The Consumer Category
We bring you the chic and unique, the best and most bizarre shopping offers both online and offline. We offer you tips on where to buy, and some of the less mainstream and crazy, individual and offbeat items on the internet. Anything that can be bought and sold can be featured here. And we love showcasing the best and worst art and design.
THIS is the most accurate toy representation of a real cat ever:
AS things heat up in Ukraine and the ever-precarious Middle East continues its pattern of unrest, we feel a tinge of concern for our Western economies hanging by a thread and our natural resources plundered at an unsustainable rate. In such a state of affairs it is only natural that we, as a global community, band together and take a look at some truly awful toys. It’s the right thing to do.
“Luscious Limbs” is more than a little bit macabre. Sissy’s fiendish delight at gnawing on a human ear is particularly distressing.
VLADIMIR Putin, scourge of gays, is now a homosexual act prevention device.
It’s not yet Government issues in Russia, but give it time…
But do use the enema before serving:
WE get to see the face of God in Robert Crumb’s Book Of Genesis. But was the representation of the Creator accurate? In 1974, Crumb gave us another image of God, one based on Philip K. Dick’s memory.
Dick’s Divine vision was triggered by seeing a delivery girl,who was wearing a Jesus fish on a chain about her neck. Dick had taken LSD:
In that instant, as I stared at the gleaming fish sign and heard her words, I suddenly experienced what I later learned is called anamnesis—a Greek word meaning, literally, “loss of forgetfulness.” I remembered who I was and where I was. In an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, it all came back to me. And not only could I remember it but I could see it. The girl was a secret Christian and so was I. We lived in fear of detection by the Romans. We had to communicate with cryptic signs. She had just told me all this, and it was true.
For a short time, as hard as this is to believe or explain, I saw fading into view the black, prisonlike contours of hateful Rome. But, of much more importance, I remembered Jesus, who had just recently been with us, and had gone temporarily away, and would very soon return. My emotion was one of joy. We were secretly preparing to welcome Him back. It would not be long. And the Romans did not know. They thought He was dead, forever dead. That was our great secret, our joyous knowledge. Despite all appearances, Christ was going to return, and our delight and anticipation were boundless.
ONE thing you’ll find when looking through magazines from the 1930s and 40s is an amazing array of soap and constipation adverts. It’s as if the world was ravaged by body odor and irregularity. Ad after ad proclaims the wonders of this fantastical object called “soap” – lives are changed by its tremendous power to rid even the smelliest among us of their funk. But that was only half the battle, because mankind still cowered helplessly beneath the specter of constipation. Countless adverts announce their special cure for this dread disease.
THE MIRACLE OF SOAP
This bride literally would have died a miserable old maid had it not been for Lifebuoy soap. Evidently, her fiancé was so disgusted by her rank smell he was about to call off the wedding – until her friend introduced her to the World of Soap. A close call – but it does make one wonder what other basic hygiene tools our young bride has yet to discover.
“Sure he picked a beautiful bride…. but oh, that ‘B.O.’!”
This advert is from ten years later (1947) – The War is over, Western Nation economies are on the rise, and all is right with the world… but the women still smell horrible. Let’s take this ad step by step: Here we have a newly married couple who are attending a party. Unfortunately, the young bride is shaming her husband by her amazing level of body odor.
“Oh, darling, I’ve failed you!”
Yes, honey, you may as well purchase a one-way bus ticket out of town. Ted will explain that you “had an accident”. Indeed, with the neighbors whispering about your incredible funk, your job as wife is an abject failure….. but wait, what’s this? It seems Ted just happens to have in his possession a bar of soap.
And, of course, the miracle of soap once again saves a marriage, and possibly a life…. but not before we get to see Ted’s wife naked.
“You know how men are, Gail! They like to be proud of their sweethearts and wives! Besides, you must admit there’s not much allure in dry, lifeless, old-looking skin!”
As usual, soap is sold to guard against shaming the godlike husbands. In this case, the woman’s repugnant smell isn’t the issue, it’s her disgusting skin. Back then, that was grounds for a husband to literally put his wife out to pasture.
Yet another woman spared eternal shame because she hasn’t been exposed to the wonders of soap. You’ll note it has an endorsement from film noir dame “Joan Bennett, Walter Wanger Star”. Wanger was a film producer and Bennett’s third husband. He ended up causing quite a scandal when he shot Bennett’s agent (he suspected they were having an affair). Bennett went on to star in Dark Shadows and Suspiria (1977). But I digress…
THE SCOURGE OF CONSTIPATION
“Actual cases on record of constipation relieved” – and all it requires is for you to garrote yourself in the most foolish way possible. Personally, I’d choose bran flakes cereal over this spectacle of degradation… but that’s just me.
I know constipation is a bummer – God knows it can put a damper on a day. That being said, if your constipation is causing the sort of misery where life isn’t worth living, you’ve got a very special constipation indeed. I don’t know what HOOD-LAX is, but it sounds potent. Might I suggest some late night Mexican food and a frothy pint of HOOD-LAX and make life worth living!
From devastated to cheerfully building a wall within two hours – that’s pretty damn impressive. I understand it’s not exactly fun to wake up constipated, but she seems clinically depressed – “the world’s all wrong” she exclaims. I wonder if that Sal Hepatica not only helps loosen the stool, but also has a little “happy sauce” in the ingredients as well. Either that or this chick is bi-polar.
Are you noticing a pattern here with the constipation symptoms? It’s not annoyance at abdominal pain, it’s depression. Clearly, there was something else going on here in women that was erroneously being blamed on constipation. Any armchair sociologists out there who’d like to posit a theory? I’d love to hear it.
SAUDI hero of the day is the cleric who has issued as fatwa against fatsos:
A Saudi cleric named Saleh al-Fawzan has issued a fatwa against all-you-can-eat buffets in Saudi Arabia.
Fawzan said the value and quantity of the food sold should be pre-determined before hand.
“Whoever enters the buffet and eats for 10 or 50 riyals without deciding the quantity they will eat is violating Sharia (Islamic) law,” Fawzan was quoted on al-Atheer channel.
So. There you are – Islamic law is not so very different to the moral laws this country’s health experts have introduced.
From BBC Children’s Favourites To Captain Kangaroo, Edward White’s Puffin Billy Kept The Kids Delighted
ITEM of the day is this 60 piece puzzle in box of Captain Kangaroo (Bob Keeshan). There are no missing pieces.
The show was ideally suited to being packaged as a jigsaw:
That music was composed by Edward White and played by the Melodi Light Orchestra.
IN the 1960s, Glenn Stewart was a mod. There Is More filmed Glenn over six hours as he recalled him time as a suited and booted, Vespa driving mod.
It’s a lovely short film about one of Britain’s fashion tribes:
SO. Everything that we’ve been told about healthy eating for the past 30 years has turned out to be a mistake. Or a lie, your call:
For the health conscious reader who has been stoically swapping butter for margarine for years the next sentence could leave a bad taste in the mouth.
Scientists have discovered that saturated fat does not cause heart disease while so-called ‘healthy’ polyunsaturated fats do not prevent cardiovascular problems.
In contrast with decades old nutritional advice, researchers at Cambridge University have found that giving up fatty meat, cream or butter is unlikely to improve health.
They are calling for guidelines to be changed to reflect a growing body of evidence suggesting there is no overall association between saturated fat consumption and heart disease.
DR Christian Jessen is the star of the Channel 4 documentary Undercover Doctor: Cure Me, I’m Gay.
Can you be “cured” of your homosexuality? Some want to change. They sign up to schemes to become healthy and straight and good.
He tells viewers:
“Reparative’ techniques used across the world, primarily by some extreme right-wing organisations, have included electric shock therapy, exorcism, hypnosis, and even sessions with prostitutes.”
Because this is Channel 4, the main premise of the show will be to portray the curing community as freaks and nutjobs. But you needn’t tune in to know that, although the penile plethysmograph to measure Jessen’s post-cure arousal is an interesting reworking of TV clap-ometer.
You see all Channel 4 need do is show viewers pages from Richard Cohen’s Coming Out Straight, Gay Children Straight Parents, Let’s Talk About Sex, and Alfie’s Home, published in 1993 by Cohen’s International Healing Foundation (IHF).
The IHF website states:
Our goal is to promote healthy individuals and relationships, while assisting in the healing of families, communities, and places of worship.
In this film, Cohen, an ex-gay who is now married with 3 children and president of PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays), is seen playing with magnets. He says opposites attract, like magnets. Same things repel, like magnets. D’ yer see the point he’s making? Richard does.
This is book for children:
It’s all batshit mental. And it’s being promoted in Uganda:
IN the 1990s, Satanic child abuse was a hot topic. Most recently, the news of Devil worship and children was resurrected with the Jimmy Savile scandal. Do read it all. It’s a story of a moral panic and crackpot, agenda-driven science. In the US, there were many lurid reports of Satanic abuse, such as at the The Martin preschool in Manhattan Beach, the Little Rascals daycare centre in North Carolina in 1989, and the Oak Hill daycare centre in Texas in 1991. No-one was ever found guilty of abusing children in the name of Satan.
But there many arrests both in the US and in the UK. There were case of child abuse proven. But none featured Ritual Satanic Abuse.
TODAY learnt that we don’t need Smart Bedding.
For those four or five of you who sleep beneath a sheet beneath your duvet, there is a solution to Dumb Sheets.
12 Ways 2000AD Is Zarjaz
IT GAVE THE WORLD JUDGE BLEEDIN’ DREDD
Arguably better known than the comic itself is its main star, leather- suited, permanently-behelmeted Judge Dredd, tough-ass humorless moo and saviour of the streets of Mega-City One. His catchphrase (“I am the law”) and iconography are huge, and impressively, his story has happened in ‘real time’ – it’s been permanently 122 years ahead of the Earth year, so he and his supporting cast have aged appropriately. Sort of. “It’s a debatable point exactly how old he is now, but he’s in his 60s at least,” says editor Matt Smith. “Where it becomes a grey area is that Mega-City One has face-change and rejuve facilities, so you never know, he may have had a bit of help. He’s certainly as sprightly as he ever was”.
…AND THE REST
While Judge Dredd remains the best-known character, a lot of 2000AD’s other stories have become firm fan favourites…
SLÅINE: A Celtic barbarian who battles everyone from demons to aliens to real-life historical figures, Sláine is like a multi- weaponed Irish Conan.
STRONTIUM DOG: The story of Johnny Alpha, a mutant bounty hunter in a post-apocalyptic world (yeah, fun). He was killed off in the 80s but he’s back now.
NEMESIS THE WARLOCK: Created by the fiercely left-wing Pat Mills, Nemesis is a fire-breathing demonic alien anti-hero who does battle with the KKK-looking Torquemada.
ZOMBO: A newer creation, Zombo debuted in 2008 and is a human-zombie hybrid, top- secret government project and wannabe pop star all in one.
ROGUE TROOPER: A blue-skinned genetically- engineered soldier on a war-torn future planet, co-created by Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons. He’s potentially set to become a movie star, with Sam Worthington from Avatar set to play him.
DREDD BEAT HOLLYWOOD
The 1995 Sylvester Stallone Judge Dredd movie is appalling – he barely wears the helmet, he gets off with Judge Hershey (which in the comic he’s totally not allowed to do) and Rob Schneider keeps showing up being all Rob Schneidery. Howevs, 2012’s Dredd, directed by Pete Travis, written by Alex Garland and starring Karl Urban, is awesome, and despite non-amazing box office takings, there might be a sequel because fans just dug it so much.
IT LONG OUTLASTED ITS FUTURISTIC TITLE
Something that often dates sci-fi is when real life goes past the far-off date it’s set in (even in Terminator 2, Judgment Day was in 1997). When the comic started in February 1977, the year 2000 seemed impossibly futuristic, but it’s ended up going on long past that date without changing anything, delivering a two-fingered salute to the passage of time. In your face, temporal causality. “I queried it at the time” says writer Pat Mills. “I said, ‘What happens when we reach the millennium?’ The publisher didn’t think we would, but I knew we would.”
IT’S PRETTY MUCH PUNK
“On the surface, we were aiming to sell a lot of copies” says Mills. “This meant not appealing to fanboys who would have been into Gerry Anderson or Marvel or Warrior, but to mainstream readers, who are usually the last people comic buffs think about. But beneath the surface, we aimed to subvert. We weren’t punks, but that’s a quick way of saying it.” Mills’s strip Nemesis The Warlock essentially had the Devil as the hero, battling the fascistic efforts of the vaguely Pope-like Torquemada.
IT’S EDITED BY AN ALIEN
2000AD has always been fronted by Tharg The Mighty, a green-skinned alien from Betelgeuse who refers to humans as “Earthlets” and speaks in a dementedly wordy manner. “It seems slightly anachronistic now to have a green alien as the face of 2000AD, but I think the readers would be up in arms if we got rid of him,” says editor Matt Smith. “He’s good fun to hide behind – if any readers ask awkward questions you can just have Tharg come out with spiel about how everything’s going to plan.” Tharg also starred in his own series of photo-stories back in the day, which haven’ really aged incredibly well (they starred a dude in a pretty bad suit).
IT MADE THE WORLD SCROTNIG
Tharg introduced a lot of his own ridiculous slang, including “Zarjaz” (meaning excellent), “Grexnix” (an idiot), “Scrotnig” (also excellent), “Nonscrot” (a non-reader of 2000AD) and “Splundig vur thrigg” (goodbye). Yeah, why not, right?
IT’S BRITISH, GOD DAMN IT
The comics industry is almost totally dominated by U.S. companies – DC, Marvel, Image, Dark Horse, IDW… But 2000AD is part of Rebellion, a British company run by two brothers who grew up reading it. While talent tends to end up where the money is on the other side of the Atlantic, 2000AD’s open submissions policy (which very few U.S companies have) means it’s still the first place most up-and-comers get published.
IT INVENTED FUTURE SHOCKS
One of 2000AD’s acest features is the Future Shocks – self-contained one-off stories that usually end on a mind-twatting twist. They’re like the most economical pieces of storytelling ever, like mini episodes of The Twilight Zone. Mega-bearded comics supremo Alan Moore (creator of Watchmen and V For Vendetta) did 50 or so, and basically, if you name a big-shot British comics creator, that dude started off doing Future Shocks. Grant Morrison (The Filth), Mark Millar (Kick-Ass), Garth Ennis (Preacher,) and Neil Gaiman (Sandman) have all done them, and those bastards are RIIIICH.
EVERYONE WHO’S ANYONE’S WORKED WITH THEM
The world of comics would be a much more barren place without the writers and artists that have come through 2000AD’s pages. As well as everyone already named, there’s Alan Davis (X-Men), Alan Grant (Batman), Simon Bisley (Lobo), Peter Milligan (Unwritten), Steve Dillon (Preacher), Andy Diggle (The Losers), Kevin O’Neill (League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen), Rufus Dayglo (Tank Girl)… tons of ’em. “Going to seek work in America, having worked for 2000AD is seen as something of an academy to have earned your chops at,” says Matt Smith.
SHAUN AND TIM DIG IT
When Shaun Of The Dead came out in 2004, Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright filled in some of the backstory with There’s Something About Mary, a strip in 2000AD, co-written by Wright’s brother Oscar and illustrated by Frazer Irving. Pegg’s character in Spaced was named after 2000AD artist Simon Bisley, and was said to have cried when Johnny Alpha died in the comic.
IT MADE THOUSANDS CRY
The Ballad Of Halo Jones, written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Ian Gibson, is one of the high points of 2000AD’s history. It’s a sweeping, epic tale that goes from farcical comedy to being absolutely heartbreaking. If you’re at all skeptical about comics, pick up the collected edition, it’s brilliant and you’ll sob like a tiny baby at the end.
BURLINGTON France, makers of socks , have hired the Pain Surprises Agency to create his paedo-inspired advert.
The upright, big-breakfast eating kid with the lisp asks his mum “Can you sock me, please?”
What if he asks his dad to do the other one?
PEPPA Pig was in the news again this week, and once again the news wasn’t good. Following previous complaints about her disrespectful and naughty behaviour, there are now claims that one of the characters in her DVD used the f-word, and that this has caused a young Welsh child to use the same foul curse.
In the event, it turned out that the actual word in question was ‘rocking’, but the pronunciation left enough ambiguity to cause mischief. Judge for yourself…
FLASHBACK to 1982, and the go-ahead new ZX Spectrum is making waves in the Jackie magazine classroom:
AH, those were the Krays, those halcyon days when a villain was proper villain, a man with a plan who knew people in high places and how to extort money from local trades people with a few weapons wrapped round a good old fashioned “please, “thank you” and “how’s your mum?”.
Now you can own a slice of the Kray twins’ story by snapping up the famous Bible owned by Ronnie while he and his brother were serving out life sentences for murdering people in black and white. The Bible includes Reggie’s three bookmarks picking out “chapters on judgement and damnation”.
Keen eyes will note that the Bible is stamped “HMP Wayland, Griston, Norfolk”.
Did it ever belong to Kray, or was he only “borrowing it for a bit”?
Also, there’s the panting the violent and celebrated career prisoner Charles Bronson sent Reggie in jail. It portrays Reggie as a muppet.
Jonathan Humbert, of auction house JP Humbert’s in Northamptonshire, is flogging off someone else’s items for a small percentage. It’s what Reggie and Ronnie would have wanted. He says:
“So you have on one hand an infamous criminal who thought nothing of using violence to mete out his own punishments, but who here has a copy of the Bible and has apparently picked out these passages on judgement and damnation. It is in some ways the opposite of what you might expect these guys to have in their possession.”
No. It’s precisely the kind of terrifying thing you’d expect to be owned by the brothers who sought to instil the fear of God in their victims. A shock would be if they collected copies of Blue Jeans magazine with annotations in the margins pointing out where Ronnie thought the writer of the photo story romance had gone wrong.
Debbie Harry’s Decapitated Head Rests In A Box Of Chocolates On The Cover Of Josephine Tey’s The Franchise Affair
For those of you not keen to read the book, you can watch the 1980s TV dramatisation below.
* Robert Blair was about to knock off from a slow day at his law firm when the phone rang. It was Marion Sharpe on the line, a local woman of quiet disposition who lived with her mother at their decrepit country house, The Franchise. It appeared that she was in some serious trouble: Miss Sharpe and her mother were accused of brutally kidnapping a demure young woman named Betty Kane. Miss Kane’s claims seemed highly unlikely, even to Inspector Alan Grant of Scotland Yard, until she described her prison — the attic room with its cracked window, the kitchen, and the old trunks — which sounded remarkably like The Franchise. Yet Marion Sharpe claimed the Kane girl had never been there, let alone been held captive for an entire month! Not believing Betty Kane’s story, Solicitor Blair takes up the case and, in a dazzling feat of amateur detective work, solves the unbelievable mystery that stumped even Inspector Grant
Spotter: Kenneth in the 212