vegansaurus!

05/07/2012

Uggie, the star of the Academy Award winning film The Artist, is now helping shelter pets! I didn’t see that movie (in fact I hadn’t heard of it until it won the award, I’m so out of the loop!) but I can tell Uggie is adorbs. 
From Ecorazzi:

Before capturing the hearts of people, Uggie was just another shelter dog looking for a loving family and a warm home. After two families gave him up, Uggie was finally adopted permanently. His story has ignited concern over the amount of animals abandoned, and now with his help he can save other unwanted pets.

Aw, poor Uggie. How sweet that he is a star now!
I think about dog actors a lot. I’m completely opposed to chimp actors and elephant actors but dog actors seem a bit different? Especially if the dog actor was adopted. If you are breeding 101 dalmatian puppies that will just be thrown away after the movie, that’s one thing, but saving a pup from a shelter is very different. So I’m like, maybe it’s OK? Because a lot of dogs actually thrive on and even need little “jobs” to do in order to be happy, but does that mean a literal job is good for them? 
I hope so. But I’m just waiting for a scary undercover dog actor expose to come out. Thoughts?

Uggie, the star of the Academy Award winning film The Artist, is now helping shelter pets! I didn’t see that movie (in fact I hadn’t heard of it until it won the award, I’m so out of the loop!) but I can tell Uggie is adorbs. 

From Ecorazzi:

Before capturing the hearts of people, Uggie was just another shelter dog looking for a loving family and a warm home. After two families gave him up, Uggie was finally adopted permanently. His story has ignited concern over the amount of animals abandoned, and now with his help he can save other unwanted pets.

Aw, poor Uggie. How sweet that he is a star now!

I think about dog actors a lot. I’m completely opposed to chimp actors and elephant actors but dog actors seem a bit different? Especially if the dog actor was adopted. If you are breeding 101 dalmatian puppies that will just be thrown away after the movie, that’s one thing, but saving a pup from a shelter is very different. So I’m like, maybe it’s OK? Because a lot of dogs actually thrive on and even need little “jobs” to do in order to be happy, but does that mean a literal job is good for them? 

I hope so. But I’m just waiting for a scary undercover dog actor expose to come out. Thoughts?

06/01/2011

Ad agency is totally awesome, auto-corrects monkeys out of scripts!  »

Megan Rascal on the ad beat again! This time with GOOD news! Agency BBDO New York has employed a new strategy to prevent their creatives from using monkeys in advertising: auto-correct!

The agency has installed an auto-correct function on all office computers that detects whenever words like “monkey” or “ape” or “chimpanzee” are typed. This sentence then appears automatically: “…who was taken from his mother when only weeks old to act in front of the camera. During his training, the ape will be kicked, punched, and beaten to perform what you are just about to write. Don’t let it happen.” The note then links to NoMonkeyBusinessOn.tv.

I’m glad some agencies take animal “actors” more seriously than that Chrysler commercial with the invisible monkey “fix.” As the article points out, BBDO has used plenty of monkey “actors” in the past but so what, I used to eat bacon! We all did stuff in the past! It ain’t where you’re from, it’s where you’re at.

Sorry for all the quotation marks but I just can’t actually call an animal an actor. The idea is just so ridiculous. Quotation marks are fun, anyway. I like to add extra when I’m emailing—just to keep everyone on their toes! You should try it! Just ask people how their “mom” is or how that “job” is going. People really like it!

12/15/2010

Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday!  »

It is finals week! For me, this no longer holds any fear because I am in grad school and every week is finals week. “Bring it on!” I say as my tears smudge the ink of yet another double-spaced monstrosity that I cannot bear to finish. “Nailed it!” I yell as I accidentally reply-all with an embarrassing email in which I beg for an extension. “Is this worth it?” I ask as I drink yet another bottle of tequila, watching myself cry in the mirror. Be brave, future graduates! Slay those finals like the people slew the other people in that one movie. And then triumph and revel in your victory! Uh-oh, this pep talk has really broken down now, hasn’t it? Just go out there and do it! And be awesome! OK, let’s talk about squirrels, because if there’s anything this paragraph has taught me, it’s that I should probably not pin my dreams on a career in motivational speaking.

You know how when you think about Russian people, you think about alcoholics? Now you know how stereotypes work! Although the thing is, stereotypes are often based upon very real things. As a Russian person, I can tell you that lots of Russians have alcohol problems, but don’t take my word for it because I am not a scientist or the president of Russia. The president of Russia, in fact, is so concerned about the nation’s drinking problem that he has hired a CGI squirrel to show you how dangerous drinking is. Why a squirrel, you ask? That is a very good question for which I have no answer. I have no idea how a squirrel, no matter how mangy it looks, is going to convince me to put down my bottle of apple-infused vodka,* not even if it speaks in a drunk voice and jumps around and around an empty white room. If you don’t speak Russian, you may think you are watching an amazing short about the plight of an animal imprisoned in a white room, possibly by the KGB. Not so! The squirrel is actually incredibly wasted and discussing such far-ranging topics as “We saw his wife and he thought it was the devil so he said let’s shoot her and then we will mark this occasion.” When I first saw this video, I had no idea what it was about and thought it was a warning about psychosis. I got out my DSM to see if I could diagnose the squirrel, before realizing that if I am going to diagnose animated Russian squirrels, perhaps I am the one I needed to worry about.

Or perhaps I need to worry about the good people putting camels into their Christmas pageants. I have been to a couple of Christmas pageants in my day and while I have seen some bad acting—fifth-graders! Why did I pay you $2.50 when you cannot pay me the courtesy of learning your fucking lines?—I have never felt physically threatened by the production, probably because none of the pageants I have seen featured a live camel! Yes, friends, a live camel is the one thing your Christmas pageant is missing. What, there’s two things missing? Your Christmas pageant isn’t a hit unless the camel topples over into the audience? The camel had a sore knee and lost her balance (yes, there is video). It’s a good thing no one was injured because if anyone had, you can bet that there would be crowds cheering wildly for her death, regardless of her bearing zero culpability for this fiasco.

Apparently the company that provided her for the pageant is a fucking horror show and should be shut down immediately: its owner has been jailed for selling panthers as well as forcing animals to perform high dives. WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? THAT HORSE DID NOT WANT TO JUMP OFF THE DIVING BOARD? You know how I know? Because the animals performing the high dives were reportedly shrieking and defecating as they did so. Diving boards are fucking horrifying. I remember my dad tried to get me to jump off of one once by showing me how much fun it was. He did it wrong and came out crying because the water—instead of accepting him gently—punched him right in the balls. He never forgave me.

Dredging up all those memories is a bummer, dude. Let’s look at this picture of a hamster to cheer ourselves up. Kinda makes all your troubles disappear, doesn’t it? Have an awesome day, and please send me links for next week!

*Not en vogue in Russia, where we drink our vodka straight! “Like real man,” my father says.

08/16/2010

Megan Rascal here, on the advertising beat again. I don’t know if you watch as much telly as I do (TV is my BFF), but a commercial circulating lately has caused some controversy. I know, big deal, but it’s the response to the controversy that is the real story. And by real story, I mean who cares but I’m going to write about it anyway.

A recent Chrysler commercial featured a monkey in an Evel Knievel costume, setting off an explosion of confetti. AS SOON AS I saw this commercial, I was like, “Oh great, a monkey “actor.”” Man, monkeys in clothes cause such internal conflict for me! I mean, holy crap, monkeys in clothes = the cuteness; but you KNOW it’s wrong wrong wrong. I end up feeling horrible for the monkey and feeling horrible because I think it’s cute. But when it comes down to it, abuse endured by “working” animals kind of trumps any and all giggles. Sorry, bros.

As you can imagine, PETA was not happy about this commercial either. WTF? CENSORSHIP IN ADVERTISING? This aggression will not stand! First they take your monkeys, next thing you know, they pull all the Marlboro ads from Nickelodeon. This is bullshit! (Don’t worry guys, I’m just kidding! As long as we can objectify women, I say let freedom ring.)

Eventually, after pressure from PETA, Chrysler removed the monkey from the commercial—by simply erasing it. The new ad features an “invisible monkey.” OMG those clever bastards. The Consumerist is calling this a “giant finger to PETA pantywringers.” As always, the Consumerist is basically a bunch of genius poets [Ed.: and their commenters!]; however, I would call this less of a finger to PETA and more of an interesting way of solving the problem. Sure, Chrysler comes off as a petulant teenager, but really they are a soldier in the fight against censorship! Talk hard, Chrysler! Fight for your right to party! They are going to keep their monkey even if you can’t see it! No but really, I think it’s kind of funny. They may not be apologetic about using a monkey to begin with but with the new edit, they send the message that monkeys don’t belong in commercials—whether they are happy about that message or not.

One thing I really enjoy about this whole situation is that the second version of the commercial is clearly the better of the two. Come on, a monkey in clothes? Cheap laughs 101. But an invisible monkey inspired by pertinacity? That’s comedy, folks! For real, when you take away tired gimmicks, creativity can flourish. Besides the disregard for animal welfare, the sad part of this story is that they didn’t rely on creativity in the first place.

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