Review 10 – The 3 Worst Ads on TV

Apparently, the average person is exposed to somewhere between 3,000 and 20,000 commercial messages per day.  Sadly, I would estimate that between 2,999 and 19,999 of them are absolute dirt. However, it’s heartening to notice a few golden nuggets peeping through the confusing, lying, exaggerating pile of poo that is the vast majority of the advertising industry’s output.

These are not those nuggets.

In fact, these three examples are among the worst ads on TV at the moment.  I’ll tell you why.

 

Nicabate Minis/Nicorette Lozenges

Why it’s a crap ad: false advertising.

This ad commits the most basic of advertising no-nos: it portrays its product as something it’s not.  The benefits of Nicabate Minis/Nicorette Lozenges would seem fairly straightforward to me: they relieve cravings for nicotine without the harmful effects of cigarettes.  The idea behind the ad is straightforward too: every time you resist a cigarette, you celebrate a little win.  And while there are plenty of creative visions that could convey either of these messages, Nicabate/Nicorette have chosen to present their product in an entirely false way and confuse the viewer.

The ad in question, embedded above, is simple enough.  Man 1 asks Man 2 if he would like a cigarette.  Man 2 says “I’m good”.  What he should have responded with was “will those cigarettes give me the confidence to perform karaoke in an empty bar while hallucinating that a miniaturised Maori funk band is playing a cover of Rare Earth’s 1971 classic I Just Want to Celebrate on a serving tray?  If not, then I’ll be fine with these sweet pills from Nicabate/Nicorette.”

I’m not a smoker, and am therefore not a Nicabate/Nicorette consumer either.  But I’ve done the research.  I’ve described the intended effects of the product above: they help kill ciggy cravings.  But even the most severe side effects are limited to fast or irregular heartbeat; and swelling of the face, lips, mouth or throat resulting in difficulty swallowing or breathing.  Nope, that’s not hallucinating or confidence enhancing.  So, somewhere in between turning down a cigarette and hallucinating/performing karaoke, the man has obviously consumed LSD and drunk five to seven beers.  It’s the only logical explanation.

But hey, he’s not smoking, so I guess in a roundabout way the ad does settle on the right message.  4 ciggys out of a pack of 24 for this one.

 

Jeep

Why it’s a crap ad: no mention of product benefits, presents a vague and unrealistic scenario.

Jeep is one of those brand names that has become so deeply embedded in society’s language that it has almost become a descriptor for vehicles suitable for use on rough terrain, just like Mackintosh’s raincoats have inspired an entire product category, the Mack raincoat.  They’ve reached this enviable position through precision engineering that combines the benefits of an off-road vehicle with aesthetics and luxurious interiors suitable for inner-city and family transport.  Recently, they’ve become surprisingly affordable too, and you can get a low-end Jeep, The Patriot (also the subject of this ad) for just $25,000.

So for their latest campaign, did Jeep focus on affordability, luxury, precision engineering, or the fact that their name is one of the most famous and highly-regarded in the world?  Your guess is as good as mine.

What unfolds above is some sort of awkward dialogue between Michael and an unnamed woman, presumably Michael’s wife or at the very least mother of his children.  I’m assuming they have kids because they’re cleaning up plush toys while they talk.  When unnamed woman tells Michael that she bought a Jeep, he repeats the question several times to confirm the information he’s just heard, before looking impressed.  Then the ad descends into the advertising cliché that is four-wheel-drives driving on an array of roads.

This wouldn’t happen.  These are more likely scenarios:

A:

Michael: so what did you end up getting?

Woman: I bought a Jeep.

Michael: You bought a Jeep?  Why?  I’ve told you I don’t bloody like that brand and I’d prefer a smaller, cheaper car since we only have one child, and said child is a tiny newborn that can travel safely in virtually any vehicle given the right safety seat.  It’ll be years before we need a bigger car than a hatch like the bloody Volkswagen Golf, which has awesome ads, by the way.

 

B:

Michael: so what did you end up getting?

Woman: I bought a Jeep.

Michael: Wow, I thought you were just going out to get a pack of almonds, 12 eggs and a tub of yoghurt like I asked!  What about our mortgage?  The kids we have to raise: there are so many doctor’s and dentist’s appointments involved in that.  The older one, he’s just about to go into high school… now we’ll have to send him to a shit one and he’ll end up making rash decisions and expensive impulse buys like you do.

 

C:

Michael: so what did you end up getting?

Woman: I bought a Jeep.

Michael: You owe me $25,000.

 

D:

Michael: so what did you end up getting?

Woman: I bought a Jeep.

Michael: You bought a Jeep?  Well so did I.

Woman: Fuck Michael, I knew we should have discussed this at greater length.

Ultimately, I guess the point I’m trying to make is that at the end of the ad, and I’ve seen it a lot, I still have absolutely no idea why I should buy a Jeep, or what Michael is really thinking under that seemingly impressed grin.

1 wheel out of a four-wheel drive.

 

AAMI

Why it’s a crap ad: it had big shoes to fill, it’s more overplayed than Stairway to Heaven at guitar shops.

How the mighty have fallen… the glory days of Ketut, Rhonda and the overweight yet charming Balinese foot massager are but distant memories for AAMI and viewers now, played out of existence by this dismal excuse for an ad.

This is actually an ad for the AAMI Skilled Drivers Course, a course for under 25s that’s included with any AAMI comprehensive motor insurance policy.

The initial idea and execution for this ad is decent enough.  A woman reflects on her past driving experience when she catches a glimpse of her former self at the traffic lights.  But it was never going to be as memorable as the internet phenomenon that was Ketut’s romance with that loveable redhead Rhonda, and to a lesser extent, her Balinese foot massage.  The characters are nowhere near as endearing and the humour is mediocre at best.  If AAMI were hoping for this to spread like wildfire like their past ads, their hopes were misplaced.

Perhaps knowing their new campaign wouldn’t be as catchy as the old, AAMI took a different approach.  Instead of actually making a good ad that would stick, they have seen fit to seemingly buy up every single 30-second slot on every network at every time of every day to force it to stick.  Seriously.  This ad gets played all the time.  I have actually seen it play back to back in between goals during an AFL game. It should be illegal to play an ad this average this many times.

Every time it plays, I feel a little piece of my heart dying, never to return to me.  Sure, you can say change channel, but it’s like the taxman, death or Liam Neeson in Taken: you can’t escape this thing, it will find you, and it will destroy you, no matter where you turn.

0 out of 12097497654986, which I think is the number of minutes of my life I’ve spent watching this ad that I’ll never get back.

AFL Mid Season Reviewman

With teams each approaching their respective halfway points of the season, it’s time to review each club’s performance using my innovative scale (0 to 10, where 10 represents the best and 0 the worst).

Adelaide Crows

This is a club that was literally a single kick away from a grand final berth in 2012.  Yet halfway through 2013 they find themselves struggling to crack into the top eight.  Their losses have been, for the most part, to quality opposition, including three likely top four candidates in Fremantle, Hawthorn and Sydney.  However, losses to fellow mid-table teams Carlton, Port Adelaide, and Richmond are a fair indication that this team doesn’t deserve to play finals.  A lack of a quality key forward is as conspicuous as Kurt Tippett’s contested marking ability.  One of the season’s great disappointments.  5/10.

Brisbane Lions

Here’s a microcosm of Brisbane’s season.  In Round 10 they were thrashed by Collingwood on their home turf.  In Round 12, after the bye, they were similarly shellacked by Fremantle, despite the fact that they made a whopping seven changes, bringing back genuine superstars of the future in Rockliff, Rich and Leuenberger.  Brown and Black, have missed stretches and appear to be past their best, and with a lack of obvious, consistent replacements, it’s going to be a long season, and perhaps a longer few years.  4/10, every one of those marks for the unbelievable victory away from home against Essendon.

Carlton Blues

Honourable loss: it’s the term every coach hates.  But Carlton opened their season with three of them, to Richmond, Collingwood and Geelong, with the largest margin a mere 17 points.  They’ve since started to click into gear a little better, perhaps becoming used to the coaching style of Mick Malthouse, but still seem to struggle to turn close losses into close wins, with Essendon, Hawthorn and St Kilda getting the better of Old Proud Navy Blues by under three goals.  Waite simply MUST string together games.  Walker’s reinvention as a backman has been a resounding success.  But they must find consistency.  6/10.

Collingwood Magpies

It’s been an interesting season for the Pies.  They’ve been thrashed by teams, but have dished out their share of buggerings too.  Fremantle, Hawthorn, Sydney and Essendon brushed the Black and White Army aside with relative ease, which would indicate that the top four might be beyond them.  However, their best is good enough to at least trouble sides in the finals, as their defeat of Geelong would indicate.  For me though, the gap between their best and worst is too great.  That, and I hate them.  6/10.

Essendon Bombers

Off field, you’d probably go with a 2/10 at best.  On field, they’ve been among the top performers.  The injury woes of 2012 are behind them, which would make another second half of the season fade-out as likely as peptides not popping up in the news again.  They worked a miracle on Fremantle’s home turf, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, and have only struggled against fellow top four aspirants Geelong and Sydney, losing each of those games convincingly.  Their spot in the four, however, is deserved.  8/10.

Fremantle Dockers

The Purple Haze is pretty damn hazy!  The Rollers/Rockers’ only losses have come against top performers in Essendon and Hawthorn.  They’ve ground out close games against Adelaide and Richmond.  They pulled a rabbit out of the hat against Sydney at the SCG, managing an astonishing come-from-behind draw.  They’ve convincingly beaten Melbourne, the Gold Coast, the Western Bulldogs and cross-town rivals West Coast.  They have the best defence in the league by a long way.  And they’ve done it without a who’s who of key players, including Pavlich, Fyfe, Walters and Hill, along with first, second and third choice ruckmen in Sandilands, Griffin and Bradley.  An incredible effort, all things considered. 9/10.

Geelong Cats

It’s back to business as usual for Geelong, who have resorted to old habits.  And by that, I mean they’re brushing aside just about everything in their path.  Despite the retirements of so many key players across every line, the worrying thing for the rest of the competition is the injection into the side and rapid improvement of youngsters like Vardy, Duncan, Blicavs, Smedts and Motlop, who have fit in seamlessly.  They’ve added pace to an already potent midfield, are finding more avenues to goal rather than relying on Hawkins, and have made it look like Matthew Scarlett never really mattered (all due respect to Matthew).  So… why did they lose to Collingwood?  9/10

Gold Coast Suns

Wow.  People laughed when Gold Coast’s chairman John Witheriff announced his 20-ONE-3 vision: an aspiration to achieve 20,000 members and a premiership within three years.  Those laughs are being accompanied by worried looks over shoulders now.  They managed three wins in 22 games in 2012.  Halfway through 2013, they already have five.  The ahead-of-time recruitment of Jaeger O’Maera was a masterstroke – give him the 2013 Rising Star now.  Aaron Hall, Dion Prestia, Trent McKenzie and veteran Campbell Brown have gone up a notch.  And it turns out obscure midfielder Gary Ablett is by far and away the best player in the league, and possibly the best player the game will ever see.  Worryingly convincing improvement.  8/10

Greater Western Sydney Giants

It’s been more of the same for Greater Western Sydney in 2013, who have shown fleeting glimpses of brilliance, primarily off the boot of Jeremy Cameron.  Based on the first half of this season, it’s not unrealistic to say that he will at some stage become the premier forward in the game.  The rest of the team has stagnated, with high-profile veterans like Brogan and Cornes non-contributors, and the allegedly promising youth showing little development outside of reeling in a few 20 goal margins and making them 10-15 goal margins.  The best thing you can say about the rest of the team is that they try hard in patches.  And at the top level, patches won’t cut it.  1/10

Hawthorn Hawks

A horror first half of 2013 saw the losing 2012 Grand Finalists playing 2012’s top eight across the first seven rounds.  Much to the horror of the rest of the competition, barring perhaps Geelong, they now sit first, with the best attack and percentage in the league, if you don’t mind.  The fact that Franklin has been well below his devastating best shows depth in the forward line, while the supposedly weak backline is in fact the third strongest in the league, trailing only Fremantle and Sydney, two teams who have already fallen to Hawthorn anyway.  They’ve done it without Suckling and, for the most part, Rioli too.  I am frightened.  10/10

Melbourne Demons

Where do you start?  They beat Greater Western Sydney that one time.  Then again, so has everyone else.  With literally less than a handful of players performing at the standard required at this level (Jones, Howe and maybe Frawley), young talent with a distinct lack of talent, and a rag tag bunch of trades who must cry themselves to sleep at night, Melbourne’s 2013 season is surely one of the most uncompetitive efforts in recent memory… in sport.  They’ve got the worst attack and percentage in the league, the second worst defence and probably the lowest attendance numbers.  The only fair score to give is a 0/10, the same score I give Mitch Clark’s decision to go to Melbourne when top four chance Fremantle practically had the red carpet rolled out, a nice hot bath running and champagne and strawberries on his bedside table.

North Melbourne Kangaroos

So close… yet so far.  That’s been 2013 for the Kangaroos.  They’ve been in winning positions against the Gold Coast, West Coast, Adelaide, Hawthorn and Geelong.  They lost all of those games.  There have been bright spots, like Lindsay Thomas’ shocking improvement, and the fact that they’ve been able to get into these winning positions at all against two flag favourites.  Nevertheless… call it a losing culture, a mental issue, or a team that trains well but crumbles in real game situations… I call it being quite good, but not good enough.  5/10

Port Adelaide Power

Along with the Gold Coast, another big improver.  These idiots could only manage five wins for the entire 2012 season, but have already notched six this year, and are lurking dangerously outside the top eight by percentage alone.  They probably still haven’t shown enough to mix it to any meaningful degree with quality sides, with West Coast the biggest scalp they’ve taken, in a miraculous 41-point fightback.  But I’ve been ever so impressed with the so-called Power.  The youth is looking good, with Wingard and Hartlett taking promising steps forward, while experienced players like Cornes and Boak have impressed.  Maybe they don’t have the power to rule in 2013, but they certainly have the power to (occasionally) win.  7/10.

Richmond Tigers

The Tiges look like they might have found a little something.  They’ve put together some solid wins, coming out on top in the pressure cooker environment against Carlton in Round 1, while spanking Port Adelaide and West Coast outside of Melbourne.  They’ve been more ruthless against the weaker teams too, managing some decent margins that have helped them into the top eight.  Riewoldt is having another solid season in front of goal but is still prone to the odd stinker when pitted against a quality opponent (G’day Luke McPharlin, you legend).  Deledio and Martin are cruising nicely, and could be right in the mix for All Australian selection.  7/10

St Kilda Saints

The Saints are on a dangerously slippery slope, and are clearly continuing to feel the loss of Ross Lyon and the defensive edge he brought to the team, while Fremantle fans point and laugh.  Finals are now impossible, with a severe lack of quality and depth to blame.  They showed a bit against West Coast before letting the game go by four points, and snuck home against Carlton in an impressively resilient performance.  The shining light has been Nick Riewoldt, who appears to be in All Australian and potentially Coleman Medal form.  Montagna has tried hard too.  Unfortunately, their normally reliable amigos Milne, Dal Santo, Fisher, Gilbert and Hayes have either been below their best or missed out on too many games to have an impact.  As for the rest of the list?  Let’s just say they’re developing.  2/10

Sydney Swans

The Swans started out with unconvincing wins against the expansion clubs, a loss to the Cats, and a near-loss against the Saints.  Since then, they’ve improved, despite the lack of high-profile recruit Tippett and Rhyce Shaw.   Based on the first half of their season, I wouldn’t lock them in for back-to-back flags.  They broke even with Fremantle after being nearly five goals ahead in the fourth, and were similarly unconvincing in losses to premiership fancies Geelong and Hawthorn.  They will face Hawthorn and Geelong again, before the home and away season is over, that will be a true test of whether or not they deserve the 2013 flag.  Solid, but not super impressive.  8/10

West Coast Eagles

A pre-season survey of the nation’s footy fans would’ve seen a remarkably high percentage of them locking in the Eagles for the flag.  As it stands, they’re struggling to stay in the eight.  The House of Pain is no more – embarrassing home losses to Richmond, Carlton and Hawthorn have seen to that.  They also conceded bragging rights in the Western Derby.  Injuries may have hurt early, but a supposed flag favourite should pack the depth to cover them (see Geelong).  Without that depth, it’s easy to see why they’ve only beaten the bottom six teams on the ladder, but have failed in every other test.  3/10

Western Bulldogs

It’s been another tough year for the Doggies, who appear to have well and truly reverted back to being one of the whipping teams of the league, as they were before those preliminary finals a couple of years back.  There’s a serious lack of firepower up front – the only teams who’ve scored less are Melbourne and Brisbane.  On the bright side, Cooney looks like he might be able to return to some sort of form, while Giansiracusa, Griffen, Boyd, Murphy and Liberatore have been admirable in their efforts.  There’s very little to make a song and dance about outside of those players trying hard.  At least they’re not worse than last year. 4/10

Reviewman Request 1 – The West Coast Eagles Home Game Experience

I’ll get this out of the way straight off the bat.  I’m a proud part of the Purple Haze.  In fact, I’m a Dockers member.  But hey, my mate requested that I do this, and the Reviewman does everything in his power to accommodate requests.  In reviewing the Patersons Stadium West Coast Eagles home game experience, I will strive to be as unbiased as I possibly can.

Requester Rat Wallace actually asked that I do a comparison between the home game experiences of the Fremantle Dockers and the West Coast Eagles.  However, given what transpired on Monday 3 June when the Richmond Tigers came to play, it’s impossible for me to find a comparable Dockers game that I remember, as they haven’t been doing a huge amount of losing this season, and certainly not by 41 points on their own turf.  So, just a straight up review it is.

It was a full house at Patersons, and a cold Monday evening indeed.  Mandrew Gorsmelly was the man who kindly gave me the ticket, seated in Block 127, Row A.  In other words, probably the best damn seats in the house.  Right on the wing at ground level, the view was amazing, and there was no risk of obstruction from fired up fans when goals were scored.  And boy were they fired up early!  For most of the first quarter, the football discussion around us was pretty educated, and accompanied by funny banter, larrikinism and encouragement.  However, once the Tigers got on a roll in the second quarter, the mood changed fast.

I can honestly say that I’ve never heard a crowd so hateful towards their own players.  The blue & gold army was absolutely shocking towards the team, showing absolutely no encouragement (except one woman, who yelled “go Eagles!” and some incomprehensible nonsense every 25 seconds for the duration of the match).  Instead there were Bronx cheers at successful plays, and verbally decimation in the event of even the smallest errors.  The umpires would’ve had a nice relaxing evening on the job – they stayed relatively untouched in comparison!  And the Richmond Tigers would have been stoked, they did the job on the field and both sets of fans helped them out behind the white line.  It was especially strange considering the AFL had launched their “Anti Player Abuse” campaign the exact same week… can’t exactly say it worked here in the west.  It was all pretty damn entertaining though and a nice change from the near-relentless success the Dockers have experienced this season.

It would’ve been even better in comfort.  The gentleman in the seat to my left was obese, so when he moved I moved, and not by choice.  Due to the fact that his body was much too wide for his allocated seat space, I had to lean forward when he leaned back, and vice versa.  It was like an Air Asia flight to Bali, without the promise of a tropical Aussie-bogan polluted paradise at the end.  But hey, it’s the footy, he was 65+ years of age and probably can’t exercise anymore, and he was a decent bloke, so no harm done.

What is harmful and possibly in violation of some human rights laws is the price of food and refreshments.  I bought a chocolate bar for $4.50.  This wasn’t one of those one-kilo bars either, or some sort of fine-dining 11th course in a degustation.  This was a garden variety Cadbury Boost Bar.  If you take anything away from this review, it’s that you should remember to eat before or after matches, never during, unless you’ve smuggled your food in beneath a large jacket or novelty hat.

Speaking of novelties, the game was full of them!  The crowd was encouraged to chant “SGIO… go Eagles go” at every break.  My only thought during these weird moments was that you could probably cut the “SGIO” bit out, focus on the team, and cut the margin back to a more respectable three or four goals.  It’s shameless product placement, and just because the sponsor name rhymes with “go” doesn’t mean you have to promote them to the same extent as the team.

At half time, old mate Karl Langdon had a yarn with up and coming ruckman Callum Sinclair, who, when asked what he thought the result would be, said he thought the boys would be able blow them away in the second half.  I’m not sure if he’s a Richmond supporter, but if he is, the man’s a goddamn genius and should be commended on his football brain.  I did like the idea of interviewing players over the PA at half time though.  It’s good to be rewarded for coming to the footy with insights from players, something normally reserved for those watching on the telly.

Then there was a milk carton stacking competition.  It’s always nice to have a milk carton stacking competition, but I didn’t really see the relevance of it.

It definitely wasn’t as relevant as the game itself, which was competitive early, if a little scrappy, with both teams making basic skill errors and going into quarter time a goal apart to the home side’s favour.  Then the Tigers decided to kick 14 more goals, while the Eagles settled for a paltry five, which, if you do the math, simply wasn’t enough in the end.  They were chased down with the ball, failed to hit long and short targets, were inaccurate in front of goal and non-competitive around stoppages, despite the mountain of hitouts accumulated by Naitanui and Cox.  It was all fine by me, but it wasn’t good footy for the punters.

Overall, it was a weird, slightly uncomfortable but overall entertaining night at the football.  Sure, it was cut short at three-quarter time when Mandrew decided he’d beat the queues at the waffle house, but it was a good time nonetheless.  I’ll make sure I don’t arrive hungry next time though

Overall I’d give it 9 out of 10, the two ladder positions the Eagles will most likely occupy come finals time.  Carn the Dockers.

Reviewman Countdown 2 – Under-Recognised YouTube Gems

Some people have fame they don’t deserve.  Kim Kardashian comes to mind.  Miley Cyrus practically invented the category.  And Psy is the modern day personification of talentless millionaire.  But then there are other things that go through life WITHOUT gaining the recognition they deserve.  Each video on the following list of YouTube clips has had well under a million views, yet have given me more laughs than some of the all-time classics.  I’m just trying to give credit where it’s due by sharing them with you.

10.       Hayden Crozier Takes What Could Be Mark of the Year

As a proud member of the Purple Haze, there was always going to be for a Fremantle Docker on here.  But this is no cheap plug for my favourite sports team.  Some context: in 2011, many AFL players took marks.  Furthermore, many were outstanding, including those taken by eventual Mark of the Year winner Andrew Krakouer and runner up Andrew Walker.  However, for me none came close to the mark taken by Victorian teenager Hayden Crozier playing for Vic Metro against Western Australia in the under 18 championships.  The outrageous height of the grab is just one aspect of it.  The distance he had to run to get there.  The acceleration to get there in time.  The composure to get straight up and dispose effectively to a teammate, setting up a shot on goal.  The fact that the ball was spinning unpredictably in the air.  Incredible.

9.         Creepy Cricket Fan Brady Bunch Edition

By now most of you will have seen the Creepy Cricket Fan – the strange individual who steps into frame during a shot of the crowd at a cricket match, and stares down the camera.  If you haven’t you’re missing out.  This takes it to a whole new level.  Brady Bunch opening credits knowledge is recommended to get the most out of this.

8.         I’m An Individual – Mark Jacko Jackson

There existed a time when to get a Top 15 single in Australia, all you had to do was be a relatively competent AFL player, yell inexplicable lyrics at a microphone, and do a dance that involves swinging your fists in circles and spinning around with the apparent aim of destroying everything in your path in a rage.  This videoclip is proof that such a time did in fact exist, courtesy of Mark Jackson.  In the chorus, Jackson states “I’m an individual, you can’t fool me”, which is interesting, as I’m unaware of there being any scientifically-established correlation between individuality and the ability to be fooled.  Outrageous.

7.         Stephen Milne Tip Rat Triple M Commentary

This is what AFL broadcasts need more of.  James Brayshaw may appear to be a relatively mild-mannered gentleman.  He’s the president of North Melbourne Football Club – it’s his JOB to be a relatively mild-mannered gentleman.  But put a microphone in front of him, whack him in a commentary box with his mates and turn on the footy, and he mutates into the game’s best caller.  This is a man effectively given the licence to say whatever he pleases on free to air radio, a fact best exemplified by this highlight reel of banter during a game between St Kilda and Adelaide.  On field, this match was highlighted by eight goals from Saints forward Stephen Milne.  Off field though, Brayshaw outshone even that display, with endlessly quotable lines referencing Milne that never get old.  And the “Tip Rat munching on a carcass” sound effects?  Timeless.

6.         The Mighty Boosh/And That’s Why I Can’t Go For That

The Mighty Boosh is renowned for being weird.  And even the Spirit of Jazz: with his flaming top hat, and Old Gregg: a borderline sexually deviant Baileys-loving sea monster, seem as interesting as an empty lunchbox compared to old mate Bob Fossil.  His bizarre mannerisms are summed up in this bite sized clip that doesn’t just feature an awesomely iconic piece of 80s music genius.  It features the single best dance in human history, finished off by a truly astonishing punch line.

5.         Gimme Back My Son Remix

If your child was kidnapped and held to ransom, you wouldn’t laugh about it.  And when I saw Ron Howard’s Mel Gibson-driven film Ransom, I can’t remember laughing too often.  Which is why legendary clip remixer Swede Mason’s mash-up of lines from the film is so good.  It somehow makes serious scenes in a serious movie on a serious topic hilarious and, dare I say it, catchy.  There’s some talent on display here that some DJs would kill for too.

4.         What playing Cricket looks like to Americans

This one could swing either way depending how patient you are (5+ minute length).  But if you like weird stuff, and were brought up on a diet of Monty Python and British absurdity of that ilk, you’ll find this absolutely hilarious.  My sources tell me this is actually a clip from a Dutch variety show, but that’s neither here nor there.  What we have here is a strange combination of cricket, Frisbee, a short distance sprint, chess played on a field with a saloon door and a rugby referee, narrated by commentary that alternates between English and absolute jibberish.  Very curious.

3.         Dillon, You Son of a Bitch

In the future, all people will greet each other in this way.  Simultaneously a celebration of mateship, superhuman strength and the acting talents of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carl Weathers, it’s a piece of cinematographic genius that we sadly see very rarely these days.  My current favourite Schwarzenegger scene.

2.         Nicolas Cage Teaches the Alphabet

Nicolas Cage must be the most successful crazy people of all time.  If anyone else had tried to act out this scene (was he even acting?) I have no doubt they would have failed.  No one does stark raving mad quite like Mr. Cage, and it all comes together deliciously well in this scene from Vampire’s Kiss.  This version includes helpful visual depictions of all 26 letters of the English alphabet, so in a way this is the only video on this list suitable for kids.

1.         Devil’s Clay by Billy Bunks

I don’t care much for Aussie Hip Hop.  Never have.  Never will.  But I’ve got PLENTY of time for this number from obscure Aussie Hip Hopper Billy Bunks.  This is nothing more and nothing less than the video clip of a song about a man talking about climbing onto a roof, taking a shit, and throwing it at people.  Needless to say, parental guidance is advised, but if you can cop a bit of foul language (there will be C Bombs), your life will be all the better for it.  Where would I be without the line: “Youse did not ask for the fruits of my arse but you copped ‘em”?  Probably somewhere more productive, financially viable and respectable, but I still like that line.

Review 1 – Prosh 2013

2013’s edition of Prosh has seen a considerable amount of press thanks to a number of articles that have offended some people, so after dropping my $4 on the day and leaving the paper gathering dust on my desk I decided to give the thing a read to see what all the fuss was about.

Let’s face it, in this day and age, $4 is an incredible deal no matter what you’re paying for. I could have paid less if I’d wanted, or more. The fact that your coin goes to charity is a heartwarming bonus (provided the charities in question accept Prosh’s money, which I’ll get to later).

I actually found the cover page article hilarious. It was well written and made me laugh, which is all you really want from a newspaper that is reputedly funny, written by supposedly well-educated tertiary students. There were strokes of genius throughout as well, like the First World Vision ad, the Life of Magnum Pi, and the Northbridge ad. But as they say, you can’t polish poo, and this publication is a great big compilation of it.

While reading, there was one thing I just couldn’t get past: mistakes. The whole paper is sprinkled with them. Even the URL at the top of NEARLY EVERY SINGLE PAGE is technically wrong – although it does redirect visitors to the actual site (http://uwaprosh.wix.com/2013). But there’s no redirecting your way out of Primary School-level bugger ups like “…North Korean’s own cities…” and “…SCV’s were deployed…”, which you’ll find in the same column in the second article of the paper… not what you’d call bursting out of the blocks. Are these writers not currently undergoing tertiary-level education?

The second thing I noticed was the fluff. Yes, I understand that in some ways the paper is trying to parody The West Australian, which is pretty much 100% fluff, but can you try and be more creative rather than engaging in wholesale tree murder with unfunny, dated humour? Gina Rinehart = Jabba The Hutt is an old joke, and because she’s morbidly obese and evil, it’s an easy observation that’s there for all to see every day – it’s not humorous if that’s your punch line.

Dockers cast off talks very briefly about how the Dockers have started season 2013 surprisingly well thanks to their logo no longer having an anchor. Two problems here:

1 – This is not a joke, it’s actual news; it IS surprising that they’ve started 2013 well (or they had before the last two games…). It’s not even being parodied here, I could have read this in The West Australian on the weekend.
2 – There IS an anchor in the logo. In fact, they’ve removed the man from the previous logo, and simply restyled the anchor, so in reality, it’s now more anchor than it ever has been.

So yeah, that article’s shit. These sorts of half-arsed articles make up most of the paper too, so you can’t even use it as toilet paper, since you wouldn’t wipe with the same thing you’re supposed to be wiping up, would you?

And now to what everyone’s been talking about – offensiveness. Plenty of comedians offend people. Plenty of comedians make people laugh. And some especially talented people can do both at the same time. Prosh evidently has no such individuals.

Those especially talented comedians, like the Eddie Murphy of old, Chris Rock, Ross Noble and to a degree Ricky Gervais, come across as people who have their finger on the pulse of society. For the most part, they know where the line is, and go right up to it to devastatingly funny effect. They deliver their lines with perfect timing, and put together their acts so they space out things that might offend with moments of comic genius based on ordinary topics that are still funny. The key is they’re clever, they’re balanced, and they know what makes people laugh.

In contrast, Prosh shoots itself in the foot with the issues I’ve previously discussed. There’s already no credibility thanks to the mistakes. There’s very little humour due to a lack of creativity or talent amongst the writers. So when Prosh then proceeds to use underprivileged Indigenous Australians, victims of terrorist acts, victims of senseless gun massacres and victims of the holocaust as the butt of poorly-written, mistake-ridden supposed jokes, it comes across as a cheap attempt to earn a handful of shock laughs, and ends up offending rather than amusing. No care has been taken in the writing . It’s a mindset that doesn’t bring to mind students of a Top 100 university.

Now I’ll borrow some words from Mark McGowan, who I think sums things up pretty well: “Those involved in this year’s Prosh should take a moment to consider the impact content like this can have on Aboriginal Western Australians and decide for themselves if there are ways to use their talent in a more constructive, inclusive manner that will benefit all Western Australians.” Problem is Mark, it fails as humour too, which sadly indicates a lack of talent that can be used to put together something half decent.

It’s worth noting that ICEA has decided to refuse receiving funds from the UWA Guild, and have ceased any association with them. (http://iceafoundation.com.au/icea-protests-against-prosh-article/).

I give Prosh zero overprivileged, untalented, self-centred students out of 10. If I could turn back time, I’d put my coins in the tin and tell them to keep the paper.Image