Posts Tagged bullshit

The Many Faces Of Jesus Christ

Definitely JC

Definitely JC

Here’s a classic staple skeptical game for you – ‘Where’s Jesus this week?‘ People with relatively good memories for this type of inane nonsense – and I assume at least 80% of you readers could well be in that category – may be aware of the fact that the Messiah has been popping up in some pretty unusual places of late. We all remember the classic cheese toastie, but who remembers where he was in 2006? Besides, you know, in the innocent laughter of every child, obviously.

That’s right – a terrier’s arse. The terrier, Angus, played host the the pareidolia-tastic depiction of the deity on his rump 4 years ago, but, it seems, being at the arse-end of a mutt wasn’t all it cracked up to be for our Lord and Saviour, and he’s recently been doing a tour of the kind of locations the Pope can expect to appear at if the UK government decide to withdraw the £100million his visit is purported to cost us. That’s £100million, or 10 years of state-funded homeopathy, if you like to think of it that way. (In other news, the government just cut a scheme which would help pay for the refurbishment of rundown schools in deprived areas. Just sayin’).

So, having put his days as a terrier’s anus well and truly, well, behind him, I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear he’s moving up in the world – having been spotted adorning the drainpipe of Coventry couple Alex and Nick Cotton. No, not THE Nick Cotton, aka Nasty Nick Cotton from Eastenders. Although Jesus did like to hang around the worst of us, and from what I remember Nasty Nick was among the worst actors I’ve ever seen. But no, this Nick Cotton lives in Coventry, which might go some way towards explaining why he was in need of a visit from the Son of God. I hear Coventry’s pretty boring, the last thing of note to happen there being a bombing raid from the Lufftewaffe. Read the rest of this entry »

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Bad PR: A Peek Behind The Poll Curtain

Regular readers of the site are possibly familiar with a few reports I’ve done in the past, looking at Bad PR. I’m not sure I ever clarified what Bad PR actually is – instead I’ve just taken a headline or a story touted around the various rags of the English press, and tracked it back to the initial press release issued by some company or other – often only peripherally related to the subject of the press release – and generally banged a big grumpy drum at all of it. Fans of that, don’t dispair – I’m sure I’ll be back some other time, drum in tow, merrily – and of course grumpily – banging away for your amusement. Or something.

But for now, I’m going to put my drum away, step away from the awkward and restrictive music metaphor I seem to have forced on myself, and take you through the other side of this sorry affair that is this whole murky world of surveys, PR and the news.

You see, newspapers need content – gone is the day when a journalist can scout stories, call up sources, check facts, and do all that other good stuff you see in political thrillers, where the diligent and handsome-in-a-shabby-sort-of-way journalist uncovers some political scandal or other, and – after huge rows with his cartoon character of an editor – publishes the lot to international acclaim. Those guys don’t really exist any more. Instead, more often than not, journalists have so many column inches to fill that they barely even have the time to check what day of the week it is.

Because of this, it’s insanely easy for any PR company to hand them a nice juicy press release, a write-up of a public survey complete with numbers and percentages and opinions, topped off with a nicely surprising or sexy finding. Newspapers lap that up, and goes out pretty much unedited, which is where my big grumpy drum comes in.

But where do these survey come from? And what role do they have in fashioning said sexy or surprising findings? Well, I’m always one to put my neck on the line, so I decided to visit the charming website of my favourite pollsters – One Poll, who were responsible for finding out that people think Jeremy Clarkson is probably well hung – and I joined up as a poll-ee, which you might think is a made up word but 78% of the 100 people I asked said it was perfectly valid. See, I’m getting into the spirit already.

Being a pollee is not without it’s benefits, of course. I mean I say that, but it almost literally is without it’s benefits – for each poll you take part in, your account is credited with a generous ten pence, which is yours to do with as you please. Slight catch – you only see the cold hard cashola once you’ve accumulated £40, so unless you’re in it for the long haul, One Poll don’t have to pay you a penny. Excellent. Read the rest of this entry »

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Music Medicine: ‘Sound Feelings’, Bullshit Concepts

When most people hear about the healing powers of music, I’m sure they think of the soft soulful beats of Lionel Richie or Michael Bolton, gently ushering them through a messy break-up – I know I do. But for some, music has healing powers of a more literal, less-early 90s housewife and altogether more bullshit nature. I’m talking, in fact, about Sound Feelings, a Californian company founded by Howard Richman, who proudly proclaim:

“We are music, health and education audio and book publishers. We specialize in music medicinemusic instructionweight loss alternative therapies and film scoring

An eclectic mix there, I’m sure you’ll agree. I’m sure you’ll also allow me to skip over the film scoring and piano lessons, and get right down to the good stuff – taking a look at the alternative therapies on offer, this film-scoring-music-guru will merrily peddle you products for ‘Internal Cleansing‘, weight loss products and books, as well as – amazingly – a weight loss photo. Which is literally just a photoshopped photo of the current-sized-You, adjusted in order to make you look slimmer. And black and white. Apparently, this is a great motivational technique. Yeah.

On top of all that, the good maestro advises on a dangerous-sounding 10-Point Colon Cleanse – because, I don’t know about you, but I always take digestive advice from someone with a B.A. degree in piano performance (from UCLA, no less).Surprisingly, Howard’s not a doctor, or any kind of science-acquainted person. In fact, one of the few things I particularly like about the site is that his bio describes him as being an ‘unlikely “expert” in the field of weight loss.’

You can say that again. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pseudo-Pareidolia: I Spy A PR Pork Pie

Yes, Tommy Cooper, in a Steak Pie. What of it?

Yes, Tommy Cooper, in a Steak Pie. What of it?

Over the years we’re seen God in a toilet door, the virgin Mary on wet windows and jesus burnt into a cheese sandwich. Not to mention Mother Teresa the croissant, and all manner of other religious figures mystically coming through in a variety of unusual places, which is definitely down to the fact that God exists.

However, it’s not just the religious that get to come back from the grave to haunt our furniture, foodstuffs and everyday lives – a few months ago we covered on the show an image of the late Michael Jackson which had appeared in an ultrasound, so it seems of late it’s becoming easier to pass through the mystical doorway and re-enter this world, albeit confined to poor-quality images on mundane objects.

Which is why it should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone to see this amazing, wondrous, blessed meat pie, complete with image of 70s comedy legend Tommy Cooper.

Yeah, Tommy Cooper. And yes, a meat pie.

What’s more, miraculously and in no way suspiciously, the pastry effigy was found in the village of Trethomas – just a couple of miles from Cooper’s hometown of Caerphilly. Which proves it’s definitely genuine. Honest. I mean, it even featured in the Daily Mail

Chip shop owner Crad Jones discovered the image when eating his pie and chips in his shop in Caerphilly, South Wales, which was Cooper’s home town.

Mr Jones, 45, said he called the manufacturers, Peter’s Pies, when he noticed the silhouette so they could document his find.

Of course, it’s in no way suspicious that the manufacturer of the pie gets a nice big mention right there at the start of the story. This pie coincidentally had a photo of Tommy Cooper in it – of course the first thing you’re gonna want to know is which company the late funnyman chose to bless with his image. Read the rest of this entry »

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