PHONING IT IN, The Beach, mid-afternoon (NNN) — With the vice-presidential buzz and the Democratic convention just days away, what’s most important is what Barack Obama’s campaign does afterwards.
Quite simply, he needs to create a more compelling narrative on change and get angry about something. Our ratings depend on it. It’s August, dammit. How many stories about cute puppies can you run? Attack ads! Push polls! We need material!
We need the argument that this is an election with two choices — not just one popular dynamic guy and one old past-it guy. That’s not a compelling media narrative!
Obama’s 2:1 advantage in the Electoral College is far too confusing for our viewers. We need to re-run polls until we get one with a 1% change, never mind the 3% error margin. It’s so close! Experts say it’s a wake-up call! Better keep your eyes glued to the screen! Oh my goodness!
If Obama can just pull ahead between now and November 4, he may become President Barack Obama … Or not! Who knows? You need to keep watching! Right here! Stay tuned!
MORDOR, Redmond, Thursday (NNGadget) — Microsoft (NASDAQ: MNPLY) has hired comedian Bob Hope to anchor a $300 million advertising campaign for its struggling Windows Vista franchise.
The software maker is desperate to counter popular Apple ads that personify PCs as un-“hep” and not “with it,” while portraying Apple’s Macintosh as the “happening scene.”
“We felt that resurrecting Bob from the dead and putting him in front of our campaign was just the way to upgrade Vista’s image,” said Kevin Johnson, the fourth executive to be in charge of the development of Vista, just before he quit this morning. “It was also cheaper and easier than actually fixing Vista.”
“Braaainnns,” said Mr Hope.
Few businesses have upgraded to Vista from Windows XP, citing Vista’s cost, incompatibility with older software and hardware and intrusive security features. And twenty years’ pent-up hatred of Microsoft.
The campaign was created by Crispin Porter + Bogusky, whose entire workflow runs on Macs.
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LOOK, Up in the Skirt, Wednesday (NNN) — Lunar immigration officials have given Gary Glitter a deadline to leave the Moon by 2am local time or face being locked up in the Sea of Tranquility’s notorious Immigration Detention Centre, where illegal aliens are kept 40 to a room.
The former pop star, real name Paul Gadd, went to the satellite after his deportation from Vietnam, Thailand, Hong Kong, Thailand again, Somalia, Darfur, the Siberian tundra, the South Pole and an abandoned oil platform in the middle of the ocean.
Lunar officials declared Glitter “persona non grata” and said that he posed a threat to domestic morality. “It’s that horrible little beard. He looks like some sort of pervert.”
Glitter is looking forward to his teleportation to the outer reaches of the galaxy, rather than returning to England. “I’m afraid Jacqui Smith’s just a bit past it for me.”
Glitter’s new single, “Thank Heaven For Young Women With Photographic Identification Certifying They Are Of Legal Age,” is to be released on Jonathan King’s record label.
TEH INTARWEB, Lolcat, Sunday (NNN) — The originality of a John McCain speech about Georgia has been placed in further doubt after it was found to bear strong similarities to Wikipedia articles on the former Soviet republic.
Congressional Quarterly found that two passages from a speech on August 11th were almost identical to Wikipedia, while a third bore striking resemblances.
“Georgia was one of the first countries in the world to adopt Christianity as an official religion and BUSH IS GAY LOLOLOLOLOL,” said Mr McCain in his speech last week. “After a brief period of independence following the Russian revolution, the Red POOP Army forced Georgia to join the Soviet Union in 1922. CALL ME NOW 555-1212.
“And furthermore,” he added in a resonant, presidential tone, “this user has been blocked as a suspected sockpuppet.”
A Wikipedia administrator said that the speech likely failed to meet Wikipedia quality and notability guidelines, and had been nominated for possible deletion.
THE GREAT STENCH, Whitehall, Tuesday (NNN) — The Labour Party has elected a sock with eyes as its leader and the new Prime Minister.
The sock is a size 6-10 cotton-blend Argyle, with stick-on googly eyes from a local craft shop and a penny for a nose.
The sock follows a succession of failed candidates in the top job in the wake of Tony Blair’s ten years in the position, starting with Gordon Brown’s eighteen-month premiership, followed by three months for David Miliband, six weeks for Harriet Harman, three weeks for Jack Straw, one week for Jacqui Smith and one day for each of Des Brown, Hilary Benn, John Hutton, Ruth Kelly, Hazel Blears, Geoff Hoon, Ed Balls and Ed Miliband, in that order. They even offered Tony the job back, which he “regretfully” declined with a laugh that could be heard from the Middle East. Alistair Darling was, of course, passed over.
The sock was recruited in the wake of the Conservative Party’s ongoing Parliamentary and opinion poll success with a reassuring animatronic Tony Blair puppet operated by a wind-powered Thatcherminator mechanism.
The Liberal Democrats are taking up a collection to buy a Christmas stocking.
NASTIE, Nice, Monday (NNN) — The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has poured scorn on Prof Sir Michael Rawlins of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) after he accused them of profiteering on drugs.
“I am shocked, shocked — oh, my cheque? Thank you! — at the notion they could be profiteering on drugs,” said Stephen Pollard of completely independent thinktank Centre for the New Europe. “As well as saving lives, drug companies eliminated communism and brought the downfall of the North Korean dictatorship, entirely through the marketing of little blue pills guaranteed to give you an erection. Research budgets are up to nearly half the marketing budgets, giving humanity such boons as V1k@grk@, Rogaine, Spanish Fly — the list is endless.”
Professor Rawlins stridently maintained his position that the “postcode lottery” for cancer treatments, where any patient with a letter or number in their postcode gets nothing, was not their doing. “It was the drug companies’ prices that killed all those cancer patients! Them! Them! Not us!”
NICE’s approach attempts to deal with the problem at the heart of the NHS: patients and their need for care, which can seriously affect waiting times for managerial bonuses and privately-funded infrastructure subsidies. Local doctors will be reducing levels of service and berating and belittling patients who refuse to cease unhealthy habits such as buying food they can afford, living in a city or being too poor to pay for BUPA. Viagra remains, of course, available free on the NHS.
THE LAB, Transylvania, Saturday (NotScientist) — Prince Charles must prove his claim that GM crops could cause a global environmental disaster, Environment Minister Phil Woolas has challenged.
Mr Woolas said it was the government’s “moral responsibility” to investigate whether genetically modified crops, fully owned and patented to the hilt by Monsanto, could help provide a suitably profitable solution to hunger in the developing world. Monsanto famously protect their hard work, having sued and won for patent violation when their seeds have blown onto another farmer’s land.
“We see this as part of our Africa strategy,” he said. “It’s easy for those of us with plentiful food supplies to ignore the issue, but we have a responsibility to use science to get our hooks into the less well off where we can. We certainly wouldn’t drive them off their land, they’re too useful to us as labour. It’s in their own best interest. I think of it as the ‘Corporate Man’s Burden.'”
Nestlé has also urged the European Union to review its opposition to GM. “People are starting to think Monsanto are a bigger bunch of bastards than we are, and we can’t have such strikes against our public image go unchallenged.”
ATLANTA, South Ossetia, Friday (NNN) — Intarweb 2.0 clickapreneurs Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer have found the corpse of Bigfoot, the famed Sasquatch of the Appalachian Caucasus.
They announced the find on blue-chip Internet news sites Fark, Something Awful and 4chan. “We are merely humble hikers who happened across incredible find! We braved circling of other Bigfeet as they saw body of their blood brother dragged away!”
Evidence presented at the press conference included a single detailed Polaroid photograph (“and you wouldn’t believe how hard it was to find an actual working Polaroid camera and film instead of a cheap digicam,” said Dyer), consisting of red and brown blurs and only slight development-time scratching of the surface of the Polaroid. DNA evidence included an email from Engr. BANKOLE VASANI, assistant to the late JONES WHITTON DYER, who offered access to 25 thousand million DNA bases (kB 25,000,000.00) in exchange for a sample of Bigfoot DNA for assessment and free access to the lab accounts. They were also working on tracking down rumors of a tortilla with Bigfoot’s face on it.
Whitton and Dyer’s website, www.yarlybigfoothonest.com, details their amazing find, complete with T-shirts and caps, embedded YouTube videos, a LOLBIGFOOT generator and many “fabulously clickable” Google ads.
“I didn’t believe in Bigfoot at the time,” said Whitton, “but there’s something deeply convincing about a click-attracting business plan. It certainly overwhelmed my rational skepticism and authentic down-home hillbilly common sense.”
“Are there a lot of psychos in the Bigfoot community?” a reporter asked.
Yes, answered Whitton. “It seems like there are lot of people in the Bigfoot world who are a little delusional. Fortunately, we know all of you are smarter than that.”
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JUNCTION 14, M25 Satanic Sigil, Friday (NNN) — Drivers are still enduring long queues several hours after a Fathers 4 Justice protest forced the closure of four lanes on the M25.
Campaigner Geoff Hibbert, dressed in a superhero costume, used a ladder to climb onto a gantry above the motorway between junctions 14 and 15.
“I will try and stay here all day,” he said, “but the police are going to try and remove me. But the police have been very, very good about it, very supportive. They’ve only shot near me, not directly at me. They were also very helpful in keeping the motorists from lynching me.”
He denied F4J had already made its point during previous stunts, adding: “We need open courts where the truth can come out. We’re fully confident that, given an extra hour on the motorway to get home, the average person will spend that time coming to agree with the justice of our cause, and certainly won’t think we act like gibbering nutters who should be kept away from children under any circumstances.”
F4J members frequently dress as superheroes during campaigns. “I’m a bit annoyed the Spiderman and Batman costumes had already been used,” said Mr Hibbert. “So I got a sort of slug creature. I think it’s Japanese. I’m not quite sure. The slime trail is very annoying.”
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