Friday, February 29, 2008

Andy Beal's 'Marketing Pilgrim' -- a groovy read, and a chance to win goodies like the iPod Touch

I came across a bloke on Twitter called Andy Beal. He's an internet
marketing whizz, running the site, Marketing Pilgrim.

He runs contests every now and again. This one --
-- gives people the chance to win an iPod Touch.

He's a cunning fellow. And practices what he preaches. He's generating
tons of link love to his blog by encouraging people entering his
contest to spread the word.

If I win just by entering, I get an 8gig machine. If I tweet the link
on Twitter, I get the 16gig machine. And if I tweet AND blog the link,
I get the big daddy... The 32gig iPod Touch.

This is great for Andy, cos it gets a specific link out to a lot of
sources. So when Google and Yahoo and Technorati crawl the web, they
find that Andy Beal is one majorly serious player. So his search
ranking skyrockets.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Al Qaeda Junior forces -- yet another masterstroke

This post is my response to John's piece on Commentary South Africa, 'Al Qaeda Junior'. In his piece, he expresses strong outrage at video footage showing children being trained for guerrilla warfare.

Nah. John's got the wrong end of the stick on this one.

The reason the 'war on terror' is unwinnable by the 'west' is thanks to reactive analyses like his.

What's happening is a paradigm shift of the most extreme kind. The September 11 Twin Towers demolition represents a change in the world order.

The message was quite simple: 'You are no longer safe. Anywhere.'

The recent use of mentally challenged women to detonate suicide bombs is nothing short of a stroke of genius. Because it adds another layer of pain to the message: 'You are no longer safe. From anyone.'

The 'discovery', 'release', and/or 'shooting' of a video showing a training camp in which children are being taught to be suicide bombers/guerrilla 'soldiers', whatever, is possibly one of the key masterstrokes of the propaganda war being fought by the Muslim extremists. (It appears the video was shot by western forces. Which makes it an even bigger mastercoup by the extremists. They couldn't have gotten better publicity if they'd simply leaked it.)

John's reaction plays completely into their hands. He's responding exactly the way their propaganda experts planned.

They wanted outrage. Whinings about human rights, the rights of children. Cries of anguish.

They wanted all westerners to think, 'How low will these bastards go? NOTHING is sacred to them!!!'

And yeah... they've definitely got us thinking that. (Soon they'll be training sweet little dogs to be suicide bombers. Mark my words. And THEN we'll see anguish!)

And all they've got to do to make this world unbearable for westerners is to publicize just ONE suicide bombing by a child.

Cos that'll lock it into our minds forever.

And the message will be: 'You are not safe from anyone, anywhere, ever again.'

Sadly, this war is inexplicable to us westerners.

I don't know about you, but I cannot fathom what 'they' want from 'us'.

In most wars, someone wants something from someone else. There's a goal. Once the goal is met, the war is over.

In this 'war', nobody has said what the goal is. Nobody has explicitly stated: 'This war will be over when x, y, and z have been achieved.'

Which is why it's a paradigm shift and a change in the world order. Cos as westerners, we don't have access to the correct way of thinking about this.

In addition, I'm not sure how many people are actually saying, 'What do you guys actually want?' Maybe if we ask, they'll tell us. And then we'll know how to end the war.

So... uh... I'll ask. Guys... what do you want? How do we make this all stop? Please respond in the comments section. Thanks.

The illustration started out as a sketch in ink in my Moleskine notebook. Then I pulled it into Photoshop via my HP scanner and coloured it to within an inch of its life. All on my Toshiba Tecra M4 tablet pc, of course. No pork was consumed during the making of this image.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Nescafe Rosebank -- here's to the current franchisees losing their license

So Jennifer and I are in Rosebank, scouting for a decent place to eat.

Nino's is out, since last time we were there, they sold us a stale
piece of week-old sponge cake, claiming it was their chocolate mousse

So we're sitting across the way, at Nescafe.

Nice view. Loads of hairstyles courtesy of the Misogynist Hairdressers Guild.

The waiter isn't wearing a name badge. Bad sign. He takes our order.
'Siyacela eTwo glasses of water, and a lemon and condensed milk
smoothie, please.'

Jennifer goes for the penne Napolitano. I order a Smoked Chicken and Avo salad.

The waiter comes back to the table and says, 'No avo.' He's not making
eye contact. He's not even all that interested in taking my order.

I ask him if I can substitute feta cheese. He nods. Leaves.

Comes back with two differently shaped and sized glasses of water.
Thirty seconds later, brings the smoothie.

I taste it. And almost spew chilled milky froth all over Jennifer. It
tastes rotten. Not merely off. Actively rotten. Disgustingly rotten.
'Jesus!' I say, trying to wipe my tongue off with a paper napkin.

Jennifer takes a test sip.

'Oh man,' she says, 'this is rotten! This milk is far gone!'

Luckily, I've got some mints in my pocket courtesy of Graham at Blue
Moon. Ten of them kill the taste for both of us.

As it happens, I've just had a warm chat with Graham. He runs a
fantastically successful stall at the Rosebank Flea Market, selling
imported British food. Which is why Jen and I are here in the first
place. We came to visit him and Claire, to show a bit of support.

I call the waiter. 'Brother, I think this milk is very badly off, and
I'm changing my order. Please take this back, and may I have a strong
Milo instead?'

'Okay,' he says, 'Milo.' And takes the offending specimen away.

A minute or so later, he comes back. With my ex-smoothie in his hand.
Plonks it down on my table. 'The manager says there's nothing wrong
with it. It's the way it is. Sweet and sour.'

'No, I changed my order, because this is off. I want a Milo, and I'm
not accepting this.'

'Then speak to the manager.'

'I don't need to speak to the manager. This is off.'

'There's the manager.'

So the 'manager' approaches the table. He's short. Intense black hair
tightly cropped. The first words out of his trap are, 'There ees
nothing wrong with that! Is sweet an sour.'

Bulgarian? Ukrainian?

He's got the fattest scowl on his lips. Very much a 'Punch Me Now' kinda look.

I say, 'I changed my order. This tastes off. And I'd like a Milo
instead please.'

Jennifer adds, 'We even had to eat peppermints to get the taste out of
our mouths.'

'That's how it tastes,' he says, scowling harder.

The drink sits in no man's land between us.

Nobody approaches it.

I say, 'You don't want to change my order, I'm walking. Come Jennifer.'

And I pick up our stuff, and I'm getting up, and leaving, and I hear
Napoleon-junior muttering under his breath.

'Fine. Leave.'

We're halfway to the Spur in The Zone when it dawns on me.

'They didn't taste that smoothie, did they?' I say.

Jennifer says, 'It was the same glass. If they tasted it, they sipped
from your glass.'

'And if they didn't, then how the hell do they know whether it's rotten or not?'


Friday, February 01, 2008

Misogynist Hairdressers Guild Badge -- Sticker Prank

This has been a prank idea for a very long time...

To make a sticker to place surreptitiously on the doors of hairdressers who butcher women's hair.

I mean, seriously... there MUST be a secret guild of hairdressers dedicated to giving women reallllllllllllly bad hair advice and hair treatments and hairdos.

Think of 'older' women with blue rinses. You think they'd do that to themselves without being nudged by their hair salon??? Come on! Nobody wants to look like a poodle!

If you like this little piece of artwork, please feel free to make printouts on your colour laser printer (an inkjet will run in the rain). Cut them out. Place them in NEARLY hidden positions on the front doors of salons who perpetrate atrocities on women's hair.

The badges shouldn't be too big. I'd estimate that they should be no bigger than the palm of your hand.

This serves two purposes.

1. Any bigger, and the badges will be discovered too quickly to do any good.

2. You can easily approach a door IN BROAD DAYLIGHT with one of them concealed in your hand. Rest against the door briefly. Catch your breath. Move on. And the perpetrator is marked!

There's a version in B&W too.

I made this pic in two packages: CorelDraw 10.0 for the typography and design; Photoshop CS2 for the image manipulation and colouring.As source material, I did a Google image search for 'bad hair'. And found some glorious horrors. I've manipulated this one beyond recognition. All, as usual, on my Toshiba Tecra M4 tablet pc.stickerprank, sticker, prank, royblumenthal, blumenthal