Sunday, April 23, 2006


Perhaps the weirdest face I've seen in a mainstream advert in some time. Looks like a mix between Louis Armstrong and the Black Jiminy Glick. Worse, in the real advert there are animated tears (of what look to be ammonia liquid) coursing down the guy's face.

While this face will certainly pull eyes, I can't see how it will be appealing.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

My Neighborhood (Snapshotz)

I suppose it's a good thing, I just find it odd in such a (relatively) wealthy neighborhood. I trim my orange tree in a vain attempt to de-junglify my backyard and when I drop the clippings out front for pickup the neighbors descend. All this while I sit at my computer working on my Fiction class...

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Friday Bird Blogging

just some bird in the backyard watching me trim the orange tree...

Aaah.. Adverteasing!

Ah.. the Atlantic came in, and if there is one thing more fun than exploring the nooks and crannies of academia it is exploring the nooks and crannies of advertisements.


Because it keeps me from my schoolwork!

Here's a really nice advert from a corporate swine. The things I like:

• Notice the use of part of the "Target" pallette. So that places the colors for all of us. We don't even have to think about colors because in the last two years we have seen this semi-orange and that blue (though not normally this saturated) so many times. The only risk this runs is that some of us might subconsciously miss the yellow and green. ;-)

• It moves from left to right in increasing levels of complexity. You can get the message from the left panel. If you turn to the next page you have already got, in a glance, what they want you to know. US = 3%. Time to panic folks. Then the little "So what does that mean for us" slides you niftily over the the next panel full of detail

• And they do a sweet job of presenting that detail. The "letter in an ad" is a great way to present dense text that would look insane if it were just laid out as normal ad text. And the letter, PDA, clippings, notepad and sketches automatically chunk information just the way you'd want and allow some nice visual differences.

A sweet advert by some corporate criminals. I give it 4 dollar bills leaving the consumer's wallet (You can see this pic in all its enormous glory by clicking on the picture below).

Here's another truly great one...

More criminal fucks... but what a nice job of taking the simple curve of a woman and tying GE's image to it. I went back and forth, visually, on whether I preferred the woman with our without the bandage on. I think I preferred the picture with the bandage off and that it was slightly more visually arresting. But the thing is that when you actually recognize that the bandage is not print, when you go to the trouble to peel it off and reveal what lies beneath? They have you visually and kinesthetically. Which is a neat trick to pull in a magazine ad.

Finally an ad that can be classified under "Complete fucking lie" and looks like it was envisioned and created by that "Painter of Light" guy who uses the religious iconography, unusual light sources (if by unusual you mean physically impossible), and happy scenes that belie the reality that he is a fat drunken abuser who urinates on Winnie the Pooh (Not that there is anything wrong with that!)

which I prefer to see as
but I'm a cynic

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Why I don't Talk about my Education with Strangers

Two weeks into the first class and I have this conversation with an old friend on IM. It makes me wonder:

ME: I have to do my last assignment this week for "Just Barely Accredited Graduate School"
You are too productive for words.
heh.. I'm sucking up now... reviewing an extra piece.. gotta pile up the points for that invevitable week I bugger off.. and if I do get the last piece done I can work on the actual writing part, which is far and away my weakest point..
writing? master's thesis?
No. I am taking two courses from the MFA track as electives... so writing fiction... was that or tedious film-criticism classes.. which would have been easy, but would have sucked the last grain of dusty coal out of my soul.
that bad, huh?
I hate film criticism..
so what kind of fiction do you have to write? Grisham legal thrillers?
two chapters of a novel... or a short story of that length.. but the beauty of the two chapters is they don't have to finish anything in the novel... Just get it going... same deal with the next class ….. 630A...
See, mysteriously?
For a guy getting his degree in English? They started me in 630B… outside of my major and 630B is after 630A...
So not only am I in a class with a bunch of people who already are (or think they are) writers, but they have taken the preparatory class and I haven't yet..

so it has to be the FIRST two chapters?
I will take 630A next class.. which is an example of the "Completion Backwards Principle" first posited by the Tubes...
are they going to pummel you?
no... doesn't have to be the first two chapters. But if it isn't?
You need a synopsis of the whole book..

Leading back to my original problem with finishing anything...

It was a dark and stormy night..."
"Getting by in the Big City is easier if you have an English Accent."
Does the English accent include writing like them?
Not really.....
Theatre, enquiry...
the odd word, but that is all...
Throw a few extra u's into words
there is a plot twist about that English accent.. all will be revealed in chapter 11..
Which I will never get to..

As an attempt write a synopsis quickly revealed..

your optimism is charming.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Trying to be Good -- Lippograms, Bass, and Korean


trying to get back to the things I should be doing... Just played 25 minutes of bass patterns and couldn't control anything... siiiigh....

Next back into the Korean...

but I did a funny little exercise in my advanced writing class.. Wrote something quick and then turned it into a lippogram (an exercise without a particular letter, in this case the letter "e")

What did I learn?

• Don't use the past tense if you're going to go lippograming
• The world "the" is difficult to work around
• You find a phrase that works and you can start to feel like Homer rolling out another instance of "the wine red sea."


One thing, if you're in confidence games, that the English accent does, is puts you out of normal racial boundaries. I argue this point with my mate Bill all the time. Bill? He's like the "Dim" in my Clockwork. Not the brightest jewel in the crown, but good with dirty work. Every group needs someone who can do the dirty work. I think of him as Dim partly because most of the time he doesn't comprehend my arguments. Like the one about Blacks and Whites in the United States and how an accent helps. We were sitting around watching the NBA on TV and he started in about the increased number of White players in the NBA. He seemed proud.

- They're all from Europe you know?
I started

- Are not?
Bill sipped his beer after replying.

I sighed.
- Who was the last great white player to come from the United States?
I asked. I fully new the answer, before moving to the Big City I'd stayed a bit in Boston and had heard a snoot full. Ear full? Of talk about Larry Bird. Bill, who sometimes departs from scripts written for him, and usually with terrible results, wasn't going off-script in this case.

- Larry Bird
Bill replied.

- Who hasn't been in the league for how long?
Asks I.

- A while
Dim, er.. Bill, responds.

- And since then?

Bill screws his face into the grimace that means he is thinking. His lips move a little and I can see him running through a list in his head. I imagine it to go something like… "Vlade Divac.. no….. Andrei Kirilenko … …… Dirk Nowitski .. no…. Peja Stojakovic … er….

Finally his face relaxes….
- Steve Nash
he says…

I smile
- Canada

- No!

I smile again
- Yes, Canada

Bill stares at a point in space, and although I do feel a bit sorry for him, I pile it on.

- Well, I suppose you have Mike Dunleavy?

Bill looks at me suspiciously… he senses this is only bait.

- What about Brad Miller then?

Nice job, I think to myself, but I'm not letting Bill have it really, so I shift back to my point. I go ahead and mention all the White European stars in the NBA.

Bill squints…

- Point is
I say
- that the Euros aren't scared. Something happens to White guys in the US. Whatever it is, they don't get over it. They get intimidated by the Black guys and it causes the White guys to fade away.

And that is how I began to explain the usefulness of my accent to Bill.


A thing in cons, that a British pronunciation attains, is puts you past normal position on colour. I chat about this point constantly with my boy Bill. Bill? A "Dim" in my Clockwork. Not a most worthy diamond in a crown, but good with low work. Any group should contain a man who can do low work. I think of him as Dim partly cuz Bill normally won't cotton to what I am saying. As in my point about USA Blacks and Anglos. Bill and I sat around watching NBA ball on TV and Bill brings up how many Anglos now play NBA ball.

- All from abroad you know?
I start

- No way?
Bill sips his drink post saying this.

I laugh.
- Last outstanding Anglo NBA USA guy was…..?
It hangs in air.
I fully know this. Prior to living downtown Big City I'd hung around a bit in Boston and had got a snoot full. Mouth full? Of talk about Larry Bird. Bill, who occasionally strays off script, and usually with catastrophic payoff, wasn't going off-script for this point.

- Larry Bird
Bill says.

- Who's out of NBA ball for how long?
Asks I.

- uhh… 1989
Dim,uh.. Bill, says back.

- And til now…?

Bill twists his mug into a snarl that shows Bill is thinking. His lips twitch to and fro and Bill is running through a list in his noggin. I think it works similar to slow listing… " Divac.. no….. AK47 … …… Dirk Nowitski .. no…. Stojakovic … uhh….

Finally his mug sags calmly….
- Nash… Suns! Arizona!
Bill says…

I laugh
- Canada

- No!

I laugh again
- Yup, Canada

Bill looks at a point off in infinity, and although I am a bit sorry for him, I load it on.

- Luckily, you could say Dun-Dun … Warriors, a forward?

Bill looks suspiciously… suspicious this is only bait. Bill is too smart to grasp at this straw.

- What about # 52 … a Sactown King?
Asks Bill

Good job, I think without words, but Bill can't control this point, so I shift back to my point. I list all anglo stars from abroad playing NBA ball.

Bill squints…

- Point is?
I say
- that without faith you don't win. A bad thing occurs to Anglo guys who play NBA ball. What it might consist of? I don't know, But Anglo guys don't hump past it. Black guys grab top ground and USA Anglo guys wash out.

And that is how I start to limn import of my British pronunciation to Bill.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Two Excellent pics...

Just got my "Atlantic" mag which is full of arguable/risible adverts.. so I'll be firing Mr. Scanner up this week. Also waiting for my first grades in the Writing class for my Masters.. always interesting to see what other people think....

however.. 2 pics.... first, a picture that looks a lot like joy. I don't give a shit about golf, but look at the guy's face!

second.. I'm a bit concerned about what this advert for ice-cream might be teaching our young ones...

as always, that's just me. ;-)

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

they suffered from nausea, sphincter disorders, sluggishness and disorientation.

Still, the results were spectacular enough for Moniz to be encouraged.

from the alternately amusing and depressing history of the lobotomy

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Now.. I'm not officially a member of NABMLA or anything (yet -- my essential and boring heterosexuality makes it not so very appealing) .. but as a marketing guy this ad for Sylvan (tutoring I'm guessing) drawn from strikes me as weird.

I suppose Sylvan is counting on the fact that they have enough name recognition that they really don't need to advertise what they do. And for all I know they do have this recognition among parents. Sylvan has their logo on top, which means they are selling brand and assuming we all get it. And then they have the "come hither kid" at the bottom.

But they only talk about what they do in terms of the money you can get off on their tutoring.

On the other hand who wouldn't want to save $100 bucks on getting off?

Nancy Reagan, bless her dead lack of soul, would have had something to say about this advert for pederasty tutoring.

It's just a bit weird.. it has a stange intensity ("Waiting is not the answer") and then he spooky kid looking out from the page looks a bit like a young Truman Capote looked (picture provided below) when he was pimping himself on book covers.

And, oh yeah.. we'll tutor you there, butch kid!

I'm sure my imaginary readers can asplain this for me. ;-)


Saturday, April 01, 2006


It might just be me, and it no doubt is, but when some guy who is staring from behind the kind of glasses one normally sees behind a rifle scope in a bell tower? And the guy is goggling like he sat on something more than a bit uncomfortable? And he names himself "Lux Interior" which is, as all we hipsters know, the name of the guy in The Cramps?

How in the name of God can it be important to such a creature how his potential date/victim answers to the question "Beatles or Stones?"

I mean... really... I'm a semi-fan of both bands but isn't the only real answer to that question "Shut the f*ck up you bizarre relic from a different time?"

This would be some kind of weird internet scam that Henry Rollins would think of when he was on acid.

Well, if he took the sh*t.

In any case, I find this both weird and irrelevant.