February 26, 2009

Isn't it neurotic? Don't you think?

I just got the memo that Tropicana's new logo is being dumped after only a few months of being out on the market. I'm going to go against the grain today (and my own grain which was already going against the grain) and say that I sorta liked the new design. To me, a giant glass of orange juice is way more appealing to my senses then a sweaty fucking orange impaled by a straw. But enough people disagreed, publicly complained, and Tropicana paid attention.

And wasted a whole bunch of money. Maybe if they had taken the "If it ain't broke" opinion of the complainers, they wouldn't have spent that money in the first place, but how much will Tropicana lose on top of that $35 million having to switch back? I don't know, I don't play for the MBA, but I do understand why big companies don't "Don't fix it." Yes, it's partially selfish. Ok, almost totally selfish (fist shaking at corporations), but change does need to happen. Everything needs a little shot in the ass every once in while, whether it's your job, your music, your fashion, your sex life, your website, your use of the term et cetera, etc. As much as it is commerce, it's art too.

Ok, I admit the color code differentiation between the pulp levels could be a little more distinct, but just looking at these cartons make me want to drink the shit out of some juice, man. I know everything is being 2.0'd to death and I know I bitch about it sometimes, but ease up sheeple. I'm reading blogs about people's kids being upset by the new carton because they think they're getting cheap generic juice now. Fuck you and fuck your stupid kids. Can't they read? It still says Tropicana. You think this is a good message for kids?

Brands are trending towards more generic looks. They refuse to give up their prices, so they're altering their packaging. People will start accidentally buying Tropicana thinking it's Targetcana. That's what they want. Then, generic brands will try to buck the trend by changing their own artwork, and the whole definition of generic artwork will be redefined, making the "It looks generic" argument obsolete. Yay, history!


I haven't checked up to see what other changes Pepsico (owners of the Tropicana brand) have been up to, but I hear that brand designs are changing across the boards and people are bugging out. If you are going to stop buying orange juice that you've loved for years because you're too repulsed by innocuous artwork, then maybe you're a little too sensitive for citrus.


February 25, 2009

Post Valentine's Day on Target

The RoBeastress and I went for a long romantic walk on Valentine's Day. At Target. We went there with no intentions of buying anything, and left accomplishing that goal. We laughed, we held hands, we canoodled, but we did not take out our wallets at all! It was totally awesome!!!

I've actually discovered that Target has an untapped wealth of inspiration for this blog. I would like to start go there more frequently, walk around, and just take pictures of interesting things I find. There was this cool toy:

With this note on the side:

The snake's name must be Snarky. That was the only picture I snapped on that trip, but I need to go back tonight, so I will do some more exploring.

I am stocking up on supplies for my upcoming vacation to the Dominican Republic. I know it seems like I've been vacation from this blog since 2008, so I have a lot making up to do. I promise I will come back with photos and posts in hand. Ok? USA?

No, that's not my car, but the fingerwriter was on my hand. Does that make me a bad person?

While you ponder that, I've got a couple more things I want you to think about and discuss. My first question I would like solved for selfish reasons. I am writing a song and while I tend to ignore lyrics, I do obsess over my own. I am trying to use the word "Irony" and I worry that Alanis Morissette fucked it up for the rest of us. Not simply by writing a shitty song, but by also using the word incorrectly and causing me to second guess my own use of the term that I once thought I understood.

I posed a scenario to some friends yesterday related to my lyrical dilemma. Keep in mind that I did not come right and share the lyrics as the song is not complete and have a problem with showing half-finished work. Instead I constructed a cockamamie parallel that in retrospect, may take on a more interesting life of its own. But I digress.

Here's my caffeine and math metal fueled email:
Irony & Oxymoron

My top level question is "Is oxymoron inherently ironic?" If not, then keep reading my scenario and let me know if, and when the situation becomes ironic.

Jumbo Shrimp is a common oxymoron, but let's say I have an elephant and I name him Shrimp. If he's still a baby or just relatively small for an elephant, is the name ironic just because he's elephant? What if he grows up to be ridiculously large for an elephant? Is that ironic (the name and/or the situation)? And what if this giant elephant named Shrimp doesn't actually like to eat shrimp? What if he especially doesn't like to eat jumbo shrimp? What if he dies eating jumbo shrimp? Is anything here ironic?
Kirk's stance:
The answer to all your questions below is, "Yes."

Regardless of your reason for naming the elephant "Shrimp," it is still an ironic name for an elephant. Unless that elephant only grows to be as large as an actual shrimp (which is impossible, but I'm stating it just for the sake of argument).
Now, if you named an actual shrimp "Jumbo," I would argue that the name "Jumbo" is not ironic for a shrimp. It's clever, but not ironic. Especially if it's a jumbo shrimp.

The ideal situation in which both irony and sincerity were in absolute perfect balance would be if science could somehow fuse elephant DNA with shrimp DNA, and give the resulting animal the name "Jumbo Shrimp." That name would be neither ironic nor sincere, resulting in a well-balanced sense of self in the animal. It would be very well-adjusted socially. Of course, the actual name of the type of animal we are speaking of would be "flagellaphant" because of its ability to flap its gigantic shrimp-like tail in a flagella-like manner, to speed itself across the ocean and attack our enemies with the deadly force of its armoured tusks.
The RoBeastress response:
Have you completely lost your mind?
She did go on say that she doesn't think it was ironic until we found the elephant named Shrimp doesn't like to eat shrimp. I'm not sure what I think anymore. I also don't know if my example applies to my lyrical scenario as much as I originally thought. Let me try this:

There's a guy and everyone calls him Tiny because he's got a really small penis. Not ironic at all. To make up for a lifetime of ridicule, he decides to race trucks with giant tires. In fact, he becomes the most famous monster truck racer ever, and names his vehicle Bigfoot just to drive the point home. Yay for him. But then one day, scientists finally capture the once-thought mythical creature Bigfoot and it turns out that Bigfoot actually has the smallest penis out of all the creatures in the forest. Even smaller than Tiny's microphallus. Is Tiny's life just become ironic, or was it the whole time after he named his truck Bigfoot? Did the discovery of Bigfoot's small penis then make Tiny's life unironic? Did Bigfoot actually steal the irony from Tiny, like some Iron-y Transfer? What if Tiny bought a penis pump now? Would that just fuck everything up?

Unfortunately, I don't think this story parallels my original dilemma enough to draw any conclusions from the answers, but there's no sense in deleting it now. I guess I need to think about this some more.

The other thing I've been thinking about lately is the difference between urgency and emergency. Both seem to refer a situation in need of immediate care, but is one more immediate than the other? Is one more a surprise than the other? Emergency is so much more prevelant in signage, but urgency seems just as applicable, no? Maybe it's just for the sake of consistency (I had to reword that phrase to avoid a possible apostrophe mistake), but think of all the money we'd save by just using the shorter word. Urgency Room. Urgency Exit. Urgency Response Unit. I've already saved the world 6 letters! You're welcome.

The only concrete answers I've found so far (because I'm not looking that hard and don't feel like it right now) refer specifically to the realm of Hypertension:

What is the difference between urgency and emergency?

Urgency denotes severe hypertension (HTN), typically with diastolic blood pressure (DBP) > 130 mmHg, without symptoms or evidence of end-organ damage. The term accelerated hypertension falls in this category, where retinal exudates and hemorrhages are often present.

Emergency is an acute, life-threatening elevation in BP with evidence of vascular injury + end-organ damage. The term malignant hypertension falls in this category, typified by papilledema.

According these folks, Emergency is more of an urgency than Urgency. I can accept that if someone else finds me some more evidence. That's all for now, penis pumps.

February 12, 2009

Stewtarded Root Beer

I don't know what's going on over at the DPS Factory, but it sure the hell ain't spellcheckin'. I spotted this today and got a little chuckle out of it:

Now I don't have an MBA, but I'm pretty sure that STEW A RAT is not a desirable name for a beverages brand. Ok, so I wasn't originally planning to take a picture of this and post it because it was a simple spelling error. I make mistakes all the time and let them fly into the pubic area*, so I didn't want to pick on anybody. I'm not the asshole that anonymous PETA supporters portray me as, after all.

Amazingly though, it turns out that I am the asshole this time, because I did in fact take pictures, and I did in fact upload them to My Verizon Pix Place, then I did in fact download them, and I did in fact upload them one by one through Blogger's weak image upload tool. Why? Because two feet away from the mislabeled 24-pack of Stewart's Diet Orange Soda, I spotted another typo!

Stooowurrzzzizzz Black Cherry! I double chuckled and then started desparately digging through my stockpile o' soft drinks for more mistakes, but I only found the correct versions.

Not funny. I hope the person that is in charge of imprinting these cardboard cases is mispelling the brand name on purpose. I hope it's a disgruntled employee getting his or her kicks by warping the image of the hand that feeds him or her. He or she should get a promotion to king or queen. And then we should worship his or her hairy or manicured feet.

Here is my warped Stewart's Root Beer wish list:

STARWAR'S Diet Cream
SWEETASS Ginger Beer
SEEWETTWATS, Cherries & Cream

If that existed, I would collect that shit like Snapple Caps (my favorite of which, and technically, the only Snapple cap I've ever really saved was the one with the Real Fact "Beavers were once the size of bears")... Speaking of Snapple Caps, moments after the Stewart's debacle, I spotted a case of Snapple Lemon Iced Tea... with green caps?

Another error at the DSP Factory? Call me a completely insane person who obsesses over beverages all fucking day long, but I thought the Snapple cap scheme went thusly:

Blue Cap - Iced Tea
Green Cap - Juice Drink
Yellow Cap - Lemonade
White Cap - All Diet Products

Who dares to fuck with the system? And how are blind people going to pick out the right flavor now? Inquiring minds want to know.

* public arena

February 6, 2009


The minute I relax my ban on anonymous comments for this blog, do I get another anonymous jagoff comment to set me off again. AND ON THE SAME POST THAT CAUSED ME TO BAN ANONS IN THE FIRST PLACE.

This person is either the same person that made the original comment and has been refreshing my blog every ten minutes for 4 months waiting for the day I allow anonymous comments again, or, and this is the more likely scenario, this person was searching for the super hot and sexy (and tacky) new PETA ad banned from the Super Bowl. I can't prove this because I haven't checked my Google Analytics yet, but I think it's more than a coincidence that the only blog I ever wrote about PETA got commented on the day after the Big Game.

Judging by the writing style of the two comments, I think they are two different people. But, they are still equally anonymous and still equally bird-brained. I wrote a blog asking provocative questions about an obviously controversial topic and the first response does nothing to attempt to answer them, and the second comment spouts some circular rhetoric that continues to not explain any opposing viewpoint whatsoever. The whole point of my blog was to say that complex issues can't be settled by cutesy four word bumper stickers, and you dumb narrow-minded dicklickers can't enter the debate with cutesy anonymous bumper sticker style comments. I mean, unless your intention is just to prove my thesis, then by all means, continue! By the way, it's funny when I use ad hominem attacks because I'm actually saying other things around the insults, but youse guyses are adding zero content to the conversation.

"Hate is a strong word generally used by weak people."
Is it? Anonymous? IS IT? I think cutesy rhetoric is a stall tactic typically used by people with no original substance of their own. Are you channeling Yoda or Dr. Phil here? I guess hate is a strong word. In the context of my PETA blog, it's more of a provocative word. But what in your evidence kit proves that something is weak about me? That I ask difficult questions? That I can take an observation on 4 words and turn it into a 400 word blog? That from my little laptop in New Jersey I was able to evoke a response from someone sitting 3,000 miles away in Portland, Oregon, reading my blog in their Firefox browser with Windows set to a 1024x768 screen resolution, 4 months after the fact? I don't know, I think those are some pretty strong echoes. Or are we talking physically strong? I know I haven't been hitting the gym lately, but I bet I can still beat you in arm wrestling, mamby pamby. Look what you did, you made me the Priceline Negotiator. (Sidenote: is "Love" a strong word generally used by weak people?)

"Treat others as you wish to be treated."
Are you talking about me, or are you trying to contribute to debate at hand here? Or did you just open a fortune cookie? All right, I'll bite. I don't want anything to kill me, so I try my damndest not to kill innocent creatures. When the RoBeastress finds a bug in her apartment, I put it in a cup and walk it down the stairs and release it back into the world. But if there's a mosquito sucking blood out of my arm, I kill the motherfucker. Do I feel a little bad? Yeah. But do I regret defending my own health and safety? Not at all. I eat meat and vegetables too. I didn't go slaughter the cow myself, and I didn't yank the carrot from its happy home in the ground with my own two hands either, but I've got a human life to sustain here, and I don't regret that either. One day I'm going to be worm food, and don't think they're going to stop to think about your cute little adage.

"If you can't say something nice, then don't say anything at all."
You still haven't said anything of substance at all, so I certainly can't accuse you of being a hypocrite here. Dude, get real. This is my fucking blog. I can say whatever I want, thanks to a rad amendment to the United States Constitution. I made a lot of points in my original blog before concluding that PETA was a bunch of fuckfaces (which, while crotchety, was obviously tongue-in-cheek) but you seem to have nothing to say about them. Does that mean you're exercising your own advice? Because really, if you have something not nice to say, I think I can handle it. I mean, your colleague called me a Fuckface (original, btw) and I didn't even cry. There are people way meaner in the world than me that actually preaching their ignorance to a much larger audience. If you have so much energy, I think you've got bigger fish to fry. Errr... bigger soy to boil?

Yeah, really!

"Prove me wrong by not leaving a small-minded, belittling, sarcastic comment in response."

I'll satisfy your curiosity now by leaving a large-minded, embiggening, earnest comment in response: Fuck you and Fuck PETA... doggy style. I'll continue my donating to the Humane Society instead.

February 2, 2009

New Fangled Spangleds

I flicked on Animal Planet last night in time to catch Pepper the Parrot sing the National Anthem at Puppy Bowl V. His performance has broken into my list of the "Star Spangled Banner" versions. Everyone's always talking about Whitney's version. Fuck that. These are the best.

Here is Pepper the Parrot's graceful rendition.

Enrico Pallazzo aka Lt. Frank Drebin aka Leslie Nielsen in The Naked Gun. This is version of the lyrics that I most often choose to sing.

Roseanne got a lot of shit for version, but at least she knows the words. She never claimed to be a singer. This audience was full of assholes.

I've never heard Marvin Gaye sing a bum note. He could do whatever the fuck he wanted with any song and would always kill it. I get chills by the end of this version when the audience finally warms up to it.

Carl Lewis had all the confidence of Marvin Gaye, but very little of the musical talent. I wish I could find a full version of this. I'll make up for it now.

I remember En Vogue doing an awesome version at one of those MTV Rock N Jock shitz back in the early 90's. This one is probably a little faster than that one, but still insane:

Radiohead made their own unique version of "The National Anthem" where they changed all of the lyrics and all of the music. Ok, so it's not "The Star Spangled Banner" at all, but it's an awesome song from Kid A. And here's a fun amateur video to go along with it:

This version is actually very faithful, except for when the announcer adds his own harmonies at 1:05 that accidentally go out over the air.

Speaking of hockey...

And finally, Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock. I wanted to present the Liquid Television's Stick Figure Theater version, but all traces have been removed from EVERYWHERE online. So enjoy the original.