Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Military Advertisments

I know that here I go harping on advertising again but I must say that it certainly deserves it. This morning I was watching the news and could not help but be struck by a story that was reporting on the number of soldiers who have been killed in Afghanistan since the war there began. They showed the faces of the 4 British soldiers that were most recently lost. Looking at the faces on the screen I could see that they were all so young. They were not even old enough to have graduated from university. They should have been playing video games instead of fighting and dying in a foreign land.

I mention video games for a specific reason. Immediately after that story, the channel cut to commercial. The first commercial that was on was a recruitment ad for the Army. (Insert sad irony comment here) The commercial was appalling to me. I know commercials are always targeted to their audience and this one was right on the mark.

It starts with you looking down the scope of a rifle like the beginning of a James Bond movie. The "bad guy" is in the crosshairs. Then the camera pulls back and a gleaming rifle fills the screen. The announcer comes on with a voice like a personal trainer at a gym saying, "The newest weapons, the newest equipment. This could be you!"

I don't know about you but war is not a game. Trying to seduce young kids into the Army with messages along the line of, "We have the newest toys and you can play with them" is rather deplorable. The Army is what it is, an entity that is sadly necessary in our world. Recruitment is also necessary but preying on the testosterone filled imaginations of young men is not the way to do it.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Feast or Famine

As I am searching for the right job right now I can't help but be struck by the "feast or famine" effect. Now growing up you hear certain sayings that you can't help but discount as they usually tend to contrtadict each other.

Take for instance "Birds of a feather flock together." Nice sentiment, but what about "Opposites attract." Well in this case opposites cancel each other out. You can take whichever one suits you at a particular point in time.

However, I am unable to think of a contradictory saying to "Feast or famine." I am learning that this is because unlike the other ones that are useless due to their polar opposite being around, this one is true. I have gone through months of looking for a suitable job for myself and what have I got, zip, zilch, nada, goose egg. But for some reason in the last few days, when I have been about to finish my work on my career's noose, bang, the employment flood gates open. The clouds have rolled in and it is raining jobs. There are words being thrown around like 6-figure and private jet. What the hell? Now I am on the other side trying to select which of the many opportunities before me will be my next.

On that note, this effect goes for romance as well, or at least a potential good night. I think about the long spells that I have gone through. I went to the clubs, I spent time out with friends, even did online dating, and again zero. But, the moment I find someone that I find interesting and decide that we will be together for at least the time being, what happens? Oh you know this one. The women come out of the woodwork. You are getting calls from old girlfriends who are in town just for the night, you are bumping into people and having "meet-cutes" right out of Hollywood. But of course now you can't do anything about it because you are with your girlfriend and you know that the universe will punish you for messing it up.

I wish I had a solution but as GI Joe used to say, knowing is half the battle.

Monday, 11 May 2009


I was watching TV yesterday and I had to write down my thoughts about advertising today. Now I understand that the ads are targeted at the general population (I always remember what the late George Carlin said, "Think of an average person. Now think that half of the population is dumber than that!").

With that thought in mind, I find myself sarcastically commenting about the content of the ads. I saw a commercials for bath products that boasted about "organic avacado oils." I thought so what? I am not in the habit of rubbing avocados on myself and how exactly would that get me clean? Would normal vegtable oil do the same thing?

I also see catch phrases being thrown about such as "skin appears firmer." Well is it or not? Two days ago I saw an ad for a wrinkle cream. It said that it contained collegen biospheres (don't get me started) that increase to 8 times their original size. This was supposed imply that they fill in the wrinkles. I had to ask, how do these "biospheres" get into the skin? The skin is rather good at keeping things out (in fact, that is why it is there!). With that in mind, now you have a product that you smear on your face that then sits on the surface of your skin and increases in size. Do I have to mention that they did not say how big the biospheres were? (8 x miniscule = miniscule)

This goes on and I will fill in more in good time. Thanks for reading, if that is anyone is.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

First Blog

I was thinking about traveling. Today is the first day that I feel like a human being again after my journey to Florida last week. I have slept the weekend away in an attempt to recoup my rest. Flying on British Airways this time has made me consider my previous thoughts about the company. While living in the USA, I thought that BA was heaven compared to the US airlines, and it still does. However, it only stays a cut above the US airlines because the standards on both have fallen in tandem. I am a silver member of BA, which is supposed to entitle me to certain benefits, namely the ability to select my seat. After a disastrous flight to Miami where I was placed in the middle of a set of 4 seats and next to a rather large gentleman. He was quite polite considering the fact that he took up 2 seats, his own and half of each of the seats along side of him. Myself and my travel partner asked that we be moved as we payed full price for a full seat, not half of one. To avoid this form happening again on my return flight, which was scheduled to be an overnight flight, I called the airline and was told that selecting my seat was basically a waste of my time as they will change the seats at will. I was told that this would only happen in the event that children or  people with medical conditions needed my seat. I completely agree with that but I find it hard to believe that there were 10 people with medical conditions that trumped the condition of my travel partner. Anyway, as you may have guessed, BA will not be seeing me on a flight anytime in the near future.