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Ahh, Monday Morning

Posted by | Posted in Monday Mornings | Posted on 15-09-2008

Carlsberg dont do mornings. But if they did, they’d probably be the best mornings in the world.

Have you ever noticed how you can never quite bring yourself to get up as soon as your alarm clock goes off in the morning? I realised this weekend that it must be a mental thing. Over the course of the weekend just gone, I had nothing to get up for especially, yet I found myself waking up early anyway. As much as I like to lay in on a weekend, I just couldn’t. I knew that if I tried to go back to sleep I’d fail miserably, and when I finally dragged my arse out of bed, I’d feel quite pants. So I got up at about 8am on both Saturday and Sunday. (I usually get up at around 7:15am for work, so 8am wasn’t much of a lie-in really).

But why is that? When I have to get up for work during the week, I struggle to get up on time more than a fat bloater struggles to resist the last chocolate cake, but when it comes to the weekends, when I dont have to get up for anything in particular, I find myself getting up anyway. Very strange. As much as it’s nice to have a long weekend day to make use of, I’d be happy to make use of it sleeping.

Sleep is one of the most awesome things in the world. Without it, your brain turns into a soup-like mush, and working in a sleep-deprived state makes for a comical, if unproductive, day. But getting too much sleep can, ironically, make you tired and feeling a bit jet-lagged. But regardless, everyone needs it, and everyone feels better after having it. A description that can also be used to describe another awesome thing in this world…

One thing that really bugs me about the world, though, is the advertising industry. I know there’s more money in advertising than there is in just about every other industry in the world (except perhaps prostitution, which probably makes very little use of advertising for obvious reasons) but it still annoys me more than most things. In fact, the amount of money thrown about in the ad industry probably adds to my frustration.

The other day I wondered what the world would be like if everyone actually did everything that they were told to do on TV, radio and newspaper or magazine adverts. Can you imagine it? Every time you were told to “top up your mobile”, “take the latest [car] for a test drive”, or, “buy the latest Gillette Sensor Max Fusion Turbo-Charged Vibrating Face-Sword”, you would have to do it, taking up so much time and money it’s unreal. Personally, I get offended when I’m told what to do by an anonymous voice on the TV. If, and only if, I need wart cream, I’ll damn well go out and buy it, thanks. I dont need some marketing department to sit around drinking mochas and collaborating with a bunch of psychologists on how to best circumvent my common sense, and brainwash me into buying their latest gimmicky product.

When it comes to advertising, something that astounds me more than the money involved is the sheer obviousness of it all. So many ads these days say the most obvious things to the viewers or readers, but they do it in such an arse-about-face way that people believe they’re listening to, or reading, something totally new and revolutionary. Take an advert I saw a few months ago for a hairdryer. I forget the brand of the hairdryer now (thanks to the highly effective advert that it was) but one thing that stuck in my mind about it was the narrator’s statement that it:

…contains an in-built heating system.

Really? Who’d have thought it. A hairdryer that doesn’t need a separate furnace to heat the air it blows all over you. The next thing you know, they’ll be selling milk in bottles, rather than with an associated cow that requires milking.

The reason I’ve been thinking about advertising so much is because of that new(ish) fabric softener – Lenor Concentrate. According to the advert, they’ve made the concentrate version of their fabric softener because it allows the same number of uses as the regular Lenor, but because it’s concentrated, it can be packaged into smaller bottles (about two-thirds the size) which helps the environment because less plastic is needed, and less lorry loads are necessary to transport it.

“Fine”, I thought. That makes sense. I know the advertising industry is jumping on the environmentally-friendly bandwagon because they think people care, but whatever. At least it will actually help the environment. Then, to my amazement, I find that they’re now offering bottles of concentrate that have “33% extra free” – making the bottles the exact same size as they were before the concentrate range was introduced, and totally negating the positive effects of having concentrate at all. Sure, it means we get more product for our money, but for those who care about the environment (not to mention the blatent lies by the Lenor marketing department) then they wont be helping to “do their little bit” for the environment at all.

I guess the whole issue here is that large companies and corporations seem to think that the average Joe is too stupid to realise this, or that they simply dont care. The latter isn’t true, or else they wouldn’t be trying to sell a product by manipulating people’s guilty conscience and pretend-caring about the environment. So that only leaves the stupidity argument. And to be fair, a lot of people are a bit on the silly side.

I mean, take a look at the whole Large Hadron Collider fiasco going on at the moment. Fair enough, it was two years late, but now that it’s up and running, it’s actually making good time. They’re days ahead of their current schedule due to the excellent team of scientists that are running the show. But despite being told, in no uncertain terms, that the world will NOT be sucked into an artificially-created black hole, people still panic. Professor Stephen Hawkin has personally told us that there’s nothing to worry about, yet the guys at the LHC have still had thousands of phonecalls from worried peoples.

Just chill out, peoples! If the world were to be sucked into a black hole, you wouldn’t even know what was happening before your atoms were pulled apart and sucked into a place where time and space don’t exist. Forget what that crazy German guy was saying about it taking hours for the Earth to be destroyed, and how we’ll all be in agonizing pain whilst watching the Earth being torn apart. It’s rubbish!

And if you dont believe me, here’s a live webcam from inside the LHC.

UPDATE: Dont forget, it’s Monday today so the regulars ought to be broadcasting the weekly UKTA Radio starting at 7pm GMT (or is that BST at the moment?). In any case, from 7pm til about 11pm someone will be playing something that you can listen to. And if they dont, they can answer to me.

You can find various streaming media player links here. One of these days I’ll consider myself good enough to do a set for them.

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