Saturday, October 3, 2015

So 4 people is mass murder in the US?

Artwork by Tarek Chemaly
What happened in Umpqua in the US, is a tragedy. It follows other places such as Columbine, Aurora, Sandy Hook, Charleston and nameless other places. Being a child of war, I know that it is indeed people that kill people, but also guns do so as well - this in discordance with the US National Rifle Association that claims that "guns don't kill people".
This being said, and please read this article with all the satire it is intended with....
... It seems there were 994 mass murders in the US in the last 1004 days.
Scary! Spooky! Headline worthy (beneath the outfit that Kylie Jenner wore today)!
However, when a mass murder is "defined as four or more people shot in one incident – nearly every day" (including the shooter), then allow me to take this a bit more lightly.
Sure, as Prince (the artist formerly known as - and currently known as) said "Albums still matter. Albums, like books and black lives, still matter." - even if this article is not limited to black lives, all lives matter.
But... Four?
As in 1,2,3,4 and you have a "mass murder"?
Four is the number of casualties resulting from stray bullets in weddings in Lebanon.
Then you have the funerals of the people who were shot dead, and four more die at each funeral from different stray bullets - that would be 16 (thank you), add those to the four who died at the wedding, and you have 20.
Four is how many people die daily drunk driving at night (but of course it was the road's fault for not being asphalted as per the driver's family, factors such as the alchohol level in the blood of the driver do not go into the equation).
Four is just how many people die in parking disputes (with the valet parking probably) every weekend.
Four is the number of people who die from asphyxiation from tear gas in peaceful manifestations over services which are already paid via taxes.
In a country that still debates if "Sabra and Chatila" is to be considered a massacre for Palestinians (seriously, a right wing Belgian man asked me to define the number of people who died to be considered a massacre before considering if Sabra and Chatila fits "everything is called massacre these days" he dismissed the figure), in a country that still has debates over Black Saturday, and which puts in question every event which happened and still is happening, I go back to the saying (attributed to Georges Corm) "numbers in Lebanon are just a point of view" (sure, he was speaking of the budget but it applies to people's stastics too!). "There's no truth in Beirut, only versions" to quote the late Bill Farrell, and indeed, there are many different "versions" of seeing what happened and is still happening in Lebanon.
So four people are not exactly "mass murder", if it were, Lebanon would be in crisis - and obviously we are not! #LiveloveLebanon and all that.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Josons and Khoury Home - 2 good ads!

 Josons - which sells hunting equipment - has been running this faux-vintage beauty for their Rabieh branch. It says they are there "since 2013" which is not much heritage but the whole retro feel just makes the ad very endearing and lovely.
An here is Khoury Home for all kinds of appliances capitalizing on the recent garbage crisis with an ad blowing their own horn at recycling "change starts at home" (Home as in reference to their name), they are recycling - are you? Again, the simple aspect of the ad gives it credit and the integration of the brand name there also works perfectly...

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Lebanon, where you can ski and swim in the same day!

Sorry I could not find the appropriate copyright for these images - they all show the famous "waterski" cliché about Lebanon. Beirut bay specifically. Lebanon has been dubbed the land where you can ski and swim in the same day, so why not join the two activities by doing waterski? Indeed, a nostalgia for a trip that never was.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

This blog is NOT mine to delete.

This weekend (Sept. 26-27, 2015) I was this close to deleting this blog. I am the kind of person who burns bridges, so when I say delete this blog, I meant erasing every shread of it on the net, not just making it private or unpublishing it. Turning my back as Merlin did to Queen Mab and just get on with my life.
I am not someone who does focus groups in decisions, so when I take a decision - no matter how radical - it is not my habit to consult friends or family.Oddly it was not the lawsuits that made me think of this, it was - as is always the case in decisions - a much smaller factor that came into play which drove me over the edge.
Reason prevailed due to a combination of circumstances, mostly someone on instagram asking "does anyone ever read this stuff?" benath one of her posts - an ironic sentence planted in the descriptive of a photo in between other details and hashtags. And so I replied "yes, someone does, keep at the great job", She answered gratefully and continued whatever she was doing.
On Sunday night, while speaking to a friend telling her I have had it and was very close to deleting the blog throughout the weekend, she simply said "C'est pas ton blog! C'est le blog de tout le monde!" (It is not your blog! It is everyone's blog!).
So there, I really did not think of it that way. Sure, I do have tens of thousands of visitors per month, but being rather introverted (not to say reclusive), I am away from the fray of those comparatives of "I have more readership and deserve to have the freebies" and all that who-pisses-farther contests. So I never thought of the crowd that reads this, even if they do exist en masse.
So voila, seems I was acting selfish, and the hoards of people who seem to like my output will get a reprieve.
More stuff will come, for better or for worse.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Dear advertising community, f**k you!

Art by Fady Chahine and Tarek Chemaly

Dear advertising community,
F**k you!
Yes, now that I wrote this in my otherwise almost curse-free blog, I feel better.
There you have it, I am still waiting for you to phone, mail, get in touch, meet regarding my current circumstances.
Don't pretend you do not know what I speak of. You know them well, they are now in the public arena, amusing water-cooler conversations for you. But the joke is on you, let us not forget.
Strange, you always managed to get hold of me (even sometimes in between classes) to ask me if I can help post this or that, or to explain your position as to whatever campaign you did, or want to recruit someone for whatever position. You have my phone number and email and that you "would consider it as a personal favor" if I did such and such.
I did such and such, I still cannot see the personal favor returned.
You must have forgotten it. Your memory is a one-way street. Or a dead end one.
Strange, your PR teams though still email me. Mostly to invite me to a happy hour sponsored by one of your clients, or to ask me to give you my readership statistics for the last year, because apparently, if I have a blog and the tens of thousands of readers who get to me monthly have committed the sin of logging on to my page, then they should suffer being subjected to your silly promotions - because you know, it has been proven that everyone is a whore in case they have a blog (what I previously termed SharmoutAD or whores of the ad agencies).
I have not changed my phone number. Nor my email.
And if you can get hold of me for some reasons, you can bother to get hold of me for others.
But of course, you have no idea what I speak of. No one knows the story, even if everyone gossips about it maliciously.
You know that poem by Pastor Martin Nienmoller "first they came for..." - and it ends "Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me". So you see, if you are not speaking for me, I guess they already came for you (unless you are one of "them"). They came for your minds, and consciences. Your freedom of thought and expression.
Odd how much corporate social responsibility you want to do to your clients to make them look good but end up forgetting being human yourselves towards someone you know personally who is in a predicament.
But the fault is mine, I am the one who had great expectations - and I am not speaking of the book.
I am still naïve that way, I still stand up to injustice. Still try to make a difference one student at a time, one ad campaign at a time, one blog post at a time.
I am actually ashamed of how naïve I am - yes, I still say I am as opposed to have been - since I am incurably naïve.
I know that when one of you or my fellow bloggers will be unjustly accused, I always tried to do "the right thing for the right reasons" (that's Emmanuel Kant and his deontological theory!), and sheepishly I thought everyone worked the same way. That's at least how my mother sitting in her chair explains it to neighbours.
And still I wish to believe in the goodness of people despite all proofs to the contrary. Still I want to believe people care about others, not just "theoretical" others such as Michael Jackson and "children" or those periodic campaigns to help "Syrian refugees" (vague anonymous entities which end in the realm of slacktivism). No, I mean genuine care for other people and what happens to them.
Oh you know the story of the professor, the mayonnaise jar and the two cups of coffee.
I am still waiting for you to call and inquire, not just about my blog readership and statistics. Just in case you wanted to do the "right thing" (God forbdids - but then again what sort of God do you believe in if you ended up this way!).
Of my whole database, only people I can count on the fingers of one hand have bothered to know what is happening with and to me. Those who did not I can count on the middle finger of the other hand.
As you go back to your offices following the holiday and do your check on the blogs, you will find this message. I am not expecting anyone to touch base, because if you do now it would be out of shame and guilt, not out of genuine concern. So save it, after all "yiii, I had no idea this was happening to you" you would say.
"Take people for what they are" said a friend when her one time best friend did not invite her to her wedding.
And that is what I shall do. I am just sad that what I thought were cordial, even friendly relations have amounted to "this". But hey, that's the whoredom of the ad industry "bar abou di3aye" with red lights all over your luxury-store bought clothes.
And sorry I said "F**k you". Not because it was impolite to say so, but because you are a waste of a good tool.

Ranger4 - Lebanese car from 1980!

Credit: Elie Elias
So call me crazy, but an ad dating back to 1980 has been unearthed for a car called Ranger4 "the pride of the Lebanese industry". The ad says it has a seductive design and can be used for all purposes, on all terrains, non-flammable framework, safe to drive, does 310 kilometers for every 20 Liters of gasoline, and a 14 horses and 1100 cc engine, and has available spare parts. So with all these going for it, one wonders why Ranger4 vanished from existing!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

A sidecar motorcycle has been spotted! هربوا جايي القفورة

So a different sidecar motorcycle has been spotted earlier but this one is older and more authentic. Sometimes I wonder how these gems fall into my lap! But here they are, for your pleasure and mine.
And if you are from my generation you will remember هربوا جايي القفورة !

Friday, September 25, 2015

Plumrose is back?

Are my eyes deceiving me or is Plumrose back in the market? Again, I stand corrected but my memory does not serve me to remember any Plumrose ad since - practically forever. I do remember the heyday of the brand though, and then of course Tulip and even Zwan took over the brand category. The ads are nice visually, but I think they fit more brands which have been advertising for a long time rather than someone that has been absent from the scene. Why are they in English? Could it be the target audience? Why is the logo relatively so drowning in the design instead of being prominent? Not sure of either answers. Well, whatever the answer, Plumrose is back it seems.