Sunday, February 10, 2013

Marketing the Mannekin Pis

You gotta love the Belgians. They are like some crazy, fun loving uncle who is always joking around. As opposed to the French who are often arrogant and snobbish, the Belgians don’t take themselves too seriously. So, it came as no surprise to learn they have decided to use their most famous landmark, the Mannekin Pis, in a gigantic marketing campaign. So what? You might ask. A lot of cities use their most famous landmarks in marketing campaigns. Well, this landmark is a bit unusual. It is of a naked little boy pissing. Not quite la Tour Eiffel, eh? The Manneken Pis has been a required tourist stop in Brussels for centuries but other than a few postcards and key chains, his image really hadn’t been used much due to political correctness. However, times have apparently changed and the Belgian government has decided to promote the lad like never before. Replicas of him now appear everywhere, in snow globes, as colorful chocolate, and lollipops, emblazoned on T-shirts, mugs and coasters. Even Coca-Cola has gotten into the act decorating their vending machines with an image of the boy standing atop their bottle. When most Americans see this statue for the first time they are horrified by it (even though anyone who has raised boys know that this IS what they do whether anyone is looking or not) so it’s hard to imagine something like this catching on back home. Although, I double dare Macy’s to put this giant balloon in their next Thanksgiving Day parade.

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Wow! Does it get any more egotistically sociopathic than this guy? He goes on national TV to supposedly 'come clean' about his drug use and still manages to come off as rude, arrogant and flippant? Remember this isn't just about a guy who doped and denied it. This was about a guy who doped, forced his teammates to dope and UTTERLY DESTROYED anyone who tried to expose him. At one point during the interview Armstrong was asked about the people he had sued. He admitted he couldn't even remember how MANY he had sued over the years. But, THE most telling part of the interview came when Lance tried to make light of his past VICIOUSNESS by joking that, even though he tried to destroy Betsy Andreu (the wife of a former teammate Frankie Andreu)by calling her a bitch and crazy, 'I never called her fat.' And then he SMIRKED. This guy is Narcissus in the FLESH. Lance wasn't the LEAST bit REMORSEFUL in this interview and you know why? Because he doesn't give a CRAP about the lives he ruined and otherwise turned upside-down. It's all a show being orchestrated for one self-serving purpose: he just wants to get his ban lifted so he can compete again. His competitive spirit overcame his judgment and he doped; denying the rightful winners their place in history. For that alone, everyone (including his OWN kids ) should SHUN him and let him live out his sad, self-serving, self-promoting life MISERABLE and ALONE!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Joyeux Noël!

Just a quick post to wish everyone a Joyeux Noel and a peaceful and prosperous 2013!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Tragedy in Connecticut

One of the benefits of living overseas is I can easily shield my children from heinous crimes that take place back home, like the massacre that took place yesterday in Connecticut. My heart aches for the loss of innocent lives and the loved ones they left behind who are now forced to live with an unbearable pain for the rest of their lives. I also join the swelling chorus of Americans who are voicing their hope that this act of unspeakable evil will enable the President to enact some STRICT gun control laws. Our country is the only country in the world where such liberal gun laws exist and unless we put an end to the ubiquitous nature of these weapons, the violence will NEVER END.
The most difficult sticking point that has, thus far, hindered the ability to enact strict gun control in the US is an amendment to the Constitution that was created over two hundred years ago. When the Founding Fathers of our country enacted the amendment that gives all Americans the right to bear arms it took a minute to a minute and a half to reload your gun after you shot it. If the Founding Fathers had ANY idea what efficient killing machines GUNS would evolve into, I'm certain they NEVER would have included that amendment in the Constitution.
Times change, people change. The original Constitution also included the right to own slaves and prohibited women from voting. Notice that over the years the US legislatures have overturned those laws because they realized that they were ARCHAIC and WRONG. Time for some people in Washington DC to GROW a PAIR and do the same thing for the second amendment.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Four More Years!

Early wake up call today, to the best news of the year: President Obama was re-elected. This news is even more exciting considering that a billionaire from Massachusetts (no, not Willard people, he is not THAT rich) spent over 50 million dollars to try and get Mittens elected and he still LOST! So, basically, the people of American just bitch slapped Sheldon Adelson. And you know what? IT FELT GREAT!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Election Edition

During this heated election season, I have to say that one of the benefits of living overseas that I most enjoy is the fact that I am not bombarded daily with television ads for the candidates. Or people pounding on my door, or calling my house non-stop. Being from New Hampshire, (one of the Swing States still up for grabs), I get a daily earful from my parents and siblings about how they no longer answer the phone or the door because its always someone campaigning. They are anxiously counting down the hours to Election Day so that things can get back to 'normal.'
Important American events, such as this election, also provide unique insight into how the French see my country. Every one of my French friends has an opinion of the candidates and are anxious to share it. Alexandre, a left leaning lawyer is very Pro-Obama: 'How could anyone vote for a man who made his fortune through the misery of others? A man who stashes cash in offshore accounts and pays less taxes than his secretary? Romney disgusts me.' In fact, the majority of my French friends are Pro-Obama (although one of them admitted to me that she finds Mitt Romney's American accented French, 'adorable.')
Another great source of information (and entertainment) is scrolling through the comments of the online newspapers. It's amazing how closely the opinions mirror those of certain groups of Americans.
You have the Conspiracy Theorist: "Obama isn't even an American! How can anyone vote for him again?!!"
The Apathetic: "It doesn't matter who wins, nothing is going to change."
The Wackjob: "Vive Romney and his lovely smelling wife..."
And The Realist: "For 90% of the French this election will change nothing. I will get up the next day, and nothing in my life will have changed. So can someone explain to me why we are being bombarded daily with information on this election?"
Regardless of how you feel about the election, I sincerely hope that all Americans will go vote! Because, if you don't, you relinquish all rights to complain about who is running the country for the next four years!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

"I Wanna Be A Princess!"

My daughters, like most girls their age, are obsessed with all things princess. However, living in Europe lends an added dimension to this obsession primarily because real princesses actually exist here. They are the subject of so many magazine articles that my daughters can practically recite (in alphabetical order) the princesses of all the royal families in Western Europe. My girls are particularly intrigued by the stories of ‘commoners’ who married into a royal family, like Crown Princess Letizia of Spain, Crown Princess Maxima of the Netherlands and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark. I despise this ‘princess worship’ for many reasons, not the least of which being the fact that these women are being exalted for doing little else than finding a rich guy and convincing him to marry them.
For example, let’s take the case of Crown Princess Mary of Denmark (pictured). For those of you who are unaware of her ‘fairytale’, she met Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark in Sydney in September of 2000 at a bar called the Slip Inn. Fred was in town for the Olympics and decided to enjoy a night out with his brother and cousins. Supposedly unaware of his royal status, Mary and Fred struck up a conversation, into which a relationship bloomed and the rest, as they say, is history.
First off, let me say I had this broad’s number the moment she opened her yap during her official engagement interview in October of 2003, wherein she tried to sell the world on her bullsh*t story that she had ‘no idea’ who Prince Moneybags was when she met him at the Slip Inn that night. However, even more troubling were the pathetic headlines that the Aussie newspapers starting running shortly after her engagement was announced (things like, “Local Girl Makes Good”) Plus, in the comments section beneath each online article were gems like this one: “Good job, Mary! I am a grandmother and if any of my three granddaughters became engaged to a prince I would be so proud of them.” I had to check the calendar to make sure I was still living in the 21st century.
In a day and age where young girls are told they can do or be anything, what kind of message does it send when we praise a gal just for marrying someone with a title? I hope that if my daughters ever do become famous, it is for something they did that was truly admirable, rather than for the person they chose to marry.