Friday, 19 October 2012

Top 10 - Worst FIFA Loss Excuses

Hailed as one of the most popular gaming franchises of all time, FIFA is not only a game - but, to some, a religion. This instalment of the Top 10 brings to light the some of the most pathetic FIFA loss excuses; those which should be consigned to players in need of a reality check. All are genuine, most of which you've probably heard before, and none of which you'll want to hear again. Just one rule: there are no excuses not to read on.

10. "You had a better team than me"

It's always good, whilst choosing your teams at the start of a FIFA match against an opponent, that you come to some sort of agreement over the similarity of 'star level' associated with the clubs participating. If you allow another player to choose a better team than you, thinking that you'll beat them anyway, and lose - then you've only got yourself to blame. Never give yourself an excuse to lose a match - always go for the win. Complaining that an opponent had a better team than you will never cut it.

9. "I haven't played FIFA in ages"

Firstly, where have you been? And secondly, don't let rustiness get the better of you. To 'not play FIFA' for a period of time means to deprive yourself of a heavily abundant and nutritional life source. So, with that in mind, you should be coming back two times stronger! Never make excuses over recent experience, play the game using your experience as a whole.

8. "But I don't know those fancy skill moves"

To learn these 'skill moves', you must partake in research. To display lack of research, displays lack of determination to succeed. To display lack of determination to succeed... pretty much means you're going to lose. There is no reason why one shouldn't learn skill moves, therefore laziness shall not be tolerated as an excuse for loss on FIFA.

7. "Your voice kept putting me off"

In FIFA, a player must have 100% of their concentration on the task in hand. Nothing should put a player off this task - that being to win the game. If you can't handle a bit of verbal abuse, a couple of jokes or a very talkative opponent, you are not a true player - and therefore deserve to lose.

6. "The referee was on your side"

Although some would wish for this to be unspoken, FIFA is just a game. The referee has no emotional affiliation with you as a player, and the game engine decides whether or not you are adjudged to have broken the rules. By blaming the referee, players are simply clutching at straws for an explanation to (usually) a poor performance. Maybe these players need to sit down and assess themselves before pointing the finger at the officials. Excuse invalid.

5. "This controller is dodgy"

This, it has to be said, is my personal favourite 'crap FIFA loss excuse'. By complaining that the controller is 'dodgy' even before a game has started, sets a player's mentality up for an immediate fall. Unless buttons are missing, never blame the resources that you are given. If someone else can effectively play the game using that controller, then so can you. If you consign to swapping controllers, then subsequently go on to lose, it makes you look like even more of an idiot - so get on with it!

4. "I usually play better than that"

Playing FIFA is a little like partaking in the Olympics; it's a sporting competition. Sir Steve Redgrave never got back in his boat in Sydney 2000 and claimed that, because he'd won Gold in every single games since Los Angeles 1984, it'd be okay if he didn't do as well this time. He went on for the final Gold medal and got it! Be like Steve Redgrave, don't bring yourself to the level of having to make excuses for a 'one off' poor performance. Always be the best.

3. "Your keeper won it for you"

Maybe it wasn't my keeper that won it for me, but your shit attacking ability that lost it for you. The aim of the game is to score more goals than your opponent, and if you can do that, there shall be no excuses of the sort. Similar to the desperate refereeing excuse described earlier, opposing keepers should not be blamed for your own incompetence.

2. "I must have tried too hard"

In FIFA, it is impossible to try too hard. Case closed.

1. "You got lucky"

Luck is a factor of all life's scenarios and should be looked on merely as a coincidence, as opposed to an advantage. By making the excuse that a player had a 'lucky' win means to say that the accusing opponent could not overcome 'luck' with skill. If you are unable to use playing ability to override something that is made up, then your days playing FIFA should be over. If you lose, take the hit. Never descend to the level of saying "you got lucky"... punk.

Heskey doesn't make excuses - so neither shall you.

Want more Top 10s? Click HERE.

Friday, 20 July 2012

The Dark Knight Rises - Film Review


In this instalment Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy comes to an end, leaving behind a legacy near impossible to be so masterfully re-told. Batman's final outing in Gotham brings to light the complexity of Bruce Wayne's (Christian Bale) character; forever riddled with the murder of his parents and entangled with memories of witnessing his loved ones die before his eyes. 8 years following the end of The Dark Knight, Bruce finds himself hidden away in a re-built Wayne Manor, the cape and mask un-used since the demise of Harvey Dent almost a decade previous. Blamed for Dent's death, Batman has no place in Gotham any more.

Following suit from Heath Ledger's Joker, Bane, Rises' main antagonist (played by Tom Hardy) provides the villainous muscle that so many hoped would wipe the floor with Batman's seemingly invincible strengths set. Hardy gives Bane the exterior to match such an insanely power driven character, a steely face grill branding the villain devoid of empathy or indeed emotion. Further additions to the character roster include Selina Kyle, played by Anne Hathaway (but not once referred to as 'Catwoman'). Hathaway's mystique gives Batman's newest ally more reason for male movie-goers to attend, even without the explosions! Gary Oldman masterfully returns as Police Commissioner Jim Gordon, with fellow returners Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman brilliantly reprising their roles as Alfred Pennyworth and Lucius Fox respectively. Rookie cop John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is also another character to look out for; one which provides an intriguing and engaging narrative strand to the film.

Only major stirrings in Gotham can truly bring Wayne back as Batman, and a villain such as Bane matches that criteria. Be ready for 'shit's going down now, son' moments, as Bale once again dons the cape to become the Dark Knight. Many have questioned the script that would be needed in order for Rises to match that of its immediate predecessor, and Nolan's ultimatum as whole film delivers on every level. Twists and turns continue to surprise the audience, and even the most certain of  facts addressed in the movie can be looked upon as sceptical - due to such unpredictable story telling. The road is hard for Wayne's Batman, as nothing is easy in the Gotham run by Bane and his militant army. Bale's character however continues to bounce back in what proves to be the Dark Knight's most challenging test so far.

The soundtrack in Rises is rich and memorable, encapsulating the identity of Gotham's caped crusader and adding to the intensity of copious action-packed set-pieces. The visuals go hand in hand with that of the audio, where by the use of CGI is masterful - while not feeling too overdone. Also be ready for gadgets galore, as Freeman's Lucius Fox provides Wayne with more of what was delivered in Rises' predecessors.

Although not as gruesome in terms of violence as the previous instalment, Rises is undoubtedly the darkest the series has to offer. A real urgency for Batman to return is present in this one, and the implications of him being able to do so or not justify the film's shadowy outlook. The audience know that the legend has to end somewhere, which makes it all the more fitting that Bruce Wayne should end the trilogy with the greatest of adversaries to match.

The film's opening sequence, which involves flying at altitude, may require viewers to gawp in amazement. Be advised however to quickly transform that gawp into a grin, as the rest will be yet to follow!

So, how will the story end for Bruce Wayne? It's time to find out for yourself...

Bane - not satisfied even with five stars.

Rating: «««««

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Top 10 - Other ways people annoy me on Facebook

You agreed, and I sat feeling justified. A good day's work? Yes. Enough work? No. Consequently I decided, after over 10 months, ten points just aren't enough to contain all of the annoyances displayed in the social networking capital of the world. So, without further ado, here it is... ten more ways that people annoy me on Facebook.

NOTE: If you haven't already, check out the original list HERE.

10. People who try and make you join their group to see hidden elements

It reminds me of how Youtube users try to force 'subscribe' messages down viewers' throats. If we like the video, or your channel, we'll subscribe. It's the same with Facebook. If I find your group or page funny, then yes, I will join/like it... now go play Minecraft.

9. People who upload, practically, the same photo 1,789,342 times

Ooh, that version's in black and white. Ah, and that's the same photo again... in negative. Hang on, that's exactly the same photo! Yeah, I understand you're having a fun time with your friends, but isn't one picture sufficient enough to express the occasion? Apparently not.

8. People who 'check in' at their home address

Okay, that's your home address covered. If you'd now like to tell me your alarm code number, what you got for Christmas last year and any PIN numbers for credit cards laying around the house. It's not a good idea to give over such information, because on Facebook, you can never be too sure who your real 'friends' are.

7. People who don't use 'inboxing' accordingly

This involves any sort of wall (or now more recently, 'timeline') post that everyone outside that particular two way conversation just don't want or need to see. Soppy 'love you' messages are the main culprit here, but any sort of message could generally apply. Just inbox please, and keep it personal.

6. People who accept random strangers as their friends

If they're not your friend, then why accept them as your 'friend'? I'm just putting out there, and if anyone has an answer to that particular question, I'd like to hear it. "Because... your Mum" doesn't count. Studies have shown that a lot of young people do accept random friend requests. People need to wise up, because it's the stupidity here that annoys me. Can you be entirely sure the person you're adding is who they say they are?

5. People who comment on posts to make subtle digs

It's happened to me before, and it's probably happened to every one of you reading this as well. The moral here is: if you haven't got anything good to say, don't say anything at all.

4. Mums who make annoying comments

It's a Facebook law that if you concede to adding your mother as a friend online, the condition is binding for life. I wouldn't want to think what the consequences of permanently removing my Mother off Facebook be. I tried it once before... never again. The downside to this 'law' however, is that you're burdened with Mum (as I'll now call her - we're all friends here) following your every virtual move. As I'm sure you'll all agree, it's excruciatingly annoying at times.

3. People who say "like for lpc" or "like for paragraph"

Yeah, I've put it out there. And what are you going to do about it? Give me a '2' for looks? There's no real need to elaborate on this point any further. I think you all have your own reasons for finding this shout for attention as annoying as I do.

2. People who 'frape' others with idiotic comments

Fucking grow up!

P.S. 'Frape' is a word blend of 'Facebook' and 'rape', if you were wondering. 

1. People who break every single one of the points that annoy me in both lists

I know you're out there somewhere and when I find you... I'll give you a pat on the back for keeping on top of being such a trooper. It's a life time career in itself, that feat.

Want more Top 10s? Click HERE.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Top 10 - Ways of procrastinating in Grand Theft Auto IV

Grand Theft Auto - a franchise more recognised and established than Justin Bieber's hate mail collection. But, if you think about it, it hasn't really become so well-known through its gripping narrative or deep character development (although that has helped). It's through the ability gifted to the gamer to f**k around endlessly that has got people coming back for more, time and time again. When the original title came along in 1997 for the Playstation, the free roaming aspect of gaming was largely uncharted territory. Now, with huge advances in technology and a spectrum of titles to its name, the initialism GTA has become a household name in regard to having fun in a no limits environment - coined as a 'Sandbox Game'.  The latest title (Grand Theft Auto IV) - which follows the story of Polish immigrant Niko Bellic - isn't universally accepted as the epitome of the franchise, but the focus will solely be on this particular instalment due to its enhanced accessibility on consoles in the present day. So without further ado, let's forget the missions, and delve into some procrastination...

NOTE: Grand Theft Auto IV is made for adult gamers and is rated as such. Therefore it isn't intended to (and I most certainly don't) condone actions played out in the game, due to mature individuals being aware of its virtual denotation.

10. Hand-braking around corners

In the real world, I wouldn't endorse this sort of behaviour. But, as you'll find out, not many of the inserts on this list would be met with open arms by the government. There's no doubt that you'll most likely find yourself speeding whilst operating a vehicle during large parts of the game. If not, Grand Theft Sunday Driver might be the sort of title that missed your eye while you were searching for 'fun' games to play during your days off. Liberty City (the game's environment) amazingly does feature corners in its road network. However, speeding and cornering isn't the perfect marriage - but speeding and hand-braking sure is! Brilliant fun... Especially when the tail of your car kicks out and sends a fire hydrant tumbling down the street.

9. Breaking into car show rooms

It's always nice to acquire a free set of wheels, especially if they can go from zero to sixty in less than five seconds! There's also something about the satisfaction of driving an expensive car through a massive glass pane that more than makes up for you feeling guilty about stealing. After all, you wouldn't get that sort of chance in the real world... Unless you like spending time in prison.

8. Driving down the Airport runway

As you can imagine, the cops on the game will be onto your ass immediately if you even think about attempting to do this. Providing you manage to flee from the law in the long run, it's pretty fun sending your vehicle hurtling under oncoming passenger jets. "What? I've got a mission to do? Sorry, I'm too busy getting chased by a SWAT team down the Airport runway." If you rang up your boss with that as an excuse for missing work one day, I reckon you'd have an undeniably good case for being absent.

7. Throwing grenades out of your vehicle during pursuits

I can't really find many reasons to support this action's position in the Top 10, apart from that it's infinitely fun. If you manage to time your grenade throwing antics perfectly, you'll be met with police car laden fireworks. Just make sure that you don't hold on for too long before throwing a grenade, or you'll find yourself being the centre piece of the light show. Procrastination on a virtual scale at a more explosive level.

6. Listening to the City's radio network

The attention to detail in terms of the amount of radio stations available to you while driving around in Liberty City is impressive. But it's not the musical aspect to the simulated stations that humours me; it's the copious amount of fake product endorsement, mock parodies and hilarious news stories that get me giggling. I could quite happily cruise around the City streets all day, listening to and laughing at some of the priceless radio snippets thrown at me in the game. And with radio station names like 'Electro Choc', you can't go wrong!

5. Taking down police helicopters

It's just an unrivalled satisfaction. Take down the pilot and watch the aircraft plummet, or whip out the rocket launcher and finish the job explosively. Either way, it's great fun!

4. Ignoring everyone's phone calls

Why would you want to play darts or go ten-pin bowling with your annoying cousin Roman, when you can be having so much more fun on your lonesome? With many more important objectives on your agenda, such as stealing stretch limousines from unsuspecting chauffeurs, it's very clear to see that Roman would understand. The steroid pumped loony Bruce, who often refers to himself as "Brucey baby!", will definitely have to leave a voice mail as well. Whatever he's got to say can certainly wait until after you've accidentally driven your limo off of a pier.

3. Becoming a designated helicopter tour guide

Located in Algoquin, to the far South of the island, you'll find Heli-Tours - one of the City's fictional tourist hot spots. It is possible to take part in a tour as passenger, but this is GTA - why not become your own tour guide? Just kick the pilot out of his chopper and bag a free helicopter. A proven case that Grand Theft Auto enhances career prospects.

2. Laughing at how clear a rip-off Liberty City is of New York

In New York City for example, you have the well known districts of Brooklyn and Queens. Liberty City introduces you to... Broker and Dukes - hilariously titled recreations of the originals. There is no denying that Grand Theft Auto IV's city environment is heavily based on New York, but some of the intentional mirror locations and their names are far from the connotations of an Empire State. The Statue of Happiness? Located on Happiness Island? Oh, come on! What makes it even funnier is that, instead of a torch, Liberty's imposter holds a paper drinks cup aloft. But the one that really shows a lack of creativity and originality on the part of the game's developers goes to Central Park's Liberty City alternative - Middle Park. If that wasn't made to sound intentionally crap and corny; then someone, somewhere along the line definitely needs to invest in a Thesaurus. Make sure you also check out Star Junction - Times Square on a budget.

1. Watching the television, and getting hooked

The Serrated Edge: a show selling knifes and weaponry in the distinctive style of QVC. I'm Rich: a skit on E! Entertainment's entirely dire celebrity gossip programmes. Republican Space Rangers: a cartoon which I cannot begin to grasp on any level. These are all examples of the entirely high brow shows that you would expect to be met with when tuning into Liberty City's television network. I once sat and watched around two wholly concocted hours of virtual television whilst playing Grand Theft Auto IV. It got me hooked, but there is no reason why it should have done. It's rubbish, but so strangely addictive. I wasn't just procrastinating on the game, I was procrastinating in real life! That's why it's my number one.

Want more Top 10s? Click HERE.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Film Review

“What was that!?” a disorientated Lennox shouts. “That was Shockwave.” At that point; I can only imagine that any G1 fan with even a hint of knowledge about this motherf**ker, would have felt the same spine-tingling sensation that I did during an early sequence featuring NEST operations in Chernobyl. But, to my dismay, Shockwave’s title as the ‘new villain’ seemed to be brushed aside for a large part of the film. The one eyed Decepticon returned to churn up mayhem in Chicago around 90 minutes after his initial introduction, leaving anticipated fans like me wary of why he didn’t play such a pivotal role? That’s because, he didn’t - and in honesty (without giving too much away) he went out like a bitch. His character and many others of his allies around him all felt the steely blow of a ‘one hit kill’ quartet. With a huge build up and a hint of character development (Bay introducing character development!?), it seemed that each of the Decepticons should have had a bigger role to play in what the viewers ultimately paid to see - robot fighting.

That being said; the visual effects and set pieces throughout the film were nothing short of ground breaking. If a short film had been contained specifically around the final hour of the film, I’d have struggled not to give it 5 stars for the effects alone. But… There’s another 90 minutes to deal with before we get to that part the narrative. For most of the opening hour and a half, the storyline was credible in comparison to its predecessors and it seemed that Bay had actually managed to produce a plot which stuck. The opening sequence in which the war for Cybertron brings the Ark crashing down on the Moon was probably one of my most favourite scenes in the whole experience, intertwining phenomenal CGI and 3D with an intelligent storyline following the 1969 Apollo 11 mission. It felt believable in parts, hooking the viewer from the off.

 I admit, even as a fan who wanted this film to be action packed throughout, the action needed a break to establish a story. But, it failed to keep me interested in parts during the first hour, most notably through Ken Jeong’s waste of a character. I won’t go into it. Bruce - Sam’s new boss (played my John Malkovich) seemed wasted also, only present to add short and mediocre elements of humour.  Sam’s parents also reprise their roles in this one, taking a back seat, but still there pulling below belt and childish jokes. In truth though, there was nothing in the film that I despised or even took a major dislike to. Yes, the scenes in which Sam progresses in the workplace seemed far too fleshed out, and some of it could have been removed or replaced with more of what we came to see. But only the most critical nit-pickers would choose to let unnecessary extended scenes cloud their vision through a largely entertaining first two acts. Carly - Sam’s new girlfriend isn’t on for an Oscar nomination with her performance, but her glamorous looks and decent composure kept her from completely failing. An improvement on Fox, I’d say. Patrick Dempsey’s character of Carly’s new boss is in contrast to some other characters in the film, a welcome addition to the cast though.

Here’s what I liked besides the scenes in Chicago then. Sentinel Prime’s character was a stroke of genius on the part of the writers, voiced brilliantly by Leonard Nimoy (Spock from the original Star Trek). His appearances feature less than I would have hoped, but the character’s pivotal significance to the narrative made for gripped seat viewing. Although the final hour proved to provide a bonanza of fun, the chase sequence featuring: the Decepticon Dreads (as Chevrolet Suburbans), Bumblebee, Sideswipe and Dino (yes, that is his confirmed name), is a true spectacle. Ironhide also comes to join the party soon after, adding to the excitement ten fold through a pistol stand-off of sorts. Brilliant! The climax to this particular scene is also one that will hit the viewer hard with a sense of “what the f**k!?” I shall say no more. Optimus Prime once again proves to deliver in the former half of the film, leading the Autobots through darker times honourably.

New editions to the allies cast include: Ferrari 458 Italia - Dino, Inventor – Q, The Wreckers and Wheelie’s friend Brains. Wheelie and Brains seem to add light humour to proceedings, harmless fun which can’t be criticised, only sniggered at. They didn’t do the plot any harm, without adding a great deal either. Dino has a few decent lines early on, although the Italian accented character took his place in background fighting for the most part of the film. Q seemed to be Irish of sorts, having two or three lines I believe, whilst The Wreckers made for a group of NASCAR promotional material. They gave a handful of decent performances throughout the final sequences, though only being introduced over half way through the storyline.

Unlike in previous instalments of the franchise, character deaths brought emotion, making even the most hardened viewers at least well up inside… If not physically. Be prepared for utter carnage in Chicago, because pivotal deaths are on the cards from the off - and they do happen. Decepticon deaths, as I said are numerous, plus the final word on a forgotten bad guy from the first film is played out. Guess who? Tyrese Gibson reprises his role as Epps in this one, giving a solid performance and the best of his three so far. Captain Lennox is there once again also. Josh Duhamel’s character gives what you would expect, although Epps’ role in the film just pips his. The wingsuit soldiers scene is phenomenal and dizzying, where as the toppling skyscraper spectacle (which turns out to be longer than you may expect) will blow you away. The Chicago aspect to this film is brilliant… Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant… Until a point. It seems that all of the build up serves to provide a rushed anti-climax to proceedings, giving the viewer a sense of satisfaction yet a feeling of “was that it?” Don’t get me wrong, the whole film is an action packed blitzkrieg, but the ending just seems to come a little too fast. After 154 minutes, nobody can deny that the film is long enough. But maybe, Michael Bay could have transferred some of the largely useless scenes from the opening parts of the movie into making the ultimatum a more detailed one.

The Verdict: As I said and will always say, you don’t go into Transformers films looking for answers to niggling questions or for a ground breaking plot. You go into them to see good robots fight bad robots. You go into them to have a taste of visual heaven. You go into them to feel like you’re 12 years old again. Okay, there are some flaws to Dark of the Moon, but who was expecting it to be spotless from these? I for sure wasn’t. You take the whole franchise with a pinch of salt and say “hey, for 2 and half hours, I’m going to enjoy myself”. That’s what I did this evening, and boy, did I enjoy myself! Go watch it, even if you hate the idea of transforming robots. Trust me, the visuals alone will be enough to ensure you have a blast.

Rating: ««««

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Top 10 - Internet Acronyms and Initialisms

The internet is a breeding ground for the most unique and quirky modern creations. Not only has it widened the span of knowledge available to the world but has, at least in the English language, formed its own lexical set. Abbreviated text talk emerged through mobile phone communication around 10 years ago, creating a whole new language. This included shortened word forms; inspiring the emergence of a majority of grammatically devoid, incomplete sentence structures. Now, primarily through the internet, new ways of abbreviated sentences have reared their weird shaped heads (metaphorically of course). With the growth of platforms such as online forums and chat rooms; acronyms and initialisms have begun to diversify across web based mediums, taking our language into a galactic state of bizarre.

Just before I start the countdown, I'd like to point out that there is a very distinct difference between acronyms and initialisms: 
  • Acronyms use initials of existing words to create a whole new, pronounceable word (e.g. LASER). 
  • Initialisms use initials of existing words to create a common term, pronounced individually through each letter (e.g. BMW) .

DISCLAIMER: My Top 10s rarely feature bad language, but on this occasion it is of appropriate nature to the topic at hand. If you are easily offended by explicit rhetoric, it would not be recommended to read on. Oh, and kids - it would definitely be recommended to repeat all of the words you read here to your parents (especially number 3).

10. WTF (What The Fuck)

This light hearted and loveable initialism has come to epitomise modern lexis. Used as a sign of shock or revulsion, amongst other emotions, 'WTF' has universally come to connote the sense of outburst at a particular event or image. I like its current use in internet chat because it sums up a particular moment quite well, without the writer really having to add extra comment. Nowadays, everyone knows what 'WTF' means. And if you don't... WTF man!?

Typical example of use: "WTF is that bitch doing here?"

9. MSN (Microsoft Network)

Used so regularly and compulsively - MSN - once the name of a humble internet service provider, has undergone ameliorative change to describe a cover-all term for various internet platforms. Most notably of these platforms is the now defunct MSN Messenger service, more commonly known in the modern day as Windows Live Messenger. This live messaging service hasn't retained the name 'MSN' for years now, but the majority of youth demographics still refer to the initialism in regard to the popular communication hub. Although in saying this, it is clear that the snappy abbreviated title has done its job. I'd doubt many who use the term regularly would even know what MSN actually stands for...

Typical example of use: "Coming on MSN tonight?"

8. JGI (Just Google It)

The world's leading internet search engine seems to have spawned its own initialism. The company name 'Google' as a noun has also traversed word class to become a verb, through the new age action - 'Googling'. Again; like in the MSN case, these internet giants have managed to have such an impact, that abbreviations are beginning to implicitly hint at the universal use of the web search tool. 'JGI' also parodies the ethics of the younger generation, being so wrapped up in relying on the internet for all the answers as well as being too lazy to spell out a three word phrase. 

Typical example of use: "The meaning of life? JGI man!"

7. ILY (I Love You)

Okay, if you're going to pour your heart out to someone, it's not the best idea to express that one almighty phrase through an abbreviation. It firstly shows lack of lexical diversity, dominated by a sense of carelessness. It's the physical equivalent of giving your girlfriend a box of chocolates and eating all of the good ones first. Lack of sanity, lack of care, lack of appreciation and a desperate urge for me to punch you square in the face. And... I'm done.

Typical example of use: "ILY, will U marey me?"

6. LOL (Laughing Out Loud)

Not to be mistaken for 'Lots Of Love', which copious Grandmothers seem to be putting at the end of texts to their loved ones after a death of a family pet. This is what bad lexical diversity can do to the English language, turning Grandmas into monsters! "Sparky unfortunately passed away this morning. LOL." You can kind of see how that would go down... But referring back to its more recognised meaning, 'LOL' is probably the most common of all new age acronyms and initialisms to hit the nation's vocabulary. Being an acronym, it can be uttered fluently in everyday conversation, resulting in the emergence of 'LOL'ing youths scattering the streets and beating up Grannies for crimes against animal morality. A final point. Has any human in the existence of ever, used the term 'LOL' in an online sense whilst physically laughing out loud? The internet's a lie!

Typical example of use: "Your Mum is well fat. LOL."

5. BYOB (Bring Your Own Booze)

Three things you can take from this gem of an initialism. The first being, that as a modern generation, we do not condone sharing. Secondly, we're too lazy to be bothered to explicitly tell you to keep your hands off our alcohol. And thirdly, we're a bunch of young alcoholics who derive funky abbreviations exclusively around the semantic field of getting pissed. Urm... yeah. In a nutshell.

Typical example of use: "BYOB, Virgil." (Thunderbirds reference)

4. LMIRL (Let's Meet In Real Life)

This pretty much defines the internet. Refer to my list 'Top 10 - Ways people annoy me on Facebook' to get more of an insight into my unchanged views on fabricated online relationships. But the initialism 'LMIRL' made me laugh quite vigorously the moment I saw it, providing a solid reason for including it so high on my list.

Typical example of use: "LMIRL, because very occasionally, I do leave my house."

3. MILF (Mother I'd Love To Fuck)

Inspired by the work of adult entertainment industries, the provocative acronym has come to denote a female of a 'certain age' who has experience and maturity on her side in terms of 'under the sheets' antics. Fuck it, I did include a disclaimer at the start of this list, so let's not beat 'around the bush' (get it?) any more with sexual euphemisms. 'MILF' has expanded in epic proportions over the last couple of years, talked of in whispers between 14 year old boys whilst encountering 'Stacey's Mom' type scenarios. It's funny, it's harmless and it's the perfect example of what porn has burdened our dialect with in modern times.

Typical example of use: "Wow, your Mum's a MILF!"

2. FML (Fuck My Life)

I've only seen this beauty crop up in slang vocabulary over the last year or two, but the initialism adheres to the stereotypical view of hormonal teenagers hating everything about themselves and the world around them. This particular term is always at its funniest when uttered during completely underwhelming scenarios. For example, whist playing video games or having bad hair days. Because it's such an over the top (OTT) abbreviation, it's hilarious when used in stupid contexts.

Typical example of use: "I was on a 10 kill streak and some twat shot me. FML!"

1. ESAD (Eat Shit And Die)

It generally touches me, how lovely some people can be. And to abbreviate the whole affair for effect? Oh, you're such darlings for that. But, to be fair to anyway willing to hit you with such a forceful imperative, it's a pretty good way to go out... Choking on excrement. Impossible to disagree.

Typical example of use: "Pay back for interrupting my 10 kill streak. ESAD bitch!"

Want more Top 10s? Click HERE.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Top 10 - Funny Advertising Campaigns

Marketing is the theme for this week's Top 10; more specifically the television commercial - a form of direct advertising used to encapsulate a viewing audience and ultimately, sell a product. But some members of the industry have tapped into the need for bringing joy and humour into the mindset of the advert viewer, grasping at the identity of a product being tied with a recognisable funny quirk or hilarious message. So without further ado, let us count down my top 10 funny advertising campaigns...

10. Cravendale

Milk giants Cravendale, through their igenious stop motion "Milk Matters" campaign, have brought forward a fun and light hearted series of animations to the screen depicting a recognisable bunch of plastic figures. The embedded message is obviously to drink milk through this commercial, but it's playful voice acting and colourful scenarios give Cravendale that added humorous edge.

9. Vauxhall (Meriva and Zafira)

Coined as 'smart family cars', Vauxhall's 2004 campaign for family sized vehicles introduced two school children acting as bantering fathers. I vaguely remember its hit status in the UK at the time, with the child actors gaining all of the plaudits for their role in an intentionally humorous commercial. It made people laugh, whilst  as well as that, probably selling a heap load of cars for the motoring company. Kids, get you every time don't they?

8. Cadbury

'Random' would be a blanket term to describe Cadbury's "A glass and a half full of joy" stint on the box. Recognisable adverts included: the gorilla drumming 'In the Air Tonight' by Phil Collins, the airport drag race twined with Queen's 'Don't Stop Me Now' and those scarily weird children who rose their eyebrows to 'Don't Stop the Rock' by Freestyle. All funny I guess, in their own little way... Somehow. I took my pick from the three as the featured video.

7. Pepsi Max

Pepsi's "Max It" campaign for their sugar free alternative drink is probably much funnier with the male demographic (including myself), simply because it represents a masculine idealism. The process of getting away with the unthinkable and living the good life is what all men strive for, so the reprieve of these adverts for males may help the women of the world to see what goes on in the mind of their other half. Oh, and the adverts are hilarious.

6. Weetabix

It has now become clear in my mind that Weetabix are good at creating talking animals. The current 'chocolate Weetabix' commercial doing the rounds makes me happy inside, with a range of domestic pets taking speaking parts in a morning kitchen sequence. But unfortunately that campaign ("Happy Breakfast Everyone") hasn't quite made it on to my list. The advert in question resides somewhere along the lines of "Someone's had their Weetabix." If you don't know it, it involves a talking horse and a man on a mission. Pure joy and laughter ensured - just watch.

5. Zazoo Condoms

When first watching this commercial, it's not quiet clear what the advert is trying to sell or promote. I think that's why it's so funny; because once the viewer knows why this particular commercial is portraying an intolerably annoying child in this light, it's quite literally 'wet your pants' time. If you can, erase this last paragraph from your memory and go into the advert oblivious - it'll make it a whole lot funnier.

4. Thinkbox

"Every home needs a Harvey", the Thinkbox advert which brings together all of the elements of the perfect pet. It's fundamentally funny because it's basically, a dog that can do the ironing! What more can you ask for? Not much, only three places on my list by my reckoning. I think I need a Harvey in my life too...

3. WKD

The question is "Have you got a WKD side?" This campaign is one of many sets of commercials geared towards alcohol which presents the 'typical lad' side of the male drinker - influenced to be unhealthy, lazy and ignorant. Obviously it's all one big joke on the 'WKD side' of a man's personality, but it's pulled off with such fluency - creating undoubted laughter from all sides of the viewing audience.

2. Heineken

The walk-in wardrobe advert. One word... actually two, with one being a swear word (you've been warned). Fucking brilliant. I don't want to describe it, so instead I shall let you watch and decide for yourself. Enjoy!

1. John Smith's

"No Nonsense" is the slogan for John Smith's depicted advertising campaign, and I quite simply cannot think of anything more fitting to describe this particular commercial's effectiveness. Brutal humour reassured by hundreds of viewers howling with laughter at their televisions. But to be fair to Mr. Kay in this video, Claire from work is quite a being. I'm just putting it out there...

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