Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lynx not "shocking" at all

I don’t mind some advertising. Unfortunately, the good ads are usually surrounded by the cheaply thrown together, poorly scripted and appallingly executed promotions that are only a smidgeon short of insulting.

When it comes to products, I will generally go with the one that is the best colour.

I was in the shower the other day (TMI Warning!!), feeling pretty sluggish. Another long day ahead. I could do with a pick-me-up. Given Geri Halliwell didn’t magically appear to provide one, it was incredibly fortunate that on hand was a crisp, clear bottle of blue Lynx “Shock” Refreshing Shower Gel.Apparently it’s made with glacier water and deep sea mint. My god. It MUST be good for me. And the best part? It will “really” revive me.

Great. Just the ticket.

So I smear liberal amounts of the blue gunge with the small gritty bits in it (presumably the sea mint). Mmmm . . feels . . . well, like any other shower gel actually. Smells . . . yep, like any other shower gel.

I felt aggrieved. Where’s the SHOCK? The revival? When, Lynx people, does the “bringing me back to life” kick in? Perhaps I’m not doing it right. Perhaps the bringing back to life requires a whole new method of utilisation of this shower gel.

So I take a long deep swig of the stuff. Perhaps it needs to work from the inside out.

Nope. Gag. Definitely not something to be taken internally.

Apparently all the “revival” and “bringing back to life” Lynx “Shock” is going to give me, I have already experienced.

What a let down.

Now my observation is this. How STOOPID do these marketing people think I am? Their arrogance borders on a condescension Jane Austen could write a book about. Do they think I am a MORON? (I didn’t really take a swig of it, and I certainly didn’t expect to feel “revived.”)

“Shock”? “Really revives you”? “Brings you back to life”?

This is not true. It’s a lie. It’s not even feasible. I’m sure a team of lawyers have guaranteed it does not contravene the Consumer guarantees Act, but that doesn’t touch the simple academics of the arrogance behind the whole concept. The marketing people assume we’re idiots and that the possibility of pretty blue gunge spread over your body making you feel better will somehow induce you to buy their product.

I wish this were an isolated incident.

I’ve seen it a million times, but what really struck it home to me recently was this:

Are they kidding me? Interactive? The mammoth’s head moves three millimetres side to side. That’s what they call “interactive”?

“Interactive” generally gives the impression that it’s educational and therefore beneficial to a child’s development. Hello! It’s head moves three millimetres. How can that possibly qualify as “interactive”?

These things are dumbing down at its worst. If marketing people think that even one person will buy these products because they believe these outrageous claims, they are seriously undermining the entire Western civilisation. Perhaps they believe that if they spout enough of this shite, we as a public we will start to slowly believe it a culture of stupidity will be slowly created.

Sadly, they may be correct.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Hugh and I are driving responsibly down a suburban street. It's 9:30 in the morning. It's a clear day.

Up ahead a beat-up white Mazda is obviously about to do a u-turn. Hugh sees it and slows accordingly, cautiously. Nowadays, you know what idiots there are on the road, he's just as likely to pull out in front of us. Surely not. He's seen us.

He pulls out anyway. Hugh veers to the right. Mazda guy keeps on coming. Hugh veers more to the right. Both cars are travelling pretty slow, so with Hugh's veering and Mazda guy's pulling, we grind to an over-emphasised halt across the centre-line, and wait for the crunch.

Thankfully, it doesn't come. Mazda guy looks me full in the face (I was in the passenger's seat and only five feet from Mazda guy's face). His roll-your-own cigarette is dangling from his menacingly grinning mouth. And I begin to get a picture of who we're dealing with.

The tattoos on his neck are obvious. Spikey haircut. Nothing . . . and I mean nothing but anger in his eyes. As he backs up I can see him mouthing off at us. His rotten teeth are clenched.

Hugh backs up as well, and swings in to the curb. At this point we're pretty sure he didn't hit us, but it wouldn't hurt to check would it? Cars are backing up behind us.

Mazda guy swerves his car into a sort of parked position, too far out from the curb, the back of the car sticking out even further. He's getting out of the car. His missus gets out too. She's got her own rollie cigarette, peroxided hair with black roots. Her face is gaunt, her eyes dead. She's butt ugly. She's wearing a pink hoodie and white track pants, and her face, too, is contorted with contempt.

Hugh's going to check if there's any damage at all. We don't think so, but why not check?

And this is where our initial judgement of Mr and Mrs Mazda is validated. They're both mouthing off at Hugh for stopping, for getting out of the car. No need to get our of the car! Mazda guy is huffing like a wounded gorilla who's been challenged to a duel. Gaunt woman is backing her man with a verbal tirade.

To be honest, we think they're on something. Or drunk. Both?

And if you'll permit me to take my judgmentalness up a notch, I'm thinking these people don't even reach the high standard set by regular white trash. They give white trash a bad name. They are the black sheeps of a white trash family. They saunter across the road, off to where ever they are going, drunk/stoned, at this time of the morning. Coming home from a party? Going to the next one? Who knows?

And, as Hugh pointed out, this is kind of representative of a larger phenomenon. Mongrels like this are taking over.

Why be belligerent towards us? He was so clearly in the wrong, so obviously a menace on the road. What have we done to warrant such aggression? Apparently, just being there is our crime. Being in his way. He gets abusive towards us. No apology. No hint of responsibility. No hint of shame. He abuses us.

Don't we meet people like this every day? People with so little regard for others, or humanity in general - social contract, common courtesy and decency. They're everywhere. They walk in the malls; at the pubs (not that I ever go to a pub); in the street. They're a stain on society. And like a stain, they make the place look ugly, they serve no purpose whatsoever except to identify mistakes, and they should be eliminated.

But you can't say that. You can't even think that. The liberals tut-tut you and the thought police come knocking.

Middle class, responsible, law-abiding citizens just have to swallow, accept that that's the way it is. Those people have as much right to be here as we do.

We just have to continue to feel intimidated. Bullied. Afraid to go out, even during the day now, let alone at night. We're the ones in prison.

No truer adage is relevant to me right now than the one about lunatics taking over the asylum.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Intergenerational abuse

Not since Bindy Irwin was thrust into the limelight in the wake of her father's death have I seen such a cringe-worthy example of tasteless self-promotion as the spectacle that was Paris Jackson "speaking" at her father's sideshow.

I'd love to have been a fly on the wall during the planning, and I could be wrong, but I'd be willing to bet that it wasn't her idea to speak, or even be on the stage. If I am wrong, then it was at the very least an inauspicious coming out for someone who, very deliberately by her father, had been kept out of the spotlight.

The family jostling her and giving her instructions in front of a billion people hardly gave any respect to the occasion. But was that the intention at all?

What better way, in the face of a looming custody battle, to show such "family" solidarity? What better way to quell leftover whispering than to have the children validate the quality of Jackson's interaction with the younger set?

Personally, I never thought him guilty of anything other than being incredibly naive. When the local parish priest comes out as a pedophile, there follows a landslide of victims willing to testify to his sexual proclivities. Who came out of the woodwork when it was suggested Jackson was molesting children? No one. Well, a few with obvious agendas, but no one credible.

The abuse that is confirmed within the Jackson clan was that perpetrated by father Joe - and silently condoned by the mother? But would forcing a heretofore reclusive child in front of a billion people for purposes more political than personal be another form of abuse? At the very least manipulative and demeaning, the bastard love-children of abuse?

Celebrate Michael Jackson's life, music, and positive aspects, by all means. But leave the children out of the politicking.