Road Safety

Road safety ads are all the rage at the moment, presumably because people continue to die all over the roads. To be fair, people will always die all over the roads, so it are obviously the needless deaths that these ads are trying to prevent. I’ve seen three that have made me think, and I’m sharing them here.

There are a couple of approaches. And happy happy joy hoy, the first is the horrifically graphic approach, deminstrated here in the Western Cape’s First Kiss video:
In case you didn’t catch the warning just there, it’s rather graphic.

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Erg. But you know, wear your seatbelt and that won’t happen. And apparently, it works:

The “First Kiss” commercial is adapted from the “Damage” advertisement produced by the Northern Ireland Department of the Environment. This advertisement was credited by the Irish Road Safety Authority as having brought about a 100% increase in backseat seatbelt wearing and 50% increase in front seat wearing rates in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Sadly, one of the highest risk groups – ‘the yoof’ – tend tune out serious messages. So then you need to try a different tack: humour. Here’s a New Zealand don’t text and drive ad:

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Because no, as this final print (and my favourite) ad proves, when you’re texting while driving, you’re really not concentrating on the things that you should be:


Very clever, Land Rover.

Of course, in SA, all this falls against a backdrop of very limited adherence to the law and very limited enforcement of those laws. But still, anything is better than nothing, right?

Possibly, anyway.

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The Dictator Decides

Will someone please say the unsayable?
Will someone please tell me I’m wrong?

If JZ was looking for a way out of this mess of a Presidency…

It’s Impeachment Day here in South Africa, or rather (unless something very incredible happens in the next few hours) Failed Attempt At Impeachment Day.
Also I’ve been listening to the new Pet Shop Boys album.

At present, these two facts seem wholly unlinked, but please bear with me as I intertwine their currently separate existences through the medium of interpretive dance blogging.

One of the standout tunes for me is track 5: The Dictator Decides. Now, while I’m not suggesting that Jacob Zuma is a dictator, he’s edging closer to the definition of that moniker every day. And while this track is probably written about the (apparently reluctant) rise to power of North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, there are a few choice lines that could have been penned specifically for our JZ:

The joke is I’m not even a demagogue
Have you heard me giving a speech?
My facts are invented
I sound quite demented
So deluded it beggars belief
It would be such a relief not to give another speech.

Here’s the song if you’d like to hear the whole thing:

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I’ve kept it deliberately small so that you don’t die from the flashing album covers accompanying this audio version. You may still struggle a bit though. Sorry.

The President isn’t very good. The Pet Shop Boys album, however, is. (It’s actually really good).
If you’re a glass half full kind person, this should be enough to see you through your day. Just.

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Super Simple

This looks like I’m being lazy again (it’s not deliberate), but I just found this interview really interesting, and I wanted to share. It’s with Mark Farrow, who has been designing Pet Shop Boys record (CD, tape, album) covers for ever so many years now. He’s just done the same again for their latest one, Super, which I’m currently listening to (spoiler: it’s not misnamed).


I’m not into “design”, but I really like the idea behind this latest cover:

This time we went pop art, a fluorescent circle containing the word “SUPER” in a contrasting fluorescent colour. Then each format, CD, LP and digital, was given its own fluorescent colour scheme. The different music streaming services even have their own colour schemes. These colour schemes then come together in an animation of clashing colours used for online advertising and digital poster sites. Unhinged and brash, yes, but it also feels considered and complete as a campaign.

And yes, look – they’re all different – here’s Simfy and the Wikipedia entry:

  Screenshot_2016-04-04-11-55-57       Fullscreen capture 2016-04-04 115656 AM.bmp

So let’s get this straight… This guy has been a designer – a successful designer – for at least 30 years (he did the cover for West End Girls back in 1987) and he has come up with a circle with a word in it? A word that he was given. He didn’t even have to think of the word. Seriously, aside from the circle (which is hardly a complex addition), could it actually have been any more simple?

No. No, it couldn’t.

Thing is though, it’s absolutely brilliant. And even those true cynics amongst us have to take a seat and just admit that sometimes less is more. Maybe you need to be a top class designer – supremely confident in your ability and reputation and in your clients’ belief in your work, to be able to challenge them and their fans with something so audaciously basic and fundamental.

It’s so unpretentious that it might just be the most pretentious thing I’ve ever seen.

And I love it.

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Learning Curve

Things we learned this weekend:

  • The Parlotones are actually quite a nice group of guys.
  • Pick n Pay ostrich burgers are best avoided.
  • 19 off the last over is perfectly possible.
  • Hell, 24 off the last 4 balls is perfectly possible.
  • Hangovers in your forties are much less fun than they were in your twenties*, **.
  • Uber from Noordhoek in the early hours of Sunday morning – works.
  • Children’s shin pads are massively expensive.
  • Barcelona don’t win all the El Clasicos. And that’s good.


* And they weren’t fun in your twenties.
** Actually, we knew this already.

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Conspiracy Theories

I’ve gone off John Oliver a bit of late. If he’s trying to be a comedian, then we’re all good. But if he wants to be taken seriously as a political commentator – something that he seems to want to achieve – then he needs to be a little more consistent in telling us what we should be thinking.

But that’s another story for another post.

Happily for the purposes of your blog reading experience today, this clip is all about the funnies:

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The more you trawl the internet (and I actually finished reading the whole thing a few months back now, so I’m a bit of an expert), the more outlandish the conspiracy theories you find, and – perhaps more worryingly – the more people you find supporting them.

This the day after April Fools, the only day where people actually read the mainstream media with any degree of cynicism…

Honestly, wake up, sheeple!

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