Posts from 2006

13
Dec 06

THE ADVERT CALENDAR OF ADVENT: 10: ARGOS

Blog 7 + FT6 comments • 1,997 views

argos.jpgOut go Julia Sawalha and Richard E.Grant’s PA and Sleb. A relatively successful and memorable campaign which nevertheless somehow seemed to place the emphasis on all that was cheap about the catalogue store. But in its place is one of the most ridiculous Christmas ads of the year. In comes one of those sappy Christmas ads which are so at odds with the reality of shopping at Argos that it comes across much more like an insult. Watch it here and come back, I’ll be waiting.

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Taking the Mickey Ds

FT + Proven By Science11 comments • 805 views

Over the last couple of weeks I have become unaccountably interested in baby development. This interest is liable to lead the unwary into a world of paranoia and guilt (particularly when accompanied by a vested – and babygro’ed – interest) and especially so if one reads the newspapers.

One of the first things you learn as a parent is that everyone has an opinion on what kids should do, and newspapers are no exception. Two broad schools of thought compete. The Mail view is that kids are innocent angels perpetually at risk from hordes of rampaging killyjoys, fiddlers and feckless parents (until they reach 10 or so, when they become verminous crime-breeding weasels). The Guardian perspective is that a child is born with soundly liberal views which they then gradually lose thanks to the depredations of The Man and his hypermediated and hypersexualised society.

So it was in the Guardian that I first encountered the SHOCK HORROR statistic (being read out on GMTV by Rowan Williams AS I TYPE!) that 70% of three-year-olds can recognise McDonalds whereas only 50% know their own surname

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12
Dec 06

Nuked With The New

FT + The Brown Wedge/10 comments • 1,593 views

A quiz: name this Marvel Comics crossover event.

An incident – caused by the irresponsible use of superhuman powers – has caused massive loss of life, public outcry and led to swift government action. Many people with superhuman abilities are being rounded up and registered, while others go on the run. As the situation escalates, super-war seems inevitable…

Obviously, if you answered this summer’s CIVIL WAR series, you’d be wrong.

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Lytton Ewing vs the Lollards of Pop

Blog 7 + FT1 comment • 761 views

Like the rest of the British nation the Ewing family sat around their wireless listening to the inaugural Freaky Trigger radio broadcast on Resonance FM. Obviously I thought it was grand, but here in full are the reactions of England’s newest geezaesthete to the show:

6.57: HOMEMADE DRONE by Savage Pencil thankfully does not fully awaken semi-sleeping infant.

7.00: It’s the Lollards! Contented smile on face during “Saltarello”.

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It’s back! Back!! BACK!!! (Pub-A-Go-Round Special)

FT + Pumpkin Publog6 comments • 1,143 views

Well sort of.

Although the pub on Wardour Street remains boarded up, on the other side of soho, THE INTREPID FOX IS BACK!! (warning: link may contain Rob Zombie) in what was formerly The Conservatory across from the bottom of Centrepoint, opposite the Angel in St Giles. My jaw literally dropped when I saw the banner outside it yesterday afternoon. Unfortunately as I was on my way to a meeting I couldn’t pop in…

uh-oh thrillers SO NOT FOR KIDS!

FT + The Brown Wedge/7 comments • 891 views

panthey were on sale in SAFEWAYS — yes yes the first safeways in the UK THAT ONE yes — and for a v long while when small i REFUSED TO PASS DOWN THAT AISLE bcz the covers were so all creepy! HERBERT VAN THAL!

at the time this wasn’t even the worst (which was a HAND with an EYE in the PALM! tho when i googlimaged the hand just now it had not stood the test of time er its hauntological index was in the blissbog zone it seemed a bit meh)

in related news: CLIVE BARKER IS RUBBISH

UPDATE: thinking about this more, i conclude that aged 7 i found SKULLS and EYEBALLS more frightening than SPIDERS and CREEPYDOLLS — whereas now this has sort of reversed… i am backed up a bit with SF for KIDS but have just now started thinking a bit about what kept me awake after i read it aged 7-12.

Exhibit one = THE UPPER BERTH, which i got so scared by (on holiday in France) that i got a telling off for being silly!

Exhibit two = this fellow as pictured in the guiness book of records (tho not this actual picture)

THE ADVERT CALENDAR OF ADVENT: 9: Kerry Katona

Blog 7 + FT1 comment • 3,249 views

kerry.jpgSurely these aren’t Iceland ads. How do they think having Katona cavorting whilst being impressed by the good deals at Iceland will sell their nosh to anyone? It makes no sense. Instead these are clearly adverts for Kerry herself, showing her in a range of tricky acting situations. Here she is as a troubled mum. Here she is being impressed by something called a King Prawn Ring (I can think of other ways of getting your finger to smell like that). Here she is, delivering the brand’s slogan without any sense of irony.

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Pub Science Experiment #1 Pub 11: The Railway Tavern, Mare Street, Hackney London E8

FT + Pumpkin Publog1 comment • 926 views

Category: Railway

Blimey, this place looked forbidding from across the road. Even early on a gloomy, wet Sunday evening, when the nastiest, most hostile boozers give off a promising, golden glow, this place looked drab and unwelcoming. I wasn’t much looking forward to seeing inside, but we had a spare half an hour before we were supposed to arrive at the party and there wasn’t an obvious alternative. Besides, science dictated that I was going to have to come here sometime.

It’s not well-decorated, the Railway Tavern, with fairly standard issue pub nick-nacks around the rag-roll nicotine walls. The lady behind the bar looked distinctly unimpressed with us and grumpily served us our pints of Eagle. What you’ve read so far is the sum of all the criticisms I could find of the place. Everything else was just about right. The Eagle we drank was delicious, it was comfortable sitting down, but it seemed like it’d have been just as good to stand by the bar. The juker was playing old country hits, and I know this is a special area of interest for me but I’m sure I wasn’t the only one to be singing along to “Take Me Home, Country Roads”. My fellow singers seemed tolerant to the point of friendly and we would very happily have spent a few hours stretching out and bending our elbows.

There’s often a good moment on a Sunday evening, which I think our visit hit precisely. The match on the telly has ended and most of the watchers have gone home, leaving a handful of stragglers and boozers, those intent on continuing to celebrate their victory, or those made too miserable by defeat to think about moving on just yet. It feels like the pub is yawning and dusting itself down, it’s a little calm before we all begin the slow descent to a Sunday evening skinful. The elephant named “Work Tomorrow” has wandered into the bar room, but hasn’t yet begun to trumpet. Take a deep breath, and enjoy it. It’s your turn to go to the bar.

Overall mark: 7/10

9
Dec 06

James? James? Anybody?

Do You See + FT + TMFDPost a comment • 1,191 views

Someone at football focus is clearly a great big John Hughes geek (like me). Meg was watching it earlier today and i heard the strains of “please please please let me get what i want” starting a piece about David James. Given that James is well known for being an art fan it wasn’t too surprising to see that the interview was taking place in a gallery, but the intro pretty much matched shot for shot the scene in ferris bueller’s day off (except the crocodile of children bit). Unfortunately it’s not on the focus website (or youtube yet), only the boring interview itself, rights issues i assume…

8
Dec 06

THE ADVERT CALENDAR OF ADVENT: 8: Irn Bru

FT48 comments • 5,053 views

irn-bru.jpgI have to make a confession. I haven’t actually seen this ad on the TV. I can’t remember seeing many Irn Bru ads down south for a while actually, and I guess the sugary pop market tends to advertise when they can hit the kiddies rather than me. It is quite probably a Scotland only advert. However it did pop up on an inspiration finding YouTube search and, well, it is rather good. Irn Bru take on the Snowman.

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