Archive for the ‘advertising’ Category

Ready for kids?

August 27, 2013

I love this billboard, as someone who realized that since men were more scared of babies than aids, condoms were my best bet,

20130827-141451.jpg

Advertisements

America’s freakish food

August 9, 2013

I’m sure food all over the world is pretty freakish these days. But I reacted worse to American food than I have to anything, anywhere, and when I wondered why, I started looking into it. And I wrote a column for News24 about what I found out.

For instance, did you know how much poison is on your cranberries? That your blueberry superfruit smoothie contains neurotoxins? It’s gross, really. From http://www.whatsonmyfood.org/

Five Servings: how much pesticide residue the average American kids gets in their food, per day.

Five Servings: how much pesticide residue the average American kids gets in their food, per day. from whatsonmyfood.org

Health food, right? Wrong...

Organic. So, health food, right? Wrong…

Yeah, it's full of garbage.

Yeah, it’s full of garbage. Biggest ingredient isn’t even a cereal! It’s Soy Protein Concentrate…

This will kill you. Not the bus. The food being advertised on the back of it.

This will kill you. Not the bus. The food being advertised on the back of it.

Where the beef industry wants you to believe your meat comes from.

Where the beef industry wants you to believe your meat comes from.

Where your meat really comes from.

Where your meat really comes from. And you haven’t wanted to throw up until you’ve driven that road and stopped and made the mistake of opening your car window and smelling all that cow shit. They don’t graze. They eat corn meal while choking on their own farts until it’s time to die.

It’s all really bad for us. And it will probably kill me. But am I complaining? Sorta. Would I rather be dying of eating than dying of starvation?

BBQ with mac and cheese (a meal in SA) as a side dish. This will kill you. But you won't care - it's that good.

BBQ with mac and cheese (a meal in SA) as a side dish. This will kill you. But you won’t care – it’s that good.

Dying of eating. That’s for sure.

Expect the unbelievable

July 9, 2013

Every time I plan to go to LA, I dread it. Every time I come back, I’m glad I made the journey. It never ceases to give me a story to tell.

So today, I went to talk to my amazing production designer for my thesis film. I cursed the traffic on the way to Little Tokyo… It felt like everything at the time. By the time I arrived 80 minutes later, having left home for lunch at 11, I had heard NPR’s news cycle five times, and two special focus features three times. With the whole world out there, you’d think they wouldn’t need to repeat that much. But, whatever.

And then we met, and it was amazing. And then I saw this:

It's a wish tree. You write your wish and hang it there.

It’s a wish tree. You write your wish and hang it there.

What do the notes on the Wish Tree say? Can I be rich? Can I be pretty? Strangely no.

1000_wishtreecloseup

Can I be loved? Please, can I be loved. That’s all we all say.

Downtown LA, little Tokyo, is home to people of middle to lower income, up and coming, all hoping for the dream. I picked these two because they were the most touching, but most people, almost all people, weren’t after money, the thing everybody is told to pursue here. No… And you know what’s best about that? My next appointment, across town in Westwood was with a friend I’ve barely spoken to for many, many years. We didn’t invite each other to our weddings (that hurt me; not sure about her). I always thought she judged and pitied me. And yet, when I saw her, I realised she was still the child I loved. I remember lying with her under a tree and saying how nice it was that we could just lie there. We were eight years old. And making peace with her today lifted a shadow from my mind. We’re different, but still connected somehow.

If I had a to have put a wish on the tree, maybe it should have been “find old friends”. But I didn’t know that was my wish until it came true.

Then I went, impulsively, in the hope of missing traffic on my return, to get my hair cut. The Russian stylist asked me: “So, most people in South Africa are African-American, right?” Talk about misplaced political correctness… but I like the way she blow dried it.

Then I headed home, having “missed the traffic”. Once I was locked into the 405, I heard on the radio that there’d been an accident in the car pool lane. Two cars and a motorcycle. No fatalities. But rubbernecking would make me late for my next meeting, in Santa Ana, with my set decorator. FML, I thought. How quickly we forget how lucky we are… and then, once we passed the accident, I saw this:

1000_airplanebuilding01

I was late and going about 60mph, so forgive the poor quality. But I saw a building with a painting on it. Didn’t realize when I whipped out my cell phone that I was taking a picture of something else too…

600_airplanebuilding02

See the airplane, about to land at LAX? It kinda looks like it’s about to fly into the building – and I’m sure the makers of the new Marvel movie, who bought space on the building front on the highway just before comic con, were aware of that too. Ingenious marketing right? To the naked eye, the plane was bigger.

Ask me this morning what I would do today? I could tell you some things. But I had no idea, really, what I would do today, did I?

A great day / night; an imagined life

June 15, 2013

YEAH I’m using pretentious punctuation. I had one of those days where you imagine a life, with someone, and it seems perfect. Hell, it was perfect. Here’s what happened.

He went for a job interview and I wandered around a shitty area. Beverly Hills ubertown, where it’s totally fine to treat people like shit if you’re rich and famous. Not accustomed to normal hours, I found a 2 hour parking spot to sleep in. When he was done with the interview he understood how I felt about THIS.

Beverly Hills is a segment of a town where fame is everything. So in a health shop window: Whacko Jacko. The guy you worry about when it comes to health. Also featured in their creepy security cam footage: Kate Moss.

Beverly Hills is a segment of a town where fame is everything. So in a health shop window: Whacko Jacko. The guy you worry about when it comes to health. Also featured in their creepy security cam footage: Kate Moss.

2013-06-06 11.55.10

The protesters are clearly crappy at the internet, or else the internet is unwilling to lose advertising. Charlotte Olympia is a footwear brand that must cost a fortune, cause a coffee is ridiculous. The only complaint I found online was re. a broken heel.

2013-06-06 11.55.37

Another protest. Organized labor in America is a small crowd compared to where I’m from. But I’d be scared too. McCarthyism is alive and well.

2013-06-06 18.43.56

Funny, cause as cool as people pretend to be they still eat here. Fakers, more like.

2013-06-06 19.05.27

My cohort, who I can’t really call a date since we’ve both remained single on FB for 3 years and this is 2013, said there was a Banksy near the theater where we had decided to go watch docs. Turns our the owner of the building painted over it. So I just kept walking around the corner and found this.

2013-06-06 19.06.28

This is a great picture. I don’t care who it’s by. I love to surf. I know this moment even though for me it’s with foamies on a boogie board.

2013-06-06 19.10.20

Two cool doccies for $8? I’m in. For my SA readers, that’s less than the normal ticket price for two films. At Quinton Tarantino’s theater. No quibbling.

2013-06-06 22.17.23

At the New Beverly (by Tarantino) the drinks are between 1-3 dollars and the popcorn too. Best of all, the butter is real. Real butter on movie popcorn. THAT’s America.

2013-06-06 23.40.03

Took this the same night. Stopped dangerously. 40mph to 0 in 3 seconds, then a reverse. What is it? TELL ME.

The films were amazing. Find them. Watch them.And also, I couldn’t help wondering how my life might be if I lived with him and we went there. If we just went there a few times a week.

“Mud”, and the New Marlboro Man

June 1, 2013

Mud is easily in my top 3 movies of 2013 so far. Maybe it’s number one but I have to wait a couple of days to see how it settles. And if anything bumps it out of top spot, it’s one thing: Marlboro – and what looks suspiciously like very clumsy-ass product placement.

If you saw Take Shelter (writer/director Jeff Nichols’ previous film) and wished you liked it but weren’t pretentious enough to actually honestly enjoy it, don’t be put off. Although could acknowledge the mastery of his craft Nichols displayed in that, it feel like a very, very, long and tedious short film to me and I didn’t buy the marriage at all. If you liked Take Shelter, then Mud offers that kind of cinematic beauty, only this time, it’s combined with compelling story telling. Even the slightly studio ending with it’s extraneous “I love you” doesn’t manage to ruin it for me.

Go see it. On a big screen. Don't forget.

Go see it. On a big screen. Don’t forget.

Back to the only thing that really bothered me: the product placement. Now, I assume that they had to make a few moral compromises to get the 10 million dollars to make a decent movie in an industry that doesn’t really care to finance that sort of thing anymore? And I’m fine with that. I love making movies so much that I wouldn’t care if this one was funded by… *thinks* … who do I hate more than big tobacco? McDonalds. But what bugged me was that the story involves Mud (Matthew McConaughey) being stranded on an island off the Mississippi without food and needing to be brought cans of beans by two kids he befriends. Yet although he is starving to death, and smokes constantly, he never, not once, runs out of cigarettes. Even pinching them (which he does) wouldn’t explain this. Unless the kids are supplying him with that too. It took me out of the story for a second. And that, not the fact that cigarettes cause cancer, is what bothered me. Lots of stuff causes cancer. And most of it is harder to avoid than cigarettes are. Don’t smoke ’em. Easy.

Howdy kids! None of the publicity stills show him lighting up, but he does it a lot... as does his love interest, played by Reece Witherspoon (she prefers the menthols).

Howdy kids! None of the publicity stills show him lighting up, but he does it a lot… as does his love interest, played by Reece Witherspoon (she prefers the menthols).

These days, the good guys smoke. It helps with the stress.

These days, the good guys smoke. It helps with the stress. The packet of Marlboro Kings is always clearly visible through his white shirt pocket.

It's always helped with the stress.

It’s always helped with the stress.

And it's nice to do it as a family. Here, a dad and his daughter spark up a Marlboro - and share a moment of closeness!

And it’s nice to do it as a family. Here, a dad and his daughter spark up a Marlboro – and share a moment of closeness!

Notice the similarity, or is it just me?

Notice the similarity, or is it just me?

PS: Jeff is not related to film director Mike Nichols. He IS, however, directly related to his brother Ben Nichols – lead singer of the band Lucero.

Female Ejaculation: So easy according to the LA Weekly Backpages

May 13, 2013

I don’t think equality is the same as “being the same” – not when it comes to orgasms. I have had entire orgasms without touching myself. I have known men to get hard while feeling nothing. I think this means we are different and this weird diagram stuff just inspires idiot guys with dirty fingernails to think they can follow a set of Men’s Health instructions and make us cum. It’s just not true. It’s more interesting than that!

femaleejaculation

I wish they included a diagram of my brain.

Screen shot 2013-05-13 at 3.13.25 AM

This is what the site you go to promises. Apparently some British guy knows it all. And he’s made over 300 women squirt. That’s a lot of laundry.

America’s political confusions

March 27, 2013

I find myself confused today, about America. Surely by now, they must know what’s right and wrong? But no, they’re human too.

The Anti-War people. They're not going to oppose the war, per se - that would never wash. They have to paint it as selfish or they'd be mauled. America has become more conservative in many ways than in was in the 60s (when it comes to this issue, not race, or gender, or sexual orientation.)

The Anti-War people. They’re not going to oppose the war, per se – that would never wash. They have to paint it as selfish or they’d be mauled. America has become more conservative in many ways than in was in the 60s (when it comes to this issue, not race, or gender, or sexual orientation.)

This means someone's son or daughter is over there, dying for the cause of... please remind me what it is, cause it sure as hell isn't freedom. It's not me who's being disrespectful here. It's the person asking someone to give their life for no good reason.

This means someone’s son or daughter is over there, dying for the cause of… please remind me what it is, cause it sure as hell isn’t freedom. It’s not me who’s being disrespectful here. It’s the person asking someone to give their life for no good reason.

 

redvsblue1

The pro-war people. Do they seem to have more expensive banners – or am I imagining things?

A car in the expensive film school I go to's parking lot. I thought, being left wing, that "Miss me yet" was sarcastic. Turns out it's pro-bush. Ridiculous.

A car in the expensive film school I go to’s parking lot. I thought, being left wing, that “Miss me yet” was sarcastic. Turns out it’s pro-bush. Ridiculous.

But I guess if you go ski in the aspens and your parents bought your car for you, you would be a republican.

But I guess if you go ski in the aspens and your parents bought your car for you, you would be a republican.

Oh, and this is the same car. The guy is also anti-gay - unless he's a pro-gay scout fan. I remember being forced to learn Die Stem at Brownies in South Africa. Whites only brownies. The Scouts should be ashamed of their history, but weirdly are not.

Oh, and this is the same car. The guy is also anti-gay – unless he’s a pro-gay scout fan. I remember being forced to learn Die Stem at Brownies in South Africa. Whites only brownies. The Scouts should be ashamed of their history, but weirdly are not. If homophobia is timeless… I have no words.

 

America’s “massage” culture

March 1, 2013

I decided to go there… somewhere that’s been bothering me for a while now.  The column will appear later, somewhere here. It’s about how sex slavery is sold as “massage” in the USA. Literally, on every street corner, but behind closed, usually purple, curtains.

tableshower

This is what it looks like. To me, not hot. And generally the rooms aren’t that well decorated. But you can tell that it’s positioned to sell sex.

messageboard

Ah, war heroes, fucking… sorry, fighting… for their country. In case you think I’m demonizing men, check out the woman who’s quite happy to enslave other women for her pleasure. (Last post). That’s so dumbass sad.

Everywhere you go, every left wing publication is funded by the pain of third world women on their back pages.

Everywhere you go, every left wing publication is funded by the pain of third world women on their back pages.

This is actually where I went. Note the purple tint on the curtains? It's much purpler at night.

This is actually where I went. Note the purple tint on the curtains? It’s much purpler at night.

Nobody really wants to be fat. Not really.

January 21, 2013

Sure, ideas of beauty change, are constructed by society, and even the biggest supermodel will go mad if she compares herself to others in order to assess her professional worth. But you know in your gut if you’re just – I’ll say it – fat. Yes, you do. Oh, yes you do.

This is good to bear in mind. The so called hot people are freaks of nature. Most of us are just beautiful in our own ways.

This is good to bear in mind. The so called hot people are freaks of nature. Most of us are just beautiful in our own ways.

I find it very hard to believe people who tell me they “love” their bodies just the way they are three times a day while hiding them under great big T-Shirts and refusing to go to the beach for shame. I also think we give ourselves a hard time about how we look for all the wrong reasons sometimes. I have no doubt that ideas of beauty are constructed. Yes, they’ve definitely changed. Allow me to illustrate:

K112625TITIAN 3

Beautiful. These days she couldn’t get a modeling job – not even as a plus sizer.

Pierre-Auguste_Renoir_072

Beautiful. But today she’d spend her life thinking she had “fat arms”. Which is bull.

blackvenus

Beautiful. In some times, places and cultures, some people still can’t see that. Like John Mayer for instance.

meryl-streep_0

Beautiful. But when you google Meryl Streep the most suggested (i.e. poplular) search phrases are “Meryl Streep Young” and “Meryl Streep hot”.

But the fact that what’s considered “beautiful” in magazines changes doesn’t mean that doesn’t mean being so fat that you can’t walk to your car, or so fat that your knees are caving in, or so fat that you have veins in your ankles by the age of 25, is something anyone chooses.

image002

There’s a fetish for everything, including dandruff. But I struggle to believe that the woman suffering from obesity pictured here actually wants to look like that, but more importantly it’s hard to believe that she wants to FEEL like that.

This isn't beautiful either.

This isn’t beautiful either.

It’s become fashionable to cater for obesity, to treat it as if it is not a problem, the same way we cater to anorexia as if it isn’t a problem. Now, I know being mean to fat people wouldn’t help at all. But overeating is an addiction. So I’d vote for being nice to people who eat too much, just as I’d vote for being nice to heroin addicts. But I’m not going to pretend I think a giant camel-toe is attractive.

Fact is, getting fat happens slowly. I learned this recently, over the two and a half years I’ve lived in the USA. I arrived here at a healthy weight, initially lost a few kilos because I didn’t have a car, and then slowly but surely went from lean, to padded, to plump, to actually, very nearly medically overweight. I noticed when I went to the clinic for a checkup here in California. The doctor said nothing about my weight gain. I was relieved, until I realised he was just scared of offending me.

What was next? I wondered. Full-on obesity? Fuck that for a joke.

So at the risk of being politically incorrect, I’ve downloaded a calorie counting application for my cell phone and started exercising, eating healthily, and… yes it’s working. In about five weeks, I’ll be able to look at myself in the mirror without wincing. In two months, I should be able to stand how I look in set photographs. The best thing about it actually is that it provides an outlet for my competitive, OCD nature, a focus for my stress about other things. Instead of wondering if I’ll ever make a truly great film, I just get to feel good that I had strawberries and yogurt for breakfast and it only cost me 200 calories. Silly? Yes. Shallow? Oh, most definitely. But sometimes it’s important to be shallow, like when you break your leg, or get maleria, or gain 8 kilograms your body really, really doesn’t need.

What do the Cape Town shark flags mean? Nobody knows! Allow me to clarify.

January 16, 2013

I’ve swum in the sea in Cape Town at least once a day since I arrived home a month ago and guess what? I’m still not dead! Not only am I not dead, I still have all my arms and legs.

I mention this because I’ve asked a few of my friends, many of whom are regular beach goers, what the flags mean. They all agree that the Black flag with the white shark means a shark’s been seen in the bay. The others… they’re not sure really. They all agree the red one means danger and the green one might mean there’s a shark. They’re all understandably confused, because the flags are stupid. They make it look to anyone driving by as if Cape Town’s sea is infested with great whites. In fact, it’s not nearly that dangerous.

This is one scary flag. What does it mean? Answer: NOT that there is a shark in the water.

This is one scary flag. What does it mean? Answer: NOT that there is a shark in the water. It means that visibility is poor and the shark spotters can’t guarantee they’ll see it if it’s there. This is the case most of the time.

Now you know.

sharksouthafrica1

Okay, apologies for the poor color. South Africa has always been rather bad with colour and don’t care for it much, so the sign is a little faded. A GREEN flag is the best. It means it’s safe to swim and the shark spotters up on the mountains will probably see the sharks in time to sound a warning. The BLACK flag is second best. It means they can’t see for sure, but they probably will. And the RED one is actually not the end of the world. Means there’s a shark cruising around in nearby beaches. WHITE is bad news. That means there’s a shark. Don’t swim. Even if only out of courtesy to the poor shark spotters, who hate it when you die cause then people think they didn’t do their job in time.

When they see the black flag – or any of the flags with sharks, my friends do one of two things, assuming it means “there’s a shark and the surfers are only out there because they wanna die”:
1. Turn round and drive home.
2. Drive to a beach that doesn’t have shark flags at all. Cause what you don’t know won’t hurt you. UNLESS IT’S A FUCKING SHARK. Duh.

sharksouthafrica2

A fun sign explaining surf etiquette to beginners and Ubuntu to everybody. Muizenberg has some great waves, but is also known to be a beginner’s beach. It’s the best place imaginable to learn to surf, and well-serviced by the shark spotters, who have a great view from their station, high up on Boyes Drive. The water is also warm. I’ll never forget my final sunset swim with my mom, the clean white foam, the soft salty light.