Friday, January 21, 2005

Buttocks Superbowl Show

My friends at Airborne are SO BRILLIANT!

Airborne, in case you don't know, is the number-one-selling effervescent cold remedy in America, the packaging for which is adorned with my artwork. The Superbowl is, as everyone knows, the miraculous annual extravaganza of fantasy, football, fireworks, and feisty pop stars with exploding bodices. It's also, we are told, a serious time of prayer and values. But more importantly, with the Superbowl comes the eagerly-awaited Superbowl Commercials, where corporate marketing becomes its own spectator sport, and monstrous mega-conglomerates square off in a high-stakes gladiator ring of advertising. The excitement is heightened because the viewers know that every second of air time represents a gamble of millions and millions of dollars.

Backing up a little bit, Hae, Oscar, and I attended the Airborne Christmas toys for tots drive at the American Legion Hall in Carmel back in December. Everyone was in great spirits, the company is having astronomical success, and they had a lot to celebrate. Some staff members had less to celebrate, though, as they were required to attend the party wearing life size plush-toy-style germ costumes. In the back, behind a gigantic gift mound, a TV was running a loop of Airborne commercials.

Germ dances with girl at American Legion Hall

All of their ads feature faded child stars (my client's campy sense of humor) in ordinary situations, like sitting at a lunch counter, relaxing on a flight, standing motionless in an elevator, etc. The hook comes when someone seated next to the FCS sneezes, driving him to stand and scream hysterically, "Nooooo!" The Greg Brady ones are pretty good. Johnny Whittaker, formerly "Jody" of "Family Affair," is quite charismatic. But that was nothing compared to the latest ad featuring Mickey Rooney! THE Mickey Rooney. The Airborne company had pulled out the stops because it was going to be their Superbowl Commercial.

On screen, Mickey appears seated a steamy, co-ed sauna, purifying himself in the briny aromatic healthfulness. Somebody next to him sneezes. A-choo! Mickey bolts upright, screams and runs off camera. Cut to a cherubic little figure running away from the camera and suddenly -- his towel falls off! Revealing the ancient pock-marked buttocks of an American Icon.

Airborne would've paid millions of dollars to show Mickey Rooney's ASS to America but FOX broadcasting decided that America wasn't couldn't take it. They rejected the ad due to its titillating and controversial nature. It must've been with extreme disappointment that Airborne voided that multi-million dollar check, while generating as much, if not more, national publicity than the "winning" Superbowl Commercial will get.

Damn, I wish I could come up with stunts like that.

Jesus to Return, Experts Say

Last Sunday I read in an article in the Oakland Tribune that Jesus is on his way back, very soon, and that this time it's the real thing. It wasn't actually an article but an ad designed to look like editorial copy. The Tribune also runs articles in the Auto Section that are just press releases from the car manufacturers, but that's a little different. It wasn't the first time I had heard about the prophesies in the bible, of course, but I read the article anyway to see if there was anything new.

Floods, typhoons, tsunamis, earthquakes, mudslides, high winds, tornados, famines, locusts, boils, misery, and starvation, are all conditions for Jesus's return, as set out in the Book of Revelations. Okay, we're one for one. The tsunami that just hit Asia made the six consecutive hurricanes in Florida look like spa treatments. Don't forget LA where a few inches of rain hurled the city into panic and confusion. And it's always weird when the hillsides start sliding down.

That's one Jesus can check off his checklist. But does it count if the bad weather is all being caused by a slight rise in temperature due to all the machines and aerosols we developed while he was away? The bible doesn't say, apparently. What it does say quite specifically is that there are some seven or eight other important conditions that MUST happen to signal that it's a good time for a Jesus appearance?

This a Troubletown blog not a religious blog, but as this is a developing story, I will endeavor to comment on it as it progresses.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Yes, We've Got a @*%#+& Blog Too!

It had to happen. Eventually. You know, I was the last person in the world to finally get hair extensions. When Cobain had been dead for years and grunge was way over I got my first ripped-up plaid shirt from Urban Outfitters for $65. The revolution rolled through my town like a steamroller and I never made a single buck off of it. Just as the layoffs hit I learned about trying to get my site listed on search engines. And now that every loser in the world, and their goldfish and guinea pigs, has one, I, the founder and president of Troubletown, America's funniest and most barbarous political comic strip have a BLOG too!