A Driving Instructor's Blog

Movies & TV

I just saw an advert for Colgate Max White toothpaste. It was filled with catwalk models with teeth so white you needed sunglasses.Colgate Max White - put your shades on

The fun part – if you don’t include how it was shot in pseudo-black & white to emphasise the whiteness – was in the small print at the end which says it contains 0.1% hydrogen peroxide. This is the maximum amount allowed in consumer products in the UK (well, the EU).

When a dentist uses it, he may use up to 35% concentration. So Colgate’s toothpaste is 350 times weaker than the stuff a dentist would use. And that’s before you take into account hydrogen peroxide’s instability, which means it will be weaker than ever by the time it gets anywhere near your teeth.

There is absolutely no way – no way whatsoever – that the models’ teeth became that white simply by brushing with Colgate. However, being models, there is close to a 100% probability that at some point they have paid around £1,000 or more to have their teeth whitened professionally – either by bleaching, or by the application of some sort of coating (veneer) which hides the stains. Judging by how goofy they always seem to look, my money is on the veneer option – where a thin porcelain shield is glued on to the tooth to hide what’s behind it (often needing some tooth grinding so the goofiness isn’t too apparent).

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And another past hero(ine) of mine is consigned to history’s graveyard. Yvonne Craig, who played the original Batgirl in the 1960s series, has died of breast cancer at the age of 78.Yvonne Craig - the original Batgirl

She appeared in the third season of that series (1966) in an attempt to manage falling viewer ratings. She also appeared in the third series of Star Trek (1969) as the green woman (who I think also appears on the closing credits of that show).

She appeared with Elvis Presley in two of his films in the early 60s.

She also had roles in episodes of other shows I remember such as The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Land of the Giants, and The Ghost and Mrs Muir.

2015 has seen the demise of a lot of these well-remembered icons.

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Sad news today that Stephen Lewis – the actor who played Blakey in On The Buses – has died at the age of 88.Stephen Lewis (left) with Reg Varney and Bob Grant

On The Buses was another show I grew up with and it was incredibly popular when I was at school. Stephen Lewis was one of the reasons why.

They don’t make them like that anymore.

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Following on from that last story, here’s an example of more legal gobbledegook – this time, quite possibly with a virtual death sentence for someone.Duck shooting gallery

To begin with, just consider what those retards did at Charlie Hebdo back in January 2015, and why. Then consider what the cretins in Isis are doing to people almost daily. With such a suitable backdrop, now consider what that first story is all about.

An American film called “Innocence of Muslims” was banned from YouTube on the orders of a federal court. Actress, Cindy Lee Garcia, had received death threats as a result of her involvement – which she was tricked into, as she had not acted specifically for that film or that role. The editing made it look as if she was accusing the Prophet Muhammad of being a child molester. You can imagine the incendiary nature of such a suggestion when you consider the brittle mental state of those people who start issuing death threats over things like this.

Enter: Google. As most people will be aware, Google is a company which seems to believe that pretty much anything and everything should be allowed under the auspices of free speech on the internet solely in order for Google to reap obscene profits from it all. Oh, it will sometimes ban things – especially if it looks like not doing so could impact earnings – but otherwise it is essentially a clone of the British Press as far as demands for the freedom to publish anything about anyone go. Except that it is about a million times bigger.

This behemoth has been seeking to overturn the original judgement on the basis that it was “a misapplication of copyright law”. It has now got its way, and is free to put the film back on YouTube (which it owns). No decision has yet been taken over whether or when that will happen but Google is no doubt wetting its trousers over the victory now that such a decision lies with it and not with someone above it (i.e. the Law).

If they do (and even because they originally did) reinstate it, it will obviously be open season on Ms Garcia as far as some idiots out there are concerned. I hope Google is proud.

The film should have remained banned. It is simply a crap attempt at shit stirring.

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I was lying in bed last night watching TV before going to sleep, and I thought to myself that I hadn’t seen a decent funny ad for absolutely ages. This is no word of a lie, but the next ad shown was this one. It’s for Dreamies – a snack for cats.

This is the German version, of course. The one I saw was overdubbed for the UK.

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I will make no secret of the fact I had to look her up to find out who she was. I like The Apprentice TV show, but it is a measure of Hopkins’ profile that I had forgotten all about her (she was a contestant in 2007).You're fired!!!

Let’s face facts: none of the people who appear on The Apprentice are normal in the first place. However, if we’re lucky – and of the 156 contestants who have appeared over the series’ lifetime, we have been lucky 155 times – those who appear vanish off the radar within 7 days of being fired (quicker if we’re really lucky).

Katie Hopkins is the one exception. If you read that Wikipedia article, it seems that she has been moderately busy since her Apprentice appearance. She somehow managed to get herself labelled as “a celebrity”, and thus appeared on “I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!” and “Celebrity Big Brother”. She writes for The Sun (a right-wing tabloid) and has appeared on Question Time three times, presumably as a result of trying to get into politics in 2009. I note that she was fired by her employer partly as a direct result of her appearance on The Apprentice. She was sacked as a writer for two local (south coast) newspapers following a series of reader complaints and subsequent poll. She is considered to be a “professional troll” by virtue of her obnoxious comments (you can get a rough idea of her politics by imagining UKIP, then taking the mirror image of it, then bending a few bits here and there). She has been investigated by the police for comments she has made about high-profile news stories. Following her failed attempts in the political arena, she seems to be trying again in her characteristic gung ho manner. I saw reports of the latest police incident today, where she appears to have implied that Pakistani men and child abuse go hand-in-hand, while referring to Rochdale. As you can see, Hopkins really is a stellar talent – right up there, alongside David Cameron’s gardener or Nick Clegg’s barber.

This latest incident seems to be linked to another (politically-themed) story a few days ago. Hopkins had stated that she would quit the UK for good if Labour won the next election. My immediate – and I mean instantaneous – thought was “good”. Unfortunately, when I looked at some of the media stories, most of them seemed to have beaten me to the same punch line. Great minds, and all that.

Hopkins is a nobody who insults people whenever she opens her mouth. Most people like that get into fights in dank pubs on on Friday nights, and remain anonymous from their births to their deaths, with their only legacy being a number of unfortunate offspring, already conditioned to carry on the same message.

I can’t help wonder if a layer of artificial celebrity is in any way likely to alter this perpetual cycle.


Note that I used the question in the title in early 2015 and I wasn’t aware that anyone else had (nor do I particularly care). I notice that as of late 2015, various newspapers are also using it. You’re welcome, guys!

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I’ve seen a new advert the last couple of days for one of those magazines where you get a few parts for an on going model construction project. This one results in a 1:1 movie model replica of the Millennium Falcon from the Star Wars films.The Millennium Falcon

The first issue is £2.99, but subsequent issues are £8.99 each (though you can choose a free gift with your subscription, one option of which is a free issue of the magazine). But the best part is that the series is 100 issues long!

I wonder if the kind or person who is likely to subscribe is aware that the finished model they end up with in two years time is going to have cost them at least £880, and yet it will have nowhere near that value if you wanted to sell it?

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One of my favourite comedy films of all time is How To Murder Your Wife, starring Jack Lemmon and Terry Thomas. The female lead was played by Virna Lisi, a beautiful Italian actress.Virna Lisi in How To Murder Your Wife

So I’m sorry to hear that she has died at the age of 78. I had no idea that she was so prolific, or that she was active up until her death. I also didn’t know that she turned down the lead role in Barbarella, which went to Jane Fonda instead.

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