Gillette: Ya Screwed Up!


Gillette has just made a massive mistake that’s going to have consequences all over the world.  This is serious, folks — so you’re going to need a little background.  Gillette recently released an advertising video that, in no uncertain terms, calls their customers (men) a bunch of knuckle-dragging assholes who spend their leisure time teaching their male children to bully each other and harass women.  And then they take the virtuous stance that this has got to stop.  Applause!  Another multi-national corporation has found its soul.


Personally, I don’t think Gillette suddenly developed a social conscience last Tuesday and felt a moral obligation to join the #MeToo conversation.  I think their advertising department took one look at the gigantic numbers generated by the controversial Nike/Kaepernick collaboration last September and said, “Wow!  We need to get in on some of this social justice action!”  So, at a time when traditional advertising is dying, they decided to hitch their corporate brandwagon to the rising star of “toxic masculinity.”  Fair enough.  Unfortunately, there are a bunch of cynics in this world who believe Gillette is just newsjacking.  They think that the reality is Gillette doesn’t much care if its customers punch each other in the face or have pan-fried puppies for breakfast — as long as they buy razorblades.  Here’s the deal: if Gillette were actually serious about social justice, they’d be funding a string of Gillette Centres for Battered Women.  After all, the designated smoking areas in some German airports are sponsored by Camel.  Honestly, if a multi-billion dollar corporation is going to talk the talk, they should walk the walk — every once in a while.

But the real problem is there’s going to be an unintended consequence from Gillette’s global hypocrisy.  Millions of Gillette customers don’t like being told they’re the problem and then being asked to pay for the privilege.  They’re dumping their Gillette products in the trash and finding alternatives – alternatives that have a different chemical composition.  Thus, in the very near future, people all over the world are going to subconsciously discover that their sons, fathers, brothers, husbands, boyfriends and lovers all smell different.  Humans, like all animals, rely on their olfactory sense for any number of social and sexual cues, and when the people closest to us don’t “smell right,” that’s a major problem.

So, now we’re left with a bunch of pissed-off men, a lot of suspicious babies, wary relatives, cautious friends and an army of confused and slightly frustrated women — all because the folks down at Gillette wanted to cash in on the 24-hour Twitter news cycle.  Thanks, Gillette!  If that’s “the best men can be,” don’t do me any more favours.

I’m Totally Tired Of Porn!

WARNING:  Opinions expressed on this blog are so cold you can skate on them.  Reader discretion is advised.


I’m old enough to remember when journalism was an honourable profession.  (Yeah, I’m that old.)  In those days (and this isn’t just nostalgia) reporters reported the news, good reporters sought the truth and the great ones found it.  Even as I type this, it does sound a little corny and old-fashioned.  However, anyone, who was alive before Phil Donahue and his insipid brand of Jello Journalism f-f-f-fouled things up, will know what I’m talking about.  Edward R. Murrow’s boys (and more than a few girls) set the standard, and typewriters all over the world clattered away, trying to emulate them.  Unfortunately, those days are gone, and they’re not coming back.

These days journalists deal in porn.  It comes in many forms.  It wears many disguises.  But it’s always the same – an artificially arranged scenario whose sole purpose is to stimulate the audience — and any way you slice that, it’s porn.

Disaster Porn – Touring the wreckage has become de rigueur in television reporting.  Filming stunned survivors stumbling through the rubble is gold, and if you can get a shivering puppy on camera, you’re well on your way to a Pulitzer Prize.

Grief Porn – Shoving a camera into somebody’s face and asking, “Can you describe what was going through your mind when the police first told you your daughter had been eaten by cannibals?”

Poverty Porn – Camera crews and well-fed reporters, cruising through a refugee camp like it’s a guided tour of a human zoo of misery.  But the money shot is when they pull over and ask one of the locals just how horrible their godawful, wretched existence really is.

Ain’t it Awful Porn – This is when the downtrodden get an extra kick in the ass.  Journalists particularly enjoy empty foodbanks, old people who get scammed out of their life savings, and single mothers with cancer who lose their jobs a week before Christmas.

Trump Porn – OMG!  Look what the guy did, today!  LOOK!  JUST LOOK!  It’s way worse than yesterday!

It’s Not Really Porn Porn – No wonder feminists are pissed off all the time.  Believe me, Red Carpet cleavage, the wardrobe malfunction, the ever juvenile nip slip, and the full skirt caught by a random breeze are not actually news.  They’re occasions where polite people discreetly look away.

But the worst journalistic porn in the world is:

Inspirational Porn – Clearly, the only reason disabled people even exist is to demonstrate to the rest of us lazy bastards just how petty our problems really are.  Think about it!  The truth is, regardless of how talented, determined or resourceful these people might be on a normal daily basis — without their wheelchairs, journalists wouldn’t give them the time of day.


Advertising: It’s All About Timing

adI’ve been watching TV off and on (I didn’t have a television machine for a decade or so in the middle) since the days when Lucy had “some ‘splaining to do” and father knew best.  However, recently I’ve discovered an interesting phenomenon – the ads know what you’re doing.  Somehow that wireless cable you’ve connected to, is connected to a modern day Mad Man, who, like Santa Claus and the NSA, is keeping track of what you’re up to.  It’s nothing sinister but you might want to keep you clothes on.  Let me demonstrate.

You’re watching the ball game (any ball game) and your team has just made a ___________ (fill in the blank) to tie the score with 2 minutes left in the bottom of the ninth.  You can literally taste the testosterone you’re percolating, and the next voice you hear is Denis Leary or Sam Elliott telling you to buy what looks like an armoured personnel carrier.  This machine eats regular trucks.  It tows ten story buildings.  It’s Knightrider black with a massive faux chrome grill that would make Katy Perry jealous.  It drives over mountains, through ecologically sensitive salmon spawning streams, up the sides of buildings.  It gets thirty yards to the gallon, uses liquid oxygen high octane fuel and needs two NASA technicians just to start it, but, who cares ‘cause you’re fist punching the living room and screaming, “Hell, yeah!  I need one of those.”  And the only thing that saves you from buying it right then and there is it costs 8 million dollars and Craig’s List rejects your Visa card.

The same thing happens late at night with sad movies.  You’re watching, They Came to Cry, the one about Eddie, the plucky non-profit vegetarian butcher who’s dying of E. Coli.  You just get to the part where his girlfriend Gwen is crawling out of the gutter after she’s been robbed by her no-good brother’s friends.  She pulls out her handkerchief to soak up the last of the antidote she spilled trying to protect herself, and suddenly there’s this dirty little kid looking at you.  A couple of flies land on his forehead, a voice says, “This is Lanzuca.  He’s eight years old.  He wants to go to school but his mother has Aids” and you burst into tears.  And you realize you’re not crying because Eddie might die or Gwen’s got a no-good brother or even because Lanzuca has to rob tourists to feed his family.  No, you’re sobbing away because it’s 1:30 in the morning, you had KFC for dinner — again, you’re going to be 36 next month and you’re watching They Came to Cry for the third time … ALONE.  So, you kinda blow your nose and, between Kleenexes, you call the 1-800 number and give them enough money to feed Manhattan because now it’s two o’clock and the only person who’s ever coming to your funeral is your high school football coach.

However, the best one, the very best one, is when you’re watching … whatever.  You get hungry and order the deep-dishad1 extra meat-lover’s Mucho Grande delivered in 30 minutes pizza.  You devour everything but the last slice like you’re a member of the Donner party, wash it down with the free two litre Pepsi, and now, surrounded by crumbs and crusts, you have to burp.  Unfortunately, it’s lying down there like a submerged bathysphere, and you’re scared to force it in case you pull a muscle.  At this point, regardless of whatever else is on TV, who shows up on every channel of the million channel universe? Mr. Bowflex and his pint-sized uber-wench girlfriend, Bicepual.  He smiles and says, “I used to look like this.” and, holy crap, it’s a black and white picture of you (with one less chin.)  “But, since I’ve got the Bowflex Semi-Pro Muscle Snapper II, I look like this.”  Then he pulls off his shirt and the guy looks like he was carved out of soap.  Seriously, if you’re that shiny you don’t need a Bowflex; you need a doctor.  “Just thirty minutes, three times a week and the girls’ll be on you like ugly on an ape.”  And out of nowhere, our boy’s surrounded by 72 virgin bikinis.  Not to be outdone, the camera pans back to Bicepual and she’s lifting weights like they’re stuff with marshmallows.  “I used to hate the beach” and the camera cuts to what is clearly a Shetland pony (bad hair and no eyes) in a black one piece bathing suit, “but now I don’t care if people are looking at me.”  And there she is in a thong, playing beach volleyball with one of the Meangirls’ heads.  She’s looking absolute fine but you’re not even thinking about it because you know, deep in your soul, in an unguarded moment of passion, a woman like that could kill a guy like you.  Meanwhile, soap sculpture is back on stage, striding around as if he were God’s gift to muscles, telling you just how easy everything is.  But, that doesn’t matter, because even though you know that there’s no way you and Bicepual are ever going to hook up, even in Fantasyland, you’ve already decided on the 72 bikini virgins.  So, you search through the cushions on the sofa, find your phone and your wallet and buy the thing, sight unseen, including another $199.95 for express shipping and a $99.00 service charge for convenient monthly payments.  The thing shows up a week and a half later, when you’ve already forgotten about it.  You and two friends haul it upstairs and, for the next four years, it sits, half assembled, in the corner of your bedroom until you finally move out of that apartment and just leave the bastard thing for the next guy.

Always be careful with advertising.  It can get you when you least expect it.