BrokenJPG

A Copywriter’s Blog
Triple Friday Feature Ben Levy 30, October

I either love you all this much, or I’m terribly indecisive.

First- Batman.

Second- the video equivalent of what I still consider one of my best posts

And finally, Happy Holloween.

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One of the reasons I love twitter is that I find links like this with some regularity. And I think we can all agree that the only true defense agasint murderous russian skating bears is early detection.

And I would just like to say-right here, right now- that I had no idea this was going on. Certainly people joke about circus bears. Certainly they joke about circus bears in Russia. The average American (myself included) is so dense as to believe that Russian Dancing Bears are so prevalent among the Soviets that they can be found three to a street corner. Like furry, pirouetting Starbucks without the lattes.

So it’s not the ice-skating per se that worries me. I can easily see the transition from dancing to ice-skating. I assume this was a particularly talented circus bear, a credit to ursa barnum & bailey’s the world over, who was merely dedicated to furthering his traditional craft. Taking it the next level. Raising the bar. Perhaps even raising it above his head while ice-skating and whistling the theme song from Sesame Street.

No, what really worries me are these two lines at the end:

“Bears on ice are common in Russian circuses. Some are equipped with helmets and sticks and trained to play hockey.”

I’m sorry, what? Could you repeat that part? Because I could have sworn you just told me that you’re teaching these bears to wear armor and wield clubs.

Russia, do you not have movies? Is there no Hulu on your internets? I only ask because I’ve seen a film or two, and I CAN TELL YOU HOW THIS STORY ENDS. Here’s a hint: it’s not happily ever after.

Seriously, did you guys see nothing wrong with this? Nothing at all? You take one of nature’s most savage mammals, select the brightest and most coordinated and train them, all the while enhancing natural instincts with man-made protection and armament. Eventually, through circus cross-breeding programs, the bears will achieve near-human intellect. They will study our ways. They will gain our trust. They will memorize all our hockey plays. And then, when we least expect it, the Russian Circus Bears will strike. By the time we find the bludgeoned and half-eaten bodies of the bearded ladies and the amazing flying Svens, it will be too late. Driving an army of elephants and seals before them, the RCBs will crush all of Europe beneath their furry, skate-wearing, paws. And then, as they erect a Big Top so enormous it covers the London Eye, they will turn their gaze westward, towards America…

This is it, Russia. This is your wake-up call. Right now, it’s a single “rogue” bear. But mark my words- if you don’t act now, we’re all doomed. Even if you don’t live to see it, your children, or your children’s children, will find themselves hiding in bunkers. Their sweaty hands will be holding hunting rifles, and they will be desperately praying for winter and the hibernation it brings.

Remember: only YOU can prevent the Russian Circus Bear Apocalypse.

Friday Feature: Spelling Bee Ben Levy 23, October

I would love to see the script for this one.

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Rule 3 Ben Levy 18, October

When The Wife and I got a dog (we were “just going to look”. Word to the wise, gentlemen- you never just “look”) I made it very clear that there would be three rules that were to remain inviolate.

1. Thou shalt not feed the canine from the table.
2. Thy beast sleepeth not in thine bed.
3. Thou shalt not dress thy beast in stupid clothes.

Careful reading of the above will reveal that these are all actually rules for the owners, not the dog. Specifically the owners who may be The Wife. I am proud to report that Rule 1 remains unbroken to this day. Rule 2 had a momentary lapse due to extenuating circumstances (we were moving and had no furniture besides an air mattress) but was quickly re-established. Rule 3, I am afraid, is a different matter.

It was going well. We had the dog for over a year before I came home and my wife called her into the room to show me the “surprise”. In trots my schnauzer-daschund (schnoxie) wearing a powder blue shirt. I was about to be furious, but said shirt was proudly emblazoned with “I forgot my pants” and an image of tighty-whities. As anyone who knows me can attest, I am powerless against jokes involving pants (or the lack thereof) and so the shirt was allowed to stay.

Plus, somewhat embarrassingly, the dog appeared to like wearing it.

Several months later, Rule 3 suffered another setback, as my mother proudly showed up with a Mia-sized UM shirt. Well, The Wife just graduated from their Medical School, and it did fit the dog even better than the “pants” shirt…

I feel it important to point out that we only occasionally put these shirts on the dog. Months would pass without her wearing one. It was more a novelty than anything else. Then came last Friday.

It’s been getting colder. And as I’ve mentioned before, my dog grew up in a specific climate. Hot. And so it wasn’t too much of a surprise when last Friday our dog walker came home and innocently asked The Wife if we had a coat for Mia, as she seemed cold.

Rule 3 crumbled before my eyes.

Very well, I told myself. Even if there was no Rule 3, at least we could adhere to common decency. Nothing pink. Nothing with frills. Nothing expensive. Just some no-nonsense, utilitarian warmth so the dog could run with her little pack during the day for a few hours without shivering.

We went to Target. The place looked as though it had been picked over by a swarm of dog-jacket-wearing locusts. There was only one jacket left, and it was far too large.

We went to the specialty pet store near us. They had jackets on sale. There was only one in my dog’s size.

So that you don’t suffer undue stress, let me assure you ahead of time- it was not pink. It was however, $45 dollars. $45 was the sale price. It was 25% off. I believe in my closet right now are jackets that cost less than that.

It had a hood. A ridiculous contraption that was only going to irritate my dog, who logically feels that ears are meant to be free and peripheral vision is a blessing to be enjoyed. The hood had faux fur. My dog- who has fur- was wearing a hood made of faux fur. The hood was irritating to everyone, so I folded it back on itself. It promptly took on the appearance of a bomber jacket.

The back was proudly emblazoned with the company name “PUPPIA” and the number “5″. Because clearly my dog is a great fan of the sports. So much so that she is sponsored.

But at least it wasn’t pink. It was brown. Tan, actually. A lovely color that accents some of the brown and red in the fur around her face. It was, in fact, irritatingly complimentary.

And that is how, this afternoon, I walked my dog in it’s fashionable, complimentary, name-brand bomber jacket. And it pranced ahead of me searching for squirrels, and it sniffed the ground, and it caught the eye. Of Every. Single. Person. We. Passed.

Not a single person looked at me. Everyone we walked by stared at my perfectly appointed pooch. And that’s what it was. You don’t dress dogs in lettered bomber jackets with faux fur that compliment their hair color. You dress pooches in those. Tea cup poodles that bark in a pitch even other dogs can’t hear and get carried around in a purse. Not my dog, the queen bitch of the dog park who once submitted a boxer puppy three times her size (I tear up just thinking about it).

And that’s why- the second my mom sent me a link to an ugly, monochromatic, utilitarian faux shearling dog coat for $10- we packed that bomber jacket back up and returned it to the store. Rule 3 may be bent, but damned if we’re going to break it.

Why the internet was born Ben Levy 16, October

I truly believe that Al Gore invented the internet because he could predict that one day, it would produce a video like this:

I hate that song. But I love these guys. All of you should do this at work today. You have no excuse not to. It’s Friday.

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Talk to the Spam, Vol 1 Ben Levy 11, October

Like it’s more legitimate (and less sucky) blog brethren, the BrokenJPG receives a great deal of comment spam. And like many of my more legitimate (and less sucky) blog-owning brethren, I spend a great deal of time deleting said comments. I do this out of love for you, dear reader. And because links about improving sexual potency demean us all.

These days, it’s pretty much reflexive for me to condemn to the digital graveyard anything containing “Nude”, “Naked”, or any characters in Russian. Interestingly, certain breeds of spam are attracted to certain posts. For example, over the past few months I’ve probably deleted over 50 “Raw Celebrity” links from the Today’s Childhood Sucks post. It’s been getting somewhat tedious.

And then last week I had an epiphany.

I had received four more comments on the aforementioned post promising Miley Cyrus Nude Pics. I raised my finger, ready to savagely jab the delete key, but then a flash of comprehension hit me. I suddenly realized- this spam had a point. How much could today’s childhood suck if kids are growing up with internet porn delivered at 3G speeds to their cellphones?

Why, this spam was clearly postulating a brilliant postmodern counterpoint to my hypothesis. Clearly the repeated attempts at blanketing the comments section of my post with these links spoke to the unshakeable optimism this spam held! A belief that children today were growing up in a childhood that not only didn’t suck, but was practically a pre-pubescent Utopia in comparison to my own.

“These kids,” the spam was saying, “they’ve got internet porn. They’ve got naked Miley Cyrus on demand.” (There’s no accounting for taste or legality, I suppose) “Who are you to decide that shitty toys in cereal boxes are grounds for declaring an entire generations’ youth experiences a wash? Particularly when you consider that some children grew up amidst the Black Death, or in an era before video games or color TV?”

And the entire point was eloquently made with a single link to Miley Cyrus Nude Pics.

And so, dear reader, I have seen the error of my ways. No longer will I indiscriminately delete spam from my comments. No- now I will carefully read through each one, explore every link, and share their brilliant insights with you. It won’t happen often, for the internet is vast and few arguments can be as brilliantly composed as the one I shared with you today. But when one presents itself, rest assured it will appear under the heading of Talk to the Spam, Vol 2.

Oh, and just so we’re clear? Today’s Childhood totally Sucks.

Friday Feature: CGI-brows Ben Levy 8, October

CGI-brows from Andrew Gaynord on Vimeo.

The technology of the future.

And speaking of technology, I’ve set up a new RSS feed. You can get it by clicking that big orang icon I put in Updates. Or just click here. If you already use an RSS, please convert to this new one. It uses Feedburner, which means my posts appear much more attractive, and I can get stats from it. Yay, numbers!

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But it won’t work. I’m on to you. After this, this, and this, I can spot your attempts to skullfuck the last remaining vestiges of my happy childhood memories from a mile away.

I’ll give you some credit, though. When I first heard you insidious franchise-fucking money whores had started filming an A-Team movie, I thought I knew what to expect. I was ready for the post to practically write itself.

a-team

But then I found an photo of Liam Neeson in costume, and he was the spitting image of Hannibal. And then I read it was being directed by Joe Carnahan, of Smoking Aces fame. How proud you must have been, Hollywood. I can see you steepling your fingers in a dark room and laughing to yourself. “He’ll totally buy it,” you cackle, as you chew on newborn children while their mothers watch, and think up new ways to ruin the Transformers franchise, “he’ll be too intrigued to hate the film. He’ll see too much potential.”

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It almost worked too. I was ready to believe. I was fresh off Inglorious Basterds and District 9, and I told myself that maybe, just maybe, the A-Team movie wouldn’t be that bad.

Then I woke the hell up.

Smoking Aces was a thing of beauty. And Liam Neeson can be funny if you’re a little drunk and he’s not playing a dad. But neither of them are A-Team material. You’re not making the A-Team. You’re making a cinematic sin.

Your mistake, Hollywood, the thing that really proved to me that you were going to beat to death one more of my childhood loves with a phallus-shaped baseball bat, was this: UFC fighter “Rampage” Jackson as B.A. Barracus.

The-A-Team-tv-09

Mr. T isn’t dead, you sniveling, spineless, slack-jawed, mouth-breathing, twats. I defy you to tell me what the hell is wrong with casting him as (essentially) himself. Not a damn thing, that’s what. I know this movie isn’t really about the A-Team. It’s about some fuckwit who wasn’t smart enough to craft an original premise, so you just bought the rights to an old TV show and prayed that enough people would love the franchise to see it no matter how horribly you mangled the plot. But if you really want to bring in the hordes, why didn’t you morons at least get the single most memorable person from the original show? This could have been the Return of the Teletubbies in 3-D, but if it had Mr. T, being Mr. T, I’d have gone to see it. Twice. Now? You have nothing but my unrequited rage.

The only thing that would save this movie now is if the whole thing was a publicity stunt. Halfway through the advertising campaign, we discover that this movie is a plot to discredit the original A-Team, and they all reunite, jump in the van, and start busting the heads of every Hollywood dipshit responsible for this mess. That movie I would see (along with Mr. T and the Teletubbies).

But then, that was my fevered prayer for the GI Joe movie as well, and look how that turned out.

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Friday Feature: Muppet Mad Men Ben Levy 1, October

It’s like a theme this week.

Also- sycophants? What level are these preschoolers watching TV at?

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