Jan 2017 31

I was listening to 680 news radio here in Toronto this evening. Yes, willingly. Hello? I was driving and gotta know the weather, people. Like, do I fish out some long underwear for tomorrow or not?

Anyhow, one of their news bits illustrated exactly what it is I find fascinating about the country to the south of us. The bit talked about how Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser) released their Super Bowl 2017 commercial already. “Born the Hard Way”. (above)

680 described the spot – the story of Adolphus Busch immigrating to America in the 1850’s. It shows the hardship of being an immigrant and not feeling welcome, but following your dream and meeting some friends along the way. It’s the story of how Busch met Anheuser, and the rest is good old ‘Party Time!’ American history, and an example of the American Dream.

The bit on 680 talked about how this is being seen as a direct response to the President’s Executive Orders on immigration and his travel ban this week, although A-B says it is just a coincidence that their spot deals with the American Dream and immigrants.

It’s beautifully shot, wonderfully told, and even if you don’t like beer or Budweiser, you have to take your hat off to an advertiser to use their biggest advertising slot of the year to tell such an emotional story.

But here’s what got me… 680 ended the story by saying “No word yet on a response from Donald Trump, but Anheuser-Busch shares dropped significantly today on the market in anticipation.”

America. You bold experiment of art and commerce. You so crazy.

Jan 2017 29

Batman is my kind of superhero. Since I was a little kid, Batman just spoke to me. Not sure if it was the brooding, loner thing. Or the rich playboy with gadgets thing. Maybe it’s cause I realized Batman was the only superhero who earned his powers. He didn’t get bitten by a spider from being in the wrong radioactive lab at the wrong time like Spiderman. He didn’t get born into fish royalty like Aquaman. And Superman? On his home planet, without a yellow sun, he’s just another guy who gets Kryptonian sand kicked in his face by some bully at the beach.

Nope, Batman earned his powers. Instead of a good therapist after his parents were murdered, he opted for Plan B: ‘Get badass’.

Anyhow, I digress. Here are the latest radio spots I worked on with the lovely clients at Mastermind Toys. The LEGO movie featured some hilarious bits with Batman and they’ve expanded that role into his very own feature, The LEGO Batman Movie, coming out on February 12th. LEGO is celebrating with lots of cool new LEGO, and of course Mastermind Toys, being the kick-ass toy store they are, is celebrating too.

Thanks to Mastermind Toys for the project, and letting me have a bit of fun involving my childhood and continuing hero. Retail radio can still be fun radio.

 

‘Batman Voice’ :30

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

‘My Daughter, The Joker’ :30

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

Client: Mastermind Toys
RoninRadio Team:
Copywriter, Producer, Director: Andrew Bradley
Sound Engineer, Sound Design: Vlad Nikolic
TA2 Team:
Exec Producer: Dana Gadsden
Theme by TA2

Aired: January, 2017

Jan 2017 25

I just got back from my latest funeral. 3rd one in the last week, and I hope it’s the last for awhile. But what an act to follow.

A friend’s, and former boss’s, father. I never met him, but after attending his funeral, I can definitely feel like I knew the man.

90 years old, artist, always wearing a cowboy hat and snake skin boots and sporting a beatnik goatee. Apparently, he marched to the beat of his own drum and encouraged everyone in his life to always do the same. And cracking jokes right til the end.

NURSE: “Are you comfortable?”

SOON TO BE DEPARTED: “I make a good living.”

What an inspiring funeral. I could feel the joy and despair in the room. I certainly will never forget it. Like I said, I never met him, but his spirit echoed through the room and now reverberates in me, too.

I also got to wear my first Kippah, and many people with experience in this said I sported the look quite well.

Score one for life. Your move, death.

Jan 2017 24

Some thoughts on death and stuff to keep the daily writing sort of semi-daily. But really, people seem to be dying a lot the last couple of weeks. I mean, I could be dead right now and not even know it. Please tell me if I am.

Death is circling around me lately. I’ve been to two funerals in the last week and completely unrelated to those, two other friends’ fathers have died during that time as well.

On Friday, I came into the ad agency I’m on contract at right now, all dressed up for one of the funerals later that day, and someone said they were sorry to hear that someone I knew died. Which was appreciated of course. And I should’ve just said “Thank you” and left it at that. But sometimes I just can’t avoid being me. And I said something along the lines of:

“Actually, you know, it’s okay they died. I’m not saying I wanted them dead but this person had a good life. They lived into their mid 80s. They were white, tall, male, and wealthy and lived during a time when all those things gave them a distinct advantage. They got married, had kids, and went before their spouse did. And the world has changed so much that they probably got out before things stopped making sense to them. They got a pretty good deal.”

I’m glad the world has changed from valuing some of the above things of course, but later on at the funeral in church (a rarity for me), while listening to a choir singing (which was actually nice, by the way, other than the whole singing about some invisible dude in the sky) it made me wonder if the above is the purpose of dying, in a way. As much as I’d like to live forever, I started to wonder I’ll get to a point where things just stop making sense. Where regular technology is beyond my understanding. Or my political views aren’t accepted anymore. Or I’m just not open to change anymore. Aside from my body breaking down, I can’t imagine just “being done”, as I’ve heard some older people say they are.

I guess people dying clears the way for new thinking and new ideas.

I’m not done yet. Glad death is just circling me. But it’s a reminder that the people my generation looked up to are starting to leave. And it made me realize we have about 50 years to really get shit done.

What world do we want to make?

 

 

 

 

Jan 2017 19

So, there is a growing call for a boycott on this movie ‘A Dog’s Purpose’, to be released tomorrow.

Maybe you’ve heard about it? Certainly the uproar about it is giving the movie more buzz than it ever would’ve generated on its own. Based on a bestselling book (that I haven’t read), the movie is apparently the story of a dog who is constantly reincarnated and I guess gets to be owned by Dennis Quaid at some point. I admit, my plot summary may be off a bit. It’s kind of secondary to this rant.

Anyhow, video has surfaced that shows a German Shepherd on the set of the film, being forced into a body of water that simulates turbulent waters (I assume). The dog is like, super freaked out, as they try to force him into the water, and then when he is in the pool he is swimming around terrified. PETA is calling for a boycott on the film.

And here’s what ‘rustles my jimmies’ (as a friend says).

Look, I have no problem if PETA says “Don’t go see this film and this treatment of animals is wrong”. They’ve earned the right to say that. They champion animal rights and actors who have supported PETA certainly walk the walk and don’t just talk the talk.

But here’s what I call bullshit on. Most of the people I know who are saying they won’t go see the film (on social media), and that this is wrong aren’t animal rights activists. Sure, they’re dog lovers maybe but did all of them suddenly become vegetarians?

Look, complain about the treatment of this dog all you want. Yes, this dog looks scared and it’s shitty to watch. But if you’re gonna get on your soap box about ethical treatment of animals – you better not be wearing leather, any cosmetic products tested on animals, or be eating them.

Think about it.

That’s all I have to say about that.

I had chicken for lunch, by the way.

And I wasn’t going to see that movie anyhow.

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