Die beste Entscheidung im Leben des Thorsten B.
Acting, advertisement, almost a diary, cinema, filme, Kurzfilm, oddly enough, short film

Fast wie bei Torsten B. – die beste Entscheidung im Leben des Manuel N.

Lustige Sache. Coca Cola Zero Deutschland hat einen sehr schönen neuen Werbespot mit Manuel Neuer gedreht und auf youtube gestellt, der sich mit der Frage beschäftigt, was eigentlich wäre, wenn Manuel Neuer sich nicht dafür entschieden hätte Fußballprofi zu werden.


Great Minds think alike? Oder wurde vielleicht sogar irgendjemand aus der Agentur von unserer fake-Doku aus dem vergangenen Jahr inspiriert? Denn sowohl vom Thema als auch von der Machart erinnert der Spot schon stark an Ronia Adl-Tabatabais Film “Die beste Entscheidung im Leben des Torsten B.”, in dem ich letztes Jahr eben jenen Thorsten gespielt habe. Denkt Ihr nicht auch?

advertisement, oddly enough

No ‘tyrants’ anymore.

According to the Guardian, a British recruitment firm got into a bit of trouble with the UK’s advertising watchdog because one of its radio ads features an apparently German boss whose spoken German is well, slightly, reminiscent of Charlie Chaplin’s impersonation of Tomenia’s Great Dictator. The ad didn’t go down too well with the Advertising Standards Authority, which eventually pulled it because the humour was “derived from a stereotype at the expense of German people.”

Check out the Guardian’s Mark Sweney’s report on the matter ad listen to the ad yourself – Radio ad banned for implying Germans are ‘tyrants’.

Not that I disagree with the authorities assessment of the use of such a badly sketched stereotype in the ad in theory – but given the cultural importance of Hitler impersonations for the English identity, and assuming  that, by now, most Brits will likely be aware that Hitler is not really the current Chancellor of Germany, I can’t help but wonder to which extent those who came up with the spot, and those who are listening to it, are actually connecting real Germans to such a bad rendition of Chaplin. I doubt that a lot of them were actually thinking, as the authority suggests, “… that German people were more likely to be unreasonable or aggressive to others…” They aren’t – except when it comes to penalties, of course.

But be that as it may, this incident is, of course, really as good a reason as any to link to this compilation of the best moments from Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator”  – enjoy.

oddly enough, US Politics

Now go and play with your “Joe The Plumber” action figure.

From The Times, via Crooked Timber, a first class example of real life political satire.

The Republicans have made a last-minute attempt to prevent Barack Obama’s ascent to the White House by trying to recruit an Oxford academic to “prove” that his autobiography was ghostwritten by a former terrorist.

With two days before the election, Obama is poised to become America’s first black president, according to polls showing he has an average six-point lead over John McCain, his Republican opponent.

Dr Peter Millican, a philosophy don at Hertford College, Oxford, has devised a computer software program that can detect when works are by the same author by comparing favourite words and phrases.

oddly enough, Science

Falling in love, 21st century style (mostly for mice).

According to Spiegel Online (link in German), GenePartner, a Swiss company, is actually offering to match people based on their DNA structure since last July. They, like their American competitor ScientificMatch, base their product on recent research that was able to exploratorically establish an empirical preference for sexual partners with a genetically different immune system, yet with only a weak theoretical explanation for the empiric findings. While researchers in the field are apparently still modest about the importance of their findings for human mating, the two companies seem confident in their ability to identify and numerically encode the previously unconscious preferences which then allows to identify prospective mates with a different immune system and thus, it is assumed, a significant potential for a relationship. Weiterlesen

oddly enough, US Politics, USA

Sarah Palin is simply scary.

You know, back in 2000, I said that Americans were so confident in their way of doing things that they actually believed they could afford someone like the current President to be in charge. Now, a couple of years later, they may no longer be too confident about the situation they find themselves in, militarily, diplmatically, economically, and politically. But in a move that illustrates to a scary degree the extent of polarisation of the American electorate, John McCain picked his Vice Presidential candidate according to the simple rules of electoral maths, and we’re now facing the possibility of a President Sarah Palin. And that would probably be when we’d all begin to fondly remember the days of President Bush. If there’s anything the choice of Mrs Palin, just as the Congressional hearings regarding the imminent 700bn bank-bailout, indicate, it is that US politics seems to have become completely dysfunctional now.

Here’s Sarah Palin making that point to CBS news anchor Katie Couric. It would funny, if weren’t so sad and scary.

australia, oddly enough

Updated: Oddly enough: Mount Isa, Queensland, edition

I’m the last person to deny that demography can be an important variable in social developments. Sex ratios in particular seem to be an important aspect when pondering about East German Hooliganism (75 women per 100 men in some areas) or the recruiting strategies of terrorist organisations in the Middle East (dying as a martyr while hoping to find 72 huris in paradise is could more appealing when the chance of actually meeting a woman while being alive is not just socially low, but also statistically – as in, say, Saudi-Arabia, where there were 100 women for 217 men in 2005, if I remember correctly). Foreign Policy even wondered whether “The Geopolitics of Sexual Frustration” -particularly in Asia where the invention of the sonogramm led to widespread female infanticide – were actually the world’s biggest security issue in the early 21st century. So, well, as Edward Hugh puts it so eloquently – demography matters.

And apparently, demography also matters in Mount Isa, Queensland, Australia.

Mount Isa, Queensland

Mount Isa, Queensland

The town’s mayor, John Molony, was apparently so troubled by the excess testosterone in the city that he did not want to wait for a natural equilibrium to develop. In what may be considered a miner-cover of Emma Lazarus – Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free – according to this BBC article and this one from Reuters oddly enough, he has come under fire after saying that female “ugly ducklings” might benefit from the town’s shortage of women.

“with five blokes to every girl, may I suggest that beauty-disadvantaged women should proceed to Mount Isa”.

With a gentlemanly mayor like that, I wonder what kept any woman from moving there in the first place…

Update: The Sydney Morning Herald has a follow-up with some more interesting information – “Beauty-Disadvantaged Singles Outcry“. There’s a good chance Mr Molony will be the first mayor worldwide to have caused his constituents to rally for telling them they’re not sufficiently sexually attractive –

“It paints the women here as second rate and suggests that the men will settle for anything. He has put everyone down,” she said. “We’re going to get together to put forward our opinion.” Up to 100 women, carrying banners and placards, were expected to take part in the protest.

The best thing is, though, that he apparently got his numbers wong – the Sydney Morning Herald cites the 2006 census, according to which males apparently made up 52.6 per cent of the town’s population of nearly 20,000.