Wednesday, January 14, 2009

i like you, but i LOVE the whopper. . .

So as I was screen printing the day away at work this afternoon, it dawned on me that I really wanted to write a blog entry tonight. I thought about all the things I could talk about and all the funny jokes I would make and all the new friends I would have because they read my funny blog. Now as I sit down to actually do it, I don't remember much of anything I wanted to talk about, but here it goes anyway...

Yesterday I noticed an article on-line about Burger King's new ad campaign. Being an advertising major, I guess I'm supposed to care about that kind of stuff, so I followed the link and read it. Burger King's new ad campaign for its "Angry Whopper" includes a Facebook application where if you "de-friend" 10 people you receive a coupon for a free Whopper [I was going to link to the site to get the app, but it looks like Burger King took it down]. "Cool", I thought to myself, "I easily have 10 people that are "Facebook friends" but aren't "Real-Life friends". But as I read on I was informed that, unlike regular Facebook, when you "de-friended" someone by using this application, it sends them a message that notified them that you are no longer their friend. This kind of made me pause and really consider if possibly hurting 10 peoples' feelings was worth a free charbroiled hamburger. . .

After 2 seconds, I concluded that yes, getting a free hamburger is a totally legitimate excuse to offend 10 people, so I continued on my quest for a free Whopper. However as I perused my Facebook friend list, I continued to have an uneasy feeling about how people might react when they received the message that I was no longer their friend because I desired the taste of a quarter pound of hot ground beef instead. In my head I pictured disbelief and devastation flashing across the faces of these chosen 10 at the fact that they could no longer look at my profile or pretend they were a part of my life by looking at my photos. Reality soon set in that these 10 (along with probably at least 30 others on my "friend" list) would, upon receiving that fateful message, probably instead say to themselves, "Who the hell is Brian Turney?"

It was a humbling thought, but one that motivated me to follow through and strive after the promised treasure. So I did it. I "de-friended" 10 people for the sake of a Whopper, and this is my confession. Does that make me a bad person? Is de-friending someone on Facebook really that big of a deal? I don't know the answers to these questions, and I probably never will. Such is the moral ambiguity that Facebook has bestowed on our culture. . .

[I realize that my story was long-winded and really anti-climactic. Like I said, I felt like I had stumbled on gold this afternoon when I was going through it in my head.]

On a related note to this story, I feel like the ad campaign was pretty brilliant. I mean I will be going to Burger King for the first time in like 2 years because of it. As somewhat of a connoisseur of fast food, Burger King really doesn't fill a niche for me. When I'm looking for something cheap I hit up McDonald's - Seriously is there anything better and filling for cheaper than a McDonald's Double Cheeseburger? Then there is Wendy's, which for some reason in my mind, seems like its the "healthy" option - it probably is healthy when you get a salad and a baked potato, but no so much when you get a JBC, 2 orders of nuggets, and a large order of fries, eh? And then there is the granddaddy of them all, the best tasting and least healthy of them all - Cook-Out! And that's just looking at burger places and not including the chicken places Bojangles and Zaxbys.

So there you have it, there is just no place for Burger King in my hierarchy of fast food needs, but I will be going there soon to collect my reward for being a self-centered jerk.

And as long as we're on the subject, I think these Whopper, Jr. commercials are hilarious.

Monday, January 5, 2009

reading in the new year

I don't really have anything interesting or important to say, but I figured I'd post something since it's been awhile. Besides, what good is a blog if you can't post uninteresting and unimportant stuff?

So its 2009 huh? pretty wild...where are the flying cars? I'm just going to keep asking that question every year until I have one sitting in my driveway... or will it be called a "flyway"? hmm...

Christmas was good. Every year I try to really remind myself that Christmas is about Christ and I ought to reflect on the fact that he humbled Himself to be born a child so that He would save humanity from the clutches of sin, but but by about the second gift that I've unwrapped that pretty much goes out the window. Later on, as I lay down to bed it will hit me and I will feel like a jerk because I didn't so much as pray that day to thank God for sending His Son. That's pretty much my Christmas tradition.

Speaking of Christmas, I did get some pretty sweet gifts and that's all that really matters, eh? Apparently the gift of the year for Brian this year was books. I think I ended up with four. And they all have to do with Christian faith, so apparently I'm doing something wrong. Anyway, I will now talk about them briefly in order from most excited to read to least excited to read.

1. Death by Love: Letters from the Cross
by Mark Driscoll

Mark Driscoll is the pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle and is pretty much my favorite pastor ever. This book is lot more serious and a lot less sarcastic than most of what comes from Driscoll - it is a series of letters that he wrote to various members of his congregation regarding various sins and struggles they are facing, and each letter focuses on a different aspect of Christ's act of atonement on the cross. I've read the first chapter som far and its really powerful and he uses to very striking imagery to convey the power of Christ and his death on the cross. I'm pretty stoked to read this one.

2. Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals
by Shane Claiborne

I've heard really good things about Claiborne and his book The Irresistible Revolution, but truthfully don't know that much about him. This book is about Christians, the Church, and their role in American politics. This is a topic that really intrigues me and that along with the really cool and unique design of the book is what really has me excited to read this one. I've only read the Intro and so far he talks about how the Church has fallen into the lie that the state has more power to change peoples' lives than the death and resurrection of Christ. Sounds like the truth to me, so now what do we do about it?

3. Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
by Francis Chan

This is a book that came out last year I think, and I heard good things but don't really know a lot of specifics. From what I gather, Chan is a pastor in CA and his book is about living out one's faith boldly and dynamically and not being afraid to take risks for the sake of the Gospel. Sounds good and sounds like something that I need to hear. This one falls to third only because of my unfamiliarity with it and because I'm so pumped about the first two.

4. The Love Dare
by Stephen and Alex Kendrick

OK, so maybe I'm a hater but I'm not very excited about this one. Maybe its because it is inspired by a seemingly cheesy Christian movie starring Kirk Cameron. Or maybe its because it requires homework and discipline to complete. Whatever it is, it was a thoughtful gift that is meant to strengthen my marriage and help me learn to love unconditionally, but I'm going to have to feel really motivated to dig into this and attempt the "Love Dare", and knowing myself pretty well, I just don't see that happening.

Not to be overlooked, but falling into a different types of category of books, I also received a commentary on the Gospel of John from my beautiful wife, and a book on how to begin a career as a freelance graphic designer from Clayton. I'm excited about taking a look at both of those as well.

I think that will be all for now.

Hopefully I will read these and return with some comments/reviews soon.