Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Product Placement

Has anyone else noticed how blatantly obvious the product placement in video clips has become? I remember when there were none and these music stars where still getting paid in dumpster trucks full of money... Not personally. But you know.
Take the Lady Gaga clip for “Telephone” – that is if you can handle the full 9 minute and 30 second underwear abundant acting atrocity where Gaga stares vacantly at the camera for awkward periods of time... Here’s the link.
If you can stand it then you’ll see there are two spots of obvious product placement for Virgin Mobile – at 2:08, 4:14 and one for Polaroid at 5:43 as well as a little one towards the end. There’s also one for the Plenty of Fish dating website – weird. Now these aren’t just little slipped in props that may catch your attention in a quick flash if you’re lucky (or unlucky) these are long ass close up shots of these products... I mean if you watch them and go “deeeerrrrrrrr” for as long as the thing is on the screen then you’ll get how long it actually seems. And simultaneously you’ll sound like the zombie that these companies want you to be so that you shuffle your dead carcass to the stores to buy several of their product!
Okay... duh... the song is called “Telephone” and they are promoting phones – I’VE MADE THAT CONNECTION thank you very much Sceptical Reader. It’s not just this clip. And they don’t always make sense... or rather they rarely make sense. Black Eyed Peas have always got some mobile phones in their clips like “Let’s Get it Started”. Lady Gaga shamelessly promotes Baby G watches, Campari in “Love Game”. Diesel sunglasses in Katy Perry’s “Hot N Cold”. We see Carerra sunglasses in Rhianna’s “Rude Boy” and a long look at some Parrot product in “Russian Roulette”. Britney Spears makes some shameless self-promotion in her new clip “Hold it Against me” with her fragrance “Radiance” as well as Make Up Forever, Sony and Plenty of Fish – you’re pretty much saying “deeeerrrrr” through this whole clip but not just from the products but also the random Britney v Britney smackdown towards the end. I’ve got my bets on Britney. “Deeeeerrrrrrr?”
I’m guessing these sneaky sponsors are a backlash against the influx of illegal downloads... I mean aren’t they saying the music industry isn’t making as much money as it once was? So that makes some sense... Why mobile phones though? Doesn’t everyone in the world have an iphone now? And if they don’t aren’t they making progress to get one? Why are watches being promoted? Since when was time going out of style?
I just have one more question for this clip... Okay I kind of understand why Gaga and Beyonce poisoned the jerk boyfriend and to a lesser extent the whole restaurant... but WHY DID THEY HAVE TO KILL THE DOG?? What did it do to deserve that fate? I doubt the dog would gallop to the cops to dob them in thereby ensuring itself some sort of monetary compensation. What would a dog do with money? Or justice for that matter? Was the dog Gaga’s jerk boyfriend? Did the dog eat all Gaga’s food? Treat her badly? Not introduce her to his doggy friends? Criticise her dress sense? I don’t think so. Poor puppy.
Having said all this if there are any technological big wigs who want to pimp their product via my blog and pay me oodles for it then... well... maybe then it’s ok.

What others can YOU find?
PS: Just for a treat look at 6:19 and you’ll see one guy using a lettuce as a phone and another using a baguette. Maybe this is more product placement I was unaware of! All I know is I’m eating more lettuce and bread than ever before! They don’t get very good reception though...

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Board Games

Recently I have been overcome with the urge to play all my childhood favourite board games. Actually scratch that “childhood favourite” part... it was more the games that were available in childhood and everybody felt obligated to play.
On re-playing these games with willing victims and not figments of my imagination—no Mrs Crumplebottom you did not win that game of Scrabble—no you didn’t. Well I don’t consider joolax a word even now. Yeah the made up Dictiona—you stay where you are! Don’t pinch me! Get back in your tent!
Now...Where was I? Oh yeah board games. I’ve realised that board games are way too easy. So easy in fact that they become bored games. That’s right I went there... pun town. So I took it upon myself to improve these games for the avid mature aged gamer like myself... I got lazy with some and decided that a description was adequate enough. Here we go...
Scrabble – Out of the 100 pieces given 50 of them should be “x”s. This would probably result in the “XXX” version of the game and I really doubt there would be many complaints...
Guess Who –

Chess – All the players are bishops. White’s bishops are on the white squares. Black’s bishops are on the black squares.
Monopoly (or should now be called “Monotony”)

Backgammon – No one knows how to play this game anyway. At least I don’t. So it’s hard enough.
Connect Four –

Snakes and Ladders – You’re probably expecting me to just say “lots more snakes” but I’ve got waaaay more imagination than that you sceptical so and so... The game would now be called “Murderous flesh-eating half-crocodile-half-sharks armed with cannons and shooting poisonous darts and Ladders”. It has a nice ring to it doesn’t it? Basically no matter where you are on the game board these evil bastards will send you right back to the start. And kill you.
Battleship – I was tossing around the idea of the hippy/Green Peace version of this game which means that there would be no ships to place and the box would be covered in flower illustrations and ban the bomb symbols. Weed may be required for full experience – NOT INCLUDED
Jenga – Each block is different to the last. One might be slightly rounded another may be square so that when the game is started it looks as deformed and precarious as it would after several turns.
And finally Twister –

Thursday, 24 March 2011

If Celebrities were Cocktails...

Do not attempt to make or consume any of the following drinks. They are for written hilarity purposes only.
-          Miley Cyrus =     ½  cup sugar cubes, 400ml stomach bile.

-          Justin Bieber = 400ml warm milk.

-          Bono =                 600ml Guinness. Garnish with sprinkles of blended facial accessories served in biodegradable and vegan friendly cup.

-          Donald Trump = 200ml Scotch, 50ml tooth bleach. Garnish with yellow diamonds and the blood of endangered animals.    

-          Jack Black =         100g melted cheese, 100g bean dip, 100ml chocolate milk, 200ml generic beer, hint of speed.

-          Janice Dickinson = 400ml champagne. Pour into nearby gutter, use sponge to then transfer back into champagne flute and serve.  

-          Lindsay Lohan = 600ml soapy water.

-          Kristen Stewart = 100ml vodka, 100ml white rum, 400ml water, 100ml gin.  

-          Robert Pattinson = Blend lemon cough drops and the facial stubble of a human male with dark rum and serve.

-          Taylor Swift =     50g strawberries, 1 tbsp honey, 400ml apple juice blended. Dust rim of glass with anthrax.

-          Katy Perry =       100g strawberries, 100ml pineapple juice, 2 tsp white sugar, 200ml mango juice. Freeze into cylindrical shaped ice block and eat suggestively.  

-          Amy Winehouse =Box of wine poured directly down oesophagus.

-          Arnold Schwarzenegger = 5 raw eggs, unhealthy dose of steroids, ½ cup muscle growth powder, 15ml whiskey. Shake and serve. Spoon may be required.

-          Snooki =               1 tangle of miscellaneous dark hair found in drain of public bathroom, 1 litre of cheap vodka. Serve in a plastic bucket.  

-          Scarlett Johansson = 300ml cream, 200ml espresso. Rim the glass with cigarette ash.

-          Michael Cera = Alco-pop served with straw.  

-          Keira Knightley = 200ml pure lime juice, 200ml pure lemon juice, 200ml cranberry juice.

-          Willow Smith = 400g sequins, 200g glitter, 200ml orange fruit drink served in sippy cup.

-          Lady Gaga =        Find any number of random objects and blend. Garnish with sparklers and serve on top of one’s own head.

-          Charlie Sheen =  200ml methylated spirits, 50ml nail polish remover, crushed ice, crushed assorted illegal drugs. Shake well and serve over lit cigarettes.

-          Russell Brand =                 600ml mixture of scotch, whiskey, rum and vodka, one tsp of human sweat served in an unwashed martini glass.

-          Ke$ha =                2 tbsp sequins, 200ml cheap sparkling white wine, 200ml arsenic served in an old boot.

-          Paris Hilton =      An empty cup.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Anne of Green Gables

This is my first attempt at cartooning... so be nice.
Pretty sure if Marilla had access to a chainsaw that's how it would have gone down.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Modern Day Television at its Finest(?)

Now I’ve just recently moved house and I didn’t own a television. I never use to watch much free-to-air shows anyway because I had cable – those days are now gone. I now have a tv. I now realise how hilarious and ridiculous free-to-air television really is.
I’m home during the day a lot which means I am now exposed to daytime television. Sure there’s the chat shows, the soaps and all that jazz but it’s the commercials that get me laughing. If there’s not someone shouting at you about the benefits of a clean toilet or the heavily discounted prices of a brassiere then it’s stereotypical figures tricking you into thinking they know you. The best are the life insurance ads. One of them contains a bunch of middle age women sitting around a table, having just played tennis (which has no relevance to the ad) and one of them tells the other – leaning in with excitement about the decorating she is going to do in her new house. Instead of the others laughing and rolling their eyes wondering how they get rid of this one dimensional woman with the use of readily available objects they proceed to warn her about the difficulties of life. Or rather death. If you died WHO would pay for your children’s food? Your mortgage? Your funeral? Who indeed. Isn’t that the mystery of death? You die and leave a whole pile of mess for others to clean up... I mean no matter how no fuss they say it’s going to be it’s really going to be a total pain in the arse for everyone else concerned. Just because you’ve thrown money at this impending and inevitable problem on a weekly basis doesn’t mean your underpant draw has been dealt with. Or your collection of antique thimbles that only you have ever liked will certainly be dumped in the neighbour’s bin on the way out by one of your surviving loved ones. But I digress. The women begin discussing life insurance and how important it is. Home decorator woman pipes up with how expensive it must be and then sulks whilst saying maybe she shouldn’t do it at all to pay for it. Again violence does not ensue. Instead the women say that it’s so cheap it’s just the same as the cost of their “weekly goss mag”. Honestly that’s what she said. It’s just like the script writers were so tired after a long night of scripting something else that this ad landed on their desks so they proceeded to make it as superficial and awkward as possible. –shudder- It was really weird.
After having not having a tv for such a while I forgot the art of flicking needlessly between channels to somehow fill the minute void of ads with a minute of something else – completely out of context. Finally a show I recognised. “Judge Judy”. It’s always entertaining to see a shrivelled up toad of a woman with an embroidered napkin around her neck dispense harsh realities to toothless individuals. Then came an ad break. It was for some new fangled kitchen appliance called the “Magic Bullet” which blends everything in the universe in under ten seconds. I waited. The ad went on. I waited. The ad went on. The ad went for so long I felt the need to scream at the tv “WHERE’S JUDGE JUDY!? WHAT THE HELL HAVE YOU DONE WITH HER, YOU TIME HOGGING BLENDER!?” The ad went for half an hour. The most disturbing part is I watched the entire half hour – without taking my own life. It was like the previous ad. The scene is set in an everyday kitchen and gradually different guests of the two hosts emerge and complain about being hungry and hungover. My deductive brain said that they had all had a big night... though why five adults had to have a slumber party is beyond me. Some weird sexual stuff going on in the subtext but there you go. So the hosts proceed to make breakfast in their magic bullet. They have one each. Must be a new activity for couples. “Hey there husbands and wives couples! Do you want to replace the sexual void of your marriage with this great and fun blendy thing?” Man I should be doing the ad for this. Anyway during the course of the half hour the hosts proceeded to make several different types of breakfast, lunch, dinner and about a dozen snacks in between. No one ate anything. They just kept cooking. And cooking. And cooking. Then some bedraggled old woman with what looked like a possum on her head shuffled in and began chain smoking whilst marvelling at the wonders of the magic bullet. No one jumped up to shoo this obviously lost old hag off the premises they just kept their eyes on the damn bullet! It’s hypnotic! I mean by the end of the ad I was ready to order one – not because I needed it... or wanted it but because I felt like I had to. My body was possessed. Then I was told I could get a second magic bullet for half price if I ordered RIGHT NOW. I tell you... the people on this ad and those that watch the ads, myself included, do need a bullet but it sure ain’t a magic one.   
So to come to a conclusion free-to-air television is very odd to the subjective eye. I mean there’s a show called “The Biggest Loser”. Isn’t that insulting? I know it’s about losing the most weight but the title makes me think of a total deadbeat. Watch “The Biggest Douche” and see fat people cry and sweat at the same time.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011


Okay I really didn’t think I needed to write this blog but I can’t hold it in anymore.
Bear Grylls is stupid. Or rather his show “Man vs Wild” is stupid. A load of wank dispensed directly into your own private domain.
Now I was holding off writing this blog because I watched my first ever screening of the show last week and was frustrated from the minute the theme song had finished rolling. I did some research (well Wikipedia...) and found out that Bear had done all these things for charity and is the best person ever and blah blah blah so I tried really hard not to bag his unnecessarily adventurous ass. That was until I saw another episode.
Where do I begin? The show starts with a disclaimer that blatantly says half the crap you see has been set up for him to conquer whilst his safety team stand mere millimetres from the shot should he endure a splinter or some such thing. It just annoys me that some people will be watching and assuming everything seen on the show is real and he is a real man trying to succeed against a harsh landscape and to an extent it is. But remember people – it’s a TV SHOW! It is designed for our entertainment. If it was real he would starve and commando crawl his sorry and soggy ass to a blunt object and club himself to death. If only. That is what I would watch.  
Okay there are some good skills he is teaching – I get it. But the fact is you wouldn’t need these skills if you kept clear of all treacherous landscapes unattended. The show is begging moronic individuals to go to remote and dangerous locations, taunt predators and make heroes of themselves. Having said that – what is the first rule of most safety and rescue related occupations? Don’t be a hero. But Mr. Grylls is encouraging us with his slow and oddly intonated narration that any type of nature situation can be solved with bungee cord from his backpack. Why doesn’t he have anything sensible in his backpack? From what I’ve seen it holds nothing more than a knife and his gaudy jacket when he chooses to take it off. Why doesn’t he have a torch or some dried food? I’m no adventure seeker but I know what is required for camping type situations.
How does he get away with murdering innocent animals on television? I was disgusted to see him murder a wild pig. It was ghastly. And unnecessary. How are animal rights people not up in arms?
I just realised that this show is really no different to “Jackass”. Think about it. The disclaimer at the start of the programme, a host with little hair and an odd speaking voice and eating disgusting objects such as poo, wee, blood, etc. Not to mention a stupid name. How is Steve-O any different to Bear? I guess Bear hasn’t drunk his own piss yet... I’m sure it’s in the works when the “writers” get desperate.
He's just an oversized boy scout. I want him to get mauled by a bear... there’s some good watchin’.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Basic Products - Now with added pointlessness!

Have you noticed recently that every single basic product we know and use is trying to spice itself up? Walking through the supermarket I realised that basic everyday products that we all know and use like butter, milk, flour, bread and so on are constantly trying to make themselves stand out amongst the competition. My main thought was – is there really a competition? When I choose one of these boring necessary items I usually grab the one that is either closest to me (as grocery shopping is a trying bore and stuffing as much as I can in as little time as possible is ideal in this situation) or I take the one that is the cheapest which is usually indicated by an ENORMOUS label which reads “ON SPECIAL!! LIKE OMFG WOW!”. It gets me in.
Anyway these products seem to be in a sales race... Yeah I understand that with other products like... errr... soft drinks and ice cream. There are different flavours, different varieties and everybody likes different drinks and desserts. Different milks though? Butters? Is anyone really hell bent on forever buying one brand of butter and NEVER trying anything else? I mean if you were the head of the “Grandma’s Butter” company you probably would but regular joes? I don’t think so.
So here’s my point (I knew I’d get there eventually) you look now and there’s butter with vegetable oil or butter with no oil or butter with less fat, butter with more fat, butter with in the middle amounts of fat, fatty ass fat butter, butter with nutmeg, butter with Cajun spices, butter with pesto, butter with cognac, butter with butter, butter upside down and butter al fresco. Then each one comes in four different sizes – and that’s just one brand! Each butter manufacturer comes up with their own forty different varieties. It’s madness. Now there is a butter aisle rather than a section. Not to mention the space in your own fridge should you purchase one of each. Why the need to tart butter up? I mean I go to use a basic product like butter on my toast, in cooking and greasing various things (oo-err)  – do I really need lemon myrtle infused butter for this? Who wants their traditional pancakes to taste like fish oil?  
If I were to market these types of products I’d at least make them interesting. “Magic Butter – churned by semi-attractive goblins”. Now that’s what I’m talking about. If you’re going to beat the market you’re going to have to do better than “Butter – now with more cow!” and try “Butter with vampire blood – makes you lives forever” or “Butter with extract of Johnny Depp – everyone wants a lil Johnny in them”. These are things I would buy. I should probably send this to butter company and let them pay me a ridiculous amount of money for my ideas.
Chances are they’ll read my comments and go where every other product on this earth has gone – sex. Soon you’ll be walking down the dairy aisle and you’ll have to shield your child’s eyes from the porn on every packet. Naked women covered in butter. Actually... maybe I would buy that. It would be hilarious.