March 2014

Mayor Rob Ford is a cartoon character — literally!

by Joey deVilla on March 31, 2014

the rofo show

The fine folks at No Ford Nation — the people who created the hilarious election posters that I wrote about earlier today — also created The Toronto Mayor Show, a series of cartoons showing some of Mayor Ford’s antics, complete with actual audio from the events. They’ve capitalized on Rob Ford’s cartoonish Peter Griffin-esque nature and used the medium well (there’s a great visual joke in the episode where Rob gets all rasta and speaks Jamaican patois). Watch ’em all, cringe a little, and think twice when you vote: do you still want a cartoon character for a mayor?

Episode 1: “Crack”

Episode 2: “Enough to Eat”

Be warned: this one’s got dirty words…uttered by the Mayor himself!

Episode 3: “Night Out”

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no ford nation 1

Click the photo to see it at full size.

The comical and sometimes criminal antics of Toronto’s world-infamous crack-smoking mayor have set the bar for the title so low that these fictitious candidates’ very simple promises make them sound appealing in comparison. Katie Simpson, a reporter with Toronto 24-hour cable news channel CP24 found and tweeted these photos of the posters: poster 1, poster 2, and poster 3.

“The current mayor threatens to kill people and gets publicly drunk,” reads the poster for “candidate” Ray Faranzi, whose sweaty-faced, messy-haired, tied-one-on visage appears on its left side. “If elected, I promise I will just get publicly drunk.”

no ford nation 2

Click the photo to see it at full size.

“Candidate” Jim Tomkins looks a little more put-together than Ray Faranzi, but he’s still got that “I just killed 5 shots of Jagermeister” look about him. “When I urinate in public,” reads his poster, “I never get caught on camera.”

no ford nation 3

Click the photo to see it at full size.

And finally, we have “candidate” Jeff McElroy, who looks a little less scruffy than programmers of the Richard M. Stallman ilk, but still a little more dishevelled than even the mayor of Portland should appear. “He promises to just smoke pot as mayor,” says his poster, “Not crack.”

Kudos to whoever made these! It’s going to be a long campaign in Toronto (the election takes place in October), but at least it’ll be an entertaining one.

Props to Reg Braithwaite for finding these!

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Here’s Poolside, the ad for the $76,000 Cadillac ELR, a luxury electric car that — if you take the ad seriously — is aimed at the douchey segment of “the 1%” who are looking for their next “beater car” and are curious about electrics:

Don’t listen to the actor reading lines written by some cynical ad guy about why the US stopped going to the moon. Instead, listen to someone with a real education and a real job — real space scientist and knowledge hero Neil Degrasse Tyson, who gives us the real reason we took a break from the moon:

We discovered Earth.

In a time when income inequality in the US is reached new highs , when big politicians who killed jobs and businesses to line investors’ coffers equate low bank balances with low character, and big employers like McDonald’s are putting out hilariously tone-deaf pamphlets to help their minimum-wage employees stretch their dollar (get a second full-time job!) and advising them on how much to tip the pool boy, Cadillac’s ad comes close to needing to invoke Poe’s Law: that sometimes, it’s hard to tell the difference between the real thing and its parody.

In response, Ford put out the Upside ad for their C-MAX electric car, which takes the same honorable themes from the Poolside ad — America, hard work, entrepreneurship, environmentalism — and uses them in a much better way, turning the Cadillac ad on its ear at the same time:

As Jalopnik puts it:

See, you can do this kind of ad without coming off like a jingoistic sociopath. N’est-ce pas?

N’est-ce pas?, the line used to close both ads, is French for Isn’t that so?

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Bill Murray’s awesome PBR golf pants

by Joey deVilla on March 27, 2014

bill murray pabst blue ribbon pants

Photo from Uproxx. Click to see the source.

Now that I’m a Florida-based silver-haired gentleman, I need to get my mitts on a pair of PBR pants like Bill Murray’s. If I can walk around with an accordion, I can walk around in these pants. Apparently, there’s a company that makes pants with your company’s logo on them; I should talk to the guys at GSG about getting some made!

Here’s Bill talking about the charity golf event where he wore the pants, as well as the pants themselves:

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undercover cell cops

Click the photo to see the source.

If “not killing people” wasn’t incentive enough for you to put down your phone while driving in Accordion City, here’s another: the cops have taken to dressing like roadside panhandlers to spot people breaking the mobile phone law. I love this cop’s cardboard box sign.

We need to start a betting pool on when they’ll pull over Rob Ford.

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For the want of a comma

by Joey deVilla on March 25, 2014

kathleen bangs - aviation expert - 01

A recent broadcast of a news piece on the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 highlighted the value of good punctuation. When your last name is also a verb and your full name is immediately followed by your role, you want a comma between them —  there is a difference between “Kathleen Bangs, Aviation Expert” and “Kathleen Bangs Aviation Expert”.

kathleen bangs - aviation expert - 02

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R.I.P. Dave Brockie, “Oderus Urungus” from GWAR

by Joey deVilla on March 24, 2014

RIP ODERUS URUNGUS

The greatest achievement of thrash metal parody band GWAR was they they somehow conned bored suburban metalhead kids into watching performance art. Since 1984, the band’s been donning their costumes, playing some of the most amusing metal out there, and dismembering modern culture both literally in their lyrics and figuratively onstage. I got my chance to see GWAR on New Year’s Eve 1991 at The Rialto in Montreal with my friend Rob Strickler, whom I somehow managed to convince to come along for the show. They made their entrance by bursting through a fake brick wall at midnight, with frontcreature Oderus Urungus (played by Dave Brockie) yelling “HAPPY NEW YEAR, HUMAN SCUM!”, and then sprayed the front rows with fake blood and semen. It was one of the better ways to start a new year.

dave brockie

Dave Brockie, who founded and fronted GWAR, was found dead in his apartment in Richmond, Virginia, last night at 7 p.m. by a bandmate. The police do not suspect foul play, nor did they find drugs inside his home — he was just found dead, sitting upright in his chair.

The best way to remember Brockie is to enjoy his hilarious over-the-top performances. Here are a few musical selections…


GWAR covers Billy Ocean


GWAR covers Kansas 

They do more than music. So much, much more:

Here they are on Joan Rivers:

…and I can’t forget their appearance on Jerry Springer:

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