Monday, June 26, 2006

I just drove through Woodbridge, and I'm a little confused.

For those of you who aren't in the Toronto area, Woodbridge is a suburb heavily populated by Canadians of Italian descent. It's one of my favorite places -- my framer's shop is there, you can't beat the morning pastries and I get some of the best pasta around at Quiztini's off Langstaff.

But immediately after the 1-0 Italian victory over Australia to advance in the World Cup, there were people running out into the streets, waving Italian flags and singing. My question is: what are you guys so happy about?

The Australians clearly played the better game, mainly because the Italians finally ran into a referee willing to call all the diving and elbowing that allows the Italians to create space. With their whining and cheapshots stripped from them, they were exposed as merely another good team, one the Aussies might have taken in extra time.

Unfortunately, the same ref who had done such a marvelous job through the first 92 minutes of action failed miserably in the last. Luis Medina called for a penalty kick on a play which shouldn't have even been a stoppage, and Francesco Totti's blast predictably snuggled into the upper left reaches of the net.

This was a horrible, unseemly ending to a wonderful game, and I'm not at all sure why Italians are pleased by it. Yes, you won -- congratulations and all that -- but your side has been exposed, and if you draw another official willing to call the game in the maaner in which it should be called, come Friday you'll be crying in your cappuccino.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Quick one tonight -- check out a couple of extremely funny little films based around bad writing.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Also, we haven't had any new pictures of Mackenzie recently, so here are a few for those wondering how she's doing.

She's now just past three months, healthy and happy and starting to act like she wants to walk. Yes, I know ... too early, but you put her on her feet and she wants to try and get across the floor.

I can't tell you how amazing it is when she first wakes up in the morning. I take her upstairs before anyone else is up and we spend 15 minutes of Mac and Daddy time with both of us just giggling and yukking it up. Of course, after that she wonders where her mom is and gets cranky, but that's fine -- 15 minutes is enough to get me wired for the rest of my day.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I have no idea why he does it, but here's a fellow who apparently doesn't have a problem with the people around him knowing how he feels.

A whackjob? Yes, but I do agree with him abuot the seatbelt issue.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Congratulations to Jay-Z on creating about a billion dollars worth of publicity for the makers of Cristal.

The apparently illiterate hip-hop mogul issued this announcement recently:

"It has come to my attention that the managing director of Cristal, Frederic Rouzaud, views the 'hip-hop' culture as 'unwelcome attention.' I view his comments as racist and will no longer support any of his products through any of my various brands including the 40/40 Club nor in my personal life."

Of course, it wasn't Rouzard who used the words "unwelcome attention" in an article entitled "Bubbles and Bling" in The Economist. It was actually the author of the piece, Gideon Rachman, who used that phrase.

For whatever reason, the article seems to have disappeared of the magazine's web site, so here's the direct quote from Rouzard, who was asked if the link between his product and hip-hop was beneficial.

"That's a good question, but what can we do? We can't forbid people from buying it. I'm sure Dom Perignon or Krug would be delighted to have their business."

Rouzard also said his organization viewed the hip-hop connection with "curiosity and serenity." Doesn't exactly sound racist, does it?

What's most wonderful about all of this is a whole new audience of potential Cristal drinkers may hear about the product as a result of Jay-Z's overreaction. I mean, how many upper-class whites are down with "Can't Knock the Hustle" and "Brooklyn's Finest"?

By the way, here's a line or two from another alcohol-soaked track, "Dead Presidents II":

My doe flip like Tae-Kwon, Jay-Z the Icon
Baby, you like Dom, maybe this Cristal's to change your life huh.

Now how could a multinational corporation not be excited about being associated with that?

This could also work out well for Mr. Zed, though. It's a chance for him to hook himself up with a whole new target audience by dropping the name of some other beverage.

Perhaps Milwaukee's Best, or Mad Dog ... or even Tang:

I be pullin' mad knots with my posse and my gang
Developin' a thirst and I'm searchin' for the Tang.

That even has a nice double entendre, something I'm sure every ho out there would appreciate.

In any event, I fully expect Shawn Cater (his real name -- how does he get Jay-Z out of that?) to apologize at some point and start pimping Cristal again. That, and perhaps also bust a cap in the ass of his publicist.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

With the U.S. Open and father's Day falling on the same weekend, Nike has decided to put together a tribute to the recently departed Earl Woods. You can check it out right here.

The ad itself is pretty tasteful, with just one Nike swoosh right at the end of it -- no mention of golf shoes or clubs or anything of that ilk. Still, I find myself a little uneasy about it.

It's not the thought of Nike wanting to do something to honor Earl Woods, and it's pretty clear Tiger approves of it. I think it's more the thought of a corporation even approaching someone with the idea.

Even brooking the subject would seem to be difficult.

"We know your father just died, and seeing how it's Father's Day this weekend and also one of the year's biggest marketing opportunities for us, we thought we'd put together a montage and tack our logo on at the end. What do you say?"

Again, the ad is done tastefully, and perhaps Nike and Woods know one another so well that the possibility of upsetting its most recognizable face never crossed its organizational mind.

But I know I would have considered it, and probably not have taken the chance.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Just a quick link dump -- check out this extremely funny Blaupunkt ad.

I'm assuming this ran only in Europe. Why does America hate funny commercials?

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Just a note to all you parents out there -- do the world a favor and try disciplining your kids.

I had a youth soccer team this morning/afternoon. Some of the kids were fine, but others were knocking stuff off shelves, shoving counters and generally being little pricks. The entire time, the vast majority of parents sat outside in the mall commons gabbing and ignoring their charges.

I finally tossed a few of them after one kept setting off the Peter griffin and Homer talking bottle openers. I have no problem with kids wanting to hear them, but not five times and not six of them at once.

There were also cards being dropped, jerseys knocked off hangers. I know I sound like a crotchety old man ... but come on. You know your kids are being knobs. Do something and stop acting like it's my fucking job to tell your children how to behave.