The Girl With The Dragon Take Two

This month has seen the release of yet another Hollywood remake, this time of the classic 2009 Swedish film The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. For the uninitiated, the plot is not, as you may think, a cautionary tale of a young Scandinavian girl who holidays in Goa and decides to get a cheap tattoo on her ankle whilst drunk, only to wake up the next day with what looks like elephantiasis. It is in fact a dark psychological thriller, with subtitles for those who don’t know their hurdy from their gurdy.

The remake stars Daniel Craig and Wayne Rooney Rooney Mara, and comes complete with English language script, naturally, and swanky website that has puzzling catchphrases that Yoda would be proud of, such as evil shall with evil be expelled, and what is hidden in snow, comes forth in the thaw. So, if you really can’t be bothered to read subtitles, then you can watch the new version and find out exactly what they hide in the snow. Continue reading

The Menace Of Live Chat

Look at those fingers, ‘chatting’ away as they do

Once upon a time, in a bygone era, a gentleman would be merrily winding his way down a country lane on his penny farthing, when he would meet the vicar’s wife unexpectedly. Dismounting from his saddle, he would engage the lady with talk of his family and general well-being. This verbal exchange was an example of the first incarnation of live chat. And in real-time, no less. Let’s call this live chat 1.0.

Fast forward to the 21st century. A time when technological developments are so swift that it’s difficult to keep abreast of the latest progress. But safe to say that our lives feel greatly enriched by the myriad of new advances. Everything seems quicker and more efficient. How could we ever cope without such incredible inventions?

But then comes along a widely adopted tool that is actually a backward step. I bring you live chat 2.0: for the customer service operatives who just can’t be bothered to answer a telephone; for the teenager who’s grown tired of prefixing every verbal exchange with “like” or long sighs. Live chat 2.0 is, like, sooo cool. Continue reading

Ridiculous Business Names

Put yourself in their shoes. You’ve procured the necessary funding; you’re sure you’ve got a good senior management team who you can depend on; you know your company’s unique selling points; you’re confident that you can provide a better service than the competition; you’re filled with optimism and aspirations of great things to come for your business… Then you decide to call it Cheeze.

No, this company is not in the dairy industry, but is actually a media agency. Now, having dealt with many disingenuous agencies in my time working in advertising, I couldn’t be sure if such a name wasn’t simply an honest admission of a lack of sincerity and over-the-top fake niceness.

But it probably wasn’t, which makes it all the more baffling a choice of name. And it doesn’t stop there. It is entirely possible to eat a full meal at the media table, with Steak Media accompanied by Fresh Egg and the aforementioned Cheeze. Continue reading

Two Fat Ladies

Oversized marker pens ready, pacemakers set to ‘stun’?

EIGHTY-EIGHT! Somebody please kill me now. That was my thought the one and only time that I have played bingo, a game that is inexplicably popular across the Western world. I say ‘game’ but it’s not really a game, it’s just crossing off numbers.

I just don’t get it. The prizes are less than appealing, there’s very little meaningful social interaction and it’s just dull. So, so dull. It’s so tragic that ‘they’ had to make up quirky nicknames for the numbers, which are recited in unison by the players, just to inject some humour into proceedings. And presumably to also ensure that everyone is still awake.

Mainly because the stereotypical bingo player, the ones who spend quite literally tens of pounds on several game cards, are generally older ladies who are actually happy to consume the fast food on sale in bingo halls. Yes, two fat ladies are indeed a common sight. Continue reading

To Tweet Or Not To Tweet?

That is the question. Those eagle-eyed of you, and I’m sure there are many, may have noticed the shiny new social media links on the right hand side menu; therein making it quite clear what my stance is. Yes, I am firmly embraced in a loving clinch with Twitter and Facebook, afraid that if I let go and fail to heap enough attention, those demanding social media bitches will leave me wanting more. Needing more.

You see, that’s the thing with social media websites. You may resist for a while, then eventually succumb and open an account. And that’s when the pain starts. Sure, you can input the bare minimum of information and spread the word a little, hoping that your friends will do the evangelising for you.

But then comes a time when you realise that maybe, just maybe, your friends and acquaintances are not actually that influential, so you will have to put in some elbow grease, and actually exert time and energy into making your Twitter and book of faces pages exactly how you want them, and how the online guides say they should be. Continue reading

Pet Hates Of The Office

Any questions?

The office joker – Usually a man, he loves to be centre of attention and is blissfully unaware that some jokes are inappropriate or corny. He establishes pecking order by talking at the speed (and volume) of gunfire to ensure that no-one else can steal the limelight; he doesn’t like others to be funny. He is guaranteed to wear a  ‘comedy’ tie to the office Christmas party, probably featuring Homer Simpson. He often mentions his housemate yet he secretly lives his with mother. Riddle me that funny man.

The officious manager – He really loves showing you who’s the boss. Know your place underling. Tells you that to be promoted you have to start acting like a manager yet he withholds responsibility like Gollum covets the ring. Questions whether you really have the drive to do well for this company. You mentally envisage whether you could drive a staple between his eyes and claim temporary insanity. His work/life seesaw balance is tipped so far in favour of work that life’s innocent and playful child that is inside us all is left dangling 10 ft up crying for mummy. He wants staff to be automatons; his ideal team member would be C3PO or possibly Twiki from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (agreeable and doesn’t answer back). Continue reading

Stop Surprise Encounters With Naked Men

Well, that was a good workout!

Arguably, there is little on God’s majestic Earth that is more ugly than the sight of a man’s naked body. Especially a body that appears out of nowhere, confidently striding across everyone’s eyelines, as I enter my gym’s changing room, looking for a spot facing the wall.

No, this isn’t merely an encounter with someone who is getting changed. These men are lurkers.They are far too comfortable in their own skin. They gladly let it all hang out. They don’t feel shame in their bodies and seem to have missed the unwritten social rule that says ‘one must change as swiftly as possible, so as to avoid inflicting one’s dangly bits on an unsuspecting fellow gym attendee’. There, it’s written now, God dammit. Continue reading