This ain’t no orinoco flow

Hey Kids,

It’s time for another installment of the Friday Fry-up.  Today on the docket is this super weird ad from Evian:

What is it exactly that they are trying to tell me?  That drinking their water will make me younger?  That it will give me more energy?  That it will give me hair that looks as though I’m in front of an ever-present wind machine?

Or is it trying to tell me that drinking Evian will ensure that I lose the ability to talk and walk and leave me without control over my bowels and/or urinary tract?

Seriously, I’m calling shenanigans on this Benjamin Button crap.

How does this even make sense?  Especially due to the fact that they chose a model who is what – nineteen, maybe twenty years old?  Yeesh.  You know you are living life a little too fast and fancy free (aka no sleep and rampant drug use) if the year you graduate out of your “teens,” you are pining for the simpler days of yore, when you wore Babar onesies and cried all the time.  I really hope that this was not the message the campaign directors wanted to get across in this ad.

I doubt it – but then again, you never know.

I mean really, why not have a majorly old dude sporting a hot young piece of man flesh on his t-shirt?  That way we could move beyond the ever-present and hugely boring notion that aging as a woman IS SERIOUSLY THE SCARIEST THING IN THE ENTIRE WORLD EVEN SCARIER THAN ZOMIBES OMG GUYS GET ME SOME NIGHT TIME ANTI-WRINKLE CREAM STAT.  It would turn this conceit on its head, and make for a pretty interesting, funny, and aesthetically pleasing campaign.

Because seriously, if the ad is geared towards women (which I’m assuming it is – I don’t think there any many dudes out there who date women for their “inner baby” – and if there are, well, that’s a whole other can of worms I am not interested in opening) let’s give them something awesome.

Something different.

Is there no one out there that can come up with an idea that is thought-provoking, and most importantly, NEW?

As my mother used to ask, “AM I TALKING TO A BRICK WALL?”

Otherwise, it’s just boring, lazy and stupid.  Hey Evian, did you hear that?  Your water is Two and a Half Men – BOTTLED!!

P.S. Do babies even drink water!?  I don’t think they ingest much of anything besides breast milk or formula.

So sorry Evian – it’s a fail on all fronts.

On a completely different, totally awesome note: It snowed yesterday!

Now I no longer feel so silly about how quickly my excitement has been ramping up for the holiday season.  There is so much about this time of year that brings out the nostalgia big time.

Catch me at my desk today and you’ll probably hear me humming that age old tune:

“Oh the weather outside is weather…”

We gotta move these refrigerators

I have never understood the whole “I-don’t-watch-TV-therefore-I-am” Cartesian superiority thing – as if watching television somehow negates every book read, every lecture attended, every run gone on or piece of classical music mastered.

(This list has been shortened just in case you’re into the whole brevity thing, but please feel free to populate it with whichever activities you see fit.)

Anti-television aficionados will normally let you in on their secret in one of two ways.  The first usually goes something like this:

Player A (played by yours truly in this scene):  “Hey man, do you watch Breaking Bad [or insert some other amazing television show here]?  I just started watching it this weekend and it’s amazing!”

Player B: [smarmy, self-congratulatory] “No.  I don’t own a TV. Fwuh fwuh fwuuuuuuuh!” [adjusts monocle and top hat]

To which my immediate reaction (as Player A) is: “Shut the front door!  No TV eh? Well, ever heard of a little thing called the internet there Einstein?  Because I’m pretty sure that’s where the majority of the world is getting their television these days! Totes McGotes dude, not owning a TV is one crap excuse for missing out on quality television programming!  [pause]  NEXT!”

The second scenario is a little different:

Player A: “Hey man, have you ever seen The Wire [or insert some other amazing television show here]?  I just finished the series and I think it changed my life!”

Player B squints their eyes, and curls their lips.  Their voice is thick with disdain.

Player B: “No.  [Pause] I don’t watch TV.

Now, my first reaction to this situation is, as Player A, to laugh while giving Player B some serious side-eye.  Then I am overwhelmed by the urge to scream, “OH YEAH?  NO TV EH?  What about movies then?  DO YOU WATCH MOVIES, ARSEHOLE?  Because I’m pretty sure television can be just as beautiful, engaging and life-changing as any film, and I can guarantee you there is as much filth being produced on the big screen as there is on that little box!”

[Pause for dramatic effect and to ensure that I didn’t drop any unplanned double entendres.]

And then I round house kick them in their kidneys.  No of course I don’t.  (I would never do that.)

I box their ears.

(I kid, I kid).

Now, while I’ve never quite had the guts to respond in this fashion, it has taken some mighty yoga breathing to keep this rage-attack at bay.

I mean, what can I say?  Like one Homer J., I’m a rageaholic.  I’m addicted to rageahol.

Because honestly, the whole, “all TV is shit TV” excuse is tired, played-out and completely untrue.  Now, to clarify, is the majority of current television programming awful, mind-numbing crap?  Yes.  Undoubtedly and tragically, yes.   And unfortunately, there seems to be an insatiable thirst for this glut of shows that are, for lack of a more poetic term, utter garbage.  (See: most reality television, anything produced by Chuck Lorre, the current Law and Order series [and all of its spinoffs], anything with “housewives” in its title and of course pretty much everything broadcast on the CBC).  This is truly regrettable, because it is this saturation of mindless, unimaginative, monotonous slime that gives an entire medium a bad rap.

In reality, there are a number of truly great shows on television – and (fingers crossed) until the day we see the premier of “Two and a Half Jersey Shore’s Big Bang the Biggest Loser”, this trend will continue.  Or at least until the zombie apocalypse comes to town,  but by then I’m pretty sure people will have bigger fish to fry than arguing over the merits of television.  One thing though – all those schmucks who don’t watch the Walking Dead are going to bite it hard and fast (or should I say, be bit hard and fast), so let that serve as a warning to you all.  Netflix that stuff, pronto.

This zombie will settle the TV debate once and for all. Or you know, eat your brain.

Great television is transcendent.  It is a dramatic art form at its finest and should be celebrated.  Maintaining a storyline throughout multiple seasons without the writing, directing, acting, cinematography (etc. – the list goes on and ever on) suffering, becoming stale or over the top, or losing its momentum is beyond difficult.  It is damn near impossible.  And when this feat is achieved, it is magic.

This magic is so rarely achieved nowadays within any artistic channel.  And because of this I believe we should be galvanizing our forces in all areas, instead of trying to break down one (or multiple) artistic vehicles for the sake of self-aggrandizement or the propagation of whatever lame notion happens to be au-courant that day or month or year.

This too is tired and overly played out.  And it doesn’t make you cultured, it just makes you uniformed.  It’s like walking into a drugstore, perusing their book selection and them proclaiming all literature trash.  Drivel exists everywhere in all forms.  To write off an entire group because of this fact is uninspired and lazy.

So Player B, don’t tell me that you won’t watch TV and somehow think I will admire you.  And especially don’t tell me you won’t watch TV and then inform me that you’re heading out for a night at the cinema.

Because I will tell you that the comedy you are going to watch probably won’t be funnier than Arrested Development -or that inner-city drama won’t hold a flame to The Wire.  I will tell you to open your mind.

I promise, no one is going to force feed you The Bachelor.  I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.

I will tell you to start with Rome – and do as we Romans do.   And always remember, no one likes a chicken:

Warning: May contain nuts

I speak, of course, of Halloween candy and politics.

Doubt it?  Then check this out – this election ad (albeit American) is one of the most unintentionally hilarious things I have ever seen.  All I can ask is, “who the heck who would actually sign off on this?  And why the cigarette?  Can we please stop speaking in clichés? NO SERIOUSLY, WHO VETTED THIS PROJECT?”

Also, is it just me, or during the last round of federal elections, did campaign ads turn into movie trailers?  I felt as though every time one came on the television I was watching a preview for Canada Wars Episode Six: Return of the Majority.

Anywho, in the spirit of Halloween, I present to you, dear readers, my top six costume ideas for those brave and politically nerdtastic souls who are looking to dress up as Canada’s finest defenders of democracy (and all starring players in the above mentioned film.)

So in no particular order, let us start with:

1. Bev Oda

What you need: Black wig, black sunglasses, black coat, lit cigarette, enough self-confidence to wipe out the entire Cosmo-mag empire and a cutthroat side-eye that that screams:  “no if, ands, or buts – I will cut you.”

2. Justin Trudeau

What you need: Crisp tailored three-piece suit, just-floppy-enough-but-just-curly-enough brown haired wig, gorgeous wife and the weight of the entire Canadian Liberal Party’s fate on your shoulders.  Remember: NO FUR.

3. Rodney MacDonald

What you need: A fiddle, two east-coast music award nominations and a huge loss of confidence.  Bonus: the ability to step-dance.

4. Christy Clark

What you need: A David Schreck approved turtle neck.

5. Stéphane Dion

What you need: A super cute dog named after a Japanese city, top-rimmed glasses, silver fox hair-do, and no I’m not going to say anything mean bout M. Dion because I have a huge soft spot for him because he reminds me of the every-dad, and you ask the every-dad to help you with your science homework or to drive you to your volley ball game.  You do not ask the everydad to run the country.  Why?  Because the every-dad is too busy doing DIY stuff in the basement, solving climate change and wearing Cosby sweaters.  COME ON PEOPLE!

6. Pierre-Luc Dusseault

What you need: A fake ID.

As for me?

Today I shed my muggleness for a brief foray into the world of wizardry.


Taking up arms

Okay.  I haven’t had cable for a while, so I’m not sure exactly when the Food Network went the way of MTV.  Does anyone know when it stopped showing people actually cooking?  There isn’t one program that features a chef in a kitchen, for as far as the eye can see!  It’s all reality shows.  Granted some of them are awesome – two that I particularly like are Ace of Cakes and Top Chef – but most of them are ridiculous, relying on schlocky, orchestrated drama and the casting of stupid/bland/catty/[insert stock “personality” here to fulfill common but expected stereotype] to make them marginally watchable.

This whole scenario disappoints me for two reasons.  The first being that this television station used to be a solid promotional tool – it made healthy eating, even healthy living, stylish, sexy, easy and fun.  It was a way to ease into culinary adventures.  Intimidated by the sophistication of Martha?  Take up with the Inn Chef (Michael Smith).  Interested is checking out the East Hamptons?  Take a trip to visit with the Barefoot Contessa herself – Ms. Ina Garten (how good is that?)  If you were feeling frisky, you could easily get naked with one Jamie Oliver, or if it was heat you craved all you needed do was turn it up a notch with Emeril.  BAM!  Most importantly, it promoted the self-affirming mantra that, if Yan could cook, so could you!

So it’s dang unfortunate that the overall strategic vision of the network has moved away from the building and sustaining of a strong relationship between the watching public and the food they eat.  Especially in this day and age when there are so many factors adversely affecting this partnership.

Yet as much as I lament this dearth of programming focused on the acquisition and preparation of food, it is the new shows that have taken the place of the golden oldies that drive me batty.  The biggest crimes these shows commit?  Found, perhaps not where you would first look for them – in their names.  Every single one of these programs is some kind of “war.”  DINNER PARTY WARS!!! CUPCAKE WARS!!! Tonight I was cooking dinner with the TV on in the background and an advertisement came on for a Halloween special airing this Sunday afternoon entitled HALLOWEEN WARS (!!!)  Halloween wars?  For serious?  What the fricken heck is a Halloween war?  All I could summon up what the image of Arthur Fonzarelli soaring over a giant shark head.

Really, it just reminds me again how destructive, while at the same time, diluted our language has become.  Only individuals who have never experienced armed conflict could possibly think to name a television program about a baked goods competition a war.  I just want to scream through the television to the producers who came up with this name: YOUR PRIVILEDGE IS SHOWING MADAMSANDORSIRS.

Although, what can you really expect from someone (or multiple someones) who operate and thrive in a society whose own government is constantly waging wars on intangible entities.  Because remember folks, we are currently at war with TERROR!!! DRUGS!!!  HOMELESSNESS!!!  FOOT ODOR!!!  MALE PATTERN BALDNESS!!!

I suppose I should look forward to whatever else we arbitrarily pick to be in conflict with next (as long as my blood pressure can handle it.)  The feeling I`m getting in my bones tells me that this is going to go the way of women`s Halloween costumes – the more inane and mind-boggling, the better.  TROPICAL FRUIT PLATTER WARS!!! NON-FAT LOW-FOAM HALF-CAF LATTE WARS!!! IT SAYS THIS MILK WENT BAD YESTERDAY BUT I`M WILLING TO RISK IT WARS!!!

Yep folks, just wait and see.  Yo Ina – How good is that?

These little white lines

Dear Women:

Remember when we hated you because you were fat?  Boy did we ever dislike you then!  There aren’t too many worse things a woman can be!  Am I right, or am I right?  Oh, what’s that?  You’ve lost weight?  You joined a gym and started running and lifting weights and trying out new exercises and are the fittest you’ve ever been in your life?  Well good for you!  Too bad we still don’t like you.  I mean, even though you’re not fat anymore, you’re just less fat.  Don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re skinny enough.  Plus, you now have stretch marks and seriously, EW.  I mean, can’t you at least try to take care of yourself?  Good grief women.  Just get your head in gear okay?  You can start off by buying this bullshit product which will do nothing to actually minimize the look of those disgusting lines, but instead, further reinforce a feeling of perpetual failure.  Because goodness knows you have failed.  However, if by chance this product does work for you and reverses this natural process, and then maybe, just maybe, we’ll allow you to take pride in your body.  However, by “your body”, we don’t mean anything more than what you look like.  Lest you begin to think that you can feel good about yourself due to the amazing things you can accomplish with your body, just remember – you’ll never be good enough and you will never be more than the sum of your physical parts.


The World

I work out at a small gym.  It’s a pretty simple organization – exposed pipes, leaky air conditioners, and minimal equipment.  For relatively low price, I use its facilities between three to four times a week with little complaint.  However, two copies of this ad have been hanging in the ladies change room for over the past four months.  I didn’t pay much attention to it at first, but as I passed by it day after day, it really began to grate my gears.

It drives me crazy that a place committed to promoting healthy choices would chose to hang this ad in the women’s washroom.  While I understand that because the gym is so limited, it probably requires the extra revenue from the ad space, but couldn’t they have chosen something that promoted body acceptance (especially within the medium of healthy living, or healthier living?) over HEY EX-FATTIES!  GET RID OF THOSE STRETCH MARKS BECAUSE THEY, LIKE YOU, ARE SO GROSS!

I am so sick of constantly being told how fat, ugly, pimpled, yellow-teethed, glasses-ed, wrinkled and cellulited I am.  Because ninety-nine percent of the time all this is nothing but water of my rubber ducky back.  I am okay with my “flaws” – but mostly because I am capable of standing back and taking pride in the things my body is capable of doing.  However, this used to never be the case, and as I said, the one percent of the time that this does bother me, it really hits me hard.

And the reason that this is sticking so deeply in my craw right now, is because it is at the gym – the place I go to feel fantastic about myself.  The place where I push my body to its limits and marvel at how strong, fast, agile, flexible – WHATEVER – I can become through commitment and hard work, and not the purchasing (under social pressure) of some crap cream.

I think I may go in tomorrow with a notepad and scotch tape and stick the following onto the glass:

Hey Ladies!  I hope you had a great workout today.  Take a moment to reflect on how much faster or longer you can run, how much more you can lift.  Take a moment to relish how good that feels and keep trying new things!

And then I’m going to watch this and feel bloody brilliant: