Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving? Oh, That Reminds Me, Time to Start Thinking About Christmas!

So today was Black Friday in the good ‘ol US of A. Black Friday? What kind of a name is that for the day after Thanksgiving? Or for that matter, for the traditional first day of the Christmas shopping season? After a great deal of searching through the Encyclopedia Britannica (you might be more familiar with it as “Wikipedia”), I discovered that the term Black Friday originated as term of disdain leveled at the day by Philadelphia city police officers that had to deal with the traffic jams full of morons swarming downtown in search of discounted white patent leather platform boots and pinstripe bell bottom pants among other must-have Christmas gift items. What? No, I’m not talking about the ‘70s, it’s Philadelphia for Christ’s sake! Come to think of it, why the hell is Thanksgiving so bloody late down there anyway? We have ours here in Canada in October, which is the time of year that Canadian statisticians roughly estimate the season of Fall to occur. It’s a little tough to tell what with Spring being from about March 1st to 15th, and Summer being from approximately March 16th to April 1st or so. Basically the leaves start to turn any time after that. If they’ve been able to burst forth through the permafrost, that is. Depends on the year. Hopefully this year the Slack-Jawed Friday shoppers left most of their guns at home so you didn’t have too many more incidents like last year when two men in Palm Desert, California shot each other to death after arguing over a toy in a local Toys “R” Us store. That reminds me of a funny Weird Al Yankovic song parody of Green Day’s “American Idiot” called “Canadian Idiot” in which Weird Al sneers that Canadians go to the mall and don’t even pack heat. It’s not quite as funny in real life for the traumatized tots and pants-pissing parents that had to witness that psychotic bullshit go down in Palm Desert, I would imagine. What a fucking nuthouse. Well, all that being said, there is definitely a chill in the air, and I don’t think it’s only from the amassed glacial intellects lined up all over the US for Sarah Palin book signings (Make your X, Sarah!).

I guess it is time to start thinking about Shitmas Christmas, as much as we don’t want to. It’s not like it’s been a great year for everyone, and times are tough all over, with the possible exception of the C-Suite dickheads, who seem to have weathered the storm on boats constructed of wads of government stimulus cash. I guess I shouldn’t be so cynical, I mean if we didn’t have monster salaries and bonuses for shittily performing CEOs, what would the guy who cleans the toilets for minimum wage have to aspire to? I mean really, would anyone want a job in the Big Office if they had to go to work in a Cadillac instead of a Bentley? How embarrassing. That’s not the attitude our countries were built on, people! So in that spirit, I have amassed a short list of Christmas gift suggestions for the person who wants everything, from the person who has nothing:

How about a wacky European General Motors Division?

Opuhl-ease!“Do you have any idea what my shirt says? Fuck no, I don’t have a goddamn clue.”

For some reason, the bright lights at General Motards decided at the last minute that it was a bad idea to sell Opel to Canadian autoparts giant Magna International. Apparently they have decided they know how to make money now (Hint: go broke through stupidity, get government bailout, start to tell everyone you know what you’re doing again). Well, Magna’s loss is your gain! Obviously GM will go tits-up again soon, probably well before Christmas so here’s your chance to give someone a very unique gift at a bargain-basement price. It’s not every day you can buy a lazy, overstuffed, heavily unionized, 35 hour per week working matchbox-car making company with the money left on your Visa’s credit limit. And just think, next year you can give everyone in your family an Opel in their stocking!

Or Maybe Dubai!

Nothing auspicious about that!

“I’m a little teapot, short and stout…”

I know what you’re thinking. How can I afford Dubai? Well, at this price, how can you afford not to buy it? I mean even for the friend who has everything, I bet they don’t own a pie-in-the-sky wannabe Arab Las Vegas (minus the tits, ass, booze, and fun). I hear it’s going up on Ebay early next week so it can sell in time for Christmas and get this: no reserve! Better get your sniping hand ready though, because rumour has it that Herbert Walker Bush himself has his sights set on it for Sonny-Boy for Christmas. It’s also rumoured he plans to change the name to Dubya, just to rub Iran and the Taliban’s face in it. Don’t waste any time, you’d better get practicing on some other in-demand Ebay items like Lindsay Lohan’s pride (why she ever sold it in the first place, we’ll never know, she badly needs it now), and that Yankee World Series home-run ball the Phillies fan threw back on the field (priceless!).

Or Even…H1N1!

Health 1, Dignity 0

Health: 1, Dignity: 0

Okay, maybe giving someone a dread set of the sniffles isn’t the nicest thing a person could do at Christmas, but let’s face it, the person who has everything is probably also insulated from all of the grubby peasants and their infections and pestilence. This could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for them! They were probably too stupid to even go and get vaccinated, thinking that their rarified Country Club air is unlikely to carry the bugs of the unwashed masses. Some great people to think of for this heartfelt gift are say, your rich condescending neighbours, or even your boss (and his boss!). The best part is, it’s all but free! You probably haven’t been able to get a shot yet anyway due to silly obligations like working two jobs and caring for flu-ridden relatives. All you have to do is head down to your local hospital, lick a few doorknobs and elevator buttons and you should be in business. As you sit in your cubicle trying to do your work through your fevered haze, your boss will probably come around with everyone’s Christmas bonus of a month’s free parking in the company lot or a voucher for two free coffees in the break room or something. Make sure you give him a big hug to thank him, and Oops! cough right in his stupid face! Oh, and those neighbours? Make sure the next time you take their mail to them from the mailbox at the end of their driveway that you slobber all over it, real thorough-like.

Hopefully some of these thrifty, yet unique gift ideas help you with the difficult task of Christmas shopping this year! What’s that? Christ no, I do not want a hug you goddamned Typhoid Mary wannabe! Sorry Mom, I guess that was a little harsh. Maybe we could hug next year?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Apple © Brand-y


“Yes, folks, this baby can make large numbers of dollar bills disappear from your wallet at speeds darn near the speed of light!”

Know who this guy is? You don’t? Seriously? Well, for the six people out in the world who don’t know, the man in the picture above is none other than Steve Jobs, founder of Apple Computers, all around nice guy, and the free will-sucking Dark Lord of Branding Vampires. Steverino has posed in a similar position to the one above at countless media-blitz new product launches and annual general meetings for Apple shareholders, exuberantly extolling the virtues of the newest must-have Apple product. He’s been there for the launch of the iPod, iPod Nano, the Macintosh, the Macbook, the iPhone, and others. He’ll probably be there for the launch of the iPod Nano-Nano (sorry Mork) and the iPerfectSpouse as well. It isn’t Steve’s ebullient personality and deep commitment to the Apple product line that sets him apart from other pocket-lining corporate head honchos. No, the thing that sets him apart has been his ability to brand the Apple products in a fashion not seen since Coke became an all around word for a cola soft drink. Mmm. A nice fresh Coke would taste great about now. I think I’ll go get one…I’m back, and boy was that Coke refreshing! What!? I’ve got to pay the bills too, you know. Anyway, back to Steve. When was the last time you saw a movie in which an actor opened a laptop that wasn’t a Macbook? Yeah, yeah, I saw 2012 too. That must have cost Sony one pretty penny to outbid Jobs. How about the last time you heard some moron call any kind of MP3 player an “iPod?” Hell, after all those Lame PC Guy vs. Cool Mac Dude commercials, I sometimes feel like committing suicide when I switch on my PC to check my email or write a blog post. At the very least, I feel like I should try to be a little more like Justin Long or maybe get the same haircut. That way people could just assume I was a cool Mac user as long as I never let them enter my home.

Steve has certainly gotten the Apple brand out there, that’s for sure. His latest endeavour, however, might raise a few eyebrows. After a generous donation to Stanford University and a rumoured tidying up of the remaining relatives of Alfred Binet, Jobs has acquired the rights to the Stanford-Binet IQ Test. Through deep subterfuge and fabrication, in an operation that cost the lives of several undercover operatives and a half-dozen jelly doughnuts, Oh, For ****’s Sake! has managed to obtain a copy of the first page of the new IQ test, renamed, innocently enough the iQ Test. Although the questions seem vaguely familiar to anyone who has previously taken a standardized intelligence test, there are subtle differences, which are apparent to the trained eye:

iQ Test

Question 1:

If all Windows users are losers, and all losers are Windows users, how many loser Windows users are actually loser users?

A. All of them.

B. Every one of them.

C. The whole sorry goddamn lot.

D. Especially that Lame PC Guy from the commercial.

Question 2:

Rearrange the following words and letters to make a phrase:


When you have rearranged the phrase to the correct form, what does the phrase say?

A. The best darn thing I’ve heard all day.

B. A truly great idea.

C. Something wonderful.

D. The solution to blissful happiness.

Question 3:

STEVE JOBS is to GOD as GOD is to:




D. The guy who runs Apple. Yep. STEVE JOBS

Question 4:

What number logically comes next in this sequence of new Apple product price points?:

$199, $299, $399, $499, …

A. All numbers above $499 in $100 multiples.

B. Whatever the market will bear.

C. I have to have it! Who gives a shit what it costs!?

D. The sky’s the limit, and even that isn’t a given.

Question 5:

What human emotion is the equivalent of the following symbol?:

Pride parade apple

A. Joyous happiness and joy.

B. Loving loveness.

C. Joyful Loving

D. All consuming envy and greed, much like the apple in the Garden of Eden.

As you can see folks, Steve has once again done a great job of insinuating the Apple brand into another facet of our daily lives. Heck, I only ever take one bite out of an apple before I throw it away now, it just seems so aesthetically pleasing at that point that it would be a shame to keep eating it. Even though I have blown the whistle on Jobs’ latest branding project, I still hope to one day be cool enough to own an Apple product. I’ve been practicing my disaffected, hands-in-pocket poser stance and air of repugnant superiority, so I’m at least half way there.