Minority Marketing

Now that ads increasingly have minorities in them, marketers are taking advantage of some of the qualities that these minorities bring.

Those ads for teeth whitening products now almost exclusively include those with darker skin. Why do these companies do this? Why simply because the contrast of the white teeth against darker skin tones is greater. The whitening they show looks almost like it’s glowing in the dark.

In ads, back in the old days, they would show exclusively men dining at a burger place. I think it was to show that even men, with men’s appetites could be satisfied by a burger chain’s burger. That’s no longer the case.

Today they are using small women. Why? To play up to the idea of how big that burger looks in that hand. Or how the woman can barely get her mouth around the burger.

I’m thinking they can take this further. Primordial dwarves are rare but they do exist. These are dwarves with the same proportionate features as a more average sized human. If those burgers begin to look absolutely gigantic, they might have switched to primordial dwarves in the ads.

But watch closely. If there are no sounds from the subjects and music drowns out everything and those burgers seem huge, it is more than possible that they are using primordial dwarves. They won’t want primordial dwarves to talk because their voices are also proportionately higher than average sized people. They want to maintain the illusion.

There are other ways marketers can use minorities in ads that get our attention. Imagine using a drag queen in a limo ad. “We can subdue even the most extreme looks” might be said over images of a drag queen in full regalia getting in the limo. She closes the door and bam!: the tinting hides all her extreme colouring to the public.

“Which leads to the most dramatic of entrances,” the voiceover now says as the limo pulls up to the curb and the drag queen exits the vehicle to flashes of paparazzi cameras. The flashes make the scene entering drag queen even brighter than she was before.

Look for more of this capitalizing on minorities as more marketers wake up to the advantages of minorities in their ads.

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Affluenza Treatment

For this post I am going to use the second definition of affluenza listed at the link, because it is the one the public is more familiar with due to the trial of Ethan Couch in 2013. So affluenza is: “The inability of an individual to understand the consequences of their actions because of their social status or economic privilege.”

Basically affluenza is largely a matter of the sufferer being allowed by society to do whatever they want with little consequence. For such a sufferer I believe I have a treatment. That is I would set up an office such that a sufferer wouldn’t get their way during their treatment session.

Then after an intensive year or more of treatment, the sufferer’s internal voice might finally realize how things might be for other people. As well, the sufferer might be able to empathize with others for the very first time.

A treatment session might begin like so:

“Hello, Devon, I’m Mr. Sparlo, your affluenza specialist. Please hand all your phones over to Morris here in the Guy Fawkes mask.”

“No,” says Devon. “I don’t trust him if he won’t show his face.”

“Alright then, Gunner you can reveal yourself.”

A body builder steps in from an adjoining room. “I will make you give up the phone.”

“$300 says you won’t.”

“I am a medical professional. I don’t want your enabler dollars. Where is your phone?”

Reluctantly Devon says “Here,” and hands over the phone to Morris.

“Morris is a professional, too. He’s a hacker,” says Mr. Sparlo.

“You can’t give a hacker my phone. That’s un-, un-, unethical. He could mess up my whole life.”

“We need to see how deep this dumpster fire goes,” says Mr. Sparlo. “If Mr. Morris leaves us and takes to blackmailing you, we know it goes very deep.”

At this point, Morris has left for an adjoining room. The door closes and you can hear more than one lock being closed.

“But-,” Devon starts.

“Devon you can go in our largest room,” Mr. Sparlo offers. “Sit in the chair in the middle of the room. I’ll sit behind my desk and Gunner can watch the door.”

“That’s how we will spend our session?”

“If all goes to plan.”

Devon and Mr. Sparlo sit. Gunner stands by the doorway. Gunner and Mr. Sparlo get out their own phones and and begin using them intently.

“Are you looking up my case?” Devon asks.

“Shhh!” says Mr. Sparlo without moving his eyes from his phone. He then presses the phone a few more times.

After a few seconds more of nothing, Devon asks, “May I have a phone? This is boring.”

Sparlo’s “Shhh!” is quick and the treatment pair then go back to their phones.

“Then I’m leaving if you won’t do your jobs.” Devon gets up but Gunner sits Devon right back down again.

“We’re doing our jobs,” says Mr. Sparlo. “Have you ever heard of a time out?”

Devon’s face reddens. “That didn’t work as a child and will not work now! I demand you let me go.”

“Alright,” Mr. Sparlo puts down his phone and asks, “What did you hope for from this therapy?”

“I just hoped it would keep me out of jail.”

“Aha! You do have some currency.” Mr. Sparlo dials someone on his phone. “Warden Simms? Do you have the space for someone overnight? You do? Good. I’ll send him right over.”

Gunner takes out a pair of handcuffs and makes Devon put them on.

“Don’t worry,” says Mr. Sparlo as they are leaving. “We’ll make sure we have you out of there just in time for tomorrow’s appointment.”

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Ironic Titles?

Two stalwart rock bands, Coldplay and Imagine Dragons came out with albums recently. Both albums implied there was more to come in this vein.

The title of the Imagine Dragons album is Mercury Act I. Act I usually implies that there is more to come. The one act plays I’ve heard of don’t say they are one act plays. People only list act number one when there are more acts. So Imagine Dragons is saying there is more to come with such a title.

Coldplay’s album is entitled Music of the Spheres. But on the back of the cover it says, Vol. 1, From Earth With Love. Again implying that there will be more in the “series”.

It’s just that I doubt either act will follow up with more music in the same vein. The only times I knew bands carried over a series from one album to the next, was Green Day’s Uno!, Dos!, Tre! and Led Zeppelin’s I, II, III, and IV.

Green Day is a three piece with one of their members named Tre. That’s the only link I see in these three albums. I think they had a lot of music and just wanted an easy naming convention for all that music. These albums came out about a month or two apart.

With Led Zeppelin I think the idea that they are a four piece is accidental to the names of these four albums. And in fact, I believe these albums were all turned in by Led Zeppelin with no name. Thus the record label named them I, II, III, and IV. They had to call them something.

I am betting that both Imagine Dragons and Coldplay ironically named these albums as a continuing series. Ironic this, and ironic that is very much in the culture of today. This allows, for instance, one to wear the t-shirt of any act you like. Then if questioned by someone in an embarrassing way, you can say you are wearing it ironically.

I don’t think Mercury Act I is getting an Act II partially because of popularity. This may be a better album than Imagine Dragons usually puts out because virtually all the tracks are listenable. But to the public, there are no breakaway hits, like Imagine Dragons are usually known for. Follow You and Wrecked are the closest the band comes to that on this album. But this time they aren’t creating a large following willing to sample the rest of this album.

Music of the Spheres (they’re talking planets so really it should be Music of the Oblate Spheroids) is a bit of concept album with My Universe being a sort of climax to the package with BTS drawing more ears to the song. My Universe actually has done well enough that Coldplay might consider making a “Vol. II”. But the basic concept that this album espouses is sending out music to the universe to encourage love. Getting a response back from an awfully big universe might be years at best, eons if you are more pessimistic. So I think there will be no follow up from this band, too.

Welcome to the age of the ironic album title!

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Big Net

One of the most useless things in sport is the basketball net. But Big Net has convinced us that we need this little extra in the game of basketball. Never mind that the game can be played exactly the same way and result in exactly the same score without those nets.

I looked on the site of one of the Big Net producers and in all their copy, only two reasons were brought up for having a net. The big one seemed to be the swish sound that an accurately thrown basketball made when a basket was completed. This was mentioned a few times.

Mentioned only once in all that copy was the 2nd reason people might like to have a basketball net. That is the ball is more likely to come down through the rim in an almost straight down fashion. Never once mentioning that with most baskets, the ball comes down relatively straight, too. The net makes a difference but it is only slight.

Then there is a whole basketball team named after this useless decoration in basketball – the Brooklyn Nets. Maybe they took the name thinking that it would remind people of the swish of a successfully finished basket by the team. But if this were true, why not call the team the Swishes? Likely they were named the Nets to rhyme with the New York Mets and the New York Jets.

But wait. Maybe they were named the Nets because of the similarity of the players with those same actual nets. When a Brooklyn Nets player is stuffed, don’t they make the sound “BRAAAP!” And just like the fans hearing the swish, the cook for the Brooklyn Nets player is happy to hear this sound of appreciation.

Furthermore, when a Brooklyn Nets player is stuffed and has to let something out, it is always done straight down over a toilet. That, too, is very similar to an actual basketball net’s action.

In fact you could call each Brooklyn Nets player a Big Net. After all, professional basketball players are always big. But this just ends up confusing the situation when I am railing against Big Net.

Let’s just finish by saying that the Brooklyn Nets have never won the playoffs, thus making them as useless as their namesake in the game of basketball.

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Greater NYC Wants a Fourth NHL Team – The Reason Why May Surprise You

New York already has the New York Islanders, the New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils in greater New York City. But there have been stirrings about a possible 4th team to make things even more interesting for a New Yorker.

The reason why should be obvious to most New Yorkers and big sports fans. Looking at other sports, they already have the Mets, Jets, and Nets. Surely a hockey team can be found that has a rhyming name with these sports teams.

The Islanders, Rangers and Devils all have multiple Stanley cups to their names so of course none of these teams want to look out for the greater New York good by changing their names to something that rhymes. So the international consortium looking at this has decided that a new team would be beneficial for New York.

Now the NHL has just added a 32nd team to the roster and does not want to change this just yet, because this evenly splits the NHL into 4 divisions of 8 teams. And now, half the teams make the playoffs whereas half don’t . So I am afraid to say it might be many years before an expansion team is available.

So I think it is just a matter of time. They’ll wait for some team to struggle so much that it fails. Then, like New Jersey before it, the consortium will swoop in and save the team, only if it moves to New York.

But what rhyming name will it choose? Aren’t all the good ones taken?

Well that international consortium is rumoured to be a sports betting conglomerate. As such, the new team will likely be named the New York Bets.

The division all the New York teams are in is called the Metropolitan Division. Metropolitan what? I’d say Metropolitan New York. So it would only make sense that half the teams would be in Greater New York City. And that is a secondary reason that New York is going to get their fourth NHL franchise some time in the near future.

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Pandora Papers Legacy

A huge news story lately has been the Pandora Papers leak. That is where it has been leaked to the public all sorts of specific information about the wealthy hiding their riches from the taxman. A lot of information is there, like who has been doing this and how exactly they have been doing this. I would like to say that these tax cheats are being hunted down and aggressively being punished by the Canada Revenue Agency. However this does not appear to be the case.

The Panama Papers leak occurred in 2016 and despite big words from the government there has been little follow up. Then came the Paradise Papers leak of 2017. There was some talk about bringing to justice those that had cheated various governments but I saw little action in Canada. Now we have the 2021 Pandora Papers leak and I’m expecting zero action by our government.

The thing that really bothers me about the leaks not resulting in the rich being pursued by the government is that it is just a minor nuisance being named in these leaks. In fact, with no follow up by our government, the leaks are free advertising for these offshore accounts as a way to do business.

In the Pandora leaks of this year, sports heroes Elvis Stojko and Jacques Villeneuve were named as having offshore accounts. Because of our government giving a free pass to these kinds of shenanigans, Elvis and Jacques are basically giving a free endorsement for this kind of behaviour. Ironically Villeneuve’s offshore company is partly an attempt to keep every last cent of endorsements he made.

But here he made a free endorsement to these tax havens. And now that he is outed, his endorsement for anything in the future is going to have the reverse effect on myself and many others. We are going to be biased against future products he endorses. You, too, Elvis.

The pattern of giving the leaks names that start with Pa is evident. I am so pessimistic about my and the rest of the world’s governments that I am expecting that eventually the journalists will give in and call the the release of such damning papers the Patriot Papers leak.

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Quota Time

Let’s say you’re an Ontario cop and you’ve got to make your quota of fines and tickets for the month. Of course you will deny up until your death bed that you have a quota, still, you would like to up your fines. You have a new idea this month. You are going to take advantage of the G2 licence in Ontario and its condition that drivers have zero alcohol in their system.

Your first place to stake out is a wine tasting. Where overconfident tasters think that swishing and swirling the wine around in your mouth, then spitting it out means you haven’t drunk any alcohol. So you pull over the young wine tasters, knowing that some of them may have only a G2 licence. Maybe you’ll get a couple of those on breathalyzers and see if they swallowed wine by accident.

Your next place to check is a young person’s dance. Police instinct tells you that some of them will have used mouthwash with alcohol in it, before coming to the dance. Again they’re overconfident because they have mostly spit out the mouthwash. Again you’ll likely catch a couple of criminals who actually swallowed a bit of that mouthwash. You feel good about your fine police work.

Finally, you wait for Sunday for your last stakeout. You wait outside a Christian church when they are having the Eucharist. That’s when they give out bread wafers and a sip of wine as the body and blood of Christ. Never once realizing the basic cannibalism they are enshrining. Confident there’ll be a few G2 licence holders in the bunch, you resolve to nab this criminal scum. A whole sip of wine. They are for sure going to make that breathalyzer ding.

Then you, the fine police officer that you are, can ease back and rest till the last week of next month. Confident that you have saved the streets from at least some of the criminal element.

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Figurative Stockholm Syndrome

Well we’ve just about closed the case for another election in Canada and still I wonder why people don’t vote for their self interest.

For instance, the NDP was offering free pharmacare and free dental care. While both packages are expensive, they explained that they were going to tax the ultra wealthy. This is only fair because the ultra wealthy only pay for accountants that can get their taxes to zero every year. Finally they would be paying something.

But people with lesser incomes didn’t turn out to vote for the NDP in droves. The NDP started the election as the third biggest party and ended it as, surprise, the third biggest party.

The Greens offered the best chance of getting climate change curtailing policy. The younger voters should worry about this the most. They are going to live till the latest years of any of us and some are even planning families.

The Greens only got less than 5% of the vote. There are many more young people than that. They’re probably voting for one of the parties that subsidize fossil fuel industries.

So the question remains. Why don’t people vote for their self interest?

I’m thinking it is Stockholm syndrome. That is the condition where a captive bonds, identifies, or sympathizes with their captors.

Now no one is saying that the rich really kidnap the rest of the population. But figuratively this might be true.

For instance, the poor must have a place to live and usually this involves a landlord. Sure it’s a free country and the poor person has decided to live there. They always have the choice to move and get a different landlord. But mostly there is a landlord.

So maybe the poor person votes the way they think the landlord would vote. They are locked into having a landlord, like a captive, so they develop their figurative Stockholm syndrome.

Then there are those young families that don’t vote Green. Their aging parents bought them SUVs when they were learning to drive because they are the safest of the personal vehicles in crash tests. Their parents’ priorities still hold them hostage to this day.

They wouldn’t dream of providing anything less than an SUV to drive around their progeny with. So the cycle continues. It began with the guilt of the aged but has been passed down to the young. For those that don’t know, SUVs are the most gas guzzling of the personal vehicles. Figurative Stockholm syndrome strikes again.

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Three Indians

It’s that time of year where we in the north talk about Indian summer. This outdated term is used because most people haven’t heard of a good replacement. But look how ridiculous the term is. For a real Indian summer let’s go to New Delhi, India. It’s almost in the tropics. In June, the temperature peaks at an average of 33 degrees Celsius. That’s an average of 91 degrees Fahrenheit.

Indian summer should be known as the time of year when temperature rises to almost deathly levels. Not as a second smaller almost summer. Obviously we should drop the term Indian Summer and use something like Summer: the Sequel.

Another phrase that we use this time of year is Indian corn. This colourful, inedible corn finishes growing this time of year. Some of you may wish to call it Indigenous corn as if it originated right here. But that may not be true.

Besides if we name it after the Indigenous Americans, we are falling short when listing their accomplishments. They found and improved the properties of Indian corn, all the edible corns and popcorn. You could say these are their corny accomplishments. Anyhow, we can simply replace Indian corn with the term ornamental corn.

The third use of Indian in a phrase that I think should definitely be gotten rid of is Indian giver. This is offensive when you know its meaning is someone who gives something only to take it away again.

You can easily see such a term develop in English for interactions with other peoples’ languages as a simple misunderstanding. The difference between own and loan is hard to hear, and it’s easy for someone to hear you own this when the other party just meant to say loan. Doesn’t Indian giving just describe a loan?

Banks and other financial institutions are probably going to cry when we replace the term Indian giver with the term loan giver. Especially when we use a derisive tone of voice when we say it. But that is what they do and that is what society truly thinks about loan givers.

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Premeditated Post

We’re all aware that murder of the premeditated kind is considered to be much worse by our justice system. I largely think it’s because the premeditated murderer is going to be harder to stop because planning usually makes things go more smoothly and efficiently. And of course planning can allow the murderer a chanced to frame someone else or dispose of the body much better so it might just be a missing persons report.

Regardless, premeditated murder is considered worse. So why not consider other crimes worse if they’re premeditated? It’s partially considered under our current law. Uttering threats is definitely making a crime premeditated and is a separate offense that can result in more jail time. But in a couple instances I think that we should have an extra premeditated crime punishment.

First of all fraud crimes are more often than not premeditated. For instance catfishing, where someone poses as a lover on a dating site in order to gain trust and also money, is worse than straight up fraud. Not only does the catfisher inevitably get the money, they also get the victim to fall in love with them. It just might be a deterrent to give the fraudster a longer sentence because of the unrequited feelings.

Heists are definitely premeditated. There is almost always a mastermind who plans the thing. The loot is large enough that everyone’s share is large enough to get them to break the law. For heists, I say the mastermind should be given twice the sentence.

This will make the mastermind want twice the loot that the others get. More risk should equal more money they will say. So now the mastermind has to find a group who agrees with this which is harder.

Secondly, if anyone wants to doublecross someone and take their loot, you bet they will doublecross the mastermind for twice the loot of doublecrossing anyone else.

Both scenarios makes it harder for the mastermind to get started at his goal. Maybe, because of the premeditation law, he will give up altogether.

If premeditated murder is worse, then how about a premeditated attempted murder? I can’t believe there is nothing on the books for this already. I blame this on feeling sorry for the perpetrator. They are so stupid that when they plan someone’s death they can’t fully (pardon the pun) execute it. So the law feels sorry for them and doesn’t give them a worse punishment. To my mind, premeditated attempted murder is indeed worse and should be reflected in punishments.

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