Gum: it pretty much sells itself, so whatcha gonna do with yer advertising budget?
(If I keep this up, I'll need to start a new tag for "favorite gum commercials". Maybe even a tag for 'Trident commercials', specifically.)
There's just something about the advertising industry. Gum, by its nature, isn't really all that exciting, and everybody who was on board with this commercial knows that. So instead, they made a commercial about commercials. And I am the target audience for this sort of thing.
That ridiculous extreme close-up of the babysitter on the line, "Of course you can pay me with gum!", where her irises actually start to gleam with zeal. Then, the unheralded arrival of various workmen. And that little easter egg again- for people like me: I had to go back several times to verify that the little girl acutally said the line, "We weren't allowed to delicious strawberry!"
If one were to watch this on teevee, it begins so abruptly that you can't even quite tell what's happening at first. Mom's laughter sounds like screams or cries, and that babysitter sure does seem like she was surprised in the midst of doing something she should not have been: "Mis-ter Jo-nes..."
So it's this weird, perverse, thirty-second thrill ride. Awesome, Trident. I wanna go again.
** ** **
Uh, I have started a blog just for pictures, with no captions or talking about it at all, which is strange for me. It is called Photeaux, and features completely out of order, out of context shots from the digital era in my life. Earlier (analog) shots will be scanned in eventually, and Oh What Fun we'll have then. For instance, I may very well take a month and just upload all the portraiture I was once so fond of doing. In everyone's case, that'll be pictures of you that are at least ten years old. Prepare to be boarded.
Yeah, another thing that has changed for me is that I no longer wish to title my photographs clever things. Other people do that, and frankly, they can have it. These days I let the image do the talking for me, in general.
The unsung, unmissed early '90's ABC show "Cop Rock" episode titles include:
'A Three-Corpse Meal' 'The Cocaine Mutiny' 'Oil of Ol' Lay' 'Cop-a-Feeliac'
Oh, man! Wouldn't you love to see a full-length movie called "The Cocaine Mutiny"? Anyway, it also famously included this sequence:
How could anything be called The Foundation For A Better Life be bad? And its domain name Values.com...It just sounds like a combination of wholesale bargains and unmitigated goodness.
So The Foundation For A Better Life, with that vaguest of names, what is it that they do? Well, they were responsible for billboards like this...
I have always recommended that one read this billboard with a different inflection: "Quadri-plegic. A minus, Harvard!" As though to say, she was perfectly fine when she got here...
They do have a wonderful feature on their site that allows you to make your own billboard suggestions. Not unlike the church sign generator sites out there, you could just put whatever you want onto a blank template. So I went and uploaded my pic of Dean Martin, and -well...
(I had to take a picture of this with my camera. They won't let you export anything from their site, strangely. Just like the Scientology site won't let you copy and paste the results of your personality test.)
Other people's ideas in this category include:
"YOU CAN DO IT!", accompanied by a screenshot of what I believe is a test...It's the Unit Test Cover Sheet, which is Mandatory...Then, "ACHIEVEMENT"! Pass It On.
An entry from something named Jennaaa, who lives in Michigan, with a picture of her and her friend...I don't know, Brrrennndaaaaa? Sitting in a bathtub with big, striped socks on. The legend reads, "How Fun," and has a smily emoticon next to it. The value there being espoused was 'LAUGHTER', apparently.
One I really don't understand from a Laura Bunten of Washington, D.C. has a picture of her, looking drunk or something, with the legend, "Adds the Sway-eh, eh-eh, eh-eh's on a daily basis." The value is 'LIVE LIFE', because it could scarcely be anything else.
And one that I would normally assume was a joke, but I'm pretty sure isn't, from one Zhane Fulp (see?) from King, N.C., with a picture of a woman, and based on the past-tense wording, you would assume she's dead. But no, 'Thank You Jessica, You Made All Our Days Good' is followed up with this: "I HAVE TO SAY THAT JESSICA KUMARI IS MY HERO BECAUSE SHE HAS HELPED CHANNEL ONE NEWS ENTERTAIN THE HEARTS OF MILLIONS. I WATCH CHANNEL ONE NEWS EVERY MORNING AT CHESTNUT GROVE MIDDLE SCHOOL AFTER BREAKFAST AT THE SCHOOL CAFETERIA MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY. CONGRATULATIONS, JESSICA. CONGRATULATIONS. "
Value itself sort of gets lost here. There's one with a picture of Abraham Lincoln, and the legend is 'Was A Good President'. 'INTEGRITY'. Pass It On. Another with a picture of a spooky forest at night, and the puzzling message 'Stand up for what you believe even if you are', which exemplifies 'BELIEVE IN YOURSELF', for some reason. A picture of three girls with their arms around each other translates out to 'Be a leader not a follower', which is intrinsic to 'CARING'.
It doesn't help that the treasured half-truths that Americans live by are here utilized in what has to be some class project somewhere, which then fail to actually inspire. Two in a row about Positivity lack the veritas to pull off even the simplest of ideas:
"You will learn in life that if you don't have a Positive attitude life will be hard but if you have a Positive attitude life will be easy."
(is followed by)
"If you will have a good attitude, and not get in a bad mood you can or will have a good day and noting will maybe go wrong for you ."
Both of these are from Rockingham, North Carolina, and both of these epigrammists are, I suspect, in for a big shock one of these days.
But all of their billboards and commercials are like that. They're in favor of controversial values like 'SPORTSMANSHIP'. Another homemade one lets you know that 'There is "Value" in valuable friendships.' Are you making fun of friendship? Are you making fun of Value? There is one in which I am -I think warned- that 'You might just start a chain reaction'. And the value is 'COMPASSION', but in small print it looks like 'COMPULSION'. Another, I'm pretty sure, is encouraging me toward 'OVERREACTION'. Pass It On.
So yes; with all this benign fatousity and generalized sententiousness, one may wonder, So what then is the mission of this great Foundation? Behind all this bland goodness and basic Hooray For Everything-ism, who wants us to spend all this time polishin' the ol' apple? Oh my god. It's this guy, who owns a company that recently bought a company that regularly provides me with work. He's a conservative christian, too, surprise surprise. His underwriting of The Discovery Institute certainly doesn't make me view him in a positive light. Doesn't seem t' like the queers, either.
In a basic Google search, one either finds people who immediately hate the whole thing because Conservatives Are Bad, or people who want to give money to this thing (which doesn't accept donations, actually) because they find it refreshing that someone is sticking up for things like 'integrity' and 'hope'. Both of those have been under strenuous attack, you know.
So yeah, it's probably a tax dodge/money laundering thing.
What if Liz Cheney was the first name on their board? What if they chose to publish the thoughts of one Gordon Cucullu (because his birth name, 'Chthulu', has such negative connotations?), a worse-than-crank whose background with Special Forces I'm sure warms the part of every conservative that loves a Stern Father. To say nothing of being the current home of the man who was famous for being wrong about everything-Bill Kristol! The site is a jumping-off point for the written content of every nutbag that currently strides, knuckles down, across the greensward. Charles Krauthammer. Robert Spencer.
I dunno. I'm having a hard time actually being amused at how fucking dumb pretty much all of my countrymen are. But hey.
All of these are fun, but lack the overwhelming awesomeness of Oregon's own The Foundation of Human Understanding. I first encountered the utterly insane Roy Masters in the heyday of talk radio -which I actually date to the late '80's, early '90's, shortly before it got too polarized. And I hear this vaguely British sounding jackass talking about what a bunch of awful people his audience are, only to have it stated not long after that he represents something with the phrase 'human understanding' in it.
The basic thesis- "if you were all good and moral and having the same vision as I do," as he too tellingly puts it- is basically that the socialists are gonna come kill us all. He's been selling that same line for a long, long time, so I suspect that it's only gotten more intense. I see on his website now that he has a whole bunch of books and so on that promise to make you more sexy, or something. In the great tradition of all scams, when you try to go to 'preview' on the book page, it tells you that that action is 'not allowed'.
Not sure why I put that thing up there. Something new. Its actual name is 'subpage event wave', and is part of the layout on the Spirit Mountain Casino 'events' page. It's not even big enough -when reproduced- to be a decent header image here. So it sits there, looking like some sort of sparkly abstract whale-thing. Depressing.
Last night, I was running a spotlight at the Portland Erotic Ball. Let's get the obvious joke out of the way: boy, a whole lotta people sure did decide to dress up as "fat chick in a bustier and fishnets" this year! HAW! Anyway...
Anyway, amidst all the sexy nurse/cop/satans, there was one lady who decided to go really simple with her costume: a pair of jeans and no shirt. She had paint all over her chest in some sort of design, and was accompanied by a gentleman in jeans and a t-shirt that read, I think, I LOVE TO BANG WOMEN. I think; they were kinda far away. Strangest thing about it? She just kinda hung out at the merch table looking uncomfortable while he ran around with a camera, either trying to get people to take a picture of him and his topless girlfriend, or perhaps trying to get pictures of other people. Again; they were far away. I decided that his costume was Shitty Boyfriend.
It sort of felt like a junior-high dance, but with way higher unrealistic expectations. My bulb blew -that's right- halfway through the first band, and there was no replacement bulb, nor would they have allowed me to get into the guts of the spot because it was a rental. A rental from a boss of mine, but a rental all the same. You could hear the broken glass inside, rolling around in the fan. So my evening ended early.
The night before, it had been Rascal Flatts, with Darius Rucker opening up. Yes, The Artist Formerly Known As 'Hootie' has been trying to re-image himself as someone who plays country...Or 'country' in as much as Rascal Flatts plays country, anyway. This led him to cover Hank Williams Jr.'s "Family Tradition", which he shouldn't have done for a plethora of reasons, but most of all for the chorus, with its cascade of "Hank, why do you..."(s). Even more curiously, he closed with Prince's "Purple Rain". The world, I have decided, no longer makes sense.
While sitting around waiting for this show to be over, I got news that Elton John has postponed his tour due to illness. E-coli, one person told me: I have no idea whether or not this is true. This effects my life because I was going to go up to Seattle tomorrow and begin what was probably going to be several days of tech-ing on the show, then do the actual show on Sunday, then turn around again and do it here. Meanwhile, Billy Joel, who was co-headlining, certainly could have done the show himself, I guess, but isn't. I'm told by those who know that these days, he has a constantly filled glass of vodka and ice only, on his piano.
So for those keeping score, the drunk Long Island Jewish homeboy will not be appearing with the middle-aged gay cartoon character, at least not immediately.
Last weekend, it was 'You Who', which is a thing for hipsters with children, actually. It was the dream of The Decemberists' drummer (I think) and his baby mama (again, I think). It combines people in costumes doing skits -people dressed like giant owls, and I would have liked to include a picture of that here, but I think all the images belong to McMenamins, and you can't. That hyperlink up there takes you to their Flickr page- and your hip young local bands doing that thing that they do.
So, the twee factor backstage was pushed to near toxic levels, but above all else I think it is a very nice thing. I would very much have liked to have a place to go like this back when I had a young kid in the house: your friends say they'll babysit for you while you go out and have a good time, but they won't. So to be around a buncha other painfully hip people who are learning the usual eternal lessons of child-rearing? Yeah, that woulda been okay, I guess.
Up n' comin': Ozomatli at the Crystal, and Ronnie Milsap/Lorrie Morgan at Spirit Mtn. The image of Ronnie that they use on the billboards for this evening of '80's country is a prime example of the I'm So Happy To Be Blind (tm)! photo that I was making fun of in my last post.
There she is.
"Ha! Ha Ha! This also does double duty as my 'So Happy 'Cuz I'm Saved By The Lord (patent pending)' photo! HA!"
I mean, Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder did it too, and I don't necessarily feel like it's only a blind fashion thing, but still...