Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Of a professional wrestler and the artist's version he used for entrances

For some reason, I was reflecting on my youth and the entrance music of a popular professional wrestler in the 1980's whose gimmick had a 1940's influence and a 1960's pop song as his entrance music.  Remember which wrestler used the song?

Yes, it was this artist's version that was used, although this is the current version of the group that is being used.  Which wrestler used this song as his entrance music?  Personally I'd still have this group than what goes for "pop music" today.

Those days of watching championship "wrestling" as a kid and hearing this song that always meant one wrestler's entrance!

Friday, December 25, 2015

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 25: wishing you a...

An ad not for Coke, which produced the product, but Vendo, which made the machine that kept the product cold. What a wonderful, vivid ad, and a great way to bring this series to an end. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did - don't worry, this just scratches the surface of what's out there, and there's no reason we can't do this again next year. And a Merry Christmas to you all!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 24: the big night

Doesn't this ad perfectly capture the anticipation of Christmas Eve? I used to get so excited on Christmas Eve I'd get almost physically ill. It's strange, I know, but that's what happens when you're a kid.

Wish I'd written that

I think Ricky Brooks must be involved in the final decision of the Miss Universe 2015 pageant."

-- Daniel Hemric, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver.

Ricky Brooks is the lead technical inspection official at many big-money Super Late Model races, including the Snowball Derby in Pensacola held in the first full week of December.  Many times, his events end with a notable disqualification of the winner for various sundry technical issues, such as Christopher Bell's disqualification, once in qualifying for violation of a Super Late Model unified rule on car body mounting, and once after the race for the car's left-side weight being greater than the 58.0% maximum in post-race inspection two weeks ago at the Snowball.

The Brad Keselowski Racing driver's comments referenced the Miss Universe pageant's mistake by host Steve Harvey, which ruined a throwback since the pageant's glory days a Goodson-Todman show host led the pageant (Barker), and Harvey being the host of a Goodson-Todman show currently.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 23: we dish you a Merry Christmas

Because what woman doesn't look forward to finding this under the tree?

Back in the day

Where was this gig when I was 30?" -- Steve Harvey, on hosting Miss Universe at 58.

Well, Steve.  Bob Barker hosted Miss Universe for the last time.  And you are the first Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Productions game show host to do Miss Universe since Mr. Barker.

(NOTE:  Although Mark Goodson died in 1992, and the family has since sold it, the Goodson library is now part of German television network RTL.  Family Feud, like The Price Is Right, was a Goodson-Todman library show, so Mr. Harvey is the first Goodson-Todman show host since Mr. Barker to do the pageants.)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 22: say it with aluminum

At first I thought this said, "Hunting Season," which I'm sure is what they wanted to play off of.  I know I have problems with Disney, but that would have been going too far...

Monday, December 21, 2015

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 21: the "St. Nick" of time

The way things are going in this country, I'm more confident about Rolex always being there than Christmas.

I only wish I was kidding.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 20: how sweet it is

Aren't these colors great? Sharp and vivid, especially against the black backdrop. Perfect for those Christmas parties.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 19: have an RC and a smile?

You mean Coke isn't the only soft drink at Christmas?  But if Barbara Stanwyck says to drink RC Cola, who am I to disagree?

Friday, December 18, 2015

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 18: full steam ahead!

Now this is a contemporary ad that gets it right. It's from the 2013 Lionel Christmas catalog, but it has all the hallmarks of ads from 50 or more years ago: the vivid colors, the wonderful detail (note the reflection of the engine on the polished surface of the table), the cookies and milk under the tree, and Santa himself looking with loving care upon the gift he's about to leave some lucky child. The gift of a train itself evokes so many memories of Christmases past - yes, this is an ad that presses all the buttons. Makes me wish Santa was bringing me one this year.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 17: it doesn't add up

Whatever else you do, do not get this as a Christmas gift. For anyone. This is not a good idea. I don't know many people who appreciate a scale at any time of the year, let alone Christmas, and though I have one myself, I promise you I will not be looking at it between now and the end of the year. Whoever greenlighted this ad should not be allowed anywhere near Sales and Marketing in the future.

Classic Sports Thursday - Remembering New England racing legend Ron Bouchard

The news came in last Thursday morning in Massachusetts -- legendary New England Modified racer Ron Bouchard, who pulled off the upset in the August 1981 Talladega NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race for his only win, died December 10.

The son-in-law of New England racer "Steady" Ed Flemke, Sr, a popular New England Modified racer in a time where the Mod Squad (glorified in the 2010 History documentary "Madhouse" about Modified racing in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, which is one of the few places in the Southeast where the division of Yankee racing has a stronghold) provided drivers, mechanics, and broadcasters (SiriusXM's Jackie Arute, as he was called at Stafford Speedway in the glory years where he and Mike Joy served as public address announcers, is one, and owns that track in Connecticut with his brothers;  Joy often says the best motorsport broadcasters have a strong background in local track announcing), Bouchard scored his only Sprint Cup win in the dramatic tri-oval to the line pass at Talladega against two future Hall of Fame members in 1981.  He scored two more national series wins, sweeping the 1984 Xfinity Series 200-mile races at the historic Darlington Raceway held before the Rebel and Southern 500 races.  As his career would down, Bouchard, as was the case with both of the drivers he beat in the Talladega finish, would turn to owning an automobile dealership in his Fitchburg, MA home, where some of his Modifieds and his Cup winner are stored in a recently opened museum.

Here is a clip of the 1981 Talladega upset -- the winning car is at the Bouchard family dealership for viewing.

Today, Ron Bouchard's Auto Stores () represents Honda, Hyndai Motor Group, Fiat, and Nissan in Massachusetts.

He is survived by wife Paula, whom he was married over 32 years, and their children are part of the family dealership.

Godspeed, Ron.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 16: Santa and a smile

Just as the cartoonist Thomas Nast first came up with the modern concept of Santa Claus, Haddon Sundblom's iconic paintings of the Coke Santa have really become the face of Santa today. I never fail to smile at these; they're so warm, capturing the awe and wonder of childhood Christmases, that we'll look at several of them in the next ten days. In this one, the boy presumably wonders if it's naughty behavior to raid the icebox of people you don't know.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 15: just under the surface

I really like the midcentury graphics of this 1959 ad; I have memories of this kind of illustration from the tail end of its run, in the early '60s, before things got more psychedelic. But still - underwear for Christmas? As someone once said, this is what you get when you don't believe in Santa.

Monday, December 14, 2015

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 14: what a ham!

So when did ham become the Christmas standard? We eat turkey on Christmas, but so many people seem to opt for this instead. Looking back at old movies and television shows, you hear people talk about turkey and goose, but not ham. And yet this ad shows that it was always part of the tradition.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

25 Days of Advent, Day 13: by the bag or by the box

Just like Whitman's Samplers, Brach's chocolate is one of the classic Christmas gifts. You can see the pleasure Santa has in bringing them, although he looks so pleased, I'd open the box and count to make sure they're all there before I let Santa leave...

Saturday, December 12, 2015

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 12: not even training wheels!

This picture tells so many stories. It's a crisp, clear Christmas morning, and the lucky recipient of this bicycle is so excited he can't wait to get it outside, even in the snow. His friends have gathered around to check it out; perhaps some of them have gotten bikes as well. In the background the parents, happy to have pleased their son, proud that he takes a step into the next stage of his life. As I say, a great story.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Thursday, December 10, 2015

New York Media shows hatred of Heartland's belief in God in light of San Bernardino Shootings

Source:Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times / Polaris 
Breakfast Thursday sounded normal, as would be the Thursday of all Thursdays, but in light of last Wednesday’s horrific terrorist attack in San Bernardino, in the Inland Empire, the shock of a Christmas Party gone rogue resulting in the shooting deaths of 14, then the chase that led to the death of the two assailants left a nation in shambles. Members of the Contender Round in the Republican Chase still remaining (that once-16 strong field has become whittled to 11; it seems there is a NASCAR Chase-style theme – Challenger 17, Contender 12, Eliminator 8, Championship 4 – in the Republican field) expressed thoughts and prayers to the victims.

That, however, left the New York Daily News to show their elite hand in their Thursday edition. The headline was in favour of gun control and mocked the quotes of two members of the GOP Contender Round, the official Leader of the Loyal Opposition (aka the Prime Minister of the United States), and our Senior Senator in a headline that ridiculed America's Heartland in favour of a worldview of the ruling elites. Much in the way Justice Scalia scolded New York elites in their overturning of Constitutions of a three-fifths majority during a famous dissent in June, the New York elites scolded the heartland of America that has a strong belief in God. Albert Mohler reminded listeners in his Briefing commentary Thursday of Genesis 4, where Cain slew Abel, and had his own rebuttal to both the Daily News and The Atlantic, which also bashed the prayerful leadership, citing references to the 1880's in regards to the quotes.

This led to me reminding myself of the United Nations General Assembly where Pope Francis spoke recently, where in front of His Holiness, Shakira performed the John Lennon hit “Imagine,” an anthem of the humanist utopia, a world without God, having been performed at the closing ceremonies of the two most recent Olympic Games held in Europe (Turin 2006, London 2012) and played before the ball drop at Times Square. Here was the Pope, in New York, and a pop diva sang the ultimate insult to those of faith. Now compare that to our little Summer Chorus in June, where we sang Felix Mendelssohn's call for prayer taken from Psalm 55. The New York Daily News had clearly pushed Lennon, while the four leaders mocked by the newspaper, and the majority of Americans, supported Mendelssohn's “Hör Mein Bitten”.  Think over the six lines from this wonderful song (from the English):

Take heed to me! Hear how in prayer I mourn to Thee,
Without Thee all is dark, I have no guide.
The enemy shouteth, the godless come fast!
Iniquity, hatred, upon me they cast!
The wicked oppress me, Ah where shall I fly?
Perplexed and bewildered, O God, hear my cry!

To have the media mock the leaders for asking God to hear our prayers, as in Mendelssohn's beautiful masterpiece that I thoroughly enjoyed singing in June, and effectively picture the vision of the world provided by a pop singer of the 1960's whose surname is a homonym of the founder of the CCCP worshipped by elites who want this nation to turn to the values of the CCCP as superior to those of the nation built on the Bible and the law of God, as De Tocqueville noted.

Is the United States a nation that believes in the godless ideals of the 1960's pop hit, or one of Mendelssohn's passionate cry for prayer?

Albert Mohler, “The Briefing,” December 3, 2015.

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 10: playing to type

One of my favorite scenes in A Christmas Story comes at the very beginning, when the kids are pressed up against the store windows, looking in awe at the new toys. Somehow, I doubt a typewriter would have inspired the same awe, but who knows?

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Decency makes a stand at Fox

Fox News and Business suspended Ralph Peters and Stacey Dash two weeks for comments made on Monday's Varney & Company (Mr. Peters) and Outnumbered (Miss Dash) where each contributor made remarks that legally crossed the line into obscene.

In the former, airing in the 9 AM Eastern Time hour, where televisions at financial institutions are often tuned to the Fox Business Network, Mr. Peters made this comment:

“Mr. President, we’re not afraid! We’re angry! We’re pissed off! We’re furious!  We want you to react. We want you to do something. You’re afraid! I mean, this guy is such a total (expletive), it’s stunning! We, the American people, who he does not know in any intimate sort of manner, we want action. We want action against Islamic State.”

In the latter, airing at the 12 Noon hour, where restaurant televisions are often tuned to Fox News, Miss Dash responded to the President's speech the previous night:

“His speech was an epic fail. It was like when you have to go to dinner with your parents, but you have a party to go to afterwards. That’s what it felt like – I felt like he could give a (expletive) – excuse me, like he could care less.”

Fox promptly threw a two-week suspension on both parties for their language.  Before you consider criticising Fox News for this, consider the words they said.  One was a sexually explicit reference that we heard in the late 1980's-early 1990's rap group “2 Live Crew,” which went over the edge.  The other was a word that has drawn NASCAR's ire with heavy fine and points penalties for its use in a rule imposed after Super Bowl XXXVIII.  Yes, cable does not have the same language requirements on broadcast, which his why elite television (HBO, Showtime, Netflix, Amazon Prime) dominate today as they have no language standards.  But Fox News has made it clear that if you want to discuss the issue, please be decent and not resort to gutter language on the street.  It is highly unprofessional, and in a world where standards must be restored, Fox News has posted the ultimate warning regarding television decency.  We need to return to decency, and punishing people for indecent language on broadcasts is a welcome sight that we have long needed.

A news broadcast is not a place for profanity.  We had those standards in school, we have those standards in work, and we have standards where obscene language would shame a person.  Glad to see Fox have decency standards in place when that is sorely needed today.  You can make your point, but gutter language from the thug life is never to be accepted.  Would a debater use such saucy obscene language to win a debate?

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 9: Plymouth rocks

There's just something very, very inviting about this ad. Perhaps it's the vividness of the colors, the red rug in the entryway, the wreath hanging on the front door and the red decorations hanging down from the walls. Maybe it's the arms laden with gifts on what probably is Christmas Eve. The holly inserted in various parts of the frame. Whatever, it's a wonderful tableau - so much better than the car ads you see at Christmastime nowadays, when it's all about doing something for yourself, rather than allowing the car to be a reminder of the joy you can bring to others.

Monday, December 7, 2015

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 7: faster than a speeding sleigh

Yes, in the days before Federal Express, having a gift or letter delivered via Air Mail was a big deal - when you got a package with the distinctive striping pattern around the edges, especially at Christmastime, it was special. So is FedEx, but not in the same way.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 6: wrap it up

I don't know about you, but my first thought was that a Christmas gift made from Reynolds Wrap would have been made sometime in first or second grade. Now I can see they might be talking about something else.

The tinsel-type trees are always great, particularly now that they're made from something other than aluminum. You can put lights on it. But then, that's what the color wheel was for.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 5: do you have Prince Albert in a can?

Then you'd better let him out! (Accompanied by the sound of adolescent chortling.)

Seriously - I love the colorfulness of this ad, but it's not something you're likely to see today, is it? And did you notice, a different product for mister and missus? Because you don't see many women smoking a pipe, I'd guess.

Friday, December 4, 2015

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 4: You like him, he likes you

I've never been a big fan of 7Up, but there's something tremendously evocative about this ad. Between the vividness of the colors, the clear night sky, and the smoke swirling lazily up from the snow-covered chimneys, you can almost feel the crispness in the clear cold air. Even though I now live in Texas, this is still how Christmas should feel to me.

I'm confused about one thing, though - I always thought Coca-Cola was Santa's favorite soft drink!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 3: when Christmas meant sacrifice

Christmas during the war years was somber; with most families having loved ones in the line of fire overseas, not having many presents under the tree was the least thing to be concerned about.  Nevertheless, one of the things that I think has been missing during the "War on Terror" has been this sense of shared sacrifice; it's hard to appreciate the gravity of the situation when the response to the enemy is not a call to sacrifice, that we're all in this fight together, but instead urging us to buy more, to show that the terrorists can't bring our economy down. There's something very wrong about that...

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Race-based protests against police show the ego: baby murder mills get more protection than merchants

he actor Page Falkenberg, known as the character “Diamond Dallas Page” from his time in fake combat in what my late father and his surviving brother in California called fake (and now I understand it is the ultimate fakery that is not worth $40 in a pay-per-view for things such as the Screwjob de Montreal), and in light of my college history paper research on the quiz show scandals makes the genre look worse, had a character known for his ego, with the call of a “self high-five” and phrase that would insult a 1990's radio talk show host (now retired – turned 85 this week and I still remember that theme music he used) calls improper grammar when you heard his tag line to start his radio show in its early years that played after the theme song (which was a #1 hit on the Billboard charts 30 years ago).

It shocked me on Thanksgiving night that we had to do our family reunion (my mother's side of the family has three grandchildren who live in the area, and they decided to shop in the Thanksgiving night sales that began before Carrie Underwood hated herself for loving you with a side to Farve the turkey – I was forced to attend and chose to be around the cousins that mattered, including a cousin who was a premature baby 20 years ago Thanksgiving Eve when she was born.  Those are the moments that mattered, even if they did not eat the heritage turkey smoked on a grill while doing a Thanksgiving Day race, fit in another workout with friends, and then ran ten more miles to finish a long run prior to my intended marathon in a few weeks.    Yet, as I pondered the evening after the impromptu reunion with family (Uncle Bobby, as she calls me, is one of the few that she recognises speaking Mandarin now that my grandmother (and her great-grand) died last year), the crowded lines, and even police stacked ten-deep at certain stores, the shocking news of what happened for major shopping events came down to make me ponder what was wrong.

In various places across the country, members of a well-known organisation formed in protest to a policeman shooting a person that stole $50 in tobacco and refused to follow directions have begun blocking roads and stores based on their hatred of police.  Now thanks to Clinton-era policies, if this was a baby murder mill, it would be a federal crime to block such entrances under the “Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act” (FACE), that this Administration enforces.  But no, FACE does not apply if these race-baiting, police-hating organisations (note their derogatory chants towards policemen that glorify their killing, comparing them to breakfast food) that refuse to see common sense and allow police to defend themselves against dangerous thugs with a single-minded mission, glorified in anti-police ditties, wish to block entrances to merchants, churches, or even restricted-access highways (as seen in the MSP area).  How would you like one of those activists blocking an entire highway when you're traveling at over 100 kph on the freeway or be blocked from home and forced to sleep in your car as these protesters block the entrance to the neighborhood, since the only places protected are baby murder mills?

The ego of liberal activists have proven themselves with the blocking of controlled-access highways in MSP, and the Chicago merchants whose entrances were blocked by these activists boasting of social justice.  So it's perfectly legal to block merchants, churches, and the works, but it's not legal to block access to a baby murder mill.  What gives in this era of relativism?  We have, in the view of the Pope Emeritus, fallen into a society of the ego, the self, that demands everything for themselves and nothing for anyone else that does not comply with their view.  The antics of the MSP road blocking, the numerous incidents during Black Friday sales, and the Chicago merchants being blocked display what the Pope Emeritus has referenced as part of the nation's downfall.  Similar to the “Diamond Dallas Page” character that enthralled us in my college days with a few “Diamond Cutters” that we later learned was a character all about selfishness, today's race-baiting organisations have pushed selfishness where if they cannot get their justice, everyone else pays the price, which is exactly how modern liberalism works – colour, perversion, or other types of behaviour work the same way.

25 Days of Ad-Vent, Day 2: throwing some light on the subject

I don't much care for GE products nowadays; I think they're overpriced and not as good as the competition, and I don't have a lot of time for the company itself. But when it comes to Christmas, I still have warm feelings, thanks to ads like this.  General Electric was, of course, the initial sponsor of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and used the animated special's characters in their seasonal ads. They also made the Lighted Ice lights, which probably give me the warmest nostalgic feeling. Perhaps I'll have an ad for them up later.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The 25 Days of Ad-vent

In the past, we've toyed around with some vintage Christmas advertising during December, but this year I'm stepping it up a notch, with something I'm calling "The 25 Days of Ad-vent." Get it? Well, I'm probably still suffering from a tryptophan hangover as I write this, but who cares? There's something about these ads that really speaks to the season; as I've mentioned at the TV blog, they show us an America that is by-and-large gone today but would have been easily recognizable back then, and they represent to us - both visually and in terms of the products being presented - what Christmas was like in that era. (Besides, I need to increase the number of blog articles for the year.)

Don't worry, though - we'll have regular articles as well, when times and topics demand. So it should be a busy month here - let's get started!

Hey, kid, you'll shoot your eye out!

Seriously, you have to like this - a remnant of America's pioneer spirit - the idea that children should be comfortable with the feel of a gun in their hands. Not a bad sentiment for today, if I do say so myself.

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