with! So what obviously has happened is that Coors Light was trying to transport this alien threat to Earth to destroy mankind, but their rocket ran out of fuel or whatever, so they crash landed here on this barren planet, and so then Coors Light had to make all these Coors Light "Silver Bullet" ads to get us all interested in refreshment and everything, and then they finally show this ad, showing NASA (or whoever is running a space program nowadays) where to go to get the Coors Light, and that's when the aliens will attack, and then they'll hitch a ride back to Earth in the space craft and destroy us all! 

Well, we're onto you now, Coors Light, and your evil plot has been undone by your own advertising campaign! You thought we were all too much of stupid alcoholics for anyone to recognize what you were up to, but foiled again you are! (<Yoda told me to say that last part like that, so you'd know who figured it all out. Mess again with him you won't!)

Here's the alien attack ad:

Coors Light actually had an ad before this one where there's a NASA-style rocket launch, and the rocket is shown to be an aluminum bottle of Coors Light. So now I finally get that one: They're trying to suggest that we should go on a rocket ride to get the Coors Light, whereupon we'll all be infested with aliens from Alien. Nice try, Coors Light! Are you owned and operated, by any chance, by Predator?

Here's that Coors Light rocket launch ad (Seriously: what else could it possibly mean?):

Doritos Jacket Ad (Proposed)

I was trying to read my sloppy writing today, and I misread "Doritos Jacked Ad" as "Doritos Jacket Ad"; and then I realized what a fun idea this could be for a Doritos ad. So here's how this would work:

Some guy says he loves Doritos so much, he made himself a jacket out of them. So then he goes over to a friend's house (an organized, seemingly uptight, neat-freak couple) wearing the jacket, and whenever he sits down, the Doritos crunch, crumble off the jacket, leave powder stains on the furniture, etc. And while normally this sort of thing would drive this couple crazy, when he apologizes about it this time, and offers to clean it up, they say: "No, that's okay, we'll do it: we just love Doritos!"

So then the tag for this spot would show the guy shaking hands with his friend at the door to leave at the end of the evening, and the host's wife is eating the Doritos off of the couch.

Scotchgard Mascot?

A piece I wrote recently about Scotchgard made me think a bit more about Scotchgard, and I thought it might be even more fun for Scotchgard to create an corporate mascot advertising purposes who could fight off stains from furniture, carpets, etc., treated with Scotchgard. This mascot could be a Scottish guard of some sort wearing a tartan kilt and a breastplate of armor, and he could wield one of those long spear-like weapons the Beefeaters use, or else a sword and shield, to defend Scotchgarded stuff like furniture, etc., against things that might stain them, like red wine, etc., fighting them off from being able to stain the fabric. So it would be a CGI fightfest free-for-all, with spastic people spilling stuff on furniture, and the Scotchgard Scotch Guard preventing these things from getting on the fabric. Then they could say something like: "Scotchgard: Stains shall not pass!"

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Geico Motorcycle Insurance "Made Out of Money" Ad

This commercial, where they show some biker dude who is completely made out of American currency (paper on the outside, coins rattling around inside the head, apparently), would be absolutely brilliant, if not for the fact that this is a secret political hit-job! Shame on you, Geico, for bashing Mitt Romney like this! Well, I never! We all know who you mean here! (Also, they won't kill off their interminably annoying gecko mascot even once just so we could get a break from him! They could always just clone him later you know, but at least we could see him die once! He's like a little Teflon Don, always escaping justice!)

Also, this ad is extremely dishonest in its depicting of a guy made out of money riding past an apparent motorcycle gang without at least being waylaid for some chump change along the way. (I am joking here: Surely as a fellow biker, they would protect him; but certainly someone would be stationed behind him to catch the stuff that flies off in the wind, right? It would be wasteful not to in this economy!) Or, maybe this is a new disguise worn by the drug-smuggling biker gangs, so police officers will think they need a police escort, and they can trick Johnny Law into aiding and abetting them in their drug trade! (I knew that's what they were up to! Shame on Geico for giving drug cartels such ideas for smuggling tactics!)

Here's the cashtacular commercial:

Buzzkill Italy Ruins Euro 2012 With Exciting Win

Just when I thought it was finally settled, and we finally were going to have every game from now on decided by penalty kicks after two hours of wheel-spinning and no scoring, Italy has to come along and win a game decisively! That’s no fun! Plus, it’s bad for both the fans and the sponsors! What do I mean? Well, it’s like this:

If we could have had a few more scoreless ties through extra time go to penalty shootouts, we could have just convinced everyone to forgo the boring game part, and we could just go straight to the penalty shootout! (Talk about excitement!) But that might still be too much for everyone, so then FIFA and UEFA could just decide to scrap all that soccer stuff and just do the coin toss! (Whoever wins the coin toss wins the game! It would be like poker, only much faster!) That’s the most exciting part of the game anyway, right? I think it’s the furthest most Americans see of any of the games anyway before they fall asleep, right? (I’m joking. Some even make it to halftime!)

Oh, and this would have been great for revenue too! With the coin toss being the only part of the game, they could sell commemorative coins for tons of cash. Plus, with no game, and a two to three hour spot, they could run wall-to-wall ads, and make tons of money for the TV station (and the clubs too)! They could just have the players play soccer in the ads, and then everyone might stay tuned to watch them!

So Italy, you just cost everyone a lot of money they would have gotten, and worse, now everyone has to watch more soccer! (Actually, I’m kidding. A great game by Italy, and an exciting rematch for the final!)

Geico Roadrunner Ad

A while ago, I posted that this recent Geico campaign with the gecko going all over the country and almost being killed just to be saved at the last second was intended to tease us all. Well, this new ad where the gecko is awarded Roadrunner luck in an actual Roadrunner cartoon setting just proves what I was saying all along! Now he's got superpowers, and nobody and nothing can kill him, and by equating him with the Roadrunner, they're all but telling us that! And we're powerless to do anything about it! (It's not fair!)

Here's the conspiratorial commercial (conspiring against us all to keep that gecko alive, that is!):

(Now I know how that Qantas Koala felt!)

Sprite "Lymon Disease" (Joke) Ad

Hey, we all know about how Sprite likes to make fictitious compound words, like "lymon" (from lemon + lime), for their ads, right? Well, then how about combining a few other words for an infectious new ad campaign for Sprite? It would be perfect! Here's what it would say:

Drink Sprite, and get "Lymon Disease": It's totally Refrectious! (Refreshing + Infectious!)
Symptoms include: Craving for Lymon taste and ultimate refreshment!
The Cure: Drink Sprite immediately!

The music could be Disturbed's "Get Down with the Sickness", and they could have them scream the chorus as the ending of the ad. (And they could record a new version for this ad where that guttural scream thing at the beginning is instead made up of someone making that "Aaahhhh!" refreshment sound effect people sometimes make right after they drink something refreshing. And they could show someone drink a Sprite, make that sound, and they edit it to repeat quickly so that it matches that "Ah ah ah ah!" thing from the beginning of the song. And maybe the sound of the can opening, or a bottle opening could be the sound effect that leads into that "Ah ah ah ah!" part.)

Here's a link to the music video for Disturbed's "Get Down with the Sickness" (That "Ah ah ah ah!" thing starts at 0:47 seconds):

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Financial Crime Shows

There are an awful lot of TV shows about murder. I am on record here as loving Masterpiece Mystery, and they’re almost all about solving murders. They’re great shows, and as people do get murdered and everything in real life, they're fascinating to us; but I think it’s really a shame that a bit more time is not spent on other crimes, like for example, financial crimes. Aren’t they much more relevant these days anyway, what with the financial crash and stuff?

Look, I think after years of CSI and its clones, we all know how much semen to expect to find on someone, or what kind of screwdriver would make so-and-so a shape in some corpse, etc. But still, nobody seems to understand the financial system well enough to know when shady deals are going down to lose someone’s life savings, causing their suicide. All I’m saying is, if TV writers, directors, actors, etc., can keep us riveted for an hour each week to follow the murder investigation into someone we’ve never even heard of before, then surely they can figure out a way to make it fascinating to teach us about financial crimes, right?

How about this: Law & Order: F. U. (Financial Unit)? Or what about CSI: F.U.? Each week they could have some incident that ends up in a death, a suicide, or some globe-trotting chase, and it would all be based upon sketchy investor fraud, derivatives trading, etc. If they could make it as fascinating as a murder investigation (and you know they could do it if they wanted to!), we’d all tune in, week after week, and as it progressed along, we would all become expert in financial terminology and how the investment stuff all works. It would be good for everyone (except for shyster investors), so we’d all win, and we’d become stronger as a nation. And after all, when was the last time watching NCIS helped you solve a real murder? But this might help you avoid getting ripped off, or else catch some scam before it harms anyone.

We hear a lot about this issue, so why can’t the entertainment people make it seem exciting? If a heist movie is exciting, or a murder mystery, then why not the mystery of what happened to so-and-so’s pension fund that caused them to jump out of a high-rise window to their untimely death? It could be just like CSI, but with some high-finance lesson stuff in there where all the usual DNA claptrap would normally be. And isn’t all that science stuff about the same, anyway? So what’s the difference? Plus, they could have stuff like chalk outlines around the missing money, techno disco music playing while they do financial forensics, etc. What’s not to love?

“(They) Deserve To Die” Ads

The homicidal voice inside my head I usually ignore told me it had gotten a job at an ad agency. Naturally I assumed it was talking out of its non-existent ass, but apparently it was telling the truth! Yes, that’s right: now there are print ad posters all over the place telling us that certain types of people deserve to die. So remember, if you actually kill one of these kinds of people, simply blame the ad agency and sue them. You know they’re commanding you to do it! After all, legal precedent has shown that we have no personal responsibility for our actions anymore, so go ahead and do it! And don’t worry, if you kill the wrong person, simply put a stuffed cat in their lap (for the ads that say: “Cat lovers deserve to die”), and we’ll all assume it’s the ads that are to blame! (You’re not allowed to kill a real cat, or else PeTA will come after you!)

It has been postulated that this teaser campaign, if indeed this is what it is, is merely intended to get us all hyped up and wondering what it’s all about, and then it will reveal itself to be a campaign to raise awareness about some illness, whereupon the ads then say that nobody deserves to die. But what if that’s incorrect, and instead it’s an ad campaign created by a bunch of thrill killer murderers hoping to get everyone knocking each other off to cover for their own crimes? This seems much more likely to me. Plus, not only will everyone else’s coming violence cover up their own crimes, but if caught anyway, they will be able to point to these ads and say they were coerced into murder by the mind-controlling advertisements. (I always use that as an excuse when I get caught stealing cereal from children and whatnot: “That cartoon rabbit in the Trix ads: he made me do it!”)

(Of course this is just a joke! Please don’t kill anyone! But if you do, please blame it on the ads, and not on me. After all, there are other ads you probably haven’t seen that made me write this piece here. So if you’re mad, please blame the ads. Or were those just the ones the homicidal voice in my head made me look at before it got that ad job? Oh, I forget.)

Oh, and I also almost forgot, here’s the savage story:

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ageless Male “Half the Man You Used To Be” Ad

In this basic cable commercial for some testosterone pill (I guess), some announcer/actor guy asks men watching if they feel like “half the man you used to be”. Then we see this very selfsame guy* walking around on the white background behind where he himself is standing (side effects may include evil twin syndrome), only there’s only half of him (!): his top half. The funny thing about this is that he’s wearing a black polo-style shirt in both iterations, but the normal one is wearing very light-colored pants, so I thought maybe he just put on white pants, and we can’t see them in this ridiculously bright white background. Oh, but there’s something else that’s odd here, for when shown in his “half the man” form, he’s only his top half, so he’s missing something most men might feel a bit inadequate without: his “tackle”. So then it’s no wonder he feels like “half the man” he used to: he’s got his man-parts missing! And technically, I think that makes him less than half a man, strictly speaking, doesn’t it? (That is to say, without the man-parts, he is no longer actually a man at all, so much as he is a genderless human being; so then this pill wouldn’t help him, unless it makes him grow back his below-the-belt section. Right? Or maybe that is what it really does?)

Then we see The Amazing Transparent Man (this must be a different guy, as he’s not strictly half-a-man, so much as he’s a see-through man. Maybe he’s a ghost? Are they claiming this stuff works for ghosts too? And is it FDA approved for this purpose? I smell a haunting lawsuit on the horizon, perhaps brought by some phony spiritualist! {“I have a message from the beyond: stop what you’re doing now, before you anger the spirits!”}) on the bed with his lady friend, and she’s looking very depressed because apparently the absence of opacity reduces one’s ability to “get it on”. Or something. (Who knows: maybe her cat died? Or maybe he died, and she’s mourning his loss! And like I said before, he’s a ghost. And that explains why he’s transparent, and she’s all upset. It’s the only thing that makes sense here, so that must be it!) But I thought this stuff just reinstated one’s lower half; I mean, so long as you’re a man, that is. (Sexist product, discrimination against women like this! Oh, for shame! I can see those lawsuits, too. But only when I put on my “psychic swami” turban.)

Then this announcer host guy says that if this stuff is happening to you, it’s not your fault. But how the hell could he possibly know that? I’ve seen shows like Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie: Maybe you pissed-off some witch, or a genie or something, and that’s why you’re missing your lower-half, or why you’re lacking most of your opacity! And ignoring this issue and just taking some sketchy over-the-counter, “As Seen on TV” remedy will only insult them further, and you’ll disappear completely! No, your best bet is to go apologize to the witch or the Wishmaster, or whomever you’ve angered with your thoughtless behavior, for only then may you have a real chance of restoration to your normal state. (That should be a disclaimer on the bottle: “Warning: If this product fails to work for you, you may in fact be cursed! Call an exorcist, quick!”)

Then the ad has some purported doctor spokesman harping on the supposed benefits of this product. I’m sorry to say this, but I think it’s sad when doctors have to stoop to shilling for this kind of seemingly fly-by-night “As Seen on TV” product, or when actors have to pretend to be doctors for this purpose (if that’s ever what’s happening: at times, I can’t imagine how it’s otherwise). But at least they didn’t have the doctor in the white lab coat walk into the opening scene with the host guy, because then his top half would have seemed to disappear! (Oh, but that would have solved the problem! Then the doctor’s legs could have joined that other guy’s torso, and they could have run off together. And then they could have just taken the doctor's still-living, sentient disembodied head, put it in a tank, or maybe on a tray, and made a horror movie out of it, like The Brain that Wouldn’t Die.)

Here’s the disappearing dude discourse/display:

* I think it’s the same guy, anyway.

i-cool Public Stripping Ad

This commercial, for a product to help women prevent post-menopausal hot flashes, takes an extremely odd approach to its message. I mean, not in the things they show, which is women removing extra layers of clothing when they feel hot, but rather, in the manner in which they present this scenario. For you see, accompanying this innocent-looking footage of women who are obviously uncomfortably hot, trying as they are to adjust their temperature by removing excess articles of clothing, is this silly-sounding old-style burlesque stripper music, played on some sultry, teasing saxophone. This is amusing to be sure, but isn’t it demeaning to their target clientele demographic? It just kinda seems that way to me. (I would have thought they might want to be more sympathetic or empathetic towards the women in the ad experiencing the hot flashes, rather than exploiting or ridiculing them, which is what it feels like. But it is probably more fun for everyone else to watch like this. It’s just that it seems to me that if you make fun of your specific market, you might not sell much to them. Of course, I could be wrong about this, but that’s just how it seems to me. Maybe schadenfreude is really in right now.)

Oh, and another thing: Doesn’t i-cool sound like an app that turns your iPad into an air conditioner or something? These days, anything with a lowercase “i” in front of it seems to virtually scream: “iPad/iPhone App!!!”

Here’s the cool-claiming commercial:

Google Chrome Racecar Web Ad

I generally dislike Internet ads, partially because they are often jarringly distracting and headache-inducing, with their obnoxiously flashing motion graphics, or else they are just stupid and lame, or seemingly dishonest. But this ad I just saw for Google’s Chrome browser download was fun, cool, and the height of simplicity! I have done quite a bit of graphic design as well, and I like that kind of stuff when it’s done well, and this certainly is fun and elegant, as well as nice enough to look at and unobtrusive. I’m afraid I don’t know how to direct people to see specific web ads, but I will describe it to you:

The ad begins (I think) with a simple vector drawing of a Formula 1-style racing car, and with minimal but effective motion graphics to make it appear to be moving along at a rapid clip. Then, once this minimal movement gets your attention (it somehow seems to know; or else it’s timed perfectly!), the car transforms like a James Bond car turning into a briefcase or something: the wheels flip in, the chassis collapses, and if I remember correctly, the car becomes a web browser window that swivels in from an angled perspective that made it seem flat, and then the motion graphics demonstrate browsing moving efficiently, with pages loading quickly, saying: “Make the web faster”, and the Google Chrome circular 4-color graphic appears, spooling out the word: “chrome”, and then it ends, prompting you to download Chrome if you want it. And if you don’t, it stops moving and leaves you alone so you don’t get angry and hate Google (!!).

Well done, indeed! Simple, direct, etc. It’s nice to see that some people are learning how to get people’s attention for the brief period it takes for them to decide whether or not they’re interested, and if not, it goes to sleep and stops nagging everyone so as not to ruin their web experience. There will always be repugnant, insufferably irritating ads with awful flashing/dancing graphics online that make life miserable for everyone who sees them (and the companies who employ them will see no positive effects from them, hopefully); but for businesses who want people to like them, there will be more stuff like this, and hopefully soon it will begin to crowd out the annoying tripe for the most part from the web. Here’s hoping, anyway!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Bayer Aspirin Heart Attack Ad Disclaimer

Some guy sits with his brother and talks about how he had a heart attack, so now he’s on an aspirin regimen, and then the announcer chimes in with the disclaimer: “Aspirin is not appropriate for everyone…” And this is meant to communicate that it may be inadvisable for some people to take aspirin under certain conditions (like if you’ve got a splitting headache from a hang-over: that is your punishment for partying, and you deserve it, you reprobate! No fun of any kind for you! Mwa ha ha!), but what with how political correctness has labeled so many spoken phrases and offensive jokes “inappropriate”, it makes me think they should have the aspirin act out when and for whom aspirin might be “inappropriate”. Like, for example, some aspirin might be telling some graphic sex joke to an old lady, and she has a heart attack from being so offended. Or maybe the aspirin is not studying for an exam, and it tries to peer-pressure someone to go out drinking instead of studying, just so that the person will get a hangover and need the aspirin’s help later. Or how about if an aspirin is doing some sultry strip-tease for a priest who is sworn to celibacy. Or perhaps we might see an aspirin paint itself a bright color and try to insinuate itself into a group of Skittles or M&Ms, just so it could get into the diet of some children and hurt their delicate tummies. That might helpfully illustrate how the aspirin might be “inappropriate” for these individuals, right? And with this sort of demonstration played out in a fun and colorful manner, we might be more likely to remember the disclaimer, leading to less adverse reactions in patients.

This isn’t the ad I just saw, but it has the same disclaimer at the end:

Forest Lawn Cemetery Solicitation Letter

Forest Lawn is a cemetery here in Hollywood where a lot of dead movie stars and such are buried. I’ve always meant to visit, but I’ve read that they’re extremely limiting there about where people are allowed to go and what people are allowed to see. I guess too many people have been breaking arms or heads off of angel statues, or trying to put tombstones or movie star bones in their pockets and whatnot. In fact, I rarely think of Forest Lawn except for when I drive past their little sign that points towards their cemetery from some major thoroughfare here, except that now they’ve reminded me with a letter.

Yes, this little letter I received from Forest Lawn was not an invitation to come visit the place like a tourist so much as it was an invitation to come and stay there for a while (eternity, I think they meant). So it was basically a solicitation form letter inviting me to plan for my future resting place. And I’m sure that’s nice of them and all, but I’m not really all that old, and I think I’m in pretty good health. (For now: Dum dum dummmmmm!)

So, um, I couldn’t help but wonder: Do they perhaps know something about my near future that they’re not telling me? Like, is someone plotting to kill me or something? Or do they have some psychic predicting fatal car crashes and so forth, whose accuracy is so precise, they have found it sufficient to build a business model on it? I’m just curious.

But let me tell you: when a letter from a mortuary or a cemetery comes inviting you for a stay, it can be a rather spooky experience.

Actually, the truth is, I began writing this before I even opened the envelope. But inside is not just a form-letter, but rather, it’s a (form) survey asking about how “members of our community plan for one of the hardest things a family has to face… the death of a loved one.” And they promise that if you fill out and return this survey to them, they will send you, free of charge, their guide, entitled: “My Final Wishes Organizer.” And this brochure promises to “provide insightful information about planning ahead for where you’re going to dump your corpse after you croak.” (Okay, I wrote all the stuff after the word “ahead”, but it’s clearly implied, don’t you think?)

But if they really want your business, is this really the best manner in which to approach things: with a fake survey trying to lure you in? It seems to me they might get a more reliable and immediate response, perhaps even a personal visit, if they simply sent a form letter that said: “We’ve heard it through the grapevine that you haven’t long to live. It seems you’ve offended a very dangerous character, and he plans to rub you out. So being good neighbors, and not wanting you to get dumped into a communal pauper’s grave, or have your body unwillingly donated to science, we though you might like to consider the possibility of residing here with us at Forest Lawn Cemetery: The Hollywood Heaven!”

Don’t you think that might work better? Or how about an engraved invitation to go on a date with a dead movie king or queen? (Brass coffin and formal attire required.) Real fans might be taken in by this, and provide their own corpses for the occasion. Or if the invitation didn’t work the first time, maybe they could send some fake psychic with a turban on to say they have a message for you: “Jean Harlow wishes you to spend eternity beside her, beginning this evening: What shall I tell her?” (Or for women, they could say Clark Gable, etc.)

This is Forest Lawn:

No “Smoking Gun”

I keep hearing about issues like court cases, or like the evidence of WMDs in Iraq, as using the metaphor of the “smoking gun”, as in: failing to find the “smoking gun”, etc. But what if this suspected crime has been perpetrated by another type of metaphor; like, say, just for the sake of argument, a bloody knife? Or poison? Or a hired assassin who strangles people? Why, then naturally they never find the evidence they’re looking for, because they’re looking for the wrong murder weapon metaphor! Of course you’re not going to find a smoking gun when a crime was committed using a poisoned dagger! So maybe what they really need to do is have metaphorensics (that’s metaphor forensics: a relatively new science) investigators determine what kind of metaphor applies here: guns, knives, poison, vehicular homicide, strangulation, suffocation with pillows, etc.; and then, once they know what they’re looking for, at least metaphorically, the regular investigators/lawyers/police might have a better chance of uncovering the truth! But you’ll never find the knife if you’re looking for a gun, and you’ll never even find the murder weapon gun when it’s not smoking if you insist upon finding a gun which is actively smoking. (Why don’t the investigators just plant a lit cigarette in a gun and say that’s the one? That would save so much time!) Besides, smoking is becoming banned in a lot of places anyway, and guns are probably not exempted* (despite being threatening and all), so looking for a smoking gun is getting harder and harder all the time, and maybe investigators need to start thinking of alternate possibilities from now on. In any case, that’s what I’d do. Because after all, who knows how many crimes go unsolved simply because they weren’t even perpetrated with a gun to begin with, what with everyone always looking for smoking guns and all. Heck, if I were a criminal, I’d avoid guns completely because of this, like they do in England! (I heard that’s why they don’t use guns: because it confuses investigators! Or else, maybe they banned guns in England to make it more challenging to solve crimes there.) That way, I’d be a lot less likely ever to get caught!

* You know, it’s possible that all these smoking guns kill so many people because they’re getting tired of being told they’re not allowed to smoke anymore. And then they almost always get caught afterwards because they’re smoking, which makes them so much easier to find, or “sniff out”. But maybe they don’t care, and they feel like “freedom fighters”, fighting for the rights of smokers; and because they’re guns, they don’t realize that it’s not appropriate to kill people over such things as smoking. Or, maybe to them, it is. (They should just switch to “smokeless powder”, and then they might not get nagged about it anymore, anyway. Then, they might not even get caught when they commit other crimes, either.)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

British Airways Bread Cloud Print Ad

Mmm: Yum! Bread that looks like peanuty poop always makes me want to fly! And you know why I say this, don’t you? Well, in case you’re wondering, it’s because of this current print ad British Airways is running in New York magazine and other such publications. Just wait until you see it: It will have you wanting to sit on their airplane throne and pass the movement away like, um… Well, anyway; it will make you want to fly with British Airways, if perhaps not make you want to eat their bread.

I showed this to my mother, and she said the following: “What’s that? It looks like poop.” I explained that it was supposed to look like clouds, but she said it was not very well executed. My thoughts precisely. It’s a great idea, but it’s very poorly executed! When you’re trying to make people’s mouths water with an image of food, and it ends up making them think it looks like excrement instead, you’ve somehow missed the mark you were endeavoring to attain, I should think. (Oopsie daisy!)

To fix this would have been really easy, though! All they would have to do is make the background sky blue, and for the “clouds” of bread, simply slice a loaf in half, and show us the fluffy center part (that generally looks like clouds well enough). They could even leave the outline of the crust just to make sure we all recognize it as bread. And to make the bread look more like cloud shapes, cheat a bit with PhotoShop! See? Simple. And as easy as this one is to fix so that it looks appetizing, rather than repulsive and disgusting, it’s amazing nobody appears to have mentioned it or done anything about it! Simply amazing. (Maybe there’s a culture of groupthink or a discouragement of criticism at ad agencies these days? That’s the only explanation I can come up with for this ad making it into a magazine without someone begging them to reconsider the picture and redo it so it didn’t look like poop. But the idea is fine, if foody appeal is where they really think the air travel market is. But still, they really ought to re-shoot this picture and rework the ad so that it doesn't end up looking like poop. I mean, if they want to attract people's business.)

Here’s the clumpy clouds commercial/appalling altocumulus advert:

British Airways Cheese Jet Engine Print Ad

(The following is a satirical critique of a British Airways magazine print ad, and not an allegation. And while there are serious points here, they refer to the possible reading of the advert, and not the airline, and this is exaggerated for comedic effect. And I do so to illustrate the point that this ad is perhaps sending the wrong message here: that’s all.)

Look at this print ad:

Oh my God! British Airways is making its jet plane engines out of cheese? They’ll melt, and we’ll all crash! Help! Call the FAA! They’re going to kill us all! Aaaaaa!

(This airline is not owned and operated by Icarus by any chance, is it?)

Okay, so maybe they’re not really trying to replace all the jet engines in their airplane fleet with cheese, but this ad certainly gives the impression that they are, doesn’t it? I’m not so sure that’s the best image to communicate what is perhaps the most important amenity to any jet-set traveler: a guarantee of safe arrival and confidence of same.

And then, there’s the ad’s headline, which is: “We test our cheese as meticulously as we test our engines”. (!!!) Really? I’d think it was kind of more important to test the engines than the cheese! And this statement does nothing to reassure us that they’re testing the engines in an effective way, either: it merely says they test their cheese just as meticulously, which could mean that they don’t check either one very well at all anymore! (And possibly because they’re spending half the time they used to spend on engine maintenance on selecting cheese!) Yikes! In fact, since they clearly state that they test their engines at the same level of meticulosity (meticulousness, I know: I just like silly fake words like “meticulosity” sometimes) as they do their cheese, then is the same guy responsible for oversight of both departments? Because how else would they know that the standards applied were truly equal if not calculated by the same individual as supervisor? Is cheese testing and jet engine testing really so similar? (Who woulda thunk it?) And then how much is this person’s attention capacity strained by mechanical maintenance oversight combined with a cheesy palate? It simply boggles the mind!

But seriously: doesn’t anyone else besides me see the problem with this ad? Cheese melts easily, and this ad shows a jet engine made out of cheese. Plus, I think it’s kinda more important for them to check the engines than the cheese, thank you very much! I mean, I like cheese and all, but seriously…

Here’s the maybe maniacally melting motor’s magazine message, so you can see it again: Father Ad

An ad I just saw for uses an unfortunate choice of words near the beginning, and it’s a sorry comment on our society that it comes across like it does. What happens in the ad is that some woman says that she wanted to find out more about her father because “he touched so many people”. This commercial came on directly after a news story update of the Jerry Sandusky child-molestation trial, and the only thing that came to mind was a sexual misconduct allegation when she said: “he touched so many people”. This is just an innocent expression that means something nice, but due to the euphemistic treatment of molestation over the years by authority figures, etc., it has also come to mean molestation. So even if this ad did not directly follow a news segment about child molesting, it still might make us think of such things, and I think that’s a sorry state of affairs.

Seriously, when Michele Bachmann’s charge against the HPV vaccine mandate for school girls mainly brought to mind the imagined retort from Governor Rick Perry: “Well Michele, this doesn’t actually encourage sexual activity: we just want to protect them from this disease, since they’re all just going to end up sleeping with their teachers anyway”, then there’s a real problem.

I can’t find this ad on YouTube, but it’s very much like many other ads for (I’ll attach one from Australia so you can see what they’re like):

Gillette Fusion ProGlide Tyson Gay Ad

Gillette has a new ad for their Fusion ProGlide razor which shows how shaving your face with their razor will always make you win all your sprinting races. (Our Olympic sprinter must have used Schick razors in Beijing. I use them too, and I’ve never won a sprint race since I started using them. I haven’t actually run one, but that is beside the point.) This must be like with swimming, where some guys shave their legs to reduce resistance in the water (or so they say; but maybe it’s really because they prefer silky legs, and it’s just an excuse to be able to do it without judgment from their peers), and Gillette shaves you so well, it makes you run faster than any other brand. But then isn’t our hero here failing to make use of this advantage by keeping his (admittedly quite small) beard & mustache? Surely another sprinter will shave off all of his facial hair and beat him by a whisker, so to speak. (Or perhaps someone will shave off their eyebrows, eyelashes, ears and nose, etc., to win. That would demonstrate 125% dedication, alright!)

What I’d think might work even better than using this Gillette razor at home would be to use a Flicker razor right there on the track right before the race: that way, the others might be giggling at you, and for that reason fail to get a quick start or run a good race, and you’d win more easily. (Not every other country in the world has such progressive views on sexual identity as the United States is beginning to have {finally}, so they might be especially susceptible to such methods of distraction immediately prior to a race.)

Here’s the sprint starting shaving spot:

And here’s a wonderfully fun commercial for the Flicker razor from 1974:

BTW: Tyson Gay I believe was injured in Beijing, but when he’s healthy, he’s capable of being the fastest man on Earth. Look out, Bolt: Tyson’s coming for you in London! (Maybe Bolt crashed his BMW because he was worrying about the upcoming races?)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Olympics Copyright Hysteria: The Knitting Conspiracy

Oh, boy. Well, I knew they were sticklers for brand rapacity at the Olympics here, but this takes the cake! Apparently, the US Olympic Committee has sent a “cease and desist” letter to some knitters who wanted to have a knitting Olympics called the “Ravelympics”. This is not only bad sportsmanship, but it’s completely ridiculous to boot! Shame on the USOC for this!

First of all, the Olympics has been around for thousands of years, and while there may be a business called the Olympics, only the use of the five rings logo or calling yourself the US Olympic Committee when you’re not, etc., ought to be actionable. The people who run the Olympics can sue people (if they’re jerks), but they should not be permitted to own the word “Olympics”, since it was created by others years and years ago, and as such is surely in the public domain. (Besides, whenever anyone else uses the word/name “Olympics”, it’s free advertising for your athletic competition, you fools!) Plus, by bullying and threatening anyone who uses the word “Olympics” in any but the official way, you’ll surely give the Olympics a far worse name and reputation than anyone else possibly could! (Well, maybe someone possibly could, but hopefully they won’t.) This is as bad of an abuse of the system as still continuing to charge royalties for the “Birthday Song” (which some asinine company does, apparently, even though it was written in the 1800s by someone not related to them at all. They should have gotten the 75 years, or however long it is, for buying her out, but that’s it; and once it became such a cultural staple, in the interest of politeness, they should have given it up).

But the word “Ravelympics” only has a part of the word “Olympics” in it anyway. So, what, does the US Olympic Committee own all of the letters in the word “Olympics”, and nobody’s allowed to use any of them unless they grovel and pay-through-the-nose? This is the height of arrogance, and only a jerk would insult old ladies like this! (Seriously, this is akin to elder abuse, is it not?) No class…

The funny thing about this is that in the article (link below) about this incident, the writer complains that the letter the USOC sent the knitting conspiracy was deliberately insulting, and then he says: “Some knitters sitting in front of the TV making a scarf nobody’s ever going to wear hardly seems like a threat to the Olympic movement.” Oh, so in objecting to and revealing this slander of knitters, you make another one yourself? Well, you, sir, might just get a letter from this knitting group in response to your article, saying: “You’d better wear that scarf I made for you, or else you’ll be found hanging from it!”

Yahoo!’s Historically Inaccurate Movies List

It’s fun when people make vapid lists of stuff on websites like Yahoo!, because a lot of times, while they’re making fun of other stuff, they’re creating lots of opportunities for other people to make fun of them. (I’m sure I do this a lot on here, too!) So in this list of movie stills and quips, this author (uncredited, apparently) complains that Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter is not historically accurate enough (How do they know? It’s probably a vampire trying to make us think it’s all lies, when it’s really all true!), and then s/he moves on to moan that Nicolas Cage’s silly medieval plague movie Season of the Witch is historically inaccurate because he’s supposed to be a knight coming home from the Crusades, and he returns to find an epidemic of the plague (!), and that didn’t happen at that time, so the movie is wrong. (The major plague was later, but there may have been other, smaller outbreaks of other illness epidemics that we never heard about because it killed all the literate people who might have recorded it, for all we know: so there!) Um, one of the greatest movies of all time uses this very same plot device: Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal. Now, I’m not trying to say Season of the Witch is on the same level as The Seventh Seal (far from it!), but why is it fair for Bergman’s movie, and not for Cage’s? Just because one is great and the other is lame? That’s no excuse! (Or do they think The Seventh Seal sucks too for the same reason?)

Additionally, this author says this plague date error is like making a movie where the Stuxnet virus is infecting the Luftwaffe. Um, that’s a grossly misleading analogy. The difference in technology and lifestyle, in addition to medical care, between 1272 and 1348 is practically, if not completely, negligible! But with as fast as technology is moving along these days, and has been for the past century or so, the same time difference makes a huge difference in lifestyle now, in addition to the fact that the Stuxnet virus couldn’t harm WWII-era airplanes: they had no computers to infect, silly! (And from what I understand, the Stuxnet virus is kinda specific in what it attacks: as in I believe it just goes after centrifuges and whatnot, and not airplanes.) So while the time difference may be applicable for comparison (for example, saying: “That’s the difference between 1936 and now!”), the analogy used here doesn’t really work. If the author was trying to make a really silly analogy for comedic effect, then that would be a wonderful joke, but I’m afraid it’s more likely that this author is just either unaware of the problem with the analogy, or else s/he’s trying to twist and exaggerate their argument in a dishonest manner. And when writing about Nicholas Cage movies, the most important issue in the world at present, it’s simply reprehensible to exaggerate facts! Shame on you, sir or ma’am! You discredit us all with your vile slander of Nicolas Cage’s art! (Just kidding!)

And continuing on, this author complains that Quentin Tarantino’s WWII film Inglourious Basterds is inaccurate because it shows a movie theater owner killing Hitler and the Nazi high command in an explosion at her movie house during the premiere of some propaganda film lauding the heroic exploits of some Nazi soldier who has bad manners. (Actually, this is an exaggeration on my part here, as this part of the article was missing! So I'm crediting the author with revealing the big historical inaccuracy here, although they miss some rather big ones in other movies later on.) Oh, but the author is wrong here, for newly-released secret files demonstrate that Hitler was indeed killed by a cute French movie theater owner, and they hushed it all up so that Halliburton could make more money fighting the war for longer! (Oh, and I guess they replaced Hitler with a double or something, and that’s why the German war effort went from success to failure so quickly.) But while that last bit was a dumb joke, the truth is that a French actress saved almost all the important pre-war French (and other classic) films by smuggling them past the Gestapo in a baby stroller under some blankets, and had she been caught, she most certainly would have been executed, so while French movie people may not have killed Hitler and ended the war early, they saved many of the classic international films we know from the Janus Collection, etc. And that’s true! So they literally saved the world: the world of movies! And in this regard, they defeated the Nazis, who were trying to destroy all these movies. (This stuff became the Cinémathèque Française, protected by Henri Langlois: hero of modern culture and film preservation!)

Oh, and then… Oh, then this author claims that: “Director Roland Emmerich is usually a stickler for realism (see: sending a computer virus via Macintosh to aliens in “Independence Day”).” Um, is that a joke or something? (It must be! But given some of the claims elsewhere in the article, I can't be sure...) That’s one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen in a movie! I mean, the idea of a computer virus is fun and all, but do the aliens really use a Macintosh computer to run their space ships? And do their systems run on English-language alphabet code? And do they really have the same kinds of computer interfaces as us? (Etc., etc.) I’m sorry, but while the idea is good, we’d have to know their computer code to be able to write a virus, and we’d have to have all their stuff. Sure, we’ve got an old spaceship of theirs, but with all the computer software updates we get here on Earth all the time, I’d have to believe that the alien invaders in Independence Day would surely be using an upgraded computer system (hardware and software!) by the time they invade Earth in that movie (They’re probably up to OS 1000.3 by then!), seeing as how that Area 51 space ship crashed like 50 years earlier! So nice concept, but compatibility issues surely would have prevented its feasible application realistically speaking, don’t you think? (I can’t even get a 10-year-old PhotoShop file to open in PhotoShop anymore, so imagine what dealing with this alien computer virus compatibility issue would have been like with only a 50-year-old version of their software to base it on!) Plus, flying that little space ship up to the mother ship and it being accepted as normal? Given the time difference, even without considering our relative paucity of technological advancement here on Earth compared with these aliens’ probable rate, that would be akin to someone trying to land a WWII-era plane on a modern aircraft carrier (contemporary with this movie), and expecting nobody to notice it was out of place: ridiculous! But don’t think about that…

Okay, so this whole point about Roland Emmerich was only a way for the author to lead into their piece bashing 10,000 B.C. for its inaccuracies about wooly mammoths building pyramids and such, and that woolly mammoths weren’t found in deserts, etc. Well, for one thing, maybe the woolly mammoths rebelled and tore down all the pyramids they built, and that’s why we think they didn’t build them, even though they really did (!). Plus, of course you don’t find mammoths in the desert: they prefer lounging at the beach, and that’s where they went after mutinee-ing from their construction jobs. (I’m getting tired of being serious.) Plus, what about climate change? We keep hearing about all the massive changes we’ll see in just 100 years, so how can this author know or claim deserts weren’t lakes or fertile valleys, or even frozen tundra 10,000 years ago? Even whale bones have been found in deserts, and what probably happened is that whales ate all the mammoths in the desert once they quit their jobs building pyramids (the unions protected them from the whales while they paid their dues, but after that: forget it! Oh, and the whales got a taste for mammoths when the mammoths were hanging out on the beach before they got the job building the pyramids, and then the whales decided to go looking for them because they're so delicious! And that's why scientists are thawing out mammoths and eating mammoth steaks and stuff: because they found out from studying whales that mammoths are delicious. See?). But they were there, building pyramids, all the same, I assure you! (After all: Independence Day is a Sci-Fi/Fantasy movie, so it’s fiction; but 10,000 B.C.: that really happened!) Oh, and then they go on to say that there were no pyramids before 2,500 B.C. But that’s not true, because the mammoths tore them all down, like I said. (And then they got eaten by whales in the desert; it's just that they weren't deserts yet back then due to climate change and everything. It’s true!)

Next the author criticizes the movie 300, and in this criticism of stylistic elements, s/he fails to mention the main problem with 300: the inaccuracy in fighting tactics. The Spartans fought in a phalanx, which means that they came close together to form a sort of an armored wall, and they stabbed from above their shields with long spears. This was basically the ancient version of the armored vehicle, like a tank, only made up of guys. Only when the phalanx was broken did they engage in hand-to-hand individual combat. I’d say that’s a bigger inaccuracy. But then again, we wouldn’t get to see all them macho dudes flexing the whole time in slow-motion and stuff if they were accurately fighting Spartan-style. Oh, and in 300, the actors all have short hair, and the Spartans had long, long hair; and it was noted in the history how the Persians ridiculed them for combing it all out before the final day of fighting. That’s also a big difference from history. And for me, mostly all of this stuff done for cinematic license is fine, except that I really think they should have worn the right clothes, had the right hair-length, and fought in the phalanx for the first two days and even the third, up to where Leonidas was killed. (And that's just because it gives us a false impression of things for them to act totally differently in strategy while involved in the staging of an otherwise historically accurate {for the most part} event.) But here I agree with everything else this author says. (Hey: there’s a first time for everything!)

In Apocalypto, the author says that it’s inaccurate about the sacrifice stuff, and that the conquistadors made for unlikely saviors, but s/he fails to mention that the conquistadors landed during the reign of the Aztecs, and that most of the Maya had died out or disappeared by the time period in this movie, so certainly their glorious empire was a thing of the past by then in any case. (There was some civilization left, but I doubt it was anything like what we see in the movie whatsoever: that would be more like what the Aztecs were up to, I would think.) So that seems like a rather more glaring inaccuracy to me. (Oh, and the Maya didn’t sacrifice any people to Kukalkan? That’s not what Kukalkan told me! The feathered serpent god told me that’s as clear a case of heresy as he’s ever heard.)

For Memoirs of a Geisha, the author complains about some stuff regarding the “mizuage” not necessitating “getting… intimate with a client” (Mine did! But I guess I was tricked into it huh? Maybe the movie showed this part so that new Geishas would be tricked into thinking they had to do it so that the film crew could sign up? No? Maybe?), and the “Studio 54 drag show” look of the dancing routine (she looks plenty feminine to me, actually), but s/he fails to mention the rather glaringly unlikely blue eyes our Japanese heroine sports. Oh, and the movie’s star, and our titular Geisha, Ziyi Zhang, is Chinese, not Japanese; so that seems like kind of a big inaccuracy to me, but perhaps not to our author. (A cursory glance at IMDB might have revealed this, had s/he bothered to make one {although I knew this off-hand due to the casting controversy}. And this reminds me about another lazy failure to check IMDB in another article, this one surprisingly by the chief movie reviewer from New York magzine: This guy, David Edelstein, in his piece about Spaghetti Westerns from the June 4, 2012 issue {p. 60}, credits Franco Nero for the movie The Great Silence; but a quick check of IMDB would have revealed that Italian actor Franco Nero does not actually appear in that movie at all {!}, but rather, that this wonderful role of the hero “Silence”, one of the greatest characters in the entire Spaghetti Western canon, was instead played by the French actor Jean-Louis Trintignant, who gives a magnificent performance! {And it may have been his only Spaghetti Western, too; but this, I don’t know for sure.} Perhaps this critic, David Cassidy, or whatever his name is, merely misremembered this fact from the last time he saw the film, but he robbed Trintignant of his well-deserved accolade by not bothering to take the 20 seconds it would have taken to look it up on IMDB and check it for accuracy, which is a crime akin to knocking down someone’s mailbox, or perhaps even worse than that! {Maybe Trintignant will come after him with guns a-blazing for this slight?} Oh, for shame, Pauline {Kael}! {<Just kidding! David Cassidy, um, I mean, Edelstein, did it. But he coined the term “torture porn”, so he deserves some slack for that, I guess. Also, I probably make silly mistakes like this all the time on my blog here, but this is a blog, and not a major publication, so it’s not like it matters here as much.})

In The Last Samurai, our stalwart author makes trivial complaints (<I'm kidding here.), but leaves out the most infuriating part of the whole movie (I'm serious here.): the end of the big climactic battle sequence. So everybody gets killed except for Tom Cruise in the climatic battle? And with everyone getting mowed down by machine guns and whatnot? Um, unlikely, to say the least. (Maybe Tom has a “no deaths” clause to his contract? That would explain how he survives all those very-nearly-lethal scrapes in those Mission Impossible movies!)

Then our author criticizes the Mel Gibson movie The Patriot just because it takes a few little historical liberties. (Traitor! You’re not supposed to point that out!) Plus, America may have lost that battle in real life, but if we’d had Mel Gibson’s angry ranting at the Battle of Guilford Court, surely America would have been victorious! (He’d scare anyone away nowadays!)

The author’s pretty good on the Gladiator commentary, from what I’m aware of, except that s/he leaves out the quite interesting fact that the real-life Commodus apparently enjoyed competing and fighting in the arena himself (particularly interesting when considering the plot of this movie and the selection of this emperor for use in this story, and also especially considering that the movie version of Commodus is quite craven, and dies in his first fight in the Colloseum, whereas the real-life Commodus always survived his fights in the arena, and also killed many wild animals all by himself, including many lions): an activity viewed as the lowest-of-the-low in Roman society back then. But he was the emperor, so… (Oh, but isn’t it funny that he was killed in his bathtub? He probably smelled so bad, I’d think they would have actively guaranteed him absolute safety while bathing, just to encourage it! In fact, maybe he wasn’t killed in the bathtub so much as his killers dumped his dead body into one to try to clean it off from smelling so bad, or else he was killed by accident while resisting taking a bath, and his lifeless body merely fell in the tub afterwards. {Oops! Splash!})

And finally, we come to Braveheart. (What does this author have against Mel Gibson? Might he have said something to offend her/him? I find that hard to believe! {Hee hee.}) The author here complains that in the movie, William Wallace seduces Kind Edward II’s wife, Isabella of France, and the conceived child becomes Edward III, while in actuality, Isabella was only 3 years-old at the time. Well, this is merely a misunderstanding of facts by the filmmakers, perhaps. William Wallace charmed the 3-year-old Isabella with a stuffed animal puppet and a squeaky toy, and the baby was just a doll Wallace had given her to play with that the movie misinterprets as an actual, real-life baby. But this one was a “Baby Alive” doll, so it seemed alive, I guess, especially to people back then. Plus, it was wearing a crown, since it was a gift to a queen, so it was an honest mistake to think it was the prince. Maybe if this author had read some history, s/he would have known that! (This is well known to scholars.)

(Oh, and apparently this article was written by someone named Jonathon Crow. But that didn’t load initially when I read this piece, and I don’t feel like going back and fixing it all now, so sorry Jonathon. But I’m attributing it here, and below is a link so everyone can read it {until Yahoo! removes it! They keep doing that with their stuff.} And I am just funning this author, so no offense, I hope! He missed some stuff, but nobody can think of everything, so no surprise there. But I loved reading his article and writing this one! Can you tell?)

Oh, and hey: Where's 2010 in this list? In that movie, the United States and the Soviet Union work together to fly to Jupiter and sort out what happened with HAL from 2001 (Another movie that's historically inaccurate: We never went to Jupiter in 2001!). There wasn't even a Soviet Union anymore by 2010, so that's a pretty big and glaring historical error there, wouldn’t you say? I mean, seeing as how we’re apparently counting Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter in the list, we may as well include all movies that have specific historical elements or references, right? And for that matter, I'm not so sure our Founding Fathers did all that public singing and dancing like they show in the movie 1776, either!

Here’s the historical tale of trivial pursuit:

Suave Max Hold Mascot Ads?

There’s a hairspray product from Suave called “Max Hold”. I think the idea is that it holds really well, and for a really long time. But how to prove it?

Well, since it’s using the name “Max Hold”, and Max is a man’s name, then why not have an advertising mascot named “Max Hold”? He could be a suave-looking guy (because this product is made by Suave), and he could hold onto women’s hair all day to indicate how well and how long this product holds your hair.

So, for instance, Max Hold could be holding onto some woman’s pony tail with both hands, and everywhere she goes, Max could be hanging on for dear life: She could drag him down the sidewalk as she walks across town, she could drag him up and down stairs, she could have him being blown around in the wind behind her while she drives a fast convertible sports car with the top down, all while Max Hold is hanging onto her pony tail with both hands.

This would demonstrate how well and for how long Suave Max Hold would hold your hair. Besides, what possible negative connotation could some guy grabbing a woman’s hair and refusing to let go possibly have? So it’s a sure-fire way to make women everywhere want to buy Suave Max Hold hairspray! (Right?)

This is Suave Max Hold hairspray (And they even make it in a gel!):

IBM Logo Art

There’s a famous poster by Paul Rand that makes use of the IBM logo in a fun way, where the “I” is picture of a human eye, the “B” is a picture of a bumblebee, and the “M” is just an “M”. (I read that signed original posters of this sold for thousands each in an auction recently.*) It’s really cool! But this obviously wasn’t made by someone who had predominantly negative experiences with IBM computers, or else it might have been the letter “I” followed by a picture of a pile of human excrement. (That would work too, for that literalization-of-letters-in-the-logo thing. Although it might not be hailed as the masterpiece the original is, except perhaps by IBM-haters.)

Here’s the image from the poster I’m referring to (It’s a really fun idea.):

And here’s the Wikipedia page for Paul Rand (No, not Rand Paul: he’s someone else):

* Here’s the link to that auction piece (It’s from May 16, 2012.):

Secret Service Heckle Hounds

There has been a rash of heckling incidents lately during political speeches given by President Obama, Mitt Romney, and both of their minions. This has generated the usual slanted false outrage from political pundits on the TV box, claiming it’s only not fair for it to happen to their guy, and that it’s reprehensible not to forbid it (if it’s happening to them), while it’s a violation of Constitutional rights to not allow it (if it’s happening to the other camp). But this phenomenon can be very tiring for the people who actually want to hear these speeches. (Surely there must be someone who wants to hear them, right? I mean, I don’t anymore: I’m sick to death of this already, and I know all their positions already, so it’s pure spin from here on in to me. But surely there must be somebody who wants to hear this drivel, right? I mean, aside from news people who have to cover and spin it, that is.) So I think I may have a solution!

Why not have the Secret Service train a team of anti-heckling dogs? These dogs could be trained to find, hone in on, and stop hecklers during political speeches. Here’s how it would work: They would get the drooliest, slobberiest blood hounds, and train them to find hecklers during campaign speeches and rallies, and then these canine constables would run over, jump up on the heckler, and drool on and lick their faces (and the insides of their mouths if they’re shouting) until they stopped heckling and ran away. And this would be completely humane to both the dogs and to the hecklers!

(Or if they discourage/ban heckling, will nobody show up for the speeches anymore? Maybe all the public wants now is to voice their frustration and outrage at whoever happens to show up, and they don’t even care who it is anymore, or what kind of claptrap/balderdash they’ve come to spout. That is absolutely possible, you know.)

Here’s a news story about the heckling:

Friday, June 22, 2012

Kraken Spiced Rum Euro 2012 Kraken Game-Outcome Prediction (Like Paul the Octopus) Ad (Proposed)

After writing my post about that Kraken Spiced Rum ad today, and then watching the Euro 2012 soccer tournament quarterfinal game today between Germany and Greece, it occurred to me that Kraken Spiced Rum could be a sponsor of the Euro 2012 tournament, because then we could see their ads a lot during the coverage. (In fact, I believe I have seen their ads during the game today, so they may be an actual sponsor after all.) And if they were a sponsor, then they could make something special specifically for the tournament, right? And I think I’ve got just the idea, seeing as how they’re using a giant octopus as their mascot, and this is a soccer tournament (and particularly with today’s game including Germany).

Remember Paul the Octopus, the “psychic” cephalopod from the 2010 World Cup, who predicted the outcome of games Germany played, and he was correct in every prediction? Well, seeing as how Kraken Spiced Rum is using a giant octopus as their Kraken, they could have an ad where the Kraken predicts the outcome of the soccer tournament games. Wouldn’t that be fun, for soccer fans, and especially for fans of Germany and Spain (two teams that are doing pretty well and may end up in the final playing each other, and who were the big to-do in the Paul the Octopus “prediction” phenomenon from 2010)?

And with the octopus and a soccer tournament colliding on the TV screen, competing for air time (as in, ads for Kraken rum would be running during coverage of the games, so both things are competing for your attention), it would be the perfect way to tie them in together for promotional purposes. And once people saw this commercial, with the Kraken predicting the outcome of soccer games like Paul the Octopus did two years ago, they would not be likely to forget it; and for rabid soccer fans, they might reward that effort to connect with them by buying Kraken Spiced Rum. (I might do that, had they made and run an ad like this one I’m suggesting here.)

So here’s how this ad would work: There would be animation in the style of the existing Kraken ads showing two ships on the ocean, each one with the flag of each (fictitious*) country playing in a purportedly upcoming match. (Just generic flags that match the color schemes of the team uniforms would be used.) So then the Kraken strikes from the bowels of the ocean, and it crushes one of the ships and takes it down to the bottom of the sea with it. Then we see the final score and (fake) highlights from a (fictitious) game from a soccer tournament, demonstrating that the winning team was indeed the one from the country whose ship was attacked and sunk (and hence “chosen”) by the Kraken, similar to the way in which Paul the Octopus operated. (He chose food to eat from one of two boxes, each one marked with a flag for the countries in the upcoming game for Germany; and he was accurate in “predicting” the outcome of all seven games Germany played in the tournament, as well as Spain’s victory over Holland in the final.) Then the announcers/analysts would talk about what a perfect record the Kraken has with predicting the outcome of games in this (fictitious version of the) tournament, etc.

This is Paul the Octopus, and how he demonstrated his oracular abilities in the 2010 World Cup:

And this is what the Kraken Spiced Rum ads look like (so you can get a rough idea of what it would look like if they made the ad):

* Fictitious so that nobody gets insulted or offended and feels like Kraken rum is taking sides, or having it look like they’re getting predictions wrong: the whole idea is just to make a fun play on reminding everyone about Paul the Octopus, from the 2010 World Cup.