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.
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.
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.
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.