Can we still watch the Cosby Show?

With allegations coming out by the day against Bill Cosby, people are up in arms. Now before a single accusation is proved, action is being taken.
– NBC has dropped a planned sitcom.
– Cosby has been removed from a Christmas parade.\
– However Treasure Island Casino in Vegas says his stand up show will go on.
Commentators from the Daily Telegraph seem to be in agreement – you can’t allow him to perform.
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When players in the NRL, AFL or NFL (in the USA) have allegations of indecency against them, people will argue about whether they should be stood down or even sacked from their job their day in court.
When accusations against Rolf Harris came out, there was an outcry to stand him down. Then when he was found guilty his home town of Bassendean voted to remove all his art from display. His acts were so abhorrent, they wanted nothing to do with his him or the works he had created.
Those these events reach the public spotlight, they are from private life. Yet the alleged offenders are punished professionally. Bill Cosby’s comedy has almost nothing to do with his treatment of women and a sports player’s ability to kick a goal has little to do with what he does in a nightclub. Are they punished for failing to be good role models? Or is it a blurring of the line between life and art?
Richard Wagner life-long horrible antisemitic views by enjoying his Operas. While people mumble and shake their heads about it, they turn up in droves to enjoy his work.  Yet earlier this year a talented Opera Singer was sacked for sharing homophobic views. To be fair, a lot more time has passed for Wagner.
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When you deny someone an opportunity because of a personal allegation, you make a strong positive moral statement. You’re also punishing them financially and professionally for something that was done outside of the scope of their career.
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So how do we separate allegations from someone’s art?
At what point is an ‘allegation’ enough to take action against their career that impacts their lives and living?
Can we still enjoy someone’s art-work, comedy or try-scoring ability even if they turn out to be a criminal?

Theme Podcast – Halloween

Another 15 minute escape from the daily grind.

Where does Halloween actually come from? What are the creepiest tales you could tell? How would shock jocks react to Halloween?

It’s all in the latest episode of Theme the Podcast – Halloween (For my segment go to 15:30)

Join Theme the Podcast on Soundcloud or download for free on iTunes!

Why does Coles think so little of its customers?

In November Coles shifted it’s campaign from the effectively annoying Down Down Prices are Down to a far more patronising Every Day.

It’s the latest  advertising onslaught from the mega-uber-food giants.Each ad features a part-time model who moonlights as a minion in the Coles Corporation chatting with a customer who simply refuses to believe anything they say.

Of course Coles’ reasoning was that they’re no longer advertising specials. They’re talking about regular low prices, that you can get every day (Not to be confused with Coles baking fresh bread every day. Which courts have decided they do not.) Nothing wrong with the message, the execution is insulting.

Down Down Prices Are Down may have been equally as repetitive, however it was all to a music. Repetition is the nature of tunes. And you know what, in advertising it works. It’s why the  Woolworthocalypes is now using tweeting birds to advertise it’s regular low prices. Simple, a little bland, but catchy.

Repeating ‘every day’ ad nauseum in a conversation? Horribly different.

Let’s forget the unlikely chummy friendly conversation with shop staff that goes anywhere beyond “hey mate, which aisle has tinned olives?”

Of course the nature of advertising is to make your point again and again so it sinks in. But you have to find a natural, believable and interesting way to do it. Otherwise Coles, you’re just suggesting your shoppers are idiots suffering from Memento syndrome.  This might as well have been your ad:

Incredulous customer: Every day?

Overly involved worker: Yes. Well today and tomorrow. In a month, year or a decade? Probably not. We couldn’t sell yoghurt at $3.50 in the year 2520 because with inflation that would be the equivalent of 1c yoghurt and we’d go out of business in less than a week. So every day doesn’t really mean every day.

Incredulous customer:Every bottle?

Overly involved worker: No, we randomly price our product bottles, you’ll never know which ones are the price advertised and which ones are a completely separate price. It’s a lottery.

Incredulous customer: EVERY day?

Unlikely attractive grocery worker: (Sigh) No the first time you asked me that question I said yes but now 12 seconds later I’ll give you a completely different answer.

Incredulous customer: ….every DAY?

Unlikely attractive grocery worker:Please kill me. 

End note: I shop at Coles. It’s a perfectly fine place to purchase goods.If I seem to be picking on them, it’s only for their lackluster advertising.

Is Coles Bread Fresh?

A court has banned Coles fresh bread advertisements for three years

The advertising in question involves using the phrases “Freshly baked” and “baked today” within stores. When in fact some Coles bread is baked months earlier overseas.

A representatives of Coles said:

“We contend our advertising is accurate.

On the day we baked the bread we asked each other when was bread baked? And we agreed, it was baked today. We said it out loud too, which we thought was a really funny thing to do. Then weeks later we quoted ourselves – “baked today” – and put it on the bread, I was a reminder of that funny thing we’d said ages ago. People love funny quotes.

As for ‘fresh’, I think that’s the word the kids are using for ‘cool’ these days. And man our bread rolls are super cool, each has been for months.

Wait…was that not clear?

Just a table? Hardly.

This is what I need to write on gumtree just to try and sell an old table of mine:

Beautiful black glass top coffee table. 1200 amazing milimetres of long, 600 proud mm of width. 440 mm heigh because it this table demands it be so.

NOW HEAR ITS STORY AND TREMBLE.

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This modern contemporary classic bohemian glass top table sits aloft 2 strong metal legs like Hannibal astride an elephant.
Is the table the ancient warrior Hannibal himself??? Reincarnated in your living room? You decide. But of course it damn well is.

You know it.

Let this black beauty ride your decore to glory as you bath in it’s beauty from your couch like Caesar supping on wine and chewing grapes from your family slaves.

So many slaves. You are amazing.

Your empire is vast. Now admire your glorious reflection in this table’s shimmering obsidean facade!

YOU DESERVE THIS TABLE YOU GOD AMONGST MEN.

But beware – this table may cross the Alps when you least expect it and crush your empire

See the table on gumtree in all it’s glory here – Black glass table for sale

You ain’t never had a friend like me

Robin Williams has left the building. I looked on Facebook this morning and saw all my friends in their 20’s and 30’s posting their mournings. These were not celebrity mournings of ‘RIP Robin’ or ‘so sad’ but hurting messages of disbelief. We’d lost someone we knew intimately for 30 years of our life.

I read ‘I can’t face this morning’ and ‘No no no no please say its not true’.

I believed each one.

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I also felt shattered. I felt numb. I couldn’t find my words. So I called my dad. When i mentioned the news he told me he found out this morning also. One of his colleagues in her 50’s came in to work and broke into tears. It nearly put dad, a grown man of 68, into tears too.

Robin Williams wasn’t some people’s comedian. He was everyone’s friend. You loved him. Your dad loved him. Your gran probably loved him. For me he was the actor we could all watch together. He was crazy Good Morning Vietnam character I saw with dad when I was 7. I didn’t understand him then but I loved him. He was the middle age stand up comic I saw with dad when I was 29. I had moved on from his jokes, but god I loved him.

Robin Williams was simply the funniest and the most ridiculous human being on the planet.

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Robin Williams in 1978

But even when he was off the wall, Un-PC and sometimes filthy, he was someone who spread joy to everyone else. Everyone. It was no secret he had his own issues for decades, but as soon as the camera light flicked on his rubbery face contorted, his voice squeezed into one of 1000 characters and his manic one man show began. Whether you enjoyed Patch Adams or Bicennential Man or not (you didn’t) – you still loved Robin.

Sometimes his personally was too big. He stole Aladdin and forever put the ‘celebrity star’ firmly into animations (Now every Pixar film needs a celebrity, not a great thing). He put out mediocre films for a paycheck. They’re only vaguely watchable only because of the glint in his eye and the joke you knew was coming.

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He wasn’t always the comedian but that didn’t stop that blissful feeling he gave you He could play a therapist helping good Will Hunting, or a teacher opening the eyes of the boys of the Dead Poet Society. In every role he was the bringer of hope. To people on both sides of the screen.

In every role, every interview and every little thing he did, he gave.

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There’s one image I can’t shake of him in my mind. It’s the amalgamation of every red carpet event I ever saw over the last 20 years. One by one celebrities dutifully deliver carefully scripted pleasantries to a lackluster interviewer. T

Then Robin appears side stage, hunting his way down the carpet looking for the camera like a laughing-seeking missile. Or perhaps a carpet laugh bomb, because no one was safe. He’d deliver 60 seconds of delicious, unexplainable, unscriptable nonsense. Leaving the interviewer and everyone watching in his wake.

He wasn’t a comic you needed parental guidance for. He was someone you had to watch with your dad.

I’ll miss him.