Archive for the ‘feathered friends’ category

The “Birds Aren’t Real” Movement…

October 14, 2021

Where performance comedy meets reality, you have the Birds Aren’t Real movement. Living as we are in a post-truth era where personal desires and perceptions take precedence for many over objective reality, we are awash in conspiracy theories to which a disturbing number of people ascribe...

The central mythos of Birds Aren’t Real is that beginning in the late 1950’s, federal agencies began exterminating all biological bird life in North America, replacing them with robotic surveillance drones. These drones watch and report on you to government agencies who in turn sell information about you. – – Don’t believe this? Well, have you ever seen a baby pigeon?!- – And why do you think that birds fly away when you approach them?

Now you see, Birds Aren’t Real is an organization that holds rallies and tours, much like other conspiracy groups that advance claims unbacked by science or factual evidence. It’s leader is Peter McIndoe, an earnest-appearing young man who blends parody and reality seamlessly. He has been spreading his gospel as a “bird truther” since 2016.

Alfred Hitchcock tried to warn us about avian attack drones many years ago in his prophetic film, The Birds. Shouldn’t we be putting up massive domes to keep these “undesirables” out? Remember the Avian Flu? Who knows what horrors some hidden laboratory is creating to be carried by these feathered fiends next?

And Big Bird, come on! Surely you don’t think he’s real? He’s just a clever propaganda creation engineered to lull our young into a false sense of security, and we invite him into our homes!

The revelation that birds are in fact surveillance drones is sure to put a damper on many traditional Thanksgiving dinners this year. I for one wouldn’t want to wind up with a mouthful of electronic parts, would you?! Should you swallow a few components, you probably become an enabler…

So just remember that if it flies, it spies! And ask yourself whether you get the joke, or are one of the people targeted by it. For what is a BIRD but a Basic Information Recording Drone? And bird watching goes both ways. – – Watch the skies, for they may be watching you! 🙀

Liberty Mutual’s “Gym” Commercial…

June 13, 2021

We once again find the LiMu Emu and Doug on a row of treadmills at a gym, where the human half of the duo asks an unfortunate fellow exerciser on a cell phone if he’s using the Liberty Mutual “customizer” tool, so he “only pays for what he needs.” Doug hardly seems dressed for a workout, wearing long pants, his trademark yellow shirt, and a tie. Bad form, Doug…

Putting Doug to shame, however, is the Emu at the end of the row of treadmills, who is running full tilt! “LiMu, you’re a real animal!,” remarks Doug, adding “Who’s got the ‘bird legs’ now?” Cute…

In an expanded version of the ad, the Emu is also shown pecking at a heavy bag in the gym. His beak punctures the bag’s covering, causing sand to pour out.- -Well, there goes their membership! This is one buff bird…

“Grilling Out” with the LiMu Emu…

June 11, 2021

I’m not sure that one would want to date or marry an insurance company spokesman or rep as depicted on TV, where they never seem to be able to talk about anything but insurance, which can get old really fast! So it is at an outdoor cookout for Liberty Mutual’s “Doug” (David Hoffman), the Emu, and their presumed wives. The partners are dressed alike in matching loud yellow floral Hawaiian print shirts, and even their wives are in matching tones. It’s a surreal occasion, their outfits matching the yellow finish of the Liberty Mutual-mobile visible in the background. They’re nothing but thematic here…

When Doug blathers only about insurance, his wife politely asks him to change the topic, it being the weekend and all.- -Give it a rest, dude! In the awkward silence that follows, Doug asks the Emus wife if she would prefer to eat either a hot dog or chicken right off the grill, the latter offering seeming to be at least quasi-cannibalistic for the bird. The Emu vocalizes a brief response which Doug interprets to indicate a choice for a hot dog. It is not clear whether this is possibly because chickens may resemble baby emus in their sight…

For inquiring minds, the Emu memorably depicted in these commercials is a mix of real bird and CGI effects. At any rate, he certainly can rock a pair of aviator shades! Perhaps a future commercial could touch on a sensitive issue, such as The Great Australian Emu War of 1932, where 20,000 emus prevailed against World War I veterans armed with machine guns. They are a resourceful and resilient species… 🦊

Liberty Mutual’s “Interruption” Commercial…

February 13, 2021


Nature’s little creatures can be cute and appealing on a singular basis, but creepy and menacing when they swarm you in large numbers.  We saw this theme at play in an earlier Jiff peanut butter commercial when one young lady eating a peanut butter sandwich encountered a squirrel beseeching a bite, soon to become a legion of them led by a humanoid figure with a squirrel head; creepy and surreal!

In this Liberty Mutual variant with two versions, we see in the longer version a guy eating a sandwich on a bench overlooking the trademark Statue of Liberty who breaks the “fourth wall” by asking if he’s in a Liberty Mutual commercial, then asking what happens in this one.  “Seagulls,” he is told.  One appears on the bench beside him, which the guy likes…then he is swarmed by a flock of them, which he likes much less!  The spot evokes a little of Hitchcock’s The Birds, still a worthwhile view after many years.  If you’ve ever fed a French fry to a seagull at the beach, you’ll know what the experience is like.  What’s worse is having the gulls poop on you, oh the horror, the horror!

In the shorter version, the same guy is on the bench, sandwich in one hand, chips in the other.  He talks about how Liberty Mutual customized his insurance so he only pays for what he needs…what a great day!  Then a gull swoops in, stealing his sandwich, making it just an “OK” day.  Finally a second gull flies by to steal his chips, making it a “messed up” day.  And some days, as Al Bundy observed, won’t get better until you return to bed.

Seagulls…I’m reminded of what one character spoke at the closing of the original The House on Haunted Hill movie….”They’re coming for me, now.  And then, they’ll be coming for YOU!”  🙀

 

 

FanDuel Sportbook’s “Payout Falcon”

December 10, 2020

FanDuel Sportsbook is an on-line gaming company that in a recent commercial shows the lengths they’re willing to go to in order to deliver your winnings as quickly as possible to you; they’ve trained a peregrine falcon to deliver your winnings, on the fly as it were.  The falcon swoops down to the splendid outdoor location of a patron who retrieves his winnings from a tube attached to the bird’s leg, and before departing, the falcon swipes the guy’s sandwich, taking it with him for his return flight!

“Honey, I’ve come into some money,” the man tells his presumed off-screen wife.  “And I’m going to need a new sandwich!”  Undoubtedly, some will raise objections about this commercial.  Should the guy pictured be gambling?  And should his wife tell him to make his own damn sandwich?  He does have legs, after all…

I, for one, champion the peregrine falcon, who at least gets a sandwich as the wages of his forced servitude…fly free, magnificent bird!

“The Masked Singer,” Back for Season 4!

September 14, 2020


People tend to either love or hate The Masked Singer on Fox, and we were provided a preview of the upcoming season’s costumes recently.  Shown above are Baby Alien, Serpent, and Seahorse.  Additionally the animal kingdom will be represented by Giraffe, Jellyfish, Crocodile, and fictitiously Dragon.  The show itself for those unfamiliar with it is kind of a singing competition run through a furry convention, a unique type of cheerful and inspired insanity.

There are a number of “firsts” represented among this season’s contestants.  At eight feet tall, Giraffe is the tallest costume ever, and is attired in a style reminiscent of French aristocracy.  Baby Alien is the first costume to be fronted by a puppet, Serpent’s costume has animatronic features, and the Snowy Owls (below) represent the first double-headed costume.

 

So you may want to drop in on The Masked Singer, Season 4 which will debut on September 23rd…

The Forgotten Gold of “Rango”

June 29, 2020

You might easily have missed the 2011 film Rango in the theaters, intended as a quirky western comedy and featuring Johnny Depp as a chameleon house pet stranded in the Nevada desert who becomes the sheriff in the town of Dirt inhabited by a variety of desert anthropomorphic animals who move faster and more convincingly than most animal characters in films intended for children. Pictured above is the alluring vixen Angelique (Claudia Black), who is the secretary to the town mayor, an elderly tortoise.

Now Rango satirizes a number of western traditions and films, and there’s even a virtual Clint Eastwood character who appears rather mystically as The Spirit of the West. Although essentially a kid’s movie, there’s enough subversive darkness and hidden spoofs in the film to keep adults happy, and a furry like myself enthralled. The animal characters do smoke, drink, and shoot at each other. The film was actually criticized for promoting smoking, and because of this some actually wanted it to have an R rather than a PG rating… but hey, this is a western after all, and it isn’t real…Lighten up!

So if you haven’t seen it, you can probably catch Rango on your small screen. Johnny Depp is a hoot as always, and Angelique could own me in like two seconds…I’ll forgive her for the cigarette!

Livin’ Off The Plastic…

April 25, 2020



The other day I went to a drive-up window to buy a lousy $4 ice cream, since in the year of the plague, walk-in much less full restaurant service are but memories.  Reaching the front of the line, I discovered to my chagrin that the establishment wasn’t accepting cash, but only credit or debit cards.  Cash, it would seem, is now considered a “contact point” for the Coronavirus, which can live merrily on a variety of surfaces for hours.

As I fumbled awkwardly for my debit card out of my wallet, the thought surfaced in my mind that these must be terrible times to be Scrooge McDuck.  I mean, that bird would literally go swimming through his cash vaults!  He had, by a Forbes estimate, a net cash worth of over 44 billion dollars. Swimming and burrowing through his money brought this duck pleasure!  He was, by the standards of many, one lucky duck…

Now in these plague years, could Scrooge be considered to have a fatal attraction to money, considering his physicality with it?  With money being considered filthy lucre, does Scrooge McDuck have a death wish, or is he just severely conflicted now about his practices?  Is an intervention needed to save this duck from himself?!  These thoughts eat away at me, terribly.  We may never know the answer to these timely questions, but press on nonetheless.  It is our calling, our mission here… 🐺

 

The Chantix Turkey at the Fair…

April 10, 2020

In the strange world of evolution gone awry inhabited by the Chantix Turkey, we are gradually being introduced to other individuals there, and familiarized with their social activities.  A recent episode takes us to their town fair, a rather folksy event at which our hero is apparently functioning as a worker.  Nice guy or bird that he is, the turkey takes the plunge in a dunk tank before donning an apron, working thereafter at a ring toss game booth (above), a ticket booth, and even a cotton candy stand.  This turkey does it all…

There are some subtle and cute touches in this ad, such as when the titular turkey walks past a fun house mirror, and we get to see his slenderized reflection in the mirror.  It’s a delight to see the turkey’s distinctive walk here, as well as his trademark heel click out of exuberance at kicking the smoking habit.

The turkeys don’t seem to be socially distancing, so they’ve apparently avoided the Coronavirus.  In their friendly and serene world, however, one wonders if the turkeys might someday have to deal with some variant of the avian flu, or perhaps just a hostile invasion by Elmer Fudd wanna-bes…oh the horror, the  horror! 

Oh, and by the way…a Happy Easter, y’all!

Chantix Turkey Commercial, “Snow Turkey”

February 26, 2020


The Chantix Turkey is at it again in his Eddie Bauer-type winter finery, engaging in a genial snowball fight with another turkey that appears to be a juvenile and in some sources is referred to as being his child!  I never thought of this turkey as having a mate; he seems too happy and care-free for that, but I’m not programmed with the dynamics of turkey-bonding, and prefer not to go there.  The presence of another turkey and perhaps turkey-unions also expands the notion of a universe inhabited by turkeys, as was glimpsed in a previous commercial that showed a journey by our hero into a city where he interacted with other turkeys.  Perhaps this turkey race refer to their planet as “Butterball” or even more darkly as “Fowl World,” but that’s pure speculation…

At any rate, following a brief snowball battle conducted from snow forts, the turkey selects a wingful of split logs from a neatly-stacked pile, and moves inside with them through his tidy garage.  The wood is to fuel a nice fire going in the turkey’s fireplace, and the turkey even selects a good book from his shelf to aid his cozy repose before those comforting flames.  Before settling down in his comfy chair, the turkey even performs one of his trademark heel clicks to celebrate his liberation from the cigarette habit through Chantix, for the only thing smoking in his home will now be the fire…

Perhaps one of the contestants on The Masked Singer will someday be costumed as a turkey, and give us a smokin’ performance of Turkey in the Straw, or something similar…and I look forward to more glimpses of how evolution has run a strange course on this Planet of the Birds, perhaps one of the supposedly many parallel universes existing alongside our own…

 


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