Target Audience

7 08 2009

In all things, one must identify one’s target audience, and then appeal to that audience. This is the way that everything works, from business to charity. Businesses would wither if they simply provided their product without having any idea who was buying and who they should be appealing to and persuading to buy. Those begger children/women with children/blind people at the intersection have to have a good idea of what makes people give them money, or they would starve.

It is thusly that I have come to a conclusion. This blog is never going to be popular. It will never have enough visitors that I will be able to write a book (see: MushyPeas) or even enough to earn me money. This blog that you are now visiting will primarily be a way for you (my loyal readers) to hear my rantings, ravings, theories, observations and anything else I care to post here.

And I’m fine with that.

If you guys are willing to keep on reading my nonsense, I’m going to keep on writing it.

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The Gillette Advantage

11 07 2009

Shaving. It’s kak. It’s ok to admit it, although sadly it is a neccessary part of everybody’s day to day life. Luckily for me, my facial hair is not yet advanced enough to require me to shave every day. Every second or third day for me personally will ensure a smooth face.

The worst part of shaving is the cuts. Aside from stubbing your toe, paper cuts and getting hit in the testicles (for guys), cuts from a razor on your face is the worst thing in the world. It hurts like hell, bleeds like hell for about 15 minutes and looks like you put your face in a blender. And if you’re really unlucky, they leave unsightly scabs on your face for the next week or so, that just screams to everybody “Hey look! I don’t know how to shave!!”

My personal experience (only using disposable razors), is that Gillette really does make the best. I’ve tried no-name brands, I’ve tried Bic. I’ve tried two blades, I’ve tried three blades. The only razor that I’ve found to consistently NOT cut my face to shreds is Gillette razors. No matter the brand or number of blades, there is just something about Gillette that just works for me. Maybe it’s the tilting heads or something, I don’t know.

Now, before this starts sounding like a Gillette advert (no, I’m not getting paid: I wish though!), let me point out some things. I don’t think we need 5 blades on a razor, Gillette, so please stop pushing your Fusion down my throat. I don’t see the point of a battery powered manual razor: what’s the pulsing going to do except cut me? I hate your “precision trimmer” concept on your Fusion: You know what we used to call “precision trimmers”? Razors! Finally, your products are such a rip off. I am not going to pay R200 (or whatever crazy price they are asking nowadays) for three blades; especially when you are putting a 4,750% markup on them (check this article for more info on that one).

In short, I like your razors but you are crazy. Thank you.

Oh, and please comment on this story and share your best (or worst) shaving stories. I for one would love to read them.





Mullets

4 03 2009

What is up with this recent resurge in the popularity of mullets? I mean, I walk around campus (or even just sit in one place) and it seems every 5th guy is sporting a mullet, or some poor imitation that does not quite meet the full mullet criteria but is pretty close to getting there. The “official” criteria for a mullet is if the back part is 3x longer than, but personally I mock people with hair at the back that is noticebly longer than at the front.

A lot of people don’t have such bad mullets as those found here, it’s still pretty bad. And just by the way, there is no such thing as a “good” mullet, in case you were wondering.

A common variation of the mullet is the “Rattail”, which is when just a little tuft of hair is grown. This, despite what Wikipedia may say, also classifies as a mullet and is just as lame, if not lamer than a bona fide mullet because it takes more conscious effort to actually grow a rattail.

Another point to ponder is that, from what I have seen, is that only the stereotypical “jocks” have got mullets. I don’t know if it’s the latest accessory to go with the man jewellery, the popped collars, the Lacoste shirt, the pointed shoes and the big belt buckle, but I get a good laugh every time I see an idiot with a mullet thinking he looks cool.

I don’t know why mullets are coming back, but please, if you have a mullet: shave it off. If you are considering growing a mullet: don’t. Please, you will make the whole world a prettier place.





An Open Letter to The Simpsons

11 11 2008

Dear The Simpsons,

I remember when you were still funny. It was about the time of your 6th season or thereabouts. You remember, just when you had shed that awful first season awkwardness that carried into the next five, where every character acted out of what is now their established character, and everybody looked badly drawn and weird. That heyday of comedy lasted for a long time, spanning a good many years, and approximately 11 more seasons since then.

Lately, however, I’ve felt my feelings for you start to change. I’ve been getting fewer and fewer laughs per episodes, and your latest season (20) I don’t think I have laughed even once. Season 19 wasn’t much better, and there were maybe one or two episodes which weren’t awful, but truth be told I can’t remember even one such example.

In short, I think the problem lies on your end, The Simpsons. Granted, I have grown up a bit since I started watching you, and it’s true that my tastes may have matured a little, but on the other hand, my sense of humour remains more or less the same as it did back in the day when you were funny. No, I think that you changed, The Simpsons. I think that you got less funny, and stopped caring about entertaining your audience. Nowadays it seems like you care more about the blackboard and couch gags than actually writing a decent, funny episode, and in my opinion that’s wrong.

I don’t see how we could work this out. It’s been 5 long seasons of non-laughter for me, The Simpsons, and I really don’t see how the rest of season 20 could possibly make up for the hurt of the past. It’s true that we had some good times, and I will always fondly treasure such memories as The Pool Episode and that other one, 22 Short Stories About Springfield. Those are the type of episodes that made me love watching you, and made me not be able to wait for Thursday nights and skip dessert to watch you on M-Net Open Time.

Ah but what good is it to reminisce about the past, The Simpsons? The present situation is so bad that doing that only makes the present so much worse. The fact is that you are no longer funny. And I’m sorry to have to do this, but there are just animated shows which are just so much better out there than you, like Family Guy. That’s right, The Simpsons, I am leaving you for Family Guy. It’s been going on for a while already, we are just starting our 7th season together. And what’s even worse is that I have been cheating on with Futurama for a while now as well!

But don’t take it too hard, The Simpsons. I’m sure that one day, you will find your funny again, and when that happens, you can call me again and we’ll talk. I’m sure I might be able to give you a second chance, but only if you really put the effort in and make this work. It was great what we had back in the day, and I want that again, but the way things are right now, I don’t see that happening any time soon.

Regards,

Michael





Pockets

4 10 2008

Ok this may not be the most revolutionary though in the world, but I think it’s true and it needs saying.

Girls have their handbags, wherein they carry their whole life: purse, identification, house keys, car keys, lipstick, hairbrush, lip gloss, mirror, sweets, pens, keys, etc. etc. Guys … well, guys have their pockets, where they carry their whole life: wallet, cellphone and keys.

This handbag parallel is an integral part of a guy’s life. Personally, I hate jeans / pants which don’t have pockets. Ok I haven’t ever actually seen a pair like this, but I have a pair or two with only one pocket, and the principle is essentially the same: IE that its weird not having a place to keep your essentials when you go out.

What would we guys do without pockets? Where would we keep our wallets, keys and cellphone? In a little “fanny pack”, I think they’re called? You know, those dumb little bags that is worn around the waist? Or even worse, something like Jamie from Eurotrip wears, a holder for money and identifications worn under the shirt and strapped to your body? No, pockets are necessary, and a vital part of every guy’s life.

I would even venture a guess and say that without pockets, the world as we know it would fall apart. It would be a mess, people having to carry stuff in their hands everywhere, dropping stuff far too regularly, having only one free hand, etc. etc.

And another interesting point: why is it that guys can leave the house with only a wallet, cellphone and keys, whereas girls need a whole bag to carry all their stuff? Is it some gender difference thing, that guys feel too macho and don’t care enough to carry every little thing with them that they might possibly need during the day with them? Or is it simply that guys don’t like carrying stuff, especially stuff that they probably aren’t even going to use at all.

Interesting thoughts…





Here we go again: A defense of metal music

19 08 2008

So, you may have heard about this kid in Krugersdorp who killed his classmate with a sword. He was apparently dressed up as a drummer from Slipknot when he did it, and claimed that Satan told him to kill people. So now, from what I have heard/read/seen, a lot of people are getting all worked up about the whole thing, claiming that metal music is evil. I’m here today to debunk that theory, using simple logic.

Firstly, saying that Satan gives messages to people in metal music is just rubbish. There is absolutely no way that this is true. It’s just impossible. Why I say this is because there are a large number of metal bands who are also Christian. Sure, you may believe that they are false prophets or whatever, but if you actually listened to the music and read the lyrics, you would see otherwise. The second part to this lie (that metal music is Satan’s music) that we debunk is simply that most lyrics and songs are purely interpretations. There is no specific meaning that went into the music when it was written, and even if it was, most people will not read THAT specific interpretation into that music. It’s a fact that, given the same piece of music, most people will read what they want to into it, regardless of the actual subject matter. Music is subjective, and saying that “bad” (whatever that means) lyrics will influence people to do crazy stuff is rubbish.

Secondly, saying that this kid killed his classmate just because he liked Slipknot is also rubbish. I listen to that type of music (metal, metalcore, hardcore, call it what you want), not Slipknot per se, and have I killed anybody? NO!! Has any of the other hundreds of thousands of people who listen to Slipknot or music of that type killed anybody?? NO!! Of course not. And that points to only one conclusion: That music does not influence people to do crazy shit. Just because this one kid had some serious issues, took drugs (from what I have read and heard) and killed his classmate, does not mean that metal messed him up.

If this kid had listened to pop music, and dressed up like … I don’t know … Mika? before he stabbed his classmate in the neck with a sword, would there have been a huge uproar about his choice of music? Of course not. And why is that? Because pop music is the status quo. If he had been a huge Mika fan, with posters on the wall and all the paraphernalia in his room, his choice of music would not even have been mentioned. But, because he listened to metal music, which most people don’t like or understand (some would say FEAR), suddenly it is the root of the problem.

When we really get down to it, it is the Columbine massacre all over again. School kid(s) finally snaps and kills school mate(s). Society, looking for something to blame (other than the parents, the kid themselves, their upbringing, possible bullying or any of the hundreds of possible reasons), invariable find something that the kid(s) liked and place the blame squarely on that. In the case of Columbine, it was violent video games that became the target, in addition to Marilyn Manson’s music. Again, a case of the less popular media becoming a scapegoat.

Once again, I reiterate that it was not the fact that this kid listened to Slipknot that he killed his schoolmate. The kid obviously had some deep rooted issues that needed to be sorted out. It is wrong to blame the band who happens to write violent lyrics because of what this kid did.

I, like millions of others, listen to metal bands with sometimes violent lyrics. I, like millions of others, play violent video games. I, like millions of others, have also not killed anybody. However, it is the one or two exceptions that make the news. And there is always a moral panic about the cause of it. “Are video games too violent?”. “Is music too angry and are the lyrics too violent?”. No. Just take notice of the people around you, care enough to ask them if there is a problem, and maybe we can avoid the next senseless killing.