Posts Tagged ‘Ewan McGregor’

Olay Regenerist

July 2, 2008

Olay Regenerist - Alternative to Injections

For years I laboured under the misguided belief that the poor standing of women in todays society was the fault of men; that the glass ceilings of business, the abject sexism of language and the body fascism of the media were all the result of a patriarchal world which imposed impossible standards upon them at the request of men.

For a while it looked like things were improving, but somewhere along the way it went wrong. We reached a point where being allowed to get as shitfaced as men meant equality, and where masturbating with a wine bottle on Big Brother equalled personal freedom and we suddenly went on our way again, thinking that everything was alright, and pushing the sexes even further apart in the process.

Advertising is the main culprit here – a slow socialization of roles that has become an all out war on the female image, grinding them further and further down until their behavour is a commodity and their self esteem is purchasable.

The poor standing of women in society is no longer because of men, and it’s not because of women either – it’s because of money. It’s because self-loathing is more profitable than self-empowerment and because a happy woman does not make a handful of very powerful people very rich.

I know what you’re thinking – this isn’t the normal sardonic critique usually enjoyed on Watch With Mothers, this is the nigh on communist rantings of newboy Quincy Phd. Watch the advert for Olay Regenerist above, though, and tell me that there’s not something very sinister about the whole thing.

It’s just a little advert – one in a million of the same ilk, and in many ways as innocuous as them all, but within it lays the seeds of all that is wrong with the advertising industry. It defies all sense of decency, of moral purpose – it’s cold, callous and calculated to further deflate the self-respect of half of the population.

Turn over to More4 and there’s a repeat of How To Look Good Naked; a woman is sobbing, actually breaking down in front of a mirror – holding her slightly aged stomach and spluttering that this isn’t how she’s meant to look, how she’s meant to be “slim, and young, and beautiful…”

The connection isn’t hard to see. We live in a culture where an advert with two kissing men is pulled in its first week, but this shit goes on and on and on without a single complaint. It’s state sanctioned bullying, drip-feed demoralisation and the beginnings of Olay’s move into wholesale cosmetic surgery products.

The male targeted adverts of this ilk are easy to laugh at – Pierce Brosnan saving the environment, Ewan McGregor on his bike – but when Andi McDowell talks of erasing her life-story lines it’s almost conspiratory. Before, the voiceover would say “in your early thirties” – now it’s “in your late twenties.”

Mainly, though, it bothers me that Eve Cameron, beauty journalist, would hawk this shit. I know everyone has a price, but in my ideal world she’d have a flash of conscience and realise that all she’s really doing is perpetuating an impossible and unrealistic beauty myth and further ruining the societal advancement of her own gender.

Long Way Round: Disc One

August 29, 2007

Chewan and Arley

Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman embark on a round the world trip on their motorbikes…

Yes, this is rather old but having just got the whole lot on DVD I’m giving it another shot, I watched bits of it when it was aired initially and now is my chance to watch the bastard lot in one fell swoop.

What becomes immediately apparent after watching the start of disc one is that (first time round watching The Long Way Round, yeah) I’d missed the first four episodes in which McGregor and Boorman plan their ‘trip’. From the outset it’s not just a question of two mates going ‘we’ll go that way’, getting a map, sleeping bag and tent and just heading off. No, it’s more of a military-planned operation being overseen by an office of plum-mouthed toffos working for some massive fucking production company who are more concerned about appeasing insurance underwriters and McGregor’s agent should he bang his fizzog on a rock rendering him unable to play Particle Worbly in the new Star Wars: The Tinkle of Chelt, or something.

After an entire episode where nothing happens save chatting and pointing, we see McGregor and Boorman undertake first aid training, motorcycle training, fitness training, what to do at borders training, toilet training and training. All of this is punctuated with ‘diary cams’ and family scenes where we are left wondering why they didn’t do this before they had wives and lots of children who may be affected by their respective daddies fucking off for five months on a jolly…

Anyway, fuck them, the boys are off. Just them, their machines, the open road, oh, and three 4×4 support vehicles each containing a variety of hand-wringing executives, producers and a fucking doctor if you please -should McGregor sprain his little toe on some nasty wind- and a Swiss cameraman on a motorbike like what our boys have to film them pootling about like brittle boned pensioners. By the time I was on episode three I wondering what the fucking point of this ‘motorcycle’ journey was and was reminded of David Cameron cycling to The Commons with two fully laden Lexus following him. I figure it has the same point as that.

The icing on the cake of this travesty is that Mr. McGregor and Boorman also ‘sing’ the theme tune. That should be ‘yell the theme tune tunelessly in order to drown out the other so that by the end of the first verse you can hear blood bouncing off the pop shield’. I’d rather listen to the desperate screams of an orphaned child being repeatedly stung on its eye by a wasp.

It’s bloody good in places though. Highly recommended.