Mad Christian Ads (Part 1)

Whilst clearing out my old folders recently I happened upon a selection of old banner adverts. Ads are things that interest and irk me in equal measure, being invasive objects that increasingly intrude on our lives without our permission but have the power to consciously and subconsciously change the habits of millions of people around the planet to buy the product or use the service in question, often without actually saying so. Adverts are a neutered form of mind control that offer a glimpse into the general human mindset.

The ads in particular I happened to save onto my hard-drive around 2002 after finding some American evangelical Christian website (the address of which I have long forgot), and I did so because I couldn't quite believe the forwardness of what I was seeing. I promise, these are genuine banner ads from that period.

Nothing like a big red warning sign to get you all pleased you chose that page to go for your daily bit of Jesus Juice. Not too sure what the barcode is all about, perhaps you were meant to take your laptop down to the local Tesco and ask them to scan it in for further instructions.

Al, the anti-lies bear is here to tell you exactly what you can and cannot believe. It doesn't say just what voice the bear roars these biblical extracts at your three year old child in, though, but I doubt it would sound much like Barney.

Amusingly, the people who made the bear have had to change the colour of it to 'heavenly white' from its original purple, because they discovered that '..the color purple has been appropriated by the homosexual community..'. Nice to see just how scared these people are of unbiblical minorities that they can't even be associated with a primary colour if it has some 'negative' connotation. I propose that the agnostics, atheists and humanists divide up the remaining primary colours between them and adopt them as their own, leaving only beige.

'Don't let Evolutionists make a monkey out of you', says Ken Ham, who has managed to look quite a lot like a monkey. So against Evolution is our Ken that he has applied the same tactic that one Mary Kenny has done not so long ago: blame it for all the social ills in the world.

Baby Jesus! I don't talk, I don't walk, I don't do anything, so basically just a job lot of cheap sweatshop-made dolls repackaged and stuck in a crucifix t-shirt, despite Jesus not experiencing much crucifix action until much later on in his life.

The website is still active, and those of you annoyed that you can't get your Jesus doll in the right race can rest easy, there is now not one, but four Jesuses (Jesii?), each of a different skin colour and dress style, crying out for some child-deprived evangelist to love to death like a biblical episode of the Power Rangers.

And you too can buy foods from the bible. These granola bars contain exclusive ingredients not found anywhere else outside of 'shops'. It took the bible to bring them together in a healthy medley, and at only a few dollars a pack, how can you not praise Him as you run for that bus?

I have a few more which I'll post soon. In the meantime, if you have seen some equally weird and wonderful advertisements targeted at the easily flocked, please nominate them. Extra points if the ad implies damnation if you do not buy.

How to be God

Not that fictional one, of course. That'd be silly. I mean an actual god, capable of death and destruction at the press of a shoulder button.

Turns out you need that less than reliable of things, the Homebrew Channel for the Wii and a couple of Mario Kart-specific cheats. I don't recommend installing it as there seems to be a few broken Wii's out there who's owners didn't install it properly, but at least it goes some way to explaining some of those ridiculous times on the competitions.

The playthings of the [Mario Kart] Gods

You may have noticed from one of my previous posts that I quite like a bit of gaming, and though I'm not as mental about it as I was back in the 90's, it still takes up a bit of my time. I have a Wii, and the disk stuck in it most of the time is Mario Kart Wii.

For those not aware, this version of the game has online play, meaning you can have up to 12 people racing with each other, which if you choose to can be any random assortment of people from around the world. Each player has a score they keep between races that starts at 5000 and goes up if you win races and goes down if you lose them. As the score works its way towards 9999 (the top limit) the points for winning decrease but the points deducted for finishing down the order go up. As you can imagine, the final 1000 points are a bit of a basket to achieve.

This was made harder last night, as during a bit of a play my little group of racers was joined by a guy who called himself Alwin. The first warning sign was that he had a score of 35000, but I didn't really notice that at the start. What did make me sit up and take notice was when the race started and he showed his ability to acquire and use items at will. He could throw multiple blue shells. He could throw multiple bombs, false powerups and red/green shells. He could grow to twice the size he should be able to with a mega mushroom and also become invincible. It seemed that far from being limited to the quazi-random selection of items a normal player gets, he could just choose whatever he wanted.

In short, he was unstoppable.

But he didn't race. Instead he gleefully went around (as Baby Peach in a Cheep Charger) throwing all he could at people, sometimes holding them on the spot by using a star and then detonating multiple bombs in front of him so anyone caught in the blast wouldn't have a chance to get away. When he noticed that someone was getting ahead of him he let off a pair of blue shells and then set off as one of those bullet things to go get them. We eventually finished the race, but it was a complete lottery who finished first.

Regardless of where Alwin finished, his score was reduced by 2500 points, which was good because it meant the rest of us were given a share of this to boost our totals, so it was kind of enjoyable, but my cozy little Mario Kart world had just been turned upside down.

I'd love to know what the hell went on over that half-dozen races, I can only assume that either there is some secret to unlock once you have earned all 3 stars from reaching 9999 points, or this was a Nintendo employee having some fun, or someone has worked out how to hack into it. There is at least one other out there, going by the name of 'evil pipi' who had a score of 10000, and did much the same thing later on that night.

Does anyone out there have any experience of these people? Has anyone experienced Alwin or any of his compatriots before or since? Best of all, could anyone tell me how to do it? :)