Trying to get Russians to stop drinking is one of the few things more doomed to failure than trying to get The Cubs to win the The World Series. Still, in both cases, you have to try – right? The Russians have purposefully turned this job over to one of the least appealing mascots ever – an insane squirrel with a terrifying case of mange. This is not as bizarre as it sounds. According to The Telegraph:
That’s kind of how I imagine Glenn Beck is when he first gets out of bed.
He talks about “chasing spiders up the walls” and finishes up by offering to kill his neighbour’s wife because she is “the devil.” “Are you a boozer?” the deranged squirrel asks in the finale. “Then I am coming around to your place.”
Just replace “spiders” with “Nazis” and “his Neighbor’s wife” with “Democrats,” and it’s practically a transcript of Mr. Beck’s show.
Demon squirrel wants you!
To say Russia has a severe problem with alcoholism is to dangerously understate the case
Alcohol is to Russians what coals are to Newcastle. Russians drink more than 32 pints of pure alcohol per capita per year, more than double the World Health Organisation’s recommended maximum. During the Cold War, the Soviet Army was constantly having to guard against its soldiers drinking the brake fluid from vehicles. In his great book Lenin’s Tomb: The Last Days of The Soviet Empire, David Remnick expressed his total amazement at a Soviet general being sacked for drunkenness this way: “I’m not sure it is possible to describe just how hard it is to acquire a reputation as a drunk in Russia.” At the start of World War I, Czar Nicholas threw a bone to the serfs and got rid of the government tax on vodka. This cut the government’s budget in half.
Alcohol is to Russians what coals are to Newcastle. During the Cold War, the Soviet Army was constantly having to guard against its soldiers drinking the brake fluid from vehicles. As David Remnick puts it in the great Lenin’s Tomb: The Last Days of The Soviet Empire, ” I’m not sure it is possible to describe just how hard it is to acquire a reputation as a drunk in Russia.” The phrase “too much vodka in Russia” is like the phrase “Cubs win the World Series”: a linguistically logical construct with (until now) no chance of ever happening.
There’s also a choice vodka in two different iconic machine guns: The Tommy or the AK-47. Or it you want to better target your vodka, there’s also a Sniper version.
Sadly you have far fewer choices if you don’t drink the hard stuff. Wine drinkers are all liberals, right? So the best you can do is a bottle opener for your Beaujolais. And beer drinkers don’t even get that. Yep, despite its claims to be the Silver Bullet — there’s nothing from Coors (or any other brewer I could find) that had any trace of verisimilitude on the topic.
Of course you can put whatever substance you want in one of these flasks. You have a choice of one that looks like a pistol or looks like it saved you from a pistol. (If we ever become really good friends I’ll tell you the story of why I drove a bayonet through a silver flask.)
And fear not if your taste for mood altering substances run to something less potable:
So Absolut is apologizing to US consumers for an ad that most of them have never seen. The ad that in Mexico and shows a map of the Americas with the parts of the US that once were part of Mexico as STILL a part of Mexico.
Apparently, some people at conservative columnist Michelle Malkin’s web site posted angry comments about this and called for a boycott. (Michelle Malkin fans angry? Who’da thunk it?*) As a result Absolut apologized for the ads after they stopped running.
This is dumb for a number of reasons.
Absolut has been absolutely fearless (by corporate standards) in its willingness to be identified supporting gay men and lesbians. If that’s part of your brand you don’t dump it just because of some whiny Wingnuts.
This is one where you don’t have to apologize, just say look they’re not running anymore. You say it’s over and then ignore it. Apologizing just puts fuel on this fire.
Name me a boycott that has worked in the last 20 years. Name me one that has even actually generated any sustained PR problem.
This apology sure isn’t going to go down well among Mexican consumers. As a matter of fact if I were a citizen of Mexico (Motto: “Too far from heaven, too close to the US”), I would see this as another example of someone ignoring my interests as a result of US bullying.
Y’know even cynical little me was surprised to find out exactly how insecure some of my fellow Americans are. Let’s here it for the USA (Motto: We Can’t Take A Joke).
*I am not going to say that either the Wingnuts or the Crybabies have better or worse columnists, but I will say that the Wingnuts seem to have a monopoly on the truly entertaining crazy women columnists.
What could possibly improve booze and sex? Well, if you said “literature” instead of “mutual consent” or “birth control,” then boy, do I have a marketing campaign for you. The makers of tarted-up distilled-potato-juice Svedka have gotten in to bed with the producers of the intellectually tarted-up porn site Nerve.com for a summer fling. The result is a book, 2033: The Future of Misbehavior: Interplanetary Dating, Madame President, Socialized Plastic Surgery, and Other Good News from the Future. Two colons in one title? Let’s add one more – “: Soon To Be Remaindered.” To quote the press release: “The celebrated work of literature will highlight how adults entertain themselves in the year 2033.” The book is alleged to contain work by “the brightest minds in writing today.” Oddly, this list includes novelist Jay McInerney* who, last I checked, was one of the brightest minds in writing 20 years ago. In addition to the book there is a Web site for Svedka. There you can download ads featuring a “sexy fembot” named “Svedka Girl.” She looks on as coyly as a robot can next to the copy that reads, “I go both ways. Straight up or on the rocks.” The site also features a lot of party pictures of people you’ve never heard of. The campaign claims that all this is “the future of adult entertainment.” Sadly, they might be right.
(NB: I still think Bright Lights is a really, really funny book. Except for the ending. That’s just lame. Kind of like “Stripes.”)
Kalashnikov may be the most elastic brand on the planet this side of Hello Kitty. In addition to being on what is widely considered to be the most reliable (and widely used) combat weapon in the world, it is also a brand of umbrellas, snow boards, energy drinks,knives, watches and vodka. Now it is to be a car.
Adding cars and vodka to the mix of products with his name on them will certainly add to the number of people who have died from products with Mikhail Kalashnikov's name on them. The 86-year-old Kalashnikov is currently No. 2 on the lethal Russians list, well behind all-time champ Joe Stalin. While analysts applauded Mr. Kalashnikov's efforts to increase his total they say he is unlikely to catch up with Uncle Joe any time soon.
So the latest in plant care: Booze and cellphones. No, you don't give the plants a cellphone and then call to talk to them, although you would need plenty of alcohol to have that make sense. First you plant your cellphone. While that is never a bad, if you wanted it to flower then you would use a new biodegradable case invented by a gent in the UK.