Paper 1 Ideas

The two commercials I have chosen are the “Old Spice fake Spray Tan Party commercial” and the “Anchorman 2 Dodge Durango Dancer commercial” and the links are found below.

Old Spice:

This commercial is a wonderful bit of advertising because it starts with a fake advertisement for spray tans and then the real advertisement bursts in to smack some sense into the viewer. But the real advertisement is unable to do its work without the fake one. It relies on the fact that we already disapprove of the spray tan commercial. It uses an incredibly muscular spokesman who looks like a character from the Jersey Shore. He’s referring to people as “bro” or “chicks” and because of all this, the audience should begin to think he’s kind of a jerk or at least not that bright. Also, the entire commercial appears to have been made by a 9th grader in the 90’s, in the sense that there’s an unnecessary amount of effects in the commercial. All this points to the fact that we should be disdainful of this commercial. And yet, something about the energetic presentation is enticing. The Shore, like guy is offering you a way to be “better” by going to these “Spray Tan Parties”. So even though we laugh at this commercial, something in the back of our minds doesn’t completely rule out this option as a good idea. Then the “real” commercial starts. It starts with the usual Old Spice spokesman’s voice saying “Did you really just watch a commercial for Spray Tan Parties?” or something along those lines. He enters and begins his spiel. Aleady, the audience knows him and is relaxed by him. He’s a familiar face with a soothing voice and isn’t disgustingly muscular like the spray tan guy. His strategy is to tell you the error of your ways for sitting through the commercial as an opener. He uses a humorous chart to describe just how low the viewer has sunk through this viewing. Then the important part: he offers a choice. He says, “It’s not too late to change,” albeit repeatedly and it is pretty funny, but he offers the choice. Dealing with the future tense, saying “You can stay at rock bottom with these spray tans OR you can buy Old Spice”. We see just how well Old Spice can make our lives. We can be like the suave Old Spice guy, live in an immaculate mansion, the whole nine yards. In order to convince the audience; to argue with us, it presents a common enemy.

Dodge Durango:

The Anchorman 2 commercial uses a preconcieved notion of car commercials to sell its point, once again through humor. You hear Ron Burgundy’s voice saying words like, “elegance, form, passion,” and etc. and all the while we’re seeing shots of two ballet dancers doing a routine next to a car. This tactic is employed by advertisers world over; comparing an appliance or machine to something elegant or sleek in nature. So when we finally see Ron walking next to the SUV we all know he was describing we say, “Eh, nothing special,” but then Ron sees the dancer and becomes furious. He’s outraged that these dancers are interrupting his commercial and upstaging the car. It’s funny because of the character and the way that it makes fun of other car commercials. It mainly uses the ethos of Ron Burgundy to really sell the car, because as anyone who’s seen Anchorman knows, Ron Burgundy knows about the finer things in life. If he supports this SUV and considers it better than these dancers, who are we to disagree?

Malcolm Reynolds vs. Han Solo


I’m Mike “Shot First” Shanley and I aim to misbehave.

This week’s mashup will be a Clash of the Captains: Captain Malcolm Reynolds vs. Captain Han Solo


Captain Malcolm Reynolds hails from Joss Whedon’s Firefly (which I suggest you all go watch right now) and is the series protagonist. He is the proud owner and pilot of the Firefly class transport ship Serenity. During the Unification War, Mal fought on the side of the Independents, or Browncoats, and moved to up through the ranks to Sergeant. Since then he bought his ship and formed a crew, with whom he has completed a series of odd-jobs ranging from cattle transport to hospital heists. This requires him to be skilled in sabotage, stealth, and strategy; all of which he has from his military background.

Captain Han Solo comes from a galaxy far, far away created by George Lucas. I am of course talking about Star Wars. Captain Solo won his ship, the Millenium Falcon, from his old friend Lando Calrissian. Known for making the Kessel Run in under 12 parasecs, Solo served mainly as a smuggler, running Imperial blockades to get otherwise contraband goods to planets that wanted them.

Right, you have to account for The Maw and-- look, it's bad enough I'm mashing these two together. Why is Boromir here?

Right, you have to account for The Maw and– look, it’s bad enough I’m mashing these two together. Why is Boromir here?

He then joined the Rebel Alliance after rescuing Princess Leia with Luke Skywalker. He was promoted to General and played a key role in the Galactic Civil War. Most of Han’s battle plans are fairly simple and usually involve charging forward. Unless someone else has explained that they have to be sneaky about something, Captain Solo prefers to rush in, guns blazing.

So… what we have here is a military man turned into swashbuckling rogue and a swashbuckling rogue turned military man. With just this information it really is a toss-up, although personally I’d prefer to follow a man who had military training into a tight situation. Besides, the Rebels made Solo a general instantly after the first battle with the Death Star in which he came in for the last 30 seconds to shoot the TIE Fighter that wasn’t Darth Vader’s. If that’s all it takes, I could probably make Grand General of All Things Rebellious in a month.


Malcolm Reynold’s weapon of choice is his trusty Moses Brothers Self-Defense Engine Model B. This revolver-like gun features two special firing systems. A conventional hammer based firing system and a NEWTECH (the sci-fi technology of the universe) Gauss/Coilgun carriage. This carriage allows the user to carry multiple shots in a single case. However it does have one drawback: its weight. Mal has shown time and again, however that he has a quick draw (i.e. Serenity (pilot)) and the weight doesn’t seem to bother him. Not only is he fast but he’s accurate as well (i.e. Serenity (pilot), Serenity (movie)), able to shoot a man between the eyes from 15 feet away while walking and not breaking stride. One last thing: Mal is incredibly handy in a fistfight. Most fights that occur on Firefly eventually boil down to a fistfight. In fact, the final battle in Serenity (movie) is a fistfight between Mal and The Operative, a man who kills people by paralyzing them until the fall on his sword.

Basically he's Orpheus from The Matrix, but with a sword. And evil. Really evil. And he knows that.

Basically he’s Orpheus from The Matrix, but with a sword. And evil. Really evil. And he knows that.

And Mal beats this guy.

As an Empire avoiding smuggler, Han needs a gun that can stand up to the challenges his life poses. His DL-44 Heavy Blaster Pistol is perfect for his line of work. This gun was favored by most people who weren’t Empire because of its effectiveness against Stormtrooper armor. Mind you, Stormtrooper armor isn’t the flimsy bulletproof Kevlar we have today. This stuff protects the wearer from most blaster fire and can keep a person alive in a complete vacuum for a short period of time. Not only does this blaster pack a wallop, but it also can be charged to fire a bolt twice as wallop-y and not damage the gun. A dollop of wallop for your enemies. Han modified his blaster by removing the barrel sight so his quick-draw was even faster. Which, coincidentally, is more proof as to why Han shot first. But what I think is the coolest feature is that it vibrates whenever the gun has five shots left.

It was a long development process that started with the N64 Rumble Pak

It was a long development process that started with the N64 Rumble Pak

Han’s mano-a-mano skills are somewhat lacking. Since most of his enemies are Stormtroopers or Bounty Hunters dressed in laser-protecting armor, pugilistically going about fights would get him killed faster than Jabba eating a snack frog. That isn’t to say he’s pathetic when it comes to a fist fight, it’s just that he doesn’t get much practice.

So when it comes to firearms, Han has the edge over Mal, being that his weapon is simply stronger and more technologically advanced than Mal’s. I would have to say that Han is also a quicker draw than Mal, although Mal’s aim is steadier and more accurate. When it come’s to a brawl, it’s a no-brainer that Mal could brain Han. Easy.


Malcolm Reynolds:

  • Strategic
  • Steady Aim
  • Military Training
  • Excellent brawler

Han Solo:

  • Quick Draw
  • Powerful Weapon
  • Conniving
  • Some Military Training

Here’s how I think the fight would go:

Han Solo and Malcolm Reynolds are staring each other down on some desert planet. The showdown theme from “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” plays as the two captains stare each other down. Without warning, Han draws his blaster and fires off a few shots. One hits Mal in the shoulder, but his gun is already out and he’s shot Han’s blaster out of his hand! Han scrambles for his blaster as Mal closes the distance between the two of them. Han dives for his gun and fires off another round. His aim is good and hits Mal in the leg. Han takes Mal’s now impaired walk as an advantage to charge his blaster. If he can get in one charged blast, Mal will be down for the count. Han starts backing up in order to gain time but Mal is soon upon him. He grabs Han’s gun hand in order to prevent him from firing off the charged blast and then uses his Moses Brothers Frontier Model B as a club. Han falls and Mal stands over him and levels his gun at Han Solo’s head.

"Mercy is the mark of a great man" [punches Han] "Guess I'm just a good man" [punches again] "Well, I'm alright"

“Mercy is the mark of a great man” [punches Han] “Guess I’m just a good man” [punches again] “Well, I’m alright”

Yes, it looks like in the end the scoundrel smuggler Solo was unable to stop the mischievous marksman Malcolm.

Passion Blog Ideas

Two ideas. One guy. My job here is done.

First Blog Idea: We live in a world where nerd culture is on the rise. Many people belong to the different “Fandoms” of today’s pop culture. It’s gone beyond Trekkies versus Ringers. Any sort of fantastical or science fictional story now has armies of devoted fans who would go to war with each other just to prove that their swashbuckling hero is far superior to those other people’s brooding one. What I intend to do is to put these theories to the test. Take two characters of different universes and genres, research them, analyze their strengths and weaknesses, decide who would win in some sort of fight, and then present this information in a humorous fashion.

Second Blog Idea: I love board games. When it comes to them, I’ve got a Monopoly. It’s a pity that so few people play them anymore, it’s not like it’s Taboo. So, I’m taking a Risk. It’s a careful Operation, but hey, that’s Life. Still don’t know what I’m gonna do? Need a Clue? Guess Who is going to review board games? Me! Yes, I’ll do that and offer good Stratego- er strategies on how to win. It may be a Trivial Pursuit, but if my strategies are as good as my puns, then it’ll be CandyLand.