Let’s have a look at BBC World News

Siti Nurannisaa

Some time ago it occurred to me that the online version of BBC World News has only 6-12 actual news stories on its home page every day, and another dozen-odd articles pushing various flavours of fashionable poz or just plain old rubbish.

This is odd, given that it is one of the largest and most prestigious news organizations in the world.  Shouldn’t there be dozens of real stories on the front page?

I bookmarked this thought as I was in a place with slow internet speed and could not log on to WordPress, but now I’m back in civilization, let’s look at today’s BBC News and see what’s up: Read More

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Suggested Gillette ad campaigns

As usual I am late to the party.  In January 2019, there was a big brouhaha about Gillette’s ad campaign.  And by the time I’m out of the jungle and can post this response you’ll have forgotten all about it.

It seems Gillette’s PR team needs a bit of help.  What else am I here for but to offer unsolicited advice and make the world a better place?  So here we go: alternative Gillette TV ad campaigns that could help to repair the damage caused by the last one.

  1. A Red Indian is banging his drum in the face of an adolescent boy in a Maga cap. The boy nonchalantly takes out a Gillette razor and begins to shave his teenage fluff, much to the consternation of the old Indian who cannot grow facial hair.

Jingle: “Gillette – the best a man can Kek.”

  1. A bunch of mostly ugly women and soy-boys are staging some kind of attention-seeking Slut Walk. A young man watches them in undisguised disgust.  Suddenly among the crowd he spots an attractive lady – except for her obligatory underarm hair.  Their eyes meet and they have a moment – all the sounds and background images fade and there is nothing in the frame except those two.  The skanky-but-hot girl reaches his position and he hands her a Gillette razor.  She takes it with a submissive and grateful smile.  Their eyes are locked throughout.  Ugly girls and low-T men around them look on with intense jealousy.

Jingle: “Gillette – the best for girls you can’t forget.”

  1. Vladimir Putin is hunting in Siberia alone and bare-chested. His manboobs and muffin-top are digitally minimised in this shot.  He reaches a rugged outcropping of rock, spots a bear, and aims his rifle at it.  Then he changes his mind, puts down the gun, strides over to the bear and punches it out.  He takes out his Gillette razor, the package of which boasts it could ‘shave a bear’.  He tries it curiously on the beast’s flank and finds that it does, indeed, do the job.  He nods approvingly and then the unconscious bear comes around and they nod approvingly at the amazing razor together.

Jingle: “Gillette – the best for every man’s pet.”

  1. There’s a high, bling wall stretching across the desert as far as the eye can see it, with giant Trump-faces carved into it like those big statue things in Lord of the Rings, you know the ones I mean. A bunch of hairy, greasy Mexicans in ponchos and sombreros turn up to a gate. The ICE official looks them up and down and shakes his head.  The Mexicans go behind a clump of cactus, have a brief siesta, bath with their drinking water, shave with Gillette razors, put tequila on as aftershave, take out nice suits from their bags and put them on, then go back to the ICE official and present him with their visa documents and advanced degrees in robotic engineering.  The ICE official smiles and beckons them in.

Jingle: “Gillette – the best for every wet(back).”

  1. In a German city, a crazy, big-bearded Muslim with wild eyes and wearing traditional garb is driving a large truck towards a mall decorated for Christmas. He is cackling insanely and as he draws closer he speeds up and heads directly towards the terrified pedestrians in his path and screams “Allahu akbar!”  A German man boldly steps in front of the truck.  He is dressed in lederhosen and a helmet with a spike on the top.  He glares at the driver and holds up a Gillette razor in one hand and a can of Gillette shaving cream in the other.  The terrorist gasps in horror and slams on the brakes, jumps from the truck and runs away in terror as the German advances with his shaving implements.  The crowd cheers and chants pro-German but not quite Nazi slogans.

Jingle: “Gillette – the best ISIS will regret.”

  1. In Bangkok, backstage of a ladyboy cabaret show, one of the performers looks in the mirror and realizes she has a long, thick, black hair sprouting from her chin. Her friend looks at her and gasps melodramatically.  (The following is spoken in Thai and appears in English subtitles).

“Nan, that is disgusting!”  (Makes comically camp hand gestures).

“Oh no, what shall I do?  The show starts in one minute!”

“Here, quick, use this!”  The friend hands Nan a Gillette razor and the errant hair comes right off.  They rush onto the stage just in time and the show is fabulous.  A handsome, well-dressed Western man in the crowd admires Nan, and in a montage we see him meet her after the show, they return to a flash hotel together, and then they travel off together in a yacht into the sunset, cuddling and smooching in silhouette.

Jingle: “Gillette: the best a tranny can get.”

Hope that helps.

TV in the Middle East

My TV broke.  It won’t turn on.  I think it got fried by a power surge.  Probably the parts and skills to fix it cannot be found here and it will never work again.  But I’m not missing much.

Though I am in Africa, for some reason I get several hundred Middle Eastern satellite TV stations beamed into my dish.  I’ve flicked through all of them so that you don’t have to.

Here is what I found: Read More

Be Brief

Most books are twenty percent too long.  Films generally overstay their welcome by about thirty minutes each and speeches by about ten.  The worst offenders are meetings, which are usually sixty percent longer than necessary.  Blog posts vary by author, with some ramblers giving us eighty percent more words than are required for their message while others come right to the point, SEO be damned.

Musicians generally get it about right.  They know how long a movement will keep our interest and when it needs to change.  A few are tedious while others leave us wanting more.

I forgive writers their babbling far more than speakers.  If an author is blathering I can easily skim over the unnecessary drivel and tune back in once he’s decided to return to the story.  Joseph Conrad comes to mind – okay, the sea is pretty.  We get it.  Thanks for telling us so many times, at such infinite length and with such endlessly varied similes.

Too many authors think that they should write a novel when they really have a good idea for a novella.  Novellas are underrated, as are short films.  Why do we not have some films that go for an hour and cost half the price?  Not everyone wants to sit through two and an half hours of Australians speaking in American accents as they swing through the city in tights battling unconvincing CGI monsters.

Oh, but meetings are the worst.  If someone sends a ridiculously wordy email it’s no biggie to skim over it and pick out the vital details.  But when someone is speaking, and speaking, and speaking, and we get what they want to say but they insist on continuing to say it anyway, there is no escape and they bloody well know it.  This is an act of aggression against me.  I have limited time on this planet and stealing it away from me is like a mini-murder (proper murder being the larger theft of all the time a person has left).

Be brief.