Archive | December, 2009

Happy Christmas!

24 Dec

So, this is my first post in god know’s when, and it’s Christmas Eve. I’ll keep it short. I hope all of you will have a wonderful Christmas and be safe on the roads, airplanes, trains, horses, or whatever mode of transportation you fancy.

Here’s my Christmas treat for you:

Deck the hall with bound of boring!

Fa ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra!

Tees the season to be jowy!

Fa ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra!

Gag order me with a spoon!

14 Dec

The Tiger Woods extramarital scandal has dominated the news for quite a while now, but in the United States, it would be hard for him to go to court trying to suppress material that would incriminate him. In the UK, however, libel laws make it so easy for him to file an injunction forcing publications not to discuss the matter. So he filed one last Thursday, though it won’t stop British internet users from looking at other websites, particularly from the United States, that could potentially publish this matter.

What’s seems to be the problem? In the days when print was king, a gagging order was the best way to suppress information since newspapers published to a particular area. But what does it mean for the Internet age? If the purpose was to suppress information, it would be harder, especially if said person is a household name worldwide. If people want to find it, they will get it.

Notwithstanding my particular opinion about Tiger Woods’ dalliances or whether said material should be published, but I think that we’re in a different age now when it comes to information. The Internet age essentially killed the gagging order. If you’re famous and there’s skeletons in your closet, at some point it will come out. Maybe not in the celebrity-heavy British tabloids, but somewhere else. What is the High Court going to do next, block Britons from reading CNN or The New York Times? No publication is beyond limits anymore. Celebrities, you’ve been warned.

We speak the same language…

4 Dec

In one of my classes today, we had to do a breaking news writing assignment. It was one of those “the plot thickens…” type of stories, and one of the girls in my class thought that this assignment was like playing Cluedo.

Cluedo? What the hell is Cluedo?

So, as an unwitting American, I ask her what this Cluedo game is about. She tells me it’s some board game where everyone solves a murder. Then I said, “Oh! Clue!” Yes, that board game I enjoyed when I was still a Catholic schoolboy.

I don’t understand. So I went on Wikipedia later and found out about the history of Clue–I mean Cluedo–and it was originally made in Britain. However, when they introduced it to the United States, they decided to call it Clue. Cluedo sounds pretty tacky anyway, but what I don’t understand is why it’s called one thing in the UK while in the US, it’s a totally different name? It’s the same thing in advertising. I give you two examples:

In the UK, a movie came out in April called “The Boat That Rocked,” which was about British radio stations broadcasting from ships to counter the BBC. Here’s a trailer:

However, in the US, the same movie was retitled “Pirate Radio.” Pretty succinct, but I’m wondering why they can’t seem to have a common title for it. It’s not like we speak two different languages!

It’s not even limited to just titles. It also concepts. Did you know there are two different versions of the Mac vs. PC ad beaming worldwide in English? Of course, most of us are familiar with this one:

But if you’re living in the UK, you get Mitchell and Webb instead:

What can Mitchell and Webb do better in the UK that Justin Long and John Hodgman can’t? Please, I want to know! Oh, and don’t get me started with the Japanese Mac vs. PC ads!