Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sex and thugs and sausage rolls

I was watching the telly earlier, which is quite a rare event these days, because even if it is on it's usually populated by surreally costumed garden dwelling freaks playing with balls and giving each other hugs because apparently they just want to. Children seem to lap this sort of thing up though, which explains why my two year old has no concept of personal space.

I can go for days at a time without directly watching TV. I used to make an effort to watch a favoured show, like Mock the Week or Dexter, but now I don't even do that. I've actually missed one of the new episodes of Life with David Attenborough, and those are the sorts of programmes I would cancel a doctor's appointment for. Actually, that should be Life, narrated by David Attenborough, because otherwise it sounds like a programme watching the octogenarian animal privacy invader doing his shopping and reading the paper*.

Even the news, which previously I watched about three times a day so I could tut a lot and shake my head in grim disbelief, is now accessed via the smoothness of the internet tubes.

A random selection of programmes in the middle of the day shows me what I'm missing.

On one side, someone is thinking of moving house, so they're going on national telly to do it. On another, an amateur chef is being told he's not as good as a professional chef by a professional chef. On a third, some very closely related chavs are arguing about who fathered whose child and proving that the more gold you wear, the lower socioeconomic class you occupy (unless you're Mr T), and on yet another, four women are sitting around a desk chatting about absolutely nothing. Nothing at all, and getting rounds of ecstatic, whooping applause for it.

Oh dear.

I get the impression I'm not missing out on some cultural revolution here, where I will be enlightened and informed on an hourly basis.

This rare television watching event I was treating myself to was a non-BBC channel. As an Englishman, this makes me a bit nervous, like venturing into a foreign market place where they sell huge aromatic rugs, have Kalashnikov stalls and swarthy men with moustaches you could filter plankton through shout at you with words like "Makalakanaka!".

This also meant they had commercial breaks.

The adverts duly came on and I did my economic duty and listened to their propositions. One was for Sni . . .

Snic . . .

Snick . . . ick . . . Marathons!

Sorry, I still have trouble calling them Snickers's's's after all these years.** Don't know why I'm so bothered. They're only a Mars bar with peanuts in.

Anyway, the current advert for said anaphylaxis-causing sweety bar features the aforementioned Mr T, famous for portraying the gruff, blinged-up tough guy war veteran Barely Articulate Baracus in the 80's series The 'A' Team, although what the army would make of such an outfit and copious amounts of jewelry I do not know. Standards must have been lower in those days. Perhaps they had a "Don't ask, don't tell" attitude towards Mohawks and earings.

Where was I?

Oh yes. Mr T advertising Mara . . . Snickers's's's. In the adverts, he arrives at the scene of some poor bloke who is wimping out (not going in a cold pool, or avoiding contact with a football), in a vehicle of war (a tank or a helicopter), and then proceeds to shout "Get some nuts" whilst lobbing chocolate bars at them.

A few things popped into my head from this. The first is that how come Mr T looks exactly the same now as he did when I watched The A Team back in the day. The Thursday, in fact.

The second is that sex and violence sells. In this case, both are used. The candy-dispensing Huey represents the violence, and the sex is represented by . . . er . . . nuts, possibly.

The point is, sex and violence sells snacks.

Sex or violence.

Sex and/or violence.

Anyway, they appeal to the baser aspects of our psyche, which I suppose is exactly what hunger is, so in order to link them advertisers take advantage of our barely controlled, barely evolved lizard brain which is essentially only interested in the four Fs: Feeding, fighting, fleeing and mating.

Of all these, sex comes first, if you know what I mean.

Hence purdy ladies and winsome chaps advertising choccies and cakes.

And there's something for everyone, no matter who, or what, tickles your fancy.

Look at this:

I'm not that into bestiality, but I wouldn't kick that bit of totty out of bed even if she defecated on the duvet and then ate it.

Which she very well might, because she's a rabbit.

Mind you, some advertising concepts make no sense at all. I just found these crisps in our cupboard:


What do they transform into?

Well, you'll have to wait a few hours to find out.

* Which might work. I'll pitch it.

** According to Wikimisleadia, the name change occurred in 1990! It's not that I'm behind the times. Just set in my ways.

Now, excuse me. I'm off to watch Blake's 7 on my Betamax.


  1. Shouldn't you be working or even daydreaming about the Cadbury Bunny instead of watching Jeremy Kyle and the Teletubbies?

    I mean, I'm not one to judge but...

    ...I'm gonna give Mr T a call and tell him to go knocking on your door.

  2. I too have given up on TV... only for me, it was years before the 'net came into play, and the news I caught was radio, and other sources (news paper)
    Fact would be about the time you were watching the A Team, I might give the Telly an hour of my time watch McGiver.
    As for this Mr T feller, I hated him since he was introed in the Rocky series, #III it was (I liked that movie just for the theme song) and then come the "Reality" TV shows... please give me a break!!

  3. I love the Mr T Snickers ads. They're actually one of the few things that are funny on the old idiot box.

  4. Mo - I'm on a day off! Also, If Mr T is going to wang a load of chocolate bars at me, I could live with that. I would also get him to record an answerphone message, although I could do that myself as he is the easiest person in the world to do an impression of, with the possible exception of Sean Connery.

    Gregory - I don't understand reality TV either. It looks completely unlike any reality I'm familiar with.

  5. Tennyson ee Hemingway - They are quite good actually.

  6. They transform into a car. Four corn pickled onion flavoured wheels, one corn pickled onion flavoured chassis.

    They ain't no Space Raiders, that's for sure.

  7. I own 3 televisons. No, 4. I forgot about the one in the kitchen. My ex-husband bought that. It hasn't been turned on in years. The TV, I mean. Not the ex. Or me. Now I'm all flustered. You mentioned sex how many times in your post? Now I can't get it out of my head...

  8. Yes, TV has gone downhill since Coupling and Dr. Who have gone off the air. Or maybe much sooner. I do like to watch the political analysts call each other idiots (in a mostly polite manner) on the news shows' panels. And then there's the mindless entertainment of cop shows.

    About that A-Team... ever notice they could shoot the eye out of a housefly but never once hit a bad guy with a bullet? In spite of firing automatic weapons all over creation? Now that was a reality show.

    Oh, and they have always been Snickers here in the Colonies.

  9. Good morning Jules,

    "...some very closely related chavs are arguing about who fathered whose child" and "four women are sitting around a desk chatting about absolutely nothing." -- More than enough reason why if I'm watching TV, I watch sports.

    Actually Mr. T would've said, "I pity the fool who won't get some nuts."

    As for his youthful vitality, perhaps he's on a strict diet of Transform-A-Snack.

    Now what were those four F's you mentioned? I only ask because I want f8hasit to read my comment to keep the thought in her head. I know I'm a wicked one.


  10. Oh man, the Cadbury's Caramel Rabbit is without a doubt the sexiest animated non-human EVER. I had no idea she was still around.

    God, being a teenager was weird enough without having impure thoughts towards a bunny.

  11. Marathons remind me of years gone by and the Christmas Selection Box. Marathons and Flakes and Caramels and the resulting two day sugar coma. I think the Cadbury bunny eating a Flake in the style of the commercials would be pretty hot. That little minx.

    As for TV viewing, over here in North America, I find myself watching mainly premium channels like HBO and Showtime as network TV is so mindnumbingly awful and the premiums filter out both ads and the nastiness and censorship of the networks or basic cable channels. I think I can count on one hand the shows I ever watch on a non premium channel. TV is 90% background noise to me.

  12. Hah! Very innuendous of you. I like the four 'f' list.

  13. Sigh... With the state of "reality tv" that we seem to get shoved down our pie hole these days, it actually makes me nostalgic for the A Team.

    I remember a few years back when Gary Shandling hosted the Emmy awards. He had a wonderful line, "I actually look forward to the commercials coming on just to see professional actors for a change."

  14. Mr London St - I dont think they'd be that practical as a vehicle, when it came to the crunch.

    f8hasit - It was quite a sex-heavy post, wasn't it? Mind you, I usually can't get it out of my head at the best of times, so welcome to my world.

    Douglas - It was also handy that, when looking for somewhere to store the A Team for later disposal, their captors would choose the fully equipped autoshop with old farm machinery still in working order inside.

    U - I don't think she'll be getting rid of those thoughts for a while, so I wouldn't worry.

    The Imaginary Reviewer - I think the little mermaid might come close, but at least the Caramel Rabbit is all mammal baby!

    The Vegetable Assassin - Thank you for that fantasy image. The Imaginary Reviewer will probably be grateful for that as well.

    Eric - No, in YOUR end o.

  15. SkylersDad - Excellent. Mind you, it's been the way for a while that the adverts are better than most of the shows they interrupt.

  16. That's a damn sexy rabbit.

    I love TV, I was pretty much raised by it after all. Also, I would watch the shit out of that David Attenborough show, I love how he bounces around when he talks!

  17. Sex and Thugs and Sausage Rolls... Great. Now I'll have that song in my head all day...

    As for Mr. T, on behalf of U.S., I'd like to apologize. We should've had him put to sleep long ago, but you know how it is. He's still healthy enough, and there's all the unexpected bills (coupla wars and whatnot) -- frankly, we've just fallen behind.


    p.s. That ad isn't on in the U.S., btw. We used to have a Marathon bar, but I think it was primarily carmel covered in chocolate or something equally as predictable.

  18. The caramel bunny isn't as hot as Jessica Rabbit from that film with that cockney nonce. She could have a mix o my tosies anyday.

    That doesn't really make sense.

    She could eat my poo?


    I'm glad I didn't post this comment.

  19. Soda and Candy - "Watch the shit out of David Attenborough". LOL.

    Pearl - I think there's a few more years left in the old codger yet. I pity the vet who has to put him to sleep.

    Alex - Yeah, Thanks. I was taking a sip of a cheeky Merlot when I read that, so you can come and clean my computer screen now.

  20. What I cannae work out is why Mr T spent 3 series (nearly every episode) being drugged, knocked out, eyes poked out, just to get him up in the air. Now here he is flying quite merrily, and not a sausage said about his old phobia being forgotten.

    I've written to my local MP and demanded answers!

  21. perhaps it goes something like "in order to engage in copious amounts of sex and violence, one must have adequate snackage".
    something like that.

  22. Jimmy - It does explain why he was flying so low he knocked a chimbly off the hoose. Still, I think it's a reasonable job for the MP, and if you could also ask them to look into what the point of Godzuki was in the Godzilla cartoons, that would be useful.

    justsomethoughts - Ah, good point. They were marketed as energy snacks weren't they? But then, all snacks are energy snacks, with the possible exception of celery.

  23. Wow, that sexy bunny sells to men AND kids. And lesbians, I suppose. And male rabbits. And lesbian rabbits, I suppose as well. Oh yeah, they've got the lesbian rabbit market cornered.

  24. Steamy - It's good to fill a niche.

  25. I still call them Marathons.

    You're not alone.

  26. Jimi Hendrix managed to get thrown out of the US armed forces by sporting a look similar to Mr T's, though I can't see why it should get in the way of shooting stuff. A Marathon is a test of athletic endurance, but what does Snickers actually mean??

  27. livesbythewoods - And it will always be Jif to me as well! Cif is just too . . . continental.

    Gadjo - You would've thought they'd have recruted Mr Hendrisx into the army band. All that brass could do with some heavy axe work. And a Snickers is a bit of a marathon to eat if you freeze it.

  28. I'm not a big TV watcher either. I'm amazed though when I do watch ,how much television has changed since the 70's. I think my great grandparents would shit if they saw what people watch on the TV now.

  29. I avoid TV during the week in London. Way more civilised, even if I do miss all the cultural references in office conversations. It adds to my air of intellectual superiority. Rather than my air of being too mean to buy a second licence.

  30. thinkinfyou - I bet the inventor of the television (Sir Thomas Television, I believe) is spinning in his grave.

    Mdme DeF - I constantly lose out on those conversations as well, but luckily I am loud and brash enough to non sequitur back into something that interests me.

  31. I believe children's television was invented by John Yogi Bear.

  32. MLS - lol. He was smarter than the average telecommunications engineer.

  33. I work with telecommunications engineers. Joey Deacon is smarter than the average.

  34. Thank you. No I don't have to loose my mind today. Or watch TV.

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