Archive | June, 2011

The 5 Worst Celebrity Endorsements of All Time

30 Jun

Who would have thought one little drilldo could cause so much damage?

5. Professor John Bailey’s Endorsement of DeWalt Hardware
DeWalt Hardware thought they had made the marketing move of the century when they signed John Bailey to endorse their products. Dewalt hoped that Bailey, a professor at Northwestern University who made international news for allowing the use of a fucksaw in an after-class demonstration to prove to students that – contrary to popular belief – females can indeed be brought to orgasm, would inspire others to invent new and creative uses for their products. The endorsement, however, had the opposite effect of that which was desired. As it turns out, it isn’t as beneficial as one would think to have your product associated with a mechanical pleasure machine.

At least he was never accused of juicing.

4. O.J. Simpson’s Endorsement of Minute Maid Orange Juice
“O.J. for O.J.!” With this slogan, how could any product fail? Well, if the O.J. that is being associated with the product happens to be widely recognized as a felon, there will be issues. The secondary slogan, “If the glove don’t fit-rus, get a dose of some citrus,” only made matters worse, throwing Minute Maid into the spotlight, saddling the company with the nickname a “Vitamin C-rial Killer,” and ultimately leading to allegations that the product itself was not of sufficient quality. This sweeping grassroots movement was spearheaded by the iconic muckraker Captain Juggles, who scrutinized Minute Maid in her song “Balls.” The timeless line, “Get those tiny tangerines out of here, I want them Florida Golds” instantly became the mantra of what is now referred to as the Fruit Juice Revolution. With this one ill-advised endorsement, Minute Maid effectively ruined its once-healthy reputation for ages to come.

These probably had a much better relationship with Hillary than Bill ever did

3. Hillary Clinton’s Endorsement of Tampax
As a proud member of the male gender, I refuse to know what tampons really do; I sometimes wonder if they’re vanilla-flavored cigars that women smoke in privacy because it’s not ladylike. My sister once explained it to me, but I stopped listening after I heard the word “vagina.” Regardless of the purpose they serve, it has been made painfully clear that tampons should not be endorsed by Former Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. But in early 2008, Hillary Clinton and Tampax entered into a mutually beneficial partnership: Clinton endorsed the product, and Tampax supported her campaign. However, the symbiotic relationship was short-lived, as Tampax instantly saw a dramatic drop in sales. Why? Market research indicates that, for lack of a better explanation, Americans really don’t like thinking about Hillary Clinton’s vagina.

Which explains why the cereal tastes like so many thousands of tears

2. Adolf Hitler’s Endorsement of Wheaties
I know what you’re thinking: “Why the fuck would anyone ever want Hitler to endorse their product?” As it turns out, Hitler was a very admirable political figure before he exterminated 11 million people. After he was elected TIME magazine’s Man of the Year in 1938, Wheaties – then a mere fledgling cereal producer – put him on the front of their cereal box, believing that an assertive, successful politician would be the perfect icon to promote their product. Unfortunately, Hitler’s subsequent invasion of Poland put an extremely negative spin on the advertising campaign; the situation only deteriorated when loud-mouthed General George S. Patton jokingly referred to Poland has “Hitler’s Breakfast of Champions.” Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, seeing the cereal box as a symbol of Germany’s cultural and racial superiority to the United States, began using the box as an image to unite and mobilize the German people for war. I don’t mean to imply that Wheaties is responsible for the Holocaust, but the writing’s on the wall.

The fallout was so bad that Reebok was forced to drop Christopher Reeve from their lineup

1. Stephen Hawking’s Endorsement of Air Jordans
In 2004, Nike commissioned a series of marketing studies that revealed a blatant trend in their sales: customers who identified themselves as “academically-oriented” were very unlikely to buy sneakers from Nike. In an effort to rectify this, Nike made one of the most spectacular public relations blunders in recorded history; they had their most popular shoes, Air Jordans, endorsed by paralyzed Oxford professor Stephen Hawking. If that wasn’t poorly construed enough, the commercials featured Stephen Hawking’s computer stating taglines such as “With Air Jordans, my physical potential is no longer a black hole!” and “Who needs the shoulders of giants when you have Air Jordans?” The mastermind of this advertising campaign likely befell the same fate that the North Korean national soccer team did after their 7-0 loss to Portugal in the 2010 World Cup.

About these ads

What the People Want

30 Jun

Looks like the Republican Presidential Primary might get a little more interesting. No, Ronald Reagan did not recently rise from the dead. And, unfortunately, rumors that front-runner Mitt Romney is preparing to battle Jon Huntsman in The Thunderdome have been proven woefully false. But during a speech in Charleston, S.C., Candidate Michele Bachmann made a stunning announcement that is sure to rock the American political world. According to Michele Bachmann,

“They want to see two girls come together and have a mud wrestling fight,” the Minnesota congresswoman said. “And I’m… going to give it to ‘em.”

[editor's note: some content removed from quotation to help facilitate the fantasies of 13-year-old pundits everywhere]

We can only begin to fathom how amazing such a battle royale would be. In fact, our crack team of graphic designers have been hard at work trying to give our readers an accurate depiction of what said mud wrestling would look like, and have produced a preliminary sketch to whet one’s appetite. Our prediction? The melee turns ugly when The Alaska Disasta’ accuses The North Star of lacking proper political experience, and ends in a draw to allow both politicians enough time to prepare their next prodigiously absurd comment for the press.

Man, this tea party sure did escalate quickly...

[POLITICO]

Summer Bucket List

29 Jun

This dog doesn't know how good he has it.

Only three weeks after leaving Northwestern for Summer vacation, and you’re already bored as hell. By now, I can only assume that the allure of your unpaid internship at the Wichita Falls Times Record News has started to wear off, you’ve realized that your friends from home are no longer interested in your stories of hedonism and debauchery that pale in comparison to a standard Tuesday evening in Champaign, IL, or you’re just desperately missing everything about being at school for the first time since Kindergarten. That is why, as your faithful and spectacularly humble servant, I have compiled my very own Summer Bucket List, in an attempt to shake off my own Summer doldrums while simultaneously inspiring our readers to perpetrate majestic acts of grandeur over the break. Please bear in mind that if you suffer any sort of egregious harm due to my suggestions, I cannot be held responsible. But if you happen to get laid as a direct result of my sage advice, you know who to thank.

I mean... seriously?

Get Kicked Out of a Museum
Northwestern already has a great history with some of Chicago’s finest museums. And who doesn’t love to spend their Summer evenings in the Art Institute, escaping the sweltering heat by loudly discussing the monochromatic tendencies of Postminamilism or the intricate details of the sexual connotations Salvador Dali found in lobsters and telephones? I sure do. But one of these days I’m going to snap, and if I’m going to be forcibly escorted from a museum, I want to make sure it happens in the most badass way imaginable. Dressing up as a mummy in the Field Museum’s pyramid, taking an axe to a Rothko, or fishing for a shark in the Shedd Aquarium all sound pretty good to me. But I have nothing against leaving my dog’s excrement in the MCA as art, wearing a lab coat in the Adler Planetarium and assuring everybody that the sun will be extinguished next Friday, or getting drunk with a Chimpanzee at the Brookfield Zoo, just as long as notoriety ensues.

Oh, sì! Conjuga los verbos para mì!

Seduce a Professor
Summer at Northwestern is a magical thing. Boredom and loneliness coalesce into a formidable cyclone of pure libido, and nobody is safe. Perhaps Summer School professors are particularly susceptible to this phenomenon, especially when their students are charming, witty, and strapping young lads who tend to spend their time writing self-indulgent posts on the internet instead of playing outside. Here’s how a hypothetical situation might play itself out between the clumsy, yet affable, student and his Spanish professor:

El Estudiante: Hola. Estoy teniendo algunas problemas con mi tarea. Puedo obtener instrucciòn adicional despuès de la clase?

La Profesora: Por supuesto! Nunca notè que bello de una sonrisa que tienes, y lo sensible y tranquilizador que eres. Estoy ruborizada?

El Estudiante: Es el calor del amor. Venga, vamos a navegar en el Lago Michigan, mientras leìa la la poesìa de Neruda.

La Profesora: Dios mio!

Kick-off My ASG Student President Campaign
As ASG Student Body President, I would work tirelessly to bring an inter-campus zip line to Northwestern, replace our football team with the starting lineup of defending Lingerie Bowl Champions the Los Angeles Temptation, put a keg in every dorm room, and a segway in every garage. I will also work hard to meet student demands for a grow house in Tech, the extension of formal recognition to the Merpeople living in Lake Michigan, and the construction of a border wall between the University and the City of Evanston. Most importantly, however, I will not rest until my bill declaring Morton “Morty” O. Schapiro as “Supreme Master of the Universe” and endowing him with plenipotentiary power over the Galaxy is passed by the United Nations. What better time to get the jump on my fellow opponents for next year than during the summer?

It would be like dining with the Ghost of Hookups Past

Eat Lunch at The Keg
Doing so would be in direct violation of the only two rules that govern The Keg: Never go when sober, and never go when it’s bright enough to see the floor. Even the notion of entering the Keg through the front door fills me with fright. But how can I resist such temptation in the face of unparalleled danger?

Skinny Dip in Lake Michigan
This might be a difficult challenge, considering the regrettable dearth of cheap booze and impressionable friends over the summer, but a challenge that must be surmounted nevertheless. The Snowpocalypse is over, Summer is here, and the time is ripe to brave the Evanston Police and an E-Coli outbreak for the blissful few seconds when I can freely wade into Lake Michigan before my love apples turn into kiwis. I like to remind myself that there is no federal law against nudity, and channel the notable nudist President John Quincy Adams while I free myself from the physical constraints of modern life. I am also willing to provide a sizable reward for anybody who can supply me with a dependable cure for shrinkage.

Using sophisticated computer technology, this is a graphical representation of what I would look like with a mustache

Grow a Mustache
Being clean-shaven and presentable is sooooo passè. And there’s no chance in hell I can grow a full beard. The solution: a compromise. Maybe if I just focus all of my hair-growing power on my upper lip, I can valiantly return to class in the fall sporting facial hair with the tenacity of Burt Reynolds and sex appeal of Geraldo Rivera. As Walter Cronkite proved, all you need is a well-groomed and bristling ‘stache to gain cred in the world of journalism. But then again, when it comes to journalistic street cred, I think Sherman Ave’s doing alright.

Get the Blog Back Together
Check.

Hate A Random Country: Iceland

29 Jun

What do geothermal energy, lesbian prime ministers, and unforgivable amounts of twattery have in common? If you guessed “They occur in the United Kingdom,” then I say to you, excellent guess — Margaret Thatcher did make us all wonder. However, the correct answer would be that the aforementioned items occur in Iceland, or as it translates in the native tongue, “Island that we’d all willingly leave if we knew how.” In researching my scathing criticism of Iceland, I have come upon the frequently-occurring issue of having just too many judgments to pass on a country. Therefore, humble reader, know that beyond what I will mention in this exposé, there is an additional plethora of aspects of Iceland that can be mercilessly scrutinized.

One of Iceland's most famous churches. Think they're compensating for something?

I’ll start out with Iceland’s language: Icelandic. First of all: real creative, Nordic buttsponges. We all know that a true country commandeers another country’s language, removes the obnoxiously superfluous u’s from words that clearly require only an “or,” and claims it as their own without adjusting it to their own country’s demonym. But the acquisition of their language isn’t even the most laughable part of it; the language itself is based on an alphabet presumably engineered by Jerry Garcia after a routine wake-and-bake. The Icelandic Alphabet is a haven for oodles of unnecessary umlauts, accents, and all sorts of other bizarre letter supplements that would never be accepted south of the Arctic Circle. What’s even sadder is that they’ve bastardized letters from the English language; according to Wikipedia, the letter “T” is pronounced as “t with a puff of air.” Wow, Iceland. Wow. Be careful with how much air you’re puffing pronouncing seemingly trivial letters – especially when your nation is covered with so much volcanic ash that it resembles Mordor after Sauron gets blue-balled by that one unfortunate-looking orc general who leads the river-crossing.

No, this image isn't from a Megadeath t-shirt

That brings us to Exhibit B – that volcano that totally ass-pounded Iceland. Now I’ll be a man of integrity: The incident was sad for everyone across the world. Until everyone learned that the name of the volcano that spewed its apocalyptic man-chowder all over the Scandinavian island was a sixteen-letter juggernaut that only the Icelandic tongue could force out of its saggy linguistic womb. Legend tells us that the volcano – Eyjafjallajökull – was dubbed so by an Icelandic citizen with Parkinson’s trying to drunk-text on a roller coaster. The tragic news of the Eyjafjallajökull’s eruption was instantly lightened up by the always-competent American news media, which chose to focus not on the severe infrastructural and environmental damage caused by the eruption, but rather on the absurdity of the volcano’s name. Complain all you want, Iceland, but it’s your own damn fault that your language looks like Bananagrams on LSD.

Rather than simply donning flannel and teaching P.E., this woman had what it took to rule a rock with a slightly larger population than Saint Louis

Moving on from Iceland’s “language,” let’s get to the most important aspect of Iceland’s existence: the lesbian prime minister. Before you go check out lesbianprimeministers.com (I already tried, it’s not a real website), bear with me, because I’m about to do something unprecedented; I’m going to compliment Iceland on their lesbian prime minister. It’s great to see that in a country of stereotypes (after all, her name is Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir), there are still people who break them. In many scenarios, this woman would follow the beaten path and become a librarian or professional golfer, but in Iceland, she became the prime minister of an entire country. Okay, maybe not an entire country, but Iceland.

In conclusion, while I give props to Iceland’s non-truck driving lesbian community, I want to remind readers that I still think Iceland is a worthless piece of shit. I think of Iceland as the Scandinavia of Scandinavia – and I assure you, that is not a favorable remark. So, next time you use a word with fewer than twenty letters, or look up in the sky and see something other than a gray mass of ecological screwedness, say to yourself proudly: “Well, at least I’m not an Icelandic titnugget.”

Guess Who’s Back?

28 Jun

To be fair though, there were also a lot of overweight women wearing nothing but pasties.

Hello, Sherman Ave readers. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Why hasn’t Sherman Ave written any articles in the past three months? How have I even made it this long without any new articles from Sherman Ave? Where did this maimed goat come from?” Well, fear not; our ever-victorious writing team is back for the summer of 2011 with more style and fervor than Lady Gaga at a gay pride parade (disclaimer: There were at least 80 or 90 Lady Gagas at Chicago’s gay pride parade). Yes, it was painful for us to take our hiatus, but spring quarter at Northwestern is a grueling journey, and the endless hours we spent studying and upholding Northwestern’s proud academic integrity made it kind of hard for us to be kick-ass journalists on the side.

But there’s no point in dwelling on the past. What matters is that we’re here now to thrust into you with our journalistic prowess. We’re more than prepared to insert our firm, powerful take on current events into your docile, yearning hands. So get ready, dearest audience, because in the words of the immortal pop culture icon Ke$ha, this summer “we goin’ hard, hard, hard, hard, hard, hard.”

Evanston in April

I think we can agree that you all deserve a recap of spring quarter at Northwestern University. Did I say spring quarter? What I meant was SWEET MOTHER OF ASS, WHY HASN’T IT WARMED UP YET quarter. Yes, the sultry skank of a temptress that is Chicago’s climate certainly slipped us a Rohypnol this year, keeping the weather consistently below 60°F. Oh, and in case you were wondering, that “F” doesn’t stand for “Fahrenheit”, it stands for “Fuck everyone and everything.” (Note: NOAA is currently trying to determine if there is a correlation between the cool climate and the absence of new Sherman Ave articles.) Fortunately, the weather did eventually warm up; Memorial Day was a gorgeous, sunny day with temperatures in the mid 80’s, and practically every single student spent the day enjoying the weather. If I had a nickel for every brutally awkward sunburn I saw the next day, I would be well on my way to paying for a single class at this unjustifiably expensive university.

I didn't fight a goddamn war for nothing, you know.

Speaking of classes at this unjustifiably expensive university, another hot topic of spring quarter was the cancellation of the Human Sexuality course for its use of a fucksaw (a word that should be making its way into the Oxford English Dictionary before too long) in a post-lecture demonstration. This puts me in a difficult place, because I really don’t like disagreeing with His Royal Highness Morton O. Schapiro (you may think I use the word “royal” sarcastically, but damn, the man loves his purple). However, I really don’t support the censorship of educational materials, and neither does the majority of the Northwestern student body. I don’t want to blow this out of proportion, but I know that our founding fathers would not have stood for the censorship of an entire field of study based solely on the use of a motorized dildo. Granted, they didn’t have motorized dildos back then, but they certainly had steam-powered ones.

Pre-gaming breakfast with a keg full of mimosa

As much as I’d like to picture Abigail Adams pleasuring herself with a sexual contraption, it’s more important to recount the highlight of spring quarter: Dillo Day. Dillo Day is a music festival at Northwestern that started in 1972, when six students from Texas decided it was necessary to honor the armadillo – an animal widely known for its keg stands, public urination, and drunken hook-ups. Waking up on the morning of Dillo is like waking up on Christmas; you know from the moment you open your eyes that your day will instantly be riddled with little treasures. Except on Christmas morning, those little treasures are wrapped gifts, whereas on Dillo, those little treasures are shots of Smirnoff that you’ll likely chase with a BK Breakfast Muffin. But that’s only the beginning of the day! The great thing about Dillo Day is that when you’re already drunkenly belting The Script at 8:45am, you have an entire day of unforeseeable events awaiting you. This year, we were lucky enough to have such musical artists as New Pornographers (a group I vaguely remember enjoying), Peter Bjorn and John (I don’t know, just Google them), and B.O.B. – a hip-hop artist whose talent is surpassed only by his douchebaggery, and most other people’s talent.

It’s difficult to give a valid account of Dillo Day, because Dillo Day experiences are like snowflakes; they are all unique in their own various ways, but ultimately, they all come together to form one giant clusterfuck that deeply frustrates the Evanston community.

After Dillo Day, we had ahead of us only a measly two weeks. That being said, it was a two weeks of final papers, final exams, final projects, final straws with TAs (I mean really, why the hell would a grad student studying political science be the TA for a Russian literature class?), and final goodbyes for the summer. And that was it! Now it’s time for a summer full of serenading you, our readers, with our brilliance. Prepare yourselves, because Sherman Ave is putting on its skin-tight leather pants and blasting Katy Perry’s “Firework”, and when that happens, God knows what will follow.

-Ross Packingham

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