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A collection of 30 Arnold Schwarzenegger TV commercials from Japan, from the early 90s:

Good Lord, I remember seeing almost ALL of these commercials on TV when I lived over in Japan, 1990-92.

One of my treasured possessions from my time there is my Arnold Schwarzenegger cup noodles - yes, Nissin actually made some up with his face on them, they were sort of seafood flavour - probably not edible after 20 years but I have it on my bookshelf still (you can see a glimpse of it in the very last commercial).

And that vitamin drink, like most of the other vitamin drinks they were hawking at the time, tasted like cotton candy dissolved in some water in which someone had left a cigarette butt to steep overnight.

They even had spin-offs from the commercials - I remember one of my students had a page-protector printed with an image from the commercial of Schwarzenegger with the tea kettles (about the 5:55 mark). And I nicked one of those vitamin drink banners from a local pharmacy, and flew it later over our camp the first time I went to Burning Man, when “Shuwa-chan” was governor of California….
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'An that's all I got to say about that.

(Except that I now know those things have serial numbers - makes sense.)
ltmurnau: (Default)

Yow. I wasn't the first one to mentally append the adjective "mantis-like" to Victoria Beckham, but this makes it obvious.
Thanks to [ profile] thistlelurid for the original photo of Posh, oh no wait the other one...
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Here's [ profile] gummobrux's very own caps-challenged meme:

list three unconventional celebrity crushes you've had. [i.e. people magazine probably wouldn't touch 'em w/an ugly stick.] no particular order. just name 'em & get 'em off yr crushed chest cavity. yeah. that's right. & save the shame for yr haim. lameness be not proud. let it all hang out, fucker!

I normally do my best to ignore celebrities but here we go:

1. Laurie Anderson. Yeah, I know she might have appeared in People magazine after she got all soft and "Strange Angels"-breathy, but I liked her before that - weird, difficult music and spiky haircut. Now she lives with Lou Reed, the lucky bastard.

2. Suzanna Hamilton - OK, so she's been in only two movies that more than a few people over here might have seen ("Brimstone and Treacle" and "1984") but she (and her hirsute axillae) were just great.

3. Cosey Fanni Tutti - This one's a slam-dunk too.
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Went to open a new bank account today. At the bank. You think they'd be used to this sort of request by now. But no.

Meanwhile, David Byrne is interviewed in The Onion this week, talking about what he's been up to. One of his activities is visual art pieces composed using PowerPoint:

O: How did you start working with PowerPoint in an artistic context?

DB: I wanted to do some readings from the New Sins book, and since it's a kind of proselytizing book, I thought I should do it like a sales talk or a motivational meeting. I realized from looking at airline magazines that all of the salespeople and marketers were hunched over these little projectors: They've got their laptops and this program that has their text and their slides and everything that goes into a projector. I thought, "That's what I should use, so then the whole book would have the look of one of those presentations, with slides and text and bullet points and stuff to point to."

One of the good things about the program is that it's super-easy to learn. I learned to put something together in a rudimentary way in about an hour. And it's sort of intuitive, so you can poke around and find out other things it can do. There's a button that makes the show run by itself, so you can turn these into films: slide shows and arrows and animations that never stop, that can be fast or at a more stately pace or whatever. In a kind of primitive, limited way—it is full of glitches, so you can really do some fun stuff with it.

O: Have you done any presentations under unlikely circumstances—say, in an actual corporate environment?

DB: The closest I got to that was when Wired magazine arranged that I got video monitors in the lobby of the Condé Nast building. There was a little label that told you what it was, basically, but other than that, it was just these big monitors with stuff going on. It's basically a corporate building—half of it's Condé Nast, and the other half is some huge legal firm. And one guy, probably from the IT department for one of the magazines, came up to me while I was tweaking the monitors and said, "I don't get it. Why did you use PowerPoint? It would have been so much easier to do it in Flash or some other program. Why would you use something that is full of problems and really limited in what it does?" And the cage I realized I'd walked into was that the people viewing it weren't seeing it in an art-gallery context.

I realized later, as everyone does, that what I should have said was that, of course, I like the limitations and the faults and the clunkiness of the program. I love the fact that it eliminates choices of what you can do, because there's so much you can't do. And having stuff that can do everything is not always a good idea. Having unlimited choices can paralyze you creatively. So I like the fact that you can only do certain things, and some of the things it can do, it can't do that well, but it does them in its own kind of way. If you accept that, it's okay. Sometimes I can tell it to do things, and it really has a freak-out. It starts shaking, and it's great! I mean, try and do that in Flash. I showed him stuff that it was doing where the dissolves would be so imperfect that it would do this very complicated destruction of the image before the next one cleared. To do that in another program would be really, really time-consuming—to make something look this bad, but in a particular way.

The Man burns in 142 days.
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As I so often say, it's things like this that keep me going, especially when they show up next to each other in the paper:

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) -- A handcuffed Michael Jackson walked into the county jail here Thursday to face child molestation charges that could destroy the pop superstar's career and send him to prison for years.
ALHAMBRA, Calif. -- Record producer Phil Spector, the 1960s recording-studio wizard who created pop music's Wall of Sound, was charged Thursday with murder in the shooting death of a woman at his home last February.


TORONTO -- The chances of turning your radio dial and hearing Michael Jackson's Beat It, Billie Jean, You Rock My World or the new song One More Chance diminish with every scandal, radio programmers across Canada said Thursday.... "It would be especially inappropriate to play Jackson right now given the latest allegations of child molestation", said Rob Farina, program director at CHUM FM 104.5 in Toronto. "We can't separate his talents from these very serious allegations that continuously pop up about him," he said. "The feeling is that if these allegations are true, any parent out there, or anybody out there, translates us playing his songs as support for the artist."

Setting aside the fact that I do not like his music, and never did (sorry Eve!), for me it is more interesting to note that since he is in trouble, sexcrime trouble at that, he becomes an unperson and his artistic works (yeah, let's be generous with the term here) become unworks. This either-or, Ford-or-Chevy, with-us-or-against-us kind of schoolyard logic is not the exclusive property of the American psyche but seems to reach its most absurd heights within it.
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It's things like this that keep me going, you know.

A fabulously wealthy life-size rubber doll has been elected to govern the most populous state of the Union. A plus is that we know he has a discernible sense of humour. Certainly the voters of California do!

At any rate, we can all be grateful Gary Coleman didn't get in.

[EDIT:] Oh, and here are the final vote tallies:

Damn, almost 2,600 more people voted for Gary Coleman than voted for Mary Cook, the porn star! Was it the 80s-nostalgia mojo working there, or was it her threat to institute a new tax on breast implants?
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As yet another chapter in the generally regrettable political history of the sometimes-great state of California comes to a close, I have to note my consternation and amazement at the negative-publicity campaign mounted against the Inevitable Victor, Arnold Schwarzenegger. "That man can't become my state governor, he goosed someone on the set of Predator!"
Read more... )


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