Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Back from Noo Yowak

Yes I've spent the weekend in New York, where it was 86 degrees (no idea what that is in metric apart from hot) and also Fleet Week, where the Navy was in. I'd have thought they were all out shelling Iraq but apparently not. Bunches of sailors everywhere, in that comedy white flarey jump suit and proper Popeye hat and cravat/tie thing.

Thing was, they were all tiny short podgy spotty twelve-year old kids and - mainly - drunkyarded. Not how you imagine them. As an American I was sat next to in a bar said "Well man, you only join the army or navy if you can't even get a job in Walmart".

I'd like to thank those who responded to my rant on adverts last week. Ta muchly. And the car that's been advertised as a cake is a Skoda, but - like you - I had to think hard to remember what it was, despite knowing a bit about cars. Hence it being a rubbish ad.

American telly ads were as shouty and basic as usual - apart from, oddly, car ads. Lots of swoopy-drivey-shots there too... well, apart from the ads for pickups (which outsell cars massively there) with preposterous names like Thruster and Blastforcer, all to heavy rawk music and a deep-voiced man screaming how big and hard they were.

A bit like Fox News really, the world's most surreal news channel, especially Fox Reports with Shepard Smith, which makes The Day Today look like the BBC News from 1956. To the same rawk music, a husky voice bloke shouts 'the noos' at you, from a dark, appropriately satanic studio. "News at the speed of LIVE!" he shouts as the camera zooms around him like an X Factor contestant gone to hell. You can't imagine Moira Stewart doing that. Either shouting a slogan or going to hell.

Of course Britain could've blown up for all I knew, the only international news in the whole two hour show was "Around the World in 80 Seconds". This mainly featured "news lite" stories, like some Aussie gay bar that had banned straight people. I can't imagine Shepard Smith having much truck with the gays. He rolled his eyes then cut to a piece about "our battling heroes defeating terror in Iraq".

It made my head hurt but at least it isn't as cutesy as most US local news, a Barbie and Ken duo with fab teeth, sitting slightly too close together on slightly too high stools, all "and Barbie has this story" / "yes Ken I do..." handovers and entire three minute breaks full of ads for pills. US news shows have the oldest average audience on network tv, so the ads are jammed with pills for everything, from "restless leg syndrome" (the legal voiceover said "common side effects include nausea and vomiting") to erectile disfucntion (side effects: "flushing, redness, blurred and coloured vision") to trapped gas (side effects: "gas")

I love American tv. In small doses.

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