Fair Play

Long time visitors to my little corner of the interweb may recall that I used to write a series, raging against the use of songs I love in adverts.

Sometimes though, you have to tip your hat in the direction of the advertisers because they’ve got their song selection absolutely bang on.

Conceding ground is made so much easier when they’ve chosen a song I didn’t care much for in the first place, of course.

Although sometimes you do have to wonder: what took you so long to use this song in your ad?

A case in point: in the last 8 – 12 months or so (I think, it may just not have crossed my radar before then), a well-known domestic cleaning product manufacturer has suddenly started using this song in their ads:

Queen – Flash

Let’s be honest, it’s a dreadful song from a dreadful movie. Frankly, it’s befitting that it has ended up being associated with mopping up spillages and general grot.

I’d have been much more impressed if they somehow managed to crowbar this, one of the most unsettling dance records I’ve ever heard played “out”, into their ads:

Green Velvet – Flash (Original Remastered)

And there’s another advert doing the rounds at the moment where I have to admit they’ve picked precisely the right record and, fortuitously, it’s another one that I’ve never had any time for either.

I mean, when you’re the largest chain of Scottish-sounding burger joints in the world, and you’ve had to close due to that there pesky pandemic, once you’re allowed to start reopening your “restaurants” – apparently the notorious litigants get upset if you describe what they serve junk or fast food, which is funny because whenever I’ve been in one (and you’ll be shocked to learn that I have) the service is rarely fast and the food is (The end of this joke has been removed for legal reasons – Ed.) – what else are you going to choose to soundtrack the advert which triumphantly heralds such joyous news, than this:

Mark Morrison – Return of the Mack

Fair play to them. I can’t fault that.

But it seems their days adding pithy pop tracks to their adverts are numbered, because last weekend, our glorious leader (sense the tone…) Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Wiff Waff Is-This-What-You-Meant-Dominic? Johnson announced plans to ban advertising junk food on good, honest, decent British televisions before 9pm. Not, as I say, that the company I’m talking about (you’ll have noticed I’m being very careful not to actually say their name, right?) consider themselves to be purveyors of junk food. I mean, a slice of pickled gherkin definitely counts as at least one of your Five-a-Day, even if most people do leave it on the side.

The ban will be accompanied by a £10 million advertising campaign, designed to encourage the population to eat more healthily, and exercise more.

If they have any sense, they’ll have Simon Evans doing the voice-over; he sounds as English as can be, and is very funny indeed, especially when talking about being overweight (he gets there eventually, but I’d recommend you watch the whole clip):

Anyway, the reason behind this new Government-backed health-drive is two-fold, it turns out.

Firstly, it’s thought that, as a nation, we’ve picked up poor dietary habits during lockdown, and need a bit of a nudge to get ourselves back on the straight and narrow. Well, I’ve got news for our leaders: I was overweight before lockdown, and I’m even more overweight now. Not because the quality of what I eat has drastically deteriorated – my diet has remained more or less the same throughout – but because now, bored and unable to leave the flat with anything like the regularity I used to, I eat more. You know, just to have something to do.

Secondly, obesity has been identified as one of factors likely to lead to people catching the virus. Those interfering busy-bodies at Public Health England – the sort of experts we’re supposed to be tired of, according to rubber-faced goon Michael Gove – have published a report into the impact of obesity on people with Covid-19, wherein they say that the case for action has “never been stronger”. The report shows that the risks of hospitalisation, intensive care treatment and – Yikes! – death all “seem to increase progressively with increasing BMI (body mass index) above the healthy weight range”.

And that’s me, folks. I only have to wander in the general vicinity of my local GP and I have abuse hurled at me for being “fat”, and that’s not just the surly youths from the local estate, that’s my actual GP, opening a window to shout at me. He probably feels the shudders as I approach, or spots the ripples in his glass of water, like that bit in Jurassic Park when the kids are trapped in the car.

(This will make you feel old: that came out 27 years ago.)

When I lived in Cardiff, the bloke who worked in the kebab shop around the corner from where Llŷr and I used to live would wave at me as I walked past his frontage, which is just the opposite end of the same stick, I guess.

Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine – Surfin’ USM

(No, I’m not going to explain that song’s apparantly unrelated appearance, you’ll just have to listen to it.)

Just as the anti-maskers held a rally in London the other weekend, protesting at the perceived attack on their civil liberties as the locations where one must wear a face covering increased, while at the same time displaying their stupidity at not understanding the reason for wearing a face mask is to protect them and people they come into contact with, I did toy with the idea of organising a similar demo for us fatties, but let’s be honest, we’d all be shagged out after walking up the stairs from the tube station, so there’s not much point.

Last weekend, Johnson said: “I’m not normally a believer in nannying, or bossing type of politics. But the reality is that obesity is one of the real co-morbidity factors.

Losing weight is, frankly, one of the ways that you can reduce your own risks from Covid.”

So at this point, I was genuinely thinking: fair play. That – the banning of junk food ads, the encouragement to lead a healthier diet – is a good thing. And that’s me saying that, and you’ve probably have noticed I’m not the biggest fan of Johnson or any of his inept cronies.

And then I thought about it for a bit.

Although I have exaggerated for supposedly comic purposes, I can’t remember the last time I went to see my GP and he didn’t tell me that I need to lose weight.

Johnson, you will recall, was admitted to hospital earlier this year, having, we are told (and I’m not getting into the whole conspiracy idea that he didn’t really have it) displayed the symptoms of Covid-19. When he was in there, he would almost definitely have been told he needed to lose weight.

He was discharged in March.

Why has it taken him until now, four months later, to come out with this advice?

Surely, immediately after being discharged would have been the optimum point to hoik a thumb in the direction of the hospital and say: “You know what? They gave me some great advice in there”, or whatever the Latin (or Twattin, as it’s referred to in my house whenever he or Rees-Moog uses it) for that is.

And then, on Thursday night, mouth-breather and Health Secretary Matt Hancock made this four-part announcement. On Twitter. You know, like Deranged Donald does:

Now then.

There’s one phrase in that which troubles me. Can you spot it?

This one: “The spread is largely due to households meeting and not abiding to social distancing….”

Add that to the sudden rush to identify the clinically and morbidly obese as prime Covid targets, and the whiff of “It’s not our fault, it’s yours for not following the guidelines.” starts to filter under the nostrils.

These are the guidelines which say it’s absolutely fine to, say, go to the pub with members of your household/bubble, as long as you don’t go with other households, and observe social distancing when you’re there. As if the consumption of alcohol will have no effect whatsoever on who you interact with, and how far you stand from them.

And the same guidelines which say you can visit someone from within the same family/bubble, but you can’t go into their house or stay with them.

I think.

There’s a really good article in, of all places, the Financial Times which addresses this. I could quote from it endlessly, or you can jut read it yourself here.

Confused? You won’t be! (honest)

So if people are not following the Goverment guidelines, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are doing so willingly. Sure, a very small percentage of anti-maskers may be, but generally – and I appreciate I’m going out on limb here – generally, people don’t want to die. So if the Government guidelines are not being followed, perhaps it’s time to look at those guidelines, and stop churning out contradictory and confusing directives.

In essence: don’t blame us because you can’t do your job.

I’ll just cough the words *herd immunity* and *second wave* and leave you with this:

Blancmange – Don’t Tell Me

More soon.

Published by

Jez

Contact me by email at: dubioustaste26@gmail.com Follow me on Twitter: @atastehistory Or do both. Whatever.

7 thoughts on “Fair Play”

  1. Jez, please keep up your rants (even if only occasional, given you said you’re trying to give them on here), they consistently hit the nail on the head. And the tied-in mp3s you share to listen to are just icing on the cake.

    1. Oh, and thank you. I know sometimes my rants are shouting to my little echo-bubble, but it is nice when somebody takes the time to agree. Much appreciated.

  2. And still we say “it’s fine to fly to Europe and other countries where the infection rate is rising, but you mustn’t go to the gym!” Bonkers. All polititians are fucking retards, it’s just that some of them are better at being so than others!

    1. Oh gosh, it was so diffcult writing this without straying into Grant Schnapps territory. On holiday in Spain at the moment, I predict he doesn’t self-isolate on his return….because the rules are not for the rulers to follow, as we’ve already seen….

  3. I’ve lost nearly two stones since lockdown started. Gregg’s and pubs being shut is part of the story. I’ve still had beer – ordered from a couple of local microbreweries – but as Mrs TGG doesn’t drink, this has been limited to me and my lads having a few on a Fri and a Sat evening. I’m Chair of a CAMRA Branch so I’m normally in a pub at least five time a week for one reason or another.
    Added to that, I’ve worked from home since late February – so no visits to the staff canteen, where because I’m polite to the serving staff, I tend to get “extra chips”.
    I’ve also walked for at least an hour almost every day since lockdown (replacing two games of five-a-side a week, where, being 54, I walk and others run).
    But the real game-changer was Mrs TGG (who works at the local hospital) asking a Consultant why so many blokes over the age of 50 were having such severe COVID reactions. “Because their necks are too fat and it affects their breathing – and this is a respiratory illness” was his response.
    Sorry – not my normally vaguely witty response, but if nothing else, this has made me reappraise my lifestyle – I’m back to what I weighed 15 years ago, and I’m going to do my best to stay there.

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